Too Good to Be Real

A Novel

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Pub Date 06 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 20 Jul 2021
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Griffin


"The stuff of rom-com fantasies come to life." - Entertainment Weekly

"The perfect combination of sweet, sexy, and make-you-grin moments." - Lyssa Kay Adams, author of The Bromance Book Club

"An ode to everything we love about rom-coms." - Alexis Daria, author of You Had Me at Hola

She plans to prove there's a dozen reasons why life isn't like a romantic comedy, only to discover the one reason it is…

While her friends wish for meet cutes worthy of their favorite rom-coms, Julia is ready to give up on love. Swiping right has replaced getting swept off your feet and good old-fashioned romance has become, well, old-fashioned.

A writer for a popular website, love becomes the last thing on her mind when impending layoffs threaten her job. As Julia searches for the ultimate pitch to impress her boss, she stumbles upon a resort offering guests a chance to live out their romantic comedy dreams. Real life dating is so bleak, who wouldn't want to spend a week in a fantasy rom-com world with your best friends?

At the resort, Julia literally falls into a not-quite-meet-cute involving an aggressive seagull and an adorably awkward guy named Luke who is also participating in the rom-com experience. Julia hides the fact she is there to do a story, but Luke harbors a few secrets of his own. Among further encounters with thieving seagulls, a gaggle of corgis, kisses in the rain, and even a karaoke serenade, their feelings deepen quickly. But could their love be real when they haven't been honest about their true identities? Once the fantasy is over, can they have a relationship in the real world?

In her trade paperback debut, Melonie Johnson brings her signature humor, sexy romance, and strong female friendships in this hilarious romantic comedy about finding perfectly imperfect love, Too Good to Be Real.

"The stuff of rom-com fantasies come to life." - Entertainment Weekly

"The perfect combination of sweet, sexy, and make-you-grin moments." - Lyssa Kay Adams, author of The Bromance Book Club

"An ode to...

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ISBN 9781250768803
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Average rating from 414 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC of this novel. This book was such a fun summer read. This books takes place over a week at a rom com role playing event being hosted by a small beach town hotel. Prior to this book I had never heard of this trope being used in novels and I actually really enjoyed all the references to popular rom coms and made it easily possible for me to be transported alongside the characters on this adventure. Throughout the book we not only see the blossoming romance between Luke and Julia, but we get to experience seeing the side characters find their match and some of them aren't even human (seagulls). This novel also touches upon the struggles of finding yourself in your career and working towards the things that actually bring you joy. My favorite parts of the book were always when the characters let the environment of what they were experiencing take over, and it was in those moments when you truly saw what was important to these characters. Overall I enjoyed this novel and fell in love with all the characters.

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I LOVE rom-coms. Especially the classic Rom-Com Movies of the 80's and 90's, Bridget Jone's Diary, Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, and I could go on and on. This book takes you on an adventure I only wish could be real! It all starts with 3 young women that end up getting a complimentary stay at a resort that literally creates immersive romantic comedy experiences. WHAT?! Is this place for real? Where can I sign up?
Fittingly named, Knotting Hill resort hosts Rom-Com Experiences and is kind of a fun play on the LARPing world, only instead of Kings and Knights, there are popular rom-com tropes, dreamy actors, and a week of rom-com activities. The only's all fantasy.
Love is dead, is the philosophy of our Heroine, Julia. Until she literally stumbles into a guy on the beach when she first arrives at the resort, a literal meet-cute. The romance and the comedy ensue as the week unfolds. But like all good things, the week must come to an end, and Julia finds herself struggling with feelings in the real world for someone she met in the fantasy of the Knotting Hill Resort. I don't want to spoil the end, but let's just say it doesn't end like My Best Friend's Wedding. All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was cute, and sexy and had corgis-what's not to love?!

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Like a cream filling hidden in a pastry, we have so many delicious layers to this story!

I absolutely adore the premise of this book! Facing layoffs, Julia makes a last-ditch pitch to review a new resort that is hosting a Rom-Com LARP. Bringing along her two besties for the week, she's determined to get the inside scoop and have a little fun along the way.

Luke is the Game Master, the one who's pulling all the strings to give the guests an unforgettable experience. Along with his best friend and his sister, his team has planned every rom-com trope imaginable into an event-filled week that is sure to fulfill more than a few fantasies.

Set along Chicago's lakeshore, the laughs start immediately with Luke and Julia's first meeting that was crashed by a maniacal seagull. There is plenty of humor throughout the book but the author also does an amazing job of focusing on the deep, emotional issues involved.

There are more rom-com references than you can shake a stick at. Johnny Castle? Check. Meg Ryan? Check. Secret identities? Check and double check. The way all these were worked into the story was simply brilliant, and really elevated this to so much more than a traditional rom-com. It's a beautiful tribute to the genre itself.

As expected, there are plenty of romances happening here in addition to Luke and Julia's. Their HEA is perfectly life-changing, and theirs isn't the only one. I loved every character, even Zach, and I loved every single page of this vibrant, enthralling story. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.

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I’m not a big fan of rom-com films; I think, for the most part, they’re cheesy. But I do like romantic novels on occasion -- if they’re well-written with likable, interesting characters. Too Good to Be Real fits that bill with Julia and Luke, as well as a pair of scene-stealing seagulls and a crew of corgis.

Julia, a writer making a last ditch effort to avoid being downsized, goes undercover to review a new rom-com themed resort where she (literally) runs into adorkable Luke, who along with his sister and best friend are in charge of the live action role play at the Wisconsin lake-front hotel. When they meet, of course neither Luke nor Julia reveal their true reasons for being at the resort, which results in a moral dilemma for each of them as they grow closer to one another and things get complicated.

Overall, Too Good to Be Real is an enjoyable read. Julia and Luke are sweet and cute; the side plots with Julia’s besties and Luke’s sister keep things interesting, and the resort’s owner, Ms. Weatherspoon, is hilariously goofy. There are copious references to to rom-coms new and old, so whether you enjoy your romance in print or on celluloid, you are likely to find Too Good to Be Real a fun read.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you Melonie. I needed a book like this!
It was "light and airy". It was funny and it was a break from reality that I needed. Please write more like this.
And again, I loved all the movie references.
To be honest, I'd love to stay at a hotel like the one in this book. A get a way from everyday life.

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Love the premise of this story -- the main character is a writer, disillusioned by her "bleak" dating experiences, who is offered the opportunity of a free stay at a unique resort in exchange for her review. The mission of the resort is to provide a fantasy, perfect romance. So, lots of fun, and written with humor and wit.

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I have been wanting to read this book since I discovered it on Goodreads and I am ecstatic to have received an advanced reader copy. Thank you so much to St. Martin's Griffin and NetGalley.

First, can we please talk about the gorgeous cover? My eyes have been blessed and I can't wait to get my hands on a physical copy so I can appreciate its beauty firsthand.

This is my first time reading the author Melonie Johnson's work and I really appreciate how she was able to create characters that were so easy to love. I want to be friends with every character in this book.

