Self-appointed hall-monitor of life, Milly Smartt is ready to take some chances and live life balls-to-the-wall. After all, it was her sister’s dying wish for Milly to chase happy, which is the only reason she accepts a dare to kiss a random stranger in a bar. Only the stranger isn’t a stranger at all—in fact, she’s pretty sure it’s her childhood crush, Lucas Macintyre. And when one kiss turns into a passion filled night, Milly couldn’t be happier—until she discovers she slept with Jaxon Macintyre—Luca’s playboy of a twin brother.
Professional snowboarder and self-proclaimed bachelor, Jax Macintyre has a gold medal in one-night-stands. No fake promises, no morning after, and definitely no meeting the family. Only when Milly’s parents stage a surprise visit, he’s caught with his pants down—literally. He’s ready to climb out the window if necessary, when Milly introduces him as his twin brother, Lucas. Even worse, she panics and, rather than come clean about their no-strings fling, she tells her parents that he’s her boyfriend. Jax isn’t looking for a plus-one in life, especially a too peppy, too sunshiny, hopeless romantic who wears Mr. Darcy lingerie. But when he finds himself in a logistical nightmare heading up a snowboarding competition for his family’s lodge, he approaches her with a proposition. He’ll go along with this faux-mance until her parents leave town and, in exchange, she’ll help him plan the perfect competition.
How hard can it be? A few appearances, maybe a date or two, easy-pesy. Only once word gets around that they’re dating, everyone has an opinion. Milly’s mom is practically planning the wedding, Jax’s family is inviting them over for dinner, and his siblings are finally seeing him as a reliable part of the lodge’s team. Then after an impromptu kiss intended for show, the fake begins to fade into something more real. Only Milly’s parents are leaving town, the event is coming to a close, and Jax is ready to jump back into the competition circuit, rendering their deal unnecessary. Will they abide by the original agreement, or will they chase happy?
Title: Faux Beau (Sierra Vista, #1)
Author: Marina Adair
Publication Date: January 5, 2023
Genres: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Marina Adair has been an author whose books I’ve loved for a while so I knew I had to read this one.
I love a wrong brother trope (not sure that’s a real trope, but we’ll pretend like it is). Milly starts crushing and hooking up with this guy she’s had a crush on since she was younger, only to realize it’s not him, but his bad-boy twin brother. I honestly thought the twin brother, Lucas, would be more of a presence or problem in this book. I thought he was going to be more involved in the romance, but his role was more on patching things up with Jax.
I loved getting to know Milly and Jax. Milly was navigating some grief with the recent death of her only sister. Jax was navigating his own family problems with his twin brother he hadn’t talked to in a while and his family trying to sell their beloved lodge.
Jax was cool and sweet and whatever, but…he would say things that were supposed to be cute or sexy and they really only were about half of the time. The other times, it just felt dull. Not quite cringey in my opinion, but not swoony.
I will say the other books I’ve read by Adair have been traditionally published and, therefore, had a traditional editor. I could tell this one wasn’t quite as polished, but that didn’t affect my reading experience for the most part.
Lastly, I was vibing with this book, having a grand ole time, and then the ending came. The third act break-up came with no build up. They were together one minute and broken up the next. Very abrupt. And then the actual ending was rushed and, therefore, not near as romantic as I hoped. I was kinda disappointed by it.
Overall, I liked this book, but didn’t love it. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll pick up the other books in the series. I think it could be fun to follow Jax’s siblings and Milly’s friends as they fall in love, but we’ll see.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.