The Real Thing

The Real Thing

by Melissa Foster


$11.66 $12.95 Save 10% Current price is $11.66, Original price is $12.95. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions


Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as a player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough for her to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring?

Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move…provided no one gets hurt.

Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement and the real thing—including them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781542045810
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Series: Sugar Lake Series , #1
Pages: 286
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Melissa Foster is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than sixty-five books. Her novels have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown magazine, the Patriot, and more. She has also painted and donated several murals to the Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC.
She enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and she welcomes an invitation to your event. Visit Melissa on her website,, or chat with her on Twitter @melissa_foster and on Facebook at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Real Thing 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
PamLCT More than 1 year ago
Zane and Willow's relationship seemed like a distant friendship for the last several years until Zane returns to town asking her to be his fake fiancé to help redeem his reputation. Even though Willow thinks Zane is a playboy, she decides to take one for the team since she's harbored feelings for him her entire childhood anyway. Now, we get to find out how Zane really feels about Willow as well. Will this movie star and town bakery owner make a real go of it or keep this casual? You'll have to listen to find out! Great narrator as well. I enjoyed this story and the audiobook narration.
RozzieReview4You More than 1 year ago
The Real Thing was a "sweet" story. Haha... lame pun that anyone who read the back of the book can come up with. Really those this book was smoking hot. With some unexpected heart melting romance. Zane comes across as a playboy actor and he is just is very confident in that sexy way. Willow is like the girl we all want to be in our early twenties. She is confident in herself with her job and around her friends and family of the town. She is amusing, and realistic. Her problem is that she has always been in love with her first love, its always there and hard to forget. So when Zane, who has been her best friend for years, propositions her with a crazy plan for his reputation... (but is it...) Melissa Foster has created some very good characters with this book. I would say that it was a great solo book even, but I am more excited that it is part of a series. The whole family, that could use some hooking up, are full of very different characters that have different personalities, but seem loveable that you want to see the whole gangs stories unfold.
LorelaiMom More than 1 year ago
4 Stars! The Real Thing is book #1 in Melissa Foster's Sugar Lake Series. Meet the Heroine & Hero: Willow Dalton is a small town girl who owns the local bakery. Zane Walker is a small town boy who got out & became an A-list actor with a bad boy reputation. The Story: Willow & Zane grew up together in the small town of Sweetwater. Zane was her brother's best friend & like a part of their family. Before heading off to college, Willow asked Zane to do her a favor... to take her virginity. That night is the start of something, but they both don't realize what. Zane wants to get out of their small town & he takes off to make a name for himself & become an A-list celebrity while Willow stays in Sweetwater & opens her bakery, Sweetie Pie Bakery. Fast forward 10 years. Willow is trying to get her bakery on the next level & to have greater success. She finds out that she has landed an interview with a large resort & thinks that this will be the ticket to make her bakery the next big thing. Unbeknownst to her, this is a set up by Zane, see he now has a favor to ask of Willow. Zane has made a name for himself as an actor in action movies & wants to break into romantic comedies. Unfortunately for him, his bad boy/player reputation is not helping him out any. So he has an offer for Willow. Be his fake fiance so he can clean up his act with a small town, good girl & in exchange she will get a lot of exposure for her bakery. You can imagine how this all goes down! Zane starts spending time with Willow back in their hometown of Sweetwater. The more time they spend together, the more their feelings that started so long ago start bubbling up to the surface. Will these two have a shot at making anything real work though when her life is her bakery in laid back Sweetwater while his life is in the fast paced, glamorous fast lane in L.A.? The Verdict: This was my first Melissa Foster book & I really enjoyed it! The character's chemistry together was awesome! They were sweet & cute, but also had plenty of heat between them! I love a book that has great humor & this read really delivered on that, Willow was hilarious! Zane definitely makes the book boyfriend list, he's a bad boy with that inner down to earth romantic, what's not to love?! I definitely recommend this book to others & I can't wait to read more from Melissa Foster! *ARC provided courtesy of the publisher & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
BoundlessBookaholic More than 1 year ago
This is my first book by this author, and overall I’m pretty impressed. The characters were all great, and I liked the dual POV quite a bit in this one. The voices have to be distinct, otherwise multiple POV really irks me. But it was nice that we got to see inside both of their minds, giving us a glance at where they were at mentally and emotionally. Thank you Netgalley for providing me a copy in exchange for a honest review. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.   It was a little slow sometimes, but then the romantic parts would kick into high gear and I was hooked again. And let me tell you, there was quite a bit of romance…and sex. I haven’t read a ton of second chance romances (send me your recs!), but I really love the trope. Plus the small town vibe is usually adorable in books, and this one was no exception. Small towns are not so cute in real life. At least not the ones I’ve lived in.   Zane is total book boyfriend material. Where can I find a guy like him? *sighs* He was so caring, thoughtful, etc. I’m not going to tell you all about the things, but he does a lot for Willow. I absolutely adored Willow for the most part, and her family is definitely up there in my favorites. There were so many cute moments, which I don’t want to share, because it would spoil the fun.   It’s a pretty short book (less than 300 pages), so if you like second chance romance, sweet treats, and super cuteness overload, read this ASAP. I can’t wait to read more from this author. I’m off to check when book two of this series comes out, and what it’s all about.
