Review: Grumpy Fake Boyfriend by Jackie Lau

Jackie Lau’s first romance book Grumpy Fake Boyfriend is a delightful contemporary with an introverted sci-fi writer named Will. Will agrees to be his best friend’s younger sister, Naomi, boyfriend for a weekend.

Grumpy Fake Boyfriend Cover

I’m a pretty simple guy. When I’m not writing a science fiction novel, I’m watching a good movie or reading a book. Alone. I like my reclusive life. That is, until my only friend asks for a favor—pretend to be his baby sister’s boyfriend on a couples’ getaway. Her ex is going to be there and she needs me as a buffer.

I should have said no, but Naomi is bubbly, energetic, and beautiful. She also means everything to her brother. But now, our fake romance is starting to feel all too real, and I find myself stuck between the promise I made to my friend and risking my heart to the one woman who might actually get me…  Goodreads

Meet Will. He is grumpy, introverted, low-maintenance and is the kind of hero you wouldn’t expect to love so much. Will is the perfect blend of “I cannot handle people today or any day” as well as “I’m going to help you fool your ex because I love my best friend who is your older brother.” He might come off as gruff but that’s just his big heart which really can’t handle a lot of social interaction. So, when Will and Naomi head to a three-day long weekend getaway with Naomi’s five friends and her ex-boyfriend’s current girlfriend, Will’s limits are tested.

Naomi on the other hand is younger but not less aware of how much power it takes to be around people despite her extroverted nature. She is fun loving. Actual sunshine. And will make you smile. She is so aware of her own sexuality and owns it at every second. When feelings start to fly around despite her best judgement not to like Will who’s totally irrational about her consumption of sugar (he cares about you ruining your appetite, Naomi!) she begins to feel warm for the grump.

Fake Dating Equals Chaos

Expect shenanigans such as Naomi over-doing it with the lying about her and Will’s first date, trying to be “sexy” and failing since well, Will is just not going to rub sunscreen all over her back as she fake-moans, and them ending up fighting over the ratio of Naomi to Will in the tiny bed they got to share during the first day of the “retreat.” The fake romance aspect is so excellently done. There’s talk of their “history” and there’s also the transition of them going from fake to very much real.

You’ll get all of that more. In a romance so fun and amusing, there’s so much heart and understanding. Naomi and Will are opposites who come together to form the perfect couple. She lets him have his day off and he confesses his feelings in front of her friend in a “Love, Actually” worthy display of affection. There’s such a good balance between romance and comedy in Grumpy Fake Boyfriend to keep you entertained and going “aw.” Both learn from one another and gain some needed self-love that only strengthens their relationship with one another and with friends and family.

Jackie Lau’s Grumpy Fake Boyfriend is easily delightful, steamy with a rating of two for heat due to infrequent explicit sex scenes, and so lovely on the eyes. It’s fluffy and hearty all at once. If you want another fake dating relationship novel, check out Mia Sosa’s Pretending He’s Mine, which I reviewed last week.

The sequel, which revolves around Naomi’s sister Courtney, a no-nonsense biomedical researcher and the Mr. Hotshot CEO who enters her life, comes out in a few weeks! You can preorder it now!


Title: Grumpy Fake Boyfriend

Series: Kwan Sisters

Author: Jackie Lau

Release Date: May 22nd, 2018

Rating: ★★★★★ / Five stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Representation: Chinese main character

Tropes: sunshine x grumpy couple, introvert x extrovert couple, fake boyfriend, hurry kiss me to fool everyone we’re in love, forced proximity, opposites attracting