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An Armored Heart

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RULE #1: Do NOT catch feelings for the man who doesn't believe in love.

Four months. That's how long I’ll need to pretend to be Steele Cunningham's doting girlfriend.

I agreed to this insanity only to save my restaurant. He's doing it because he needs someone outside his “social circle” to stick it to his meddling parents and clingy ex.

Ruthless and emotionless in both his personal life and his career, Steele’s ego rivals his net worth.

Operating on joy and positivity—and a healthy bit of feistiness—I challenge him at every step.

He’s a tin man—heartless and cold. Falling for him would be a colossal mistake, because there’s no chance he’ll ever love me.

He can’t.

After all, he’s the man with an armored heart.


First published May 23, 2023

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About the author

R.C. Boldt

36 books1,844 followers
RC Boldt is a USA Today bestselling author currently living in part of the Costa Rican jungle with the love of her life and her mini-me.
If you're in the mood for some killer homemade mojitos or can't recall the lyrics to a particular 80's song, she's your girl.  


RC is not regularly active on Goodreads but if you're looking for updated release dates and book information, please check out her website at http://www.rcboldtbooks.com or follow her on Facebook and Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/rcboldtauthor

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 138 reviews
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,162 reviews7,579 followers
May 17, 2023
2e0pm6g thumbnail-IMG-0079-2-copy 🐾 🅰🅽 🅰🆁🅼🅾🆁🅴🅳 🅷🅴🅰🆁🆃 🐾 Is a full length romance book by author R.C. Boldt. Spoken in 'dual perspectives. HERO: Steele Cunningham HEROINE: Ella Marchetti.

Ella Marchetti would go to any lengths to save 'La Dolce Vita' her Italian restaurant from Steele Cunningham the CEO and owner of Solaras who wants to demolish her building and erect condos. She's hoping to win him over with her award winning spaghetti and meatballs after just one bite that he'll agree to anything. If life were only that easy. Things don't quite go to plan but she does walk away having agreed to a fake relationship for four months if she helps him stick it to his ex and parents and she gets to keep her restaurant.

"𝚈𝚘𝚞'𝚛𝚎 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚃𝚒𝚗 𝙼𝚊𝚗.
𝙽𝚘 𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚝.
𝙽𝚘 𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜.
𝙰𝚕𝚕 𝚊𝚛𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚞𝚙."


What a beautiful story to warm the heart on a cold winter's day! Curled up on my favourite chair, whilst the rain pounds at the windows, coffee in hand, I couldn’t imagine a better story than this to spend my day lost in. A lot of heart, a lot of giggles, a slow burn which got it's hooks into me.

These two were perfection. The perfect match. The grump and sunshine. What started out as a business contract turned into so much more.


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Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,017 reviews12k followers
May 30, 2023
Everyone should have a fake fiancé who has a magical penis. One who’s all prim and proper on the outside in those fancy suits but has a filthy mouth when you least expect it.

I love Boldt's PNRish suspense and greedily awaiting the next one. But when I saw she's releasing a contemporary fake relationship trope? I jumped on it faster than those seagulls can say 'mine'

Admittedly, this wasn't what I expected, because it was even better. I didn't anticipate the level of banter, sass, and humor laced into this delicious fake dating romance.

Ella is a woman on a mission when the local millionaire developer sets his sights on tearing down her beloved restaurant for his new project. So what's a woman to do? Why show up at his office unannounced and bribe him with carbs, of course. Except said millionaire doesn't do carbs or feelings. So how is. it that they end up with a bargain of her pretending to be his girlfriend for four months in exchange for her keeping her restaurant? Well, you'll have to read that part and see.

What I will say, is I fell hard for Ella. This is a woman with a heart of gold and a spine of steel. SHe's this wonderful and endearing heroine who's impossible not to love. Steele is prickly, grumpy, and definitely earns her nicknaming him Tin Man. The man is all work and no play but you just know there's something fiery beneath that stuffy persona. And boy was I right. Yowza!

Admittedly his hot and cold lasted a bit too long for my liking, thought I still enjoyed it so can't complain much. He knows how to right a wrong, but it just took hime entirely too long to get his head out of his anus. But I digress.

This is a slow burn full of sizzle, chemistry, and some family drama. Oh how I LOATHED Steele's family. Luckily the friendship dynamic made up for their venom and balanced it out. This goes not only for Ella's friends but also Steele's. This is grumpy sunshine gold with a splash of fake dating and I devoured it in one sitting. Highly recommend for my lovers of sass and grump.

ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for Kat valentine ( Katsbookcornerreads).
615 reviews812 followers
May 15, 2023
Loved this book!!!! I can't say enough about RC Boldt's new book!!!! This grumpy/Sunshine,Forced Proximity enemies to lovers was another fabulous read with loads of laughs,loving and some really amazing banter and slow burning heat!!! Steele Cunningham is a powerful billionaire who is known for his hard nosed work ethic and all business no time for fun personality. He lives his life waiting for the next deal and though he has movie star good looks and is quite debonair looking with a awesome muscled hard body he's basically shut down! With a heart that's encased in ice and even his two best friends and business partners Lucas and Dylan have dubbed him The Tin Man! And when Ella Marchetti a beautiful young restaurant owner barges into his office to plead with him not to demolish her restaurant La Dolce Vita. Ella hopes when he tastes the food she brought that he will change his mind and save not only her restaurant but all her employees as well. But Mr. Stick stuck up his ass will not even try the delicious meatballs and spaghetti and he doesn't care about her restaurant and orders her out of his office. But Ella has too much to lose and doesn't let up and when she tries to get him to open up his mouth and at least try one of her meatballs he grabs her wrist and gets her hair stuck in his cufflink and when his ex girlfriend and business partner walk in it looks like they were just about to kiss! And that's when Steele comes up with the plan to get his ex girlfriend off his back about getting back together and if Ella pretends to be his girlfriend for four months he won't tear down her restaurant. Ella has her work cut out for her with Steele he is arrogant, cold and ruthless but if she wants to save her restaurant she will have to deal with a guy who thinks hugs are stupid, telling people you love them is pointless and that carbs are bad!! Its gonna be a long four months for both. But with forced proximity and playing the part of a couple in love makes for some great opportunities to start a spark and the Tin Man will not only feel his heart beating again and just maybe this beautiful and wonderful woman could love him too. RC Boldt writes such complexed and unique characters that are all too human with flaws and weaknesses that shape their characters and I loved both Steele and Ella and to tell you the truth I saw a little of me in both. As always theirs humor and steamy hot passion and yes love as well, and what I love most about her storytelling is that its not a instant happily ever after and that it comes with a lot of work for each couple. But the journey in the end is always well worth it and a happy ever after ending for both.
Reading Steele and Ella's story just goes to prove that opposites do attract and true love can be found if only were brave enough to step outside our comfort zone. Until next time Luv's💕💋
Profile Image for Dora Koutsoukou.
1,809 reviews389 followers
June 3, 2023
4 🛡💘💘🛡🌟s❣️

Ella and Steele were the absolute polar opposites.
Ella had a very hearty personality, sharing her hugs and smiles, whereas Steele was a cold character, lacked emotion and supported his grumpy role extremely!!!

The secondary characters were an amazing addition to the story.

Regardless the slow burn, I liked the growth of their relationship as well as their wonderful banter.

It was an engaging story yet slightly lengthy.
Profile Image for R.C. Boldt.
Author 36 books1,844 followers
Currently reading
May 23, 2023
Four months. That's how long I’ll need to pretend to be Steele Cunningham's doting girlfriend.
I agreed to this insanity only to save my restaurant. He's doing it because he needs someone outside his “social circle” to stick it to his meddling parents and clingy ex.
Ruthless and emotionless in both his personal life and his career, Steele’s ego rivals his net worth.
Operating on joy and positivity—and a healthy bit of feistiness—I challenge him at every step.
He’s a tin man—heartless and cold. Falling for him would be a colossal mistake, because there’s no chance he’ll ever love me.
He can’t.
After all, he’s the man with an armored heart.

GR TBR: https://bit.ly/3ZXmTHg

Buy Now!
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Profile Image for ✰ Liz ✰ .
1,349 reviews1,262 followers
May 26, 2023


LOVED IT!!! Full review to come!

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for Mary Allison.
274 reviews12 followers
May 27, 2023
RULE #1: Do not catch feelings for the man who doesn't believe in love.

The CHOKEHOLD this book has on me. If it weren’t for work and sleep, I would have read this book in one sitting, it was just THAT good. I was only a few chapters into my eARC when I ran to Amazon to get a physical copy 🥲

🩶 In an effort to save her restaurant and his own sanity, Ella and Steele set up an agreement (no literally, papers were signed) to ‘fake date’ for four months.

Sounds easy enough, except the two could not be more different.
🍝 Ella is a whirlwind of personality. Her life is her Italian restaurant and her friends. She’s quite literally a ray of sunshine on a rainy day.
⚙️ Call him “Tin Man” because that’s exactly what Steele is. He’s ruthless, emotionless, and work is his #1 priority. He’s the equivalent to the whole thunderstorm on a rainy day.
Falling for each other would be a colossal mistake. Right?

This books had it all.
— grumpy x sunshine
— millionaire MMC
— slow burn
— spice
the list could go on & on.

I devoured this thicc book as fast as I could. It kept me up late, got me up early, and I just wanted more, more, more. I absolutely loved the characters, the plot, the spice — all of it.

Watching Steele’s character progress was amazing. You had this tough, ruthless millionaire who finally discovered he could love. Then, you had someone as sweet as Ella to balance out the grump. She was, ofc, the ‘sunshine’ in the relationship but not in an annoying way. Sometimes they can come across as needy and overly cheery, but her character was written in a way where she still had a backbone and could hold her own and not be annoying…if that makes sense.

I would love spin offs featuring the other characters TBH. Ella’s friend group was amazing. I know we got a glimpse into the future with the epilogue, but a girl can dream, right? 😂

Thank you SO MUCH Valentine PR and RC Boldt for this eARC in exchange for my honest review <3 I look forward to checking out more of RC’s work!


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Profile Image for ReadingTilTheBreakOfDawn.
1,313 reviews52 followers
May 18, 2023
For the last few years, I've fallen in love with RC Boldt's stories and her brand of writing. It has been her romantic suspense that has pulled me in and the top notch banter her characters always possess. So I didn't even hesitate to pick up this book without reading the blurb. I knew I was going to enjoy it no matter what. And color me somewhat surprised that An Armored Heart WAS NOT a romantic suspense. BUT I loved it all the same!

Right from the start, I knew I was going to love Ella Marchetti. She saw herself as a more subdued woman, but when she marched right into the CEOs office of Solaris Land Development, something clicked and she was a fierce little badass that was going to do anything to save her restaurant. She didn't care about the power Steele Cunningham held over her and the future of her business. She was going to win by any means necessary. So, when these two get caught in an unusual position (literally and figuratively) they agree to work with one another to compromise and draw up a contract that will save her restaurant while also giving Steele the pleasure of pulling away from his family.

