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Faking Forever

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Faking Forever is my favorite of all in Catherine Bybee’s First Wives series. It brought me back to the lighthearted writer that I knew - and loved - of the Not Quite series! To be clear, I’ve enjoyed the First Wives series, but it’s edgier, more cynical, and not at all like what I was used to. As I said before about this series...different isn’t bad, it’s just different. 

Shannon is the quiet, wounded member of the First Wives - a group of three divorced women who had marriages that were arranged, and then dissolved, at a predetermined time in exchange for a large sum of money. Whereas the other two members, Trina and Avery, really did have a marriage of convenience and walked away without any hard feelings, Shannon fell in love with her arranged husband. When he didn’t return her feelings, she walked away with $6 million and a bruised heart. She’s thrown herself into her photography business to keep busy, and has decided time is running short to have the family she desperately wants. With a job in Mexico to shoot a wedding, she hatchs a plan to extend her stay and find herself an anonymous (conceived the old fashioned way) baby daddy.

The wheels fall off her plan when, first Avery decides to tag along, and second, the left-at-the-altar groom falls for her.

Victor, the jilted groom, makes a terrible first impression on Shannon, and then accuses her of sabotaging his wedding. But then they manage to be staying at the same resort the week after the wedding, and get to know each other. Shannon discovers Victor isn’t exactly the workaholic he appeared, and Victor learns that maybe being left at the altar is for the best. When emotions between them start to spark, and Victor learns Shannon’s real reason for extending her stay in Mexico, they make a plan to go back home to their separate corners of Los Angeles and wait three months. 

This is perhaps the best storyline EVER. Because I LOVE when adults act like adults! Yeah, yeah, getting caught up in the moment is fun and marginally romantic. But what REALLY impresses me are characters who are intentional and mature. 

Of course, the road to happily-ever-after is always a little bumpy. Victor and Shannon both struggle to deal with the remnants of their pasts, and it colors the world they’re trying to create for themselves. But AGAIN, I love how this author deals with the conflicts - it’s realistic, dealt with in a realistic way (well, mostly…not all of us have the means to fly away at the drop of a hat!), without an excessive amount of drama and angst.

So even though this series hasn’t been as sweet and lighthearted as the Catherine Bybee I’ve known and loved, I’ve enjoyed this series. It’s a true testament to this author’s writing ability that she can get a little outside her usual style and still deliver a completely satisfying read. 

I thought Faking Forever would be the last book in the First Wives series, but just yesterday discovered there will be a fifth. And I couldn’t be more thrilled. This is an author I will squeal about when I’m approved for an ARC, so I’ll be actively watching for Say It Again. Even though the heroine in the final story has been a minor side-character throughout this series and I really don’t have much interest in her story, I don’t even care. I will read anything by Ms. Bybee, any day of the week!

* thank you to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review
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Really enjoy Catherine Bybees work and this is no exception.   This book was graciously provided via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Faking Forever is the fourth book in Catherine's First Wives series.  This installment to the series is very well written and enjoyable. The friendship between the group of ladies is something to envy.  I definitely recommend.
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This will be posted soon at Romance Reviews Today:
FAKING FOREVER – Catherine Bybee
First Wives, Book 4
Montlake Romance
ISBN: 978-1503905221
March 2019
Contemporary Romance
Tulum, Mexico & Los Angeles, California –Present Day
Shannon Wentworth is on her way to Mexico for her job as a wedding photographer when the guy next to her on the plane in first class turns out to be a jerk. She tells him off and figures she’ll never see him again. To her mortification, it turns out he’s the groom, Victor Brooks. Well, he still is a jerk and he’s also much older than the bride, who Shannon can see is having second thoughts about the marriage. Shannon has no compunction in telling the bride that it’s better to back out now than end up divorced. But even she is surprised when the bride ditches the wedding. Shrugging it off, Shannon goes to the next part of her trip to Mexico: finding a nameless man to be her baby daddy.
Victor is stunned when his bride, Corrie, dumps him at the altar and he goes on a drunken bender. It’s Shannon, the woman he met on the plane and with whom he clashed, who rescues him after he passes out. Victor decides to stick around Tulum for a few days and it ends up with him encountering Shannon again. Soon, Victor is attracted to her and the feelings are mutual. But is it too early for him to get involved with another woman? Shannon seems to think so and proposes that instead of hopping into bed together they wait ninety days and then date. Can they last that long?
Shannon was once in a marriage contract with a guy to help him get elected as the governor of California (she was the trophy wife). She fell in love with her husband but he wasn’t interested in her and divorced her as part of their contract. Shannon got a nice settlement and has built a career in photography, which is her love. But as she is now feeling her biological clock, she’s decided to have a baby. She just doesn’t want a man “attached” to her. But once Shannon meets Victor, she has to grapple with her decision. Not get pregnant and see where things go with Victor? Also, is he really over Corrie or using Shannon as a rebound relationship?
Victor is a successful businessman but somewhere along the way he missed out on romantic relationships and started looking around. He thought Corrie would be the perfect wife to be supportive of him and provide him with the children he wants. But was he ever in love with her? In a way, her ditching him at their wedding ceremony is a blessing because it gives him time to reflect on what he really wants. And it allows him to pursue the utterly beautiful and intriguing Shannon.  Both of them do not know where their affair will lead, but he wants it to start as soon as possible. The postponement of their lovemaking only amps up the heat and sexual chemistry between Victor and Shannon in FAKING FOREVER. But even as much as he is falling for her, a part of him wonders if there is any future for them.
FAKING FOREVER is the final book in the First Wives series by Catherine Bybee, but this can be read as a standalone without too much difficulty even as her three fellow first wives (though they’re now married) are integral to Shannon’s decisions regarding Victor. Shannon’s past has been dictated mostly by others and she thought that she was now in control of her life, but once she meets Victor, she doesn’t know what she wants. They are a likable couple and readers will be rooting for them to find happiness together. Don’t miss the entertaining and emotional FAKING FOREVER.

 Patti Fischer
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Catherine Bybee's First Wives Club series continues with Shannon Wentworth's story.  Shannon was an Alliance client and former first lady of California.  Once her husband had secured the governor's office, he no longer needed a dutiful wife and their contract came to an end.  Unfortunately for Shannon, she had come to love her husband so the demise of her marriage was devastating.  She buried herself in wedding photography work but her biological clock is ticking so she comes up with the over the top plan to find a baby daddy.

This installment has a great deal of humor along its side an enemies to lovers sweet romance. Shannon is a woman who is floating aimlessly in her life having lost her identity along with her marriage.  Her desire to be a mother the only focus she has without the balance the rest of her life needs.  She has forgotten her dreams and ambitions within the hurts of her world. Victor is a man who is just following the steps of life.  Be a good son, check. Succeed at work, check. Find a woman to marry, check.  These two are wandering through their lives versus living them.

This is a low drama story where the focus is on the introspection of the leads instead.  It shows the growth of a strong relationship through the growth of the people who build it.  A great choice of read if you want a funny, easy sweet with heat book.
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Hands down a simply wonderful book!  Full of hilarious humor, angst and passion- I just loved the chemistry of victor and Shannon!  I can’t wait to see more of these characters come to life in the series!
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Shannon is nearing 35 and divorced. She wants to be a mother but the clock is ticking so she plans to get pregnant from a one-night stand.

Victor is a workaholic and marriage is just a tick off a list to him. He is about to get married in Mexico, a wedding his wife hired Shannon as the photographer for. They first meet on their flight to Mexico, not pleasant for either of them. He is dumped at the altar and decides to spend his honeymoon all by himself. Shannon also stays back to execute her mission of getting pregnant.

I liked Victor and Shannon together. The banter and tension between them was great. Their flirting and fun times in Mexico were my favorite parts. The romance was completely believable.

But I have a serious problem with this story. Let me rewind to what I said right at the beginning – Shannon plans to get married from a one night stand without consulting the guy. Am I the only one who finds it so wrong? Getting pregnant involuntarily from a one-night stand is another thing. But intentionally engineering an encounter to get pregnant even if you never plan to see that man again? That’s just horrible! And what horrified me even more was how normally everyone took it when Shannon shared her plans with them. We find out about Shannon’s plan right at the beginning and I had to muster a lot of patience to continue. I also had other small quibbles with the book, but none as significant. I just couldn’t get past this one thing.

If you, unlike me, don’t mind such plot devices and are in mood for some breezy romance, you can give this book a try.
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Faking Forever is a well written romance.  I enjoyed the plot and the author’s writing.  I recommend this book.  I received an arc from the publisher via Netgalley and this is my unbiased review.
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It took me a minute to warm up to Faking Forever but once I did I was pretty much invested.
Shannon wants a baby and she’s pretty much given up on the idea of finding Mr. Right or Prince Charming or whatever else we call him, so she’s decided to get pregnant the old fashioned way, unsafe sex. 
The premise might leave you feeling a bit like you need a shower and I get it, I really do. But once you get over that hump and all the drama that happens beforehand, you’ll enjoy this read. Shannon and Victor didn’t get along from the moment they met but there were definite sparks.
Through the maneuvering of the man himself along with her friends, Shannon and Victor drop their walls and get to know each other. From there this was a mostly fun read that I enjoyed. The only thing that got in the way is my complete loathing of overly meddlesome friends and family in romance novels. It’s not cute or endearing, it’s just annoying. But Shannon didn’t mind so I tried not to, but it did affect my enjoyment of the book.
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This book made me laugh, I loved the banter between them. This is Shannon’s story the fourth book in the First Wives Series.

Shannon wants a baby and is determined to have a one night stand to get pregnant after her location job in Mexico as a photographer. Victor is the work aholic groom who is left stranded at the alter. Shannon and Victor had met on the flight to Mexico but neither knew who the other was until the rehearsal dinner. After the wedding is cancelled Shannon goes to her vacation spot to start searching for her one night stand and bumps into Victor who decided to go on his honeymoon alone.  This was an enjoyable refreshing read. 
Thank you Netgalley for this arc
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ARC received via Net Galley for an honest review. 

 Shannon's story is book 4 in the First Wives series and I have been looking forward to reading her story from the very start.

There are  4 women in the series, 5 if you count Sasha, which I do. Are very different. It was so nice reconnecting with all the women of the First Wives Club and getting an update on their lives.

Shannon Wentworth’s wants a baby nothing is going to get in her way. She will do whatever is necessary have one.and her wedding-photography business is going to help it to do just that. Shannon is booked to do a destination wedding in Mexico. This is where she has concocted a plan to have a one night stand to get pregnant. Where no one knows the former governors wife. Let the antics begin.

Victor Brooks is the groom who does not make it down the aisle. From the beginning there is some serious heat between these two.
There really are some laugh out loud moments like most of Catherine’s books. I am hard pressed to pick a favorite from this series. So excited to read Sasha’s story.
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Oh my gosh, this is an excellent book!  I was up all night reading it. It would be hard saying anything about it without blowing it out of the water!  I can say this is Shannon and Victor’s story.  She is the last of the First Wives. Don’t wait to buy this book or you will definitely wish you hadn’t waited. It caught me from the first page!  

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley.
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ARC received via Netgalley for an honest review

I have been waiting for Shannon's story since the series began, and Catherine Bybee did not disappoint.

I went into this story pretty blind, other than it being Shannon's story, I didn't know a thing about it. I knew it would be wonderful being part of this series, and that was all I needed to know.

We get insight into her past, delved into her mind for what she wanted for her future, and got to love her and the First Wives even more.

My heart hurt for her as she tried to move on from her divorce and back into her true passions. The passion she found on the job though was not expected. I loved seeing her come out of her shell and into the forefront of the First Wives - she has always been a little in the background as the other ladies are such big personalities. Now she takes the lead, and what a story she gives us.

I laughed, I cried, I truly enjoyed this story, and I can't wait for Sasha's story.
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I have been waiting for Shannon's story since the series began, and Catherine Bybee did not disappoint.

I went into this story pretty blind, other than it being Shannon's story, I didn't know a thing about it. I knew it would be wonderful being part of this series, and that was all I needed to know.

We get insight into her past, delved into her mind for what she wanted for her future, and got to love her and the First Wives even more.

My heart hurt for her as she tried to move on from her divorce and back into her true passions. The passion she found on the job though was not expected. I loved seeing her come out of her shell and into the forefront of the First Wives - she has always been a little in the background as the other ladies are such big personalities. Now she takes the lead, and what a story she gives us.

I laughed, I cried, I truly enjoyed this story, and I can't wait for Sasha's story.
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4 Stars
Catherine Bybee seems to do no wrong with this series. She creates characters fully developed and I love the bonds her posse has for her. This takes the enemies to lovers troupe with a 3 month waiting period- perfect.
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Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book. An easy to read, feel good book with a strong storyline, albeit somewhat predictable. 
I have read quite a few books by this author and they are good books to read for a bit of escapism. The characters are well developed and the romance is pitched at the right level.
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Yes! This was exactly what I hoped for and I read it in one sitting. Escaping a cold, rainy February day in New Jersey and being transported to the beaches of Tulum was perfect.

I loved reconnecting with all four women of the First Wives Club and getting to see Shannon’s story. I had an idea of what I thought hers would be but it was totally different than I expected.

I laughed out loud multiple times and couldn’t put the book down until I finished. Loved spending my evening with Shannon and the other ladies! I think this was my favorite of the series.

Thank you to Netgalley and Montlake Romance for the advance reading copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Shannon Wentworth’s biological clock is ticking, and she isn’t going to let her single status keep her from having a baby. When her wedding-photography business takes her to Mexico, she has every intention of finding a willing baby daddy to help her out. Until the bride goes AWOL, leaving Shannon to coddle the arrogant fiancé who has accused her of sabotaging his wedding.

Victor Brooks never could have imagined that he’d be on a honeymoon for one. Only here he is, taking a hard look at his life after the younger women he thought he loved walked out. The woman who volunteers to help him reflect is the last person he expects to be attracted to. Between the tequila, the sun, and one earth-shattering kiss, Victor finds Shannon a distraction too sexy to ignore.

They strike a deal: wait three months, cool off, and see if their tropical beach attraction is worth taking up when they go back home. Unfortunately, that’s just enough time for the past to come calling. All their best-laid plans are at risk. So is the last thing Shannon expected to matter the most: her heart.
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I just realized that this was my 19th Bybee book. Obviously, there is something about her books that keeps me coming back, and all those things were well represented in Faking Forever.

I had been eagerly awaiting Shannon's story. She was one of the few, who actually fell in love during her arranged marriage, but unfortunately, the feeling wasn't mutual. I so wanted her to move past her heartbreak and find her HEA, and I absolutely adored the man she was paired with.

Victor seemed an unlikely match for Shannon given the circumstances under which they met. Shannon found him quite repugnant, and even felt that his bride deserved better. But, Shannon discovered a very different side of Victor during their time in Tulum, and that was the Victor she wanted to know better.

The growth both Victor and Shannon experienced was great. Shannon opened up and shed her quiet and reserved girl persona. She began speaking up and demanding more attention, while also opting for the less "safe" choices. Shannon said goodbye to her past and starting moving towards her future, and I fell short of doing a slow clap for her. Seriously, I was really proud. Meanwhile, Victor began putting more time into his personal relationships and being more honest with those around him as he started to see his future being about more than his business. It was fabulous seeing the contrast between how he was with Shannon and how he had been with his ex. It really clearly displayed how genuine his feelings were for Shannon.

Other things I really liked:

• I had a lot of fun in Mexico with Shannon, Victor, and the rest of their Tulum crew. 
• This group of women have such a wonderful and fierce female friendship. The way they drop what they are doing to come to each other's aid or how they will support one another, even if they don't agree with them was a beautiful thing. 
• It was terribly fun having all the couples so present in this story. This first wives family has grown over the course of the series, and I was thrilled to see them all settling into their HEAs. 
• The 3 month countdown! 
• The ending was so fun! What a nice way to send the group off into sunset. 

Overall: A mighty fine ending for a series, that gave me fabulous heroines, great heroes, and heartwarming HEAs.
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This was a wonderful book, full of fun and interesting characters (and some nutcases too).  A wedding photographer clashes with the groom, the bride to be is not happy, the bride's mother is a nightmare and it keeps going from there.  Drama, romance, more drama, and misunderstandings all come together to make one great story.

I got this book from NetGalley for an honest review
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