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She plans to prove there's a dozen reasons why life isn't like a romantic comedy, only to discover the one reason it is… While her friends wish for meet cutes worthy of their favorite rom-coms, Julia is ready to give up on love. Swiping right has replaced getting swept off your feet and good old-fashioned romance has become, well, old-fashioned. A writer for a popular websit She plans to prove there's a dozen reasons why life isn't like a romantic comedy, only to discover the one reason it is… While her friends wish for meet cutes worthy of their favorite rom-coms, Julia is ready to give up on love. Swiping right has replaced getting swept off your feet and good old-fashioned romance has become, well, old-fashioned. A writer for a popular website, love becomes the last thing on her mind when impending layoffs threaten her job. As Julia searches for the ultimate pitch to impress her boss, she stumbles upon a resort offering guests a chance to live out their romantic comedy dreams. Real life dating is so bleak, who wouldn't want to spend a week in a fantasy rom-com world with your best friends? At the resort, Julia literally falls into a not-quite-meet-cute involving an aggressive seagull and an adorably awkward guy named Luke who is also participating in the rom-com experience. Julia hides the fact she is there to do a story, but Luke harbors a few secrets of his own. Among further encounters with thieving seagulls, a gaggle of corgis, kisses in the rain, and even a karaoke serenade, their feelings deepen quickly. But could their love be real when they haven't been honest about their true identities? Once the fantasy is over, can they have a relationship in the real world?


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She plans to prove there's a dozen reasons why life isn't like a romantic comedy, only to discover the one reason it is… While her friends wish for meet cutes worthy of their favorite rom-coms, Julia is ready to give up on love. Swiping right has replaced getting swept off your feet and good old-fashioned romance has become, well, old-fashioned. A writer for a popular websit She plans to prove there's a dozen reasons why life isn't like a romantic comedy, only to discover the one reason it is… While her friends wish for meet cutes worthy of their favorite rom-coms, Julia is ready to give up on love. Swiping right has replaced getting swept off your feet and good old-fashioned romance has become, well, old-fashioned. A writer for a popular website, love becomes the last thing on her mind when impending layoffs threaten her job. As Julia searches for the ultimate pitch to impress her boss, she stumbles upon a resort offering guests a chance to live out their romantic comedy dreams. Real life dating is so bleak, who wouldn't want to spend a week in a fantasy rom-com world with your best friends? At the resort, Julia literally falls into a not-quite-meet-cute involving an aggressive seagull and an adorably awkward guy named Luke who is also participating in the rom-com experience. Julia hides the fact she is there to do a story, but Luke harbors a few secrets of his own. Among further encounters with thieving seagulls, a gaggle of corgis, kisses in the rain, and even a karaoke serenade, their feelings deepen quickly. But could their love be real when they haven't been honest about their true identities? Once the fantasy is over, can they have a relationship in the real world?

30 review for Too Good to Be Real

  1. 4 out of 5

    Irena BookDustMagic

    It has become traditional thing for me (and I believe many others) to read a cute romance on Valentine's Day. Too Good to be Real showed up in my life unexpectedly, but I am so glad I had the opportunity to read it prior it's release, because it was a perfect pick. It is a book for rom-com fans, and reading it felt like being at home. Even though it is a new story, because of all the references about popular romantic movies, I felt like I was re-reading one of my favourites. Here I have to stress o It has become traditional thing for me (and I believe many others) to read a cute romance on Valentine's Day. Too Good to be Real showed up in my life unexpectedly, but I am so glad I had the opportunity to read it prior it's release, because it was a perfect pick. It is a book for rom-com fans, and reading it felt like being at home. Even though it is a new story, because of all the references about popular romantic movies, I felt like I was re-reading one of my favourites. Here I have to stress out that the story itself was not predictable. Ok, let's go all the way in with philosophy: Do you know that feeling you get when meeting someone for the first time but feel like you know each other for centuries? Well, that's how I felt about Too Good to be Real. The writing style was good. It is written in third person following Luke's and Julia's perspectives. This was an enjoyable story, light and perfect summer read. I like the idea of staying in a place with all the rom-com references, but I also appreciate how the author showed us how unhealthy it can be, if we don't know how to separate real life from the simulations (or however you call it). In the end, I want to phrase the book cover, as it show cute little parts of the story: Bonnie and Clyde the squeals and a corgi (even though there were many in the story). One more thing: the opening line made me laugh out loud.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Welcome to the dreamy vacation in Wisconsin to live your own rom-com story in real life: the estate team provides anything you’re looking for to help you find the real one to fall for while you enjoy the activities based on favorite romcom movie cliches! Heartbroken writer Julia who is about lose her faith in love makes her last attempt not to get sagged from her full time job at popular website ! She’s writing entertaining Cosmogirl style quizzes, entertaining articles about modern woman’s lov Welcome to the dreamy vacation in Wisconsin to live your own rom-com story in real life: the estate team provides anything you’re looking for to help you find the real one to fall for while you enjoy the activities based on favorite romcom movie cliches! Heartbroken writer Julia who is about lose her faith in love makes her last attempt not to get sagged from her full time job at popular website ! She’s writing entertaining Cosmogirl style quizzes, entertaining articles about modern woman’s love life. But she needs to find a brilliant idea to keep her job which means she’s due to make earth shattering pitch to her boss Chloe till Monday. Clock is ticking! As she makes searches about how it’s impossible to find love like romcoms in the real life, she finds the advertisements about this new opening new place providing real romcom experience which gives her opportunity to convince her boss about writing her brand new article for Take that which is also popular travel section of website! Her idea gets approval and the best part of it: she’ll have all exclusive vacation for one week to experience the romcom taste of the estate and she can also bring guests! She chooses her besties Kat and Andie to accompany her for this dreamy vacation. After that we’re introduced to our a little control freak, geeky but cute, protective brother Luke who is the game developer of this place. His sister Pen helps him as event planner and his bestie Jay is working on marketing side. They’re just like three musketeers working together for this brand new enterprise and the best thing is Luke is promised to get a bonus if the launch turns into a success. Luke didn’t plan to meet with Julia at the beach when he was get attacked by the seagulls which steal his notebook and poop on him! Their awkward-ish romantic encounter pushes Luke to join the game as Lance character. His plan was simple! He heard a journalist will write a review about the place so he has to do anything in his power to control everything goes as planned. He also thinks Julia’s friend Kat is the writer! Julia also hides her identity to write an objective review. But when love is on the way, both of our MCs will be forced to get rid of their disguises and fall for each other! I think this was creative and entertaining reading and I honestly say I loved Julia and her friends’ conversations more than the romance parts. I think if those characters have their own talk show about modern romance, I’ll be the addictive fan of them. Those conversations were witty, smart, enjoyable! But the romantic elements of the book was a little overshadowed by the concept of romcoms. Both Julia and Luke’s characterizations are one dimensional. ( I can define both Kat and Andie with few words but I barely do that when it comes to MCs) And I couldn’t feel the real chemistry between them. Their love story is a little unreliable! But there are still great things about my reading including the supporting characters Patrick and David ( they were amazing) ! Let’s not forget assassin seagulls! They made me laugh so hard! Overall: even though the romance part was a little weak, I liked the clever dialogues, romcom references and supporting characters. It’s still feel good, enjoyable, creative, easy to read romcoms inside a romcom ( which is a brand new concept! ) Special thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press/ Griffin for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline Firkins

