Putting a whole new spin on one of my favorite tropes, I loved that this fake relationship romance felt fresh and different. This couple moves in together and enters a fake relationship as complete strangers undergoing an experiment, which added a level of unpredictability and interest to the beloved trope. There’s a great opposites attract dynamic, a rom com vibe, and just enough emotion buried beneath the playfulness to keep things interesting. The hero is a bit of an idiot (sorry, it’s true), which is why this loses a star from me, but I loved him as often as I wanted to shake him. There’s a ton of great stuff going on in this lighthearted romance, which means that it held my interest the whole way through. I still kinda want to shake the hero, but there was definitely more good than bad.
The story follows Audrey and Walker, two complete strangers who find themselves in a completely unexpected situation. When a romance writer decides to set up two total strangers to see how they react to different situations while faking a relationship, Audrey and Walker end up paired together. They couldn’t be more different – Audrey is shy and unsure of herself, while Walker is brash and unfiltered – so coupling up doesn’t come naturally. But the more these two opposites learn about each other, the more they attract. Once they dig deeper and find a connection, Walker soon realizes that he’s in over his head. There’s no way he could ever keep a girl like Audrey, and that’s sure to cause trouble once the experiment comes to an end.
I really loved the concept, and the writing style of this new-to-me author definitely worked. It’s so unique that I was hooked on seeing how it all played out, and I found myself loving Walker (most of the time). Yeah, he does some dumb things along the way, but both he and Audrey had some growing to do. I loved the chemistry between them, and there were some moments that REALLY shined. There were also some things that frustrated me immensely, and a couple of times I couldn’t help but shake my head. It was riding the line between 4 and 5 stars for me for a significant portion of the book, though the ending locked in that 4-star rating (and had me briefly considering a 3). All in all, this felt distinct and original, with so many excellent moments. I’d love to read a followup featuring Walker’s brother, and I would not hesitate to read more from the author.
Help Wanted: Romance author will pay $20k for 60 days of fake dating a stranger. PS – You have to live together (and there’s only one bed)
Okay, so I’m more than a little starstruck when I show up for my interview to discover Victoria-freaking-Trulette is my prospective employer. That shock is nothing compared to Victoria’s job offer—fake date a stranger for sixty days, as “research” for her next novel? Not to mention that I have to live with him… in a condo with only ONE BED!? I mean, I barely have any experience being a real girlfriend!
But you know what they say about desperate times. I’m out of options; it’s either this, or moving back home with my overcontrolling mother. And I refuse to choose door number two.
Now, I just have to survive the next sixty days without making a complete fool of myself. Or falling for my fake boyfriend. Hot, intimidating, and completely out of my league, Walker is the kind of guy I usually avoid out of sheer self-preservation. He can also be a jerk, which helps with remembering we’re fake—it’s the glimpses of his softer side that are dangerous to my Feel Nothing for Walker plan.
(Don’t even get me started on his droolworthy abs, or tendency to walk around shirtless!)
Twenty grand, to be some girl’s fake boyfriend for two months?
This author lady might be certifiable, but if playing along with her little experiment is what it will take to finally quit working for my dad and start my own business, I guess I can chill in the weird lane for a couple of months.
As far as “falling in love?” If that’s Victoria’s hope, she’s in store for a disappointment. (Good thing I’m no stranger to disappointing people… just ask my dad.) I am not that guy. Then there’s Audrey, who is the most awkward girl I’ve ever met. Definitely not my type… no matter how cute she looks in her glasses, or how much I like her crazy hair.
(I mean, she’s a vegetarian. How am I supposed to pretend I love a woman who doesn’t eat bacon?)
Go Fake Yourself is a standalone slow burn romantic comedy with a guaranteed (though not easy) HEA. It does include explicit language and eventual open door scenes, recommended for ages 17+.
About the Author:
Elle Maxwell is an unrepentant metaphor addict, a believer in hard-fought happy endings, and she still refuses to accept the death of the Oxford Comma.
When she’s not writing, Elle is an avid reader, dog mom, artist, and chai latte enthusiast. She’s also in a long-term love affair with her adopted city of Boston.
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