When Grumpy Met Sunshine

A Novel

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Pub Date 06 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 20 Feb 2024
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Griffin


A steamy, opposites-attract romance with undeniable chemistry between a grumpy retired footballer and his fabulous and very sunshine-y ghostwriter.

When grumpy ex-footballer Alfie Harding gets badgered into selling his memoirs, he knows he’s never going to be able to write them. He hates revealing a single thing about himself, is allergic to most emotions, and can’t imagine doing a good job of putting pen to paper.

And so in walks curvy, cheery, cute as heck ghostwriter Mabel Willicker, who knows just how to sunshine and sass her way into getting every little detail out of Alfie. They banter and bicker their way to writing his life story, both of them sure they’ll never be anything other than at odds.

But after their business arrangement is mistaken for a budding romance, the pair have to pretend to be an item for a public who’s ravenous for more of this Cinderella story. Or at least, it feels like it’s pretend—until each slow burn step in their fake relationship sparks a heat neither can control. Now they just have to decide: is this sizzling chemistry just for show? Or something so real it might just give them their fairytale ending?

A steamy, opposites-attract romance with undeniable chemistry between a grumpy retired footballer and his fabulous and very sunshine-y ghostwriter.

When grumpy ex-footballer Alfie Harding gets...

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ISBN 9781250867933
PRICE $18.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 1714 members

Featured Reviews

When Grumpy Met Sunshine is perfection. No notes. Would not change a thing. This book had me laughing out loud, crying, squeeing in delight, and everything in between. From the fake dating to the smallest micro-tropes, it felt like this book was written just for me.

Mabel is a human cupcake, she’s cute and warm and sweet. She puts people at ease and gets them to open up, which makes her great at her ghostwriting job. So when she’s contracted to tell ex-footballer Alfie Harding, the angriest man in football known to walk out of interviews after being asked the most innocuous questions, she’s shocked to learn the two of them have quite a bit in common. Not the least of all, that they’re both giant weirdos.

The narration style is a bit quirky but that’s part of the appeal to the book. It helps propel the book forward and prevents it from ever feel like things are moving too slow. Would I want every book to read like this one? No, but it worked here. Honestly, this is one of those books I’m going to be yelling at people to read for the foreseeable future. It brought me so much joy.

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This was a rollicking fun, sexy book. The main characters, a ghostwriter and a gruff footballer end up having to fake date to save their reputations, and get more than they bargained for.

The banter was absolutely top-tier, and I’m in awe at how easy Stein made it look. So much of this book was dialogue, and it flowed so naturally. I laughed A LOT, and it also delicately and heartwarmingly handled childhood trauma and not feeling like enough. It also read like vaguely-inspired Roy Kent fan fiction which I would absolutely read more of. Also, the consent!!!

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THIS BOOK HAS IT ALL. A slow burn romance of will they won't they type feelings. And I am HERE FOR IT. I loved this book and I look forward to adding it to my bookshelves. I just wish it was published sooner!!!

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I will never not love the grumpy/sunshine trope, and when you make one of them basically Roy Kent I'm basically sold already. This was just impossibly charming and I was routing for them the entire time. I loved it!

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This was such a fun, delicious read! Grabbed me from the first chapters, the main characters were so fantastic to follow. The banter between them is delightful and witty. I laughed out loud several times, this story is reminiscent of rom-coms of old. I read this book in one sitting, it was so engaging. Do not sleep on this one!

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Have you ever read a romance and wished there was more time for the... romance? This book delivers a-plot payload, to the point that I almost felt guilty for getting to enjoy so much of the good stuff. Total comfort read and delightfully steamy. I look forward to re-reading the published version.

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These two were absolute magic! They had me giggling right away, I guffawed, and had burst of laughter at what they said and did. They also had ridiculous chemistry, and a slow burn that takes most of the story to ignite. Wow, make plans for some “time outs” when reading, you’ll need them once things do take off, because it is scorching hot! While all this is happening, you get to know them, you get to see beyond what they present, and you fall so deeply in love with them, they break your heart, while filling you with hope. That ending, oh, that epilogue, it was everything and the perfect ending to their love story <3

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