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Peek Inside Just for Appearances

Rachel Clarke is a single mom with three boys, and she needs help. Now. Unfortunately, her only option is John MacDonald— her high school sweetheart and the disgraced hometown hero who's just returned to Lake Bliss. Except keeping their relationship strictly business is harder than they imagined. But summer can't last forever, and when it ends, so will their arrangement—and John's time in Lake Bliss.

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Hot man for hire…

Rachel Clarke is a single mom with three boys, and she needs help. Now. Unfortunately, her only option is John MacDonald—her high school sweetheart and the disgraced hometown hero who’s just returned to Lake Bliss. He’s perfect for the job. He cooks, he cleans, and he’s amazing with kids. He’s also still far too sinfully hot for Rachel’s comfort…

Rachel is just as gorgeous as John remembers. But in order for his new youth activity center to be a success, John needs Rachel’s help to earn the town’s trust back. In exchange, he’ll take care of her boys for the summer while she works. Except keeping their relationship strictly business is harder than he imagined. But summer can’t last forever, and when it ends, so will their arrangement—and John’s time in Lake Bliss.



"I could sympathize with everything they (John and Rachel) went through, just as if it was my own life. When a writer can hijack my feelings like that, I have no other choice but to give them 5 stars and tell everyone they need to read it!!!" ~ Sheila   
"This is just one of most sweetest love stories I've read recently. Jenna does a super fine job with the narration and the flow of the story. It's charming, it's emotional, it's witty and one heck of a romantic read for everyone!" ~ Alima Livzletivs  
"The twists kept me on the seat of my pants. The author knows how to get you involved and make you root for John and Rachel...she knows how to get you and your feelings involved right from the start." ~ April Symes
"Smart, funny, and sensual I loved this story of a single mom realizing that she needs more in her life and a man realizing that he is worthy of everything he ever wanted. While this is a sweet romance, don't let that stop you from checking this one out because sometimes getting "there" is half the fun especially when there is a lot of teasing, verbal foreplay, and a whole lot of working up to that perfect moment. From beginning to end I loved this couple and their story!" ~ Slick, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
"I loved the ease in which this story was written. It wasn't angsty and dramatic, instead the author chose to give us a fun-loving, heartwarming tale and second chances and love reunited. It was refreshing and I loved it!" ~ Jessica Alcazar "Scoopy"

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781633750579
Series: Lake Bliss, Book 2
Release Date: Apr 14, 2015
Page Count: 206
Imprint: bliss
Genre: contemporary
Tropes: fling, in love with the nanny, overcoming odds, road romance

Select Featured Reviews

See All Reviews on
By Sheila April 06, 2015

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. After much consideration I changed my review from 4 stars to 5 stars. I'll explain in a bit.
I loved this book. The whole "single mom and a guy that loves her kids" trope tugs at my heartstrings. Rachel was a single mother who h ...more

By Jessica April 14, 2015

This was a sweet story and very fun to read. The story goes like this .... John and Rachel knew each other back in the day. They more than knew each other, they were madly in love as teen, or as madly as nay teen can be lol. John up and took off. No warning. So clearly that left Rachel brokenhearted ...more

By Bette April 09, 2015

Really enjoyed this one! The characters really dug their way in to my heart. The kind loving way John handles Rachel's kids was beautiful and I felt badly for both John and Rachel as the truth of the past ending to their relationship is revealed. Single mom Rachel Clarke is in desperate need of help ...more

By Char (1RadReader59) April 22, 2015

How parents hurt their kids in divorces or separations its numbers are too large to count. For John MacDonald it was overwhelming. It burned bridges that his son never even knew would be crossed someday.
To be mean John’s dad took full custody away from his mom. To make life easier on his mom John c ...more

Slick's review posted on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

I am so happy to be back in Lake Bliss with author Jenna Rutland and another couple determined to stay just friends for the summer. Just For Appearances reunites young lovers in a totally unusual way and leaves them discovering everything they ev ...more

By Jen April 08, 2015

Check out my full review on Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous.

Note: This ARC was provided by Entangled Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Just for Appearances is the second book in the Lake Bliss series by Jenna Rutland but can be read as a standalone. This is a contemporary romanc ...more

By April April 14, 2015

***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review***
Rachel Clarke is a single mom with three boys and she just got a job promotion that needed a lot of her time but she also needed to be with her boys. She was conflicted and didn’t know what to do. The kids were out of school for t ...more

By Marsha December 31, 2015

First reviewed at Keeper Bookshelf

John hadn’t wanted to leave Lake Bliss all those years ago. Leaving Rachel broke his heart, but in the end, he really had no other choice.

Now, years later Rachel is a single mom with three young boys, one divorce behind her, a useless ex-husband and a lot of wasted ...more

By Tory April 22, 2015

While I found the initial premise a little convenient, in the end it didn't disrupt my enjoyment of this book at all.

