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Books & Brews #1

Real Kind of Love

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What happens when a fake relationship turns into a real kind of love?

As an audiobook narrator, Clementine Cox has no trouble mastering the voices of space aliens, elven warriors, or even demon-possessed cats. But the moment she tries her hand at an erotic romance, she's stumped. With her deadline looming, she books a week at a secluded cabin to restore her inner muse, telling her loving-but-overbearing family it's a romantic getaway with her not-so-existent new boyfriend to keep them from worrying. She never expects them to invite themselves along to meet the new guy. Now, she has less than twenty-four hours to find a pretend boyfriend in order to save her job and, potentially, her sanity.

Workaholic Jake Donovan isn't interested in a real relationship. After a broken engagement, all he wants to do is focus on keeping his brewpub, the Holy Grale, afloat. But when he finds out his favorite customer is in need of a fake boyfriend, and his business partners insist he take a long overdue vacation, he has no choice but to help Clem out. All he has to do is enjoy the sunshine, play nice with her family, and keep his hands to himself for the week. But Jake's not prepared to like waking up next to Clem every morning as much as he does. Or to feel so welcome by her quirky family. And as the line between real and fake starts to blur, he realizes one week might never be enough.

242 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 5, 2018

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About the author

Sara Rider

7 books232 followers
Sara Rider writes contemporary romances full of heart and heat about strong heroines and the men who can’t resist them. Growing up, Sara dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. When that dream was squashed by her extreme dislike of running, she decided to do the next best thing: write about professional soccer players. By day, Sara spends her time working in the field of research ethics and daydreams about plotlines and character arcs. She spends far too much time at public libraries and never leaves the house without a paperback or an e-reader stuffed into her purse.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 100 reviews
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,937 reviews1,548 followers
May 31, 2021
I made it nearly halfway before quitting. I shouldn't have let it go that far because all the things I hate are actually more in-your-face earlier, but they're continuing and with no letup in sight. There are two things killing this for me.

The more serious is the whole family dynamic with Clem. Rider does a decent job depicting a pretty strong introvert in Clem. Which only makes it worse that her entire family refuses to give her any space at all. And it's not just that they don't notice that they're overwhelming her. It's that they ignore lots and lots and lots of Clem telling them what she needs. They just override all that with projections of their own. So they're all worried about how lonely she must be because that's how they'd react with her circumstances. It was so infuriating, I can't even begin to say how much I hated her entire family. And she's all being nice to them and giving in and I just want her to push them all in a black hole and move on, already. But no, she "loves them" but I can't for the life of me see why. They aren't nice people. They use nice as a weapon to manipulate others into doing what they want them to do. And if that doesn't work, they use outright harassment and threats.

The second is that Jake has a crap motivation* dragging the momentum to a halt that makes no sense whatsoever. He's had essentially one relationship and because his fiancée cheated on him, he figures he's toxic in relationships. But that'd be only first-level stupid and Jake's an overachiever. For Jake, it's not enough until he blames himself for her cheating because he didn't pay her enough attention. Also, he only liked the sex and she's otherwise boring. So he's a giant user and completely toxic for all relationships and probably evil. Personally, I don't see why he stopped there. I mean, he's thinking like he's all bad, but has he killed anybody and framed his lover for the murder and then repossessed the family home to kick grandma to the curb? No? Well get cracking man! Remember that you are toxicity itself and deserve no happiness and Clem is waaaaay too good for you and you'd best let her know over and over that you don't want her "like that" so she'll be safe from your clutches.

Okay, so I wouldn't be so emotionally engaged as to blow up all over this review if there hadn't been something going for it. The thing is, I liked Clem and Jake would be perfect for her if he could get over himself for a moment. Plus, I love that she's an audiobook narrator and that she's going to lean on him for her seductive male motivation/voice/cadences. So I'm a little sad that I won't be continuing on. But I can't take any more of that toxic family or Jake thinking he's the toxic element on their little family camping trip...

* Negative Motivations: I kind of hate that the term "negative motivation" isn't widespread, yet. Since it isn't, I'm going to save off this little jag to append to my reviews that feature the term. Jennifer Crusie blogged about it a bit back (or, if that link doesn't work, here's a cache of the original) and it changed how I understand story. The problem with the term is that if you've never heard it before, you'd assume it meant motivations that are harmful or immoral. Not so. What it refers to is motivations not to do something. The thing is that many of us are motivated to not do things for a lot of different, perfectly valid and reasonable, reasons. The problem is that in a story motivations to not do things are a huge drag on the plot—particularly considering the fact that most negative motivations are overcome by the character simply deciding they don't care any more (or, rather, that they do care and are now motivated to do the thing). So not only do you have a counter to action but you also have a situation where to overcome it, all a character has to do is change their mind. Which means eventually, the reader is rooting for the character to get over him/herself already and do the thing we want them to do. Conflict drives story. Conflict between a reader and a main character drives readers away from story.
Profile Image for lisa.
2,071 reviews300 followers
June 7, 2018
Also on Romances Ever After as a part of the blog tour.

Charming is the word I’d use if somebody asked me to describe Real Kind of Love in one word. This book is charming. I am utterly charmed by this book. It felt like I was watching a Hallmark movie in my head while I was reading this book. I loved every scene on every page and I never wanted it to end.

Our heroine, Clementine, is a civil engineer turned audiobook narrator, and she makes a whole lot more money narrating books, which is inspiring to me, a recently-graduated-and-now-seeking-jobs biotechnology engineer because I don’t know if I’d get a job in my field so now I’m calculating escape plans, but I digress. Clem is so adorable, I love her. She’s also shy and socially awkward, and there were some second-hand embarrassment scenes in this book that made me laugh out loud and then hide my face under the pillow because NOOOOO. I totally feel for her because she’s the introvert one in a big family full of boisterous people and I’m sad to see her uncomfortable even being among her own family members.

