Gemma and Tansy's story is so fun -- Alexandria Bellefleur writes such beautiful queer love stories and The Fiance Farce is no exception to this -- love!
Tansy Adams’ greatest love is her family’s bookstore, passed down from her late father. But when it comes to actual romance… Tansy can’t get past the first chapter. Tired of her stepfamily’s questions about her love life, Tansy invents Gemma, a fake girlfriend inspired by the stunning cover model on a bestselling book. They’ll never actually meet, so what’s the harm in a little fib? Yet when real-life Gemma crosses Tansy’s path, her white lie nearly implodes.
Gemma van Dalen is a wild child, the outcast of her wealthy family, and now the latest heir to Van Dalen Publishing. But the title comes with one tiny condition: she must be married in order to inherit. When Gemma discovers a beautiful stranger has been pretending to date her for months, she decides to take the charade one step further—and announces their engagement.
Gemma needs a wife to meet the terms of her grandfather’s will and Tansy needs money to save her struggling bookstore. A marriage could be mutually beneficial, if they can fool everyone into thinking it’s a love match. Unexpected sparks fly as Tansy and Gemma play the role of affectionate fiancées, and suddenly the line between convenient arrangement and real feelings begins to blur. But the scheming Van Dalen family won’t give up the company without a fight, and Gemma and Tansy’s newfound happiness might get caught in the fallout…
A fun, modern engagement/marriage of convenience. I really enjoy Bellefleur's characters and stories, and this was no different.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
I've been extremely excited for this as a huge Alexandria Bellefleur fan and lover of fake dating/marriage of convenience. This did not disappoint and is one of my new favorites!
This is Alexandria Bellefleur at her best. This book and its characters tore my heart into pieces and then put it all back together in the best way. Though the premise may seem unlikely (a fake engagement to a romance book cover model, who also happens to be from an extremely wealthy family), the way the relationship blossoms between Gemma and Tansy is sweet, charming, and sexy all at once. The pining and heart eyes are real, but the narrative never resorts to miscommunication, which I appreciate. This is a lovely sapphic romance, with a bit of heat and a whole lot of heart.
This was an absolute delight! What truly sets Fiancée Farce apart is its refreshing take on the fake relationship trope. Bellefleur breathes new life into this beloved trope, infusing it with humor, heart, and plenty of surprises along the way. The chemistry between the main characters is off the charts, sparking with every witty banter and stolen glance.
This book was everything and more! It was funny, powerful, and with a little bit of spice. I related a lot to Tansy & what she went through, so seeing her work through that felt very personal to me.
Such an enjoyable read!! I really liked this book and was so happy I was given the opportunity to read it here at netgalley. Made me laugh out loud multiple times.
Cheesy and heartfelt, The Fiancée Farce is a sapphic, tropey, gem of a book. Alexandria Bellefleur has yet to disappoint me and this book continues that trend. It was full of wit and delightful spice, truly making it one of my favorite romances of the year.
It follows Tansey, owner of a bookstore, stepdaughter to a rather overbearing Katherine, and a hopelessly single romantic. After coming face to face with the very real Gemma, who she had been pretending was her girlfriend, Tansey finds an unexpected spark in their fake relationship. Gemma, model, disappointment to her family, named heir to Van Dalen Publishing IF she is married by the board meeting, quickly realizes that Tansey is the key to keeping her position. As the two dodge the obstacles the Van Dalen family throws at them, they begin to realize that real feelings are impeding on their fake relationship.
Both Tansey and Gemma are well rounded characters that I really did enjoy reading about. They were flawed and honest while still being a perfect fit for a swoon worthy romance. I appreciated the representation they brought forward because it’s rare I read a sapphic romance where both main characters are bi. The secondary characters however, including Gemma’s family, were not my favorite, some being quite unpleasant. I love a strong secondary cast that are both great for the main character and also make me wish for a story of their own. I just didn’t get that here. But I think Tansey and Gemma make up for it, and I genuinely enjoyed the book anyway.
Overall I loved this book and will continue to quickly reach for any new publishing's from Bellefleur.
I liked Tansy and Gemma well enough. They're opposites in personality, so that was interesting seeing how their relationship played out. There are a lot a lot a lot of characters here and I struggled to keep them straight. (I mean, Gemma has FIVE roommates and they're around a lot.) Brooks was by far the best and I could have done with loads more of him.
Plot wise, it was okay. There are a lot of moving pieces, but somehow it also felt like nothing was going on. I wanted more conversations, more of a connection, more substance. I did love the grand gesture and always love a good epilogue; however, there were a few topics that were touched on and didn't feel resolved enough.
Overall, it was a fun and quick read, but I also feel like I could have left it unfinished. (And yes, I realize this review is a mess.)
