Skip to product information
1 of 5

I Want It That Way

I Want It That Way

A marriage of convenience retro romantic comedy

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐200+ 5-star reviews

Regular price $14.99 USD
Regular price $5.99 USD Sale price $14.99 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Audiobooks and ebooks:

  • purchase the ebook or audiobook
  • receive an email from Bookfunnel with your download link
  • (ebook) following the email's instructions, send the ebook to your preferred app or ereader
  • (audiobook) download the Bookfunnel app
  • (audiobook) open the app and add your new book(s)
  • Enjoy!

SIGNED Paperbacks

  • In your cart, add any signature personalization requests in "Special Instructions" before checkout
  • Receive confirmation email
  • Paperbacks are shipped within 5 - 10 business days
Bingeing 90’s TV shows like Seinfeld and Friends have you jonesing for a time when email and cell phones were strange new things, and an app was something you ate before the first course? Then this slow burn, fake relationship, entertainment biz romantic comedy is just what the doctor ordered. Perfect for fans of Meghan Quinn and Lucy Score seeking all the feels in a sweet and sexy romance.

Book Description

Fake relationship? As if.

I don’t need a man to complete me, but to get my tubes tied before I turn thirty, I do need a husband.

When former child TV star turned producing director Lukas Keith comes to me desperate for a favor, the exchange of my services for his seems like a great idea.

I help him relearn how to drive a car, and he acts as my fiancé for a few doctor’s visits.

What could go wrong?

Bingeing 90’s TV shows like Seinfeld and Friends have you jonesing for a time when email and cell phones were strange new things, and an app was something you ate before the first course? Then this slow burn, fake relationship, entertainment biz romantic comedy is just what the doctor ordered. Perfect for fans of Meghan Quinn and Lucy Score seeking all the feels in a sweet and sexy romance.

Look inside

I’m disappointed by the real Lukas Keith.

When I signed on to this made-for-TV-movie production as personal driver for the guy—as in the Lukas Keith, aka the actor famous for his role as Joey in Our House—it wasn’t like I expected him to be exactly like his character.

You know, cheeky but adorable, beloved by all.

I’ve been driving for movies and TV shows here in Wallington for a few years now. I’ve had plenty of opportuni- ties to be disenchanted by famous people. I get that an actor’s personality is likely to be very different from the roles they play .

I’m still disappointed by the real Lukas Keith.

Maybe, because Lukas was Joey right there in our living room for most of my childhood, I felt like I knew him already. Maybe, because my friend Violet—a casting assistant on the movie—told me Lukas would be playing a role just like Joey, I assumed he always plays himself.

Or maybe it’s because he’s even better-looking in person.

It’s not that he’s been obnoxious. He hasn’t hit on me, or asked me to buy him drugs, or thrown up in the car—all things that have happened with previous clients. He’s just been borderline rude. Every single day it’s the same. He gets in the car, mumbles a greeting without making eye contact, and then slumps down in the back seat to bury his nose in a script.

When we arrive at his destination, he mutters a thank you and practically runs away from the car. Like I’ve got the plague or something. He never says anything else, not even to arrange the next pickup. The second AD does it for him.

I don’t know what is up with the guy, but the tension he carries around with him is exhausting. So, even though I’ll miss the extra income, I have to say I’m relieved as I pull into the driveway of his rental house for the final pickup. Once I drop the guy off at the Wallington airport, I’ll never have to deal with him again.

When I arrive at his rental house, I turn off the stereo, Smashmouth’s “Walkin’ on the Sun” still ringing in my ears. I don’t play music unless clients request it, and he never has. He appears at the top of the stairs as soon as I park and insists on loading his own bags into the trunk, but after I shut the passenger door behind him, he hides behind a script again.

His body language made it clear from the very first day of this gig that conversation between us is not welcome. But he can’t be learning lines now. The movie wrapped yesterday.

“Already preparing for the next role?” I ask, against my better judgment.


He pops the P at the end of the word so aggressively, I know I should just let it go, but instead, I poke the bear. “Is it any good?”

He doesn’t answer, and when I glance in the rearview mirror, he’s white-knuckling the script. Reminding myself that my only job is to get him to the airport, I keep my mouth shut for the rest of the drive.

After I park under the Departures sign, I pop the trunk and paste on a professional smile, counting the seconds until this job is over.

He’s out of the car and dealing with the Skycap by the time I turn off the ignition, and I debate whether I should even get out. It’s not like the time when I drove the actress who shared every detail of her mother’s battle with cancer, who cried as she hugged me before she went through those doors. Or even the aging British cinematographer, who told me so many hilarious stories that I wanted to adopt him as my grandpa. Who invited me to visit anytime I was “over the pond.”