    fun, flirty, and utterly delightful, this one is a joyous celebration of rom-coms, a perfect escape to dive into on dreary, isolated days. The romance is sweet and plays on popular rom-com tropes while Johnson also layers in several other meaningful relationships. She gives us a trio of girlfriends whose banter feels straight out of a Sex in the City episode, a brother and sister building a stronger, more trusting bond, and a braided theme on the legacy we inherit from our parents' relationships fun, flirty, and utterly delightful, this one is a joyous celebration of rom-coms, a perfect escape to dive into on dreary, isolated days. The romance is sweet and plays on popular rom-com tropes while Johnson also layers in several other meaningful relationships. She gives us a trio of girlfriends whose banter feels straight out of a Sex in the City episode, a brother and sister building a stronger, more trusting bond, and a braided theme on the legacy we inherit from our parents' relationships. Which patterns do we embrace and which do we shed as we forge our own paths? It's a true genre rom-com with plenty of romance (Elevator make out session! Passionate kisses in the rain! Grand gestures!), and plenty of comedy (Bonnie and Clyde seagulls! A pack of adorable corgis! A When Harry Met Sally inspired fake orgasm contest!). A smile-inducing tribute to the love stories we love.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Madison Warner Fairbanks

    Too Good to Be Real by Melonie Johnson A romcom with a romcom. Creative and adorable. Julie and her two best friends go on a getaway vacation, where the hotel has created a movie game playing concept taken from well known romantic comedies. Events include famous scenes from movies encouraging interaction and mingling. Corgis and seagulls add their own unique skills to the mix where adult entertainment ensues. Yes there are deeper issues going on with the characters so the tone of the story is not Too Good to Be Real by Melonie Johnson A romcom with a romcom. Creative and adorable. Julie and her two best friends go on a getaway vacation, where the hotel has created a movie game playing concept taken from well known romantic comedies. Events include famous scenes from movies encouraging interaction and mingling. Corgis and seagulls add their own unique skills to the mix where adult entertainment ensues. Yes there are deeper issues going on with the characters so the tone of the story is not all fun and games. But it’s a romance so we get our HEA and there are many great secondary friends that might lead to more stories. I loved the hotel concept and have played some similar games at Reader conferences. I’m not sure I could give up my phone/iPad for days as was required (work and photos and books!) but the freedom of unplugged is enticing. 🎧 I listened to the audio version narrated by Juliana Solo and Cody Gordon. The two did the alternating, third person POV’s of Julia and Luke. Their voices fit the character ages well and the performance was clean from any noticeable editing issues. I alternated between 1.25 and 1.4 which is the standard for me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰

