While I like fake relationship, and I reallly like “we broke up but have worked on our issues and are not back together because there was never another for us,” there’s something about the way it all came together which fell a bit short of the mark.
I did the thing which I know I shouldn’t do and tried to skim some reviews to see if someone managed to nail the issue I had in their review, and of course there’s a brilliant reviewer who did capture a lot of my feelings. I’ll sum them up a bit now, in my own words:
– the fake relationship requires you to be comfortable and equal powered, in a manner of speaking, for it to feel comfortable and not just power imbalance-y. It’s unclear for a lot what exactly Hudson is getting from the whole situation that is as life changing as what Kian could be getting out of the situation. Even with the expensive suits! I mean, sure, it is possible that nothing a person owns could be suitable for a snazzy event. I believe this. BUT ALSO buying your fake boyfriend thousands of dollars of outfits for fake dating purposes, when said boyfriend is an aspiring journalist (read: penniless)? That feels uncomfortably Pretty Women to me. And no matter what you say, that’s not a movie of equals.
– Hudon never feels…real. And as such, he never feels like he’s done the work to improve. I never really understood what made him break up with Kian, and then I never understood why he’s changed since then–neither was really shown through the novel. I do understand Kian, and I definitely understood long suffering Divya and her IDGAF attitude towards the whole dramatic situation.
– also, really, fake relationships? Need to have real, legitimate reasons for happening. That’s why they’re usually m/f (desperation + heteronormativity) or historical (something something inheritance something spinster). Otherwise it’s just a very half hearted jump into Tropeville. Which is a pity, because the second trope (former exes back together) would have made for a great story in and of itself!