Published by Berkley on 10/08/2019
Debut author Sarah Smith nails this fun and sexy multicultural romance where two office foes hammer out their differences to build a love that will last...
Emmie Echavarre is a professional faker. She has to be to survive as one of the few female employees at Nuts & Bolts, a power tool company staffed predominantly by gruff, burly men. From nine to five, Monday through Friday, she's tough as nails--the complete opposite of her easy-going real self.
One thing she doesn't have to fake? Her disdain for coworker Tate Rasmussen. Tate has been hostile to her since the day they met. Emmie's friendly greetings and repeated attempts to get to know him failed to garner anything more than scowls and terse one-word answers. Too bad she can't stop staring at his Thor-like biceps...
When Emmie and Tate are forced to work together on a charity construction project, things get...heated. Emmie's beginning to see that beneath Tate's chiseled exterior lies a soft heart, but it will take more than a few kind words to erase the past and convince her that what they have is real.
There’s something about the “coworkers who hate each other fall in love” trope that I really adore. The animosity and back-and-forth between the main characters usually does a lot to build the tension and by the time they finally realize they have feelings for each other, it’s fireworks. When I read the synopsis of Faker, I was intrigued not only by the office romance element, but also that the main character, Emmie, works for an extremely male-dominated company. I had a sneaking suspicion that a woman having to constantly prove herself and stand up for herself in a predominantly male company would add another interesting layer of tension.
And I wasn’t wrong. The author did a great job of building tension and kindling the fire. It really made the chemistry between Emmie and Tate that much more combustible.
Speaking of Emmie and Tate, what great main characters. Emmie is sweet, interesting, and hardworking, but she’s also not a doormat and refuses to be pushed around, especially at work. Tate, on the surface, is this brooding, gruff man who works across the hall and seemingly lives to make Emmie’s life miserable. But as the story progresses, you get glimpses at the softness underneath that really is Tate Rasmussen. Pretty soon you’re swimming in it.
Having said that, there were things about this book that left me wanting more. I felt like the climax of the story was underwhelming. There was so much tension building the entire book, and what could have been this great big contentious crossroads where the story could have evoked a lot of emotion. Instead, it fell quite short and just sort of fizzled out. It was like lighting a big firework, expecting this spectacular, beautiful explosion, only to watch it quietly fizzle and find out it was a dud. I just felt myself wanting more. I expected to feel very emotionally invested in these characters that I liked so much, and I found myself a little bored with their “conflict”. I got the impression that the author felt differently as she was writing it though, that she thought that’s precisely what she was writing. It just left me wanting a little more to make the eventual conclusion of their story feel like a greater payoff.