- Title: Fake It Till You Bake It
- Author: Jamie Wesley
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
- Release Date: 6/21/22
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- Age Range: Adult
- Rating: ★★★★
- Publisher’s Summary: A reality star and a cupcake-baking football player pretend to be a couple in order to save his bakery in this sweet and sexy romance from Jamie Wesley, Fake It Till You Bake It. Jada Townsend-Matthews is the most reviled woman in America after turning down a proposal on a reality dating show. When she comes home to lick her wounds, Jada finds herself working at San Diego’s newest cupcake bakery, Sugar Blitz, alongside the uptight owner and professional football player Donovan Dell. When a reporter mistakenly believes Jada and Donovan are an item, they realize they can use the misunderstanding to their advantage to help the struggling bakery and rehabilitate Jada’s image. Faking a relationship should be simple, but sometimes love is the most unexpected ingredient. Fake it Till You Bake It is a sweet confection of a novel, the perfect story to curl up with and enjoy with a cupcake on the side.
We all know how much I love romances set around food, and Fake It Till You Bake It is no exception. It is a quick and easy read that had me smiling throughout the book.
I loved the progression of Jada and Donovon’s relationship. Of course, it was obvious that they would end up in a real relationship, but I truly enjoyed going on the journey with them. Donovon clearly respects and cares for Jada and is willing to stand up for her when she is belittled by her parents. Jada not only comes into her own professionally while working for Sugar Blitz, but she also helps the business develp and grow. It is clear as you read that they make each other better as romantic partners should.
I appreciated that Fake It Till You Bake It turned gender norms on their head. It is a group of professional football players who own and run the cupcake bakery, and the young woman who comes to work for them almost burns down the shop. Similarly, many owners of NFL teams are men, but the San Diego Knights is owned by a powerful woman of color.
I’ve been reading a lot of books recently with different takes on Bachelor-style dating shows, and it was interesting to get the perspective of someone who had been on the show and experienced negative reprecussions from turning down a proposal on the show. It sets Jada up as someone with integrity as she was unwilling to get engaged just for the sake of television. The book also sets up Dr. John, her potential fiancé as someon akin to a comic book villain.
I do enjoy when a romance novel highlights the main characters’ relationships with their families. I love that Jada is close to her grandmother and wants to prove herself to her. The book also begins with a conversation Donovon has with his sister. Of course, Fake It Till You Bake It also addresses Donovon’s strained relationship with gambling addict father and the ways Jada’s parents make her feel inadequate. These familial relationships shine a light on the way Jada and Donovon behave in romantic relationships.
I was expecting Jada and Donovon to break up at some point towards the end of the book, but the way it happens felt abrupt and forced. It made the ending feel a little rushed and like Wesley was just trying to hit certain expected points in the story.
Of course, I immediately had to get a cupcake upon finishing Fake It Till You Bake It. Grab a cupcake and dig into this delightful romance.