Summer Reread: Faking It, Jennifer Crusie

faking it

Grade: A

Doing it at: 26%

Catnip: Beta Hero; Grifters; Deep Dark Secrets; Fast Talkers; Strong Female Lead; Frenching

Shame Scale: No shame, Faking It has so much real plot

Fantasy Cast: David Walton; Martine McCutcheon circa Love Actually

What do we taste like: Vodka and disaster

Book Description:

Meet the Goodnights, a respectable family who run a respectable art gallery-and have for generations. There’s Gwen, the matriarch who likes to escape reality, Eve the oldest daughter who has a slight identity problem (she has two), Nadine, the granddaughter who’s ready to follow in the family footsteps as soon as she can find a set that isn’t leading off a cliff. And lastly, Matilda, the youngest daughter, has inherited the secret locked down in the basement of the Goodnight Gallery, the secret she’s willing to do almost anything to keep, even break into a house in the dead of night to steal back her past.

Meet the Dempseys, or at least meet Davy, a reformed con man who’s just been ripped off for a cool three million by his financial manager, who then gallantly turned it over to Clea Lewis, the most beautiful sociopath Davy ever slept with. Davy wants the money back, but more than that he’ll do anything to keep Clea from winning, including break into her house in the dead of night to steal back his future.

One collision in a closet later, Tilda and Davy reluctantly join forces to combat Clea, suspicious art collectors, a disgruntled heir, and an exasperated hitman, all the while coping with a mutant dachshund, a juke box stuck in the sixties, questionable sex, and the growing realization that they can’t turn their backs on the people they were meant to be…or the people they were born to love.

I love Jennifer Crusie’s books, she has really intricate plots with tons of side characters and excellent dialog. Her book boys are always really dreamy and her girls are smart, sassy ladies I’d like to be friends with. Faking It was the first book of hers I ever read, and a dozen years later it is still my favorite. I picked up my paperback copy at the Walgreens by my apartment in Las Vegas; I worked one am to nine am and would stop on my way home every day to buy juice, muffins in cellophane, and cheap magazines and paperbacks with my tip money. This was the ideal life, and I think I devoured Faking It in under 48 hours. When I opened it to reread I found a two dollar bill being used as a book mark — I really need to search all the books from my waitressing days, they might be full of money.

If you haven’t read any Crusie, Faking It is a good one to start with, even though Welcome to Temptation comes first and introduces Davy via his sister Sophie’s story; I like Temptation (and Phin!) but you know I think reading books in order is for L7 squares. Crusie does tons of movie and song mentions in her books, Faking It has a jukebox playing in the background, so I made a playlist. Start it while reading this review and then listen to the whole thing when you go find and read this book.

Matilda Veronica Goodnight (Tilda) is making a living painting recreations of famous paintings on people’s walls. Its lucrative, she’s great at it, she hates it. Her dad spent years teaching her to paint in the style of famous painters, Tilda can fake anything. Her family relies on her to hold everything together and to be the sensible drab one within their cast of colorful characters, so she does. She paints the murals, lives above the family gallery, and tries to help pay off their mortgages. Tilda can’t even have good sex because she’s afraid if she lets herself go she’ll blurt out all her deep dark secrets during orgasm. The only problem is that her niece — precocious, adorable Nadine — just sold one of her secrets for $1000 bucks, and now Tilda has to get it back before her neat, boring little world explodes. Which is how she ends up in a dark closet wearing a ridiculous satin kimono jacket and making out with Davy Dempsey.

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