I think this story is the first romance I read with a trans MC. I’ve encountered a few secondary trans characters but, as far as I can remember, never a main character, never the woman who gets to find the love of her life.
Fake it till you make it is Avery Lindt’s motto and it usually works out for her. She moved to Port Andrea to open her restaurant but despite her optimism, the future doesn’t look so good, and it gets worse when she gets into an argument with Mike Wallace, a very powerful restaurant owner and Youtube celebrity. Holly Mason’s TV show Kitchen Rescue needs rescuing as much as the restaurants she features on her show, in part due to a smear campaign orchestrated by no other than Mike. When Holly’s agent tricks her into faking a romance with Avery in order to expose Mike’s wrongdoings, both women first refuse then come to see his point. An actual mutual attraction shouldn’t be a problem since neither feels in the right place for a relationship anyway. What starts as a fake relationship turns into friends with benefits turns into more because that’s how these things go, right?
This is my third book by Lily Seabrooke and if there’s one thing I’ve come to expect from her, it’s characters you’ll want to root for. Avery is adorable and self-conscious and much more willing to believe in magic teleportation than beautiful, self-assured Holly being attracted to her. Holly knows exactly how to make Avery blush and, when the time comes, she knows how to make Avery do a lot more than blush.
I mentioned Avery being trans. I love how it’s a huge part of her story but not a huge part of the story. The story is the romance between Avery and Holly. But who Avery is is fundamental to the story.
The author is a trans woman herself, who has already written many sapphic romance novels and Avery is her first trans lead. I sure hope she – and others – keeps writing trans characters as lovely (or not) as Avery. I’d love to remember this sweet – and hot – romance as my first one with a trans lead, and not as the only one.
There’s a lot of food and a lot of (incredibly hot) sex in Fake It, and I’m not complaining about either. I really enjoyed the taking-the-villain-down part as well. Despite a few editing issues, there’s an energy to Seabrooke’s writing that makes me want to keep reading and spend more time with the characters.