Release Date: Oct 8, 2019
Heat Level: Hot
Publisher: Penguin Group
Faker by Sarah Smith was a strange combination of a big hit and a big disappointment for me. Emmie Echavarre thinks of herself as two different people – a tough no-nonsense woman at work and a chill fun-loving woman in her personal life. She works at a male dominated company where she is situated 3 feet from Tate Rasmussen, her coworker who has never given her the time of day from the first moment they met. In the beginning of their working relationship Emmie tried to be friendly and inclusive of Tate but after his repeated rebuffs she stopped and now cannot stand him. Quickly into the story, their company takes part in a community initiative where Emmie and Tate have to work closely together and are forced to get to know each other.
I will start with what I felt were the big hits for this story for me. I really enjoyed Sarah Smith’s writing and how she set up the scenes and dialogues so that it was very easy to understand Emmie’s background and how she got to be the person she was today. I also loved Emmie and Tate’s verbal and non-verbal exchanges as they slowly broke down their barriers and got to really know each other. I love a good enemies-to-lovers trope and this novel seemed to be doing a great job of it at the outset. There was a lot of sexual tension, angst, and some awkwardness that Emmie and Tate had to work through, which was written very well and was great reading for me. I also really liked Emmie’s character for the most part; she had a bit of a rough childhood and emerged a strong and independent woman who knows what she wants in life and values her worth in her job and to others. I liked that she didn’t back down from standing her ground with her coworkers and with the things she wanted.
The big disappointments came towards the mid to end of the story. Emmie and Tate have a pretty major fight during his high school reunion and [I won’t say any spoilers] this explains his previously hostile behaviour towards her. They make up fairly quickly after this argument, but this just seemed very unrealistic and forced to me. I thought the whole situation was extremely weird and not sure how Emmie could so easily take him back after a few apologies and kisses. Not to mention how weird it was that their families didn’t think the whole situation was odd, clearly Tate has a very specific type when he looks for girls (minor spoiler) and no one thought this new relationship was raising some red flags. I was just rooting for Emmie for being such a boss-girl who stands up for herself and I was disappointed when she seemed to always cave in once Tate kisses her. After that fight I just couldn’t really believe in their love story anymore and it just became a bit odd.