Too Good to be Real is a good ol' rom-com based on a fresh concept. The protagonist, Julia, in an attempt to not get laid off from her job as as writer for a popular magazine, pitches the perfect idea to her boss: she will take a trip to the newly inaugurated Notting Hill Resort which offers guests a chance to LARP their ultimate romantic comedy fantasies. There, Julia literally stumbles into an awkward yet adorable guy named Luke but can true feelings emerge even when everything is a set-up?

This book is really too cute! I would highly recommend.

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this was a really cute and sweet contemporary!! i really enjoyed getting to read this AND getting to read it early! pick this one up when it's out! thanks so much, netgalley!!

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I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book prior to its release because it was a perfect read.

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This book was adorable, at first I wasn't sure because it going pretty fast but it was so good. The ending was so cute and such a good parallel to the beginning of the book.

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Julia can’t get laid off from her job at Trendlist. She’ll do anything to keep it - including take an assignment that brings her to Notting Hill, a resort promising to have your week’s stay feel like a romantic comedy.

The chances of finding true love at a manufactured event are slim to none, but when she runs into Luke on the beach, there was something undeniable... right? Told in dual perspectives, and crammed full of fun romcom references, Too Good To Be Real is the perfect escape.

This book has so much going on - antics, secrets, drama and even thieving seagulls. The paintball scene was my fave, and I especially loved the empty nester couple who came to rekindle their spark. Also, LARPing but in a contemporary romance setting? We stan.

If you’re looking for a carefree summer romance, looks like you found it!

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Too Good to Be Real was a delight!

Great rom-com.

I loved the characters, especially Julia. When she comes upon a resort that specializes in having their guest live out their romantic comedy dreams she can't help but join. How can you not love this book? It has seagulls, corgis, kisses in the rain, and of course Luke.

Highly recommend Too Good to Be Real!!

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Too Good to Be Real by Melonie Johnson was too good for words! I LOVED this book! Three best friends staying at a charming rom-com inspired resort with hijinx and handsome leading men, what's not to love? The writing was smart and sweet! This book leans into the rom-com tropes, but doesn't feel totally fantasy. I loved the realness of the world Johnson created and would visit Notting Hill Resort in a heartbeat if it was real! Please write a follow up book I need to spend more time with these characters!

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What a cute storyline. Julia winds up at a resort that promises to make you feel like you’re in a romantic comedy.
Surprisingly, it is because of her worry about job security that leads her there. She offers to go write an article about Notting Hill (the resort) and their rom com experience.
She might also be a bit cynical about love and wondering if even she can enjoy the experience.
She certainly isn’t counting on meeting Luke the minute she shows up there with her friends.

Luke wasn’t planning for his kind of meet cute with Julia either. This is his place of work after all. He isn’t one of the actors but he does work for the resort abc wasn’t going to be part of the “game” as they call it. But he thinks Julia’s friend is the reviewer and he thinks it’s best to keep close to the group of women to make sure they have a good time and a good review is written.

Lines get blurry as the girls start wondering if they are actually falling for the men at the resort. They can’t tell exactly what parts are true either because the whole rom com experience is a game. How can they trust their feelings?

With Julia and Luke both intentionally misrepresenting themselves to each other, it’s putting quite an obstacle in the path of something that could be the real thing.

I thought the recreations of popular scenes from rom coms was quite cute. I watch a lot of them and I hadn’t even noticed his common some of the storylines are.

I’d like to recommend that if you like the idea of this storyline that you should definitely, definitely read Austenland and also Well Met (and the other books in that series).

I won a copy of the physical book from Goodreads and an ebook copy from NetGalley. Thanks! I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another book in this series set at the same resort at Christmastime.

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This book was adorable! I never thought I'd end up reading a romcom about romcoms, but here I am. And I regret nothing. This was worth every minute I spent on it!

My favorite part of this isn't even the characters. It's not the plot. It's a pair of seagulls named Bonnie and Clyde. It's our cockblocking friends who made a living off of theft. It's the seagulls that brought our characters together. In case you don't get it yet, I love these guys. Every time they showed up on the page, I knew it was about to be a fun scene.

I figure that's enough about the seagulls, and I should probably discuss the romance. Like every other romcom, the romance is pure fluff. Fluff is a good thing though! This was a super quick read, and it kept me hooked the entire time. Luke and Julia had so many iconic romcom moments, which I loved. I also loved that they communicated, and their problems weren't dragged on.

Finally, Mrs. W made this book even better than it would've been otherwise. She was an absolute character, and between her corgis and fashion sense, I was dying every time she stepped onto the page. Seriously, I'd read an entire book about her alone.

If you're in the mood for a fluffy romance, I'd definitely recommend this! It had all of the iconic moments I look for in romcoms, and added it's own special flare to them. I'll definitely end up rereading this one!

Thanks to Melonie Johnson and Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

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Okay that was a lot of fun. It was a rom-com on steroids! It highlights so many of my favorite things about rom-coms. A light and fun summer read that is guaranteed to leave the reader smiling. Great dialogue and fun characters and situations.

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Your one-stop shop for humor, steam, and corgi butts. There's no point lying about the fact that I requested this book from NetGalley based solely on the corgi on the cover and didn't even read the description. Thankfully, I was not disappointed.

There are a lot of great things in <i>Too Good to Be Real</i>, but my favorite element was the humor. Talk about putting the com in rom-com! Melonie Johnson's dialogue and situations had me laughing out loud. If there's one thing you should read this book for, it's the seagulls. Every time the seagulls showed up, I ended up in a fit of giggles. The sheer goofiness of so many situations encountered by the main characters brought me pure joy. As someone who grew up in Wisconsin and has made a similar mistake, I got an extra kick out of Julia deciding to swim in Lake Michigan in June. If you know, you know.

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This was such an adorable fun read. I loved every minute of it, and I couldn’t put it down! The romance between Luke and Julia was written so well! This story made me smile so many times, and laugh as well. Definitely recommended for romance readers!

Thank you Netgallery for this arc!

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This super-cute book gives readers all the 'warm and fuzzies' of a great rom-com! It's chock full of fun movie references and self-aware trope characters. While the the story follows the predictable rom-com plot journey, it is still a hoot to read and a great escape from these crazy COVID times. Be sure to make it your next beach, or staycation, read! Thank you to NetGelley for the opportunity to read and review.

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This book was fast paced and fun laugh out loud book that I think would be perfect as a beach read or vacation read. The characters are likable both individually and together. There were many great laugh out loud moments that made me really enjoy the story.

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Too Good to Be Real is a fast paced, sweet and funny beach read! Julia and Luke were both likable and their romance was sweet. However, the best part to me was both of the trios (Kat, Andie and Jules & Luke, Pen and Jay.) The conversations the girls have throughout the book are hilarious! (I mean the first sentence in the book is gold.)

Of course, I loved all the rom-com movie references and tropes throughout the novel!

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

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As a romance reader, you often wish that most of the meet cutes you read about could happen in real life, right?! What if there was a resort where you could play out a rom-com? Would you attend?

