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Heartbreakers #1

Once Upon a Real Good Time

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That smoking hot one-night stand with a former rock star?

Turns out he's my son's new music teacher. Oops.

But I didn't know that the night I met Campbell. All I knew was he played my body the same way he played a guitar — like he owned it.

My libido is still high-fiving me after being self-served for too many years, and we’re both ready for another night or two of fun, especially since we don’t just have chemistry in bed — we connect over everything.

That is, until I learn he’s the man who’ll be coming to my house twice a week to teach my son — the best music lessons money can buy.

Time to turn down the volume on our shenanigans. Only that’s easier said than done.


I can rock a guitar solo in front of thousands, I can write chart-topping tunes, and I can absolutely stop thinking about my student’s mother naked.

After all, I’m a single parent too, and I know what it’s like to put your kid first. That’s what I do every damn day.

Trouble is, now that I’ve had Mackenzie, it’s hard — and I do mean hard — to stop wanting her. Harder too when I get to know her, and learn she’s an awesome mom, a great friend, and, oh yeah, she happens to get along perfectly with my daughter.

All we have to do is set some rules. No dating, no nookie when the kids are around, and no one gets hurt.

It’s all working out beautifully. Until we start breaking the rules, one by one.

Making music with her in the bedroom is easy. But will we be more than just a real good time when the music stops?

296 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 10, 2018

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About the author

Lauren Blakely

219 books19.3k followers
A #1 New York Times Bestselling, #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and #1 Audible Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's sweet, sexy and witty. Her heroines are strong and smart and her heroes have hearts of gold and fantastic funny bones. She'd love to give you a free book today! Check out her web site to grab your free read: https://laurenblakely.com/one-free-book/

Connect with Lauren here

➜ WEBSITE: laurenblakely.com
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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 682 reviews
Profile Image for Jen.
1,654 reviews986 followers
October 21, 2018
I haven’t read a book by this author in a long time! I’m glad I decided to give this series a try, as I really enjoyed it! I will say this story was a sweet, romantic tale, that was very low in angst! It was just what I needed to read right now.

If you are looking for a feel good read that has great one liners and will make you smile ; then look no further... this is your next read!!
39 reviews2 followers
September 6, 2018
Every book by Lauren Blakely is a treasure I so look forward to and this is no exception. Campbell the lead guitarist in a band playing at the pub where Mackenzie a trivia whiz comes for a night out. There is an attraction between these two which leads to a sizzling one night stand and shows promise of becoming more. Campbell, a former teen idol, is a music prodigy having graduated from Juilliard and plays several musical instruments. Mackenzie became pregnant her final year of college, but had her baby and graduated then built a very successful career as a graphic designer. Obstacles arise when Mackenzie takes her son to his first lesson with a new teacher who turns out to be Campbell. This is where the fun begins! So many great one liners and funny passages. So hot! So witty. It’s the nuances in this story that will grab you too. Fortunately the children, Mackenzie’s Kyle and Campbell’s Samantha, save the day. Such a joy this story. You also get to know the characters who will be in the next book in this series. Hint, it’s Campbell’s brother. I’ll tell you every woman should have a Campbell!
Profile Image for Yvette ~ Nose Stuck in a Book.
629 reviews652 followers
September 6, 2018
I adore Lauren Blakely for continuously feeding my rom-com addiction! With her Heartbreakers Series, she has not one, nor two, but THREE new romantic comedies out within weeks of each other, which is pretty much my idea of bookworm heaven. In the Heartbreaker Series, each book follows the love story of a trio of former rock stars who just so happen to be brothers. First up we have Once Upon a Real Good Time, where Campbell, a single dad and rocker-turned-music-teacher, woos single mom, Mackenzie, with his bad boy looks and good guy disposition. *cue major swooning*

As a single parent whose idea of a good time is dominating at trivia night at her favorite bar, Mackenzie doesn’t often let her hair down but the sizzling chemistry between her and the sexy, tattooed singer has her throwing aside her inhibitions. But after a spontaneous decision to indulge in a night of no-strings-attached, unrestrained passion leads to a harmless, yet promising flirtation, the man Mackenzie finds herself lusting after is none other than her son’s new music teacher. Their resolve to keep things professional between them and to put the best interests of their kids first is admirable, but ultimately helpless against their unadulterated attraction to each other and the irresistibly potent sexual tension brewing between them.

