Book Review: The Love Con

Hi there! Welcome to a shiny new year! I have been on a bit of a hiatus for the past couple of months, sorting out some personal stuff and just kind of figuring out what I want/what makes me happy. One thing I know makes me happy is reading and reviewing books, so I’ll be back with a vengeance in the coming months, and I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

My most recent book reading adventures was The Love Con by Seressia Glass. Do you like mutual pining in your romances? How about fake dating? Do you like friends-to-lovers? How about a heaping serving of nerd culture, including fandoms and cosplay? If you answered yes, yes, and more yes, then this book is definitely for you. Add in some racial and body type diversity, and the theme of a STEM-trained main character chasing their non-STEM dreams, and this book was definitely for ME. A thousand thank you’s to Berkley Publishing for the advanced copy to read and give my honest review!

Here’s the synopsis:

Sometimes Kenya Davenport believes she was switched at the hospital–how else could a lover of anime, gaming, and cosplay come from STEM parents? Still, Kenya dreams of being able to turn her creative hobby into a career. She finally has a chance to make it big when she joins the reality show competition Cosplay or No Way.

There’s just one catch: the challenge for the final round is all about iconic pairs, and the judges want the contestants’ significant others to participate. Unfortunately, Kenya is as single as can be at the moment. Luckily her best friend, Cameron Lassiter, agrees to be her fake boyfriend for the show.

Roleplaying a couple in love will force them to explore what they’re hiding under the mask of friendship. Can Kenya and Cam fake it until she makes it, or will she be real about her feelings, knowing it could cost her the best friend she’s ever had?

Doesn’t that sound like a fun ride?

Some things I loved: the body diversity, the witty banter between the characters, the oodles and oodles of pining and yearning and wondering if the other person felt the same way or was just pretending for the sake of the show, the inclusion of realistic micro-aggressions towards the main character (though they made me very mad, and were [realistically] not really resolved), the really fun deep dive into the world of cosplay and how much real work and real talent goes into it.

Some things that were more lackluster, though not deal breakers: First, there was a pretty big difference between inner monologue and external action for both main characters. While of course there is always a difference between what someone thinks/feels and what they actually do, for these characters it was sometimes so stark that it felt like whiplash, and I was left thinking the actions did not seem realistic or genuine to the character. Second, I got a little bored at the beginning. I think there was a lot of work done to build the characters, and I commend the author for that, but I think some of that work could have been done more efficiently, through defining conversations or flashbacks. Not sure, but it did drag a bit. Thankfully, it picked up from just before the midpoint, and I’m super glad I stuck with it.

So now, what are you waiting for? Go check this one out! You’ll thank me.

Here’s a bit more info about the author:

Seressia Glass is an award-winning author of romance and urban fantasy. She lives south of Atlanta with her husband, son, two attack poodles, and a bulldozer of a Cane Corso. When not writing, she likes to collect purple things, jewelry and spends way too much time watching K-dramas and anime.

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