With another round of layoffs coming, website writer Julia is open to anything to keep her job. A resort that simulates popular rom-coms? Why not! After literally falling into a meet cute that isn’t so cute, Julia meets adorkable computer programmer Luke. As they meet, Julia hides the fact that she’s there to write a story on the resort. What she doesn’t know is that he’s hiding secrets from her as well.

I adored this book. Julia and Luke were fun characters and I found myself laughing with some of their awkwardness and humor! The idea of Too Good to Be Real is such a breath of fresh air and I loved the originality of it!

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4.5 out of 5 stars!

Wanting to save her career, the heroine goes to a rom-com at a resort where the hero works at, their first interaction is under a misunderstanding. Their consequential interactions deepens their own relationship as time passed away. But how will the couple react as the initial misunderstanding unravels...

I enjoyed this Melonie Johnson book. I liked the couple as individuals and together. The couple each have wonderful friends who have their backs. The animals mentioned in the book were prominent within their roles and some secondary characters were entertaining. The author's vibe is enjoyable and the story is pleasing to read. Definitely will read more books from the author in the future.

**Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy. All opinions and thoughts in the review are my own.**

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This was a laugh out loud read that I really enjoyed! Julia and her two friends spend a week at Notting Hill, a week-long immersive retreat into the world of romantic comedy movies such as When Harry Met Sally, Sex and the City, Bridget Jones Diary and more. Julia hits it off with Luke, and the two end up living their own version of romantic comedy (and there's a little bit of heat thrown in the mix!), and Julia's friends end up having some adventures of their own.

For the most part I really loved the story. The idea of going to a one-week retreat based on romantic-comedy movies/stories was so much fun, and in a lot of ways, the story followed a plot of a rom-com movie (which I'm sure was the point). I wasn't completely blown away by the writing, but the book caught my attention quickly and had me literally laughing at times, so I'm glad I read it.

If you're in the mood for a fun, quick read, this is a good choice: there are cases of mistaken identity, love at first sight, a thieving seagull couple, lots of corgis and great movie references.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the chance to review this ARC!

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This was a fun book to read. You will laugh out reading this book and fall in love all at the same time. I love the idea of a rom-com fantasy week to go to at a resort. Who wouldn't love to go and have a great time being in a rom-com. If you happen to follow in love in life than that's even better. The only thing I wished for was an epilogue but was still so much fun to read this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily after being sent a free book.

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Too Good To Be Real by Melonie Johnson is a funny, flirty, rom-com that checks all the boxes for me.
This story is about Julia who is a writer for Trendlist. Her job is on the chopping block, Julia decided to take this opportunity to try to write for ‘Take Me’ section. The section is about traveling and adventure. Julia hears about this rom-com resort based off the movie Notting Hill. It's a LARP resort where they assign characters for the guest to act like during their stay. Luke the manager of the resort had a meet cute with Julia when they collided down at the beach near the resort.

Luke, happens to be the designer behind the experience (of course). But serendipitously, he runs into Julia before the event begins. Bam. The lines between faux immersive experience and real love get blurred.

Throw in some kleptomaniac seagulls, a gaggle of corgis, kisses in the rain, and karaoke serenade and soon these two people find themselves falling in love with each other. Even though this resort is about pretend, these feelings are starting to feel a lot more real than both of them realized.

If you like to laugh out loud at dialogue, banter, and just characters refusing to confess their feelings to one another (and being super awkward about it along the way) this one is for you.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the ARC!

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Grab this book when you want something light, sweet and on the funny side. No content warnings. No triggers, unless a seagull stealing your bikini top is a particular fear. Or corgis. Then steer clear. Otherwise, put this on your shelf for the next time you’re on the beach and looking to get away.

Too Good to be Real is what happens when an author watches a whole bunch of rom coms. There’s a quirky romance, over the top resort, a guy, a girl, and their loyal sidekicks - plus cocktails. Gotta have the cocktails. But I gotta say, I kinda liked it.

Our main lady, Julia, is a journalist on the brink of layoffs when, as a last ditch effort to save her job, she volunteers to report on a new immersive experience resort. Of course, she brings her gal pals.

Our guy, Luke, happens to be the designer behind the experience (of course). But serendipitously, he runs into Julia before the event begins. Bam. The lines between faux immersive experience and real love get blurred.

The only thing to raise an eyebrow to is how expected the story is in many ways. It’s following the Rom Com outline on purpose. But ya know, sometimes that’s exactly what ya need.

Big thanks to the publisher and #NetGalley for the ARC.

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A trip to a rom-com themed larp resort, can you really find true love? Julia is a writer for a popular website and when her job is on the line she pitches the Rom-Com themed resort as a review and snags tickets for her friends to come along too. There, Julia will experience popular rom-com activities, experiences, meals, and everything in between while getting to play as a popular rom com character. Upon her arrival she falls, quite literally, into Luke. Luke is awkward, cute, and a bit clumsy. He appears to be participating in the rom-com experience too, but she soon finds out there might be more to Luke than she previously thought. Throw in some kleptomaniac seagulls, a gaggle of corgis, kisses in the rain, and karaoke serenade and soon these two people find themselves falling in love with each other. Even though this resort is about pretend, these feelings are starting to feel a lot more real than both of them realized. A super cute rom-com themed story filled with adorable couples and some classic nods to some of our favorite romantic comedy movies, this was a great read! You get to read from both Julia and Luke’s POVs and I found them both to be really sweet and charming characters. A great romance read filled with lots of heart!

*Thanks Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*

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This book was SO cute!! Melonie Johnson did an amazing job of transporting readers to the resort with Julia and Luke! It was fun, breezy, flirty and laugh out loud. I am a lover of all things rom com so the description pulled me in immediately and I just LOVED the story!! This plot was unique, adorable, and totally fun!!!

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Such an adorable rom-com! The characters are just so cute and the corgi on the cover? Thats everything to me. Such a fun and flirty book, I loved the story and the dynamic between the two! So charming.

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I enjoyed this. As a huge sucker for rom-coms full of awkward characters, this checked all of the boxes for me.

This follows Julia as she dreams of a swoony, brooding boy to take her away to a dream-like world and finds love in the most unexpected of places.

If you like to laugh out loud at dialogue, banter, and just characters refusing to confess their feelings to one another (and being super awkward about it along the way) this one is for you.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the e-arc!

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I received this ARC for an honest review. This was a cute and funny story. This story is about Julia who is a writer for Trendlist. While she enjoyed her job and knows that her job is on the chopping block, Julia decided to take this opportunity to try to write for ‘Take Me’ section. The section is about traveling and adventure. Julia hears about this rom-com resort called Notting Hill Resort. They assign characters for the guest to act like during their stay. Luke the manager of the resort had a meet cute with Julia when they collided down at the beach of the resort. Luke pretended to be a guest of the resort so he can help Julia have a good time. If the week is a success, Luke will get a bonus and he wants to start his own gaming company.
Not going to tell you what you can guess a lot of things went down. I suggest to give this story a try. I did enjoy it, and will read another story from Melonie Johnson

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Too Good to be Real is a story about love and rom-coms.... and rom-com love! Julia is a journalist, and her job position is at risk. In order to save her job, she attends a rom-com inspired resort with the intention of reviewing it. Luke is the mastermind behind the resort. The two meet by chance on a beach, but hide their identities from one another. Will they actually fall in love with each other, or is it all just a game? This is a seriously cute romance!