    Julia writes for a famous online magazine in Chicago. But so many people are getting fired! She needs the perfect idea for an article to convince her boss to keep her! Enter: Notting Hill Resort. A resort for fans of Rom-Coms to star in their own little romantic comedy for a week. Perfect! Luke, together with his buddy and his sister, have been working their behinds off to create the resort for their boss. And suddenly opening week is here and instead of making sure that everything in running smooth Julia writes for a famous online magazine in Chicago. But so many people are getting fired! She needs the perfect idea for an article to convince her boss to keep her! Enter: Notting Hill Resort. A resort for fans of Rom-Coms to star in their own little romantic comedy for a week. Perfect! Luke, together with his buddy and his sister, have been working their behinds off to create the resort for their boss. And suddenly opening week is here and instead of making sure that everything in running smoothly he accidentally got caught in the middle of a rom-com meet-cute with Julia - and now he's pretending to be a guest too! LOL! Let the fun times begin ... ══════════════════ ADORABLE! I really enjoyed reading this story. It was so very funny and sparky and sexy and Rom-Com-y. I adored all the people! I loved the location and the activities and the dogs and the colorful resort owner. It was all so cute and a bit over the top - but really adorable! What I didn't love was the third person POV. I prefer first person. It just makes everything so much more confusing with all the HEs and SHEs ... I don't like that. And the whole idea of this resort ... I kinda get it. But more as a single/matchmaking destination. There were so many couples and even a wedding party. I think as an only-for-singles thingy it would make so much more sense! And without all those paid actors obviously. If you can't fall for them, they're not needed at all. BUT - it was totally okay the way it was. A place for an older couple to spice up their routine et cetera. But it would just make more sense for singles only. End of rant. ☺ I really liked the story and the people! Wouldn't mind seeing this on Netflix one day! 💜 💜

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carvanz

    This was such a cute, fun read. I was smiling and laughing pretty much from the first page. I found it to be very entertaining, with characters that were easy to fall in love with. While I never really felt the chemistry between the hero and heroine, the storyline was engaging and the secondary characters were just as interesting as the main characters. With so many fun moments that included corgis and seagulls, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the world this author created. Despite the her This was such a cute, fun read. I was smiling and laughing pretty much from the first page. I found it to be very entertaining, with characters that were easy to fall in love with. While I never really felt the chemistry between the hero and heroine, the storyline was engaging and the secondary characters were just as interesting as the main characters. With so many fun moments that included corgis and seagulls, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the world this author created. Despite the hero and heroine having some issues to work through that affected their ability to take a chance on a relationship, the angst level remained low. Dual POV Safe (view spoiler)[no ow/om drama; h not a virgin; H not a manwhore (hide spoiler)] Triggers (view spoiler)[no apparent triggers (hide spoiler)]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dani

    *ARC kindly provided by the publisher, St Martin's Press, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* ✨I liked the concept of a rom-com resort. Guests could sign up for activities and reenact scenes: paintball from 'Ten Things I Hate About You', dancing from 'Dirty Dancing' (obviously), the cards from 'Love, Actually' and the boombox from 'Say Anything'. Made me want to rewatch these iconic movies! Sadly, an instance where the premise was much better than the execution. ~This story starts with *ARC kindly provided by the publisher, St Martin's Press, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* ✨I liked the concept of a rom-com resort. Guests could sign up for activities and reenact scenes: paintball from 'Ten Things I Hate About You', dancing from 'Dirty Dancing' (obviously), the cards from 'Love, Actually' and the boombox from 'Say Anything'. Made me want to rewatch these iconic movies! Sadly, an instance where the premise was much better than the execution. ~This story starts with Julia who works at a news and pop culture company (think Buzzfeed) where there's gonna be layoffs, and to secure her position, she pitches this blog/review idea to her boss about a resort that boasts a LARP (live action role playing game) through romantic-comedy movie experiences. Now, the main guy Luke here is a worker at this Notting Hill Resort that is hosting this rom-com LARP. His first meeting with Julia went a bit awry, and he ends up lying to her, saying that he is a participant (when he is, in fact, the tech guy/coordinator responsible for organizing this game) because he thinks that Julia's friend is the reviewer and he wants to sway her to give a glowing review. Julia, on the other hand, makes him believe one of her two friends is the reviewer so that Julia will not be given special treatment during her stay, and thus her review will be unbiased.~ From the start, although their relationship started on false pretences, that wasn't the biggest issue. The romance was so very one-dimensional and surface level. Their meet-cute was pretty good, but it quickly then went into insta-love/lust territory. The chemistry and humor wasn't there and all the characters (main and side) were not fleshed out at all. The concept was promising, but unfortunately, it just did not deliver. Trigger Warnings ⚠️: cancer (cancer remission for hero's sister), parental neglect (off-page)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Madison Mary

    * 3.5 Stars * This was a really fun book. It is light hearted and easy to read, perfect for a chill summer day. I love how unique the characters were and the girl-power friendship made this book amazing. Andie, Kat, and Julie have been friends since college, and you can clearly see that in the way they interact. I loved the scenes between them because i felt like i was also a part of their group. They were so realistic and felt like true 26 year olds. I could relate to a lot of the things they we * 3.5 Stars * This was a really fun book. It is light hearted and easy to read, perfect for a chill summer day. I love how unique the characters were and the girl-power friendship made this book amazing. Andie, Kat, and Julie have been friends since college, and you can clearly see that in the way they interact. I loved the scenes between them because i felt like i was also a part of their group. They were so realistic and felt like true 26 year olds. I could relate to a lot of the things they were talking about and their attitudes towards relationships and men had me laughing out loud. We all have that one friend who, when baking, tries to create something that looks like a phallus. This book was also just sex-positive and romance-positive. There were so many conversations about how no romance is perfect. That there are so many ups and down, and i really appreciated the raw take. It made this book unique. I was surprised at the two steamy scenes we got! I wasn’t expecting such detail in a traditionally published romcom and it was a welcome surprise. While i thought the romance between Luke and Julia was really cute, the problem was they we knew from the start was the conflict was going to be — they were both lying about who they were and once that came to light, it was going to split them up. And yup, that is what happened. I don’t normally live epilogues in my romcoms, but this one NEEDED one. I felt like it left off a little unfinished and I needed it to be rounded out. This is why it is a 3.5 and not a 4 star. And while the book was super fun and the opening scene is one i won’t be forgetting any time soon, there was something missing from this book. I just didn’t connect with it as i have other romcoms. But i will be keeping my eye out for more from Melonie Johnson. Overall this was a really fun summer read and i would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of romcom books and everyone who is a romcom movie fan. The more references you understand, the better the experience.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

