Ten Rules for Faking It
by Sophie Sullivan
Release Date: December 29, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Number of Pages: 373
Source: ARC from NetGalley & Publisher
Contemporary Romance M/F
Read 12/14/20 to 12/18/20
What happens when your love life becomes the talk of the town?
As birthdays go, this year’s for radio producer Everly Dean hit rock-bottom.
Worse than the “tonsillectomy birthday.” Worse than the birthday her parents decided to split (the first time). But catching your boyfriend cheating on you with his assistant?
Even clichés sting.
But this is Everly’s year! She won’t let her anxiety hold her back. She’ll pitch her podcast idea to her boss.
There’s just one problem.
Her boss, Chris, is very cute. (Of course). Also, he’s extremely distant (which means he hates her, right? Or is that the anxiety talking)?
And, Stacey the DJ didn’t mute the mic during Everly’s rant about Simon the Snake (syn: Cheating Ex).
That’s three problems.
Suddenly, people are lining up to date her, Bachelorette-style, fans are voting (Reminder: never leave house again), and her interest in Chris might be a two-way street. It’s a lot for a woman who could gold medal in people-avoidance. She’s going to have to fake it ‘till she makes it to get through all of this.
Perhaps she’ll make a list: The Ten Rules for Faking It.
Because sometimes making the rules can find you happiness when you least expect it.
I’ve been very lucky to get some wonderful ARCs from new-to-me authors recently. This is one of them. And this author isn’t just new to me, it seems this is her debut. Knowing that, I’m looking forward to see what else she’ll be bringing to the table in the future.
**Note: I discovered Sophie Sullivan is an alias for author Jody Holford after I wrote this review. I decided to keep it as is since I still find the things I said to be true. She just has more experience than I thought at first. And now, since I haven’t read anything by this author under either name until now, I have another author to try out.**
One of my favorite things in this story is the chemistry. This author did an amazing job getting the butterflies going in my belly each time the main characters, Everly and Chris, shared the page. All without them being an item. The subtle touches, the furtive looks, and the heightened awareness between them all gave me tons of warm-fuzzies. And that’s what I’m here for, folks.
Everly has a lot on her plate. Not only do her parents, who are actually great people, make her feel like she’s in the middle of their occasional tug-of-war, she has anxiety issues that she fights hard to keep a handle on. Just as with the chemistry, the author does a beautiful job with Everly’s mental health struggles. She doesn’t take things to a super dark place, but conveys the struggle of dealing with anxiety and the way it can wreak havoc on a person’s physical health. Of course, I adore the way Chris handles Everly’s issues, too. Meaning, he doesn’t handle her. He gives her space when needed, doesn’t push her to “get over it”, understands that when she says something isn’t working for her she means what she says. He is kind and patient and just wants to understand so he can help.
As much as I love Chris’ personality, I hate secrets. While I totally understand the need for Chris’ secret when he first starts working at the station, it’s obvious he’s waited too long to let anyone know the truth. Of course, that means he keeps digging a deeper whole and a wider web of lies that he loses control of eventually. Not my favorite thing, but it’s handled quite well here.
From what I can tell, although I listed this book as a standalone, we may get more from these characters. Not only would I love to see Chris’ brothers get their stories told, but Everly’s best friend could use an HEA herself. If this author handles their stories with as much care as she showed this tale, I’ll be all in.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**
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