Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Real Thing (Sugar Lake, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Real Thing (Sugar Lake, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Real Thing

(Sugar Lake #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  5,994 ratings  ·  776 reviews
This sassy, spirited baker is fine with heat—but is her fake fiancé too hot to handle?

Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virgin
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 288 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Montlake Romance
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,994 ratings  ·  776 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Real Thing (Sugar Lake, #1)
Carol [Goodreads Addict]
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Real Thing is book one in the brand new series, Sugar Lake, by Melissa Foster. This is my first book by Melissa and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would her book be sugary sweet, or have some heat? Would there be humor? The answer to all of these questions is YES!

The Real Thing - Melissa Foster

Willow Dalton grew up in the small town of Sweetwater and loved it there. She was very close to her three sisters, her brother and parents. Willow loved to bake and owned her own bakery, Sweetie Pie Bakery. The only thing missing was
It always hurts my heart when I have to give a book a low rating and a somewhat bad review. It is never fun. However, I vowed to myself that I would always be honest to myself and to potential readers. So here it is: this book fell flat for me.

The good news is that I totally think it is just my personal preference. There doesn't seem to be any major editing issues or plot holes. I just could not stomach the sickly sweet storyline, the too-perfect alpha and heroine, and the conflict that wasn't
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Melissa Foster Fans, Romance
4 Real Love Stars
* * * * Spoiler Free-SPECIAL SALE $1.99!!!!
Melissa Foster is someone who knows what she is doing... she creates situations that warm our hearts as we watch them unfold. She is the Queen of Heartwarming Series and every time I crack open one of her books, I know I will be taken to a place I don't want to leave.

The Real Thing is a new series that focuses on a hidden love that becomes front and center when movie star long time "friend", Zane Walker, needs a "Cover Fiancee." He nee
A wonderfully sweet second chance love story that was equal parts swoony and sexy. Melissa Foster fans will fall in love with Willow and Zane and go nuts over this new series.

I have only read a couple of Melissa Foster’s book and would venture into characterizing her stories as low drama high voltage swoony sexiness. They’re easy to read with just the right amount of steam and heart that support a strong connection between the main characters. The Real Thing is Zane and Willow’s story wh
Natalie ✩★ The Biblioholic ★✩
Willow and Zane have known each other since they were kids. Zane happens to be best friends with her older brother, Ben. He spent more time at their house than his own dysfunctional one and was seen as a member of the family. Well, to everyone but Willow. She’s been crushing on him for ages. When he left town to make it big as a Hollywood actor, they remained in touch. They were not only really good friends, but they shared a secret (he was her first). When Zane needs to clean up his image as a ...more
Dec 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
Not for me

I tried hard to like this story, and I’m sure it’s great for others but just not my cup of tea. I like different styles of dialog, love and romance than what this author wrote. Not that it’s bad, just not meant for me. If you give it a try I hope you have better luck :)
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved Zane and Wills in this great second chance romance story. The Real Thing is Book 1 in the Sugar Lake Book Series, and I can’t wait to read more about Wills’ siblings in the other books!
TJ *Book Twins Reviews*
This was such a sweet read! Great characters, one of my favorite tropes, and a fun storyline made this a quite enjoyable read. In true Melissa Foster style, The Real Thing is both sassy and sweet!

Here’s the breakdown: Willow and Zane grew up together in a small town. They practically grew up together. Once Zane leaves town to pursue his dream of acting, their relationship changes. They change, but remain in contact. When the Zane needs helps cleaning up his movie star man-whore reputation, he ca
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, ku
3.75 stars (audiobook)

I could really kick myself for not listening to audiobooks sooner. I love how convenient it is to pop a book on and do housework, yardwork and running errands, Although I had to remember that when I was out in public, not to crack up laughing, which I did happen a few times.

The narrator (John Lane) has a sexy as hell voice, and it was perfect for what I imagined the hero, Zane, to sound like. I did have a slight niggle when he did the heroine’s voice. His voice made Willow
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 Sweet Stars

The Real Thing by Melissa Foster was a sweet, entertaining and enjoyable read.

When I'm in the mood for low angst and high romance my go to author is Melissa Foster. I love how she always manages to bring out the feels with her words and characters.
In The Real Thing she's done it again, a sweet and romantic storyline, characters that will make you swoon, but also frustrate you and then leave you with a huge satisfying smile when they eventually get their happily everafter.

Willow and
Willow and Zane have been friends since they were young. He did her the favor of removing her virginity and then stuck by the rules she had laid out afterwards. Now, ten years later, he’s cashing in the favor. He needs to repair his reputation as a playboy A-list actor and the only woman he wants to pretend to be his fiancée is Willow. It’s always been Willow. She’s his real thing and this story showcases how this couple moves from a friendship into a romantic relationship.