Our hero, Jake, owns the bar where Clem frequently goes to drink and work for the past three years. They have a steady relationship with each other, in a way that I would even say they’re friends. I think I requested this book because Jake was described as a broody guy, but he wasn’t, and I don’t mind that all because he is so nice. I love his relationship with his best friend, Eli, and I love his passion for business. His bar is named Holy Grale and I love that bit too. Also, did I mention that Jake stress-cleans? A man after my own heart!

Clem and Jake are wrong on paper but they work so well together. I just about died when Jake met Clem’s family on their getaway and they tried to give him a custom ‘family’ shirt that turned out to be small because he was built?

“I had a shirt printed for your new boyfriend, but you never told me he was so…big. Every other boy you’ve brought home has been so skinny.”

I love that Jake really cared about Clem, and he basically just went along with whatever her family had planned because he didn’t want to disappoint her. Jake’s basically the best fake boyfriend ever. I would totally hire him for my own family gathering. I also love that Clem, who preferred her own company more than people, was comfortable enough around Jake to be herself. They basically fell for each other within the week Coxes’ family vacation and it didn’t feel rushed at all. Maybe it was because they technically have known each other for three years, or maybe because Sara Rider has magical powers? Who knows?

Also worth mentioning that their sexy times were pretty hot because Clem was working on narration for an erotic romance novel, and she was kind of in a narrator’s block because she couldn’t figure out the hero’s voice, and then suddenly Jake was there as the perfect inspo, and they might have re-enacted some scenes because, you know, science. I am a big fan of science.

It feels wrong not to give a shoutout to the secondary characters in this book because they are amazing. Eli, Jake’s best friend and business partner, is a dreamboat and I’m already excited that he will be getting his own book next. He is so supportive of Jake, and he really cares about him. He gives Jake good advice too. Their banter is one of my favourite things about this book.

Clem’s family are a riot. I love big families in books, and this family is now one of my favourites. They kind of reminded me of the Kowalskis from Shannon Stacey’s the Kowalski series. They’re a bit nuts, but they have big hearts. Clem’s Grandma Jean especially is my favourite. She's this cool grandma who says the most outrageous things and gives wisdom with breakfast. I love seeing Jake bonding with Clem’s family, he fits right in with them. Sara managed to write them in without them overshadowing Jake and Clem because the Coxes sure have big personalities.

Overall, it’s been so much fun reading this book. I finished it all in one sitting because I just couldn’t stop. The epilogue (YES, IT HAS AN EPILOGUE, YAY) made me sigh and wish I wasn’t single. The excerpt of Eli’s book had me going YES because it’s going to be an enemies-to-lovers thing, and the heroine is his neighbour (!!!). I’m looking forward to reading more of Sara Rider’s works.

E-ARC is received thanks to the author.
Profile Image for Maria Rose.
2,471 reviews242 followers
November 18, 2018
What do you do when your well-meaning but overly intrusive family can’t stay out of your love life? Well, you invent a fake boyfriend of course! Then you have to find someone to play the part. That’s the theme in Sara Rider’s new romance Real Kind of Love, the first in her Books & Brews series. It’s a familiar trope, but the author gives it a fun boost with unique characters and situations to add up to a sexy and enjoyable read.

Clementine Cox needs a fake boyfriend, stat. In an effort to get away to ponder a problem with her current work assignment, she’s booked a solo holiday cabin for a week. To her dismay, her family decides to rearrange their own plans and rent cabins next to her own. In a panic, she tells them that she’s bringing her new boyfriend, hoping to dissuade them from joining her but it backfires. Now she’s got to find someone who won’t mind spending a week with her and her sometimes overbearing family. Her only hope? The owner of the local bar where she has always been welcomed, even after her stint as a waitress there failed spectacularly. Her former boss Jake Donovan has always been pleasant to her, and when her place was recently broken into, he and his crew had been a strong support. Now she needs his help to keep her family at bay.

Jake is proud of all he’s accomplished with his brewpub, the Holy Grale. He’s a workaholic, a fact that definitely played a part in the demise of his last relationship, and when his ex-fiancée plans to use his pub and courtyard for her wedding to another guy, he’s not thrilled. But his partners know that having the wedding there will be good for promoting their business so he reluctantly agrees to let it happen.

Clem’s request comes at the perfect time. Instead of scowling over the wedding prep and having to face his ex, he can spend the week away with Clem and her family. His attraction to Clem notwithstanding, he can agree to play a fake boyfriend as long as she knows he’s not interested in anything more than friendship, his last relationship proof that he’s not good partner material. But when the two of them are alone in the cabin, things take a decidedly different turn. Suddenly the attraction between them is at the forefront, and with both agreeing that it’s just sex and doesn’t mean anything, they can indulge at will. But when their week is over, will they be able to go back to the way things were?

As a fan of audiobooks, I love the idea of a narrator as the heroine of the story. Clem works with mostly science fiction and fantasy books, but the recent take off in popularity of one of her series means she has gotten other assignments too, including her latest which is an erotic romance. She’s stumped for how to do the male voice in the sex scenes and the week away is supposed to help break that deadlock. It does indeed do this – when she realizes that she can take Jake’s deep, sexy voice and use it as a template for those steamy scenes. Plus hearing her practicing the scenes definitely ups the sexual tension between them. Jake helps to break her recording block, and shows her what her sex life has been missing – a generous and willing partner.

But Jake isn’t just there for arm candy. Right from the start he takes his assignment seriously, finding ways to politely disengage them from family activities so that Clem can get some work done. But he also does an admirable job of putting up with Clem’s family, which is a far cry from his own experience. His parents’ marriage was acrimonious at best, and they never showed an interest in him growing up, showering him with money but not affection. While people think he’s rich due to his father’s business, he’s disdained the family fortune in order to make his own way and prove to them and himself that he could make it on his own.

