Review of ‘Pretending in paradise’ by M. Ullrich.

Caroline Beckett is a PR specialist hired by travelwisdom.com to save them from a possible defamation lawsuit caused by the reckless actions of travel blogger Emma Morgan. When Emma is invited to travel to Miami to review a couples retreat, she jumps at the opportunity to redeem herself. But that chance comes with the condition that her travel companion has to be Caroline and they have to pose as a couple. Pretending to be in a relationship can be a hardship when they cannot stand each other but, as time goes by, both women discover that their early dislike for each other is turning into the complete opposite. Will they have a chance to make their fake relationship real?

This is a sweet slow-burn romance combining the fake romance and the enemies to lovers trope. Ms. Ullrich did a great work in building the relationship between the main characters from dislike to attraction. Both leads are well rounded with very distinctive personalities and in this case opposites attract. While Caroline is self conscious and introvert, Emma is extrovert and sociable. As the story progresses, both women – alongside with the reader – discover that there is more than meets the eye about the other. The chemistry is built slowly but surely and the sex scenes are well written, original and hot.

My only criticism is that I felt that the main premise on why they go on a trip together is a bit hard to believe but once that’s sorted the rest of the book feels credible, as are their interactions with other people and conversations. There is a good balance between funny and more serious moments and the conflict and resolution have everything that a romance novel needs. As a bonus, the epilogue set a few years later provides a neat conclusion to the story.

Overall, a sweet slow-burn romance with well written characters and great chemistry. 4.5 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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