First and foremost, I made it through this enture book without running out to buy a box of cupcakes and for that alone I ought to be commended.
Seriously though, do not read this book hungry, particularly if you have a sweet tooth. Jamie Wesley’s descriptions of the baked goods they sell are every bit as sweet and tempting as the rest of the plot.
Fake It Till You Bake It follows Jada Townsend-Matthews, a young woman in need of direction. Following a stint on a reality dating show, where she made it to the final round and turned down the proposal, she’s struggling to figure out her next move. Her grandmother, a high powered football team owner, offers to grant her her trust fund early if she can hold down a job for six months.
Enter Donovan Dell, a pro football player for the San Diego Knights and owner of Sugar Blitz, a cupcake shop in a popular part of town. At the urging of Jada’s grandmother, he agrees to take her on and help provide her with the direction she needs.
The buzz from Jada’s reality show appearance paired with her sudden employment at Sugar Blitz draws media attention, as does the assumption that she and Donovan are an item. The revelation proves to be good for business, so the two of them decide to stick it out for the time being.
But of course, fake dating never stay fake for long.
By far my favourite part of Fake It Till You Bake It was how honest the characters were with each other. Don’t get me wrong, I love that good angst, and the stress of what will happen when a long-held lie or secret is finally revealed.
But there was something so refreshing about having these major upheavals happen in the characters lives, and then having them be honest about it right away. While some might think this would lead to a lack of tension, worry not. The characters still find plenty of ways to stress and work for their happy ever after, without hiding things from each other.
Woven in throughout the fake dating, and the delicious chemistry between Donovan and Jada is a frank exploration about balancing personal ideas of success against what the world (and family) expects of you. Both of them face self-imposed pressures as well as those from people who are supposed to want the best for them, even if they don’t always know how to show it. I love when novels – romance in particular – sprinkle in the personal growth to accompany the growth of the couple.
This was my first book of Jamie Wesley’s, and the way it ends makes me think we’re headed for a sequel starring one of the side characters. If it’s anything like this one, I cannot wait.
Fake It Till You Bake It is available June 21, 2022. Special thanks to Netgalley for the advance copy for review purposes.
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