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Billionaires of Manhattan #4

The Billionaire's Fake Fiancée

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I'm no Prince Charming, and the last thing I want is a Cinderella.

My instructions were simple: scour the city for a fake fiancée who's not my type at all. Have her on my jet Monday morning, dressed appropriately for a yacht vacation.

I need a woman believable enough to convince a certain client that I've changed my playboy ways…yet nothing like the supermodels and socialites I usually have on my arm.

Somebody too annoying to tempt me—no emotional entanglements, thank you very much. This is business only.

If she's unfazed by my looks and wealth, all the better.

Should be easy. Right?

Apparently not, because my people go and hire Tabitha. My hairdresser.

What were they thinking? Yes, I said annoying, but I didn't mean her, the most frustrating woman in the world.

Tabitha is sunshiny. She has a pet hamster. She loves Hello Kitty, and she gets under my skin like nobody else.

As if that's not bad enough, the minute we step on deck, she thinks that certain people on the yacht are up to something shady—based completely on her soap opera knowledge.

She won't listen when I tell her she’s being ridiculous.

But as the days go by, I find that we’re actually having fun. And our fake kisses are heating up. And suddenly her wild theories aren't sounding so strange after all…

360 pages, ebook

First published April 28, 2020

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About the author

Annika Martin

47 books2,892 followers
I’m a NYT bestselling author who sometimes writes as RITA®-award-winning Carolyn Crane. I live in Minneapolis with my husband and enjoy taking pictures of my cats, consuming boatloads of chocolate suckers, and tending my wild, bee-friendly garden.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 693 reviews
Profile Image for Lacey (laceybooklovers).
1,986 reviews9,746 followers
April 28, 2020
Anyone else a sucker for the grump falling for the sunshine character trope? Or the fake engagement trope? If so, you’re in luck! Annika Martin’s latest rom-com has all that goodness (if you couldn’t tell, I love a good grump) and more. The Billionaire’s Fake Fiancée is a fantastic, light-hearted romance that will have you smiling and giggling. It’s feel-good and adorable and exactly what I want in a rom-com!

I’ve been wanting to read Annika Martin’s contemporary romances for a while. I’ve only ever read her dark romances, and I always find it so fascinating and impressive when authors switch up genres/subgenres – and do it well. Now I know for a fact that Annika Martin can do both dark and lighthearted romances, because I enjoyed The Billionaire’s Fake Fiancée so much! We’ve got the grumpiest grump of a hero (which, if you include in a book, I’ll want to read it) who needs a fake fiancée to win over an account for his billion-dollar company. Rex wants to find someone he does not like and who is in no danger of falling for him… so he hires his hairdresser Tabitha. Tabitha, the sunshiniest girl he’s ever met, the woman he sees once a week for his hair, the one who owns a hamster, loves daytime soap operas, and gets on his nerves like no other.

“Don’t worry, your kindness is a secret between us. You’re my brutish, gothic Heathcliff, the alpha male who shows his soft side only to me. Ooh, that’s good.” Here she does one of her upwards finger-pointing gestures. “Right there. That’s our couples dynamic.”


Most of the story takes place on a giant yacht, so not only do we have fake fiancés, we’ve got fake fiancés who are forced to be in close proximity for the next two weeks. Rex and Tabitha are entertaining as all get out when they’re together – she’s constantly ruffling his feathers and he’s being a total grump about it. I loved their dynamic, with and without the fake engagement. And I loved being able to see Rex slowly let down his walls to let Tabitha in. She turns his life completely upside down with her adoring, sweet ways. She’s ridiculous and hilarious and I loved her for him.

It drives me crazy that I can’t read her right now. It drives me crazy that she isn’t wearing any of her secret little Tabitha things. She’s everything that drives me crazy, and everything that I ragingly, infuriatingly, frustratingly want.


Now I am absolutely looking forward to reading Annika Martin’s other billionaire rom-coms! This one read completely fine as a standalone, so I’m sure the others can be too. I’m also DYING to read the next book in the series, another opposites attract romance, about the shy friend who confronts the owner of the building they live in!