While I immediately fell in love with Ella, I also knew that Steele was going to melt me. He had the best friends that he also employed, so even though he was the Tin Man and showed little emotions, you knew there was going to be some great character development there. And who better to chip away than the spitfire that was full of sunshine and total opposite of the big, emotionless grump.

An Armored Heart was one heck of a book! It was long, but I wanted more and more of these two and their friend gang. I wanted to be there for every step of their business deal/relationship and watch it develop. What started out as a business deal oh so slowly turned into a relationship that kept growing and growing. I couldn't help but fall in love with Ella and Steele. The way they showed they cared for one another was *chef's kiss*. You don't always have to say it in words, but you can show it. Even though it started as business, I loved seeing Steele be the protective alpha a-hole. He may have stolen my heart with one particular scene.....

"If anyone f*cks with my girlfriend, I take it as a personal insult. A very personal insult.....By disrespecting Ella, you disrespected me. You disrupted my world because she's my world now."

OMG! How could you not fall for the man that thinks he has no heart with that alone?! It may take some drunken phone calls and texts, roadtrips, family dinners and parties, but these two are simply magic. Their story from beginning to end had me and I couldn't have loved them more.

If you enjoy grumpy/sunshine characters with a fake relationship trope, you will fall head over heels for this whole story. RC Boldt gave us the great banter she is known for and had it interspersed through a story that burned with sexual tension at the perfect slow burn heat. But once these two give in to that tension, watch it explode into a damn inferno!

"As Nonna Pia would say, 'True love is a beautiful thing, and sometimes others may not understand it for the wonderful gift it is.'"
May 12, 2023
Story: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Trope: fake relationship, enemies to lovers, opposite attracts
Angst: 😱😱.5
Smexy: 🔥🔥🔥

An Armored Heart has a perfect mash up of enemies to lovers, opposites attract, and fake relationship that will have you walking away with a huge smile on your face. Steele is the emotionally stunted, millionaire hero who convinces Ella to be his fake girlfriend to get both his ex and his parents off his back. In return, Steele will allow her to keep her family's restaurant in a building he had slated for teardown. They just have to get through the next four months without killing each other.

Such a fantastic story, definitely one for my best of 2023 pile! Well written and fast paced with a dash of suspense, An Armored Heart easily held my attention from beginning to end. It has a cast of characters you can't help fall in love with - both the MCs and the supporting characters. Steele is just fantastic as our hero. He somehow manages this perfect mix of alphahole and sweet, especially in regards to his confusion with the feelings he's catching. Ella is funny and snarky and spares no chance to bust his balls. But she's also sweet and caring and willing to do anything for the people she loves. Their incredible banter that will leave you in stitches. It is a bit of a slow burn, but the chemistry between these two is boiling to the point of explosion by the time they do the deed, lol. Just an all around great read that will leave you wanting some great pasta and some extra long hugs.

⛔️ My bookshelves can sometimes be spoilers
Profile Image for dreamingofbookss.
138 reviews
May 14, 2023
Rating: 4,5 stars ⭐️

enemies to lovers 💋
grumpy sunshine ☀️ 
fake dating ❤️
one bed 🛏️
forced proximity 🤍

This was such a good, feelgood romance!! I had a great time reading this book and if you're into reading about a grumpy man that turns soft, read this!! 🥰

I requested this arc because of the description and it really didn’t disappoint.

It starts with Ella Marchetti, she has a well renowned Italian restaurant, La Dolce Vita. Steele Cunningham bought the building to demolish it and build new apartments but Ella wanted to do everything in her power to stop that. She went to his office with her amazing food to convince him to change his plans and quickly after that they start a mutual beneficial fake dating contract..

I loved them together, their chemistry was soo good and the "found family" in this story was so powerful!!

She gave him the nickname “Tin Man” but you could see that he slowly opened up to her. ⛓️

Thank you to Valentine PR, R.C. Boldt and the publisher for providing me with this copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Abby .
1,803 reviews40 followers
May 23, 2023
Be still my heart! I LOVED this book. I need to let my feelings settle and I’ll come back with my review
Whew boy! I was excited for this book from RC Boldt! I love a good forced proximity/pretend relationship and this book DID NOT disappoint! First off, the way Steele and Ella first met had me cackling! Ella was a spit fire and did not care who Steele was. Suddenly things took a turn neither saw coming and it put them in path to see each other often. I LOVED how Ella got to Steele. Ella was everything Steele was not. Warm, loving and considerate. But they had two entirely different upbringings and honestly, these two couldn't have been better suited. Steele just took a lot longer to deal with than most men :) Ella was a force to be reckoned with and she's someone I'd want to be friends with! She was loyal and loved fiercely. You do not want to miss this read!
Profile Image for Read What I Like Blog.
373 reviews32 followers
May 15, 2023

Release Date: 05/23/23
Kindle Unlimited: [ ]YES [X]NO
Stand-alone: [X]YES [ ]NO
Author: R.C. Boldt
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Spiciness rating: 🌶🌶️🌶️/5
POV: Dual, first person
Main Characters: Ella & Steele
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tropes: grumpy x sunshine; fake relationship; slow-burn; opposites-attract


Ella needed to convince the new owner of the building where she had her restaurant to let her continue there. When she meets Steele, she soon discovers the man is not easily swayed. So, much for her surprise when he tells her he would agree if she pretends to be her girlfriend for four months, so his family would leave him alone.

Since they have very different personalities, their pretend relationship is full of conflicts, but with time, they start to feel something for each other, but it is not fast, nor it’s easy. I even thought they made everything much more difficult than it needed to be and everything could be solved with much less arguing and more talking.

