Title: Just a Little White Lie
Author: Lynnette Hallberg
Publisher: Carina Press 2011 (e-book only)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Reading Challenges: Summer Romance - Contemporary
How I Got It: Net Galley from Carina Press
Lucinda Darling thinks she's ready to get married. Even though Donald doesn't give her butterflies, the heiress is ready to make her marriage work. She's got the dress, she's at the church and her fiancé…is making out with his ex. So Lucinda stuffs her tulle skirts into her tiny sports car and hits the road…only to have her car break down.
Jake Parker knows he's not ready to settle down. But Grandma Hattie is sick, so, to make her happy, he's returning home to find himself a fake fiancée. When Jake rescues Lucy from the side of the highway, she goes from runaway bride to temporary fiancée.
Lucy hopes to escape the public eye in small-town Georgia, but she doesn't expect to fall for Jake's charming hometown, let alone Jake himself. Soon Jake and Lucy both start to wish their lie were true. But Lucy knows she must stop their pretense before Jake's family—and her heart—are hurt so badly they'll never recover.
My first thoughts: cute but not great. A light-hearted romance complete with plot coincidences and sped up time. I like the main characters: Lucinda has spunk, Jake is a great man's man. But the other characters fell flat. We get the two-timing fiance, the desperate ex-girlfriend, the overprotective sister, and the misunderstanding fathers. I just didn't get the point of the other characters. They felt like more plot devices than real people. And all the plot coincidences just made me want to scream.
Rereading my first paragraph, the answer has come to me. I know why I didn't like this book: it didn't feel like there was any real development. Everything was rushed. It was only 194 pages (according to my iPad), but this story could have been 400 pages. I think 400 pages would have given us enough time to really get to know the characters (both main and side) and the "falling desperately in love" in 4 days wouldn't have been an issue. Contrived romances just rub me the wrong way. I liked the idea of the story and the main characters, but this book left me wanting more.