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
April 24, 2020
Title: ➳ ❤- The Billionaire's Fake Fiancée
Author: ➳ Annika Martin
Publication:, April 28, 2020.
💖💖💖 💖

ღ Rex O’Rourke has bad reputation as playboy, that he never sleeps with the same woman twice. Seem to have caught up with him! That reputation is now seeming to be affecting some major deal

So you guess by the title, this Billionaire is looking for Fake Fiancée to close deal of lifetime…
All Rex needs to do is to keep his hands off his Fake Fiancée for a two-week cruise on his potential client’s yacht… Seriously how hard can that be, when he asks his assistant to find the most annoying woman to him, so that he not tempted to sleep with her

Rex wants that account with every fiber of his being. Having all of Driscoll’s assets underhis management will give him more financial power than most governments, But in the end will he risk everything for woman that once annoyed the heck out him?

Tabitha Evans, she is completely different from any woman Rex has dated in the past

For god sakes, the woman has, multicolor streaks in her hair, she has an obsession with Hello Kitty. Should I dare name more?

I could say: I laugh out loud & this book was delight.
Annika delights you with her quirky characters & grouchy Billionaire's & I can even say this was great read! Which is all totally true… but this book at times felt like scene out of tv soap opera…. So of course, you are going say WTF few times… but that doesn’t mean you aren’t going enjoy this read

The hair dresser. Is the lynchpin to rescuing our billion-dollar account?”
📚 Hope you enjoy this read & also always keep in mind this is just my opinion+ Also I wouldn’t never discourage anyone from reading this book.

➦* Note: ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review. This has not influenced my review!

Happy Reading --- Enjoy ……. Paulette Review

Profile Image for Dilek VT.
1,529 reviews1,341 followers
July 7, 2020
I didn’t enjoy this book at all. And after a while, I started to skim and scan it to be able to finish.

My main reason for my dislike of the book is the fact that I immensely disliked the heroine’s character. I don’t like people who try to look too happy, too fun, too care-free just to hide away their vulnerabilities. She was too bubbly and too silly. She thought she was funny but she wasn't. I mean, think of a person who says “sad face” when she is making a sad face or who says “excited face” when she is making an excited face. How annoying is that!?!

To me, she was just an irritating person who thought herself as a fun person. With her sparkly outfits and crazy talk, she sounded too fake to me all the time. She constantly made fun of her tragic past to show people that she didn’t get affected by it but it was all an act. And I didn’t like her act.

She was in love with the hero and during their fake engagement, she slept with him but she insisted that it had to stay as a fling later on. When the hero begged and begged her to date him for real because he had real feelings for her, she kept refusing him because, as she herself said, she was a coward who let her past rule her future. Her fiancé and her dad hurt her in the past and now she didn’t allow herself to have a real relationship with anyone. Her life was full of friends-with-benefits kind of relationships. She thought she was protecting her heart in this way.

I disliked the heroine but I didn’t like the hero much, either. He was a grumpy asshole for a long time. Even assholes usually have a cute and likable side but he had none. I couldn’t find anything attractive about him. He was just rude, cold and moody with nothing cute and lovable about him until he started to have feelings about the heroine. And then, magically, his whole character started to change. He started to thank people although he was non-appreciative before.

He initially made mistakes that hurt the heroine but later he tried to make it right with her and that was a plus. He really tried hard but then, the heroine was a pain in the ass with her constant refusal of him. Ergo, the book never felt good.

All in all, this was an annoying book for me with unlikable characters. It was never fun for me. It had so-called hot scenes, which meant nothing to me as I didn’t buy their connection at all.

I liked some books from this writer before but unfortunately this book wasn’t one of them.
Profile Image for Sanyah(Taylor’s Version).
203 reviews105 followers
September 27, 2021
“He lets go of my shoulders and cradles my cheeks like two fragile birds, gently cradling them.
“Are you trying to decide how to hold me and which way to tilt your head?” I ask.
“Shut the fuck up.” With that, he crushes his lips over mine, kissing me fervently. He presses me to the wall with his body.”

And that scene,up there, was a practice kiss 😏☺️
Profile Image for aarya.
1,143 reviews
September 21, 2022
3.5 stars

Reread on September 18, 2022: Jason Clarke is creeping up to my Narrator Hall of Fame. Read via library/audio (narrated by Jason Clarke and Neva Nevarre).

