Fake relationship? As if.
I don't need a man to complete me, but to get my tubes tied before I turn 30, I do need a husband. So when former child TV star Lukas Keith's desperate for a favor, the exchange of my services for his seems like a great idea.
I help him relearn how to drive a car, and he acts as my fiancé for a few doctor's visits.
What could go wrong?
Bingeing '90s TV shows like Seinfeld and Ally McBeal have you jonesing for a time when email and cell phones were strange new things and an app was something you ate before dinner? Then this steamy, slow-burn fake-relationship entertainment-biz romantic comedy is just what the doctor ordered.
Love me some retro romance
Amy McFadden and Alastair Haynesbridge
I Want It That Way is book 3 in the Carolina Classics series. These throwback books are always a joy as I love reliving the quirks of the 90’s including the music and TV show references.
As someone who, years ago, crushed on child star Lukas, Dani has a way of playing it cool when she assists him as a driver on the show he’s now directing. And now she needs his help. So, they enter into a fake relationship to help each other out. I love how Lukas supports Dani as she’s going through this process of getting her tubes tied while the health care powers-that-be want to block her and change her mind. But Lukas is always there to step in and support her. And Dani was there for him, helping work through some PTSD issues regarding his aversion to driving and also the bigger issue of him coming to terms with “aging” out of the teen idol phase. We go along for the ride as they gradually get to know each other and the trust and intimacy grew while they were faking their marriage
Amy McFadden is always great at storytelling her narrations. She is paired here with Alastair Haynesbridge and their voices work well together. Haynesbridge is a new narrator for me and I really love his take on Luke. I will definitely be looking for more books of his
Karen Grey has a talent to weave a story with mature characters who are relatable, throwing in humor and nostalgic elements because of the retro time period. As someone who grew up in LA around the entertainment industry, it’s refreshing to read a book where the author really knows her topic. Grey must have worked in the industry as her knowledge is spot on. She adds these special sound elements that begin each chapter. A car starting for Dani and TV static with a canned laugh track for Lukas’ chapters. These small details really make a great book and show how passionate she is about these retro reads.
Dani & Luke
This is the third book in Karen Grey’s Carolina Classics series. While each book focuses on a different couple, there’s definitely some story lines that will weave throughout the whole series making these best enjoyed reading them all and in order.
There’s a fine line to balancing a fiercely independent main character with providing readers a believable romance story all while maintaining the essence of who they are. Grey accomplishes that with Dani & Luke in this fake-relationship-becomes-true-love.
I love how Luke supports Dani’s mission to permanently prevent becoming a parent while unpacking how her fears are impacting the rest of her life. Dani helps Luke discover who he is outside of the roles he’s been playing his entire life. These two also have a lot of fun on the beach and in the bedroom. Add in two adorable dogs and it’s a great story.
As with the others, we catch up on how the previous couples are doing, there’s a HFN for Dani & Luke, and a cliffhangerish tease for the next book.
I just want to say how awesome it is that Grey gives us a character who doesn’t want children and that her HEA isn’t predicated on changing her mind about that.
I absolutely adored this narration by Amy McFadden and Alastair Haynesbridge. Not only do they compliment each other perfectly but both did a fantastic job of giving all the characters unique voices (including nailing the coastal/southern accents). Dani’s determined yet vulnerable personality shines with McFadden. Haynebridge is ideal for Luke. Love, love, love this listen!
Great story with fantastic narration
Updated 8/23/23 with audiobook review.
Amy McFadden and Alastair Haynesbridge gave a wonderful performance! They gave the t emotion, voice and personality to these characters. I love how narrators give the reader/listener a whole new experience with a book through audio. This is my new favorite Karen Grey book! Dany and Lukas are an amazing pair that take us on an adventure of big life decision, taking chances and ultimately an amazing love story. Dany is a strong, independent woman who knows what she wants. She’s on a journey to find a doctor to help her get what she needs. Lukas is embarking on a new adventure but some baggage is holding him back from being all that he wants to be. Dany and Lukas have known each other casually over the years but begin a deeper friendship, learn to trust one another with their life stories and realize how much they can help one another. What starts out as a casual agreement turns into an amazing love story filled with laughs, fears and a lot of patience