    I don't know what to say about this book aside from that it's packed full of romance movie references so if you don't know them, you're going to be super confused. Unfortunately, it was me. I only knew a handful. Aside from that, this one followed the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 days where they both have motives and don't tell each other about them until it blows up. I thought it was an enjoyable read but I just thought it lacked a lot in terms of butterfly feelings and chemistry. I wanted to I don't know what to say about this book aside from that it's packed full of romance movie references so if you don't know them, you're going to be super confused. Unfortunately, it was me. I only knew a handful. Aside from that, this one followed the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 days where they both have motives and don't tell each other about them until it blows up. I thought it was an enjoyable read but I just thought it lacked a lot in terms of butterfly feelings and chemistry. I wanted to know them more and not her strong bond with her two other friends who kept showing up LOL I don't care about friendship. I care about the relationship.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰

    Julia writes for a famous online magazine in Chicago. But so many people are getting fired! She needs the perfect idea for an article to convince her boss to keep her! Enter: Notting Hill Resort. A resort for fans of Rom-Coms to star in their own little romantic comedy for a week. Perfect! Luke, together with his buddy and his sister, have been working their behinds off to create the resort for their boss. And suddenly opening week is here and instead of making sure that everything in running smooth Julia writes for a famous online magazine in Chicago. But so many people are getting fired! She needs the perfect idea for an article to convince her boss to keep her! Enter: Notting Hill Resort. A resort for fans of Rom-Coms to star in their own little romantic comedy for a week. Perfect! Luke, together with his buddy and his sister, have been working their behinds off to create the resort for their boss. And suddenly opening week is here and instead of making sure that everything in running smoothly he accidentally got caught in the middle of a rom-com meet-cute with Julia - and now he's pretending to be a guest too! LOL! Let the fun times begin ... ══════════════════ ADORABLE! I really enjoyed reading this story. It was so very funny and sparky and sexy and Rom-Com-y. I adored all the people! I loved the location and the activities and the dogs and the colorful resort owner. It was all so cute and a bit over the top - but really adorable! What I didn't love was the third person POV. I prefer first person. It just makes everything so much more confusing with all the HEs and SHEs ... I don't like that. And the whole idea of this resort ... I kinda get it. But more as a single/matchmaking destination. There were so many couples and even a wedding party. I think as an only-for-singles thingy it would make so much more sense! And without all those paid actors obviously. If you can't fall for them, they're not needed at all. BUT - it was totally okay the way it was. A place for an older couple to spice up their routine et cetera. But it would just make more sense for singles only. End of rant. ☺ I really liked the story and the people! Wouldn't mind seeing this on Netflix one day! 💜 💜

  11. 5 out of 5

    Larinda Agee

    When I think of entertaining reads, I have a checklist of sorts that I would like the story to encompass, at least, a few of. This story goes above and beyond and almost checks off each item on my “perfect reads” list. Fresh and Innovative or Intriguing Plot/Engaging Characters/Unique Concept/Relatable Interaction/Romance/Humor....it has all of this and so much more! Through the story, we travel to a place called Notting Hill...one of my favorite movies of all time...and experience a week at a r When I think of entertaining reads, I have a checklist of sorts that I would like the story to encompass, at least, a few of. This story goes above and beyond and almost checks off each item on my “perfect reads” list. Fresh and Innovative or Intriguing Plot/Engaging Characters/Unique Concept/Relatable Interaction/Romance/Humor....it has all of this and so much more! Through the story, we travel to a place called Notting Hill...one of my favorite movies of all time...and experience a week at a romantic simulation getaway through the eyes of three fabulous friends! While there, they experience the ups and downs of the “sim” and each find their own version of romance and fun interactions along the way. From beginning to end, I was thoroughly entertained. With the romantic comedy references, there was an element of sparkle added and sprinkled throughout. If you are looking for a fun, entertaining, wish-you-were-transported-into-the-story kind of book, this must be on your list! I cannot recommend it enough!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