***

First read on October 27, 2020: These books are like candy (this is a compliment). They have zero logic and make me go WTF every other page. Read via library.
Profile Image for Annika Martin.
Author 47 books2,892 followers
Currently reading
October 7, 2020
Thank you so much for all your amazing love for Rex and Tabitha!! Heart-eyes!
"I love a growly hero who falls for a sunshine-y heroine and Annika Martin NAILS IT!”~Susannah Nix, author of Remedial Rocket Science


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****
The Billionaire's Fake Fiancée Sneak Peek!
One of my favorite scenes is on the jet, when Tabitha makes Rex do a fake fiancé questionnaire.
***
Tabitha pulls up her fake fiance questionnaire.
I take a look at it and groan. “You’ve gotta be kidding.”
“First up, pets,” she says. “I have a hamster named Seymour. He has a little black dot on his right front paw.”
“Yes, I seem to recall you mentioning him once or twice,” I say.
She bites back a smile. “Do you have any pets?”
“Take a guess.”
She types in “NO PETS” and then looks back up, eyes sparkling. “You were not enthusiastic about Seymour at first, but I believe you will learn to love him as much as you love me, though hopefully not in the same vigorous and passionate manner.”
When I don’t respond to her ridiculous joke, she presses her lips together, like it's funny that I'm not responding.
“Moving on,” I say.
She gazes out the window. “The other day you took Seymour out of his little cage and you were holding him so nicely. You always call him little guy. Hey, little guy. It’s sweet. And when you look at him, you kind of soften…”
She rambles on about me and Seymour and something strange ripples through my chest.
“I think this is going to take all week,” I say, scrolling down. “I'm not doing seventy questions. Choose three.”
She studies the list. “Past significant relationships,” she says. “I was engaged when I was twenty-two. We were young. It was stupid.”
Engaged? Stupid? “In what way?” I ask.
She shrugs. “Just stupid.” I wait for her to elaborate, but she's back to scanning the list. She went on about her hamster, and this is what she decides to hold back on?
I could see Tabitha getting engaged to somebody inappropriate. Was he the male version of Tabitha? Colorful and happy-go-lucky? Did he wear hats and play the ukulele or something? I find the whole idea annoying.
“And that's it for your significant relationships?” I ask.
“I keep things casual these days,” she says. “I'm a friends-with-benefits gal these days.”
I frown, not loving that, either.
“Waiting,” she says.
“No significant relationships—ever,” I say. “Next.”
“Okay, what is your dream? Your ultimate goal in life?”
I fix a steely gaze on her. “I'm a billionaire flying around in my own jet. I'm living the dream.”
“Come on,” she says. “People never stop dreaming of the next thing. Don't billionaires try to fly to the moon in a rocket ship once they have everything else nailed?”
“A rocket ship is just a rich man’s Corvette,” I say.
“What do I know? Maybe you’re the Corvette type…” Her smile is mischievous. “Some men require a Corvette…you know…”
I lower my voice. “I definitely don't require a Corvette.”
She snorts, like it's all so ridiculous, but dusky rose spots seem to heat her cheeks and it's…compelling. She's compelling.
We shouldn't have dressed her up in these new clothes. It's making me forget that she's Tabitha Evans, the most annoying human being that I know.

Read the First Chapter:
http://annikamartinbooks.com/first-chapter-billionaires-fake-fiancee/
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Profile Image for Lauren.
161 reviews15 followers
May 18, 2022
This may be one of my favorite in the Billionares of Manhatten series by far. I connect with Tabitha on so many levels and completely get her relationship reservations. The dynamic between her and Rex is absolutely dynamite🧨.
550 reviews35 followers
Shelved as 'didn-t-finish'
August 20, 2020
DNF at 25%.

Started reading this one a while ago, but just couldn't stay focused on the plot. It's a fairly standard "quirky" middle class protagonist who pretends to be together with the love interest. The characters just felt forced and lacked any sparks.
Profile Image for Lauren Reads Romance.
375 reviews46 followers
September 4, 2021
4.25 stars

Surly, growly, grumpy AF billionaire Rex O’Rouke meets bubbly, sparkly, soap opera obsessed hairdresser Tabitha Evans. I’m a big time sucker for a good grumpy/sunshine romcom, and this one delivered BIG time on the chemistry, steam and laughs!

