This first book in the Shore Leaves series by Annabeth Albert is a sweet, light-hearted, low angst, fake-dating mm romance between a submarine chief and an adorkable musician, with some of my favorite tropes; fake-dating, opposites attract and falling for best friend’s younger sibling.
When his big brother calls, Arthur Euler agrees to help his brother’s friend, Navy Chief Derrick Fox, out with a plan to make his cheating ex boyfriend jealous. Giving Derrick a home-coming kiss doesn’t seem like much of a deal. But when the whole Euler family is there and so happy for the two being involved and invites Derrick to the annual family holiday, Arthur and Derrick find themselves pushed into continuing the charade for much longer than expected. But how fake are the feelings they have for each other, really? Arthur has a rule about not dating military men and Derrick is done with relationships, but they decide to take this fake dating opportunity to practice being better boyfriends for the future. But as the days go by, it all seems more and more like real love…
This was such a cute, sweet and fast read! I love the adorkable Arthur and the big Euler family. I also loved the way Derrick made Arthur feel seen and always stood up for him against his competitive family.
I had some issues with the pacing though. It was strangely enough both too slow and too fast. I’d wished for the attraction between Derrick and Arthur to have been allowed to take a little longer, but on the other hand, the family holiday with their constant pining and all focus on the bed-sharing issue felt a bit too drawn out, if that makes any sense…
But all in all, this was a highly enjoyable and cute read with two tropes that I love: fake-dating and opposites attract, plus a wonderful big, chaotic and loving family. It’s one of those stories that will make you smile and warm your heart!
Thank you to Carina Adores for the ARC and blog tour invitation! All opinions are my own and I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Alwyn Hamilton Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.G. Drews Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray John Green Julianne Donaldson Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Williamson Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Mackenzi Lee Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally M. Tasia Nancy Garden Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Teagan Hunter T.J. Klune Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard Yamile Saied Méndez