Tease (Cloverleigh Farms #8) by Melanie Harlow

Felicity MacAllister and Hutton French had been friends since middle school. They never rolled with the popular crowds and that was just fine by them – they were perfectly content in their own little bubble. Even though they went their separate ways after high school, they never strayed far and remained close friends even as Hutton became a billionaire. When their 10-year high school reunion came around, Felicity wanted to go to prove that she made something of herself but Hutton, who struggled with debilitating social anxiety, wanted no part of it. Felicity was having a string of bad luck in the days leading up to the reunion which culminated in her blurting out news of her engagement to a sexy billionaire in response to some bullying from one of her former classmates. After receiving Felicity’s frantic call asking him to come and play her fake fiancé of the night, Hutton reluctantly agrees. Still, neither of them expects word of their engagement to be on the front page of every gossip site the next day. Felicity is willing to set the record straight right away but Hutton thinks they should give it a little time since having a fiancé will actually help take a lot of pressure off him. The next thing they know, Felicity is moving in with him and they’re practicing all sorts of things that quickly start to feel quite real. Will this ruse end up uncovering true feelings that neither one was willing to acknowledge before now or will the whole thing end up as one giant tease?

I absolutely loved this book! It’s true that the Cloverleigh Farms series has been one of my favorites but I think this book lands in my top 3 out of all of them. Felicity was adorable, delightfully quirky, and super sweet. She had a lot of insecurities stemming from some events in her childhood and she’s always felt like kind of an odd duck compared to her sisters. I think a lot of people will be able to relate to her, she felt very realistic to me. I loved that she had found a kindred spirit in Hutton, who was also a bit of an outcast growing up. There weren’t really any flashbacks but the way we got bits of their history through some memories or dialogue was perfect. It really gave you a sense of their bond without bogging the story down. The way they always showed up for one another was the best. It was clear to pretty much everyone but them that they were meant for one another.

Hutton was the real star of the show for me. He was a hot billionaire, sure, but he was also so vulnerable and kind of shy and introverted due to his social anxiety. It’s not what you’d typically expect from a sexy billionaire hero. He may have had a lot of money but he still had real, everyday issues that he had to constantly figure out how to live with. Being in the public eye, as he was, only complicated things. I loved how Felicity helped to ground him, she had a way of soothing him and just being there for him without adding any extra pressure. I loved that for him and it was really touching to read. But don’t let Hutton’s social awkwardness fool you, the man knew his way around in the bedroom! There was a fair amount of steam in this one, Hutton and Felicity had incredible chemistry to top off all the other ways they were perfect for each other!

Overall this story was low angst, there was a tiny bit toward the end but I loved how it all wrapped up. The last few chapters brought tears to my eyes, it was just so romantic and sweet! Don’t miss the bonus scene you can have sent to you at the end either because it was a beautiful look into their future! I’m absolutely loving the next generation of Cloverleigh Farms and I’m excited to read Millie’s story when it comes out next!

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