That being said, they had some fun banter, their romantic (and also the hot) scenes were amazing. Also amazing were their friends because they were super funny. My favorite part was when Steele showed his true good nature, my least favorite was when he decided to wear his armor again and go back several steps. This was a fun and romantic book, for those who are fans of fake relationships and grumpy x sunshine couples.

*** I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ***
Profile Image for Nadene  (Totally Addicted to Reading).
1,271 reviews175 followers
May 31, 2023
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.An Armored Heart is the fourth book by R. C. Boldt that I have read. The previous books of hers I read fell into the category of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. I enjoyed them and so I picked up An Armored Heart, which falls in the contemporary romance category, expecting great things. It did not disappoint. In her newest release she gives her readers a mash up of a fake relationship, grumpy/sunshine and opposites attract romance.

An Armored Heart tells the story of restaurant owner Daniella Marcheti aka Ella and millionaire Steele Cunningham. Ella and Steele do not move in the same circles. However, their paths would cross when he purchased the property on which her restaurant was located. Ella confronted Steele in his office, hoping to convince him to not tear down the building. However, the confrontation, which led to some laugh out loud moments, led to her agreeing to be his fake girlfriend for four months and in exchange, he would not destroy the building.

Watching them navigate the terms of their agreement was fun and heartwarming. I liked Ella from the moment of her introduction. She’s fiery, sassy, nurturing and determined. When one comes into her presence, one cannot help but feel the love and kindness she emits. It took sometime warming up to Steele because of his aloofness, his desire to keep people at a distance and his belief that love is a fallacy. However, throughout the progression of the story, I saw a side of him I never expected. In no time, I warmed up to him. The fake relationship changed his entire perspective on love. Seeing the way he grew from an unbeliever of love to falling head over heels for Ella was a beautiful sight to behold.

I enjoyed getting to know the characters, however there were a few exceptions. Steele’s parents and ex-girlfriend fell into the category of the exceptions. When one thinks of them, two words come to mind, caustic and pretentious. Thank goodness Steele was nothing like them, which made Ella’s job of breaking down his barriers less complicated.

She brought sunshine into his life. It was a treat seeing their fake relationship slowly develop into the real thing. Of course, drama with the ex and parents designed to put a wrench in the entire scheme of things reared its head. Thankfully, it was light and didn’t overshadow the story. The author infused quite a few lighthearted moments, which led to bouts of laughter.

Overall, An Armored Heart was a delightful slow burn romance and one which I highly recommend.This review was originally posted on Totally Addicted to Reading
Profile Image for Laura.
2,291 reviews107 followers
May 22, 2023
***ARC Provided by the Author ***

I wanted to love Ella's and Steele and for a while I was... until I wasn't.

The problem with this one was that they never really felt like they evolved. At 50% in he was still cold to her at times and not at others.

I found myself questioning why they were together and I'm not even really convinced they liked one another... which is an issue for a romance.

The problem was the switching from hot to cold kept the story from ever gaining any forward momentum as every time they moved forward we got dropped back.

I really wanted to like this one but I just found myself getting bored waiting for any sort of connection with them, either with one another or with me as a reader.

I did finish the book (well I skimmed it after 50%) but I never got that connection.

I'm unable to recommend this title.
Profile Image for Read All About It.
1,402 reviews24 followers
May 23, 2023
This story was a hilarious, super slow burn romance. Although there were times I wanted to smack a few people with there uppity pretentious attitude.

These rich people, man… They’re so weird.

DANIELLA “ELLA” MARCHETTI is full of life and runs her restaurant with love and caring.

I take back those random times during my childhood when I wished I were rich because these people are straight-up wack jobs.

Steele Cunningham is a rich CO who is trying to ruin her livelihood. He makes her a deal she can’t refuse.

“He wouldn’t fly off the handle or get upset easily. He’s a very calm and collected person.” Because he’s allergic to emotions.

I love the way Ella showed Steele how to live life and have fun. There were some crazy laughs out loud moments. The banter was excellent. This is a whole different side of this author than I’ve seen before. A great author can write anything and make you fall in love. This was definitely one of those times.
Profile Image for Zabeth.
247 reviews
May 23, 2023
❤️5/5 📚137/120

🇺🇸 This book was ‘slap-in-the-face A-MA-ZING’. I was trusted with the ARC by VPR and I have to be honest here, the 634 pages freaked me out a little but then I started reading it and something magical happened. I forgot the whole world around me. Yes, it’s one of those. The writing style sucked me in because it was light and easy and fun and then, Ella and Steele happened and the whole book went so fast I don’t think I even breathed.

Trust me when I say each one of these pages is important for the character and story development. There’s not even one down or slow moment, I wasn’t bored ONCE, just sitting at the edge of my seat waiting for the next scene.

This is the BEST fake dating, enemies to lovers, slow-burn, spicy-as-hell book I’ve ever read. Both Ella AND Steele are fantastic in their own ways while never flirting once with the cliches of a grumpy/sunshine trope.

It was refreshing, and fun, and angsty and steamy, and EVERYTHING. Going into my favorite reads ever right away for sure!

Go read it now!

🇫🇷Ce livre m’a donné une claque à laquelle je ne m’attendais pas. Il était IN-CROYA-BLE. VPR m'a confié ce SP qui sort aujourd’hui, et je dois être honnête, les 634 pages m'ont un peu effrayée au début. Mais j'ai commencé à le lire et quelque chose de magique s'est produit. J'ai oublié le monde qui m'entourait. Oui, c'est un de ces livres où ça arrive. Le style d'écriture m'a attirée parce qu'il était léger, facile et amusant à lire et ensuite, Ella et Steele sont arrivés et tout le livre est passé si vite que je ne pense même pas avoir repris ma respiration.

