Homeless Josie Tate agrees to be Michael Dunnigan's pretend fiance.
Suddenly homeless Josie Tate felt fireworks during her passionate three days with firefighter Michael Dunnigan, but she wouldn't live with him unless she paid him back...like be his pretend fiancee so that his mother would stop her matchmaking. Although Michael made her heart hammer, Jossie didn't want strings in the relationship. Then a sweet little developemtn ruined her pest laid plans.
Great romance. Good series.
Good book about two people who, after years of avoiding commitments, discover that maybe there's something worth risking their hearts for. Josie is a free-spirited young woman who takes life with both hands. She has had all kinds of different jobs, moving on when she gets too comfortable. She is fun-loving, nearly always cheerful, and easy-going. She had also decided that marriage and family aren't for her after her risk-taking parents died when she was a child, leaving her an orphan. Burned once again when the man she loved decided he didn't love her, she decided that depending on herself is the only way to live.
Enter Michael, good-looking, charming, and a firefighter. He loves his work and his mother and sister. He had never wanted to be anything other than a firefighter, even though he lost his firefighter father when he was twelve. Between the memories of that time and the more recent witnessing of the devastation caused by the loss of so many first responders on 9/11, Michael has decided that he will hold off on any serious relationships until after he retires from firefighting.
Michael and Josie met at a poetry reading at a local bar. The chemistry between them was instant, and they spent the Labor Day weekend together before parting, not expecting to see each other again. I loved their second encounter. Michael has just suffered through another blind date set up by his mother, who is determined to get him married off. He realized that she isn't going to give up and came up with a crazy plan. He asked Josie to become his "pretend fiancÃ©e" and move in with him, long enough to get his mother off his back. This came at a perfect time for Josie, who has been kicked out of her apartment for having an unauthorized dog. Though she is wary because he still makes her heart pound, they agree to a "platonic roommates" arrangement.
I enjoyed the development of their relationship. Michael and Josie quickly became friends over shared meals and movie nights. But underneath it all was a simmering attraction that kept getting stronger, no matter how they tried to fight it. I loved seeing them grow closer as they shared the house and their lives. I especially liked how sensitive each was to the other's moods. It was heartwarming to see the way that Josie was there for Michael when he'd had a particularly rough day. Each of them began to think more about making their pretend engagement real, but getting past their fears was a challenge. Then Josie has a double event that makes her realize just how deep her feelings for Michael are, and that she has to talk to him about them. On his side, Michael has an epiphany about what he's really doing by avoiding relationships. I loved his big moment at the end when he was able to share that revelation with Josie. Her response was great, especially with her own revelation.
I also enjoyed Michael's mother. She was definitely pushy and determined to get Michael married off. I loved their conversation about all the dates she had arranged for him. Her surprise when he announced his "engagement" was priceless. It was fun to see how Josie was amused by her antics rather than put off. Michael's love for his mom was obvious, even though she frustrated him on a regular basis.