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.
Title: Faking It (Losing It #2)
Author: Cora Carmack
Publication date: June 4, 2013
This review may contain spoilers for Losing It, the first book in the series.
Wild girl Max is in a coffee shop with her boyfriend Mace when she gets a call from her very conservative parents announcing that they’re in town for Thanksgiving (surprise!) and will meet her in just a few minutes. Her parents won’t approve of anything about Max — her appearance, her job, her boyfriend — and if they don’t approve, they’ll pull the financial support she needs to remain in Philadelphia and pursue her music. Spotting Cade, a conservative-looking stranger, across the room, she approaches him and asks him to play the role of her boyfriend.
Lucky for Max, Cade is an actor and not the cowboy that his name would suggest. (He is from Texas.) With his background, he can pull off the charade with ease. Cade was a minor character in Losing It with a crush on Bliss, the main character. Sadly for him, Bliss only saw him as a friend. Now that he, Bliss, and Garrick are all in Philadelphia, those feelings haven’t gone away but he’s realized that Bliss and Garrick are the real thing. He has no chance with Bliss and it’s too painful to keep seeing her with Garrick, so he’s ready to break it off and move on. That’s where he is when Max approaches him.
Max’s parents love Cade and he’s not even faking much about the person he presents to them. He really is the all-around good guy they see. He’s just not their daughter’s boyfriend…yet. Cade isn’t the type of guy Max would usually go for, but she can’t deny her attraction to him, especially when they keep running into each other even after her parents have returned home.
I didn’t enjoy Faking It quite as much as Losing It, but I think that’s because I went into it knowing that I didn’t care much about Cade. I hadn’t realized how deep his feelings for Bliss ran and I had dismissed him as someone with just a crush, not someone in love with her. I’m still not sure I believe that, actually. It doesn’t take him much time at all to shift his attention to Max, after all. I also don’t like Max as much as Bliss. It takes her a long time (most of the book) to open up to Cade about a tragedy in her past and it’s not until that happens that you see the true Max. There’s also the part where she’s basically using her parents for money that makes me very uncomfortable. As an adult she should be able to live her life the way she wants to, but money sometimes comes with strings and if you don’t like that, you’re free to support yourself. The fact that she can’t is not her parents’ problem. Their money is not her money and she’s not entitled to it just because she’s their daughter.
Faking It is more like the stereotype of new adult books that I try to avoid, but Carmack’s writing makes it better than most. The characters are realistic and make the most of awkward situations. I was rooting for them to get together and I wasn’t disappointed with the way they did or the journey they took to get there.