Smith, Sarah. Faker. New York: Jove, 2019.
Paperback | $16.00 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1984805423 | 327 pages | Contemporary Romance
I hadn’t heard much buzz around Faker as I had some of the other 2019 trade cartoon cover books, so, on the one hand, I was happy to go in mostly blind, but on the other, I did have some doubts about why it wasn’t worth promoting…especially looking back on the books that did get promoted that I didn’t like.
And I now feel like people have been sleeping on this one. Granted, I do have some biases, when it comes to the material. While it’s not the setting, I love that the heroine, Emmie, grew up in Hawaii (although she grew up in Kona, a place I’m only marginally familiar with), and seeing discussions of the environment and the culture, not to mention the food (finally, someone who actually knows what a spam musubi is!) is always great to see in mainstream fiction published for the wider U.S. (and occasionally world) market.
And while I did have my doubts about the premise, as enemies-to-lovers could go either way for me, I ended up liking it. I liked seeing Emmie succeed in a traditionally male-dominated field and the exploration of having to “fake” a tougher persona as a result. And the way it plays into her evolving relationship with Tate, especially given some of the later revelations regarding his initial hostility, is incredibly well done.
This is a great rom-com, with a great infusion of culture and an awesome cast of characters that I hope will spawn sequels/spinoffs. I would recommend this to rom-com lovers and those looking for good Filipino-American rep in romance.