[ARC REVIEW] “Kiss and Fake Up” By: Carrie Aarons

The standalone sequel to Carrie Aarons’ “Love at First Fight” is here!

What is “Kiss and Fake Up” by Carrie Aarons about?

This summer was supposed to be an escape from the city and the demons lurking within it. Too bad the minute I arrive at the beach house I’m sharing with friends, the guy I swore I’d never talk to again in my life walks through the door.

Now I’m not only stuck hiding out from an ex who won’t leave me alone, but with someone who screwed me over before he could even be considered an ex.

That’s right, two years ago Campbell Whitlock double booked me on our fourth date. As in, had a girl show up to the table where he was feeding me off his own fork and barely disguising it as foreplay. Meanwhile, my head and heart had been completely on board to make our relationship more serious.

But a leggy blonde foiled that plan, and I’ve hated him on sight since. The ex-Marine turned millionaire restauranteur didn’t even have the decency to follow me with an apology as I ran out of his own establishment.

It’s just my luck that I’m forced to room right next door to my nemesis, who couldn’t be acting more like a saint if he tried. And then the impossible happens; my ex hunts me down to deliver loaded threats and the fear I thought I’d left behind in Manhattan. Who is the only person to witness it? Campbell, of course.

His apology tour apparently extends to offering himself up as my fake boyfriend to scare off my stalker. While the plan is moronic and means having to spend more time with him, the danger I feel is real. Having a hulking, intimidating boyfriend, fake or not, might be exactly what I need.

With every passing day, pretend date, emotional gaze and midnight run-in, our relationship starts to feel less like a deal and more like something very similar to the connection I thought we had years ago. Even though I promised myself I’d never give him a second chance.

But what happens when the person protecting me starts to feel like the one I want to trust forever?

And how will I recover if his favor was done only to gain forgiveness, instead of a chance at falling in love? 

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Review:

“Kiss and Fake Up” is the standalone sequel to Carrie’s book “Love at First Fight,” which was released about a year and a half ago. In all honesty, I don’t remember a ton about the first book, but I do remember enjoying it. 

We get to see most of the same cast of characters from the first book in this one too, although Heather and Campbell spend a lot of time alone, since the rest of their friends only reside at the beach house on the weekends. We get to see the falling out that the two of them had prior to the start of the book, making the story a second chance romance, along with the fake dating trope. 

Both of them had pasts that they were trying to run away from, with Heather literally running away from her abusive ex-boyfriend, and Campbell still dealing with the aftermath of not living up to his family’s expectations of him. I did think that we were going to see an interaction between him and his family at some point during the book, but we never did. 

Heather is living in a state of denial over the fact that her ex is stalking her. While I know she continuously made the wrong decision by not confiding in her friends about what was going on, I think Campbell was in the wrong for not telling her about something he found out regarding her stalker and how he was tracking her. Not only that, but I don’t think his actions even ended up fixing that problem, so she was still in danger. The resolution to that storyline was definitely one that I didn’t see coming. 

Overall, it was nice getting to see a glimpse into Molly, Smith, and the rest of their friends’ lives from the first book, and I think this is a pretty good continuation of their friend group’s story. I will say that I liked the first book better, but think that this is worth the read for fans of “Love at First Fight”! Huge thanks to Carrie for providing me with an early copy to review – the book is available to read now! 

***

Check out my interview with Carrie about “The Tenth Girl,” and read my other reviews of her young and new adult books:

“The Tenth Girl”

“You’re The One I Don’t Want”

“Fleeting” (Nash Brothers #1) – ARC

“Forgiven” (Nash Brothers #2) – ARC

“Flutter” (Nash Brothers #3) – ARC

“Falter” (Nash Brothers #4) – ARC

“The Second Coming” (Rogue Academy #1) – ARC

“The Lion Heart” (Rogue Academy #2) – ARC

“The Mighty Anchor” (Rogue Academy #3) – ARC

“Hometown Heartless” – ARC

“Fool Me Twice” – ARC

“That’s The Way I Loved You” – ARC

“Nerdy Little Secret” – ARC

“Love at First Fight” – ARC

“Warning Track” (Callahan Family #1) – ARC

“Stealing Home” (Callahan Family #2) – ARC

“Check Swing” (Callahan Family #3) – ARC

“Foes & Cons” – ARC

“Control Artist” (Callahan Family #4) – ARC

“Tagging Up” (Callahan Family #5) – ARC

“Then You Saw Me” (Prospect Street #1) – ARC

“If Only in My Dreams” – ARC

“Just About Over You” (Prospect Street #2) – ARC

“You Keep Breaking Us” (Prospect Street #3) – ARC

“Kiss and Fake Up” ARC

Playlists:

“The Tenth Girl” ♪

“You’re The One I Don’t Want” ♪

“Fleeting” (Nash Brothers #1) ♪

“Forgiven” (Nash Brothers #2) ♪

“Flutter” (Nash Brothers #3) ♪

“Falter” (Nash Brothers #4) ♪

“The Second Coming” (Rogue Academy #1) ♪

“The Lion Heart” (Rogue Academy #2) ♪

“The Mighty Anchor” (Rogue Academy #3) ♪

“Hometown Heartless” ♪

“Fool Me Twice” ♪

“That’s The Way I Loved You” ♪

“Nerdy Little Secret” ♪

“Love at First Fight” ♪

“Warning Track” (Callahan Family #1) ♪

“Stealing Home” (Callahan Family #2) ♪

“Check Swing” (Callahan Family #3) ♪

“Foes & Cons” 

“Control Artist” (Callahan Family #4) ♪

“Tagging Up” (Callahan Family #5) 

“Then You Saw Me” (Prospect Street #1) ♪

“If Only in My Dreams” ♪

“Just About Over You” (Prospect Street #2) ♪

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