Thanks to engaging characters with a playful banter, witty dialogue rife with sexual innuendo, and a lighthearted, fast-paced narrative, Once Upon a Real Good Time is a fun, flirty, entertaining read. The effortless rapport between Campbell and Mackenzie, which is both achingly sweet and deliciously naughty, kept me glued to the pages, eager to read their every interaction. In their everyday lives, both are devoted single parents, selflessly putting the needs of their kids before their own, but with each other, they’re delightfully uninhibited, succumbing to their innermost desires…which…I might add…are of the dirty variety. It must be noted that Campbell is a dirty talker extraordinaire who unleashes Mackenzie’s inner seductress. They have this all-consuming, reverent need for each other that sets the pages of this book ablaze with its intensity.

As a longtime rom-com junkie, Once Upon a Real Good Time is exactly the type of book I love to read, delivering on both the romantic and comedic aspects of the narrative. It’s the perfect blend of humor, romance, and steam, kicking off the Heartbreakers Series with a story that’s impossible to put down once you get started. After such an enjoyable introduction to the series, I can’t wait to get better acquainted with the rest of the Heartbreakers.

*complimentary copy provided by author for an honest review
Profile Image for Louise  O.
743 reviews5 followers
September 6, 2018
WOW, this book had me hooked from the moment I read the first page, Once Upon a Real Good Time is the first book in the Heartbreakers series and Blakely has blown it out of the water.

Quiz loving single mum Mackenzie loves her son more than anything, making sure that he has everything he needs her dating life has been put on hold. When a gorgeous guitar playing man mouths her the answer to a quiz question she cannot get him out of her head. Campbell is a single Dad, he wants a normal simple life, he has already had famous and that didn’t work out so great. Doing what he loves, singing in his band, playing gigs where no one knows who he is and teaching talented kids. When Mackenzie’s one-night stand turns into being her son’s new music teacher what do you do? Call it all off to ensure the best outcome for your kid or sneak around and have the hottest rendezvous in your life?

The instant chemistry between Mackenzie and Campbell is undeniable, from the moment they both see each other you knew that they were meant to be. Their constant dirty talk and time together were off the charts hot and I was left blushing more than once, Campbell is the full package and is my new book boyfriend.

I personally loved this book and I could not put it down, this was the first book of Blakely’s that I have read and I cannot wait to read more of her work, it was extremely well written and the dual POV’s were seamless. I am hanging out for book 2 ‘Once Upon a Sure Thing’ because I have no doubt that it will be just as spectacular as this one.

**Reviewed for Seraphim Book Reviews**

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Heat: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Profile Image for Jen .
803 reviews576 followers
September 12, 2018
4.5 Stars

When I started Lauren Blakely's latest book, Once Upon a Real Good Time, I went in with some pretty low expectations. Not because I haven't enjoyed other books by this author. Ms. Blakely has earned herself a spot on my authors to stalk list (yep, I have one of those) with her awesomeness.

Instead my trepidation with regards to reading this little ditty had everything to do with me and the bitch of all reading slumps I happen to be experiencing. Seriously, I've started and put aside more books than I can count in the last month so to say I wasn't enthused to start this would be an understatement.

Well color me surprised when Campbell and Mackenzie ended up charming the ever loving pants off of me.

From the beginning this book was overflowing with goodness. No contrived dilemma, no bursts of emotion that only serve to increase the drama-rama. No "I'm not good enough" or I'm too damaged to love." Damn, I'm sick to death of all of that! Instead I got a charming mix of sweet and hot with two characters I can actually see myself liking in real life. It's such a simple concept, but sometimes that's all you really need.
Profile Image for Tammi.
1,835 reviews25 followers
September 17, 2018
OH I just loved this book!! It was sweet and sexy, an absolute perfect mix!!!
Lauren Blakely always creates the most swoonworthy men, interesting women and gives them a wonderful love story.
Campbell is a rocker!
Mackenzie is a trivia nerd!
I love that combination.
This story was fun. A one night stand that ended up having a very awkward connection. I wanted this couple together, they were HOT together, they were sweet together and they wanted to be together. But I got it. Fate is a wicked little witch (with a capital B) she came along and messed it up. I loved how they tried to stay apart and then tried to sneak around. They couldn't keep there hands off each other for long.
Both being single parents and finding love together isn't something I have seen a lot in books. I enjoyed it! I really liked that there was no outside drama, no exes causing trouble. Just two people falling in love and facing real life issues to be together.
I am so happy this is a series! I can't wait for the next one.
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,645 reviews3,216 followers
January 23, 2023
Grab While You Can, IT'S FREE!!!
5 Oh, So Right Stars
* * * * * Spoiler Free
Sometimes you read a book that is like the Children's tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears...You know what I mean, the book isn't over the top... or too bland... It is Just Right.

