Codename Charming: A Novel (Paperback)
A New York Times Books Review Best Romances of 2023 pick
Following Battle Royal, beloved author Lucy Parker pens another delicious romantic comedy about a fake relationship between a grumpy royal bodyguard and the charming, sunny assistant who melts his cold, hard exterior.
Petunia De Vere enjoys being the personal assistant to lovable, bumbling Johnny Marchmont. But the job has its share of challenges, including the royal’s giant, intimidating bodyguard, Matthias. Pet and Matthias are polar opposites—she’s spontaneous and enthusiastic, he’s rigid and stoic—but she can sense there’s something softer underneath that tough exterior…
For Matthias Vaughn, protecting others is the name of the game. But keeping his royal charge out of trouble is more difficult than he imagined because everywhere Johnny goes, calamity ensues, and his petite, bubbly assistant is often caught in the fray. Matthias hates the idea of Pet getting hurt and he’s determined to keep everyone safe, even if it means clashing with his adorable new coworker.
When a clumsy moment leads to a questionable tabloid photo, the press begins to speculate that Pet is romantically involved with Johnny. To put an end to the rumors, the royal PR team asks Pet and Matthias to stage a fake relationship and the two reluctantly agree. But as they spend more time together outside of work, they begin to wonder what real emotions this pretend connection might uncover. Especially when a passionate kiss leaves both of their heads spinning…
About the Author
Lucy Parker is an award-winning romance author who lives in New Zealand. A romance reader from a young age, she loves to write about people pursuing their dreams and falling hopelessly in love along the way—often with the last person they would expect! Her previous titles have been featured in Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, and Oprah Daily, and were included in NPR’s Book Concierge for four consecutive years.
"Parker returns with an endearing and equally humorous follow-up to Battle Royal with a serious but gentle bodyguard, an adorably sunny assistant, and a cast of secondary characters who deserve books of their own." — Library Journal
“[A] contemporary romance that expertly balances heat and heart. … Wacky humor prompts giggles in many places, but Parker also infuses her characters with impressive emotional depth. This is a solid choice for any beach bag.” — Publishers Weekly
"Parker blithely continues to wage her brilliantly executed charm campaign with readers by delivering a grumpy-sunshine love story that radiates delightfully acerbic wit, smoldering sexual chemistry, and swoon-worthy sweet romance." — Booklist
“Lucy Parker writes deliciously fun enemies-to-lovers perfection!”
— Tessa Bailey, New York Times bestselling author
“Only an author as deft and gifted as Parker could seamlessly mix these things into one tale and have them come out as perfectly calibrated, delectably sweet, and emotionally layered as a masterful wedding cake." — Entertainment Weekly on Battle Royal
"Lucy Parker’s books are marvels of wit and warmth and empathy, and Battle Royal is no exception. It’s as delicious as the cakes baked by Sylvie and Dominic, from first page to last. I swooned, laughed, wept, and loved the story wholeheartedly, and I can’t wait to reread it ASAP." — Olivia Dade, national bestselling author of Ship Wrecked
"Parker is a writer who knows her audience, and she keeps raising the bar when it comes to warm romances and charming tropes. Opposites attracting over delicious cakes and the fearsome thrill of competition are a heady combination as Sylvie and Dominic's chemistry snaps, crackles, and pops off every page. The slow burn of the romance is tantalizing and well paced, though there is plenty of setting and detail to take in while readers await the inevitable happily-ever-after. An utterly delicious romance that's meant to be devoured." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Battle Royal
"Parker’s winsomely witty and whimsically inventive contemporary romance is truly scrumptious. From the zippy dialogue and humorous banter exchanged between the book’s perfectly matched protagonists to the delectable descriptions of sweet treats that would not be out of place in Willy Wonka’s factory, this deliciously sexy love story whips up everything romance readers crave." — Booklist (starred review) on Battle Royal
"With a perfect trifecta of endearing characters, superb use of the enemies-to-lovers trope, and a chemistry-laden slow burn, this excellent start to Parker’s newest series is one readers will rush to dive into." — Library Journal (starred review)