Love's No Joke

by Cheri Ritz

The only commitment Mara Antonini ever made was to her career on the Vegas stand-up scene. Putting romance on the back burner, she’s long accepted the role of ‘the player’ among her friends. Landing a gig as the emcee of a fund-raiser seemed like the perfect way to get some positive career exposure. If she happened to make a new friend with benefits along the way, so be it. She didn’t count on the stunning redhead representing a rival casino throwing her off her game.

All Victoria McHenry needed was a date to her grandmother’s birthday gala to keep her high-society mother off her back. But she wasn’t exactly ready to dip back into the dating pool after her last disaster of a relationship. So when she’s coerced into representing her family’s casino at a local fund-raiser, she takes it as an opportunity to find that date. Naturally she’s drawn to the  charismatic comedian headlining the event.

When the women are paired up on a planning committee, Victoria proposes the Fake Date Deal: she gets her date for the soirée, and Mara gets the chance to finally shake her playgirl reputation. It’s not long before hearts and emotions tangle, and soon the women find themselves wondering if the only people they are fooling are themselves.



In stock



Genre Romance
Length 204 pages
Publication Date May 13, 2021
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781642472004
Editor Ann Roberts
Cover Designer Heather Honeywell



"Is there any feeling more beautiful than being loved, accepted, and valued for who you are? The people who lift you up and hold you close may not be the ones you expect, but they will be the ones you never forget. I’ve always found an abundance of comfort in the concept of found family, and I thought about that a lot as I wrote Love’s No Joke.

I began to explore the idea of a character who has been out of the closet for some time but has continued to struggle with many of her interpersonal relationships, especially when it came to family. I wanted to show the joy and comfort that found family could provide for her, and how that could impact her life.

I wove that idea into Victoria’s storyline in Love’s No Joke. The way her new friends embrace her, protect her, and support her is a real eye opener for Victoria. It’s a kind of love she didn’t even know she had been missing in her life. She’s always thought family connections hindered her independence, but suddenly she realizes love like this makes her an even stronger individual. Readers will find my own little love letter to found family tucked between the lines of text in this book."

—Cheri Ritz


Bonnie A. - Love's No Joke is a well-written, quick, enjoyable contemporary romance set in Las Vegas. I mean who doesn't enjoy a story that begins with faking a relationship to prove to your friends that you're a player who can date. Not to mention, parading a date around your family to avoid being set up with every available guy because your mom refuses to admit that you're a lesbian. Great main and secondary characters with amazing chemistry. I enjoyed the story and appreciated the bond and support the circle of friends had. Overall a great read. I recommend. 4 stars.

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