It has main characters you are attracted to...
They make sense and are people you would like to know...
Their meeting is plausible...
And best of all...
Their Chemistry is Off The Charts.

Once Upon A Sure Thing, the first book of the Heartbreakers series by Lauren Blakely created all of that for me. She gave me two Grown-Ups. Yes, two people who were both single parents who were devoted to their kids. Who led their lives with the entire focus of making sure these young pre-teens were on the right track.

Campbell had been part of a huge band...think Hansens or the Jonas Brothers (without the purity rings).
Campbell, Miller, and Miles traveled the world, made hit records, and grew up in front of the public. They were loved and their music was the soundtrack of many lives.

Campbell met his love, married, and had a daughter. Unfortunately, his life took an awful turn so Campbell left the group to raise his daughter alone. Over the years, he spent his time making sure she was happy and healthy. He had been a musical genius from the start so teaching others was a natural way to keep music in his life. Later he got a small band together to keep a hand in playing and performing. Yet, the most consistent focus for Campbell over these many years has been the welfare of his daughter and she has turned out to be an amazing young woman.

Mackenzie was on track to graduate from college and start a marketing career with a prominent company. Instead, she found herself pregnant. She took another road, moving back home, learning to adapt her skills, and venturing out on her own. She raised her son with help from the dad and her ability to create a successful graphic business she did from home.

This career move allowed her to devote herself to her son and when he showed signs of musical talent, it was nurtured. Now he is considered a violin prodigy with an interest in sports, too. He is a terrific kid, mature for his age yet also has the grounding of his mom... who gave him touchstones for his childhood. They had special traditions which always brought them to what was important... love and communication with each other always.

Mackenzie and Campbell cross paths during a Perfect Storm for them...Campbell is playing at a local bar with his band during a Trivia Game night. Trivia Games are Mackenzie's thing. She loves to do this to blow off steam with her best friend. They both connect one night and a seed is planted of how much they both would like to explore this meeting...

In a week or two later, Mackenzie's son is at a music sleepaway camp. This allows her to swing by the bar and there Campbell is again. They start talking, banter getting flirty and sexy...both wanting and attracted...these two decide yes, they should take advantage of this situation.

But what is the best...they both are thinking about each other and there starts to be more...texting and very sexy texts leading to both agreeing to an actual date...Exciting because both have been leading a life without any personal relationships and this seems like it could be really promising.

All is set, the date is happening and then the unthinkable happens...
Campbell turns out to be Mackenzie's son's new violin teacher...

Yup, the kid loves him right off the bat and Campbell is the best...so both Campbell and Mackenzie know what they must do...

No more of the Best Sex They Ever Had...
No more Flirty Texts...
No more Kissing Lips so Soft...
Just No...

At least that is what they know they should do...

I loved reading this book. It was so hot and sexy I wanted a Campbell just for me. He was such an amazing man. Comfortable with who he was. Able to relate to others and the way he wooed Mackenzie was just right. He was respectful but also all guy... sexy dirty talking, ability to make panties melt and he cuddled.

Mackenzie was an equal and that made this perfect. She had her career, a support system, and a love for her son's well-being. She knew who she was and when these two got together it was everything. Both want each other, both on even ground. Both taking charge. Both giving. Delightful.

This tale tackles parents who need to see they deserve lives too. Especially when they have taken the time, nurtured them and things are good. It doesn't mean to drop the ball... just allowing a full life for the grown-ups...Because when they are happy, then everyone benefits.

As the first entry to this series, we also meet the other brothers. Each has its own backstory with a hint given here and there. The next one will be Once Upon a Sure Thing (Heartbreakers, #2) with Miller being challenged to figure out how to get performing again. Maybe working with his Best Friend is the way...

