If I had to choose a person to hate, Alex Ramírez would’ve been first on the list…
Welcome to Honey Creek, Illinois, where life was as sweet as the town’s name suggested. That was, until Mr. Fine Dining himself, Alex Ramírez, rolled into town with a permanent scowl and decided to park his snooty five-star restaurant across from my cozy dog daycare. He was tall, dark, and about as warm as a frozen entrée.
After one too many unpleasant interactions, I was determined to stay out of his way and to keep him out of mine.
But fate had a quirky sense of humor. When Alex inherited his great-aunt’s cranky canine, he had no choice but to come to me, the local dog whisperer, for help. As for me? I needed a fake boyfriend to ward off my ex-husband, who was determined to win me back.
So, we struck a deal: I’d turn his dog into the town's best-behaved pet, and in return, he’d be my arm candy for a few family events and social gatherings. Simple, uncomplicated, and absolutely not romantic—at least, that was what we told ourselves.
As we played house, I couldn't help but notice that underneath Alex’s prickly shell was a dash of charm that wasn't listed in the ingredients. Our pretend dates started to feel a little too real. And our feigned kisses? They were getting laughably close to crossing the line. Suddenly our interactions felt less like a food fight and more like foreplay.
With every playful touch and lingering glance, I couldn't help but wonder: Was this fake relationship with Alex secretly penning its own authentic ending? Or was I risking it all for something that was nothing more than make-believe?
The Problem Series, #1