But I’d read Infamous, one of her contemporary romances , before, and really enjoyed it, so I thought, what the hell; I’ll give it a read. Given how good Infamous was, I shouldn’t have been surprised that the author was able to pull off a historical romance that even I (a self-proclaimed grumpy old historical curmudgeon) enjoyed.
First of all, for those of you who (like me) often grow weary of the level of old-timey detail included in some historical romances (sometimes there’s so much that you feel like the author is writing a book report about the time period just to prove to history buffs that they actually researched their subject matter), won’t be disappointed by My Fake Vegas Boyfriend. There’s enough detail to let you know when the story is set, but not so much that you’re bogged down or overwhelmed by it. The star of the story is the characters, not the time period. I consider that a huge plus in a historical romance.
Layla is a complex and very interesting heroine. She’s simultaneously fragile and strong, wanting to fit in, yet still entirely comfortable with isolation. She’s a walking, talking contradiction, which made her incredibly relatable as a character. (Who among us isn’t a little contradictory and complicated, heh?) The fact that she’d managed to survive a fairly horrible upbringing and still grow up to be a loving, compassionate woman was impressive. She was flawed, and had done things that were questionable and dangerous, but she was at heart, a good person. In that way, she kind of reminded me of Justine from Infamous.
Jace was a good hero, too, if a little bland when compared to Layla. He was everything he needed to be, I guess: strong, handsome, caring, compassionate, and honest. I think it was his honesty that I most appreciated. Never once did he lie to Layla or keep something from her “for her own good.” He treated her with the utmost respect, always. His lack of high-handed, alphahole behavior was especially welcome in a historical romance. (Historical romance is notoriously littered with alphaholes)
But, since there aren’t many perfect reads out there, I had a few minor quibbles:
But, minor quibbles notwithstanding, this was a breath-of-fresh-air historical that was a welcome addition to my Kindle.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
This one’s clean and sober. No rehab needed.
Other reading suggestions
Definitely read Infamous. But for other historical romances that crush romance cliches, check out this list.