Review & Excerpt: How to Lose a Fiancé by Stefanie London

Posted June 18th 2019 by The Faerie Queen in Blog Tours, Excerpts, Reviews / 1 Comment

Review & Excerpt: How to Lose a Fiancé by Stefanie London

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How to Lose a Fiancé

Review & Excerpt: How to Lose a Fiancé by Stefanie London
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Author: Stefanie London
Publisher: Entangled: Indulgence
Release date: June 17th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 277
Format: eBook
Source: Entangled

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Star rating:
Heat rating: three-flames

Sophia Andreou has always been the “good daughter” who tried to keep her domineering father happy. She followed the rules and did everything that was asked of her. But this time, her father is asking too much. The family company is crumbling, and her father has arranged a marriage to a Greek billionaire who can save their property business. What?! Umm no thank you. If Cinderella can dress up to win a prince, surely Sophia can do the opposite and ditch hers...

Dion Kourakis has come a long way from being an orphan with only a single friend to his name. Now he runs a billion-dollar investment company and has the respect of everyone in Europe. His charming personality covers a lot of emotional scars, including his desire to make his mentor proud. Dion doesn’t exactly want a bride to go along with his next business deal, and he plans on letting the lass down gently when they meet...

Only, his future bride has turned out to be nothing like what he thought she’d be. She’s quirky and has a habit of turning up to social events in strange outfits. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what she’s up to, but the harder she tries to convince him she’d be an awful wife, the more he wants to convince her they’d be perfect together.

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The Faerie Queen’s review

It’s a weird day when my biggest problem with the book is the cover. And it’s not even a bad cover when you take it as it is. It’s just… the heroine of this book, Sophia, is frequently described as pale, paler than Dion at the very least. So why is this beautiful but very tanned woman on the cover??? Yes, I know that’s a very picky point for me to make, but ugh.

Now that my worst criticism is over and done with… I read this book mostly in one sitting. Seriously. I pretty much read it all in one day, aside from the first few percent that I read before sleeping, only getting up for bathroom breaks. I barely ate on Sunday because I didn’t want to stop reading. I had plans for that day! Aspirations! I was going to accomplish things! And yet this book demanded my attention.

In the story, Sophia is effectively sold to Dion as part of the sale of her father’s business. All she wants is to hide away from the world while running her own online business, but her father has her mother under his control, and Sophia won’t leave her mother unprotected. So, to keep her mother happy and healthy, she agrees to fly to Greece and meet Dion. However, she has no intention of actually getting married. Instead, she plans to adopt rather interesting hobbies and styles to encourage Dion to reject her.

The only problem with this is that Dion really, really, really wants this company. He has ulterior motives for buying it; he wants it destroyed, and he will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. What results is some rather hilarious interactions, particularly involving taxidermy and a certain fox. (Just scroll down to read an excerpt involving said fox; this little guy is really important!)

What I really like about this book is that it surprised me quite a few times. It looked like it was gonna go down particular routes at here and there, and it would have been very predictable if it had done so. For example, I really don’t like plots that involve cheating, and I would have probably given up on the book if the cliché cheating scandal was used. But Stefanie managed to avoid that, and I’m so pleased she did. Instead we got something a little bit more unique given that it looked like it was going to be a fairly standard Greek billionaire story with an alpha male.

We got something a tad bit deeper. The tension between the characters didn’t come from people not communicating, nor from serious power trips — well, not exactly. Really, it was born out of a lack of self-awareness. Maybe a dash of toxic masculinity as well, given that men are supposed to show emotions other than anger. Dion did try to to get to know Sophia and to accommodate her wants and needs, while Sophia gave Dion chances. They even communicated about most things fairly quickly. It all came down to not being able to accept love as a viable emotion, and not just romantic love.

Ultimately, there was a good balance of emotional depth and humour that kept me hooked from (almost) the beginning to the very end. This might be one of the best billionaire stories I’ve read in a while. I’m looking forward to reading more from Stefanie!

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Excerpt

He expected some hesitation from her over the marriage thing. Hell, he’d hesitated himself. It had taken him a full two weeks to process her father’s offer—or rather, ultimatum—and come to grips with the idea of marrying a stranger. Seeing his mentor, Elias, hooked up to half a dozen different machines after having a fall in his home, with tubes coming out of every orifice, had finally pushed him over the edge.

Closure was now within Dion’s grasp, he could shut the final page of his father’s book. He wanted that feeling so bad he could taste it…so bad he would marry a stranger.

“We have plenty of time to get to know one another.” Dion motioned for her to follow him outside. “Your father told me that you’ve been working in the family business.”

“That’s right. I’ve been doing some general admin,” she replied. “And I have my own virtual assistant business, too.”

The sun had set some time ago, but the lights dotted around the garden brightened the front of the house. He unlocked the car and held the door for her.

“Ah, so you’re a businesswoman. I’m sure we’ll have a lot to talk about, then.”

“Sure, although it’s not real passion in life, to be honest.” She looked at him expectantly, as though wanting an invitation to elaborate.

“What would you rather be doing?” he asked.

The car’s engine rumbled as he pulled out of the circular path in front of the four-car garage. A warm breeze carried the salty tang of the ocean into the car.

“You know, I’m really passionate about taxidermy.” Sophia nodded as though this was the most normal thing to say. “There’s just something about animals that fascinates me.”

“Taxidermy?” He frowned. “Like, stuffing dead animals?”

“Stuffing or mounting,” she said. “It includes both.”

Was she for real? Her expression didn’t reveal even a sliver of amusement.

“I see it as a way to prolong an animal’s life,” she explained. “I know it might seem a little strange, but trust me. When I bring my collection over, you’ll see how wonderful it is.”

He gulped. “Your collection?”

“Yes, I have a huge collection. Squirrels and racoons and a couple of cats that I found. Strays, you know. Lots of people think they have time for a pet and then they just dump them. I even have a fox. She’s a real beauty. I was thinking we could put her in the living room. Or maybe the foyer, so she can greet guests.” She clapped her hands together. “Baroness Sasha Foxington III would absolutely love that.”

Baroness. Sasha. Foxington the fucking third.

Was he in a nightmare right now?

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About Stefanie London

USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance with humour, heat and heart. Also llamas.

Originally from Melbourne, Australia Stefanie now lives in Toronto, Canada with her wonderful husband. She loves to read, collect lipsticks, watch zombie movies, and drink coffee.

Her bestselling book, Pretend It's Love, is a 2016 Romantic Book of the Year finalist with the Romance Writers of Australia.

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