Once Upon a Real Good Time (Heartbreakers, #1) by Lauren Blakely Once Upon a Real Good Time (Heartbreakers, #1) https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Once Upon a Sure Thing (Heartbreakers, #2) by Lauren Blakely Once Upon a Sure Thing (Heartbreakers, #2)
Once Upon a Wild Fling (Heartbreakers, #3) by Lauren BlakelyOnce Upon a Wild Fling (Heartbreakers, #3)
The Heartbreakers Collection (Heartbreakers, #1,2-3) by Lauren Blakely The Heartbreakers Collection (Heartbreakers, #1,2-3)

~~~~~ Before Reading ~~~~~

As A Mom, Mackenzie plans on providing the best...
Best Music Lessons taught by the Best Teacher she could find...

Well, she found the best all right...

Campbell is a man who knows how to play All The Instruments...
He has rocked a guitar solo in front of thousands, written chart-topping tunes...
So Molding Young Musicians is nothing new...

What is new and a surprise is Campbell being her son's music teacher...
Because he was the Perfect Main Character in Mackenzie's Sexy Fairy Tale of...

Once Upon a Real Good Time (Heartbreakers, #1)-September 10, 2018

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Profile Image for Jennifer.
807 reviews15 followers
September 6, 2018
This book has so much going on, I just don't know where to begin explaining how amazing it is! It's the first in a trio of books that centers around 3 brothers that were in a boy band in their teens and early twenties. It's about their life after the boy band. What happens when they grow up?!?

Campbell is a complex character. Single Dad, Singer, Musician, Teacher. But underneath it all, he is a really cool guy. Despite his past as a popular musician, he is really down to earth, almost humble. Don't get me wrong, he is as cocky as the next guy, but not about his career, or fame. He is an amazing dad, who has taken a really tragic situation and made the most of it, always putting his daughter first. Mackenzie is such a strong woman! She didn't let mistakes derail her life. She took things in her own hands and made an amazing life for herself and her son. Her determination to put her son first in every decision is admirable.

This story was amazing from beginning to end. I read without stopping, it was just that great. The characters had an unstoppable chemistry, and completely set the pages on fire! This book begins with one of the hottest one night stands I've ever read about! But from there, it moves past that, into a connection that was just.....perfect! There is no other way of putting it. There are hints about what is coming in the next book, and I'm anxiously waiting to see what happens with the other brothers!
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,564 followers
September 10, 2018
❤4,5 stars ❤

What a nice surprise, I devour it.It was a fun,super hot and sweet story.I was hooked from the beginning and I read it in one sitting. Once Upon A Real Good Time has an original story line and the characters were lovable.

I adored Campbell and Mackenzie, and the way they met!They have an amazing chemistry from their first moment together.They were so good together.

If you are looking for a sweet and fun story with some really hot moments this is perfect.


Profile Image for Diana.
523 reviews18 followers
October 10, 2018
3.5 stars for the story
5 gabillion stars for the audiobook

This was a really cute and angst free story about two single parents navigating through dating/not dating. Both MacKenzie and dirty talking Campbell were very likeable, and their kids were pretty cool too. If you are in the mood for something sugary sweet, this is it.

I highly recommend the audiobook, because listening to dirty talking Sebastian York….

Nuff said!!
September 6, 2018
Mackenzie is a single mom, business owner and a lover of all things trivia!
Campbell is a single dad, former teen rock star, laying low and playing with a band locally so nobody will recognize him.

It's trivia night and Mackenzie is on a roll winning, while Campbell is tuning his guitar. That's how they meet, a hot one night stand later and then a curve ball gets thrown!

I didn't think that dirty talking Campbell would make me swoon but dang he did! I loved this book, ALL the characters are can't wait for more!
Profile Image for Alex ♈.
1,568 reviews1,161 followers
December 13, 2018
3.89 stars

Cute, safe, likable MCs.

Sex-scenes ok, but spanking again?... *groan*

He wasn't a manwhore, but she could have dated more after she got her son. 13 years is quite long...

Adorable kids, but soooo fictional 😜

- *** -

Not sure about next book. Friends to lovers... I wonder about his level of non-celibacy during all these years; and I hope she wasn't frozen or had only bad sex. Why do I have a feeling it'll remain a hope and not a 'reality'? 🤔🙄