I loved Willow and Za
★ Belle The Bibliophile ★
My emotions throughout reading this book: Annoyance. Annoyance. Annoyance. 10x magnified as the book progressed.

But anyway, this is just an unpopular opinion. So.... move along people. Nothing to see here.
Debbie Oliphant
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a sweet story and the first in the new Sugar Lake series. While this centers around Zane and Willow, you are introduced to many characters whose tale will propel the series.

Zane is a successful actor who is in desperate need of a "character" makeover. It would appear that he does not like the playboy reputation and furthermore, it could hurt his career. He comes up with a plan to help soften his image but it will require the consent of a childhood friend. Enter Willow. She has had a cr
Lisa Filipe
I simply adored the heck out of THE REAL THING, the new release from Melissa Foster and the first in the Sugar Lake series. I love all of Melissa's romances. Her writing is always so emotional and heartwarming and dare I say steamy! In THE REAL THING, she brings a whole new element onto the pages with hilarious banter and sexual chemistry that had my kindle sizzling!

Zane and Willow have a complicated history which becomes all the more complicated when he asks her to play his "fiancee" to help hi
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Sweet Stars!

"We're good at crossing lines, remember?" "Cross this line with me, Willow."

"If alpha male had a scent, it would smell like Zane Walker, rugged and musky, with an underlying hint of come-hither and a dash of panty-melting lust."

"Zane didn't just kiss Willow; he possessed her with his arms, his hands, his wicked tongue. He delved into the recesses of her mouth, unleashing a surge of heat that first flooded, the consumed her from the inside out. She had almost forgotten what a real
Sissy's Romance Book Review
'The Real Thing' by Melissa Foster is the First Book in the New Series called "Sugar Lake. This is the story of Willow Dalton and Zane Walker.
Zane was Willows brother best friend and always popular in school, where Willow was the opposite. Before she went off to College she ask Zane to do her a favor by taking her virginity. Now 10 years Willow has her own bakery and Zane is a famous actor. Zane comes back to ask if Willow would be his pretend fiancée to help build his image up.
This was a very
Under the Covers Book Blog
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve read something from Melissa Foster. I haven’t given up on her at all, but life does get in the way sometimes. This series is one that’s slightly different. Firstly, it’s published with a publisher this time and I could immediately tell the difference in the writing. It doesn’t sound like Foster’s usual writing style. While the core bits are present, I do feel like the flow was different and I think that’s the result of having someone else working on it.


It’s been a hot minute since I’ve read something from Melissa Foster. I haven’t given up on her at all, but life does get in the way sometimes. This series is one that’s slightly different. Firstly, it’s published with a publisher this time and I could immediately tell the difference in the writing. It doesn’t sound like Foster’s usual writing style. While the core bits are present, I do feel like the flow was different and I think that’s the result of having someone else working on it.

Oct 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Honestly, it’s amazing that I even made it through the first chapter of this book considering the word “slut” was used twice in the first four pages of this book. Twice. In four pages. The backstory for this book is that Willow, our heroine, “gave” her virginity to Zane before she went away to college to save herself from the “embarrassment of being an inexperienced virgin” freshman. But now that Zane is this super, ultra hot action movie star, he has “a sluttier reputation than a prostitute”. W ...more
Tpagirl Loves Romance
The Real Thing was the first book in Melissa Foster’s Sugar Lake series. We’ve met the characters in other Foster series but it wasn’t necessary to have read those first.

Zane Walker was an A List Hollywood actor with a playboy reputation. He was gorgeous, talented and all around fun. He was from the small upstate NY town Sweetwater but had gotten out of there as soon as he graduated.

Willow Dalton was the beautiful, eclectic and quirky bakery owner. She was born and raised in the small vacation
Bookgasms Book Blog
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: missy
Whoa. I fell hard for Willow and Zane from the very first pages of The Real Thing. Seriously, the pictures Melissa Foster painted in my mind through her words were vivid and completely cracked me up!

I love a second-chance, best-friend’s-little-sister romance. And add in the quirkiness of a small town and I am all in. I so enjoyed watching Zane and Willow work through their issues—their perceived feeling and their real feelings.

I loved all the time I spent with Zane and Willow and Willow’s aweso
Paula White
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy from NetGalley for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this one and can't wait to read the others when they come out.