Rex needs an image revamp to win a big client. Just one problem though, he’s a ginormous alpha-hole and worse, extremely proud of it! He’s constantly working, barking orders at minions and always 100% InControl™. When he isn’t at the office, he’s front-lining gossip magazines, never seen with the same woman more than once. Billionaire playboy cliche much?

Tabitha has been cutting Rex’s hair for more than two years and despite her loud outfits and big personality, she’s no random airhead. Her real superpower is reading people, and she knows the best way to handle a grump like Rex is to dish out extra, extra helpings of Hello Kitty, rainbows and sunshine. This drives Rex absolutely mad—they are complete opposites—but so far Tabitha hasn’t been fired yet. Her strategy seems to be working because Rex hires her to play his secret fake fiancé on a mega yacht for two weeks while he tries to win the coveted Driscoll account.

“Don’t worry, your kindness is a secret between us. You’re my brutish, gothic Heathcliff, the alpha male who shows his soft side only to me. Ooh, that’s good.” Here she does one of her upwards finger-pointing gestures. “Right there. That’s our couples dynamic.”

“What’s a couples dynamic?” I regret the question as soon as it’s out of my mouth.

“A couples dynamic is a snappy phrase that explains how we fit together emotionally. I’m sassy and fun, and you’re the alpha male who’s gruff to everyone but me. Only I get to see your soft side. I’m the only one.”


Billionaire’s Fake Fiance was such a rollicking good read! I honestly laughed out loud so many times, and enjoyed Rex and Tabitha’s dynamic tremendously. There was a wonderful balance of silly and fun moments, as well as more serious character development. Both of them have issues they needed to work out for themselves, before they could eventually be happy together. I always appreciate it when an author doesn’t just make the hero and heroine typical fluffy caricatures of romcoms past. Rex and Tabitha were multi-dimensional and complex in their own special ways.

This is the first book and series I’ve read from author Annika Martin. I’ll admit, the billionaire meets regular girl trope isn’t a thing for me—urgh, Fifty Shades…—but this definitely has the right amount of well-written quirk, romance, sex and emotional depth, that totally hits the sweet spot! If you like an alpha-hole/Stern-Brunch-Daddy-for-the-right-woman, then you’ll love this!
Profile Image for Jessica Alcazar.
3,860 reviews434 followers
May 1, 2020
Rating this book 5 stars just doesn't seem like enough. This story was epically glorious on multiple levels ! The amount of time I spent laughing and smiling while reading this book should be criminal. I extended my reading time of this book to two days just so I could feel total happiness a little bit longer. The world is in crisis right now and Annika Martin has come to the rescue!

Listen, I've been reading Annika's work for a lot of years. I've met her in person. She is one of my all time favorite humans. Don't mistake my praise for this book because I genuinely like the woman because believe me when I say that if this book was any less than absolute perfection, I would tell you. Honestly, it is absolute perfection.



I'm not going to give you plot points on the story because I want every word, every page, every scene, every everything to unfold for you organically and without prejudice. Well, except for the part up there where I told you it's perfect LOL I do however want to touch on one thing. This is a romantic comedy but that's not all it is. This story, especially Rex , was like the metamorphosis of a butterfly. If you pay close attention, the growth and evolvement that Rex goes thru in this story was like watching a butterfly come to life. His grumpy, self-involved self went thru distinct stages of growth that made the story stand out for me. It wasn't just a romance journey it was way more and I hope all of you decide to take this ride because it is just excellent! #TRUST
Profile Image for Ambriehl Khalil.
Author 2 books146 followers
August 16, 2020
⭐️ [4.75/5 Stars] ⭐️

This is by far my favourite book in this series. I loved every single second of this and it was so much fun. I love strong willed heroines with huge personalities and Tabitha was exactly that. She kept her feelings very concealed and I know a lot of people don’t like that but I actually prefer it because I looooove when it’s the hero who is pining instead. Rex and Tabitha fit together perfectly; she’s literal sunshine and so goofy and he’s moody and has a bad attitude and she mellows him out and that’s the shit I love so much. I also just love this series and I can’t wait for the next one about Noelle.
Profile Image for Danielle's.
Author 1 book139 followers
April 19, 2020
Loved it. Funny, entertaining and cute smiley face. He’s a workaholic and she’s a fun hairdresser. What happens when you sprain your wrist and can’t pay the rent? You take a temporary job.