Profile Image for ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰ .
2,138 reviews1,188 followers
September 9, 2018




A pub quiz. That's where Mackenzie sees him for the first time. Campbell's on stage tuning his guitar to perform after the quiz. And she's mega-insta-attracted. Same for him. But she has to leave to get her son from music class before they can even start flirting or even talking.

But then she goes back two weeks later - and he's there again.

This time they do a lot more than flirt and talk.

But a few days later they realize that he's her son's new music tutor!


What now? We can't be having any intimate relations now, right???

What will happen with Mackenzie & Campbell?
Will there be a HEA?





I just love a good romance written in dual POV!
I LOVE LOVE Lauren's male POV romcoms, but hearing both their thoughts is great too.

And this one was really adorable. Funny, sparky, sexy, cute.

I just adored Mack and Campbell. And the kids too and the friends and siblings and Kyle's dad and the music and the quizzing and the texting and ugh ... it was just the sweetest, most adorable and perfect romance.

I wouldn't mind seeing it on Netflix one day!

Can't wait to get the other two brothers' story asap! And it will be almost asap - only 2 weeks until book #2! ☺

ONCE UPON A REAL GOOD TIME was such a fun and adorable & sexy love story!! Run to your nearest amazon asap for your own Campbell - this one is MINE !!!


Smokin Hot Book Blog Email
Profile Image for Lauren Blakely.
Author 219 books19.3k followers
September 10, 2018
Once Upon A Real Good Time is available everywhere!! Escape into a sexy, single-dad, rock-star rom-com today!

✦ Kindle US: https://amzn.to/2NvVwlm
✦ Kindle UK: https://amzn.to/2Mb1aol
✦ Kindle CA: https://amzn.to/2QhpyYU
✦ iBooks ➜ blkly.pub/i-ARealGoodTime
✦ Kobo ➜blkly.pub/ARealGoodTime-kb
✦ Nook ➜ blkly.pub/ARealGoodTime-nk
✦ Google Play ➜ blkly.pub/ARealGoodTime-GP
✦ Paperback ➜ blkly.pub/ARealGoodTime-pb
✦ Audible ➜ https://adbl.co/2nSLcp7

Profile Image for Stacey.
1,447 reviews1,158 followers
December 3, 2019
It was a Real Good Time...

Lauren Blakely writes, Andi Arndt and Sebastian York narrate, and I am one happy camper. This little treat was very satisfying and I was sad that it was over so quickly. The characters were great and I loved that Campbell was such a down-to-earth rockstar...I mean, former teen heartthrob.

I absolutely loved that both the hero and heroine are single parents and put their kids at a high level of priority in their lives. Sure, there is a limit to how much you should sacrifice, but your kids should always be a consideration in major decisions.

It was also pleasant to not have a "deadbeat" dad or "self-centred" mum playing the part of the ex. Campbell's wife died when he was 23 and their daughter was two so she's been out of their lives for a long time. With Mackenzie, her story is VERY different and it made me smile. I loved the dynamics of Mackenzie's relationship with the father and it was obvious that both parents adore their son and only want the best for him.

Once Upon a Real Good Time was funny, sweet and very sexy; exactly what I've come to expect from Lauren Blakely. The characters were interesting, the storyline kept me entertained from start to finish and the narrators do an amazing job. I'm definitely going on in the series.

Profile Image for Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog).
933 reviews440 followers
September 6, 2018
4.5 stars

Lauren Blakely has a knack for blending naughty and nice. She serves up a healthy dose of both in Once Upon a Real Good Time, and I must say the combination goes down nice and smooth.

It’s a simple story of two single parents who have devoted their lives to their kids, putting aside the possibility of romantic relationships in the process. Campbell is a former boy band star turned private music teacher. Mackenzie is an entrepreneur with a wealth of Jeopardy-level knowledge.

These are two amazing characters who are perfect for each other. I love their playfulness and sexy banter. Campbell’s dirty talking bedroom skills are on point! It’s no surprise that I wanted their happily ever after like I wanted my next breath. What’s really refreshing is how lovable their teenagers are. Let’s face it. Anyone with a teen knows how difficult they can be. Mackenzie’s son is a well-rounded violin prodigy. Campbell’s daughter is a sweetheart who loves to bake and has her own YouTube channel. They each love their parent and aren’t afraid to show it.

When Campbell winds up teaching Mackenzie’s son, it throws a wrench in their plans for a possible romance. I really didn’t feel like it was that much of an issue, but thankfully instead of lots of drama, good humor and warmth prevail throughout. I’m counting this as a solid win.