bookloverfl12 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars - Holy hotness! This was a steamy book that will have you requesting dessert! This book had a little more heat than I typically read, which you can skim and get the gist of the story. I enjoy reading stories about rekindling a past love and relationship. An enticing read for the beach that may leave you hotter than the sun!
Cali-Jewel More than 1 year ago
This second chance romance was so much fun to read. It was Laugh out Loud fun, sweetly sexy, emotionally thrilling and filled with all the warm fuzzy small town family bounds you could crave. Zane Walker is sexy, sweet, charming and a small town boy at the peck of his acting career. He just needs the help of the one woman he has ever loved to clean up his racy reputation. Willow Dalton grew up with Zane and has loved him forever. Question is can she help her best friend clean up his reputation with out losing her heart again? Loved every heart pounding twist and turn. Looking forward to more visits to Sugar Lake.
libriamorimiei More than 1 year ago
I'm always excited when I find out that Melissa Foster has released a new series. She never disappoints, has created another lovely little town and an intriguing story. I love novels in which one of the protagonists proposes a fake engagement (even though his/her feelings are true). Zane is a film actor with the bad boy reputation. His films are mostly of action but he was offered the role in a romantic movie. To increase his popularity and to erase his bad boy's image, they advise him to engage. He involves his best friend's sister Willow, he is in love with her. She has a pastry shop and hopes to increase its popularity. With great difficulty he manages to make a deal with her. Zane is a strong and tough man, very sexy and charming. Willow is a strong woman who knows what she wants until Zane upsets her life. Together they are a big couple, their sex scenes are really hot. In this book we get to know a lot of characters, some very interesting that I hope to meet as protagonists of the upcoming books. It's a romantic and passionate story, easy and fast-paced, perfect for a few relaxing hours. It is the ideal reading for those who love romances.
pughtwins More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to jump into this new series! I love second chance romances and this did not disappoint. Willow and Zane are worlds apart, and yet on many things they are so similar they can't even see it. I love that you see the vulnerable side of both Zane and Willow, even though they both try to be the strong people they want everyone to see. Willow's back and forth made me a little crazy, but I can't say I would handle it any better. I can't wait to see where this series goes, and which characters we will see in the future! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book. #MSBB
WisReader More than 1 year ago
Fantastic start to a new series overflowing with characters I can't wait to read more about. I am sure they all have delicious secrets and hot crushes. Melissa is the queen of building communities. Willow did not want to start college "inexperienced." She was also not the type to fall into bed with just anyone. Zane has a bad boy reputation. Once he was Willow's big brother's best friend. Now he's a well known playboy actor. Zane worked hard to overcome his childhood difficulties. He thinks he has the world fooled. When he returns home he learns that some people understand him better than he knows himself. When trying to clean up his image he reaches out to the only person who has ever truly held his heart. Willow is a very rounded personality, caring, loyal, ambitious. She believes Zane has always been the only love for her. So why does she find it so hard to believe and trust him? They can't resist each other and things get HOT. Will this plan backfire? A hit story about overcoming obstacles and learning to accept oneself and those you love. Besides getting to know this wonderful family, it was fun to look behind the scenes of the movie business.
wifetoalineman02 More than 1 year ago
Willow and Zane will make your fingers lick so good with those sweetness overload Ms. Melissa Foster started a new series called Sugar Lake. The Real Thing is in the first book and my oh my, Willow and Zane will make your fingers lick so good with those sweetness overload. These two heated it off when they were young. Their feelings never go away. These two did many first things together and it was never forgotten. Ms. Melissa Foster's book never stop us to amazes us. The characters of her books are so fun to read, will make your cry, breathless and fall in-love. This is the only first book in the series and am already hook. I cannot wait to the 2nd book of this new series. Zane might be a A-list star but only Willow captures his real him especially his love. If you love to eat sweets, then this book will makes your stomach full and burn the calories right away as Willow and Zane are hotter than the oven's temperature.
