Nom de Plume Rating: ★★★★★
Reading Time: 5 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I purchased this book myself because it was too irresistible... am I right? Or am I RIGHT? You can't fake these stars, baby!
As his alter-ego Mister Romance, Max is a drop-dead gorgeous escort who makes romantic fantasies come to life. No sex, just swoon-worthy dates to die for, and the cream of New York's socialites can't get enough. Whether they want a dominating billionaire, bad boy with a heart of gold, hot geek, sexy biker, or best friend who loves them from afar, Max can make it all happen, but he's careful to keep his real identity a secret.
Enter investigative journalist Eden Tate. Having caught wind of the urban legend of Mister Romance from a lovestruck client, Eden is determined to publish a scathing expose on Max and his ability to swindle lonely society women out of their fortunes.
Desperate to protect his anonymity and his clients, Max challenges Eden to give him three dates. If she doesn't fall in love with him, she can run her story with his blessing. If she succumbs to his charms, the story dies.
Cynical Eden has no doubt she can resist his fake romance personas, but when the real Max admits he’s falling for her, she has to decide if the professional liar is telling the truth, or if the passionate man with the mysterious past is just one more character designed to con her out of her career-making story.
First Line: "When I hear the term Mister Romance drop from my sweet-but-naive baby-sister's mouth, I'm convinced she's been duped into believing yet another urban legend."
Check me into an asylum because I am about to put sticky notes on everyone's FOREHEADS! What's written on said sticky notes, you ask?... 😏
One word: Max.
Err. Merr. Gurrd. The delicious conflict! Eden Tate has bestowed upon herself the great challenge of busting Mister Romance (aka Max) and his con. This is no ordinary man, but a man who role-plays and cajoles women into paying $5,000 per dream date. Talk about an actor extraordinaire!
Eden is desperate for a single opportunity at success... Although, success is the last thing she sees in her bleak future because her typical day job consists of writing articles like this:
YOU'LL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENED TO THE 2-YEAR-OLD CHAIN SMOKER!
THIS OLD MAN TOOK A BATH AND NOW LOOKS LIKE THIS! WHAT'S HIS SECRET?
Ding ding ding! You guessed correctly! Eden writes click bait. She's destined for more, of course, but until the rumors of Mister Romance flooded her ears she was just a mushroom in the shade of her douche-boss's tree.
Speaking of the douche-boss, he wants to fire Eden. Well, unless she can write him the best exposé known to humankind about this maniac man of love.
Maniac man of love... I like this. Can we share a cell? 😏 #NomDeLOCKMEUP
And this Mister Romance?... An exposé of this magnitude could change Eden's career. Sure, she'd expose him and all his clients, his secrets, and - well - ruin him in the process. Ain't no thang! People do it all the time!
But Max is no con... and especially not with Eden.
Woah. Never in my life have I seen a man look at me like that. As if the pain I'm feeling is being felt twice over by him... There's no going back from this. Once we've taken this final step I'll be ruined for all other men.
Wait, is Max just faking this romantic connection to try and convince Eden she shouldn't publish her article? Because (of course) he knows about the article. Their "arrangement" is completely transparent from the start... but emotions start to blur the lines between right and wrong.
As Eden learns more about Max and the meaning behind his... err-work... she succumbs to her own emotions and feels like maybe she shouldn't write a piece that will destroy him. However, an exclusive exposé is what her boss is expecting.
What's a girl to do?
Well, unfortunately Eden has no idea what to do (which got her in this mess in the first place). But she is not alone because Max, too, is conflicted. Max starts breaking his rules for her. He stops seeing his other clients. He focuses all of his attention on her happiness. Pretty soon he starts looking at Eden like she's the reason the sun rises.
Sounds like love, eh?
Everything in my life is optional, except you. You're essential...
Oh yes, this love is raw, primal, and deep. But both Eden and Max are twirling around this limbo of lust, desire, and passion and it's camouflaging their proverbial lines in the sand. Max is a con... right? Eden does not love this man, he's a fake... or is he?
The exposé, the doubt, the conflict. Oooo Leisa Rayven this book is immaculate! Eden transforms from a cynic to someone who believes in romance. Max simultaneously begins to show Eden all sides of his personality, and sets sail to the pain and secrets he has been harboring. There are now no secrets between these two... but did Max open up too soon? After all, Eden's head is - and always has been - orbiting her article. Methinks that for the first time ever, Eden is going to hate doing the one thing she loves: writing the truth.
He stands and pulls me to my feet, and then he cups my face with both hands and kisses me so deeply, I almost believe everything will be ok...
Leisa Rayven. Staaahp.
I was a sheet of metal in Leisa's hands; bending, folding, flexing. She sculpted me, then flattened me, only to contort me once more.
After being emotionally fatigued from Max and Eden's stresses, I snapped in two. But somehow, someway, Leisa Rayven welded my broken pieces back together so I could withstand the ever growing tension.
I. have. never. read. a. book. like. this.
Every page is a new juxtaposition to untangle. The layers of Max slowly peel away to unveil a brilliantly flawed man with a heart of gold.
Mister Romance caused me so much anguish and I willing walked towards my imminent doom, but right at the point where I was crying in pain, Leisa channeled all of my negative juju into a concentrated prism of hope... and I laughed. I LAUGHED. I ugly-cry-laughed and my heart ached with pure vehemence. I was flipped head over heels and my negative emotions instantaneously became bewilderment, and desire. *snort* Desire for more of this cyclic torture!