This is a book where I appreciate what the author is doing more than I actually enjoy the book. His Fake Date Until Midnight felt like Pendle took the category romances from the late 1970s – 80s and then gave it all an update.
Clara is insecure and a bit of a doormat. She’s also an enormously competent vet and not insecure when it comes to doing her job. The job itself is insecure because her jerk boss is the father of her jerk ex, and he’s announced that he’ll be letting one vet go. Clara desperately needs the job because her mother needs help taking care of her father. She’s insecure about her appearance because she has adult acne.
Hedley is a billionaire with a twist – he knows his labor didn’t create the wealth (he inherited it) and he using the financial company he inherited to quietly take down bad companies.
Hedley and Clara meet when Hedley finds a dog on the doorstep of his vacation home and takes her to the vet. While there, he overhears Clara’s ex, also a vet in the practice, making sure Clara will be at his wedding. Hedley offers to be her fake date if she will help him locate the owner of the dog – who is pregnant.
I really appreciated the twist on the shy woman who attracts the attention of the billionaire. In this case, while he is physically attracted and makes no bones about it, he notices her because when she taking care of an animal she is competent and strong willed. I loved the friend groups that Clara and Hedley have. And, of course, I loved the politics.
I felt like some of the more emotional issues were solved a little to easily and neatly. Clara had a lot going on, maybe too much, especially for so much of it to be solved, or well on its way to be solved in a fairly short book.
I ended up not loving this book, but I enjoy Pendle’s writing enough that I definitely want to read the next book in the series when it comes out.
I received this as an advance reader copy from the author. My opinions are my own.