Fri
Aug 11 2017 1:00pm

Until the Sun Sets’ Friends-to-Fake-Lovers Makes for the Perfect Summer Read

Until the Sun Sets by Tara Wyatt

It’s not too late to read a hot, tender beach-ready romance before summer shifts into fall. Tara Wyatt’s Until the Sun Sets is a perfect choice.

Dean Grayson is nobody’s fool so when his cousin Luke offers him a Goose Island beer and says he needs a favor, his spidey-sense goes into overdrive. What’s this all about?

Just how big a favor was Luke about to ask of him? Jeez, maybe he needed a kidney or something, and he thought because they were cousins, they’d have a better chance of being a match. Granted, he probably wouldn’t be giving him beer—or drinking one himself—if he needed a kidney, and he’d said what he had to ask him was about the wedding, but. . .

Luke admits straight out that what he has to say is awkward, “But Christie and I are a little worried.” They want Dean—on incredibly short notice—to bring a date to their Mexican destination wedding. How’s that going to work out since Dean is solo?

“Well, I’m not seeing anyone right now, so that might be tricky.” Truth be told, Dean saw a lot of women, but not in any official capacity. Never in a let’s-go-to-Mexico-together capacity.

It gets worse. Luke struggles to get it out.

“Right. But you’re . . . Shit.” He cleared his throat and scratched at his temple. “I’m not trying to be an asshole, but we’re worried about how you’ll behave in Mexico,” he said all in a rush, as though ripping off a verbal Band-Aid. “With the bridesmaids, and Christie’s friends.”

Dean can’t quite put his finger on how he feels about the request—is he embarrassed? Indignant? The engaged couple believes a date will prevent Dean’s “focus” from wandering. Dean gets the message: “Focus means dick, right?” He’s not happy about the ultimatum, but family is family, not to mention Luke’s perfect recall of Dean’s transgressions.

“In recent memory? Let’s see.” He held up a hand, ticking his examples off on his fingers as he went. “My first wedding. Matt and Ellie’s engagement party. The family camping trip to Yellowstone. That time when—.”

Dean cries uncle and heads off to his bar, The Tipsy Bison, even though, “a rock settled in the pit of his stomach at the idea that his family thought he was a thirty-year-old fuck-up-drama-magnet manwhore.” When his first employee/work-buddy cum best friend Carly Jensen spots him, she notices, “his slumped shoulders and the way his brows were drawn together.” Obviously, time for one of her customary meal breaks with the boss, not that it’s a hardship…and Carly is feeling a bit slumped shoulders herself, since her doctor-boyfriend just dumped her for another woman.

Truth was, she’d always had a crush on Dean. Short, thick hair, so dark it was almost black. Light blue eyes that contrasted appealingly with his olive skin. Killer smile, chiseled jaw. He was six feet of hard muscles and had a masculine confidence that oozed out of every pore. Really, it would’ve been virtually impossible not to be a t least a little attracted to him.

How does that song go—“Love the one you’re with”—or at least ask your best pal if she’ll do you a solid and come to Mexico for a week. Carly says yes but she has major butterflies when she’s beside him, waiting for the plane to take off, and it’s not just fear of flying. It’s more that Dean is the complete package and suddenly her brain is flooded with adjectives “good-looking,” “nice,” “fun.”

And completely unavailable, she reminded herself. For the second time since he’d asked her to come with him, she wondered if maybe this was a bad idea. The first time had happened the morning after he’d asked her, her doubt triggered by the smoking-hot sex dream she’d had about Dean.

No need to be a fortune-teller to see where this relationship is going.

As fate would have it, Carly’s ex is also a guest at the wedding…with his new girlfriend. To protect her pride, Carly and Dean decide to fake a relationship for the week. But between the sand, surf, and sharing a bed, these friends turned lovers realize they’re meant for something more.

A small quibble with the last sentence—particularly for Dean, even those his world is turned upside down by the fabulous time he’s having with Carly—doesn’t a relationship that starts out fake, falls under the tab of “what happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico”? Carly realizes before their magical week comes to a close that she is head over heels in love with Dean but he isn’t quite there yet. Her friend Rose assures Carly that Dean just doesn’t know yet how he feels, that it’s “the things you fight for that endure.” That’s the enduring truth of Until the Sun Sets: you never know if you’re loved until you set the other person free.

***

Learn more about or order a copy of Until the Sun Sets by Tara Wyatt, available now:

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Janet Webb aka @JanetETennessee moved from the San Francisco Bay to eastern Tennessee. Baseball is my passion: I follow the Chattanooga Lookouts and the Nashville Sounds (farm team of my beloved Oakland Athletics). Social media devotee. Stories on royals and politics catch my eye. Ottawa born. Grew up on Georgette Heyer and Helen MacInnes. I also review at Criminal Element.

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