    Have you ever wanted to experience what it's like to be in a rom-com? Have you ever wanted to live the lives of our beloved characters from When Harry met Sally, Notting Hill, 10 Things I Hate About You, Sex in the City, the list goes on and on. Well Julia and her two friends actually will have that opportunity to do just that for one entire all-inclusive week. As soon as they arrive at the resort in Wisconsin, Julia immediately meets Luke in the most adorable meet-cute way. But Luke isn't the Have you ever wanted to experience what it's like to be in a rom-com? Have you ever wanted to live the lives of our beloved characters from When Harry met Sally, Notting Hill, 10 Things I Hate About You, Sex in the City, the list goes on and on. Well Julia and her two friends actually will have that opportunity to do just that for one entire all-inclusive week. As soon as they arrive at the resort in Wisconsin, Julia immediately meets Luke in the most adorable meet-cute way. But Luke isn't there to play the game, he's supposed to be the Game Master. Since he wants to know more about this woman, he reluctantly hands over the reigns to his sister, Penelope. The story progresses with several rom-com style activities and some not so planned activities (like a kleptomaniac seagull!) I really liked these main characters. Both Luke and Julia had their little quirks that made both characters very relatable. Luke was an adorable geek and Julia was a struggling writer who was skeptical about long term relationships. However, I didn't care for Kat or Andie. They barely seemed relevant to the story. However, I might be interested to see if Melonie Johnson created a 2nd and 3rd book focusing on their stories, they would definitely have potential. This was an easy, engaging read that I would recommend to lovers of rom-coms. There were many times I was laughing or smiling right along with the characters. Even the cover of this book was adorable! 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 Thanks to NetGalley for a free copy of this book for my honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Glaser

    This novel was my first Melonie Johnson and might I say, she has such a humorous wit about her writing. Too Good to be Real is about a trio of friends (specifically, Julia whom is a magazine journalist) that venture to a newly established resort where all guests are encouraged to play a character of a well known rom-com (think Meg Ryan, Cameron Diaz, etc); this resort has established this sim-like experience where a person can experience meet-cutes and other romantic notions. Some of the “guests This novel was my first Melonie Johnson and might I say, she has such a humorous wit about her writing. Too Good to be Real is about a trio of friends (specifically, Julia whom is a magazine journalist) that venture to a newly established resort where all guests are encouraged to play a character of a well known rom-com (think Meg Ryan, Cameron Diaz, etc); this resort has established this sim-like experience where a person can experience meet-cutes and other romantic notions. Some of the “guests” are paid actors, there to set the image of the game. Julia just wants to write a review of this resort for the chance to get in the good graces of her boss, but is finding it tough to sort out what’s real and what’s part of the game. The entire time I was reading this book, it reminded me of The Bold Type tv show (it’s subject contents, conversations, and this group of 3 strong women). It was nice to see the plot of this book wasn’t something I’d ever read about before, ringing a completely new experience. Most of all, I must applaud this author for stressing that a successful relationship only comes from one person placing the other person’s joy as a priority (along with their own) and noting that lasting love requires work at times! This made this book so much more relatable and realistic than a typical rom-com!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Keats

    This book was cute and funny and exactly hit all the tropes any fan of classic RomCom movies will know and love. Luke, a nerdy programmer/LARP game designer is part of a team running a RomCom-themed vacation. Julia is there with her friends to write a review of the experience. The two of them have a real-life meet cute, and then spend the week falling in love. But neither of them are willing to reveal their whole truth to each other. And how do they know if what they feel is real or is it all pa This book was cute and funny and exactly hit all the tropes any fan of classic RomCom movies will know and love. Luke, a nerdy programmer/LARP game designer is part of a team running a RomCom-themed vacation. Julia is there with her friends to write a review of the experience. The two of them have a real-life meet cute, and then spend the week falling in love. But neither of them are willing to reveal their whole truth to each other. And how do they know if what they feel is real or is it all part of the fantasy? I particularly loved that Luke wasn't your typical over-muscled, exceedingly charming leading man. And the various side characters (even the seagull) filled out this fun romp of a book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeeves Reads Romance