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This book caught my eye because of the author and the premise. As a lover of rom-coms, the story being set in a rom-com "fantasy camp" sounded great.

The book did not disappoint - the relationships were wonderful, the rom-com references were fun, and the resolution was satisfying. I would say of all of those parts that I enjoyed, the relationships were my favorite parts. It was not only a relationship between the main characters of Julia and Luke, but those of the other couples at the event, the brother-sister relationship between Luke and Penelope, the strong friendship among Julia and her two best friends, and even a relationship between two seagulls.

I truly enjoyed watching everyone figure how to best navigate their situations. The backdrop of the story gave a light-heartedness to any of the issues that the characters were experiencing. It was a fun, relatable read with a cast of lovable, well-developed characters. I would recommend the book.

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Have you ever wanted to experience what it's like to be in a rom-com? Have you ever wanted to live the lives of our beloved characters from When Harry met Sally, Notting Hill, 10 Things I Hate About You, Sex in the City, the list goes on and on. Well Julia and her two friends actually will have that opportunity to do just that for one entire all-inclusive week.

As soon as they arrive at the resort in Wisconsin, Julia immediately meets Luke in the most adorable meet-cute way. But Luke isn't there to play the game, he's supposed to be the Game Master. Since he wants to know more about this woman, he reluctantly hands over the reigns to his sister, Penelope. The story progresses with several rom-com style activities and some not so planned activities (like a kleptomaniac seagull!)

I really liked these main characters. Both Luke and Julia had their little quirks that made both characters very relatable. Luke was an adorable geek and Julia was a struggling writer who was skeptical about long term relationships. However, I didn't care for Kat or Andie. They barely seemed relevant to the story. However, I might be interested to see if Melonie Johnson created a 2nd and 3rd book focusing on their stories, they would definitely have potential.

This was an easy, engaging read that I would recommend to lovers of rom-coms. There were many times I was laughing or smiling right along with the characters. Even the cover of this book was adorable!

4.5 stars, rounded up to 5

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The PERFECT vacay read. I loved the rom-com trope. I’m not a “game” person but still got a pretty good understanding of the ins and outs. I was here for the romance, let’s be real. Luke and Julia were sweet and I loved their “meet cutes.” I also appreciated the friends storyline; I’m a sucker for strong female relationships.

I breezed through this one in a day! So fun and just what I needed pool side.

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I adored this one! Cute and sweet book. I absolutely adore the cover also. I loved the banter between characters so much.

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4.25 Stars

Julia writes for a famous online magazine in Chicago. But so many people are getting fired! She needs the perfect idea for an article to convince her boss to keep her!
Enter: Notting Hill Resort.
A resort for fans of Rom-Coms to star in their own little romantic comedy for a week.
Luke, together with his buddy and his sister, have been working their behinds off to create the resort for their boss. And suddenly opening week is here and instead of making sure that everything in running smoothly he accidentally got caught in the middle of a rom-com meet-cute with Julia - and now he's pretending to be a guest too! LOL!

Let the fun times begin ...


I really enjoyed reading this story.
It was so very funny and sparky and sexy and Rom-Com-y.
I adored all the people!
I loved the location and the activities and the dogs and the colorful resort owner. It was all so cute and a bit over the top - but really adorable!

What I didn't love was the third person POV. I prefer first person. It just makes everything so much more confusing with all the HEs and SHEs ... I don't like that.
And the whole idea of this resort ... I kinda get it. But more as a single/matchmaking destination. There were so many couples and even a wedding party. I think as an only-for-singles thingy it would make so much more sense! And without all those paid actors obviously. If you can't fall for them, they're not needed at all. BUT - it was totally okay the way it was. A place for an older couple to spice up their routine et cetera. But it would just make more sense for singles only.
End of rant. ☺

I really liked the story and the people!
Wouldn't mind seeing this on Netflix one day!

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In this light-hearted and charming riff on romantic comedy tropes in novels and movies, an undercover journalist visits a resort that promises a romantic comedy get-away week "where guests are invited to step into the world of romantic comedies." The story has all the right ingredients: humor, engaging, sometimes quirky characters, and a plot that follows the bumpy but delightful course of true love for the main character and her friends. There are some comedic passages involving seagulls that border on slapstick, but the kookiness should appeal to lovers of romantic comedy films and stories. The nod to many well-known rom-com movies is a fun touch. The writing is entertaining and the story flows well. A reader looking for some light, entertaining comfort reading (and who isn't under the present circumstances) should find this story fits the bill.

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I was drawn into this book from the beginning and didn’t want it to end. I mean what rom-com loving woman wouldn’t want to go to a resort that offers guests a chance to live out their romantic comedy dreams? The romance was sweet, funny and entertaining. This is definitely the book to take to the beach for an escape.

I want to thank NetGalley, the author and publisher for the e-ARC of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are honest, my own and left voluntarily.

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THIS BOOK RESTORED MY FAITH IN HUMANITY. I'm being serious when I say this book spoke to me! The romance was so simple and yet complex in every way! Also the cover is literally so adorable!

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This book was so entertaining. I was drawn into the story from the beginning and was involved until the end. The characters were complex and interesting. I found the story to be well paced and engrossing throughout the whole book. I was invested in the couple throughout the book and felt all the emotions through both the highs and lows of the story. If you want an entertaining and well written book this is it for you.

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Loved the concept for this one! It was unique, well paced, and contained all the best references and call backs to all the great rom coms. Highly recommend for all the rom com lovers out there!

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Too Good to Be Real

Rating: 4/5🌟!

Rom-coms and meet cutes are just for books and movies right? Or are they?!

Too Good to Be True follows three best friends - Julia, Andie and Kat - as they head off on an all expenses paid vacation to a resort offering just that - a chance to spend one week living like their lives as a story in a romantic comedy.

Enter Luke - sweet, extremely nerdy and head game simulator for the resort. He’s used to having a plan for everything and plan he has. Between him, his sister Penelope and his best friend Vijay, the three of them are ready to give the resort’s guests the most romantic, comedic week of their lives. Or at least, that’s what he planned.

One chance encounter on the beach later, Luke and Julia find themselves questioning if maybe rom coms are real, and maybe so is love at first sight.

This was such a fun and interesting take on romcom but Melonie Johnson - I loved the idea of characters on a LARP (live action role play) adventure and thought it was such a fun approach to a genre that can be a bit overdone. I appreciated the time she gave to developing each character and their stories and felt compelled to keep reading to see where their game experience would take them. While some parts were a little wordy and repetitive, I truly enjoyed this fun and different read!

Read if you like:
+ Romantic comedies
+ Love at (almost) first sight
+ Best friend adventures/character arcs

Thank you so much to Melonie Johnson, St. Martin‘s Press/Griffin and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review!

