One of my favorite podcasts, Reading Glasses, talks about “reading wheelhouses,” those book aspects you spy in a description or sample that make you go “oh, yeah!” When it comes to my romance novels wheelhouse, Technically Faking by Robin Hale looked promising:
Unsentimental super-competent businesswoman who is irked by most people around her (main character Iris Spark)? Awkward but emotionally open and warm woman who can stand up to dragons (main character Amber Kowalczyk)? Secondary characters who make me want to read spin-offs (charismatic scandalous wastrel cousin Dahlia! efficient assistant Carrie! uptight friend/VC Catherine!)? Check, check, check.
The set up is a trope not really in my wheelhouse – the Fake Relationship – but I’m open to any plot device that brings together these two women who are always interesting and even more so when interacting with each other. Even the negotiations for the fake relationship were in the realm of believability and just outright fun to read. It’s Iris’s tightly controlled elevator pitch versus Amber’s stream of consciousness but they both win.
The book chapters alternate the first person voices of Iris and Amber so you can jump into both their minds and hearts. Even though social media is in my Anti-Wheelhouse (hmmm, my Woodshed?), Amber’s introverting skills with algorithms were a delightful match for Iris’s coding prowess… and both show business acumen in their separate worlds of tech company / venture capitalism and social media consultant.
Plus, Iris may be a dragon but she’s not an ice queen – nope. And Amber may be younger and working her tail off but she knows her boundaries and she can teach Iris a thing or two about relationships and the world.
What I truly loved about this book is that specific scenes and plot turns were so enjoyable that I bookmarked them as mood-lifters for my own heart and brain. Even the very hot sex scenes provided moments of revelation important to the character and relationship development.
And have I mentioned how much I laugh reading this book, no matter how many times I dip into it?
I gave up highlighting favorite lines by Chapter 4 because so many sentences delighted me. Technically Faking has turned into one of my most reliable re-reads over the past few months. I just enjoy the heck out of it.