Rex O’Rourke is all business. He doesn’t know how to have fun. When a magazine article puts him in an unfavourable position with a client, he’s in need of some help.

One business trip, one fake fiancée and a small cabin on a cruise. What could go wrong?

Tabitha is all kinds of fun and even though Rex is grumpy she can’t help liking him. Her upbeat personality could win anyone over but Rex isn’t just anyone.

This book is addictive. 5 stars. Another hit from Annika Martin.

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,851 reviews1,490 followers
June 23, 2021
This is fourth in a series, but they're extremely loosely connected. This one has characters from previous stories show up near the end, but they don't play a huge role and you won't miss out much if you haven't read them.

So fake fiancée is almost as unlikely as billionaire so you already know you're going to have to roll with the wish-fulfillment premise. Right? I liked this one more than I expected, frankly. I dunno why, but grumpy guy with bubbly girl works for me. Maybe because I find both attractive in their own ways? And because if the author shows it working, it's a powerful combination with lots of complimentary strengths.

Everything about this plot was whacked. Like, next-level whack. To the extent that Tabitha's soap opera obsession was an accurate guide for behavior. Oddly, this worked for me. I mean, however unlikely, it was all at least possible and had the added benefit of letting these very different people work together and build a bond of shared experiences. Plus, Gail stole the show, just a bit, and that was fun, too.

Less fun is that both main characters had the same negative motivation* of never wanting to have a relationship because relationships are bad. And this was the expected drag on the plot, but worse, the author countered it by having Tabitha ignore her negative motivation for the first half and Rex overcome his in the second. So they trade off being the drag on the relationship developing around the midpoint and because their reasons were essentially the same, it just made me frustrated.

Also, I'm not a fan of the manufactured dark moment. I'm sorry, but Rex becoming an idiot just to provoke it was dumb. This is partially made up for with the king of grand gestures that I loved more than a little. Still, getting there just hurt.

So I'm going to go with 3½ stars that I almost rounded up on the grand gesture and truly outstanding ending but can't because I still haven't forgotten how manipulated the dark moment was.

A note about Steamy: There are a handful of explicit sex scenes putting this about the middle of my steam tolerance. I think they were extremely good and well-integrated into the story and emotional arc of the characters (though Tabitha's idiocy was particularly strong afterwards).

* 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 Jessa.
1,104 reviews282 followers
May 16, 2020
I am truly begging the author to please stop with these awful titles and covers, because this series is SO GOOD and this one was a contemporary romance gem just like the others. I needed this book to be called The Hate List. Anyway, loved this one.
Profile Image for Elisabetta Veneziani.
684 reviews28 followers
September 28, 2021
4+ ⭐️
Molto carino! 🥰 La solita storia senza essere la solita storia 😄 Divertente, molto dolce nel finale, una lettura leggera ma davvero piacevole! ☺️
Profile Image for Wil Loves Books!.
1,077 reviews454 followers
February 3, 2021
Another book in the series I loved and another fantastic audiobook! I loved this book and the fake dating plot. Another super cute and funny heroine. I loved this hero a lot, I always love when the heroes fight against their feelings and hopelessly fall in love. And well Jason Clarke is simply the best, and he was perfect as Rex.
Profile Image for Dulcie.
423 reviews57 followers
November 29, 2020
3.5
Super sweet and fun. Grumpy hero and a sunshine heroine! That sends my heart all aflutter.
Tabatha wasn’t the sunshine I was expecting but she was real and I can’t fault her for that.
A solid read.
715 reviews293 followers
November 16, 2020
(2.5 stars) This is the fourth in Annika Martin's Billionaires of Manhattan series. Ordinarily I am not a reader of billionaire-hero romances because they are even more unrealistic than the ones with just your average millionaire. (Well, obviously, the hero has to have money, or power, or fame. Otherwise, why write escapist romance?) In the first place, the fictional billionaires are always drop-dead gorgeous, quite unlike most real-life ones. (Bill Gates, anyone? Not that there's anything wrong with him, but gorgeous he is not.) In addition, the stories are too, too much like fairy tales. He's usually a big ol' grumpy misogynistic user of women and she's a bubbly, optimistic middle-class girl who captures his heart and magically improves his personality and behavior.