**Huge thanks to the publisher for providing the arc free of charge**
This was such a fun take on the fake-dating premise from Bellefleur—great chemistry, some lovely prose, and a heartwarming conclusion. A joy!
I wanted to enjoy it, and it had a cute idea. However, the execution felt quite bland, and I just couldn't bring myself to care much for the story or the chracters.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book, as this book has already been published, I will not share my review on Netgalley at this time.
I could not have loved this one more! Fake dating, bookstores and spice made this one so much fun to read! I loved this couple and rooted for them!
Thank you #avon and #NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review
This one was an okay read for me. I found the story to be superficial and repetitive - and I just could not connect with the characters. It was disappointing to me as I usually enjoy the fake dating trope.
I love everything Bellefleur writes! This is a kicking your feet, blushing happy sapphic read that’s loveable from start to finish!
This is my first Alexandria Bellefleur read and it won’t be my last.
I absolutely loved this book! I devoured it and couldn’t wait till my work day was over just so I could read it.
Tansy doesn’t want to give up her family’s bookstore after she inherited it due to her father’s passing. However, she has to find a way (aka money) to pay her stepmom off in order to keep it. She absolutely loves the bookstore and it means the world to her.
Gemma needs a wife… ASAP. She needs one according to her grandfather’s will in order to inherit her family’s publishing company. However, Gemma doesn’t do relationships and Tansy’s luck in the love department is not happening.
Well, in quite the twist of fate, Gemma happened to be in Tansy’s orbit and they both got what they wanted. A fake wife and some money to save the store. Along the way, as expected, they give in to their mutual attraction and it takes off (oh, it’s not all smooth sailing though)
Tansy and Gemma were just magnificent. I loved Tansy’s sweet girl next door vibe but she wasn’t aloof. She knew her worth. Gemma… oh wow. Gemma had me grinning way too much. There was one scene where Tansy answered the door in her vintage negligée and Gemma noticed right away. Whew! Talk about hot…
Thank you @hcc & @harpercollinscanada for the eARC!
When bookseller Tansy’s family pressures her to find love, she invents a fake girlfriend inspired by the cover model on a bestselling romance novel. But the real Gemma, cover model and heiress, contractually needs to get married to inherit her family’s publishing company. When she finds out a hot bookseller has already laid the groundwork for their false relationship, they both have a reason to turn that fake dating into an engagement.
I am a sucker for a ridiculously complicated setup for a fake dating/marriage of convenience trope, and this one delivers right in the first chapter! Alexandria Bellefleur knows how to win me over with the perfect blend of humor, steam, and emotion. I love the hell out of Tansy and Gemma. It's an especially great romance for book lovers with the bookstore and publishing company plots. Maybe my favorite Bellefleur yet!
The Fiancee Farce by Alexandria Bellefleur is a five star read! A marriage of convince plot with the funniest, heartfelt and deliciously wicked duo. From the get go we are thrown into a situation that Tansy needs to work socially. I love Tansy, she is dedicated to her family bookstore, always working on having a relationship with her step-family and loves vintage clothing! Attending a wedding she's panicked when her girlfriend (that she made up...) walks into the room. Gemma is on the hunt for a wife to fulfill the request in her grandfather's will.
I loved the juxtaposition of Tansy and Gemma. Their personalities work so well together. The writing in this novel is perfection. Backstories are revealed just when they need to. We become friends with Tansy and Gemma as they become friends. We fall in love with them as things heat up for them.
Thank you so much to #Netgalley, #Avon and #HarperVoyager for the eARC. Opinions are my own.
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.
3.5 stars rounded up.
First of all, this title is a banger, and I think that this was a book we needed in the early 00s at the peak of cheesy hallmark romances. Even if I wasn't as blown away by the rest of the book, I thought the stakes of this fake dating book made sense... kind of?
Is it predictable? Yes.
Do I care about the characters? Not particularly.
Did the third act reconciliation still make me tear up? Yes.
Read if you think that we need more queer romances or if love fake dating tropes, outlandish gestures in books, and small-town media companies taking on goliath megacorporations.
This was such a fun read! Tansy and Gemma are both incredibly lovable characters in different ways. In particular, I love how the fake engagement immediately unfurls and how quickly they fall in love. Is it realistic? No, but nothing about a fake engagement premise is realistic. That's exactly why I love this genre of romance, as you get the pure, unadulterated joy of watching two characters fall in love, quarrel in the third act, and finally live happily ever after. This trope does not disappoint in this regard, but I think what stands out is how cute Gemma and Tansy's chemistry is. At first glance, they seem like an odd couple since Tansy is shy and less experienced and Gemma is a confident, extroverted model, businesswoman/heiress.
If you enjoy flirty banter and immediate sexual tension and a good takedown of pompeous misogynists ending with true love, happy ending, then this is the book for you.