In contrast, Clem’s grandma, parents, her two sisters and their husbands (and kids) are a close-knit, fun loving, concerned family who are constantly matchmaking for her. Their version of camping is pretty over the top, with constant cookouts and togetherness activities like hiking, water races, picnic games and the like. It’s a bit like camping on steroids. To his surprise, once Jake gets used to the constant questions (trying not to fabricate more than necessary) he finds that Clem’s family really grows on him. It’s clear their concern for her is born of love and not just because they want to be nosy. And he finds himself having fun and enjoying competing with Clem’s brothers-in-law to prove that he is a worthy partner for Clem. As for Clem, she discovers an assertiveness that she’d been missing and makes it clear to her family that whatever happens, she’s in charge of her own life.

Within the short span of a week, Jake realizes that he’s not ready to let the relationship that he and Clem are building fall by the wayside. In a surprising turn of events, it’s Clem who holds the cards to decide what will happen next. Finding a man who can put up with her crazy family is important, but so is discovering that she deserves the best – and in the end she makes the choices that lead them to their happy ending. With a colourful cast of characters and a unique series theme, Real Kind of Love is an enjoyable lighthearted romantic comedy.

This review also appears at All About Romance: https://allaboutromance.com/book-revi...

A copy of this story was provided for review.
Profile Image for Elaine.
3,354 reviews103 followers
June 4, 2018
This is a sweet, funny, contemporary fake to real romance with a very loving family determined to keep an eye on all that happens!

Clementine Cox is an audiobook narrator. She's actually shy and comparatively introverted though for the last three years she's been a regular at the local brewpub, the Holy Grale, going there regularly to sit in the same place, read and listen to other people. Jake Donovan is one of the bar owners, he's a workaholic who is still recovering from a broken engagement and the resultant family scissions - he's definitely not interested in any real romantic relationship, though Clem has him intrigued!

You'll have to read it yourself to discover just why the two decide to pretend to be a couple during her family lakeside vacation, but be assured it is a fun, action packed and heart-warming tale. Her parents, sisters, brother-in-laws and nieces are all great, loving characters but they just don't seem to realise Clem can make up her own mind and really doesn't need any matchmaking! Jake is in for a holiday with a difference as macho challenges, friendly family inquisitions and so much more is in store for him as he tries to resist the attraction between him and Clem. The story had me laughing out loud for most of the time. It is a well paced, delightful read and was just right for relaxing and reading in the sunshine - it certainly put a big smile on my face! I have no hesitation in highly recommending this to anyone who enjoys stories involving a quirky, loving family, a challenging holiday and lots of fun as well as contemporary romance. I'll definitely be looking out for other books in this series and by this author in future.

I requested and was given a copy of this book and this review is my honest opinion after choosing to read it.
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,120 reviews1,348 followers
September 30, 2018

Everyone and their mother knows by now that I'm a huge sucker for a good fake-dating romance. With its adorable cover and promise of a fake relationship, I couldn't help but be excited for Real Kind of Love. That excitement was amped up when I saw that both Lisa and Becky enjoyed this book. Now that I've read the book, I can safely say that I have a new author whose books I am eager to read. Real Kind of Love was fun, sweet and romantic!

In any contemporary romance, it's important for me to fall for the characters and I had no trouble with that here in Real Kind of Love. It was abundantly clear to me that Sara Rider was going to take her time to develop both her hero and her heroine throughout the book from the very start. I loved that we got to see so many layers to these characters. Clementine is a character that a lot of readers will relate too. I thought her job as an audiobook narrator was super cool, especially the fact that she was making healthy income through something that she was having fun doing. She was a little shy when it came to men, but she also possessed an inner strength and lots of courage. This bookish heroine totally charmed me from the get-go. Jake, her love interest, was a little bit harder for me to relate too, but that does not mean that I didn't like. He was the opposite of Clem in that he was much more extroverted than her, but he was also a workaholic whose job as a bar owner was a bit of an impediment to a relationship. Jake won me over with how kind and genuine he was towards Clementine. There is just something about an attentive and loving hero that gets me.

I'm sure you are dying to know how their fake relationship comes about. Well, we have Clementine's large, loud and hilarious family to thank for that. To get out of a family vacation, Clem lies and tells her family that she's going on a romantic getaway with her new boyfriend only to have them invite themselves to this getaway. Jake comes to her rescue as her fake boyfriend and undeniably, feelings begin to bubble between these two. The romance was super cute. Jake and Clem had a really strong dynamic. There were times when the romance did veer towards cheesy territory for me, but that didn't impede my enjoyment of the book all that much. I thought Clementine's family was a great addition to the book. They were so funny and nosy, but obviously genuinely cared for each other. It was really sweet in a way how they got into each other's business.

Fans of fake-dating romances are going to love Real Kind of Love! I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Make Me Fall, which is a hate-to-love/neighbors romance!
Profile Image for Veronique.
1,231 reviews169 followers
February 3, 2021
”They, uh, put that kind of stuff in books?” He asked, still shell-shocked by what he’d just heard.

“They do in romance novels. But it’s not gratuitous, I swear. It’s a really feminist genre and it’s more about the swoon and the sensuality, not the mechanics of sex, although there’s quite a range in heat levels and oh my god why am I still talking?”.

A charming contemporary romance
Profile Image for Coco.V.
48.4k reviews4 followers
Want to read
May 30, 2020
🎁 FREE on Amazon today (5/30/2020)! 🎁
Profile Image for Sonia189.
916 reviews24 followers
December 12, 2022
Cutesy story and characters but it ended up being only average to me. There's something missing to dazzle me.
I liked the fact the heroine is a audiobook narrator and would have liked even more on this instead of the generic things shared. I think the story could have been more engaging.
Profile Image for Robyn.
420 reviews97 followers
June 5, 2018
Clementine Cox, audiobook narrator, has always felt like the odd one out of her larger than life family. They mean well, but they always meddle in Clem’s life setting her up on dates with guys she has absolutely no connection with. Clem has had enough of their over the top schemes and decides to get away for the week in a tiny cabin by the lake where she can relax and work on the audio of a book she has been having a tough time narrating. When you are shy and an introvert, it’s tough mastering the technique of sounding sexy when it comes to the steamier side of romance. Imagine her surprise, when her family decides maybe they should all take a vacation together and join Clem. So what is a girl to do under these circumstances? Create a fake boyfriend in hopes that her family will back off and let her have the peace she is seeking. Unfortunately for Clem, her lie backfires and now her family is more determined than ever to meet her “boyfriend.”