But a couple years ago I accidentally read Martin's first book in this series and it was much better than I had expected. There was actual depth to both hero (albeit a usual grumpy one) and heroine (albeit a usual bubbly middle-class striver). With good writing and humor and a cute dog named Smuckers. What more could a rom-com need?

Well, that first one was the best of the four so far. I keep trying out all of Martin's series as they are released, hoping each new one will be as good as the first. But the next two were not, IMO, and this fourth one is my least favorite of all. The H was too, too grumpy at the beginning, too unpleasant and antisocial, and it was difficult to understand why on earth the h would fall in love or even lust with him. And as for the h, she also was too, too. Too bouncy, bubbly, optimistic, friendly and open, too colorful in hair and dress, and much too invested in soap opera tropes as life lessons. For an almost 30-year-old woman, she seemed immature at first. But, of course, she will be found to have hidden depth and hidden sadness and hidden trust issues.

Lots of the usual rom-com tropes here. Hero needs to prove to an important client that he is improving his man-slut way of life and hires his hairdresser to be his fake fiancee on a two-week working vacation on that client's yacht. The hairdresser was chosen because he, apparently, is not attracted to her. They, of course, will share a cabin. There you go.

As rom-coms go, it's actually cute. They learn to like each other even as the lust is growing more and more each day. That's how he learns about the h's past disappointments with men in her life and her trust issues. And that, my friends, is why I was disappointed with a certain action of the hero towards the end of the story. Yes, there was a grand gesture at the end that could make a romance lover sigh, but the reason he needed that grand gesture in the first place was the big disappointment.

This passes the time nicely. It's a bit silly at times, it's fluffy most of the time. It is romantic and does have a few serious moments. I guess I'll try the fifth in the series. Who knows? Maybe it will be just the way I like romantic comedies.
Profile Image for Natshane.
537 reviews54 followers
April 17, 2020
5 Hot Pink Barbie Stars

I'm in awe.

It's not rare that we often fall heads over heels with a fictional OTP, but y'all, I was completely, utterly, wholly, extremely, absolutely ENGROSSED into Tabitha and Rex's story. Reading Annika Martin's books always do that to me, her writing is like a supermassive black hole, the gravity of it so strong that it sucked in your surroundings and let you forget the world, existing only in the bubble her words had created.

I get what you're thinking: it's the usual play at the hot, grumpy billionaire with layers falling for the nobody fake fiance trope. How original can it even get?



If you are new to Martin's works, never let the title or blurb fool you (I admit, I was guilty of it once before). Her writing has a tendency to blow your mind!
"Tabitha knows how to tell a story to get a laugh - it's a talent of hers....but when I actually think about the stories she's telling, they're not funny at all."

Disguising itself as a contemporary romance plot, this book will leave you with a smile on your face and an ache in your heart. The love I have for Tabitha was instant, beneath her many layers of fun and bubbly personality lies a broken soul who had been hurt before. And despite how ruthless and impenetrable Rex made up to be, I loved seeing him falling in love. The entire process was beautiful.

Now, why do I think Rex and Tabitha is a breath of fresh air? It's because, underneath all the fun and flirting, I sense a genuine connection, their chemistry and understanding for one another were so palpable the "FEELS" jumped off the pages and right into my heart. How could you not fall in love with love?

Annika Martin has quickly become one of my favorite contemporary romance authors and her "Billionaire" titles may be just one of my favorites in the genre yet.

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review

Review will also be posted on Dreamland Book Blog on my blog tour date!

Profile Image for Buffyanna.
773 reviews28 followers
August 8, 2021
5 “Hot Pink Barbie” Stars

Why is this a 5 star rom-com? It’s because I loved the smart, funny, wounded heroine. Tabitha Evans is a mobile hairdresser who has had a crush on her weekly, high-powered Wall Street client for the past two and a half years. The unexpected opportunity to play the role of his fake fiancée on a two week super-yacht vacation is a dream come true, except Tabitha has learned the hard way that dreams don’t come true.

