I loved these two oblivious nerds! THE LOVE CON by Seressia Glass was the lovely, low-angst romance I needed in my life at the moment. Set with a reality show backdrop, this friends to lovers, fake dating romance novel was a fun, quick read with imperfect characters you can really root for.
Kenya, our heroine, was absolutely my favorite character. She is a cosplay fan trying to make her dreams into a professional reality on a competition show called Cosplay or No Way, and she’s in the finals! When she finds out that she needs a partner for the last round, she names her longtime best friend and roommate, Cam… and maybe insinuates that he is her partner in ALL ways.
I don’t usually enjoy romance novels with a reality show twist, but I thought Glass balanced the contrived show drama and the real-life drama Kenya and Cam had to deal with throughout the book. The conversations about microaggressions and the unfair labels Black women have to battle every day were incredibly impactful. Glass masterfully wove the lighthearted romance moments with serious and socially relevant commentary throughout the book.
As for the romance? Sometimes I just like reading about two characters who love and respect each other the whole dang time, and that is this book! We know that Cam loves Kenya right from the beginning, and it was an absolute delight watching Kenya go from “I love this guy” to “I am in love with this man,” a fundamental distinction. Cam was SUCH a simp for Kenya, and she’s so awesome I couldn’t blame him for a minute!
Did this book rely heavily on the characters not sitting down and having an honest conversation about their feelings? Sure. But I think it made total sense with the reality show work schedule and the awkwardness of trying to change a decades-long relationship.
I wish the steam had been a little more fleshed out. It felt like the tension was there until the characters actually did the deed, and then it was kind of… gone. I think part of it was the end pacing of the book; it felt rushed and a little choppy. I also really dislike other woman drama, which was another reason I gave this book four stars instead of five – but it didn’t entirely impact my enjoyment.
Overall, this was an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. The cosplay information was fascinating, the secondary characters were complex and engaging, and I loved Cam and Kenya!
**I received a free copy of this book in order to provide an honest review**