It was a really nice change to see the H put himself out there and say what he feels and put his heart on the line. The h was torn but not really, she wanted him too but just needed a bit of time - but not a lot. That is what I really enjoyed - no push and pull - no unnecessary angst - something smallish towards the end, but you knew this would not impact them - th
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Within the first 10% of the book, I was bored. I was hoping it would get better but the story never took off. There was no conflict. No drama. The protagonist was annoying. Their friendship was inconceivable. The story was unbelievable.

I so wanted to put this book on my did-not-finish shelf but felt like I owe it to the author/publisher to finish it. I would like to thank NetGalley and Montlake Romance for supplying a copy of Melissa Foster's "The Real Thing" in exchange for an honest review.

Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This was one of those easy and sweet stories that are just perfect to read if you're feeling grumpy. It is so loaded with sugary sweetness, I feel like I should check for cavities...
Sure, it's the same old fake fiancee trope, but it has its good moments. I have to say, my first impression of the H was not the best. In the first chapter, the H is portrayed as a selfish actor/playboy, selfcententered, manw**re, entitled... I instantly disliked him... however the author pulled a bait and switch, an
Cali Jewel
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quirky, Fun, Sweetly Sexy Romance!

This second chance romance was so much fun to read. It was Laugh out Loud fun, sweetly sexy, emotionally thrilling and filled with all the warm fuzzy small town family bounds you could crave.

Zane Walker is sexy, sweet, charming and a small town boy at the peck of his acting career. He just needs the help of the one woman he has ever loved to clean up his racy reputation. Willow Dalton grew up with Zane and has loved him forever. Question is can she help her best
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Friends to lovers. Another Great book from Melissa!
Meegz Reads
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
*5 Stars*

ARC kindly received in exchange for an honest review.

This was my first Melissa Foster book, and it definitely won't be my last. I absolutely loved it! I feel in love instantly with both Zane and Willow and their story was so much fun!

The banter and the way they clicked was so well written and I particularly loved how things progressed for them, and once they got into the grit of things, there was really honesty between them.

The secondary characters in this book were also great, Wi
Book Lover
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Zane Walker and Willow Dalton have been friends since they were kids. He is her brother’s best friend. Zane is also the man she gave her virginity to, he was 20, and she was 18. Willow went on to college and Zane went on to Hollywood and became a famous actor. They continue a strange, quirky, texting friendship. It’s 10 years later and Zane finds himself in a position where he needs to improve his playboy image. He tricks Willow into meeting him, otherwise, she never would have shown up, and con ...more
This book was pretty good. Cliche - but good. It made me laugh sometime and I loved both characters and the story that Melissa told. I loved Willow right from the start and thought it was kind of laughable that she made so many rules for her and Zane when she asked him to take her virginity.

Then there's Zane, who is best friends with Willow's older brother. Of course he wants nothing to do with the town that he grew up in - unless it has to deal with Willow and her family. So the first chance h
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Finn (Anderson Billionaires, #1)
  • The CEO Buys In (Wager of Hearts, #1)
  • Not the Billionaire (A Billionaire for Every Season, #1)
  • The Broken One (Corisi Billionaires, #1)
  • That Second Chance (Getting Lucky, #1)
  • That Secret Crush (Getting Lucky, #3)
  • In the Heir (Westerly Billionaire, #1)
  • That Forever Girl (Getting Lucky, #2)
  • That Swoony Feeling (Getting Lucky, #4)
  • Unforgiven (Beartooth, Montana, #1)
  • #Starstruck (#Lovestruck, #1)
  • Noah (Anderson Billionaires, #2)
  • The All-Star Antes Up (Wager of Hearts, #2)
  • Brandon (Anderson Billionaires, #3)
  • Never Enough (Meet Me in Montana, #1)
  • Kian (Undercover Billionaire #1)
  • The Wild One (Corisi Billionaires, #2)
  • Buck Wild (Bennett Boys Ranch, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…

Never miss a release! Follow Melissa here on Amazon and sign up for her newsletter:

Start FIVE of Melissa's series FREE in ebook format here:

FREE Love in Bloom Family Trees:

FREE Series Reading Order Checklist: https://MelissaFoster.

Other books in the series

Sugar Lake (4 books)
  • Only for You (Sugar Lake, #2)
  • Love Like Ours (Sugar Lake, #3)
  • Finding My Girl / Loving Talia (Love Like Ours Companion Booklet)

News & Interviews

The last five years of world history have been nothing if not...eventful. When living in interesting times, there's nothing better for...
50 likes · 11 comments
“A player will play while he’s searching for his soul mate, and then they’re all in.” 1 likes
“Goals and purpose are two very different things. Your goal might rely on others, but your purpose? That’s all you, son. And I guarantee, when you figure that out, the rest will follow.” 1 likes
More quotes…