Croyez-moi quand je dis que chacune de ces pages est importante pour le développement des personnages et de l'histoire. Il n'y a pas un seul moment de ralentissement. Je ne me suis pas ennuyée UNE SEULE FOIS. J'étais juste assise au bord de mon siège en attendant la scène suivante.

C'est le MEILLEUR livre de fake dating, d'ennemis à amants, de slow-burn, de spice, que j'ai jamais lu. Ella ET Steele sont tous les deux fantastiques à leur manière, sans jamais flirter une seule fois avec les clichés qu’on trouve normalement chez un couple grumpy/sunshine.

C'était rafraîchissant, et amusant, sexy, et génial. Il va dans mes favoris direct !

A lire sans tarder !
Profile Image for Franjessca.
1,253 reviews81 followers
May 24, 2023
Full Review posted at A Book Lovin' Mama's Blog

I knew the second I started reading An Armored Heart by RC Boldt, I would have difficulty putting down this book. The first chapter alone had me hooked. There is no doubt that this book is going to be a Top Read for me in 2023. I loved everything in this book and will try to keep my review brief. (We’ll see how I do since this book deserves to be gushed about.)

First off, I friggin’ loved the FMC, Daniella “Ella” Marchetti. The way this woman handled the MMC, Steele Cunningham, and his over-the-top grumpiness, I applaud her and everything she had to endure with him. I would have handled it differently than she did when facing the man about her restaurant, especially when he shocks her and announces she’s his girlfriend when some of his employees catch them together in his office.

I’m thankful that this book was a dual POV because I enjoyed the banter between the characters and how their relationship bloomed into something more towards the end. Yes, this book is a slow burn, but when the characters do have sparks between each other, it’s explosive, and may I just say that Steele may be a Tin Man, but he has a certain way in the bedroom that even shocks Ella.

This book had every one of my favorite tropes: Fake Relationship, Grumpy Vs. Sunshine, Opposite’s Attract, and Enemies to Lovers packaged in one book. I could continue talking about this book in my review, but instead, I’m going just to say, read the darn book, people. It’s worth it!

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I most definitely recommend this book. It’s one of my TOP 2023 Reads. I loved this book!!!

Favorite Quote(s): “Oh, good grief.” A ragged laugh spills out of me. “Of course, you have a cock that matches the size of your ego.”

“Better get that pussy up here on my face while you suck my cock.”

“You said you could take a hard fuck and you weren’t lying, were you? Look at you, so goddamn gorgeous, giving me a taste of your nipples while I feed your pussy my cock.”
Profile Image for Erin Figueiredo.
2,525 reviews40 followers
May 28, 2023
OMG! This story was freaking phenomenal! It pulled on my heartstrings right from the very start and made it so hard to put down. I became so utterly addicted to all of the amazing characters that I didn’t want to let them go at the end. They took me on an incredible and insanely emotional journey that had me laughing, crying, and just gushing with love.

There were so many times throughout that I found myself laughing so hard I almost peed myself. My stomach was aching from all of the belly laughs that Ella, Lucas and Dylan were giving me.

Ella is an incredible woman with a heart of gold. She’s an absolute sweetheart, but fierce when she needs to be, a spitfire when it’s demanded of her, and protective of those she loves. The incredible way that she barges into Steele’s office, demanding that he not tear down her restaurant while enticing him with food, just showed her fierceness, determination and strength. Those meatballs of hers really pack a punch too!

Steele is a ruthless, tough, and grumpy businessman, who has no time for love or any kind of happiness. When Ella bursts into his life, his whole world and perspective on everything is about to change. She tears down the walls over his heart, allowing him to finally soften that tin heart of his.

I loved their back-and-forth banter. It was filled with so many hilarious moments, sarcasm, snarkiness, and an underlying sexual tension that just oozed off the pages. Their relationship is a slow burning fire that builds up to an absolute and uncontrollable inferno. I was cheering these two on the whole way through.

Such phenomenal writing, with amazing characters, and with a storyline that was emotional, angsty, drama filled, hilarious, and with some very, very spicy moments.

I absolutely loved it!
Profile Image for Lina.
360 reviews25 followers
May 30, 2023
To be honest, this book was quite long, but I am really happy that I had the chance to read this book.

Steele was your typical "tin man", making his life only about work, not having a real relationship with a person and never loving. Until Ella came along asking him not to destroy the building where her restaurant was situated. This funny encounter led to him asking her to be his fake girlfriend.

From there the story went just beautifully. I loved  every single encounter between them. Steele was quite bossy and he was getting angry every single time Ella was disobeying him. Because he never met a woman like her, and most importantly she wasn't a doormat.

She was perfect for him. She accepted everything with a smile, even his family attitude towards her, and she was slowly teaching him how to trust and love. Him changing completely and finally deserving to be her leading man, was beautiful to watch.

Of course, I will not miss mentioning the smut and sexy scenes between them. I literally loved them. There was so much spice, heat and passion and the scenes were written really, really well. When they finally let go and decided to be together for real, it was the best part in the book.

There were some minor drama moments, mostly with his family and ex-girlfriend (they were horrible people), but thankfully, Steele and Ella overcame them.

Overall, I loved the book ♥️♥️♥️.

