THE LOVE CON by Seressia Glass

From the publisher:

He’s cosplaying as her boyfriend but their feelings for each other are real in this romantic comedy from Seressia Glass.

Sometimes Kenya Davenport believes she was switched at the hospital—how else could a lover of anime, gaming, and cosplay come from STEM parents? Still, Kenya dreams of being able to turn her creative hobby into a career. She finally has a chance to make it big when she joins the reality show competition Cosplay or No Way.

There’s just one catch: the challenge for the final round is all about iconic pairs, and the judges want the contestants’ significant others to participate. Unfortunately, Kenya is as single as can be at the moment. Luckily her best friend, Cameron Lassiter, agrees to be her fake boyfriend for the show.

Roleplaying a couple in love will force them to explore what they’re hiding under the mask of friendship. Can Kenya and Cam fake it until she makes it, or will she be real about her feelings, knowing it could cost her the best friend she’s ever had?

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Is there anything more fun than the fake dating trope? Well, maybe, but it is a lot of fun and this time is no exception. This book is set in the world of cosplay, which I do not participate in. I don’t generally read graphic novels, and I certainly never read anime or superhero anything, I mean I rarely even watch a superhero movie (sorry, Marvel,) so I was coming at this from a place of unknowing and not too much interest. I felt that way about the Well Met series by Jen DeLuca, set in the world of Renaissance Faires, but I ended up loving that series so here I am, delving into the world of cosplay. I am a curious person and I love learning about things outside my scope of knowledge, and this fit that niche perfectly.

Kenya loves cosplay, but her parents don’t. They don’t understand her fascination with it, and they really don’t understand why she isn’t using the engineering degree they paid for. When her best friend and roommate, Cam, hears about this new reality TV show focused on cosplay, he urges Kenya to enter and she secures a spot on the show. Oh, and Kenya is Black, and Cam is not, which adds another layer of depth to this story.

Everything is going well until she reaches the finale, when the stakes are changed. The final two contestants get some help – but from their significant others. Unfortunately, Kenya hasn’t been in a relationship for a while, but on live TV, she blurts out that Cam will be helping her – then prays he says yes and isn’t too pissed.

Of course he is on board. Years earlier, he had tried to take things to more of a relationship than just friends, but Kenya had shut him down quick. He figures this is the perfect opportunity for her to realize that they can be more.

The ending is no surprise, but it is such a fun journey to get there and that’s what makes this such a terrific read. A lot of laughs, a lot of heart, and some hot sex combine to make this read a winner.

1/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE LOVE CON by Seressia Glass. Berkley (December 14, 2021). ISBN: 978-0593199053. 320 pages.

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