Formats available: Paperback, ebook, audiobooks
Genre: New Adult Romance
Series: Losing It #2
Length: 304 pages
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Date Released: June 4, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository
Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.
Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.
This is a marvelous story about how being oh so wrong can turn into being oh so right.
What makes both Cade and Max interesting is that they are both faking it in the beginning of the story. Max is totally faking who she is, and Cade is faking what he feels. so even though they don’t look like they fit, they actually do fit, in a weird way. Because they both really need to learn to stop. Sort of.
Cade Winston is an actor, so he needs to at least learn when he’s faking. After all, faking is his job. He has to be good at it. But he has to stop pretending to himself. All that’s doing is making him depressed.
He has to get past losing Bliss. And is there ever a metaphor in there. Because the Bliss that Cade lost was a person and not a state of being and absolutely not his to lose. (That story is in Losing It, reviewed here) Bliss Edwards has moved on, and Cade has to, too.
Max Miller keeps pretending to her parents that she isn’t a musician in New York City. When she visits home, she covers up her tattoos and her piercings and acts like the pretentious upper-crust society woman they think they know, instead of the musician and songwriter she really is. They think that marriage and membership in the country club is the only proper future. That is the opposite of Max, but they don’t see it.
They can’t see that Max believes that she should have been the one who died in the accident that killed her sister Alex. That Max feels unworthy and that every time they belittle or disregard her choices, they make her feel less worthy.
Only her music makes her feel alive. Until she needs a fake boyfriend who does not look or act like the tattooed drummer currently sponging off her that passes for her real boyfriend.
Cade has just said goodbye to Bliss and her boyfriend, the man who will ask Bliss to marry him. Cade’s dreams are over. Max, finding herself in the middle of a surprise visit by her parents, sucks him into her need for a fake boyfriend, and he acts the part. Cade’s an actor, he does it well.
Her parents love him. And he feels like Max is the sparkliest thing in his universe. For a few minutes, he totally forgets Bliss.
Max has herself a fake boyfriend for as long as she needs one to convince her parents that she has not sold herself to Satan. Because she hasn’t. She isn’t doing anything wrong except choosing music over convention.
Cade needs Max to knock his overly conventional universe off its axis for a while. And Max needs Cade not just to look conventional, but to provide her with just the tiniest bit of stability in her otherwise chaotic life.
And to be her fake boyfriend. Until neither of them is faking anything.
Escape Rating A-: Faking It has more depth than Losing It, and it felt like a more involving story. I also found the characters more believable than in the first story. Unlike Garrett in Losing It, Cade does not have the patience of a saint and gets angry at Max when he should. He also loses heart when things go against him. Garrett was too good to ring true. Cade may look too perfect but thankfully he doesn’t act that way.
It’s the story of Max putting on her “big girl panties” and dealing with a whole lot of awfully bad stuff. She doesn’t want to hurt or disappoint her parents, but at the same time, she’s past the point where she can live with herself if she lets them decide her life for her. It takes a lot of courage to chose an unexpected path.
There are no villains here. Max’s parents aren’t bad parents. They are just scared. They lost one daughter to tragedy, so they try to protect the other by keeping to paths they believe are safe. Their choices are misguided but not evil.
On the other hand, sister-in-law Bethany may just be the spawn of Satan that Max says she is.