Saturday, August 5, 2023

Review: Codename Charming by Lucy Parker

Codename Charming by Lucy Parker
Series: Palace Insiders, Book 2
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Codename Charming cover
ISBN: 9780063040106
Release Date: August 15, 2023
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

Petunia De Vere enjoys being the personal assistant to lovable, bumbling Johnny Marchmont. But the job has its share of challenges, including the royal’s giant, intimidating bodyguard, Matthias. Pet and Matthias are polar opposites—she’s spontaneous and enthusiastic, he’s rigid and stoic—but she can sense there’s something softer underneath that tough exterior…

For Matthias Vaughn, protecting others is the name of the game. But keeping his royal charge out of trouble is more difficult than he imagined because everywhere Johnny goes, calamity ensues, and his petite, bubbly assistant is often caught in the fray. Matthias hates the idea of Pet getting hurt and he’s determined to keep everyone safe, even if it means clashing with his adorable new coworker.

When a clumsy moment leads to a questionable tabloid photo, the press begins to speculate that Pet is romantically involved with Johnny. To put an end to the rumors, the royal PR team asks Pet and Matthias to stage a fake relationship and the two reluctantly agree. But as they spend more time together outside of work, they begin to wonder what real emotions this pretend connection might uncover. Especially when a passionate kiss leaves both of their heads spinning…

Petunia De Vere is the personal assistant to the newest member of the royal family. It’s a job she excels at, but she never expected her career to include being launched through the air by her accident-prone boss. Johnny Marchmont is a sweetheart, but his mishaps are quickly becoming a habit and Pet is frequently in the crosshairs. This doesn’t sit well with Matthias Vaughn, Johnny’s intimidating bodyguard and frequent catcher of Pet. When the tabloids try to stir up trouble for Johnny and make up a story about him and Pet, the royals’ PR teams ask Pet and Matthias to pretend to date and dispel the rumors. The only problems is the fake dating starts to feel all too real…

Codename Charming is a delight! It’s sweet, funny, and sometimes heartbreaking – Lucy Parker absolutely nailed it. I’ve been so eager to read Matthias and Pet’s story ever since their brief encounter in Battle Royal and it was definitely worth the wait.

Matthias is a case of still waters running deep. The former foster child, now royal bodyguard, is familiar with loss, loneliness, and pain. Matthias is protective and has a huge heart that most don’t take the time to see. His looks make him intimidating but he’s oh-so-gentle in reality. Pet is the sunshine to his grumpy. She’s a whirlwind of bright energy and she’s so warm and welcoming I wish she were real so I could be friends with her. But Pet’s sunny exterior also masks pain and vulnerability. Life hasn’t always been as easy for her as one might think, but that doesn’t stop her from being kind and generous. She and Matthias may be pretending to date for the paparazzi but the attraction between them is one hundred percent real. Their romance is a slow burn delight. I loved the tension building between them as they find love, support, and happiness together.

Some books just lift your spirits and Codename Charming is one of those for me. Pet, Matthias, their friends and family are hilarious and this book actually made me laugh out loud. Parker’s mix of humor and heart was top-notch and just left me smiling. You don’t have to have read Battle Royal to enjoy this book but I highly recommend it anyway.

Codename Charming is the perfect story to be swept away by. It’s as charming as the title suggests and is filled with endearing characters, hilarious antics, moments that will tug on your heartstrings, and a love story that is wholly romantic.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.