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Red Velvet (Blackwood Cellars #2) by Carla Luna

Red Velvet


Faking it has never been so much fun…

In her ultra-competitive family, April Beckett is used to taking last place. For years, she’s put up with jabs about her modest job and her pathetic love life. Especially after she tried to impress her older sisters with a fake boyfriend in college and failed miserably. But now she has a smoking-hot date for her brother’s wedding, guaranteed to wow them.

Until he bails. Cue total desperation.

Without April’s friendship, Brody Blackwood wouldn’t have survived his last breakup. So, if she needs a plus-one for a family wedding, he’s all in. Even if it means pretending to be her boyfriend. And committing to six days of activities at a wooded resort in Wisconsin. But how hard could a relaxing getaway with your best friend be?

Too bad there’s a grueling 10K race and a cutthroat trivia night to endure. Not to mention a massive secret to protect. But will the biggest secret of all turn out to be that this fake relationship feels more real than April or Brody ever imagined?


I have been looking forward to reading Brody’s story after meeting him in Blue Hawaiian. He was so broken and alone in that book, and he was clearly a good man with a big heart. Lucky April for having a true friend like him in her corner.

April Beckett is in a pickle. Her wedding date and friend with benefits, Chris, has bailed on her for the last time. Her brother’s wedding is important to her. She wanted to prove to her family that she could find someone worthy of their approval and Chris was the hot, competitive, athletic type that her family would like. Enter Brody Blackwood. Her brilliant coworker and totally hot best friend offered to be fake-Chris for a week. The problem is he has to meet her two nosy and critical sisters, he has to live up to Chris’s athleticism by competing against April’s family, and last but not least, he is sharing a bed with April who has had a crush on him for two years.

Brody Blackwood needed a vacation and Door County, Wisconsin, sounded like a great time to regroup after his girlfriend broke up with him via text. Besides, he owes April for being there for him when he needed an ear, and her sweet nature is always comforting to him. It looks like April needs protection from her judgmental and overbearing family. He can surely be a fake boyfriend for a week…or can he?

It’s the best when friends fall in love and April and Brody are so comfortable with each other. Their nerdiness is adorable and their love of eating is refreshing especially when Brody remembers every single treat April has brought to work. April comes out of her shell with Brody by her side as she finally confronts her overachieving family about the love of her job and of her life. Brody’s self-esteem took a hit when his girlfriend Taylor dumped him for another man, but April boosts his ego with her honesty and compassion. He’s perfect because he’s not like her family. He’s perfect for her. A match made in heaven.

My favorite supporting characters are Ginger, April’s outgoing and hilarious cousin, and April’s brother Ollie and his fiancee, Mags, who are Team Brody all the way. April’s sister Drianna, “her Dreadfulness” as Ginger calls her, is very unlikeable and I was glad to see April finally stand up to her.

I recommend highly this delightful friends-to-lovers romance filled with family conflict, competitiveness, and sexy role-playing.

Thank you to Ms. Luna for giving the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


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Carla LunaCarla Luna writes contemporary romance with a dollop of humor and a pinch of spice. A former archaeologist, she still dreams of traveling to far-off places and channels that wanderlust into the settings of her stories. When she’s not writing, she works in a spice emporium where she gets paid to discuss food and share her favorite recipes. Her passions include Broadway musicals, baking, whimsical office supplies, and pop culture podcasts. Though she has roots in Los Angeles and Victoria, B.C., she currently resides in Wisconsin with her family and her spoiled Siberian cat.

Follow Carla on her websiteTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.


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