Synopsis from Goodreads
All I want is to play hockey on the Ice Knights, instead, I’m in a viral video for all the wrong reasons and my mom—yes, my mom—has taken over my dating apps. Then, when I think it can’t get any worse, the fates deliver Zara Ambrose, a five-feet-nothing redhead with more freckles than inches and who’d rather be anywhere other than on a date with me.
Now a bet with her friends and my PR nightmare have us both stuck in this go-on-five-dates-with-the-same-person hell situation. But if we band together, we can get the whole thing over with and go on with our lives. It’s perfect! No feelings. No future. No fuc— *ahem* fun. No naked fun.
What could go wrong? Nothing—as long as I remember the rules. Don’t notice the way she looks in a dress. Don’t react when she does that little shivery sigh thing whenever we touch. Don’t think about the fact that she’s never had a toe-curling orgasm that wasn’t self-delivered and just how badly I want to change that.
Five dates—that’s it—and then we go our separate ways. At least, that was the plan..
Parental Guidance is utterly adorable with an opposites attract vibe to the narrative.
What would you do if your parents picked out a date for you and you had to stick to five dates in order to regain control of your life? This is the situation Zara and Caleb find themselves in, both having agreed to the scheme in order to move on from the situations they have found themselves in. In Zara’s case, it is to further her unusual career of miniatures artisan (who knew there was such a thing 🤷♀️) while Caleb has to clean his image thanks to a viral video of puck bunny shaming where he did not participate but also failed to shut the conversation down.
Both Zara and Caleb have emotional baggage stemming from their childhood which acts as a large weight they constantly carry with them into adulthood. These issues are the main reason they struggle with relationships and forming connections. I loved how they were able to open up to each other form the beginning, feeling truly comfortable enough to just be themselves, the good, the bad and the cramps, LOL
I have to mention my favourite character has to be Anchovy, Zara’s Great Dane, he is such a character, I would have him in a heartbeat (and I’m a cat person).
As Caleb and Zara navigate their way through the amazing dates that have been arranged for them, their connection and depth of feeling continues to grow, making them fall so smoothly that they don’t even notice until they are confronted with the possibility of their final date.
All is not plain sailing however when plans go awry and tempers flare.
Grand gestures and Cinderella-esque moments all add to the romance. Although, I liked the way in which the parents showed they were fallible but have always had their children’s best interests at heart, as much as the romance.
It took me ages to work out the connection to the Harbour City Series which I have to say really frustrated me and then when it all came together made me feel like an idiot LOL