Jake Donovan, brewpub owner, has known Clementine for three years. She has been a customer at the pub and has been coming in daily ordering the same food and brew each time she comes in. Clem is a staple in the bar and even though they aren’t close enough to be considered great friends, Jake really likes the shy bookworm. Although lately, he has been having thoughts about Clem in a not so friendly way and doesn’t understand why he feels some sort of connection to her. Jake does not consider himself boyfriend material, but when he is mistaken as Clem’s boyfriend by her meddling sisters, he throws caution to the wind and decides to play the part saving Clem from having to admit to her family that she was lying about having a boyfriend.

The vacation is only for a week. What could possibly go wrong?

Anyone who knows me knows me knows that the fake boyfriend/girlfriend trope in romance is absolutely one of my favorites. So, I was more than thrilled once I set in to read Real Kind of Love. I just knew that this story was going to be great and I am happy to say that it exceeded all of my expectations. I was hooked pretty much from the first page all the way to the end. The story is filled with laughter, heart, and a family that even I want to be a part of.

Clem is such an easy character to love and in a lot of ways relatable. She is a book worm, much like myself. She considers herself the black sheep of her family because she is introverted where they are full of life, laughter and love. She loves her family dearly, but they can be a bit much to handle. I love how she is shy and reserved even with Jake. Clem may fantasize about him when she is home alone, but she knows he would never go for someone like her. Jake, on the other hand, is confident and sexy and can get any woman he wants. He is the direct opposite of Clem in many ways. He is a workaholic and his brewpub means a lot to him. He, like Clem, feels as if he is the black sheep of his family, and he really does not have a close relationship with them. So, once he is taken into the fold of Clem’s family, he really eats it up because he has never had that in his life. Although he is enjoying his time away with Clem and her family, he knows he is not relationship material and even though he feels an attraction, he knows Clem would be better off without him.

I really love how Clem describes her family to Jake and getting to meet her family during a dinner with Clem, really makes me believe in the way she describes them. I just couldn’t help but laugh at her description.

“Picture a giant fluffle of rainbow-colored bunnies surrounding you in a group hug that never, ever ends. Ever. It’s so warm and cozy, you’d don’t even realize you’re being smothered to death.”

Her family was a hoot right down to her grandmother who was not shy in the slightest. You go, Grandma! Clem’s nieces really stole the show for me. They were so cute, charming and devious, just the way I imagine most six year olds are. This has to be one of the best families I have ever read in a book.

The romance was so sweet, believable and pretty darn hot. Things start to heat up sharing a tiny cabin with one bed and an uncomfortable looking couch. Sleeping next to each other has its perks, but can Jake keep his hands to himself or will his attraction to Clem get the better of him and open him up to a love like none other?

Real Kind of love is a heartwarming story that I devoured in a matter of hours. I was pretty sad when I came to the end as I wanted more of their story. Jake and Clem are wonderful characters and I enjoyed taking this journey to their HEA along with all the bumps, laughter, and thrills that made this charming story come to life. I can’t wait for the second book in the Books and Brews series to come out. I need more of these characters I have come to love. Real Kind of Love is well worth the five stars I have given it. So take a chance if you have not picked this book up yet. Sara Rider is a fabulous writer and really knows pull you right in with just the right mix of sweet and sexy that will have you hooked right from page one.
Profile Image for Cassandra.
394 reviews
November 24, 2018
As a book-loving introvert myself, I totally get Clem. She was delightful. And she’s right-her family is nuts.

Enjoyed this one so much I’m starting book #2 right...now.
Profile Image for Ruthie Taylor.
3,533 reviews37 followers
June 6, 2018
~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~

This is the first book in a new series, and I cannot wait to read on. I loved the humour, the romance, and the setting. From the blurb you might think that you had read similar before, but truly, when you meet the Cox family you will understand how wrong you were.

For some reason the micro-brewery romantic novel is a genre which really works - and this one combines some of the tech, and the fun of cleverly named seasonal ales, with a romance for one of its very hot owners, Jake. He has just escaped from a mistaken, but serious relationship, and has decided to steer clear for a while. Of course, at that very moment the woman who he has been eying for three years asks for his help... and the rest is ... well totally hilarious, as well as super cute, romantic, did I mention hilarious? The humour is at times subtle, and others completely slapstick, but it is done in such good humour, that it works ... every time. Sara Rider has a very definite talent at shaping words in a way that is funny!

I loved the concept of Clem's career as an audiobook narrator, and that she uses Jake to form a male character's voice and tone. It is clever, funny and to any avid reader, rather fascinating. It is a brilliant peg on which to hang their 'holiday affair' and enables the introverted Clem to live a fantasy for a while. Of course real feelings get involved and there is a clever and cute solution.

Great fun read, with a hot and sexy romance at its heart. Really looking forward to the next story.

Wicked Reads Review Team
Profile Image for Ellie.
814 reviews165 followers
July 8, 2018
This is the fluffiest of fluff and just what I needed after the brilliant but heavy book I finished before it. It stars an introverted heroine (a rarity in romance I'd say) who struggles with her over-active and over-sharing/meddling family, She got into a fake relationship with the hero while camping with her family and all the fun and cute and sweet and heart-warming things happened. It was a bit of "I'm not good enough for her, he is too perfect for me" type of conflict but it felt believable and work in the context of the story. Great family dynamics, interesting side characters and children who acted their age and I didn't find annoying at all.

