“ Genre: Romance / Author: Kelly Hunter / Paperback / 256 Pages / Book is published 2011-01-07 by Mills & Boon „
- - - - - - - - - -
In a nutshell
- - - - - - - - - -
Archaeologist Charlotte Greenstone is in a spot of bother; Whilst visiting her terminally ill godmother she invents a fiance to please her - Thaddeus Jeremiah Gilbert Tyler [Gil to his friends] - a globetrotting botanist, who is a cross between Indiana Jones and botanist Dr Greyson Tyler [who she read about in a magazine]. For some strange reason she gets caught up in the fantasy in her head and decides that he has vanished and is presumed dead. No I don't know why.
Unfortunately for Charlotte what started as a harmless white lie to please a dying woman soon spins out of control; A work colleague knows someone at the hospital and now everyone is expressing condolences over her dead fiance, and just when Charlotte thinks it can't get any worse it does. Her friend and colleague Millie - phones around Dr Tyler's research institute to get a photo of him that she can then pass on to Charlotte to help her grieve. Thanks to Millie speaking to a new secretary at Greyson's end Charlotte soon ends up with a box full of his research sent to her office.
So the stage is now set and Charlotte soon ends up face to face with a rather put out Greyson when he personally comes to pick up his belongings from her...
In a twist reserved for Mills and Boon novels Greyson has a clingy ex fiancee, and he has invented a girlfriend of his own in an attempt to get her to move on. So he and Charlotte reach an agreement; He'll show up at her office so everyone will stop offering their condolences for him and she can split up with her 'fiance' [god knows what story she'll come up with] and in return she'll attend his upcoming family event and pose as his girlfriend, to show his ex and his mother who loves her that that ship has long since sailed...
- - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - -
I hardly ever look twice at Mills & Boon as nine out of ten of their books star women who I would throttle if they were real, in a totally predictable story. As you can tell WITH THIS FLING is based on the standard set of unbelievable coincidences, which is best not looked at too closely lest it falls apart [seriously; how did a friend-of-a-friend know that Charlotte mentally killed off her 'fiance'?].
But the story is very humorous, fast paced and makes for a fast and fun read. The central characters - Charlotte and Greyson - are both likable and both come of as [mostly] intelligent and actually somewhat believable in their roles.
I can understand what lead a grieving Charlotte to kill of her imaginary fiance after the death of her last living relative and to be fair at one point she is prepared to come clean to her work colleagues. It's only towards the end of the book that she turns into a stereotypical Mills & Boon heroine and starts protesting that Greyson doesn't really love her, when his words and actions say otherwise [one star down].
Greyson's character isn't very challenging - he's just there to be a well endowed hunk and add wit to proceedings, but I do love the dry delivery of his one liners and that he isn't a lapdog who drops everything to come running when Charlotte bats her lashes.
Not only that, but the secondary cast are also more then cardboard cutouts and add to the story. Charlotte's friends Millie and Derek get the most pages and the author is generous when it comes to spreading the wit around. I also like that Greyson's ex isn't made out to be a cartoon villain; She's just a nice woman who was ultimately with the wrong person.
So while WITH THIS FLING isn't deep and meaningful and it's obvious how it'll all end, I still highly recommend it for when you want to read something non-taxing, that will put a smile on your face. The short length makes it great for travelling [seriously, it take a couple of hours to read from beginning to end].