By Kylie Scott
Publisher: Kylie Scott
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
Series or Standalone: West Hollywood #1
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
Let me start off by saying that Kylie Scott is the author of one of my all-time favorite books, Lead. That book is such a comfort read and one I find myself going back to over and over again. When I saw Scott was releasing a new romance centered in Hollywood with an actor instead of a band, I knew I needed to read it.
Fake centers on Patrick Walsh, one of the hottest male movie stars, who finds himself at the center of a scandal that is tarnishing his image and costing him job. To redeem his image, his publicist and him devise a scheme where he’ll fake date Norah Peers, a regular, everyday girl who works at an Italian restaurant Patrick frequents. Yes, this doesn’t seem like the most realistic plot, but it feels relatively tame and believable for a faking dating romance.
The premise is pretty straightforward – it’s a classic fake dating romance, one of my favorites. While I enjoyed this book, I also found myself wishing for a bit more from it. I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but I could have used a little more drama and angst in Norah and Patrick’s relationship. One of my favorite things about the fake dating trope is all the heart aching feelings they can evoke when it comes to the romantic leads not knowing what’s real and what’s fake. While there was definitely some of that, I felt like it was lackluster compared to what I know Scott can deliver. Lead packs such a punch to the emotions with the tension betweens Jimmy and Lena and I was hoping for the level of feelings in this book, but it feels a bit flat. The one time I thought there would be some drama towards the end of the book ended up being a tease and anticlimactic. Some people will definitely like that it is a low drama story and that Patrick and Norah end up together without major conflict drawing them apart, but I was craving more than we got.
Outside of that, I still found the romance enjoyable. I thought it progressed at a good pace and the feelings between Patrick and Norah developed over the course of the book really well. When they finally decided to act on the feelings, it was incredibly rewarding. And oh boy can Kylie Scott write some hot and steamy love scenes! I do wish Patrick was a little bit more fleshed out as a character. He did feel rather two dimensional to me at times, whereas Norah felt like she was bursting off the page. Because this book is told from Norah’s perspective, we do get to know her better since we’re in her head, but I know Scott can write complex male leads (literally Jimmy in Lead might be the perfect example of that) but this one fell a little short.
Speaking of Lead which I’ve now mentioned like 5 times, I do love that Liv Anders makes an appearance in this book and is the source of the scandal that forced Patrick to seek out a fake relationship to begin with. Liv can’t catch a break and honestly, I’m fine with her being the girl you want to hate in this book and in Lead.
Overall, this book wasn’t my favorite Kylie Scott novel but I think she accomplished what she set out to do with this book. I personally would have liked a bit more from it, but I know there are others who will find this the perfect amount of angst and drama for them. Check out Fake if you want a quick, sexy and fun read with the fake dating trope in it! It will tick all those boxes for you.