Monday, May 18, 2015

Faking It

"I'm fragile.
The fragility of a hopeless romantic trapped in a reality in which there is no happily ever after."
--Sherry Thomas, The One in My Heart

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 260
Publication Date: April 21st
Source: eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: Standalone
Prevoius Books By This Author: The Burning Sky & The Perilous Sea
Goodreads Description

When Evangeline Canterbury meets the gorgeous, intriguing doctor next door, all she wants from him is a bit of distraction, to help her get over a few rough days.


Her one-night stand, however, has other plans: He needs an accomplished and presentable girlfriend to bring before his parents—and for six months of her time, he is willing and prepared to spend an obscene amount of money.


Nothing but trouble can come of such an arrangement. But can Eva stop herself? Or will she fall headlong in love with a man who will leave her when their contract expires with a smile, a check, and hardly a backward glance?
When I saw on NetGalley that Sherry Thomas has a NEW romance that was also CONTEMPORARY I auto-requested. I was so excited to start this and with a few minor issues I really enjoyed it. Let’s break it down.

The Setting
We start off in Cos Cob outside of the city where meet Evangeline who is walking in the rain who is helped out by Bennett. The two have a passionate one-night stand that leaves Evangeline thinking about that night, and the man, for quite a long time after. This happens in summer, right before Evangeline is about to start teaching, she gets through the next few months unscathed and it isn’t until after Christmas that she has a chance run-in with Bennett…cue the music. Bennett is estranged from his family for reasons unknown, but not for long, and wants to fake date Evangeline in order to run in the same social circle as his parents without coming right out and saying he wants a reconciliation. I both liked and disliked this. I don’t really like the fake dating when you know the two idiots obviously want more BUT I’ll get to that. This situation brings us to the upper echelons of Manhattan society and I loved reading about the parties and the dresses and that life in general. Very adult Gossip Girl…xoxo

Evangeline

While I have issues I’ll discuss below, overall I really liked Evangeline. She was smart, independent, closed-off, yet also yearning for affection that she never knew she wanted. She was extremely loving to her stepmother and I adored that. She’s intelligent as all hell and doesn’t really give a shit what anybody thinks about her love of science or chosen profession. She does her and she makes no apologies.

The Arc

loved how this relationship played out. They went on a mini-trip, he met her friends, they had dates, they talked about his past and previous affairs *eyebrow raise*. I really liked getting to know them through their interactions. The part with her friends was hilarious, Bennett is courteous and thoughtful to Evangeline’s stepmom, and Evangeline is sensitive to his plight and does all she can to help him reconcile with his parents. The pacing of the story was hands down fantastic.
The Trope
Honestly, if anybody but Sherry Thomas wrote this book I would not have requested it based on the synopsis. 1. Bennett is a surgeon and I basically throw up crossed fingers when I read that the hero is a doctor. Rather would I eat nails than read about a doctor or personally date one, so I’m biased, whatever, I’m owning up to it. 2. I do not like the fake dating as the backdrop to our relationship. They both clearly want more. Of course, they never communicate those needs, and it just is a runaround of ridiculous second-guessing and suppressing actual feelings. I know people love this, I’m just not one of them. I also don’t get this because they had already met and CLEARLY had some chemistry so why couldn’t Bennett just cut the shit. ‘Hey, I need an in with my parents, you’d be perfect, but I also would like to genuinely get to know you so can we date?’ I don’t know this dynamic just doesn’t make sense to me. Was this one done well? YES. Did it change my mind on the trope in general and make me love it? No. Did it change my opinion on the book? Not really…no.

The Emotional Canvas
*MILD SPOILERS*
While I like Evangeline overall, she make little sense to me towards the end. She spends most of the book developing feelings for Bennett, telling herself not to because it’s fake, but also wishing she could really fall for him because she wants it to be real…but then when real feelings come to light, she runs the other way saying she never wanted this…whaaaaa??? Then right after we are privy to much more of her emotional psyche and why she ran from it and I COMPLETELY understood and empathized with her. I would have acted very similar but what bothered me is that we didn’t get to see this side of her before so her rejection of his feeling came out of nowhere to me. I would have really enjoyed her character arc more had we been privy to her hesitation before it came to a head. I would have loved to see her hesitation throughout and really understand where she’s coming from because how this was done was confusing.
General Admission
If you love the fake relationship game, snarky banter, and the Upper East Side…this book’s for you.

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited to read this one, mostly because it's SHERRY THOMAS. I sincerely need more of her romances in my life (especially after I just recently binged a ton of her historical romances). I love the fact that there's a Gossip Girl feel to some parts of it too, as I'm a total sucker for stuff like that ;)

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