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3.5 stars

I would love to stay in a themed hotel where you get to role play as a rom-com character! I think that's a fantastic idea and now I wonder if something like it exists in real life? The game was my favorite part of the story, the activities they planned like paintball and wine/painting night sound fun and everyone playing a character was great.

Julia and her friends are cute and I enjoyed their relationship. They tease each other and push each other's buttons but are also supportive through tough times. Each of them got a little romance in and they all had some funny moments. Luke also has a squad with his younger sister and his best friend. They aren't as funny, but it was still an interesting relationship.

The pacing was pretty quick and the story was cute. If you're looking for a lighthearted romance, give this a try. Bonus for corgi cuddles and lots of rom-com references!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. I have voluntarily chosen to leave a review.

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Escapist and fun - perfect for pandemic times! A recommended purchase for collections where light WF and romcoms are popular.

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I am always looking for books that let me escape, especially these days and wow did this deliver.
I wish this resort was real so I could go there too!

When the hero has a bird crap on him but still can't stop thinking about the heroine's hair, I think I fell a little bit in love with him myself. And how fun he wasn't the usual buff super hot guy. Personally, I'd love to see more awkward nerdy love interests.

Both the main characters had flaws and issues, which made them feel very real. And even though their love seemed to happen fast (they are only together for a week) I found that to be a perfect example of the kind of lightning bolt romance rom-coms can be known for...and that's what they question too - can a love felt so fast be real? By the end of the book, I believed it was.

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Too Good to be real by Melonie Johnson is well written. The story is fun, quirky, and very enjoyable. I love the idea of a Rom-Com retreat.

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<i>"Did the resort deliver the magical experience of being a part of a romantic comedy?"</i>

This one was absolutely adorable. A female journalist signs up for an full immersion, roleplay type experience at a resort - one that lets you experience all the rom-coms you've loved and all the cute moments that go along with them. But when you're staying in a make believe land, it's hard to know when something might actually be real.

I loved the trio of friends (both sets!) The girls were so fun. Their banter was well written and easy to read, even when they were having candid conversations. The other three, putting on the experience, were equally fun and I enjoyed learning some of the behind the scenes stuff for the resort.

This is a great, easy read that had so many cute moments - I laughed and cringed right along with everyone in the story - and I loved it!

<i>An e-ARC was provided to me by the author and publishing via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.</i>

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Reminiscent of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, in Too Good to be Real we meet Julia who loves Rom-Coms but believes they are just fantasy. When her job for a popular website is on the line she decides to make a pitch... 12 Reasons Rom-Coms don’t happen in real life.. by traveling to a new resort that allows guests to role play living in a rom-com for a week.

Here she has an almost-meet-cute with Luke, a fellow guest with secrets of his own.

Can Julia forge her own real-life Rom-Com or will she prove Rom-Coms just exist in the movies?

This book was so cute and had me rooting for love to prevail!

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When I think of entertaining reads, I have a checklist of sorts that I would like the story to encompass, at least, a few of. This story goes above and beyond and almost checks off each item on my “perfect reads” list. Fresh and Innovative or Intriguing Plot/Engaging Characters/Unique Concept/Relatable Interaction/Romance/ has all of this and so much more! Through the story, we travel to a place called Notting of my favorite movies of all time...and experience a week at a romantic simulation getaway through the eyes of three fabulous friends! While there, they experience the ups and downs of the “sim” and each find their own version of romance and fun interactions along the way. From beginning to end, I was thoroughly entertained. With the romantic comedy references, there was an element of sparkle added and sprinkled throughout. If you are looking for a fun, entertaining, wish-you-were-transported-into-the-story kind of book, this must be on your list! I cannot recommend it enough!!

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This book is rom-com meets real life or is it real life meets rom-com? Julia is a writer for a trendy website trying to keep her job after another round of layoffs. She accepts an assignment for Take Me!, a travel segment. One problem, she hates travel and gets motion sickness. Thankfully a new resort catering to rom-com lovers has opened and it's not too far to travel. She goes to the resort with her two friends to review it. Luke is a computer guy who's working at the resort, Notting Hill, in order to get the money for his start up. He, along with his sister and best friend, have set up the entire experience for the guests. A lot is riding on the success of the resort. He literally runs into Julia on the first day. He convinces his sister to take over as Game Master so he can spend time with Julia as a role player. Julia decides to let the resort management think that her friend is the reviewer so that she can get the real experience. Julia and Luke spend time together and fall in love but Julia can't help but wonder if the entire thing is real or not. Luke gets outed as one of the staff and much angst ensues. Can Julia trust her heart? Can Luke convince her it's real? A fun book that really delivers. Loved it.

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Relatable, enjoyable mad me laugh out loud several times. It’s a fun book to read with friends if you want a new book club read.

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This story made me laugh and smile. I found Julia's character so relatable. As I've started to get into the romance genre more, I've found a greater appreciation for the unique story telling. I thought this was a great read, and I loved the character development and the relationship building. I can't wait to read more from Melonie.

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I had so much fun with this book! It was an easy read and I found myself staying up late just to finish it. The characters were well-developed, and I felt like I was right there with him. This was a great book, and I can't wait to read more from the author!

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I love the idea of a resort that hosts a role-play week devoted to romantic comedy movies! Julia is sent to review the facility. Luke is a manager there but decides to work from the role as a guest. As is classic rom com material, they have a quirky meeting, are smitten with each and keep getting thrown together. This was such a fun read! I don't know if this exists in reality but it is a great idea and made for an endearing book. And there are corgis! You can't go wrong with corgis. I read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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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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Thank you to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance readers copy in exchange for an honest review. This book will be published July 6, 2021.

Have you ever wanted to be in a rom-com? Or wanted to feel like you are in one?🙋🏼‍♀️

While trying to come up with a great pitch to give her boss and beat impending layoffs, Julia comes across a resort that allows you to experience your own romcom. So Julia and her two friends go to the resort in exchange for Julia to write a review. Soon after arriving she has her own meet cute with Luke who will also be participating in the week ahead. Julia hides the fact that she is there to write a review, but Luke has a few secrets of his own. Their experiences intertwine throughout the week and feels develop quickly. Will they realize it’s all real, or is it too good to be real?

Y’all. This book👏🏻👏🏻 my husband was getting so mad at me because I COULD NOT stop laughing. (And then I tried to explain and he was like you’re crazy🙄) I loved the friendship of Julia, Kay and Andie. I loved the meet cute that happened between Luke and Julia. I loved the resort and the activities. I would have probably been more upset at some things than the characters were, and the ending almost ruined it for me but honestly I loved this book y’all.

Rating: 🧪🧪🧪🧪(.5) / 5

QOTD: Would you to a resort like this? Either single or with your partner?

AOTD: I think it could be really fun and I loved that you got to pick your group activities and bonus activity! My husband may or may not go for it!

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A unique premise set in a hotel theme of rom coms. I loved all the references to rom coms. The main hero Luke was such a goofy and adorable man. A well welcomed break from the typical buffed up and perfect male leads.
Julia and Luke both kept secrets from each other. I knew the secrets were going to come out which put me on the edge of my seat.
I loved the opening page with Julia’s friends. Such fun banter.
At the end of the book, I had the sudden urge to watch a rom com.