I’m not even sure Lukas Keith knows my full name, and I’ll be doing my best to forget him once those sliding doors close behind his very fine ass. He proves the truism: not all pretty faces have personalities to match.


The pretty face in question, dominated by soulful blue eyes framed by chestnut brown brows, suddenly appears in the open passenger side window. He’s never looked at me directly when he says my name, and the force of his attention pins me to my seat.

“Sir?” a man calls. “Your baggage claim ticket?”

“Can you wait a sec, Danielle?” he asks me. “I have something for you.”

He jogs away, and it’s like the sun disappearing behind a cloud. Everything dims a little bit for a few moments. When he returns, sliding into the front seat and turning that intense gaze back on me, I’m not only blinded by its force, but I suddenly don’t know what to do with my hands.

Meanwhile, my heart’s like the rabbit my dog Skye chased around the backyard last week, desperate to get away, racing from one side of my chest to the other. I don’t know whether it’s his movie star presence, or what, but the blood pumping through my veins is so loud, I have to lean closer to hear what he’s saying. This puts me in range of his intoxicating scent, which riles up parts of me that have been dormant so long I thought they’d expired.

I’m not sure how long he’s been holding out the wrapped package before I take it from him, but once my eyes have something else to focus on, I can at least breathe again.

“You can open it.” His hushed tone wraps around my shoulders like a favorite sweater on the first chilly day of autumn, making me want to snuggle closer.

“If you want. You don’t have to,” he continues, almost like he’s nervous. “I usually get my driver a nice bottle of booze or something, but I don’t know. I thought you might appreciate these. I actually had fun hunting them down.”

My cheeks could set fire to an ice cube, but curiosity is going to kill this cat if I don’t open the gift, so I just rip into the paper. When I see what’s inside, I literally gasp.

“I hope you like them.” His voice now tentative, he leans closer to lift the collection of neon sticky notes from the box, only to reveal another in pastels.

“Wow,” is the only response I seem capable of uttering.

“Maybe it’s dumb.” He sounds so vulnerable that my gaze shifts to his face, where his expression is equally unsure. “But I noticed how you use sticky notes to organize your planner, and I thought the different colors would be useful.”

He’s waiting for a response, I know he is, but I’m afraid if I say anything I might cry. I mean, it’s just paper, but it’s like the guy sees me. The guy who I thought didn’t even know my name has peered into my heart, examined my soul, and given me the perfect gift.

View full details

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
E. Taylor
Lukas is so swoony!

"Watching this woman discover her own sexuality is the honor of a lifetime and a hell of a turn-on."

Wow, Karen Grey has done it again! I Want It That Way is a lovely forced proximity, workplace, fake relationship romance. I have been rooting for Dani from the beginning of this series. I knew she would be one of my favorites, but I wasn’t prepared for how deeply her backstory and motivations would affect me. Her story is relatable, poignant, and sadly relevant to many women’s stories then and now. Lukas’ backstory hit home for me as well. This is a true testament to Grey’s authentic storytelling; the writes such beautifully heartfelt stories that readers can connect with on many levels. The Carolina Classics Crew is tight-knit, yet each friend and significant other is unique and fascinating in their own right. I love that Dani and Luke don’t question each other’s motives for their life choices; they respect one another’s decisions and offer help without interrogation. The depth of kindness and friendship that shows, despite not knowing each other well, warmed my heart. Their slow-burn love story was so engaging, I couldn’t stop reading. I loved their genuine, heartfelt, spicy marriage of convenience romance. Oh, and I know you’ll love Lukas’ “my wife” moments too. I enjoyed each character cameo from past series and novellas. I loved spending more time with Tina and George; their comic relief was perfect as always. It was wonderful to read more about how the lives of each of the Carolina Classics characters have progressed since Hold On To Me. It was lovely to revisit with Violet and Nate, Sully and Helen, Whitney, and Ford. My heart ached for their hardships and rejoiced for their triumphs. With perfectly placed pop-culture references, expressions, and music, Karen Grey has a magical way of making her stories a visceral experience and transporting readers back to the nineties. Grey’s vivid imagery took me back to certain tv moments; it was like watching a re-run play out in my mind. I cried, snort-laughed, and I swooned hard for Dani and Lukas.

Anni Reynolds
Karen Grey books are always great - this one, Fake Engagement, is my fave trope!

I adore Karen Grey - as a person and as an author. She's super sweet, and she's so firm on the issues that really matter to her. Right now, women's rights and most especially, women's reproductive rights are at the very forefront of what she's most vocal about. This book is all about that topic! It's sort of an anti-accidental pregnancy, if you will.