    This sweet yet sexy rom com put me in such a nostalgic mood. It's got so many great references to the rom com movies of years past, and I liked the easygoing, laidback vibe. It's perhaps a little too long and a little TOO laidback, but I enjoyed the story as a whole. This one will work best for those who love romance that's got humor, heart, and just a touch of heat. The story follows Julia, a journalist whose career is in jeopardy. She's been tasked with reviewing a destination, and it can't be This sweet yet sexy rom com put me in such a nostalgic mood. It's got so many great references to the rom com movies of years past, and I liked the easygoing, laidback vibe. It's perhaps a little too long and a little TOO laidback, but I enjoyed the story as a whole. This one will work best for those who love romance that's got humor, heart, and just a touch of heat. The story follows Julia, a journalist whose career is in jeopardy. She's been tasked with reviewing a destination, and it can't be anywhere too expensive. So when Julia discovers that there's a real life romance retreat opening up not too far from her home, it sounds like the perfect option. Her friends join her on a vacation that promises to make them feel like they're in a movie come to life, and that's definitely what happens. Julia has her own imperfectly perfect meet cute with an adorkable guy, and their romance seems almost too good to be true. And you know what? Maybe that's because it is. Julia and Luke are both keeping secrets that threaten to hit their fairytale romance with a heavy dose of reality. I will say that I found this to be slow-moving and frustratingly charming at times, but I still liked the vast majority of it. Readers who love a low angst, laidback romance will likely fall for the story though - it's classic with a twist, and the premise is pretty unique. I liked that the characters are flawed and have insecurities, which added some authenticity to the stylized rom com vibe. Luke is a great guy, a cinnamon roll sweetheart who knows he's not the typical romance hero. And Julia's group of friends make this a well-rounded read that hints towards future books. It may have been a little slow (this sits between 3 and 4 stars for me), but there's something to be said about a story that is just so charming. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this rom com.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    3.5 /5 stars Too Good to Be Real is a romantic comedy. It is my first book by this author. This book is an enjoyable fun, charming, quick read. The female narrator is Julia (3rd person POV). She writes for a popular website and makes a pitch to her boss. I really liked everything about the resort where she ends up. The story mostly takes place at a Wisconsin resort that gives visitors a romantic comedy experience. I sort of loved this premise. Other things that I loved were the brother-sister Luke/P 3.5 /5 stars Too Good to Be Real is a romantic comedy. It is my first book by this author. This book is an enjoyable fun, charming, quick read. The female narrator is Julia (3rd person POV). She writes for a popular website and makes a pitch to her boss. I really liked everything about the resort where she ends up. The story mostly takes place at a Wisconsin resort that gives visitors a romantic comedy experience. I sort of loved this premise. Other things that I loved were the brother-sister Luke/Penelope relationship. Luke is the male narrator (3rd person POV) and I just adored all of the interactions between him and his sister. Also the owner of the resort is hilarious and eccentric. The book was super funny and I loved everything to do with the seagulls (Bonnie and Clyde) But the best part of the book is the amazing friendship between Julia, Kat and Andie. I love seeing female friendships depicted this way. The main romance was good. And I did enjoy the chemistry between the couple. But what the book lacked for me was more in terms of surprises. It was an enjoyable read. But I wanted more. Overall, if you are looking for a fun and flirty light read that follows a traditional rom-com formula then this book is for you. Thanks to netgalley and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Julia is a writer in her mid-20s, working a semi-gig job at Trendlist (think: Buzzfeed). When rumors of layoffs circulate, Julia knows that she has to go to her boss and tell her that she can write more than just listicles. Her boss gives her an opportunity to write for Trendlist's famous new segment that reviews fun destinations around the world, and Julia jumps at the chance. After a bit of research, she finds Notting Hill - a romcom resort on the shores of Lake Michigan - for her and her two Julia is a writer in her mid-20s, working a semi-gig job at Trendlist (think: Buzzfeed). When rumors of layoffs circulate, Julia knows that she has to go to her boss and tell her that she can write more than just listicles. Her boss gives her an opportunity to write for Trendlist's famous new segment that reviews fun destinations around the world, and Julia jumps at the chance. After a bit of research, she finds Notting Hill - a romcom resort on the shores of Lake Michigan - for her and her two best friends to enjoy for a week. The resort is supposed to give guests a chance to live out their romcom dreams, filled with characters stolen from the most famous romance movies (Bridget...Johnson, Meg...Bryant, etc.), meet-cutes, and romantic activities. Julia knows that she's there to give an impartial review of the place, but when she runs into Luke (literally, runs into him on the beach), she knows she's going to get a lot more than what she bargained for. When I think about what I love in my favorite romcoms (both book and film), it's always the characters. I want two real, flawed, rounded characters that I can love and hate and laugh with and cry with. I don't want a quirky-weird character whose only flaws are just charming eccentricities, and I don't want someone who's just classically hot and boring, and I don't want a recycled, flat trope of a spinster woman exhausted with love or a nerd with no woman skills (who actually does have "woman skills"). I'll admit that these standards are really high, and I feel like they are rarely met. I couldn't even concretely tell you what I didn't like about Julia and Luke - the traits of "two real characters" are something I really only know when I read it. In terms of plot, I feel like a lot of romcoms these days rely way too hard on the trope or the gimmick and not enough on the chemistry and the (real-life) world-building. When books do that, the plot becomes insanely predictable. There's a dash of hidden identities (Julia hiding that she's a reporter and Luke hiding that he's the game master), lots of romcom activities (paintball, getting stuck in the rain, etc.), and a convenient deus ex machina to tie it all up - the dreaded Trendlist article. Each main character has a squad of two sidekicks that fill all of the cliches, from girlfriends for Julia to drink cocktails and watch romcoms with to a best friend-sister combo to give Luke a makeover. It's just all so stereotypical and predictable that reading almost felt pointless. I can't even count the number of times that I yelled out, "Oh my god, seriously?" at something so corny it elicited a verbal response. Also, while I'm nitpicking, I find that I rarely like romcoms where you get the perspective of both love interests. I find that it's much more realistic, enjoyable, and swoon-worthy to just get one perspective and leave you guessing as to what's going through the other person's mind. And one more thing - did anyone else find this plot very similar to Austenland? Just me? Overall, I wouldn't recommend this romcom - I really wish I had enjoyed it more, but I found that it was a relatively shallow book that didn't give me the depth I was looking for and recycled many tired tropes that made the book entirely too predictable to enjoy. Thank you to St. Martin's Griffin for the ARC via Netgalley.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    I loved this! The Rom-com resort was the perfect setting.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Too Good to Be Real was all kinds of cute and filled with tons of awkward and funny moments as well. It also reminded me of Austenland but way cuter and with less annoying characters (for me). In it, you will meet Julia and Luke. Now these two had tons of chemistry throughout the book. Plus the little baby sparks from their first meeting was kind of adorable. But the real thing that kept me laughing? Julia and her friends.. a I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Too Good to Be Real was all kinds of cute and filled with tons of awkward and funny moments as well. It also reminded me of Austenland but way cuter and with less annoying characters (for me). In it, you will meet Julia and Luke. Now these two had tons of chemistry throughout the book. Plus the little baby sparks from their first meeting was kind of adorable. But the real thing that kept me laughing? Julia and her friends.. and the seagulls. Man the birds were hilarious. The trio of girls were equally entertaining due to their bantering too. It just shows you how close they truly were. Now some of the events were kind of interesting to me. I mean, a sand castle competition and paintballing sounds like a lot of fun. It's just the whole fake name thing that would mess me up. Just like Julia and her friends, I would end up saying everyone's real name instead of their fake one. With all the puns and bittersweet moments, the book was quite enjoyable. I cringed, laughed, and made comments in each chapter. It was definitely entertaining and a page turner for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    juls