There was a bit too much drama towards the end for me but it didn't take away from my general enjoyment of the story. I really, really appreciate the introverted heroine and the hero who respects her boundaries and needs for personal space and alone time. There was no magic transformation into more outgoing social butterfly for her. Rather the opposite, she became more assertive with regard what she needed/liked and the people aroudn her accepted that. Epic grovel scene and I-love-you gesture and a lovely epilogue.
Profile Image for Bec.
1,627 reviews39 followers
June 6, 2018

Clementine Cox has a rather overbearing family. Still, she loves them, but when they're constantly trying to set her up with guys, she decides to share that she already has a boyfriend and that they're going on a romantic getaway. But when her family invite themselves along on the trip where she was hoping to relax and take a break from them, she knows she's in trouble unless she can find a man willing to be her fake boyfriend. Luckily, Jake Donovan comes to her rescue. Will she and Jake be able to pull off that they're happy and in love or will her family discover the truth before they have a chance to turn a relationship that starts out fake into something real?

This is the first book I've read by Ms. Rider, but it won't be my last. Everything about this book -- the incredible main characters, the fast-paced and entertaining plot and the riveting dialogue -- made this story an absolute page turner and before I knew it I was at the end of the book. The way this story started drew me in immediately, as the heroine hasn't had the easiest of times with what happened to her. However, she's coping the best she knows how and being around Jake makes her feel safe after what she's been through.

As for the dialogue, it was a wonderful combination of intense moments due to the main characters back stories and playful banter that had me loving the growing relationship between Jake and Clementine. She's shy and loves her privacy, but when she's around Jake she's different. He's someone she can talk to easily because he's not overbearing and knows how to respect her personal boundaries unlike her family who are constantly all up in her business and love to interfere. Still, the heroine is resilient, courageous and I liked how determined she was to show her family that they don't need to worry about her. I also liked the moments when she stands up for herself, which is proven in the moments where her family need to remember that her life is for her to decide what she wants out of it and not what they want for her. Why do they think she needs a man in her life? Why are they concerned that she quite her career to do something that sounds interesting and is something she loves?

While the hero, he's had it tough with how things are between him and his parents. How could they take his ex-fiancé's side over their own son when the pair decided to go their separate ways? Luckily though, Clementine's family show him what it's like to be a part of a family, even though they can be a bit much at times with always wanting to do things as a family instead of having some time to themselves. However, in saying that, I liked that Jake took everything they throw at him well and with plenty of confidence and courage, especially since with Clementine being the daughter of a military man Jake has to prove that he's good enough for her and can take care of her.

Overall, Ms. Rider has delivered a fantastic and captivating read in this first book of her Books and Brews series where the chemistry between this couple was off-the-charts; the sizzling romance shows how right these two are for each other; the secondary characters were fun, especially the heroine's grandmother with some of the things she says to Jake; and the ending had me cheering for this couple's happy ever after, especially with the way Jake makes things right with the heroine after their relationship goes awry. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up perfectly, as both Jake and Clementine are good at keeping secrets. But Jake's secret is the best of all because Clementine is the best thing that's ever happened to him and he's not afraid to tell and show her how he feels. I would recommend Real Kind of Love by Sara Rider, if you enjoy the opposites attract trope, the fake relationship trope or books by authors Talia Hibbert, Jackie Lau, Tamsen Parker and Penny Reid.
Profile Image for Erin Lewis.
4,193 reviews134 followers
May 30, 2018
4.5 Star review of Real Kind of Love (Books & Brews #1) by Sara Rider

Clementine Cox is an audiobook narrator who has managed to back herself into a corner. She is supposed to narrate an erotic romance, but is having issues.

Deciding to get away, she books a week at a secluded cabin. This is where her problems really start. To stave off her family worrying she indicates that it is a romantic getaway with a boyfriend who doesn’t exist. What Clem doesn’t count on is the family deciding to go along so they can get to know her boyfriend.

Enter Jake Donovan who doesn’t want a relationship, having been burned by a relationship gone bad. Jake is trying to keep Holy Grale, his brewpub afloat. When he learns of Clem’s need for a fake boyfriend, he decides to step in and help her out.

How hard can it be? A week relaxing without any worries should be easy, right?

Of course the best laid plans are often complicated. Jake finds it getting harder and harder to resist the beautiful Clem, not only that but her family is great.

What happens when Jake wants to change the goal posts? When he begins to realise that there could be more to his feelings for Clem and that it has the potential to become real, will he run or will he convince Clem to take a chance?

I really loved Jake and Clem; he will do anything to help Clem save face with her family. Her family were quirky and fun and led to several laugh out loud moments.

 I really enjoyed reading Real Kind Of Love and cannot wait to read more from Sara Rider.


Profile Image for Leanne.
121 reviews30 followers
May 15, 2020
Romanceopoly 2020 Challenge
Moon pack: 
Farmer's Market Read a romance where the hero or heroine is a chef or works in the food industry, owns a bakery/restaurant/food or drink establishment

This was cute! I really enjoyed the build up of the romance and the development both the characters went through. It was really nice to see both the hero and heroine having their own seperate struggles and issues they needed to work out.

Clem was so relatable with her introverted bookishness. I loved her job! Its different from anything I've read before and made it very unique. Jake was really sweet too. I could have done without his ex who was very much a typical stereotype of every bitchy ex ever, but she didn't detracted from anything too much. Clem's family on the other hand! Ugh. I hated almost every scene they were in.

They annoyed annoyed me so much. I know they were supposed to come off as caring and funny but really they were just obnoxious. I just wanted to batter all their heads together and tell them to actually listen to what Clem was trying to tell them! I can definitely see why she had so many issues telling the truth, and also why she felt so different and left out.

This was my first Sara Rider booknand whilst I didn't love it I'm definitely interested in seeing where she takes the series. Especially because the next book is enemies-to-lovers and features Eli!
Profile Image for Isha Coleman.
6,980 reviews135 followers
June 2, 2018
Sara Rider gave me so many reasons to fall for Clementine and Jake. Real Kind of Love is a knock your socks off kind of subtle. I fell in love with the individuals before I gave my heart to the couple. Their story is about stepping out of the fantasy and facing a new kind of reality. Clem is used to rooting around in fictional worlds full of otherworldly creatures, but when it comes to the idiosyncrasies of love and lust, she's at a lost. Jake spends his hardest moments in the real world. Can clueless Clem teach him what it means to dream again? Real Kind of Love is a sweet escape into the arms of heartwarming romance.

