Review: “Fake Start” by Jasmin Miller

Series: Kings of the Water, #4

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: June 25th, 2021

Add to Goodreads | Amazon.in (Available on KU)

You know that awkward moment when your agent tells you to fake date your best friend’s sister so you can get the endorsement deal of your dreams? No?

Call me crazy for considering it, but why not? Daisy’s my friend, after all, and I’ve gotten quite close to her and her two awesome boys over the last few years since her douche-nozzle husband divorced her. She loves it when I flirt with her, so we could carry it off, couldn’t we?

An endorsement deal with Lock Performance has been my goal ever since I was little, and it would be one of the biggest accomplishments in my professional swimming career. Something I want desperately.

But what I didn’t expect from this fake start was to want something else—someone—just as desperately. How do I make sure I don’t lose both?

 

I cannot believe we’ve reached the end of the Kings of the Water series, because I was just getting attached to these characters. Now I have to accept that I must let them go and I’m not ready to do that just yet. But, Jasmin did save the swooniest for the last, because Hunter Kinney is absolute perfection. 

The thing that Jasmin does really well with her stories is the sweet and steamy vibe, which is really strong with Fake Start. And as the title suggests, it’s a fake relationship romance, but it’s got so much more going for it. Fake Start is a funny, heartfelt and incredible romance that will grip you right from the first page all the way till the end, where you’ll want to start from the beginning again. Because we’ve all fallen in love with these Kings and having more time with them sounds like the perfect way to spend our summer days. Right?

Like his friends before him, Hunter is an Olympic level professional swimmer and he’s damn good at what he does. While the other guys have all retired and gone on to start their own training facility, Hunter is still swimming and working to get endorsements that will change his life. Hunter is also an eternal bachelor, which has never been wrong for him. Till the one brand he wants more than life itself makes a comment about how they would prefer a family man. And Hunter is at a loss for how to make that happen. He’s not allergic to commitment, he just never thought about it. Till Daisy becomes the object of everyone’s attention.

“With Hunter, things have been so different, the opposite actually. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had this much fun. Somehow I feel more like myself when I’m around him.”

As a divorced single mother of two, Daisy’s life is a little chaotic. Her big brother, Noah (who we met in Second Dive) is her saving grace and it just so happens that Hunter and Noah are best buddies from all their swimming together. Not only is Daisy a little older than Hunter, but with her divorce in her rearview mirror, she’s realising that she hasn’t lived her life all that much and it’s a little unsettling. Daisy’s had this secret crush on Hunter for years, which isn’t totally unbelievable given that Hunter is a Greek god wrapped in Speedos. Their friendship has always been strong, though, and Daisy is grateful for that because Hunter gets along with her sons really well and can control them better than most people in her life. And Daisy appreciates that about him in so many ways.

While I’m not a big fan of the whole ‘we want a family man as the face of our brand’ reason for a fake relationship, that was all drowned out by the fact that Hunter and Daisy are absolutely perfect together. Their long standing friendship helps them sell the relationship, because they’re already so comfortable with each other. And of course, there’s some chemistry there, even if both of them are ignoring it. Hunter doesn’t want a relationship (till Daisy) and she’s still coming off of this messy divorce so there’s a lot in the way of them getting together.

“This woman is the other piece of my soul, the person my essence identifies as its own, and I don’t ever want to live without her.”

What starts as a fake date for one event turns into really selling their relationship at a company retreat, where it becomes clear that there’s so much more lurking beneath the surface than they realised. And oh boy, when they take that leap together, it is so very hot. Hunter and Daisy have all this pent up sexual tension and desire that’s been waiting to be unleashed and now that the can is open, there’s no closing it ever again. It’s all kinds of hot and I love how comfortable Daisy is with Hunter doing everything and anything, because she enjoys it all way too much. All that chemistry they’ve been building for years really adds that oomph to their relationship when they’re suddenly naked and in each other’s arms.

Daisy and Hunter are so great! Together and individually. I love how charming and kind and generous Hunter is with gifts for her and how he loves her kids and I love how open and welcoming Daisy is. Sure, they both know that any chance of a real relationship is based on her kids and her brother, but everything makes sense in every other way. He’s a professional athlete, but Hunter is so much more than just a handsome jock. And I love that he breaks that stereotype and provides Daisy with the perfect shoulder to lean on and the perfect kind of love that she deserves.

Jasmin is definitely ending the series with a bang. I’m going to miss these guys, but this just gives me a good excuse to read the books all over again and that’s never a bad thing in my mind.


Thanks to Jasmin Miller and Give Me Books Promotions for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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