At 5’4 and 170 pounds, thirty two year old Andrea Petercheff is no runway model. She’s okay with this little fact about herself for the most part. There are just some things she’s resigned herself to never getting, like the hot pin-striped clad business man she accidentally plowed over in a hurry to a meeting. Andrea focuses on her job instead as the assistant manager of the Stansbury Hotel in
Indiana. To her dismay, her boss, Howard, has just dropped a bomb on her. The hotel’s top client, Maxwell Gildenthall, needs a babysitter for his nine year old niece Piper while he’s away on business and Andrea’s just been elected. Though she’s never met either, she can’t refuse if she hopes to stay in good standing at the hotel.
It’s clear from the start she will have both hands full trying to keep up with Piper and soon she’ll learn Piper’s uncle can take up just as much of her attention. Uncle Max surprises Andrea in more ways than one when he returns home early. He happens to be the sexy GQ man she knocked down in haste a few months ago. Worse, he remembers the incident. Max likes how she’s handled things while he’s been away and elects to have her as his personal confidant and Piper’s nanny of sorts, full time. Things become easier with Piper over time and Andrea comes to share a close bond with her. She realizes that she often just acts out because she is lonely.
Max Gildenthall is a different matter. She can’t deny the weird things her insides do every time he’s near. Nor can she mistake the heated stares and straightforward comments he directs towards her. However, Andrea’s hesitant to take a chance on anything more than friendship with him. Max is a man plagued by the past. After the death of his girlfriend and his cousin - Piper’s dad - five years ago in the tragic events of 9/11, he’s buried himself in his work as a stockbroker. Max is scared of losing another person he loves again so he keeps Piper along with everyone else at a distance. Andrea brings out emotions in Max he hasn’t felt in years and he realizes he’s been neglecting his niece. However, Max will have to learn to let go of the guilt of moving on and learn how to let others into his heart again if he’s to make a relationship with Andrea work and give Piper what she needs most – a family.
NOT SO MAKE BELIEVE is fun, witty, and filled with heart. The story is told from the heroine’s point of view that often uses sarcastic humor which tickled my funny bone. You are drawn into the life of the sometimes clumsy and blunt but kindhearted female protagonist as she faces various trials and tribulations on the path to love. She soon learns that with some effort and understanding, not all happy endings are for Disney movies and that sometimes, the not so perfect princess can have a chance with her dream prince. Sandra Sookoo’s prose flows easily from page to page and I just love her writing style! Her characters always have such personality and the feel good emotion she brings forth is inviting. When I wasn’t chuckling, I was wiping away tears. This is such a sweet read. It is just perfect for curling up in your favorite spot with a cup of cocoa.