Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Anthology


The Elite Connections anthology, whose profits go to Benefiting Outright International and Lambda Legal — two LGBTQ+ charity organizations — offers a baker’s dozen of romance stories and is only available for a limited time. The stories all revolve around the Elite Connections Agency, a company who works to provide billionaires and millionaires with company for a day, a night, a week, or a year. From a cook to a nanny, a bodyguard to a best friend, and, of course, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives.

These stories all come with a happily ever after and a lot of love; some are very steamy, one or two come with extra heat, and there isn’t a dud in the bunch. All thirteen stories were well written, with charming and sympathetic characters. There was no angst, no heartbreak or suffering in sight, just two (or more) people falling in love while pretending to be in love.

I’m going to be honest, fake dating, fake marriages, they don’t always work for me. But here, in short story and novella form, they all somehow landed. Maybe because the quicker pace made them easier to read, maybe because the focus was on the relationship rather than a surrounding plot and the usual misunderstandings — I do tend to be drawn to more character-centric stories. Whatever it was, all of these stories are worth reading, and if you do decide to pick up this anthology, I think you’ll be just as entertained.

Of the thirteen stories, there were three that really worked for me: Mastermind, Hired by the Enemy, and Becoming a Bi-con. (Bi-con really, really, really worked for me. It’s my hands down favorite in this book, and if I were rating them individually, it would absolutely get five stars.)

In Mastermind by Erin Zak, Roberta and her staff, who work for Elite Connections, are hired to work a masquerade party thrown by pop superstar, Alison Grace. Roberta is good at her job, making things happen and making certain people do what they need to do, but Alison is a whole level higher than the jobs she’s worked before. It turns out, though, that Alison asked for Robert in particular … because Alison has a secret. Alison saw Roberta years ago at another party and developed a bit of a crush. Now, she has a chance to put herself forward and, with the help of a power outage and a small room with a conveniently self-locking door, she has a chance to get Roberta alone. It’s a very cute, very sweet, and very well written.

Hired by the Enemy by Jax Calder is about Matthew O’Conner, whose startup business is doing well. So well they’re doing a team retreat in Hawaii, and with everyone else bringing a partner, Matthew decides to hire someone from Elite Connections to come along and pretend to be his boyfriend. Why did it have to be Liam, his childhood nemesis?

The two men have an instant chemistry. As kids, they were constantly pranking each other, attacking each other, going after each other … and that edge is still there. Now, as grown men, they can look back at the childhood moments and see where misunderstandings happened, laugh at the moments that were truly funny, and get to know who the person standing in front of them is, right now. The romance is so very strong and the banter is on point.

My favorite is Becoming a Bi-con by Sarah Zane. Singing sensation Savannah is going through an ugly divorce. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband is accusing her of infidelity and doing anything he can to ruin her life and her career. The only way she can see to get ahead of him is to stir up her own drama and come out as a bisexual woman, something she’s been hiding. Using Elite Connections, Savannah hires a girlfriend she can share with the press … only for that woman to be Maya, her ex-costar on a teen drama. And a woman who hates her guts.

Second chance romance, rivals to lovers, fake dating, and real chemistry. This story has amazing character moments, a very high steam factor, brilliant writing, and was just so well done. It’s one of those stories that feels written just for me, and I want everyone to read it so they can enjoy it, too. (I will now be looking for more of Sarah Zane’s work to devour!)

Again, all of these stories are easily in the four-star range. They provide good writing, good characters, and just overall a really good time. Whether you decide to pick up just one of the stories in the collection or the whole anthology, I hope you enjoy yourself as much as I did.