ARC Review: Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley

Special thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Fake It Till You Bake It
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published: 21 June 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

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. 

TL;DR: This was such a delightful romance and while I did have some issues with it at the beginning, I’m so glad that I ended up loving it as much as I thought I would! Jada and Donovan were such a great couple and their romance made me so giddy. If you love fake-dating, great banter, fun playful chemistry between H/h, and A FOODIE ROMANCE, I would recommend picking this up. Also, prepare to get hungry and crave cupcakes while reading this because all the flavours sounded *exquisite*! 🤤

Jada and Donovan were simply too cute for words and their romance had my heart swooning! I’ve been excited about this book ever since the cover was revealed and I was over the moon when I got invited to read an early copy so I’m even more pleased to say that I really enjoyed this book. This was a sweet and delightful romance between two imperfect characters who, it turns out, are simply perfect for each other! 😉 

Fake It Till You Bake It admittedly started off on a slightly rough note for me. The writing was a bit choppy and repetitive at times and I found I didn’t particularly care about either Jada or Donovan; if I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure if I was feeling any chemistry between them! I’m glad that I kept reading though because once this took off for me, I found myself quickly falling in love with the romance, the banter, the friendships, and the cupcakes, too. If you find yourself feeling the same way as I did at the start, let me just say hang on because things get exponentially better and I sped through the book in the span of a few hours!

I didn’t find Jada or Donovan particularly likeable characters at the start. I wasn’t hitting it off with Jada’s bougie attitude and even though I know that a lot of it was bluster to cover up her own insecurities, it took a little getting used to her chaotic whirlwind energy. I eventually came to appreciate her for the things that I wasn’t keen about in the beginning. She’s sharp, witty, full of determination, and I have to admire her grit because no matter how many times people put her down, underestimated her or villainised her simply for being a human in the public eye, she never stopped trying. As Donovan loved to say: she had gumption and I really loved that about her character! In contrast to her wild energy, Donovan was a calming force. He might come across as a little stodgy at the start but I related so much to his need for logical processes and orderliness, and I respected his need to feel in control of what was happening around him. He had a playful side that he rarely let show but the more he loosened up around Jada, the more we got to see it and I absolutely loved the resulting banter between the two of them. I will say that I was surprised that although he’s a football player there’s very little football in this book; it didn’t really bother me but if you’re expecting a sports romance, you won’t find it here.

Their meet-cute was all kinds of meet-awkward and resulted in a strong mutual dislike and distrust which made the fact that they had to work together all the more uncomfortable. Their romance starts off as hate-to-love and starts changing slowly when they start fake-dating and this is really when the fun began for me! The book club and clinch cover recreation that they did was hilarious AND hot. The talk show appearance was incredibly swoony! With each situation that tested their relationship, their undeniable chemistry only grew stronger and I rooted harder for their HEA. Their exchanges were so fun and playful and they were so disgustingly cute with each other that if I didn’t love them so much I’d probably hate them (stealing Rose’s words because accurate)! 😂 Ugh, seriously, their interactions had me feeling ridiculously giddy and I found myself giggling a lot!

I thought we’d make it all the way through without a third-act breakup and I was honestly a little disappointed that there ended up being one because I thought it felt out of character. However, that disappointment was reeled back once I realised just how important it was for them to have that moment for themselves. I loved that they addressed their separation with the same reasons that I thought felt out of character and that to me indicated their growth—it was a little angsty at first but found it made perfect sense in the end! Overall, I had such a fantastic time with this book and I really hope that the epilogue ending means that August is getting a story next because if it is, you’ll find me over here fangirling in excitement cos I know I’m gonna love it!

Are you excited to read Fake It Till You Bake It or does it sound like a romance you’d like to read?

17 thoughts on “ARC Review: Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley

  1. I’m very excited to read this one! I love any book with baking so it’s a must. I think I’m going to wait for the audiobook because I’ve been very weird about romance ebooks lately. I’ll have to keep in mind what you said about the characters not being super likeable initially. I love that they grew on you and that it wound up being a hit of a read! You make the ship sound so cute!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was pretty excited about this one so I was a little worried when it had a slow start that was more ‘tell’ than ‘show’ but the author eventually ticked all my boxes and I’m glad I ended up loving it—especially the ship! I hope that the audiobook is good, Nick. Happy reading! 😍

      Like

  2. I am not sure if I will ever be a fan of “the third act breakup”, but I liked this book. I also found the pair to be adorable together, and when Donovan stood up to Jada’s family, I loved him even more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mean, yeah, I don’t know if I’ll ever be a fan but sometimes I can be understanding of it 😂 Glad to hear that you liked this book too! I thought they were super cute and I loved how Donovan supported Jada. Their banter was too adorable 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

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