”Guys always put themselves first—you never want to depend on them, and you never ever put your heart in their hands.”

A special heroine needs a special hero and I loved the seriously misguided, but thankfully teachable, self-made billionaire. When Rex O’Rourke was making his wish list for a fake fiancée candidate, he listed all the attributes that “Rex Hates”. As his right-hand man comments “This is getting to be a specific list. Are you sure you don’t have anybody in mind...”. Well, Rex is not good with feelings. In fact, he gets them horribly confused. But like I said, he learns.

”When you’re in darkness, or when you’re cold, the senses register sudden warmth and light as pain. But it really just means that you were without those things for too long.”

These two were so kinetic and campy and adorable and sexy! Annika Martin’s writing is fun, fun, fun, and has the style and depth to bring out those tears of both hilarity and heartache. True enjoyment!


(My sincere review is based on an ARC version of this book.)
Profile Image for Jen (That's What I'm Talking About).
1,441 reviews254 followers
April 29, 2020
Tabitha owns her own mobile hair styling business, and for the past two years, she’s cut Rex’s hair at his office every Friday evening. She loves pushing his buttons, and while he’s a bit uptight, she’s been crushing on him since the start. Rex O’Rourke is a major financial player; when he talks, every body listens. He’s trying to win over the biggest account of his career, but in order to do so, he must spend two weeks on Gail Driscoll’s private yacht with his fiancée. The only problem? He isn’t engaged. Even though Tabitha is the antithesis of his ideal wife, she’ll make do for a fake fiancée.

The Billionaire’s Fake Fiancée is another delightful and riotous rom-com from Annika Martin. I adore Ms. Martin’s quirky, lovable characters. Her worlds are outrageous, but filled with real and tangible emotions. I absolutely adore Ms. Martin’s unrestrained humor. There is just something about the way she thinks and writes that draws me in and keeps me glued to my kindle from start to end.

This time around, heroine Tabitha, loves her soap operas and views life through a lens that is shaded by the drama and treachery of famous characters like Stephano DiMera (Days of Our Lives) and Dorian Lord (One Life to Live). I love how Tabitha thinks she recognizes lies and deceit in a certain character because of soap operas. But the best is that she knows how “things” always go down with fake relationships, and she tries to fight her feelings. It’s like she sees a train wreck about to happen, she tries to stop it by holding up a stop sign, but can’t prevent it. She knows it’s happening no matter what.

I love watching Rex change slowly. How he knows Tabitha is different, yet he wants to ignore the weird feelings she stirs within him. Yet, he can’t help but admire Tabitha, and he loves to push her buttons. He can’t help but get caught up in her. Let’s just say he does a beautiful thing because he loves Tabitha and it made my heart fill with joy.

While the pair may seem improbable, I enjoyed every minute of their journey. I loved my trip into the mad world of Tabitha and Rex. They are full of crazy energy and passion. They balance one another and together make an unstoppable team.

My Rating: A- Enjoyed A Lot
Review copy provided by author
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Profile Image for Annuccia Palmeri.
1,028 reviews61 followers
December 7, 2021
4,5 Non ci avrei scommesso molto su questo libro. Quando sento la parola "miliardario" ho paura di riprovare le sensazioni di noia di anni fa, eppure Annika Martin mi ha dimostrato che si può creare una storia molto bella anche usando plot e personaggi già abusati. Questo libro mi è piaciuto davvero tanto nella gestione dei tempi della relazione amorosa, sulla trama secondaria da "soap opera", direi assolutamente promosso.
Profile Image for Erin Lewis.
3,989 reviews116 followers
May 1, 2020
5 Star Review The Billionaire’s Fake Fiance by Annika Martin
Annika Martin is a new author to me and why I have not come across her books before, I have no idea. This was a well written and entertaining read that had me riveted from the first to the last chapter.
The writing was strong and the characters were easy to relate to and I found myself totally invested in Rex and Tabitha ’s story. This is a feel good book that left me with a smile on my face, it was also steamy and passionate. Rex ticked the boxes for me, hot as sin and an alpha who set my heart racing.
 