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Bonnie and Clyde, the seagulls, clearly stole the show!

Have you seen Austenland? Or literally any rom com? Because this book is a gold mine for rom com lovers! A retreat based on rom coms? Yes, please! If you did happen to watch Austenland, this book is the same general idea. Julia is a reporter that needs a story and discovers a retreat that is based around rom coms. Julia and her friends are promised an escape to rom com world to experience what it's like in a fantasy.

This was just a delight! Pure delight. It's always fun to see two characters that have real love in the midst of a fantasy. You get to see the when it's real and discover the hardships with reality that doesn't always show up in a fantasy. Also, Luke is just too cute. Such a fun character! The Big Green Giant indeed.

If you love your rom coms, you'll love this! And you'll love Bonnie and Clyde.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the earc in return for an honest review.

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This novel was my first Melonie Johnson and might I say, she has such a humorous wit about her writing. Too Good to be Real is about a trio of friends (specifically, Julia whom is a magazine journalist) that venture to a newly established resort where all guests are encouraged to play a character of a well known rom-com (think Meg Ryan, Cameron Diaz, etc); this resort has established this sim-like experience where a person can experience meet-cutes and other romantic notions. Some of the “guests” are paid actors, there to set the image of the game. Julia just wants to write a review of this resort for the chance to get in the good graces of her boss, but is finding it tough to sort out what’s real and what’s part of the game.
The entire time I was reading this book, it reminded me of The Bold Type tv show (it’s subject contents, conversations, and this group of 3 strong women). It was nice to see the plot of this book wasn’t something I’d ever read about before, ringing a completely new experience. Most of all, I must applaud this author for stressing that a successful relationship only comes from one person placing the other person’s joy as a priority (along with their own) and noting that lasting love requires work at times! This made this book so much more relatable and realistic than a typical rom-com!

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A resort where guests participate in an interactive real life rom-com experience, what lover of rom-com’s wouldn’t want to experience that? Well that’s exactly what happens in “Too Good to be Real.”

Julia, a writer who doesn’t fully believe true love exists is in a desperate last ditch attempt to save her job. When she stumbles on an article of the grand opening of a rom-com resort, Julia grabs her friends and decides Notting Hill Resort is the perfect place to conduct the article to save her job.

Luke, a computer loving giant, has been hired as game director of the resort and making sure guest have the proper real life rom-com experience. But Luke’s priorities get twisted when he meets Julia.

Sparks fly when the two meet, and Luke decides to go undercover for the week to take part in real life interactive rom-com to be closer to Julia. Little does Luke know that Julia is also hiding her true identity. Let the classic rom-com movie moments commence.

I truly was head over heels in love with this book for the first 50% I couldn’t get enough. I loved both Julia, Luke and the side characters romances. Incorporating classic rom-com moments took me on a trip down memory lane.

What got me not giving this a 5 star review was the incorporated family drama that dragged on which eventually felt repetitive and took away from the romance factor.

Overall I truly enjoyed this rom-com way more than I was expecting. My favorite so far by Melonie Johnson. I highly recommend for rom-com lovers! I definitely wish there was a real life resort like this I could to experience.

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC

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Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for an Advance Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first foray in years into modern romance fiction - usually I dwell in the land of corsets and carriages, but the concept of this book really drew me in. As a long-time fan of romantic comedies I have lamented the lack of really good romcom movies since the age of Notting Hill and Love Actually.

This book is a RomCom inside a RomCom themed resort which is a really fun idea. Julia and her friends take a trip to this interesting resort so that Julia can write an article about it and save her career; but when she meets one of the organisers in a meet-cute straight out of a movie the line between work and play becomes blurred.
I really loved the witty, funny dialogue between Julia and her friends, the loving relationship between Luke and his sister and the romance, which was plenty steamy enough to keep me reading. A very entertaining book - as soon as I finished I wanted to read more from this author.

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Loved this book. So much more than a rom com. The story is not only fun but has depth and all the feels. We meet Julia, Luke and the supporting characters and their side kicks, which include sweet corgis and a conniving pair of sea gulls. Add this one to the top of your TBR list, it is not to be missed.

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It has become traditional thing for me (and I believe many others) to read a cute romance on Valentine's Day.

Too Good to be Real showed up in my life unexpectedly, but I am so glad I had the opportunity to read it prior it's release, because it was a perfect pick.

It is a book for rom-com fans, and reading it felt like being at home. Even though it is a new story, because of all the references about popular romantic movies, I felt like I was re-reading one of my favourites.
Here I have to stress out that the story itself was not predictable.
Ok, let's go all the way in with philosophy: Do you know that feeling you get when meeting someone for the first time but feel like you know each other for centuries? Well, that's how I felt about Too Good to be Real.

The writing style was good. It is written in third person following Luke's and Julia's perspectives.

This was an enjoyable story, light and perfect summer read.

I like the idea of staying in a place with all the rom-com references, but I also appreciate how the author showed us how unhealthy it can be, if we don't know how to separate real life from the simulations (or however you call it).

In the end, I want to phrase the book cover, as it show cute little parts of the story: Bonnie and Clyde the squeals and a corgi (even though there were many in the story).

One more thing: the opening line made me laugh out loud.

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It was a sweet, and emotional love story. It was wonderful. I can't recommend it enough. And this author is great!

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This book is perfect for anyone who loves RomComs!

The story centers around a role play game week at a hotel named Notting Hill where all of the characters have to pretend to be different romantic comedy characters that closely resemble their own personalities. Things get very romantic very quickly and even have the most skeptic participants falling in love like never before.

It is such a relaxing read and I highly recommend it!

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I loved this book! It was heartwarming and strong. It was exactly what I needed with everything going on in the world! A happy little escape!

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This book was adorably cute. It is everything a rom-com should be! I loved all of the romance movie references and themes that played throughout the entire novel. Some of the movies were names while others weren’t. When they weren’t named, and only referenced, I’d use my rom-com knowledge to deduce the reference. It ended up being a fun game while reading this novel (and one of the reasons why this novel was a four star instead of a three star for me).

Needless to say, I loved the references to the movies. I loved the quippiness to the characters. I loved the punniness in the writing. It all mashed up to give a truly fun and enjoyable read.

The main character is a journalist who is reviewing a rom-com themed resort that will save her from being put on the chopping block at work. Of course she’s bringing her besties along for the ride and of course, in true rom-com style, shenanigans commence but will it end up in true love?

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Julia is a journalist who fears she is about to lose her job. Looking for a way to impress her boss, she suggests writing about places that people should visit. She finds an advertisement for a week at a hotel to enjoy a rom-com experience. She takes her girlfriends with her. Totally enjoyable with unexpected twists and turns that will keep you reading.

