Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin for sending me a review copy of Ten Rules for Faking It!
While romance books are definitely my favorite genre of books, there isn’t usually a lot of mental health representation. When I found out that Ten Rules for Faking It had a female lead with anxiety, I couldn’t wait to dive in and finally enjoy a rom-com with good anxiety representation and a Bachelorette style twist.
What happens when your love life becomes the talk of the town?
As birthdays go, this year’s for radio producer Everly Dean hit rock-bottom.
Worse than the “tonsillectomy birthday.” Worse than the birthday her parents decided to split (the first time). But catching your boyfriend cheating on you with his assistant?
Even clichés sting.
But this is Everly’s year! She won’t let her anxiety hold her back. She’ll pitch her podcast idea to her boss.
There’s just one problem.
Her boss, Chris, is very cute. (Of course). Also, he’s extremely distant (which means he hates her, right? Or is that the anxiety talking)?
And, Stacey the DJ didn’t mute the mic during Everly’s rant about Simon the Snake (syn: Cheating Ex).
That’s three problems.
Suddenly, people are lining up to date her, Bachelorette-style, fans are voting (Reminder: never leave house again), and her interest in Chris might be a two-way street. It’s a lot for a woman who could gold medal in people-avoidance. She’s going to have to fake it ‘till she makes it to get through all of this.
Perhaps she’ll make a list: The Ten Rules for Faking It.
Because sometimes making the rules can find you happiness when you least expect it.
I’ve read plenty of books where one character is secretly pining for the other, but I’ve never read a book with secret pining and a dual point of view. Ten Rules for Faking It was told from both Everly and Chris’ perspective – something that I really really enjoyed. Chris was pining for Everly from very early in the book, but unlike in a lot of romance novels, we as readers actually got to read about his interest in Everly. Getting to learn about his infatuation and crush on her from his POV really helped heighten their chemistry and made the two of them so easy to root for.
I was really, really impressed with how Ten Rules for Faking It handled the main character (Everly) having anxiety. As someone with anxiety, I don’t often see myself reflected in the romance books I read. I really loved reading about how Everly’s friends rallied around her to support her through her anxiety. Her best friend (Stacey) in particular was a great character with a ton of growth – in the beginning she didn’t always respect Everly’s boundaries and sometimes triggered her anxiety. By the end of the novel, Stacey was much better about helping Everly with her anxiety and not putting her in situations where it would be inflamed.
Everly and Chris’ romance was a classic slow burn relationship – for a period they each thought that their attraction was unrequited. Even when they each started to acknowledge their attraction for each other, they were still boss and employee, which definitely complicated things. The execution of this slow burn was immaculate – it allowed their chemistry to really reach its full potential and made the payoff (the happy ever after) feel earned and worth the build up and wait.
Ten Rules for Faking It is a fun, lighthearted romance with interesting characters, a sweet slow burn romance, and a fun take on The Bachelor premise. I’d highly recommend this one for fans of reality TV dating shows (especially The Bachelorette) and for people who love the slow burn romance trope. If you enjoyed this book, you should check out Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and Smitten by the Brit by Melonie Johnson. 4/5