Authors: Lucy Lennox & May Archer
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
Length: 311 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
Brooks Johnson’s Words To Live By:
When returning to Licking Thicket, TN, for the first time in ten years to reunite with your nosy neighbors, heart-broken ex-girlfriend, and matchmaking mama who never quite believed you were gay, it’s best to bring a fake boyfriend as backup...
Just don’t be surprised when your ex-girlfriend does the same.
And when her incredibly hot fake boyfriend becomes the one island of calm in a sea of bovine-based insanity, it’s best to exercise caution… especially when he pushes you up against the rough barn wall to check you very thoroughly for splinters...
Just don’t be surprised if you fall head-over-hooves in love with him.
Brooks is a rising star in the advertising world—a fixer and he sure needs to do just that after someone else screws the pooch and nearly loses the agency their biggest client. Now on a mission to save the deal, the last thing Brooks needs is a call from home telling him he’s needed. But his dad is sick and someone has to take over Head Licker duties—unfortunately it has to be him. Dragging along his coworker, Paul, who he is passing off as his boyfriend due to the fact that his mother doesn’t believe he is actually gay, he goes home to Licking Thicket for the 200th celebration of the annual Lickin’ festival.
There is a reason Brooks left town ten years ago and has rarely been back and that has to do with the huge debacle during the last festival when he accidentally came out to the entire town and broke his girlfriend Ava’s heart. They were the golden couple and the entire town expected him to marry her—just like she did. Well, Brooks is about to get a big dose of Ava and her “boyfriend” Mal—a metal artist who uses reclaimed junk to create masterpieces. He’s waiting for his work to be picked up by a gallery, she’s his best friend, he’s gay, she’s pregnant and ready for revenge on Mr. Perfect aka Brooks. It’s a tangled web of fake relationships and half-truths. In between there will be contests to judge, the Lope to run, apologies to be made and more than one person falling for the wrong boyfriend.
I honestly laughed till I had tears coming out of my eyes. Lucy Lennox and May Archer have released a brilliantly funny and sweet romantic comedy called Fakers. Between the endless puns, the insane side cast of characters who seem hellbent on making poor Brooks jump through as many hoops as possible, and the sizzling attraction between Mal and Brooks, this story is just marvelous. When Brooks’ dad makes the statement about two Nutters (another family in town) and a Johnson (their surname) I think I died. Ava may start out as a bit of a witch but she morphs into the classiest, sweetest friend Brooks or Mal could ever want. Honestly other than the fairly transparent plot (no new ground is broken here) I have nothing to complain about with this story.
Even though you can guess everything that is about to happen next in this novel, the way in which Archer and Lennox create such dynamic and hysterically funny characters and then place them in impossible situations that are just crazy enough to be real makes this story a hit for me. I flew through the chapters-each funnier than the last. Mal and Brooks are both slightly broken—coming from small towns where they couldn’t be themselves to escape to big cities only to feel lonely and frustrated. Licking Thicket will turn out to be a haven for them both—much to their surprise. The town will embrace their lost son and add another during this book and it is really very lovely to watch happen. Paul and Ava will meet and fall in love further complicating the already tangled foursome’s dynamic. Paul, by the way, is absolutely hilarious and I love him to death. It’s all a bit cliché how it turns out but I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.
Fakers takes a small town with a big heart, her wayward returning son/hero and his ex and their fake boyfriends and creates a dual love story that is just fantastic. I highly recommend this novel to you.
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