LadyStephM More than 1 year ago
Willow is killing herself to make her meeting on time. The meeting that could put her baking skills on the map. In a mess with destroyed cupcakes, Willow learns that her meeting has been a set up by her friend Zane. Zane is an A list actor who is about to debut a huge movie with him as the romantic lead. The problem? His reputation as a heartbreaker could kill the success of this movie. His solution? Get Willow to agreed to be his fake fiance, easy right? Ever since Willow's arrangement for Zane to take her virginity before she left for college, nothing has been the same. She broke her rule. She wanted more. Zane wants nothing more than to have a relationship with Willow beyond their friendship. Friends, lovers, then fiance... that is the typical order of a true love story, but what if the only reason you make it as a fiance is to promote your career. This is a great tale about how you have to make things your own, because even the traditional journey can be extraordinary! Two thumbs up because Melissa's tales never disappoint. *An advance copy of this book was provided to me for review purposes only, all opinions expressed are my own*
A_Gluten_Free_Mom More than 1 year ago
Some might say that high school hook-ups never last. People change, move away, return home, but can they rekindle a romance that is years dead? Maybe. At least on the surface. Zane and Willow have always been friends. Friends that have always been there for each other, at least in an "I'll text you right back" kind of way. But distance has kept them from becoming closer, or has it? Zane is an actor that needs to clean up his act. Willow is a baker that wants to get some good exposure for her bakery. Is that enough for them to go through with a fake engagement? I know that I was enthralled throughout the entire story. I fell hard for Willow and Zane's story, each twist and turn made me root more and more for Zane.
AngelaMc1 More than 1 year ago
This book was a great start to the Sugar Lake series. Zane and Willow have been friends for a long time but taking it farther (real or fake) has brought them closer. Zane and Willow's brother are friends and that is how they got to know each other so well. Zane needs to change himself for the public eye and Willow is there to help out. The couple is great together except that Zane is a tad bit complicated and Willow does not make anything easier. They get fake engaged to help Zane look better for his career. This steamy story was fun to read and I can't wait for the next one. Available to buy from ...
MissyTanner More than 1 year ago
The Real Thing by Melissa Foster Melisa Foster, by far is my favorite writer. Her stories are fun, sexy and totally intriguing. When I read her new book, The Real Thing, I was certainly swept away into the story of Willow and Zane. Willow is a bakery owner and Zane is a movie celebrity. They have known each other most of their lives because Zane is Willow’s brother’s best friend…and her secret man-crush. There is tons of super secrets that the two of them kept from her family, but when he needs her, she’s there and vice-versa. Zane needs Willow more than ever because his reputation needs to be cleaned up and changed into a not-so-party animal. He needs her to pretend to be engaged to him and in return, he arranges for her bakery to cater the movie he is filming in their small town. Their attraction to each other is only flamed higher the more time they spend together, turning a fake relationship into a relationship that is not-so-fake. True feelings emerge into heat, love and forever. I believe each and every book I read by Melissa Foster is better than the last. She brings her characters to life better and more believable than anyone I have ever read. The Real Thing is no different.
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
Willow & Zane are the best of friends. He just has no idea how she feels about him. They have some seriously hot history. Now he needs her to help him out. Zane tricks Willow into being a part of a charade. Be fake-engaged to me? Sure, like it is hard to pretend to be crazy about a guy she is head over heels for. This is such an achingly sweet story with a real sexy twist. I absolutely loved it! I feel like this is the author's best work so far. I am excited to read more from the new Sugar Lake series. ***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publisher.
AmyBosica More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars! "We're good at crossing lines, remember?" "Cross this line with me, Willow." "If alpha male had a scent, it would smell like Zane Walker, rugged and musky, with an underlying hint of come-hither and a dash of panty-melting lust." "Zane didn't just kiss Willow; he possessed her with his arms, his hands, his wicked tongue. He delved into the recesses of her mouth, unleashing a surge of heat that first flooded, the consumed her from the inside out. She had almost forgotten what a real kiss felt like." This was such a fun, fun book! I am such a sucker for those friends to lovers/fake relationship type romances and this one totally takes the cake. The Real Thing is wonderfully written, entertaining and is the kind of story that will leave you smiling while pulling at your heartstrings. The Real Thing is told from dual points of view and is the first book in an exciting new series from author Melissa Foster. From the moment I picked up this book, I couldn't help but be drawn to Zane and Willow. The connection between these two was strong and undeniable. The tension just oozed off the pages and begged to be explored. Add in one of my favorite troupes, a fake relationship, and you have the recipe for one delicious read. The Real Thing was absolutely everything that I wanted. It was fun. It was sexy. It was entertaining. The chemistry was real and I loved Zane and Willow together. Sure they weren't perfect and they made their fair share of mistakes, but that's the beauty of love. When you find the real thing, you fight for it...No matter how long it may take before it's finally yours. Author Melissa Foster has once again delivered a wonderful and unforgettable read. From a fun story-line to a sinful alpha male to the importance of family and an unforgettable love...This book has it all. The Real Thing kicks off a fabulous start to the Sugar Lake Series and I can't wait to read more!
