“…sometimes you don’t know what you’re looking for until it’s already knocked you flat on your back.”
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.
Faking it is a novel companion of Cora Carmack novel, Losing It. In Losing It we’ve met Cade as the best friend of the main character in Losing It, Bliss. And beside being her best friend, Cade also has feelings for Bliss but unfortunately wasn’t returned by Bliss. Now in this novel, Faking It, will see what happened to Cade after Bliss reject him in Losing It.
“Pain changes us. Mine made me want to be perfect, so that no one would ever want to leave me again”
So Cade is now living across country, trying to move on by busying himself with studies and his acting career. Then one day while waiting for his client in a coffee shop, he was approached by a girl named Max with a proposal for him to pretend to be her boyfriend that morning. Intrigue with Max and the awkward yet funny circumstances they are into, he agreed to act as her boyfriend and meet her parents that day. They both thought it will be just one time set-up but things doesn’t exactly fall as Max’s plans. Max’s parents like Cade in an instant and invited him to join them the next day in Max place, which starts a pretentious relationships between Cade and Max.
“Living is hard. And every day our feet get heavier and we pick up more baggage. So, we stop and take a breath, close our eyes, reset our minds. It’s natural. As long as you open your eyes and keep going.”
I don’t really give much attention to Cade from Losing It. I like him as Bliss’s best friend but I never consider him as a leading man. nor a competition to Garrick. He’s just a secondary character that wasn’t really developed in the first book. But when I found that he is getting his own story in this novel companion, I’m curious what’s really the deal with the guy. I wonder how the author will expand his story and develop his character.
Unfortunately though, I wasn’t sold by how the author develop Cade in this novel. Though I enjoy reading his charming and sweet personality, I still find him lacking of real traits to really stood out as a character. Maybe it has something to do with how Max describes him, which basically crafted Cade as a perfect character that just makes him too good to be true. Yes, he is swoon worthy but it also makes him too unrealistic and cliché. Sometimes I don’t mind the character being too perfect, but with a plot like this which also falls to be far-fetched and cliché it just too much already.
As for Max, she is quite different which normally defines characters I root for, but I got a problem connecting to her in this novel. With her family background and sad past, I want to empathize to her, I want to feel her struggles and pain, but it didn’t happen. At first I thought the reason why I can’t feel Max emotions is because of how Max is blocking her pains by showing a tough appearance. With her tattoos and though act I thought she is just perfectly building her wall for everyone, even to the reader like me. But then as one of the narrator, Max is also giving readers free access to her thoughts and feelings. So why I am not feeling her? When Max is revealing her sad stories and painful memories, I still can’t feel the emotions I’m supposed to be feeling. I’m not exactly expecting to cry for her, but when I can’t even sympathize for her, it is not normal. Like I don’t care for her at all, which is something not good for a reader like me. I just struggle connecting to her.
As for Max and Cade relationship, their setup as pretending couple is actually funny. With their awkward first meeting and once in a while banter, the story has funny and entertaining moments. I enjoy reading those parts compare to their intimate and supposed to be sweet moments.
Looking at him, I knew this wasn’t the kind of fear that sent you running for the hills. It was the kind of fear that made people jump off cliffs and climb mountains- the kind of fear that told you something miraculous was waiting at the end of it, if you could only get there.”
While there’s nothing really completely new with the story as far as the romance goes, I think Faking It is still a completely enjoyable book. If you like Loosing It, you might like this novel companion from Cora Carmack Losing It series.