The Fiancée Farce

Avon. Apr. 2023. 416p. ISBN 9780063258495. pap. $16.99. LGBT ROMANCE
To avoid her stepmother’s constant inquiries into her love life, indie bookseller Tansy Adams invents a girlfriend named Gemma. Never mind that Tansy’s Gemma is based on an utterly gorgeous model of the same name who graces the covers of some of the bookstore’s romance novels; why not envision the perfect woman as hers? But the real-life Gemma van Dalen is far from perfect and is, unbeknownst to Tansy, the cousin of Tansy’s horrid, emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend. Unbeknownst that is until Gemma arrives at said cousin’s wedding, shocking Tansy both by her appearance and her agreement to go along with the farce Tansy has created. Of course, Gemma needs something from Tansy too—namely a wife, so she can inherit the van Dalen newspaper empire. Seems like a win-win, until Tansy and Gemma’s fake relationship starts to feel very real indeed.
VERDICT A sharp and witty novel that revels in soapy romance tropes while introducing a large cast of characters in Bellefleur’s (“Written in the Stars” series) familiar Seattle setting. Will please fans of Alexis Hall and Ashley Herring Blake; recommended for general purchase.
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