Campbell has two brothers with their own books coming out. I hope I enjoy the rest of the series just as much as this story.

Recommended for fans of:
Single parent romance
*I received an early copy of this book.*
Reading Frenzy Book Blog
Profile Image for Grecia Robles.
1,452 reviews327 followers
December 29, 2019
Intenté leerlo dos veces porque la autora me gusta mucho pero no pasaba de la primera página ya que las dos veces que lo cogí no estaba en un buen momento.
Esta vez me agarró enferma pero me gustó mucho es un libro ligero, divertido con un toque sexy y mucho dirty talk.

Los protagonistas me gustaron mucho sobre todo él era una mezcla de sexy y lindo.

Tuvieron momentos muy buenos sobre todo cuando estaban con los hijos.

Me hubiera gustado un epílogo de años después.
Profile Image for Denisa.
1,181 reviews286 followers
September 5, 2019

This is a pretty fun romance, it's just as fun as you'd expect from the blurb. And just as good as you'd hope form this author.

It's the typical mom-dad thing (or single parents falling for one another), but the characters are great and their story is nice to read. It's what I want from my romance books: chemistry, fun, and relaxation.

Definitely worth reading, especially if you're in some sort of book fun or between 'hard' books.
Profile Image for Bookish Lauren.
Author 1 book174 followers
August 29, 2018
Holy hotness!!! I haven't devoured a book like this in a long time. I attribute that to how dirty and sexy it is. Let's face it, all of LB's stuff is fun and sexy but this shit is sooooo dirty that I had to take a pause for the cause a few times.

Reasons I love this story, aside from the awesome obvious:
2 single parents with teen children (you don't see this often)
His pet name for her
Their devotion to their children's happiness

Blakely knocked it out of the park with this one!
Profile Image for Red Cheeks Reads.
2,154 reviews359 followers
September 8, 2018

A new Lauren Blakely novel is my happy place, and I’ve lost count of how many times this author’s writing has made me smile, made me sigh or made me happy. She’s entertained me, she’s made my heart race, and she’s made me blush. It all comes down to the simple fact that for me, Blakely writes the kind of romantic fiction that not only keeps me coming back to her work time and time again, but also reminds me of why I love this genre so much. Sexy, light-hearted and fun, her romantic comedies are exactly the types of romances that I prefer to read. All of this coupled with the fact that she consistently delivers this reading pleasure with astonishing regularity, and it’s no surprise that she’s earned a spot at the top of my favorite authors list.

Once Upon a Real Good Time is the first book in Blakely’s new Heartbreakers series of romantic comedies about three rock star brothers. This is Campbell and Mackenzie’s story, both of whom are single parents, which is a favorite theme of mine. I especially love single dad heroes, and Campbell was an involved, caring, devoted one. He was sexy and so swoon-worthy with his sultry crooning and his filthy dirty talk. Not to be outdone, Mackenzie was a confident, sexy and doting single mom in her own right, and she gave just as good as she got in the dirty talk department. The chemistry between the two of them was instantaneous and white hot. They bonded immediately, and their effortless rapport along with some flirty banter and witty dialogue resulted in a once-in-a-lifetime connection that made Campbell and Mackenzie’s romance a completely unputdownable page-turner.

Blakely continually feeds my romcom addiction with charming plots, endearing characters and steamy romances, but if this heartwarming, heated and humorous story is any indication of what’s to come, the Heartbreakers series may very well end up topping my list of favorites from her. I loved absolutely everything about this breezy, happy, fun romance. A touch forbidden, smolderingly sexy and a whole lot sweet, Once Upon a Real Good Time was exactly the kind of heart-soaring, smile-stretched-across-my-face, blush-inducing romcom that I love reading most from Lauren Blakely. I couldn’t get enough of these characters or their story, and I had a hard time putting it down. Once Upon a Real Good Time by Lauren Blakely get five smooches from me!
~ Danielle Palumbo
Profile Image for Shayna.
1,813 reviews591 followers
September 9, 2018
“You’re looking at me like I’m the answer to all your prayers.”

