By Sarah Smith
Rating: 3/5 Genre: Contemporary Romance Steam: Explicit Publisher: Berkley Romance Pub Date: 8 Oct, 2019 Available: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop
Emmie Echavarre is a professional faker. She has to be to survive as one of the few female employees at Nuts & Bolts, a power tool company staffed predominantly by gruff, burly men. From nine to five, Monday through Friday, she’s tough as nails–the complete opposite of her easy-going real self.
One thing she doesn’t have to fake? Her disdain for coworker Tate Rasmussen. Tate has been hostile to her since the day they met. Emmie’s friendly greetings and repeated attempts to get to know him failed to garner anything more than scowls and terse one-word answers. Too bad she can’t stop staring at his Thor-like biceps…
When Emmie and Tate are forced to work together on a charity construction project, things get…heated. Emmie’s beginning to see that beneath Tate’s chiseled exterior lies a soft heart, but it will take more than a few kind words to erase the past and convince her that what they have is real.
I feel a little bad about not liking this book near as much as I should. I completely blame this on Tate, who reminds me of my high school bff’s boyfriend, who I did not get along with–from physical attributes to personality. Beyond that it was a decent book. Predictable? Yes. Questionable moments? Yes. Cute moments? Yes. Enjoyable side characters? Yes. Did I love Emmie and Tate? Not really, I never really felt their connection. The best way I can describe this book is a nice, fluffy read when you need happiness in your life. Also, let me clarify this: Faker and The Hating Game are not the same book. Similar? Yes, but there are so many other differences in them. Emmie isn’t near as quirky and the plots have significantly different pieces to them. Yes, it’s about intolerant coworkers, but they aren’t competing after the same job. There’s bound to be some similarities when the premise is close, but it’s not the same. I promise.
Addy– Yes, she is Emmie’s little sister and is only in the novel for maybe 10 pages, but I loved her. I honestly would read a whole book just about her. She’s off roaming around Central and South America with her boyfriend and occasionally checks up on Emmie. I enjoyed when she came in on the story and put in her two cents. So if Sarah Smith wants to make that happen for me I would love you forever!
Emmie– thank you Emmie for not being *quirky*. I kind of hate when the main female character is wearing 50s-retro dresses and collects munchkin dolls and always wears bright lipstick and just isn’t like the rest of us mere mortals that wear leggings and oversized sweatshirts. Emmie is a self declared normal, boring person and I am here for it! She likes tropical fruit that remind her of home, she grew up in Hawaii, and has a close relationship with both her mom and sister. LOVE. While she’s not shown as quite the faker I imagined her to be in the novel (I honestly thought she was kinda the same person), she’s relatable and strong. I also felt Emmie was constant. Like she didn’t drastically change in the book and her character acted like it the entire time, there wasn’t a time when she was overreacting or out of character. I greatly appreciate that!
Change of Heart: I hope I’m not spoiling anything for anyone, but guess what Emmie and Tate end up together (bet you never saw that coming). The quick change from them disliking each other to being into each other was too quick for me to practically believe. And Tate opened up to Emmie really fast as well. For two people who have been annoying/disliking each other for so long it was too quick and too easy for them to get over those things. I would have rather had less “plot” and a slower build of their relationship. Especially the overnight in the hospital for a minor concussion. Like really? That doesn’t happen.
Chemistry: There wasn’t much. Tate did lots of nice things for Emmie and liked her, but Emmie didn’t contribute much beyond one incident. They honestly seemed like two friends rather than lovers. I was hoping for more bantering or something from them. They didn’t like each other for over a year! Did all they do is glare at each other and click pens for that long?!? Something would have been nice.
Tate: Okay, this is something that the rest of you aren’t going to have to deal with but I just couldn’t get into his character because of my friend’s boyfriend. I’ve known a Tate. Tates suck. I know this one was better than “my” Tate. But I just couldn’t get over it. They were both so pale and chiseled! I can’t. It’s such a silly thing and I hope everyone else didn’t have this issue, but it’s bound to happen to everyone at some point with reading!
Long Story Short
Ignoring my petty issue with Tate it’s a solid, easy, romance story. I enjoyed Smith’s writing skills. It made the story go by easily. I finished the book in roughly three days, so it was a good read. If you’re in the mood for a cute romance novel that doesn’t get too heavy and doesn’t require a lot of effort I highly recommend this one. It’s perfect for a vacation read because you could easily put it down and know exactly where you picked it up. It wasn’t my favorite book I’ve ever read or utterly life changing, but I would read it again.
If You Liked This One…
I would recommend checking out The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren as it also features enemies-to-lovers, but with a Hawaiian vacation twists. Both books are very similar in style! Additionally, Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood would be another good option as it is enemies-to-lovers with a STEM twist! Shipped by Angie Hockman also features a coworkers situation! As is Falon Ballard’s Just My Type. All of these are contemporary romances.
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