LynnB888 More than 1 year ago
4 1/2 STARS! A sweet and sassy romantic fake fling ... or is it?? Melissa Foster has yet again spun a magical connection of friendship, love and hot steamy lust into a story that steals your heart! In the first book of the new Sugar Lake series, we get Willow and Zane's story. The characters are fun, flirty and attention stealing! I love the bond that the characters have and how her family was a major part of their story. Can't wait for more in the series! Bakery owner Willow Dalton thinks she's walking into a dream job when low and behold her best friend Zane Walker has pulled a fast one on her! The A-list actor needs her help to revitalize his player reputation and will stop at nothing to finagle her into it. Even pulling out the old "you owe me" routine ... so she talked him into taking her virginity before she left for college years ago ... big deal! Telling the world, including her close-knit family, that they are engaged might seem like a crazy plan, but surprisingly no one doubts it. It seems the crush they have each had on each other for years wasn't so secret to everyone around them! When even they have a hard time deciphering whether this romance is real or fake, they better take a look at what the future really might hold for them!
Aiesa More than 1 year ago
Well, I have to say Zane and Willow have CHEMISTRY!  Let's start by saying Zane is best friend to Willow's brother. She always wanted Zane to be her first and that he was. Then time passes and they go their separate ways... until he wants her to partner with him in a harmless untruth. We are talking about a fabricated engagement that will enhance his career. Thinking this little deception will be a breeze is far from the steaming truth. The underlying fact is.... there are major feelings in play here. Just sit back and see how this scheme plays out. Foster has the beginnings of another spectacular hot series. Can't wait for more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first book by Melissa Foster, and I didn't really know what to expect. I liked her writing, especially how she handles the sexy times. I love reading the romance genre, but I don't always like how the author writes the sexy scenes. Melissa Foster does just the right amount of sweet & sexy. My favorite stories are the ones where the main characters have a history, and boy do Willow and Zane have a history! I wasn't sure if I liked Zane at first, although now that I think about it, it's not that I didn't LIKE him, it was that I wasn't sure if I could TRUST him. I think Willow was feeling the same way, since she knew him before he was an actor, and now she has to figure out if the things he is saying to her/promising her are true, or if he's just acting. I liked that there was not a lot of drama in this book, but a few bumps in the road that the couple had to work through to get the HEA that we wanted them to have. I like that The Real Thing the start of a new series, because there were several characters who definitely need their own stories told!
LynchburgMama More than 1 year ago
I have had a major sweet tooth craving going on waiting for Melissa's new series - Sugar Lake! We are introduced to Willow and Zane - a pair that keeps things [honestly!] real...well, at least until they decide to fake an engagement. This pair has had connections but always kept things on a neutral level with no strings attached. Eventually, those strings tighten up and pull on one another's strings that lead right to their hearts!  At first, I thought Willow was a bit crazy because she asked Zane to take her virginity prior to college. But tit-for-tat, Zane needs the favor of a fake engagement years later to help clean up his image. She gave him her virginity but is she really ready to give him her heart? I think she gave it to him all those years ago and that is why she's kept herself so closed off. Their relationship seems easy because when you strip it down to what matters, they had that from the start! I enjoyed the start to the Sugar Lake series with Willow and Zane....I can't wait to see what Bridgette and Bodhi have in store for book two! I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.