Even in the 90's (I guess it's coming full circle again these days), women weren't allowed to have any say in what happened in their reproductive lives. This book takes place around the same time I was Dani's age - she's a touch older than I was when it occurred in the late 90's. She had a firm stance about her decision to not have kids. Doctors would not listen and told her that even though she is 29 and doesn't want to have children and is firm and knows her mind about the choice, she cannot have her tubes tied until she's 30, or unless her non-existent husband signs off he agrees with the surgery because it is irreversible - I'm still in disbelief about this (although when I was 16 and asked my Candian Dr if I could have that whole system removed, he disagreed because I might change my mind - and nearly 30 years later, I have not because I knew then and unwavering in that decision). She's told countless times she will change her mind. As women, we know ourselves, and we don't need doctors, or other random people, to tell us we will change our minds.

The doctors in this book frustrated me to no end - because it's not just in the USA, and it wasn't just 25 years ago. It's still today, and for Dani to have to find herself a fake fiancé and to strike a deal in order to get the doctors to listen to her, and give her the tubal ligation surgery she wanted because she does not want to have children - it's hard to believe but in this day and age, this is still a problem. And not only that, it's even worse now with so many reversals and removals of a lot of options.

So anyway - Dani has one part time job of driving film crew and actors around her town of Wallington, SC, where a lot of filming happens, including a former actor a couple of years ago that she didn't even think knew her name by the time his film wrapped. He's returned for the new Lawson's Reach series as a producer (yes, a spin on Dawson's Creek), and not only did he remember her, but they form quite a friendship, and if he comes to the doctor with her as a fake fiancé so she can get the surgery, she agrees to help him get behind the wheel of a car again (because the show will only pay her for the first two weeks he's back in town, and he'll have to drive himself after that). Something happened a few years ago and he has a problem - he can't get behind the wheel and even has difficulties as a passenger on a highway...

Their bargain of the fake fiancé leads to a lot of doctors appointments, and a requirement of something even more for the pair, and the intense driving lessons leads to deep conversions. The blossoming friendship and slow burn romance between them is beautiful. Karen always has such a great way of writing, and I'm just such a fan of everything she does! I highly recommend this one to everybody. You can definitely get away reading this as a standalone (the former book characters backstories aren't necessary for this one), but it's always good to know their stories instead of going back later and knowing a few things!

I received an advance copy from the author and Home Cooked Books PR, and this is my honest feedback.

Amanda H
Fake relationship/celebrity romance with 90s fun

I liked that it was a fake relationship/celebrity/90s style book. I thought I would just start with a couple chapters, but I ended up using the rain outside to justify reading the entire book in one day (it's raining, so why not?). I had previously read the other books in the series and I like the additional character development that happens over the course of a series vs. meeting characters in just one book. I'm already looking forward to Whit's story. I've read all of the Carolina Classics books, and while I Want It That Way could be read as a stand alone, it's part of a series of interconnected characters that appear in each of the stories.

I received a copy of the book at my request, and the opinions here are my own.

Trish- Late Knight Luna Reads

After finishing this story, I want to load up the 5 CD changer and take a road trip to the beach. “I Want It That Way” is a fun, sweet and a zigazig-ahmazing 90’s retro story that brings all the feels in the best possible ways.

Dani is an independent contractor who works on the set of Lawson’s Creek doing a little of everything and that includes being a driver to former child star, Lukas Keith. Luke is in town working with the show as a producer and asks Dani for a favor. But in return, Dani has her own favor. Fake marry her so she can get her tubes tied.

I loved the connection and genuine friendship Dani and Luke had. It felt so real and I loved how their relationship grew. Dani is so great and my favorite things about her was her independence and determination. Dani one hundred percent knew she wanted her tubes tied and was determined to make it happen. But thanks to the backwards thinking that still around today, doctors wanted her to be married or thirty. Luke is so sweet and such a good guy that you can’t help falling for him along with Dani. These two are so relatable in the individual struggles they have and the struggles they have as a fake couple. I felt like I was reading about a real life couple who I could easily be friends with.

Kristie Galindo
Great, fun read

This is my new favorite Karen Grey book! Dany and Lukas are an amazing pair that take us on an adventure of big life decision, taking chances and ultimately an amazing love story. Dany is a strong, independent woman who knows what she wants. She’s on a journey to find a doctor to help her get what she needs. Lukas is embarking on a new adventure but some baggage is holding him back from being all that he wants to be. Dany and Lukas have known each other casually over the years but begin a deeper friendship, learn to trust one another with their life stories and realize how much they can help one another. What starts out as a casual agreement turns into an amazing love story filled with laughs, fears and a lot of patience.