Profile Image for Mary.
1,047 reviews17 followers
May 30, 2018
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

Clem is the odd man out in her family. No one understands her need for solitude and living quietly. Her whole family is boisterous and its all she can do to handle the family dinners. When they once again start trying to match make, she invents a boyfriend. It backfires horrible when her entire family invites themselves along on her solo vacation making her have to produce a boyfriend out of thin air or come clean. Luckily for her, Jake has problems of his own and would like nothing more than to play the part of Clem's better half.

Jake's not looking for happily ever after, but there is something about Clem that calls to him. Her quiet nature, her sneaky sense of humor speaks to him a level that no one else has before. He feels the need to protect her from the loudness of life, to offer her comfort in the safety of his arms and ignite the passion that she hides from the world.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Clem is a person that I can relate to on so many levels. Her shyness and quietness hides a stellar personality which is often gets lost in the chaos of her family. Jakes ability to see beyond the walls to give her what she needs is what every woman dreams of.

~~Wicked Reads Review Team~~
Profile Image for Sue.
943 reviews2 followers
June 6, 2018
Light, sweet story about an introverted audiobook narrator (narrating a romance novel!) who ends up on vacation with a fake boyfriend and her extremely extroverted family. Nothing too complex, no bad guys, not much in the way of plot, but decent characters and funny scenes. The author managed to have fun in kind of an over-the-top way with the extroverted family without the main characters being 2-dimensional caricatures. They both have friends and families and careers, like normal humans.
Profile Image for Jess.
2,859 reviews5 followers
June 24, 2019
I really liked this a lot! The hero and heroine end up forming a very solid partnership, and I loved that the heroine got to learn new coping mechanisms for her family and call them out a little. I could have done without the conflict at the end, which was so dumb I have forgotten it days later, but yeah. I just really liked this. Looking forward to the sequel.

**Read for Ripped Bodice Bingo 2019, Sassy Grandparent**
Profile Image for Rosario.
873 reviews57 followers
October 30, 2018
Clementine Cox has a loving but extremely loud and overbearing family. When she mentions that she's booked herself a cabin for a much-needed week away, they immediately decide they'll rent cabins right next door (and I paraphrase: "and the twins can bunk with you, Clem, right?"). To try to head them off, she stupidly invents a boyfriend she's going away with for the first time. Stupidly, because that doesn't stop them, and she should have guessed it wouldn't. They're coming anyway to meet him, and now Clem needs to produce said boyfriend.

Fortunately for Clem, Jake Donovan, the owner of the microbrewery and pub where she's a regular, is in need of a place to retreat to for a week himself (ex-girlfriend using his pub for a wedding venue). He offers to pretend to be said boyfriend. Anyone in any doubt of what happens next?

I had to stop reading because this book stressed me out and made me angry. The family is just unbearable. The behaviour Rider describes is not cute-pushy, which is clearly how I was meant to see it. To me, it is extreme and borderline abusive. The message is clearly: if it's your family they don't have to respect your agency or boundaries or even listen to you. They can decide of course you are just like them and of course you like the same things, whatever evidence to the contrary, so you need to do those things and look like you're enjoying them. That's the right and proper thing to happen.

Me, I wanted to strangle them. Seriously, I literally did. And I found Clementine pathetic for not standing up to them, particularly when the only excuse for that given was that she'd hurt their feelings. Fuck that. Maybe she does grow a spine later in the book, but my blood pressure couldn't wait that long.

The romance seemed fine. I liked Jake (apart from the fact that he is much too accepting of Clem's family's actions, and even goes along with some of it) and he and Clem did have some chemistry. I also wanted to know more about Clem's job as an audiobook narrator, as I'm fascinated by what that entails. Not enough to keep reading, though.

Profile Image for zen_s.
1,691 reviews18 followers
June 30, 2018
[1.75 stars] book is not bad however heroine is slightly doormat-ish i feel. she has a lot of inner voice but doesn't have the guts to voice them out. maybe like a pushover when it comes to her family, she just doesnt know how to reject or talk back to them. would prefer a heroine with a stronger personality.

wondering if i should read the 2nd book due the sneak preview of it gives me a feeling that the heroine is also kind of doormat-ish.
547 reviews
August 29, 2019
Too Obnoxious.

I was really liking this story with the main characters but her family were all obnoxious, nuts and way over the top. They ruined my enjoyment. Sorry.
Profile Image for RoloPoloBookBlog.
1,102 reviews30 followers
October 19, 2018
Real Kind of Love by Sara Rider
Book #1: Books and Brews Series
Source: Purchase
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Jake Donovan has given everything to his baby, the Holy Grale brewpub! His time, energy, money, and effort have all gone into his work leaving no time for relationships. For Jake, the sacrifice has been absolutely worth it when he sees the faces of happy customers and a bottom line that doesn’t suck. What’s more, after a disastrous long-term relationship that ended in anger, hurt feelings, and a broken engagement, Jake isn’t sure he has it in him to be a good partner to anyone.

Since the day the Holy Grale opened, Jake’s world has been the front end, serving customers, filling orders, getting to know his regulars, and generally building the business. Among his favorite customers is Clementine Cox, a nerdy, low maintenance customer who always sits in the same spot, always orders the same beer, and always has her nose buried in a book. Though she isn’t the most talkative of customers, she and Jake have had a conversation or two, enough for Jake to know she’s intelligent, kind, and someone he may want to know a bit better. You know, if he were the dating kind.

Jake has no intention of acting on his inclinations toward Clementine until the day she announces her home has been burgled and she needs a fake boyfriend!

Clementine loves her time at the Holy Grale. The beer is excellent, the atmosphere is just right for working, and the customers and staff are completely welcoming and friendly. The bartender, Jake Donovan is especially kind and absolutely steps up to the plate when her world comes crashing down. Between the burglary and her completely overbearing and overprotective family, Clementine needs a break. Intent on getting away from the madness and completing her current project, Clementine announces a week away at the lake. When her family insists on joining her, she further announces it’s meant to be a romantic getaway.