Oh, Lauren Blakely…you dirty bird, you! Campbell and Mackenzie were absolutely PERFECT! One of my very favorite couples of yours! The fact that they were both single parents…well, that was icing on the very sexy cake! You all know that Ms. Blakely is one of the QUEENS of romantic comedy, but you add in a sassy trivia nerd and a gorgeous hunk of musician and there should be NOTHING left to say! Once Upon a Real Good Time is a standalone romance that will take you to your happy place and beyond! I loved it! I was engaged from beginning to end. I was blushing and swooning from beginning to end. Another sexy, romantic, and utterly entertaining and unputdownable romance from one of my all time favorites in the business! This was one hell of a beginning to her brand new Heartbreakers series and I CANNOT WAIT for Miller’s story! Bring it on!

Profile Image for ☕️Kimberly  (Caffeinated Reviewer).
3,000 reviews637 followers
September 26, 2018
Narrated by the Sebastian York and Andi Arndt delivered a feel good romance about two people who deserved a happily ever after. Campbell and Mackenzie meet and have this instant connection and off the chart chemistry until he turns out to be her son’s music instructor. Swoons, long sexy conversations and matchmaking had me grinning like a sappy fool.

First, I love when York and Arndt narrated together. Listening is an absolute pleasure from the pacing to chemistry they create allowing the characters to come to life. Blakely introduces Campbell and Mackenzie and I am all in. He is a former teen idol who was in a boy band with his brothers, a fact he avoids mentioning. Both are single parents living in the Big Apple. Typical of Blakely, they are genuine, standup people you’d be happy to call friend.... So of course, I need them to have a happily ever after, but it's complicated by their kids and boundaries.

Second, the tale that unfolded delivered the sweetest romance with off the chart chemistry. I loved the late-night conversations and attempts at friendship, that involved the kids from cooking to geometry. The kids were awesome, and I loved some meddling that occurred. If you’re looking for a romance to swoon over this fall, Once Upon a Real Good Time is the perfect place to start. It’s perfect  listening length for your commute. Just don’t crash the car. Ok?

Once Upon a Real Good Time, is the first in the Heartbreakers series, so we will get stories about Campbell’s brothers in, Once Upon A Sure Thing and Once Upon A Wild Fling, all releasing this fall! Oh, and the brothers are hot! This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer
Profile Image for Jenny Lovez Bookz.
421 reviews80 followers
May 27, 2022
Light, simple read with no drama. Recommend if you're looking for something easy
Profile Image for Stacie.
1,930 reviews185 followers
October 7, 2018
4 "Put a sock in it." Stars!

This was super sweet with just enough dirty- I do love a dirty talker. 😏 Happy reading!
Profile Image for Heather.
1,270 reviews22 followers
September 2, 2018
**I voluntarily read an early copy of this title compliments of the author in exchange for an honest review**

I adore Lauren Blakely and her books and Once Upon a Real Good Time was no different. I absolutely devoured this book in one day. It's a great start to Blakely's new Heartbreakers series.

Mackenzie is a single mother who is a graphic designer by trade, but also excels at trivia, so she spends time at a local bar with her friend entering trivia contests. During one of the evenings she's out at a contest, Mackenzie catches a glimpse of an absolutely hot guy that piques her interest, but she's sworn off dating as she wants to focus on her teenage son.

Campbell is a musician through and through and also a single father. He is the lead singer in a band that plays at various bars around town and he spends his days teaching kids how to hone their own musical crafts. He is equally as captivated by the woman he spies across the bar and so when his set is over, he approaches her and asks to have a drink.

The chemistry between Mackenzie and Campbell is off the charts from the second they touch for the first time. They both enter into their night together with eyes wide open and ready to scratch that proverbial itch for one another. Little do they know that Campbell is going to be the person that can help take Mackenzie's son to the next level in his musical pursuit. Will the development than Campbell is now Kyle's new music teacher end everything before it starts? Or will the absolutely beyond obvious chemistry win out in the end?

Campbell might be one of my favorite heroes that Blakely has written. He was an awesome dad, a fantastic musician and couple that with the fact he was sexy as all get out and he is a dirty-talker as well and that just about makes for the perfect guy! I also loved that while Mackenzie hadn't been dealt the easiest life, she has carved out an amazing life for she and her son. She might have had curve balls thrown her way, but she managed to overcome them.