I received an ARC from Valentine PR and this is my voluntary review.
Profile Image for Kylee Brown.
58 reviews7 followers
May 24, 2023
♡Book Review♡
📖An Armored Heart By RC Boldt📖

Rating ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Spice 🌶 🌶 🌶

My thoughts ~ Steele and Ella's story is everything, I adored it so much and the characters were Devine. Steele, he's so swoon worthy. He has this hard outter shell some might say armored 😉 but he was mush for her and Elles personality was dino-mite I absolutely loved the way they tested each other. I have so many favorite moments and quotes from this book ill have to include some down below. I was laughing at the banter that flowed through and in love with the love story as it unfolded. The writing of this book was extremely well executed and I can't quite put my finger on it but a uniqueness to it, I would like to say this may have just become one of my favorite reads of 23 😭😍
I do absolutely want to say 110% love Steeles friends Lucas and Dylan just cheifs kiss the relationship between them! Crossing my figured for maybe a book with Lucas or Dylan or both???

“By disrespecting Ella, you disrespected me. You disrupted my world because she’s my world now.”

Everyone should have a fake fiancé who has a magical penis.

“As long as it’s with you, it’s a risk I’m willing to take.” You’re a risk I’m willing to take.

RULE #1: Do NOT catch feelings for the man who doesn't believe in love.

Four months. That's how long I’ll need to pretend to be Steele Cunningham's doting girlfriend.

I agreed to this insanity only to save my restaurant. He's doing it because he needs someone outside his “social circle” to stick it to his meddling parents and clingy ex.

Ruthless and emotionless in both his personal life and his career, Steele’s ego rivals his net worth.

Operating on joy and positivity—and a healthy bit of feistiness—I challenge him at every step.

He’s a tin man—heartless and cold. Falling for him would be a colossal mistake, because there’s no chance he’ll ever love me.

He can’t.

After all, he’s the man with an armored heart.

Profile Image for Kimmy.
104 reviews
May 13, 2023
"Ella Marchetti is beautiful— no doubt about it. She might drive me fucking crazy most days, but she’s gorgeous both inside and out."


I love Steele and Ella!

This book was everything I needed to pull me out of my book slump.
Grumpy/sunshine ✅
Fake relationship ✅
Banter ✅
Friendship groups ✅

Fake dating is my Kryptonite and I fell in love with this story.

I usually have a hard time connecting to FMCs in many books but Ella was a breath of fresh air. I LOVED HER! She made me laugh out loud so many times. The banter between her and her 'tin man' was perfection.
Ella was exactly who Steele needed to show him how to love and to know that real love isn't about money or social status in a real relationship.
I loved all the side characters but Lucas and Dylan own my heart, I loved them both so much and their friendship with Steele. THE HUG between all three of them made me smile so hard!!
I love how hard Steele fell for Ella, the way he stood up for her and even the way he ate carbs for her 😆

This was my first ever book by this author and it
won't be last.

If you love a fake dating romance then please pick this up...
Oh did I mention that Steele Cunningham has a dirty mouth 😉
313 reviews4 followers
May 14, 2023
Wow, wow, wow!! I’m in love with everything about Steele and Ella!! I absolutely devoured this book. From the very first chapter I loved Ella and was cheering her on. I had absolutely no clue how she would ever break through to Steele’s locked up emotions. The way Ella and Steele’s story unfolded was perfection. I can’t recommend this book enough!!
Profile Image for Joyffree.
2,957 reviews49 followers
May 23, 2023
Desperate times call for desperate measures

Daniella has no problems lowering herself to the use of bribery
And we all know a way to a man's heart - or in the case of the tin man his stomach - is with some scrumptious Italian food
With nothing left to lose she barges in with her basket full of persuasion
Only the tin man doesn't do carbs (Who doesn't do carbs?)
That should have been her first warning sign
The second?
Wait is he petting her hair?

Steele ends up making her a deal:
she'll pretend to be his girlfriend for four months, and he'll leave her restaurant alone.
Daniella agrees, but she soon finds herself falling for the man behind the tin - Steele.
But Steele is determined to keep his heart closed off, and he's not about to let Daniella in.

Let the chaos begin

Steele has built his empire on hard work and ruthlessness. He's never let anyone get close to him, and he doesn't believe in love (when you meet his family you'll know why). But when his cold heart bumps up against Daniella's sunshine his world shifts and he is forced to confront his own truths.
Daniella is the opposite of Steele in every way. She's kind, compassionate, and quick-witted, who always sees (or tries to) the best in people.

This was one laugh after another perfectly balanced with relatable angst that had me emotionally ping-ponging from one scene to the next. Full of humor, heart, and suspense.
If you're looking for a good romance novel to read, I highly recommend An Armored Heart.
Profile Image for Bookjunkie_Anne.
966 reviews
May 16, 2023
“𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙄’𝙢 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙮𝙤𝙪, 𝙄 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧.”⁣

—An Armored Heart by RC Boldt⁣

This is my first ÄRČ from the author! I have some of her books in my TBR pile but this is the first one that I've actually read! I know, I know... I promise to read all her books in my TBR after this one!⁣

Love Ella and Steele! Love the storyline and the trope! Their banter is swoon-worthy!⁣

This grumpy-sunshine romance will inspire you and will surely melt your heart.