Now, all Clementine has to do is find a boyfriend . . . .

The week at the lake is unlike anything Jake or Clementine saw coming. Clementine’s family is completely crazy, Jake is taking his role as fake boyfriend seriously, and Clementine’s head is swimming and her hormones are raging. Though she is normally very quiet, Jake gets Clementine to open up and what he finds is a naughty, witty, utterly intelligent mind wrapped in a sexy package. Clementine finds Jake’s commitment to his role endearing and his ability to handle the madness of her family stupefying. No man has ever stepped up for Clementine like Jake has and within days the lines between friendship and lovers is blurred.

The Bottom Line: I’m just going to put it right out there: if it weren’t for Clementine’s family, this book would have easily been a 4½ to 5 star read for me! In many instances, I can overlook a single obnoxious character, but an entire family was more than I could take. EVERY member of Clementine’s family rubbed me the wrong way and made it hard for me to completely enjoy this book. With that out of the way, the moments between Clementine and Jake, both at the lake and at the Holy Grale were my favorite moments and I found it so easy to root for them as a couple. What I especially enjoyed were all of Clementine’s quirks and idiosyncrasies which Jake totally accepted and learned to work with because of his feelings for Clementine. Of the two, Jake showed the most growth as a human being and character and that growth was a completely natural and believable response to his time with Clementine. With the exception of Clementine’s family, I adored this book: Jake and Clementine, the sweet, sexy moments, the witty dialogue, and especially the unique setting of the Holy Grale. It’s on to book two, Make Me Fall for another round of good beer, good characters, and good story.
Profile Image for WycEd Reader.
2,128 reviews29 followers
July 9, 2018
Check out our Real Kind of Love Blog Tour post on Wicked Reads.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Ruthie – ☆☆☆☆
This is the first book in a new series, and I cannot wait to read on. I loved the humour, the romance, and the setting. From the blurb you might think that you had read similar before, but truly, when you meet the Cox family you will understand how wrong you were.

For some reason the micro-brewery romantic novel is a genre which really works – and this one combines some of the tech, and the fun of cleverly named seasonal ales, with a romance for one of its very hot owners, Jake. He has just escaped from a mistaken, but serious relationship, and has decided to steer clear for a while. Of course, at that very moment the woman who he has been eying for three years asks for his help... and the rest is... well totally hilarious, as well as super cute, romantic, did I mention hilarious? The humour is at times subtle, and others completely slapstick, but it is done in such good humour, that it works... every time. Sara Rider has a very definite talent at shaping words in a way that is funny!

I loved the concept of Clem's career as an audiobook narrator, and that she uses Jake to form a male character's voice and tone. It is clever, funny, and to any avid reader, rather fascinating. It is a brilliant peg on which to hang their 'holiday affair' and enables the introverted Clem to live a fantasy for a while. Of course, real feelings get involved and there is a clever and cute solution.

Great fun read, with a hot and sexy romance at its heart. Really looking forward to the next story.

Mary Jo – ☆☆☆☆
Clem is the odd man out in her family. No one understands her need for solitude and living quietly. Her whole family is boisterous and it’s all she can do to handle the family dinners. When they once again start trying to match make, she invents a boyfriend. It backfires horribly when her entire family invites themselves along on her solo vacation, making her have to produce a boyfriend out of thin air or come clean. Luckily for her, Jake has problems of his own and would like nothing more than to play the part of Clem's better half.

Jake's not looking for happily ever after, but there is something about Clem that calls to him. Her quiet nature, her sneaky sense of humor speaks to him a level that no one else has before. He feels the need to protect her from the loudness of life, to offer her comfort in the safety of his arms, and ignite the passion that she hides from the world.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Clem is a person that I can relate to on so many levels. Her shyness and quietness hide a stellar personality, which often gets lost in the chaos of her family. Jake’s ability to see beyond her walls to give her what she needs is what every woman dreams of.

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Real Kind of Love (Books & Brews #1) by Sara Rider to read and review.

Wicked Reads Review Team
Profile Image for Romancing the Book.
4,420 reviews211 followers
June 7, 2018
Reviewed by JoAnne
Book provided by Sara Rider
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

Real Kind of Love was playful in the telling of the story. While there was angst felt by both Jake and Clem they always managed to come out on top especially when they were there to support each other. Clem always did her work while sitting in Jake and Eli’s bar but they didn’t really know each other. Yes they felt an attraction but neither planned on doing anything about it until Jake comes to her rescue over and over again and even then there were doubts. There was high drama in Jake’s life and almost wedding . His family doesn’t play a role in the story but are talked about and have a negative impact. Clem has an overbearing family whom she loves dearly but she could do without the stress of them trying to fix her up with any eligible male!

Clem’s life is revealed a little at a time to the reader as well as to Jake especially when he becomes her fake boyfriend to get her family off her back. Unfortunately it backfires when her family decides to join them at the cabin she tells them they plan to vacation at and that’s why she can’t join them for her birthday celebration. There are lots of hi-jinks, fun, nature and burn up the sheets moments as they all gather at their cabins in the woods. Clem’s entire family is there – her parents, two sisters and their husbands along with her four nieces. Ellie and Millie are six year old twins and keep everyone on their toes. The lengths Jake and Clem go to in order to get to know each other better and make it look like their fake relationship is real had laugh out loud moments. Grandma Jean was a hoot too.

The vivid descriptions of the cabins, the lake, the hikes, the food, the contests and the playacting made me feel that I was there. There was laughter and tears along with sadness and disbelief but also kindness and love. The characters had some depth to them, especially not so quiet Clem, and the story flowed smoothly. There was some closure especially with the epilogue that tied up loose ends and gave me the feeling there would be a happily ever after in the future.

Rider is a new to me author. I look forward to reading the second book in this series, Make Me Fall, since there was an excerpt in the back of the book that just whet my appetite for more. I also look forward to reading the books in her Perfect Play series.

