Erryn reviews ‘Fakers’ by Lucy Lennox and May Archer. The ebook was released June 30, 2020 and is 311 pages. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Michael Dean, released July 27, 2020, and is 9 hrs and 22 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I love Lucy and wanted to see how this new writing team would work out.
Brooks Johnson’s words to live by:
When returning to Licking Thicket, TN, for the first time in 10 years to reunite with your nosy neighbors, heartbroken 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.
Licking Thicket, Tennessee. Okay, you know with a town name like that, the jokes will be endless.
And they are.
Brooks Johnson is forced to come home because of his father’s ill health. Ten years ago he was the chosen one. He had everything – Homecoming King (or the Licking Thicket equivalent), the girlfriend who had their lives planned out, and a family and community who adored him. He told his little corner of the world that he was gay and he lit out of town. Broke a few hearts on the way. His mother still thinks his homosexuality is a phase and that if he just comes home, everything will be okay. He agrees but knows he can’t face the town alone. So he brings his straight friend Paul to play the part of the gay boyfriend.
Cool – fake boyfriend. I love this trope.
Enter Brooks’ high school girlfriend Ava. Her heart was broken and although she’s moved to LA and made something of a career, she still has wounded pride. So she ropes her friend Malachi to come home with her and to pretend to be her boyfriend so that she doesn’t show up alone.
Okay, even more cool. Fake boyfriend times two.
And then on the way to the fair…Mal and Brooks meet each other and it’s instant attraction. But Mal’s straight, right? Well, Brooks’ gaydar is working pretty well, so that charade is up quickly. The two men can’t act on their attraction because Ava will only wind up getting hurt again.
Well, only in Licking Thicket can dreams come true.
This book delivered on the fun. I laughed out loud. I sighed at just the right moments. I cheered for Brooks and Mal. I even cheered for Ava – wanting her to get a happy ending as well.
The authors have said this is a stand-alone, but there is at least one more character I want to see have a happy ending. Regardless of whether they go back to Licking Thicket, I want to see more books from this dynamic writing duo.
Finally, what kind of reviewer can I be without mentioning the incomparable Michael Dean? I can visualize him in his recording booth, desperately trying not to laugh through some truly hilarious moments. But he nailed this book, Tennessee accents and all. Again, another brilliant performance.
(Oh, and apparently a guiche piercing is a thing…)
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Lucy Lennox is finally putting good use to that English Lit degree earned way back in the 1900s.
She enjoys naps, pizza, and procrastinating. She has some snarky kids and is married to someone who is better at math than romance but who makes her laugh every single day and is the best dancer in the history of ever.
She stays up way too late each night reading M/M romance because that stuff is hot.