I absolutely loved this book and I was drawn in from the outset. I didn't want to put it down and I simply can't wait to see what happens in the next book, Once Upon a Sure Thing - I have no doubt that it is going to be as equally engaging as this one was!
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,901 reviews1,508 followers
October 21, 2018
I didn't realize how short this was when I bought it. I hate when I do that, but it's almost worse when the story is a good one (because I can't justify returning it). And this is a great story, frankly. I liked both protagonists quite a lot and enjoyed every minute with them. I loved that they both put their kids first, and I liked how well they compliment each other.

I was a little hesitant about the putting the kids so far forward in importance. But Blakely pulled that together pretty well in the end, I think. I liked . Both kids are a little idealized and pretty put together for their ages, but I chose to give Blakely a pass because I liked the dynamic so well.

So this is a wobbly 4½ stars that I'm going to round up. I grouse about the length but it was exactly the right size for the story told and I love when authors don't push or artificially draw a story out. The kids issue is more serious, but as I said, I'm giving it a pass on that minor flaw.

A note about Steamy: There are a couple explicit sex scenes and if I had paid them much attention this would probably have entered the upper range of my steam tolerance. I mostly tuned them out, though, because I was really in this for the relationship.

A note about Audible: The narration for this one was fantastic. Sebastian York and Andi Arndt were good as alternating voices for the sections from the two viewpoints. But I'm really calling out the interesting thing the publisher did with the texting. They had them each voice their texts as their characters and that was a very subtle, but effective, tag for the flow of text messaging. Texts aren't as smooth as an actual dialogue and this technique was a great narrative device that served to highlight that without being awkward or weird.
Profile Image for Laurie.
262 reviews8 followers
August 27, 2018
Lauren Blakely sure knows how to craft a winner, sweet with lots and lots of heat. Campbell Evans is teen idol rock star turned single dad who teaches music to kids. Missing the performing piece of being a musician Campbell begins playing in small bars with his buddies. Campbell is sweet, smart, sexy, and a great dad who has done a fantastic job raising his daughter. Mackenzie is a single mom who has learned to carve out a great life for her and her son when life throws curves. Mackenzie is the mother of a 13yr old brilliant, start prodigy violin player, Kyle. Campbell and Mackenzie have a one-night stand. Those curves that life seems to throw at Mac comes in the form of Campbell becoming Kyle’s new music teacher. Campbell and Mac decide to not cross lines until they do. Slowly one by one those lines get crossed until they both decide to put their kids first and stop secret dating. Will Mac and Campbell find their way back? Will they get help seeing what is right in front of them? To get those answers read Once Upon a Real Good Time by Lauren Blakely. Lauren always writes with heart, passion, heat, and depth of her characters. Campbell is the perfect Blakely Boy, sexy, passionate, hot, heart of gold, great dad, and very swoon worthy. Our heroine is beautiful, smart, sexy, and a mom who who will do whatever it takes to put her son first. For a fun read that will take you a beautifully created world then I completely recommend this newest book from Lauren Blakely. I received an ARC in exchange for a honest review.
Profile Image for Radd Reader.
859 reviews420 followers
February 4, 2019
Campbell(35) & Mackenzie(33). Book 1 of a standalone series. The series has recurring characters in each book , but each book can be read on its own. Dual POV. Ends with a HEA and an epilogue.

Campbell is a musician (former boy band mega star) and Mackenzie is a graphic designer. They both have teenagers who are good kids and they are fantastic single parents.

They have an instant attraction, great chemistry, steamy bedroom scenes and outside the bedroom they have fun, witty banter. They are mature adults, and they act like it.

The H/h were likeable characters who had great chemistry and lots of steam. It’s light and upbeat. Secondary characters added to the story. It moved along at a good pace and held my interest. Everyone is a bit “too” perfect, but otherwise no complaints. Overall, this is a sweet story and a good start to the series.

No secrets. No OW/OM drama. No cheating. No triggers.
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