ValerieStuckInBooks More than 1 year ago
This is my first book by this author. I couldn't resist a good faking story, though this one wasn't exactly what I was expecting, still enjoyed it! I always think of a good faking it story as the ones where a couple that's not likely to get together are forced to fake their relationship. Then the kisses they inevitably share start something either of them ever expected. It's my very favorite trope. So many possibilities. And this book gave it a different look. Zane and Willow (love the names, btw) grew up together. He's her brothers best friend and he was her secret first (v-card type first). She set up rules and then left for college. And lots of other things happened that, well, I just can't tell you. Need to read it yourself for that. But later when they end up in this fake relationship, it's bringing where they always should have been. Finding out all that other stuff (which I still won't tell you) and figuring out their purpose. I just can't see a world where these two don't find it back to each other. They are just too perfect for each other. I guess that's the "difference" I felt in this book. Their fake relationship did bring them into each other's arms but if it hadn't been that it would have been something else. They are pretty clearly meant for each other. Sweet and sexy these two are! Zane is adorable. His reputation needed fixing but he's just not that guy. It becomes clear pretty quickly that he loves Willow and isn't gonna cheat on her. Willow did take a bit longer for me to love. She's been protecting her heart for a long time and she pushes too hard sometimes. Does make her real. I'm not sure if it's characteristic of this author since this is the first book I've read of hers, but the romance is smoother. By that I mean, the angst that these two deal with is not so much a mess one of them makes as it is dealing with other issues (also not telling on what those issues are - you peeps need to read this book yourself). I found that I rather enjoyed that aspect of things. It felt more real to me. It also left more room for some seriously hot action between these two. Oh yes, this author believes in couple time with lots and lots of heat! And these two were creative in their and dirty. Willow likes him talking dirty. Gotta be able to deal with that if you're gonna read this book. Oh, and there's this book two coming out in December that I already want to read. Looks so good too. Sounds totally different but equally good. Can't wait to hang out in this small town again.
Jessica101984 More than 1 year ago
The Real Thing is the first book in a new series Sugar Lake by Melissa Foster. I have recently came to love Melissa's work. If you haven't picked up her books Do it now!! This book has it all sex, love, friendship, and laughter! It's a second chance romance. I absolutely adore it!! I can't wait till the next one comes out. Willow is a baker. She has been in love with her brother's best friend and she has been in love with him her entire life. Willow tries to deny the feelings at every chance she gets but anyone who can look at her and Zane can tell they are made for each other. Zane is an all that movie star. He has always been in love with his best friends kid sister but somethings must be ignored unless in secret. He has became a man whore over the years to try and now he needs a fiancé in order to turn his image around. So why not Willow the only woman who has every had his attention.
lexiesmomma_32 More than 1 year ago
Another great read by the talented Melissa Foster. Whenever I am looking for a sweet romance than I know I can count on Melissa Foster to deliver. Don't get me wrong because in between the sheets they are as hot as ever and their road to each other hasn't been easy but when these two finally open their hearts and their minds it is a sweet story. These two have known each other since they were kids. Things happen between them and after that things get complicated. They have stayed in touch with text messages all this time and have gone to each other for opinions but it isn't what it was. He know has to clean up his rep and asks her. Things get aired out and they have the chance for more but will they be able to? Can they get over past hurts? Can they be able to find a middle ground? They live on opposites sides of the country, how will that work? He is famous and she is the small town baker. He is a playboy and she is not looking to share. I highly recommend this read and think that if you are looking for a romance that is light with a bit of angst and heartbreak, then this is for you.
LostinlitBecca More than 1 year ago
The Real Thing by Melissa Foster was such a sweet and fun read! It was light and airy and had a true Rom-Com vibe to it that I loved! The Real Thing is a second chance romance between our MC's Willow and Zane. They have been friends since they were kids (Zane's best friend is Willow's brother). They have a sort of fling the Summer before Willow goes to college and before Zane moves to LA and makes it big time as an actor. They lose touch except for random texts and family events over the years. Ten years later, Zane needs a favor from Willow... he needs to "clean up" his image for Hollywood and needs her to play his fake fiance for two weeks. It quickly becomes clear that they both still have feelings for each other and the line between what is real and what is fake becomes blurred. The romance between Willow and Zane was so sweet and adorable! You all know I fall head over heels for second chance romances and this one was no different. I have to be honest, it was a tad cheesy and over the top at times, but I still enjoyed it overall. I think those cheesy moments were cute and really gave it that warm and fuzzy vibe. I think that my favorite part of this book was the small town of Sweetwater where Willow and Zane are from and where Willow still resides. It had a small town feel similar to Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. That is where Willow owns and runs her own bakery. I loved the descriptions and feel of this little lakeside town. I also loved Willow's family, with loving parents, 2 sisters, a brother and a nephew it was a big family who all loved and cared for each other so much. There was such a strong family bond there and I love reading that in books! This was my first Melissa Foster book and I am excited to read more by her! Especially from this series! I loved this family so much and I am excited to learn more about them as the story goes :)
Alwaysahappyeverafter More than 1 year ago
Sassy single bakery owner Willow has know and loved Zane for ever. She even gave him her v-card but then she let him go, little did she know he let her go too. But will they see past this and find their forever moment... A great book, with great characters, great characters and phew warm hot sex scenes I love even though you think that Willow and Zane will get together and stay together there is always that doubt that the other shoe will fall. It looks like it is going to be another awesome series from the fantastic Melissa Foster, I can wait for the rest