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A lovely funny and witty story . Very good characters . A different concept .
I received this novel from net galley and the publisher as an ARC. Thank you! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This book made me smile so much. I honestly felt like I had been transported inside the book. I loved the references of romantic comedies especially those of '10 Things I Hate About You'. This book kind of reminded me of another romantic comedy while I was reading it 'How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days'. For me, the seagulls were the highlight of the novel with the MCs but as the cover portrays there is less of the corgis and I hoped the book had more scenes with the corgis. Overall, I enjoyed this book.

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“Finally, dear Reader, whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever state the world is in when you read this, I hope you find an escape within these pages, I hope this story makes you smile. Thanks for spending time with my book. “
—Melonie Johnson

Thank you, Melonie Johnson! I loved the “escape” in this fun book! It definitely made me smile - a lot! And laugh, and cringe at awkwardness, and maybe even get teary-eyed! Such an enjoyable read!

This book has a fun, quirky and heartwarming cast of characters that highlight the bonds of friendship, family and also romantic interests. Julia is a writer for ‘TrendList’ and takes on the challenge to review a new resort experience for a ‘Take Me’ segment in hopes to save her job. She takes along her besties Kat and Andie on an immersive Romantic Comedy week, as these three love rom-coms but don’t believe they can play out in real life. The resort experience is planned by Luke, his sister Penelope, and best friend Vijay, along with the eccentric resort owner Mrs. Weatherfork (and her corgis.) There are other interesting characters at the resort, and all of their interactions add fun dimensions to this story.

The week at the resort is intended to let guests play out rom-com scenarios. If you love romantic comedy movies, then this cheesiness is for you! I loved all of the references and fully appreciate the cheesy tropes that were at play. (It has some similarities to Waiting on Tom Hanks and Not Like in the Movies with lots of nods to famous rom-coms, but goes even further to have characters sort of play the parts from movies.) We know from the beginning that there will be romance (and get an instant spark between Luke and Julia,) but the romance plays out in rom-com fashion of some sweet and spicy moments with several bumps along the way.

This book does not set out to be a great work of literature. It’s a fun and cheesy rom-com. Of course it had parts that were annoying and frustrating (why can’t characters be honest and say how they really feel?) But the cheesy, happy parts far outweighed the low parts. I had lots of fun going on the journey of rom-com ups and downs as I read this. It doesn’t have every aspect to be 5⭐️ for me, but it’s a good 4.5⭐️ as it was really enjoyable and did just what it set out to do. And I always love a happy ending!

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Too Good to Be Real by Melonie Johnson is a great, breezy, fun, and entertaining modern romantic comedy novel.

I really enjoyed the light, flirty, fun, and fast pace of this book. I enjoy it when I find a book that is engaging, but yet keeps things airy and witty. Sometimes it is just nice to not have to read something that will drag you down.

I liked Julia and Luke separately and also together. They had great chemistry, place off of one another well, and seemed to bring out the best in one another as the book went on.

I liked each character in their own right as well. Both were imperfect, had their own respective mild faults, but that made them realistic and someone that I could identify with. I enjoyed Julia's personality, her wit, and the banter that played in between her and her friends.

I always enjoy a good romance with a mystery/mystique on who is who and why they are present concept and the author pulled it off quite well. I also enjoyed the full cast of secondary characters as well. They really added to the overall depth and complexity of the narrative.

This is the first book I have read by this author, and I am looking forward to more from her in the future.

4/5 stars

Thank you NG and St. Martin's Griffin for this arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

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A writer for a popular website, love becomes the last thing on her mind when impending layoffs threaten her job. As Julia searches for the ultimate pitch to impress her boss, she stumbles upon a resort offering guests a chance to live out their romantic comedy dreams. Real life dating is so bleak, who wouldn't want to spend a week in a fantasy rom-com world with your best friends

This was such a great romantic novel! I absolutely loved these characters and the role they played! These girls friendships is one to want I loved their conversation they had.
The story itself was so cute and left me wanting more!

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This was my first read by Melonie Johnson and I really had fun reading this book.
Julia and Luke, were both likable and their romance was sweet and believable without angst.
The dynamic of the girl group was amazing and overall, Too Good to Be Real is what I like to call a good beach read, lovely for a day to escape into sweet romance.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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If you love a good Rom-Com, goofy situations and laugh out loud dialog, then Too Good to Be Real needs to be on your "must read" list. Melonie Johnson writes dialog so well that you feel like you're at the table enjoying drinks with her characters! Let's face it, you have to love an author whose tag line is FUN. FLIRTY. AND A WEE BIT DIRTY!
#TooGoodtoBeReal #Netgalley

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fun, flirty, and utterly delightful, this one is a joyous celebration of rom-coms, a perfect escape to dive into on dreary, isolated days. The romance is sweet and plays on popular rom-com tropes while Johnson also layers in several other meaningful relationships. She gives us a trio of girlfriends whose banter feels straight out of a Sex in the City episode, a brother and sister building a stronger, more trusting bond, and a braided theme on the legacy we inherit from our parents' relationships. Which patterns do we embrace and which do we shed as we forge our own paths? It's a true genre rom-com with plenty of romance (Elevator make out session! Passionate kisses in the rain! Grand gestures!), and plenty of comedy (Bonnie and Clyde seagulls! A pack of adorable corgis! A When Harry Met Sally inspired fake orgasm contest!). A smile-inducing tribute to the love stories we love.

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The book is based on a movie theme type of romantic fun. Its about different types of love, new, rekindle, siblings and best friends. The games and entertainment at the resort brought extra humor to the book.

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Absolutely unique and wonderful romcom about being in a romcom.

An eccentric hotel owner creates a theme of living in a rom-com. Guests are given a "character" and activities where they can interact with other guests, paid actors, and hotel staff. For couples, it gives them a chance to renew their romance. For single guests, the opportunity for a "meet cute" and live through situations they've only seen on film.

The main characters are Julia, a reporter for a trendy magazine, and her two friends. They visit the hotel where Julia runs into Luke, one of the computer programmers that helped set up the system along with his sister and his friend. While she's the actual reporter, the hotel staff initially believe it's Julia's friend Kat, since she's the one who checked them in. Lines between make believe and reality get blurred, and most all end up with their HEA.

I was a bit unsure when I started where this was going, but absolutely loved it! You'll recognize the assigned character names based on real-life romance films and series, and was an enjoyable read!

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Julia's down on her luck. Her love life has fallen flat and she's in real danger of losing her job. Why not kill two birds with one stone? She pitches a review of a resort that allows guests to live out their rom-com dreams through live-action role-playing. Not only could she save her job, but maybe have a meet-cute, too. Although her meet with Luke, the co-runner of the resort, isn't as cute as she'd like it to be, she can't help but be charmed by his handsome, awkward self. Julia hides the fact that she's reviewing the resort and Luke hides the fact that he partly owns it. The two become caught up in the fantasy world of rom-coms and begin to fall for each other. How do they know their love isn't just part of the roleplaying? And will their secrets threaten to ruin everything?

