Desert Isle Keeper
The Love Con
The Love Con is a fun, funny, and tender contemporary romance that takes on geek culture, con culture, and gives us a fun best-friends-pretend-dating-to-really-dating romance. It’s delightful and warm-hearted.
Kenya – KeKe – Davenport is a geek ne plus ultra. She loves anime, fan conventions, cosplay and wants making a living designing costumes. That’s a disappointment to her STEM-loving parents, who thought Kenya would continue in engineering after getting her college degree. Determined to prove herself, KeKe decides to compete on the hit reality competition Cosplay or No Way, but finds she must have a romantic partner to compete in the final round, which is structured around “dynamic duos”. Since she’s single, worry sets in.
Enter Cam Lassiter, KeKe’s roommate, best friend for life and fellow geek, who agrees to pretend to be her boyfriend so she won’t get kicked off the show. Weeks of couples costumes and lives lived around cameras ensue. KeKe’s worries start to get the best of her as people make micro-aggressive comments about her race and size – and she and Cam get ever closer, their repressed romantic feelings coming to the surface. But her parents react to her defiance by demanding she go back to her engineering career if she loses. Will she defy their expectations?
Seressia Glass has a bright and modern, bubbly tone to her writing, which helps bolster The Love Con as it goes along. I really loved KeKe, who is up against such high odds, and I really enjoyed Cam, who’s sweet and dependable. They are both messy people, kind people, wonderful people. There’s nothing I like more than a friends-to-lovers romance, and their relationship is a delight to sink into. Step-by-step and bit-by-bit, they become the sort of people they always wanted to be. Cam’s habit of stress-eating gummy worms amused me in particular.
The book is honest about the microaggressions Black cosplayers face. KeKe is plus-sized as well, and people are rude about her weight. What she has to defeat to get there makes her eventual rewards all the sweeter., and on top of all that, the book catches a lot of great little nuances about what it’s like to film a reality show.
There are a lot of wonderful things to be beheld in The Love Con, and I hope readers give it a try.
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Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier