Cover Image: Too Good to Be Real

Too Good to Be Real

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Member Reviews

This was SO MUCH FUN. If you're a fan of rom-com movies -- and you probably are if this book piqued your interest in the first place -- you're going to really enjoy this one. It's a fun, quick read and the characters are easy to root for.
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This is an adorable and amusing book. And what a great idea! Julia is a reporter and needs a story to save her job. She finds a gem of a story in the form of a hotel that lets people live through a simulated rom-com atmosphere (the name of the hotel is Notting Hill! I love it). Anyway, Luke is the developer and he and his sister and friend spearheaded development of this activity. Luke needs the bonus in order to start his own game development company. When he meets Julia, he decides to join the game. I laughed a lot at the hijinks, the thriving seagulls, the corgis, and also, the fact that Luke and Julia are written as normal people- not particularly in shape or gorgeous or good at everything. I thought it progressed a little bit slowly towards the end and it was kind of insta-love (I mean the game only lasted like a week!) which goes against the realness of the characters but otherwise, the story was so much fun!
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This book was a little cheesy for my taste (even though I expected some of that based on the rom-com element). I did love the characters and their development, and the relationship between Luke and Julia was incredibly sweet, I kept wanting to read more about them!
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A good rom com read! 

The chemistry between Julia and Luke throughout the story kept it going for me. This is a vacation rom com read and the first line had me hooked. A great read!
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What a cute and fun rom com!! I loved everything about this book! The cute dog, the sexy vibes, and the banter!! Highly recommend!!
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Oh how I love a good Melonie Johnson rom-com.  This one is a rom-com come to life.  When three friends go on holiday to a resort where their business is making rom-com dreams come true.  Julia is a reporter who gets the assignment to go undercover at the resort to see if it is for real and as much fun as they say.  This is such a fun story and a true rom-com!
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Too Good To Be Real was set in a romcom resort. Fun right? Imagine getting to reenact some of your favorite romcom scenes with other guests - you could just meet the "one" there and have your own meet cute! I won't say much about this book as I do feel the concept was great but it overshadowed the actual romance storyline in the book. I didn't feel much chemistry between the two main characters either.
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This book didn't work for me, which was such a disappointment! The characters were really bland, which made it hard to keep them separated in my head. I struggled a lot in the beginning when the main character was with her friends, mainly because I couldn't keep track of who the main character was! There was nothing in the writing or her characterization that made her stand out, and even as the book went on this didn't change. The romance was okay, but I didn't feel much between them. Ultimately, it just didn't work for me.
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This was a cute romance featuring Julia, a writer for a popular website, and Luke, a software developer who's helping create a new rom-com resort. 

Fed up with dating apps and unsolicited d**k pics, Julia's friends Kat and Andie long for life to be just a bit more like a romantic comedy. Julia's more of a skeptic when it comes to romance, but she needs to save her job by creating content for her company's new "Take Me" travel segment. So, the three of them head to the resort.

The resort's guests and the many rom-com references were the highlights of this read for me. I liked that Luke came off as dorky, but I didn't quite feel the chemistry between the two romantic leads. It was almost like this was a movie in which the leads were miscast, and that kept taking me out of the story. To be sure, insta-love isn't a favorite trope of mine -- you may enjoy Too Good to Be Real more if that's a go-to for you!
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This was such a feel-good and unique story! Full of interesting and relatable characters, lovable fluffy corgies, and of course the needed villain too. And plenty of smoking hot steamy scenes too. I grew to love Melonie's writing with the Sometimes in Love trilogy and I can't wait to see what's next from her :)
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I am a devout romance reader and rom-com movie lover! Imagine visiting a resort where the greatness of rom-coms is brought to life. In Too Good to Be Real, a love skeptic and writer may just find real love where she least expects it.

Too Good to Be Real is truly an ode to rom-coms. It featured so many connections or mentions of popular rom-coms like When Harry Met Sally and Notting Hill and I loved seeing all of those as part of the story and remembering some of my favorite movies. There were many laugh-out-loud moments and the writing style was very witty. As much as I wanted to love this story, I just didn’t feel the chemistry and connection with the main characters which is a deal breaker for me. Since this was my first book by this author, I would definitely be up for trying more of her books though. I think fans of rom-coms and Austenland could enjoy this one.

Thank you so much to St. Martins Press and Netgalley for my gifted copy! All opinions are my own.
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I love Melonie Johnson's writing and this might be my new favorite from her! This book was so much fun. I cannot wait to read more from this world!
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A writer for a popular website, Julia has to come up with a perfect pitch when impending layoffs threaten her job security. Racing the clock that’s ticking closer to unemployment, Julia stumbles upon a resort that offers its guests a chance to live out their rom-com dreams. For Julia, who might write fun, flippy articles about love but kind of has been dealt some shitty cards when it comes to her own romantic life, this sounds like the perfect idea—spend a week in a fantasy rom-com world with her best friends, write the article of a lifetime, and secure her future. When a not-so-cute meet cute with Luke, who’s also at the resort, turns Julia’s love life upside down, Julia will have to ask herself if a fantasy romcom experience could turn into a real-life happily ever after.

Too Good to Be Real has all the classic rom-com tropes that readers will rejoice over—an awkward yet kind of hilarious meet-cute, hidden identities, swoony kisses in the rain, and lots of puns that lead to happily ever after.
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Heat Factor: It’s every Rom Com you’ve ever watched in book form. No, seriously.
Character Chemistry: Of course it’s instantaneous and soul-shaking on a cellular level. Have you never watched a Rom Com?
Plot: Julia the journalist is facing layoffs at the office--so she proposes an article reviewing a resort specialising in providing that sweeping Rom Com experience. Luke is the developer responsible for programming the Rom Com experience--but when he realizes who the journalist is, he decides to role play her love interest for REAL. You can imagine how that goes.
Overall: This book is a totally fun and ridiculous romp.

If you’re a fan of romantic comedies, you probably know that they’re as full of tropes and ridiculously effective mushy gimmicks as any romance novel. Predictable? Maybe. But satisfying? Oh, yes. Totally.

In this fresh dish of cute and funny, we have Julia the journalist. In order to save her job from layoffs, she’s proposed to visit and review a resort catering to those who love Rom Coms. The resort strategically provides all those little moments that make your heart swell in the movies: meet cutes, stolen moments, awkward encounters, etc. It’s essentially a very curated Live Action Role Play scenario. Luke, his best friend, and his sister are the team behind those moments. Hired to program the bones of the set up, Luke has always been at a distance from the actual role play. But when he learns that they’re about to be visited by a journalist, and runs into her on a beach (hello, meet cute), Luke decides to pretend he’s just a guest like any other in order to ensure Julia has the best possible experience. 

Here’s what made me swoon over this book: the author sets up all these classic rom com moments and then lists off all the movies that feature them. For example, dessert the first night is, of course, warmed apple pie with strawberry ice cream on the side. (When Harry Met Sally, anyone?) It’s like a treasure trove of little moments, both done subtly for your glee only and unpacked by the characters. It oozes adorable.

In order to make it more relatable though, the author makes the main characters...well...normal. Too normal? Maybe. The peripheral characters practically exploded with personality, but our main characters could have been anyone in your college English class. Luke is a computer nerd who likes to game, so his wardrobe consists of t-shirts with video game characters on them and jeans. He’s not tan, he doesn’t have muscles, and he says “whoops-a-daisy”. Honestly though? I melt. He’s just sweet.

Julia is witty and fun, and she quits a 45 minute hike because she’s out of shape. Relatable? Yes. Plus, I was sold on this book the moment I read the dialogue between her and her friends. This author is like the president of “show don’t tell”. The way these friends banter felt easy and unforced. They’re a little pushy and don’t have much patience for BS. But you can feel the loyalty and protectiveness without overt and tired statements. It’s just realistic and inviting, and it’s easy to fall into.

Now, did the rom com love fest overshadow the romance between Julia and Luke? Maybe a little bit. But I was gleefully enjoying it anyway, so I had a difficult time docking it too much. I’d put it at Failure to Launch more than Ten Things I Hate About You. I had a really fun time reading it, but I wasn’t kept up all night dying to finish it. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

This review is also available at The Smut Report.
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This cute story follows Julia, a writer that is sent to a retreat for her newest article. While she’s very skeptical of love she is in for a suprise. This story follows two points of views, Julia and Luke’s, as the two of them cross paths and hide their true identity from each other.

Luke and Julia are really adorable in this story. They are both skeptics and also lovers of rom-coms.  The other characters are all romance lovers as well and make great secondary characters to pull the story together. They all bring something new to the story.
With everything at the resort being themed for a romance lovers fantasy, it makes for the perfect setting. I love all the references to certain movies and scenarios based on them. The story as a whole has a lot going on throughout without any real room for filler or a dull moment. It’s an almost perfect rom com in book form and makes you wish a place like this truly did exist.

I received a copy through netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
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Melonie Johnson was a featured author on the blog, through an exclusive interview. You can see the interview here:

She was also a guest during our weekly virtual book club in early August.
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I found this really boring unfortunately, and I’ve just decided to DNF it. I’m not connecting to any of the main or side characters (and honestly there are so many, and each one feels generic), and I’m really not liking the pacing either. There’s also an insta-love/love-at-first-sight feel to the main characters’ first meeting, and I just like more of a slow burn personally. (DNF'd at 14%)
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I thought that was going to be a cute rom com in book form. However that I was not what I got. To me there was too much drama, and the heroine and her best friend got on my nerves from the first sentence. And by the halfway point of the book I still couldn't stand the heroine. Which in a rom com  you've got to at least warmed up to her by the halfway point or at the very least understand where she coming from. This wasn't the case. This book wasn't for me but fans of rom com's who don't mind the drama would enjoy this one.
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Thank you to @netgalley and @stmartinspress for giving me the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
The idea behind this book was extremely creative. Let's admit it, we've all watched rom coms and wanted to be apart of them! 
I liked each of the main characters individually and many of the supporting characters. The romance aspect was slightly dull but overall I enjoyed the book.
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Julia Carpenter is ready to give up on love. Dating apps have replaced the organic, old-fashioned type meetings, and she’s over it.

But, her job is in jeopardy, and in a moment of desperation, she convinces her boss to let her pitch an idea for their new travel-inspired segment on the website she works for. In her research for a truly great idea, she stumbles across a resort on Lake Michigan that offers its guests the full rom-com experience. Of course her boss loves the idea, and Julia talks the owner into allowing her friends to come along.

Moments after stepping foot on the resort’s property, Julia literally runs right into Luke. Both are hiding things from each other, but they can’t deny there’s a major spark between them, something that keeps drawing them together. The following week includes a karaoke serenade, kissing in the rain, and a pair of super aggressive seagulls. Julia and Luke fall hard and fast inside this fantasy bubble, but what will happen when they’re back in the real world?

I absolutely adored this setting. An entire resort dedicated to allowing people to live out their wildest rom-com-inspired dreams? Where do I sign up? Julia and Luke seem like an unlikely pair. Julia is a writer, a creative type. Luke is a programmer, a control-freak. The one thing these two have in common is that they don’t believe the experience could change their minds about love. But it does, and what ensues is sweet, funny, incredibly heartfelt, and also a little spicy! This book read exactly like all of my favorite rom-com movies. From the meet-cute to the grand gesture, I loved every single page.
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