I was hooked from the first page of this book! Julia doesn't believe in love anymore, but she has an amazing group of friends who do. Their friend group was full of three eccentric, different women who loved each other endlessly and that was so nice to see! The way they encouraged each other felt so real and kind. I loved how they were rom-com lovers, even if they had their own romantic issues, too. The resort was EVERYTHING. I wish it was real! From the different rom-com names to Sally's pie for dessert, it was the perfect experience for a rom-com lover. Luke was so cute, too! He was a gentle giant who was the biggest nerd. I loved how awkward his interactions with Julia could be, but also how sweet and honest he was with his feelings. The dual point of view served this book lots of favors because it was so interesting to get inside both of their heads and see the romantic relationship unfold. From the meet-cute to the grand gesture, this was a near-perfect rom-com. I'd recommend this to anyone who loves rom-coms, Meg Ryan, and honest love stories!

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Too Good to Be Real give you the sparks and tingles you get watching your favorite rom-com. Bursting with colorful side characters and a charming whirlwind romance, you'll finish the book with a smile on your face.

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This was a quick, fun, cute read. It’s the perfect summer book.

When Julia, a journalist, senses that she may be at risk of losing her job she decides to take on an assignment that could save her position. Julia and her two friends Andie and Kat end up at Notting Hill Resort, a place that gives visitors a chance to live out their romantic comedy fantasies. Julia decides to have Kat pretend she’s the journalist so she can get the true experience of the resort. She meets Luke, one of the creators of the experience who is also hiding his true role. He is pretending to be one of the guests. What will happen when their secrets are exposed?

I really enjoyed the friendship between the three women. Their little inside jokes and banter reminded me a lot of my close friends. I also really enjoyed the romance in this book between Julia and Luke. Their relationship is sweet and funny with the perfect amount of heat thrown in.

I really enjoyed this read and would recommend it for anyone looking for a light feel good book.

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I initially requested an early copy of this book for one reason - the corgi on the cover. Did I judge the cuteness of the book by the cuteness of the cover? Yes. Was it the right decision? Yes. Because this book was so adorable and everything that I wanted and needed in a romcom book. It had quirky characters, a great group of girlfriends who supported each other, a meet cute that became an amazing relationship, and an ending that left me smiling. I have read books by this author previously, and there is always one consistent thought that runs through my head at the end of each book - I wish I could read it again for the first time.

Julia Carpenter is a walking disaster, especially when it comes to relationships. Between accidentally sending belfies (butt selfies) and going on disastrous first dates, she isn't used to things working out in her favor. When an upcoming layoff has her neck on the chopping block at work, she has to think of something fast to save her job as a reporter, and that's when she discovers a new vacation experience - an immeservice resort experience where guests can experience a romantic comedy in all its glory, as key players in their own story. She jets off to the resort alongside her two best friends, and soon they find themselves with new names, meeting people who may or may not be hired actors, and losing their hearts along the way. Julia, in particular, meets a guy who seems perfect for her - but at a resort where everything is a simulation, is their relationship one too?

Julia was a sweetheart, desperately wanting to succeed at life but constantly running into obstacles along the way. She wanted to do more than write listicles, but she struggled to find her niche. The resort was the perfect opportunity for that, and almost immediately she ran into, literally, the man for her - Luke O'Neal. Luke happened to be a software developer...and one of the designers of the resort experience. It was purely coincidence that they met, but Luke was intrigued by her and decided to be part of the game in order to get to know her and get closer to her friend, who he thought was the real reporter, which Julia allowed him to believe. So their relationship starts off with little white lies that they think are harmless, but as they grow closer, those lies start to show glaring concerns. They both know eventually the romcom experience will end, and they'll have to return to their normal lives. But it's not so simple, and I loved how they grew closer and more in love as time went on. Sure, it's a bit insta-love, given the timeframe, but sometimes you just "know" that the person is the one. Luke was hilarious, not your typical romance hero with lots of muscles and an alpha personality. He was a sweet guy who was more at home working at a computer than lifting weights, and it worked so well for the story. He and Julie were the cutest, and while they had bumps in the road, I was really pleased about how it ended. And there was some extra romance along the way for her friends, which was a nice bonus.

Highly recommend this as a beach read or just something to pick up when you're having a bad day. It's sure to cheer you up!

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Imperfectly perfect - I love this phrase from the book and think it’s exactly right in describing so many things in life.

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book; the concept was something I would have never thought of, so it made the book that much more fun.

Luke & Julia were adorable right from their meet-cute on.

I loved the extra tropes woven through the book; brother’s best friend and opposites attract.

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This book was cute and sweet, but also super sexy - its a combination that often doesn't hit right but Melonie Johnson did with "Too Good to Be Real". I wish we could have spent more time with these characters. I felt like I didn't get to know them as deeply as I wish (I guess that means a sequel is necessary?) Julia and her friends are great and the premise of a rom-com themed resort was icing on the cake. This book is perfect for rom-com lovers, those who love Kerry Winfrey's books, and those who want to laugh while reading. Because you will do a lot of that, starting with the first line.

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If you are a fan of romantic comedies, then you will love this book! The story follows a reporter named Julia who heads to a resort offering the full romantic comedy experience. She brings her rom-com loving friends along and hopes that her review will secure her job. But when she gets there, she is immediately thrown off base by a literal run in with a man named Luke.

As the week continues, Julia and her friends are thrown into romantic comedy paradise, with grand gestures and themed activities everywhere they look. Will they be able to separate the real from the fantasy?

I am a huge fan of romcoms, so I loved the idea of the resort, and I really enjoyed all of the romcom references throughout the book. From the movie quotes to the grand gestures, many iconic movies are referenced. I found myself laughing out loud several times, and wanting to hide my face in embarrassment a few times too. Each of the characters is forced to face some deep issues of their own, and the way they work these out and compare the different types of unhappy relationships they know was very interesting. I will definitely be rereading this one and visiting these characters again.

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Where can I start!!! This is a really fun rom-com the characters are so funny and I how was their development!
Luke is such a cutie you know? He is everything someone wants in their life even with his insecurities also Julia is so cute 🥰 both of them are so cute together.
Everything about this book is hilarious and makes you want to keep reading it!
Im really looking forward to reading more from Melonie!

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Do you ever just fall in love with a cover? Okay I don’t know why I would even bother to ask. Of course you have. How could you not??? But this one. Her dress. The dog. The birds. It’s just too precious for words. I’m obsessed.

After the nightmare of a book I just finished, I needed something light and funny and sweet to erase it from my memory. Well 2% in and already laughing seemed like a pretty good sign to me.

Have you seen the movie Austenland? Well this book it that, but instead of an immersive Austen resort, it’s a rom-com retreat! Guests to Notting Hill get to live out their very own rom-com movie dream.

When reporter Julia realizes her job is on the line, she comes up with a crazy idea to prove herself extra valuable to her boss. She and her two friends, Kat and Andie, will head to Notting Hill for the full experience. Before she even checks in, she runs into Luke in a rather epic meet cute, only problem is, their introduction was never part of the game.

Honestly, I was expecting this to be just like Austenland (which side note: is an epic movie) but it surprised me! I absolutely loved this book. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Too Good To Be Real comes out July 6th!

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