Favorite Quote: “Thanks for playing along. For the record, you die of Ebola tonight. Or dysentery. Whichever one works faster.”
Profile Image for Mayu.
191 reviews16 followers
June 4, 2018
I really enjoyed reading Real Kind of Love. I had a storyline in mind when I read the synopsis, but though it did follow that storyline, but the story still had a lot of surprises for me. This book is one of the best fake boyfriend romances I have read. If it hadn't been for those two things (I would come to them later), I would have just given this book total 5 stars.

The first thing I loved about this book was Clem. I just loved her character, I connected to her really well and she was one of the main reasons I enjoyed this book so much. I also loved Jake's character, the handsome young man with a fear of relationships after his broken engagement. Though I liked his character a lot, I felt that sometimes his thoughts were just all over the place.

Another thing I loved about this book was Clem's family. I know they can get a little too much and I think they should definitely restrain themselves sometimes, but the warmth that oozed out from everything that they did for eachother was really heartwarming. Plus this family gave me really funny moments which was an added bonus which made me love this family even more.

One more thing I loved about this book was the way the author treated Jake's ex relationship, she didn't paint anyone right or wrong. Most books just try to do that, but not Real Kind of Love, which was really good.

Clem and Jake's love story had everything in it, some really heartwarming moments that just tugged at all my hear strings, some incredibly funny moment (all thanks to Clem's family and Clem and Jake's sex jokes) that had me laughing out loud and some really steamy scenes 😉.

I have only two complaints about this book. First one is Jake's thoughts, I have already talked about this before, his thoughts sometimes just felt all over the place. The second is the misunderstanding at the end, I just don't understand how that misunderstanding even happened. This misunderstanding was completely not needed.

Final words

Though there were things that kind of didn't work for me, but I still enjoyed reading this novel a lot and I would definitely recommend this novel to all romance readers out there.
Profile Image for Andrea Guy.
1,464 reviews61 followers
June 8, 2018
OK this book was just so fun. It has one of my favorite tropes, the make believe boyfriend turned lover. If this is one of your favorite tropes, you need to read this book. You absolutely won't regret it.

I also love Clem's career. Its nice to see romance character having a bookish job. Jake is dealing with trying to keep his pub open, though there really isn't any real pressing financial issues for him. Clem is trying to get voices right for a romance novel that she's narrating.

I don't think I've ever liked two characters as much as these two. There were so many moments that had me laughing out loud that it would be hard to list them. They were absolutely perfect. It was hard to believe that they didn't see how perfect they were together. The chemistry between Clem and Jake is fabulous.

Even better than those two are Clem's family. OMG if they belonged to me, I probably would have run away from home, because I have a similar personality to Clem. They were so delightfully weird and nuts!

I found myself wanting to cast all of them for a movie, because this book would make a fabulous chick flick. There were so many slapstick moments and craziness, when they were on vacation with Clem's family. It is really impossible not to love this book.

I was a little freaked out by Clem's mom at the end, because who keeps that kind of issue from their daughter? Also the pills mentioned could have been for anyone that might have had a blockage and had an angioplasty. I'm the daughter of a woman who has had multiple heart attacks, so I'm picky when this kind of illness appears in books.

That aside, the ending was so wonderful that I cried. What Jake did for Clem was beautiful.

This is definitely one of my favorite romances this year!
Profile Image for Becky.
684 reviews7 followers
July 20, 2018
I spent quite a while reading this book. Far longer than I would usually spend readings romance, especially when it is one of my favourite tropes: fake relationships. In fact, this wasn't my first attempt to read this book. I began this around the time of its release but it wasn't the book I was in the mood for so I put it to one side. This time around though I seriously enjoyed it.

I wasn't really in a romance mood when I picked this up at the start of the week but I had something coming up I was nervous about so I knew a romance would be the most low pressure read for me and this was ideal. It worked. It distracted me from my nerves and was fun. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much when I wasnt even in the mood to read it. Clem instantly charmed me with her bookish anti social ways. Girl may not be a people person but she sounded like my kind of people so I was cheering for her to get her a sexy man like Jake because that's what she deserved.

Jake frustrated me with all the blame he laid on himself. Seriously the self flagellation got old fast but I got why he felt that way. And I was interested to see when he would forgive himself and allow himself some happiness and move forward in life because he and Clem were so meant to be. The spark between them was insane so I enjoyed reading their story especially with Clem's hilarious family in the background providing all the comic relief. I loved Clem's family and how close they all were (even when Clem claimed to hate them she loved them. They annoyed her because they were all so close).

I loved this book it was absolutely amazing and it was the perfect distraction when I needed it most.
Profile Image for N.D. Jackson.
Author 12 books232 followers
June 3, 2018
Let me start this review by saying that I LOVED this story. Clem and Jake were really great and I thought the story was so much fun.
But there was one big drawback that prevented Real Kind of Love me from giving this story a 5-star review. Clem’s family. They weren’t cute or slightly over the top with their meddling, they were outright the worst. It was a kind interpretation for Clem to see them as well meaning because they weren’t, they just wanted Clem to be just like them. To enjoy the things they enjoyed the same way they enjoyed them, whether it was what she wanted or not. That’s not love, that’s control.
But I tried my best to ignore them because Jake was a big ol’ hunk of the best book boyfriend traits around.
Don’t think he’s good enough? Check
Hot as can be? Double check.
Kind and doting? Check and check.
Off the charts chemistry? Check, check and check!
Jake was the star of Real Kind of Love in my opinion. He worked through his issues even though he waited until the last absolute minute, it was perfect to see what he came up with as his big grand gesture for an introvert like Hannah. Even though he had issues and he did let them get in the way, he worked harder for their love than Clem did, which meant that I was totally Team Jake all the way.
Other things I really loved about this story include the perfect fake boyfriend and the back and forth with Clem’s brothers-in-law was amazing. Grandma Jean and the twins were standout secondary characters but honestly I’d be fine without more of Clem’s family.
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