Review: Real Kind of Love by Sara Rider

Real Kind of Love
(Books & Brews #1)
by Sara Rider
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: June 5, 2018
Genre: Romance

What happens when a fake relationship turns into a real kind of love?

As an audiobook narrator, Clementine Cox has no trouble mastering the voices of space aliens, elven warriors, or even demon-possessed cats. But the moment she tries her hand at an erotic romance, she’s stumped. With her deadline looming, she books a week at a secluded cabin to restore her inner muse, telling her loving-but-overbearing family it’s a romantic getaway with her not-so-existent new boyfriend to keep them from worrying. She never expects them to invite themselves along to meet the new guy. Now, she has less than twenty-four hours to find a pretend boyfriend in order to save her job and, potentially, her sanity.

Workaholic Jake Donovan isn’t interested in a real relationship. After a broken engagement, all he wants to do is focus on keeping his brewpub, the Holy Grale, afloat. But when he finds out his favorite customer is in need of a fake boyfriend, and his business partners insist he take a much overdue vacation, he has no choice but to help Clem out. All he has to do is enjoy the sunshine, play nice with her family, and keep his hands to himself for the week.

But Jake’s not prepared to like waking up next to Clem every morning as much as he does. Or to feel so welcome by her quirky family. And as the line between real and fake starts to blur, he realizes one week might never be enough.



Real Kind of Love is your classic fake boyfriend story. When Clementine‘s family starts setting her up on crazy blind dates, she decides to tell them about her romantic, and relaxing vacation coming up with her new beau. The only problem, she isn’t seeing anyone and was actually planning on going on a small vacation alone. Things go a little sideways when her family decides to rent the cabin next to the one she’s staying at and have a family vacation. They are ecstatic and can’t wait to meet Clementine‘s new boy friend. Which is how Clementine ends up asking Jake, the owner/bartender from the bar she always frequents, to be her fill-in boyfriend for the week. Pretty soon, poor Jake finds himself having to prove his masculinity and his love for Clementine at every turn during their vacation when the family sets up competitions for him. However, as the days go by, he finds himself wanting to prove himself to not only her family, but to Clementine as well.

Clementine‘s family is extreme. Everything is a big production. So, it is no surprise that when Jake and Clementine roll up to their rental cabin, the family’s cabin is decked out in banners announcing the family vacation, everyone’s wearing family shirts, and there’s a whole itinerary of activities planned out for the week. However, they do it all out of love. Something that Jake is a bit unfamiliar with. His parents were a bit distant towards him and he never really got a normal childhood. So, he really embraces the Cox family and helps ease Clementine‘s anxiety over everything. In all honesty though, I don’t know why Clementine felt so smothered towards her family. I thought they sounded like a close-knit family and a lot of fun. I just didn’t understand all of her reluctance to be around her family members.

Obviously, this starts out as a simple arrangement but quickly turns into a romance, and boy was there some romancing going on. Since Clementine is a book narrator, she takes inspiration for her characters and their scenes from real life. So, when it came to some of the more steamier scenes of the book, she enlists Jake’s help with finding inspiration. I liked that the author worked in a lot of Clementine‘s job into the story. I was laughing out loud when the two of them get in the car to hit the road for their little vacation only to have Clementine‘s voice fill the car with a sensual scene she’s been working on. Awkward!

Real Kind of Love was an enjoyable read. I did feel a lack of connection with the characters and felt like the author only scratched the surface with them. So, I didn’t fully connect with the story or end up completely drawn in like I would have liked. However, I enjoyed reading about Clementine, Jack, and the whole Cox family.


Favorite quote…

“He couldn’t think about the future without seeing Clem in it. There was no way he could go back to serving her drinks and watching her read on those lazy afternoons, pretending that she wasn’t the newly discovered sun in his dark universe.”





7 Thoughts on “Review: Real Kind of Love by Sara Rider

  1. Sorry about the lack of connection with the characters, it is something that bothers me as well, but I’m glad you still enjoyed the read! 🙂 Also, I confess I’m curious about Clementine‘s family now . . .

  2. I just read a fake boyfriend story (except it was a vacation with friends and an ex). I enjoy the trope but I HATE overbearing families so I’ll probably skip this one. I would just tell them all to go to hell lol

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

  3. Even with the lack of connection this sounds like a fun read.

  4. I really like how this book sounds and it’s unique in many ways, but with my patience lately, the characters not connecting may have caused me to DNF. The cover is really fun! Hugs…RO

  5. Lauren Becker on 5 June, 2018 at 4:51 am said:

    That’s kind of awesome Clementine was a book narrator. And her family does sound a bit extreme and tough to handle at times…but it’s also great that they all love each other!!


  6. I actually love fake relationship turns real. This one sounds like it has a potential though. I’m sorry about the lack of connection 🙁

  7. I enjoy fake boyfriend books. I mean, you always know how they’re going to end up – and often can guess huge swathes of the book! – but the journey is what makes it all so enjoyable. It’s like happy giddy book crack. Although, failing to connect with the characters can make things tedious…

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