Rachel - being a mother myself WITH the help of their father, I'm in awe of the woman's ability to raise three children, no, three BOYS alone. She's done her best and understandably ...more

By Ash P April 14, 2015

After wasting 10 years in a one-sided marriage to which she sacrificed her education and youth, Rachel finally has the opportunity to make a career for herself, to stand on her own two feet and make her own life. But with 3 boys under the age of 8, she needs someone to help take care of them for the ...more

By Alima April 12, 2015

Dang!!! I’m such a sucker for love stories and happily ever-afters, for guys who can work as nannies in all their sexy hide and independent woman who try not asking for help, yet want to be taken care of and doted.

“Just For Appearances” John MacDonald is helping Rachel Clarke take care of her sons f ...more

By Heidi April 04, 2015

I was gifted a copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion and a review.

This is the second book in the lake bliss series, where say i wasn't all that fond of it this book i really enjoyed, It was very well written and at an easy pace to enjoy.

In this book we meet Rachel Clarke ...more

By Monica April 04, 2015

Just For Appearances

This story was given to me in exchange for an honest review by Net Galley.

Rachel Clarke is the mother of three young boys with an ex-husband that is never around. She has recently gotten a new job and needs a lot of help. She is having a hard time doing everything and cant find ...more

By Cheryl April 19, 2015

Rachel Clarke is a single mom who wants to re-join the workforce. She no longer wants to be dependent on the alimony from her ex-husband. With three boys she'll need a full time nanny. In walks John MacDonald. Rachel's high school sweetheart and he's asking for the nanny job. In exchange for being t ...more

By 2kasmom April 03, 2015

John and Rachel's story starts back in high school. They were certain it was love even then. They were destined for greater things. At least, he was. His father talked her into breaking up with him and sending off to football greatness.

Now, both divorced and back in Lake Bliss, they find the attract ...more

By Lindsey October 29, 2015

Rachel loved John so much, she told a lie to set him free. Now she's divorced with three sons and in need of a last minute nanny for the summer.

John was crushed when his girlfriend Rachel broke up with him soon after they made love for the first time. Years have passed, but he's never forgotten her. ...more

By Shari April 16, 2015

A second chance romance between, John and Rachel, whom dated in high school and ended abruptly. Fast forward ten years with failed marriages, John returns home for the summer to Lake Bliss. Rachel is just starting a new job and needs a nanny for her three boys, perfect job Nanny McHeartbreaker.

I r ...more

By Lori April 14, 2015

Such a sweet sincere story! I loved John in the entire book. He was so sweet, loving with Rachel's boys and dove right in to helping her and them. Rachel was an amazing mom who was a little overwhelmed with a new job and no childcare for the summer. A little matchmaking on John's mom's part and voil ...more

By Isha April 09, 2015

John and Rachel fell in love as teenagers. Their relationship did not end well. Feelings were hurt. Hearts were broken. As adults each is trying to find their way. Rachel now the single mother of three boys, John is looking for help in order to open a youth center. Unfortunately, John has not left a ...more

By Sarah April 09, 2015

What a wonderful story of love reunited. Rachel has her hands full as a single mom and her high school sweetheart has to mend some relationship fences. After John left the Town in what they perceived as a lurch while in high school, he and Rachel join forces to repair his image and to help Rachel ba ...more

By Irene April 13, 2015

4 stars

Just for Appearances was a sweet, fun and heartfelt read.

I enjoyed the characters, both John and Rachel were likable and very relatable. Enjoyed seeing them reconnect and open their hearts to each other.

John and Rachel have a second chance at love, will they find a way to make it work this t ...more

By Keysmash May 01, 2015

I'm such a sucker for a romance with kids involved. Especially when the guys are as good with the kids as John is.

I read this when I was suffering from a romance OD, but it was still fresh enough to not make me want to roll my eyes and give up. It still suffers from the too-drawn-out angst and the " ...more

I thought this was a very good lighthearted book. This was the first romance book I read about a single mom that. I think that some of the struggles she faced were very realistic. I adored the relationship that Mac had with her kids. I feel like if a mom is looking for someone new in her life, the f ...more

By Mayas April 08, 2015

Rachel and John was a hoot. Giving into what your heart wants and needs is always a sacrifice but the rewards are so much better. I enjoyed the innuendo and the fact that they were tasteful and in good fun. This romance novel is a quick fun read about second chances and giving in to your wants and n ...more

By Chrissy April 16, 2015

*****I received this book, in exchange for a honest review****

I am not good with words, but let me just tell you, I Really enjoyed this book. It hooked me from the first page..... This is a must read, get it today! You will LOVE IT!!!!! ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.76 avg rating
Jenna Rutland

About the author

Jenna Rutland

Jenna Rutland lives in a small Michigan community with her husband, son and senior cat. Her daughter and son-in-law have recently given Jenna the awesome title of grandmother! While her days are spent working as a medical transcriptionist, her nights are filled writing contemporary romance-stories of love, laughter and happily ever after. Guess which occupation is more fun? Jenna takes pleasure in spending time with her family. She also enjoys reading, gardening and loves the challenge of a new recipe. Jenna welcomes the chance to connect with writers and readers.

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