No Romance Required - Cari Quinn I tagged this "friends to lovers", but it's really frenemies to lovers. Cody and Victoria have danced around each other since they were kids and like to snipe at each other. It's all good-natured fun, but they seem like oil and vinegar. Vic's older sister is probably better suited to the business-focused Cody, but Vic can't help but want him for herself. Though she'd never actually make a move on him. While she's outgoing and really enjoys fun and life, she never expects to find someone who will stay with her for the long haul. Her mom left when she was a teenager, and her father essentially checked out not long after that. For his part, Cody remembers his birth father more than his younger brother does. Cody has always felt the responsibility to take care of the family and the family business, even after his mother remarried after his father's death. But all that responsibility leaves very little room for a relationship with real substance.

Cody's parents are retiring, and they've thrown down the gauntlet -- find a girlfriend or they'll leave the business in someone else's hands. And a chance encounter at a benefit with Victoria that happens to get caught on film and published in the gossip column gives Cody a chance to pretend for their benefit. Vic, for her part, got into some trouble when she was a teenager that she's still trying to live down (gotta love gossip in a small town), so to save her virtue, she agrees to pretend to be Cody's girlfriend until his parents leave town. But since she's always had a thing for him, it's not like it's going to be a hardship. For either side.

I liked how they danced around each other. I liked how Vic tried to get Cody to loosen up and how he was so confused when he did, lol. I liked that when Vic thought she realized she'd never get what she needed from Cody, she was strong enough to try to protect herself. She wasn't going to bend to him and lose herself in the process. I liked how they were almost magical when they did get together -- he made her feel things that were foreign to her, but more importantly, she made him lose control, and nobody else had gotten to him like that. I was glad to see how it all worked out in the end.

Looking forward to the next one which I think will be about Jill and Bryan. If the rest of this series is anything to go by, it'll be a goodie.