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. ARC provided by netgalley in exchange of a honest review. I was really looking forward to reading this book, because of the cover and the fact that the main character is called Julia (it is very difficult to find books characters with my name and I was super anxious to read). This book is light and fun, and it has everything a perfect rom com offers. The whole theme involving old romantic comedy films is extremely fun and something I had never seen before. I would like to talk about three things ARC provided by netgalley in exchange of a honest review. I was really looking forward to reading this book, because of the cover and the fact that the main character is called Julia (it is very difficult to find books characters with my name and I was super anxious to read). This book is light and fun, and it has everything a perfect rom com offers. The whole theme involving old romantic comedy films is extremely fun and something I had never seen before. I would like to talk about three things that for me were the strong point of the book. Julia is a character that won me over and that I felt represented many times. Julia loves romantic comedies, but she doesn't believe that it really exists. Even dreaming of living a movie-worthy romance, Julia still thinks it's impossible to live that. And it touched my wound, because I have the same vision. I just love her. I loved all the secondary characters. The whole dynamics of Julia's relationship with her best friends, Andie and Kat, is incredible. I loved it even though it wasn't the main story, we see the romance between Curt and Andie growing, how we fell in love with the relationship between Patrick and David, Sally and Harry, and Pen and Jay. It's amazing to see a book that also focuses on the secondary characters, they are not just there to be a tool for Julia and Luke's story, they are also experiencing their romantic comedy. And for last, but not least, let me talk about Luke. Luke is incredible. He is centered and loving, but he doesn't know how to fall in love. And that's one of the things that makes "too good to be real" fun the most. Seeing Luke discover that he is in love and having to deal with an imperfection of his own feeling is something extremely important for the story. It is one of the first times in a rom com that I saw the man being afraid of falling in love and who shows it openly, without feeling exposed. And I have to talk about Luke's whole relationship with the two seagulls, Bonnie and Clyde. Simply incredible. Bonnie and Clyde 4life.

  21. 5 out of 5

    l a u r a

    3.75/5 RTC! ≫ ──── ∗ ⋅ notes ⋅ ∗ ──── ≪ why does everything mention bridgett jones’s diary… imagine being so out of shape that you cant move your legs after running for like 2 minutes and your legs are “atrophied skin sacks” LMAOOO YES LUKE! WE LOVE CONSENT luke is a sweet guy, but he can be stupid sometimes and hopelessly oblivious when it comes to his *cough* sister and his best friend *cough* (im so sorry if that’s a spoiler but it was just so terribly obvious i have NO IDEA just how he didn’t se 3.75/5 RTC! ≫ ──── ∗ ⋅ notes ⋅ ∗ ──── ≪ why does everything mention bridgett jones’s diary… imagine being so out of shape that you cant move your legs after running for like 2 minutes and your legs are “atrophied skin sacks” LMAOOO YES LUKE! WE LOVE CONSENT luke is a sweet guy, but he can be stupid sometimes and hopelessly oblivious when it comes to his *cough* sister and his best friend *cough* (im so sorry if that’s a spoiler but it was just so terribly obvious i have NO IDEA just how he didn’t see it, maybe it’s the protective big brother kicking in but still) both trios (kat andie jules & luke pen jay) are amazing. seriously. curt and his “oh yeah”s always come in at the right time haha this literally has so many good quotes and paragraphs, it makes my heart melt. (view spoiler)[jay’s proposal is sweet and all but… i feel like that’s more of a “i love you” instead of “i want to marry you” (hide spoiler)] rom-coms always manage to break my heart in different ways.🥺 Julia watched, desire careering through her as he nipped at her fingers with his teeth. One by one he pulled her fingers into his mouth, sucking gently. Each tug pulled at something deep inside her. Her knees wobbled. ummmm this… i did not know this was gonna be a erotica type of book- 03/27/21 ━━━━━━━━━━━༻༻❁༺༺━━━━━━━━━━━ this is going to be my fourth rom com this month… only halfway through the month and im not even that much of a romance fan… hopefully after a few more books, i will be :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 1st Reading: 9th-11th February 2021 Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley + in exchange for an honest opinion. Thank you Netgalley for the ARC This story is just simple yet it takes my heart and IT'S SO SO GOOD. I've never read any of the author's works but this one is AMAZING. The blurb sounds just like a normal romance between strangers but believes me this one is different. I like the characters and their development until the end of the story. I like the plot and 1st Reading: 9th-11th February 2021 Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley + in exchange for an honest opinion. Thank you Netgalley for the ARC This story is just simple yet it takes my heart and IT'S SO SO GOOD. I've never read any of the author's works but this one is AMAZING. The blurb sounds just like a normal romance between strangers but believes me this one is different. I like the characters and their development until the end of the story. I like the plot and just like other normal romance stories, this one is an insta-love story. Our MCs are attracted to each other from their first meeting on the beach. I personally not really like the ending. It doesn't mean the ending was bad but I think it can be better than the actual ending. I hope for more thrill and angsty moments between the MCs but in the end, it's just like that. The ending is good but I WANT MORE OF THEM. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the chance on receiving this ARC.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liv Arnold

