Fraudulently Ever After – Mocking the tropes

First of all, I would like to apologise for how long it took me to write this review. As I said, the last couple of months have been difficult, both personally and professionally, and my blogging suffered a little for it, especially when it comes to ARC reviews. I did the rest of my ARC commitments (i.e. vendors reviews and the likes), but blogging was something I hadn’t had neither the energy nor the time to do, and for this, I am truly sorry.

It had nothing to do with how good the books were, far from it! Heck, Fraudulently Ever After made me laugh so hard that, at times, I had to stop reading to wipe tears of laughter from my face. That’s how good it was and is and, like all the books A.R. Casella and Denise Grover Swank write, I will definitely reread them time and again.

I will also confess right away: I fell in bookish love with Zach the same way I fell with all (and I really mean all) of their main men since River in the Asheville Brewing series. Because they are all, in their own way, extraordinary.

What the book is about

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Fraudulently Ever After

Series: Bad Luck Club, book 3

Authors: A.R. Casella and Denise Grover Swank

Publisher: Laughing Heart Press

Date published: 18 November, 2021

Pages: 406

Synopsis:

She’s cursed to live out romance tropes gone wrong. As a millionaire bad boy looking for a fake girlfriend, he is one. They’re a disaster in the making…and each other’s last hope.

Tina

I’m cursed.

Yes, really. I broke a boy’s heart because he wasn’t romance hero material, and his nonna cursed me to live out my favorite plotlines…without the happy ending. Consider my track record:

Second-chance romance? Turns out my old flame returned home to cook meth, not take care of his parents.
Redeemed bad boy? He writes to me occasionally from prison.
Billionaire businessman? Rory was my prince charming…right up until his ex-girlfriend showed up with a baby bump.

My love life is a lost cause, but my friends claim they have a solution. They’re convinced I can rip control from the curse by seeking out a trope situation instead of getting sucked into one.

When I find Zachary Littlefield’s ad seeking a fake girlfriend, I decide it’s go-time. Because I am so over hot rich boys.

Zach

I’m the screw-up spare to my brother, the heir—the Littlefield who can never do anything right. Now my brother’s making a huge mistake, and I’m expected to celebrate. Instead, I do what any half-intelligent man would: I hire a date to stir up trouble at his engagement party.

Tina’s not my type, but there’s something about her…

Maybe it’s that she seems completely immune to my charm. I’ve never met a challenge I didn’t want to screw up…or screw.

Having a go at the tropes

There are many, many funny aspects and events happening in Fraudulently Ever After, but the one that will remain is how the authors mocked all the tropes of romance, from the (overly popular in current romance) billionnaire to the secret child to, in order for Tina to grab her curse by the trope, fake romance.

Cue endless laughter, but also endless feels, because you can’t help but feel for Tina at some point or other, or all the time, really.

Is Tina worthy of the Bad Luck Club? Oh, yes! She is badlucky in love time and time again, and maybe, with Zach, she might end that curse put by her ex-boyfriend’s nonna. After all, Zach is a trope in a family of tropes.

Much to our hilarity.

Absolutely brilliant work by Angela and Denise, from start to finish.

Add to that characters that you can’t help but love (or hate), and Fraudulently Ever After is a massive treat for the RomCom lovers. Gosh, just thinking about the cock pillow still has me bursting into massive laughs, even over a month after reading the book!

A series I can’t get enough of

From Love at First Hate‘s enemies to lovers romance to Jingle Bell Hell‘s second chance romance to, this time, Fraudulently Ever After‘s deconstruction of all the tropes possible in romance (or almost), Bad Luck Club has become a series that I simply can’t get enough of.

All the books are laugh-out-loud hilarious, hot at Hades (and even more), and featuring characters that we can always relate to, at some time or other (well, except perhaps Nicole, because she’s in a different class of incredible – and crazy – and Josie, too, for the same hilarious reason).

What’s there not to love? Nothing, really. Add to that some Easter eggs for those who read the Asheville Brewing series (like a certain goat-obsessed artist), and you’re in for many a book treat.

My verdict

There are books that make me drop everything I am currently reading in order to get to them the moment they end up in my Kindle, and A.R. Casella’s and Denise Grover Swank’s Bad Luck Club are among those. To the point that the next one can never come soon enough. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Fraudulently Ever After deserves:

A completely real five stars!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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