If you're a fan of Melanie Harlow, Devney Perry and Corinne Michaels— then this is the book to pick up next!
Profile Image for Liz [reads books].
1,179 reviews51 followers
May 23, 2023
4½ stars
Steele and Ella come to a "pretend to be my girlfriend and I'll save your business" agreement, which quickly turns to "my fiancée" and then they're planning a wedding! Meanwhile, you know what's happening between them ••• although neither one of them will admit it, of course!
Profile Image for Andrea Britton.
1,624 reviews25 followers
May 23, 2023
Boldt has written another five star read. An Armored Heart is a grumpy/sunshine, fake dating romance that is full of lots of emotions. This story is a bit of a rollercoaster….ups and downs, walls of steel to break down. Steele Cunningham is a very stoic guy until Daniella (Ella) starts hammering down on those walls. Strong and sassy…Steele can’t seem to get enough. But it’s only a business agreement….or is it more? Read it find out.

Very entertaining! The Tin Man has found his match!

Highly recommended.

Review team read.
Profile Image for Maryger Chacon.
317 reviews
May 24, 2023
An Armored Heart by R.C. Boldt, is the story of Daniella "Ella" Marchetti, this beautiful woman owns a restaurant on the rise of Italian food, La Dolce Vita, which was the dream of her Nonna Pia and has been where she has grown up and has made it her dream and fills her with caring for and feeding her clients, but when she is about to lose it, next to her apartment she decides to go face the powerful Steele Cunningham and make him change his mind, but when she manages to sneak into his office the least she thought she would find was this handsome man who leaves her speechless, until she manages to talk to him and realizes that he is a cold man with no feelings, and that is where they end up in a compromising position and Steele decides to use it to his advantage, so now she is reaching an agreement with the Tin man, a name that she gives him to say that he has no heart, where they agree to pose as a couple for four months, she will only have to put up with it for that time and then she can save her restaurant and her apartment, easy right?!
But nothing will be easy, he is not an easy man and she will not let anyone humiliate her, and the more time they spend together, the more Steele begins to lower his barriers and let Ella in, and she will be able to know who that man really is, that despite his coldness he has captivated her.
This is a completely sweet, funny, sometimes desperate and really story, totally a must read, it is my first book by this author and I must say that if all her stories are like this I declare myself a total fan.
I LOVED this story and could have kept reading about the two of them and their friends for much longer, so I tell you to go read it, you will love it and enjoy it. Highly and absolutely recommended!!!
*Thanks to R.C. Boldt and Valentine PR & Literary Management for my ARC. I voluntarily leave my honest review*

An Armored Heart de R.C. Boldt, es la historia de Daniella "Ella" Marchetti, esta hermosa mujer es dueña de un restaurante en ascenso de comida italiana, La Dolce Vita, que fue el sueño de su Nonna Pia y ha sido donde ha crecido y ha hecho de él su sueño y la llena el cuidar y alimentar a sus clientes, pero cuando se encuentra a punto de perderlo, junto a su apartamento decide ir a enfrentar al poderoso Steele Cunningham y hacerle cambiar de opinión, pero cuando logra escurrirse dentro de su oficina lo que menos pensaba encontrar era este hombre tan guapo que la deja sin palabras, eso hasta que logra hablarle y se da cuenta que es un hombre frío sin sentimientos, y es allí donde terminan en una posición comprometedora y Steele decide usarlo a su favor, por lo que ahora está llegando a un acuerdo con el hombre de hojalata, nombre que ella le pone para decir que no tiene corazón, donde acuerdan hacerse pasar por una pareja durante cuatro meses, ella solo deberá aguantarlo por ese tiempo y luego podrá salvar su restaurant y su apartamento.
Pero nada será sencillo, él no es un hombre fácil y ella no se dejará humillar de nadie, y mientras más tiempo juntos pasan más comienza Steele a bajar sus barreras y dejar entrar a Ella, y ella podrá conocer quien es realmente ese hombre que a pesar de su frialdad la tiene cautivada.
Esta es una historia completamente dulce, graciosa, a veces desesperante pero totalmente una lectura obligada, es mi primer libro de esta autora y debo decir que si todas sus historias son como esta me declaro un fan total.
AME esta historia y hubiera podido seguir leyendo de ellos dos y de sus amigos por muchísimo más tiempo, por lo que les digo que vayan a leerla, les encantará y la disfrutaran. Altamente y absolutamente recomendada!!!
*Gracias a R.C. Boldt y a Valentine PR & Literary Management por mi ARC. Dejo voluntariamente mi reseña honesta*
Profile Image for Sandy S.
6,456 reviews162 followers
May 20, 2023
AN ARMORED HEART by RC Boldt is a contemporary, adult, stand alone, erotic, romance story line focusing on businessman Steele Cunningham, and chef / restaurateur Daniella ‘Ella’ Marchetti.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Ella and Steele) AN ARMORED HEART follows in the wake of Steele Cunningham buying the property in which Ella Marchetti runs her business. In the hopes of convincing Steele to not tear down the property, Ella comes baring gifts of food, a visit that will place both in a compromising position. Unable to think clearly, Steele introduces Ella as his new girlfriend, a ruse that is about to be played out for in social media, for the world to see. Steele is tired of his mother trying to push he and his former girlfriend back together, so a four month arrangement with Ella, will save Ella business, and Steele’s integrity but all does not go according to plan when their arrangement turns into something more, only to be a vindictive family, and a big misunderstanding. What ensues is the building romance and relationship between Steele and Ella, and the potential fall-out as their secrets and lies are about to spiral out of control.

Steele Cunningham comes from money; his family are the ultimate snobs, live the life of high society rich and famous but Steele doesn’t always recognize the reality of his situation. Cold and aloof, Steele doesn’t do love, or public displays of affection until Daniella ‘Ella’ Marchetti falls into his life. Having to appear with Ella at several social functions, Steele struggles with his growing attraction to the woman who is about to break his heart. Ella Marchetti loves her friends, her business, and loves to hug but a ‘fake’ relationship with Steele finds Ella breaking down all of Steele’s walls, walls he has built since a very young age.

