Age Group: Adult
Release Date: August 13, 2018
In this era of social media, we all pretend.
We pretend to be prettier, happier, more confident versions of ourselves, but not Ellen Grant. She takes it to a whole other level and pretends to be someone else entirely. Adopting the persona of a woman far more interesting is the only way she can break free of the socially awkward, romantically inept girl she really is.
And it’s all going swimmingly until she catches the eye of a man at her local coffee shop. Julian Fairchild has been noticing her for a while and he’s fascinated. Little does he know, the woman he thinks he’s obsessed with is a fake.
It’s not long before the jig is up, and Julian discovers Ellen’s true identity. However, he has a proposition. If she really wants to pretend, he can introduce her to a world where she can be anyone she wants. Ellen is intrigued by the prospect, and, blind to the nature of Julian’s profession as a male escort, closes her eyes and lets him lead the way.
Can Ellen keep her feelings in check while discovering a new world of thrills and excitement? And will Julian let it show that he isn’t entertaining Ellen purely out of the goodness of his heart?
Fauxmance is a standalone contemporary romance featuring characters first seen in L.H. Cosway’s Showmance.
The reality of pretending…it may seem like a contradictory statement, but there’s truth in its paradox, and L.H. Cosway’s newest heroine, Ellen Grant, can attest to its validity because her self-created persona, in some ways, allows her to be her true self – the person beneath anxiety and awkwardness, and what’s even more interesting is the fact that once the hero, Julian Fairchild, figures out Ellen/Elodie’s game of pretend and dress-up, he helps her to be and to accept the truest version of herself, which is not as difficult as either thought it might be.
I appreciate the fact that Cosway didn’t allow Ellen’s duplicity, at least when it comes to Julian, to go too far into the story line before the truth was revealed; the fact that Julian is a non-judgmental person and allows Ellen to continue her ruse in hopes that it will help her become a more confident and comfortable woman is exactly what Ellen needed in order to find a way to break out of her shell.
Ellen and Julian’s friendship is instrumental to Ellen’s progress and it sets a foundation for more to grow between them regardless of Julian’s indifference to monogamous relationships. But I do have to admit that I struggled with the steps Ellen takes to advance her ‘connection’ to Julian…it’s not that it necessarily cheapens what’s occurring between and it probably does allow Ellen a modicum of control, but it just didn’t feel right to me, and I couldn’t quite understand why she chose the path she did.
It’s clear that Julian is jaded by his life experiences and even though his past has formed his present self in meaningful ways, how Julian uses what he’s learned is a bit different then most because he is definitely more accepting of people and understands them in a way that a lot people may not, but his jadedness comes through when it comes to love and monogamy, which are two things he doesn’t put much value in even though that way of thinking begins to change the closer he gets to Ellen and the stronger their connection grows.
Ellen’s anxiety issues and her insecurities are very relatable, and even though most readers don’t create a completely different persona to combat them, the fact that Elodie allows Ellen to be less afraid and less anxious is something that shy, introverted women would find empowering, even if they could never do it themselves.
The fact that Ellen and Julian are such different people actually helps them learn from each other and it allows, not only their relationship to transform, but their perceptions to adjust as well, helping them to find a common ground – one where they’ll hopefully find a way to alter those aspects of themselves and be their most authentic selves.
Julian and Ellen are interesting and quirky characters and even though I didn’t quite like the path they took to explore their feelings, in some ways, it makes sense due to their personalities and the choices they’ve made for themselves up until the point they met for the first time, and being able to experience Ellen’s transformation and witness Julian’s self-discoveries made Fauxmance an intriguing read.
4 Poison Apples
About the Author
L.H. Cosway lives in Dublin, Ireland. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books. She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories. L.H. is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
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