    A unique premise set in a hotel theme of rom coms. I loved all the references to rom coms. The main hero Luke was such a goofy and adorable man. A well welcomed break from the typical buffed up and perfect male leads. Julia and Luke both kept secrets from each other. I knew the secrets were going to come out which put me on the edge of my seat. I loved the opening page with Julia’s friends. Such fun banter. At the end of the book, I had the sudden urge to watch a rom com.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pbkreader

    If you love a good Rom-Com, goofy situations and laugh out loud dialog, then Too Good to Be Real needs to be on your "must read" list. Melonie Johnson writes dialog so well that you feel like you're at the table enjoying drinks with her characters! Let's face it, you have to love an author whose tag line is FUN. FLIRTY. AND A WEE BIT DIRTY! #TooGoodtoBeReal #Netgalley If you love a good Rom-Com, goofy situations and laugh out loud dialog, then Too Good to Be Real needs to be on your "must read" list. Melonie Johnson writes dialog so well that you feel like you're at the table enjoying drinks with her characters! Let's face it, you have to love an author whose tag line is FUN. FLIRTY. AND A WEE BIT DIRTY! #TooGoodtoBeReal #Netgalley

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susana

    Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Release date: July 6 Did I download this book off Netgalley even though my feedback ratio is now lower than 60%? Yes... Do I regret it...? heck no, lol This sounds like a romance I will really enjoy so I'm excited!! Also, the dog on the cover 🥺 Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Release date: July 6 Did I download this book off Netgalley even though my feedback ratio is now lower than 60%? Yes... Do I regret it...? heck no, lol This sounds like a romance I will really enjoy so I'm excited!! Also, the dog on the cover 🥺

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michele Skaggs

    This was such an adorable fun read. I loved every minute of it, and I couldn’t put it down! The romance between Luke and Julia was written so well! This story made me smile so many times, and laugh as well. Definitely recommended for romance readers! Thank you Netgallery for this arc!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Tinker

    corgi on the cover 👀👀👀👀👀👀

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    A very meta romantic comedy Julia is a writer desperate to save her job. She's tired of posting nothing but quizzes and lists. So she pitches an article to her boss in an attempt to save her job: a new resort that's letting its guests live out their romantic comedy dreams via role playing. Julia doesn't believe in love, of course, but she'll play along if it means keeping her job. But when she and her two best friends show up, she meets a handsome man by the lake via the quintessential meet-cute: A very meta romantic comedy Julia is a writer desperate to save her job. She's tired of posting nothing but quizzes and lists. So she pitches an article to her boss in an attempt to save her job: a new resort that's letting its guests live out their romantic comedy dreams via role playing. Julia doesn't believe in love, of course, but she'll play along if it means keeping her job. But when she and her two best friends show up, she meets a handsome man by the lake via the quintessential meet-cute: a humorous seagull incident. She thinks Luke is taking part in the rom-com experience, but he's actually one of the event planners, along with his best friend and sister. Luke decides to take part in the experience in order to impress a reviewer arriving. Sparks fly between the two, but can their love be real when no one is being honest about who they are? "I'm as likely to find the wardrobe to Narnia as I am to find my own Mark Darcy. Life isn't like a romantic comedy." This was a perfectly cute romantic comedy and it's important to remember that 3-stars is in no way a negative rating. Did this book wow me or sweep me off my feet? No. But it had its funny moments. The concept is an interesting and original one: a rom-com resort, where guests are assigned a character, a role to play, select activities, and then the games begin. The characters get funny names associated with famous romantic comedies (think Sally, a la Harry Met Sally) and there are a ton of references to all sorts of rom-com favorites. If you're a romantic comedy fan, you'll love all the little inside jokes. "For the chance to achieve his dreams, Luke had to do one thing. Make the fantasy real." I liked Julia's character and enjoyed Luke, although I must admit the guy was a bit of a clueless idiot. The seagulls were easily the best characters in the book and some of their scenes made me laugh out loud. I'm never a fan of "lying by omission" plots, so it was a little hard to stomach that the story that was based off of falsehoods. Julia and Luke did have chemistry but also suffered a bit from instalove--maybe it was the seagulls? Overall, this is a fun, fairly quick read, peppered with rom-com references. It's definitely silly and a bit cheesy, but sweet too. 3 stars. I received a copy of this book from St. Martin's Press and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb

  29. 5 out of 5

    aitana ☾

    not for me

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jewlsbookblog

    This was a cute, flirty read! I just needed an epilogue to tie matters up. Even an HFN would work! Johnson’s way with dialogue is my favorite part of her stories, along with solid friendships, and positive messages on body image/self confidence.

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