Rex is in need of a fiancee in a hurry to accompany him on a two week cruise and he is shocked to learn that his team have recruited his hairdresser, Tabitha to play the part. Tabitha on the other hand has to take a couple of weeks off work thanks t an injury so she agree to play the part.

This should be a straightforward proposition but it soon becomes complicated when the attraction between Rex and Tabitha becomes more real than fake. Tabitha also believes that she has a little “Jane Marple” in her and believes that something sinister or shady is happening on the yacht they are on. Could she be right or is it her overworked imagination?

As circumstances bring them together, the chemistry between them intensifies; I loved that how passionate and explosive Rex and Tabitha are. I also enjoyed the banter and fun between Rex and Tabitha and it made for an entertaining read.

What will happen when all is revealed? I enjoyed the banter and fun between Rex and Tabitha and it made for an entertaining read. If you are looking for a book that is hot, spicy, romantic and humorous, then look no further.
Profile Image for Sam (AMNReader).
1,225 reviews261 followers
August 18, 2021
This was the weakest I have read from Martin so far. I'm not bummed I read it, not at all, it made me chuckle - I kind of loved the fantasy, but it did skirt some of that left field deep emotion that her books can hit with.

I'll also say that I love the heroine is a "hairdresser" (heroine's preference) and as usual, Martin treated her profession with respect and depth. And I love that her billionaires work. There was a reference to competence porn in this book, which is a shelf I made when I started this series and I think has suited every one of the books. I also wouldn't mind a flip of the cinderella story, but it looks like the next one won't play out that way either.

Profile Image for Mefab✨.
362 reviews37 followers
September 9, 2021
I’m no Prince Charming, and the last thing I want is a Cinderella


Cover 1
Profile Image for Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog).
4,907 reviews153 followers
April 29, 2020




Grumpy, ruthless billionaire Rex needs a fake fiancée so he can close a deal. The last person he'd think to take that role is his complete opposite in every way, his sunshiney, Hello-Kitty loving hair stylist, Tabitha. But when the two are stuck on a yacht together, suddenly her happy personality doesn't just annoy him, it turns him on, too. Can they make a fake relationship into a real one? Or will it be back to their respective lives once off the yacht and the deal is closed?



I was really in the mood for something light-hearted and fun, and The Billionaire's Fake Fiancée fits that bill perfectly. Tabitha and Rex are complete opposites, but in an entertaining way. I love how much she tilted his world off its axis and brought him to his knees, even while he was struggling to contain his newfound feelings. All in all, this is a sexy, witty rom-com - just the thing to take your mind off the state of the world outside.



ARC via Social Butterfly PR for an honest review.

Review & Blog Tour: Live Through Books Blog.

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Profile Image for Zizie.
639 reviews21 followers
May 19, 2021
I’m head over heels in love with this series. I love all the books and the couples so far!!

Grumpy Rex and Sparkly Tabitha - Kitten and Mr Sternpants are just fabulous together, their banter, connection, chemistry and sexy times! Swoon + heart eyes emoji.
Profile Image for All Booked Out.
453 reviews17 followers
April 28, 2020
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Billionaire’s Fake Fiance is a hilarious, feel good romance that will have your belling aching from laughter. There hasn’t been a book of Annika’s that I haven’t loved and this book is no different.

Rex grew up in a not so stellar home life. He defied all odds and built and widely successful empire on his intelligence and determination. He is an alpha male through and through. I couldn’t help but fall in love with his gruff and surly personality and his constant growling.

Tabatha is a lover of all things sparkly, outrageously out there clothing and her pet hamster Seymour. She went through life being constantly let down by people who were supposed to love her, so she uses humour and fun to cover her sadness. I her wit, banter and hilarious sayings were fantastic. I loved her character so much.

Rex and Tabatha together were such a perfect much. Tabatha constantly surprises Rex with her bubbly and outgoing personality, to his more reserved and serious one. Their relationship starts out as a contract but their building feelings and chemistry are too intense to ignore and their love story was beautiful to read.

I was seriously laughing all through this book. There’s hilarious humour, a little bit of mystery and whole lot of fun. Such a great book.

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.
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