Wilder at Heart
Author: Sara Madderson
Pages: 382 pages
Published: 27th June 2022
Rating: 5 Stars
Nora Wilder: disgrace to her surname. Spouter of inspirational quotes. Uptight as hell… but the fake girlfriend of dreams, because my mum will love her.
And God knows, I need to get into my family’s good books after an indiscretion with a couple of blonde twins on a reality TV show. My family is not happy, and they’ll never trust me with a chunk of their hotel empire unless I can prove I’m the mature, settling down type.
Enter Nora. She’s waiting for the ex who dumped her to come to his senses and whisk her off for a future of kids and labradors. Brutal.
But, lack of personality aside, she’s absolutely gorgeous. I wonder if I can talk her into some real benefits alongside our fake relationship…
Wilder at Heart is a fake dating, opposites attract, forced proximity romcom where he falls first.
Thank you to the author for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Fake dating is one of my favourite tropes, it may even beat enemies-to-lovers, so it is safe to say I loved this book.
‘Not sure what I got myself into with you, Nora Wilder.’
I couldn’t put Wilder at Heart down and read it within a day. I first met Nora in Falling Stars and she is the best friend of Elle and is staying at her flat. She is a wedding planner and has her own business. Nora first met Elle at Cambridge University and they immediately clicked. On their first night, she met Theo, Elle’s cousin and they kissed, but Theo was a typical playboy and when Nora didn’t want to go back to his flat, he dipped. Flash forward ten years and Nora still views that kiss as the most passionate she’s ever had. She is organising the wedding for Miles, Theo’s brother, which means she is reunited with Theo at their engagement party. Nora is also reunited with her ex, who left her for another woman. She should be over him by now, but unfortunately, Nora still loves him and wants him back.
Theo convinces Nora to fake date him to win her ex back. Also because, his family have lost a bit of respect and belief in him after he appeared on reality tv having a threesome. To everyone but Elle and her boyfriend, josh, they are dating and this leads to some amazing moments of forced proximity between the two as they have to convince Theo’s famil that they are together. Elle’s flat also leaks so Nora is forced to move in with Theo for an extended period of time, which really adds to the forced proximity. There is a lot of tension between these two as Theo attempts to convince Nora they should add some benefits to their fake dating.
‘The funny thing is, this fake relationship with Belle is by far the realest one I’ve ever had. Actually, it’s not funny at all. Because I love her. I’m so fucking in love with her I can’t breathe. I’m a mess.’
I loved the development of their relationship and will definitely be reading more of Sara Madderson’s books because they have not failed me yet. I love the characters and the progression of the story as you can tell from each perspective when the protagonists are falling for each other. If you love fake dating and stories revolving around weddings, definitely check this one out!