The relationship between Ella and Steele begins by accident that quickly morphs into a business arrangement in which Ella will pretend to be Steele’s girlfriend for approximately four months but someone is trying to sabotage both Ella and Steele’s businesses, a sabotage that is about to back fire when the truth is revealed. Trying to keep their fake relationship platonic, Ella quickly falls for the man that battles between head and heart for the woman he loves. The $ex scenes are provocative, intimate and intense without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

There is a large ensemble cast of colorful, energetic and interesting secondary and supporting characters including Ella’s co-workers and friends (Tessa, Serena, Kirin), as well as Steele’s rich and snobby family, his business partners Dylan and Lucas, and Steele’s ex girlfriend Iris Colton. I am hoping the author has plans for Lucas and Dylan but the epilogue fast forwards several years revealing the personal lives of many of the secondary characters.

AN ARMORED HEART is a story of power and control, secrets and lies, differences and similarities, acceptance and love. The wonderful premise is detailed, heart breaking and emotional; the romance is seductive but struggles in the face of a possible end date; the characters are determined, powerful, dynamic and captivating.

May 29, 2023
An Armoured Heart by RC Boldt is a really fun and enjoyable read. This slow burn romance between total opposites Steele Cunningham and Daniella ‘Ella’ Marchetti. I found it a great change of direction for this author and is as good as her previous books. It is a long book but once you get started, you won’t want to put it down because it is full of entertaining banter. The author does an excellent job with both the character and story development and I really liked that it was told in dual POV. This is a fake relationship tale with angst and steam as they go from enemies to lovers.

RULE #1: Do not catch feelings for the man who doesn't believe in love.

Ella is the owner of La Dolce Vita, a restaurant started by her Nonna. Steele is CEO and owner of Solaris, the company who is going to demolish her building. She is determined to fight him and storms into his office with a sample of her cooking. She finds him closed off and is sure he’s not a happy person - how could he be if he doesn't eat carbs? He is shocked by her attitude and surprises himself with a spontaneous offer to stop the plans for her building if she helps him. For four months she must be his fake girlfriend as circumstances with his family are complicated and he needs to send a message to his ex girlfriend. Ella realises she can’t refuse as it would also affect her friends and so the fun starts.

Ella has a very nurturing disposition under her feisty attitude and it helps he is devastatingly handsome She finds him strange and his family are even worse. She has always hated rich people and calls him ‘tin man’ as he no heart or emotions. I loved how good she was at pushing his buttons and never backed down. There are some hilarious scenes as they negotiate the ups and downs they face.

Steele is an arrogant, egotistical, cold and heartless millionaire. He finds Ella a distraction he can’t afford as there is too much at stake especially as there are problems at work. He feels as if no one has ever truly wanted him, has locked his emotions away and doesn’t feel worthy of love so he is totally shocked by his feelings for her. He isn’t used to someone being in his corner, supportive and caring.

To survive their agreement she knows she mustn’t catch feelings for him but she slowly finds he is quite lovable beneath his facade. It is really sweet when she sees a side of him he doesn't share with anyone else.They both worry about crossing the line as they start to enjoy each other’s company and he finds himself forgetting their relationship isn’t real.

The secondary characters really compliment the main couple. I loved his Aunt Teresa and his friends Dylan and Lucas, they made me laugh so much. Her friends were supportive and amusing.
It was such fun watching the grumpy, rich man fall for the girl full of sunshine. Steele turns into a fantastic hero and Ella deals with him so well. Enjoy the Tin Man and the Restaurant Owner who changes his life forever.
Profile Image for Oksana✨myreadsjournal.
90 reviews3 followers
May 23, 2023
3.75 stars

Phew, where do I even begin with this book! If you're expecting enemies-to-lovers, fake dating and some angst you're definitely on to something but believe me when I say you're not covering half of what this book is and what it'll make you feel!

Trust me when I say I almost threw my Kindle against the wall over 5 times and nearly pulled hair out from my head - THIS is what this book made me feel! AAAA!

Okay, I love Ella. She's so freaking awesome!! She's super funny, I love her energy, her mockery and her overall personality! I'd be quite happy if I had an Ella in my life to be honest.
She's very caring and protective of her people, she stands-up for the ones she loves,

In an attempt to save her restaurant she agrees to do something totally insane: pretend to date Steele Cunningham for four months. What does he have to gain out of this? you may ask. Well, let's just say he has his reasons.

Steele doesn't believe in love. His body, mind, soul, heart and time are busy with one thing and one thing only: his business.
He's a tin man showing zero emotions whatsoever - no feelings, no smiling, no laughing, no living the life, no enjoying simple and happy moments, nada. Until Ella.

Ella is so different from the people Steele is used to. She's stubborn, she stands her ground, she argues with Steele at practically all times, and she definitely isn't the one to budge when it comes to whatever Steele says 😏
Ella makes Steele lose his mind, she's challenging but she's also a breath of fresh air for him. But does she have it in her to destroy the armor and see a tin-free version of Steele?

I loved getting to know these characters; I enjoyed the character development in this book, the spice, the enemies-to-lovers is just 🔥 AND a bit of mystery in this book? YES YES YES! Beautiful!

There were some things in this book that almost made me lose my mind, but overall I really enjoyed it! It's fast-paced, it has a healthy dose of suspence, it's well-written and it kept my attention from the very first page until its very last.

Thank you Valentine PR and R.C. Boldt for the ARC of this book! 💖
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