Author: Olivia Dade
Publisher: Avon (October 6, 2020)
Paperback, 416 pages
Romance, Adult Romance, Contemporary Romance
Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he’s known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster. Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately.
April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction.
Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide from her.
With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?
*throws stars at Olivia Dade*
Okay, I’ve had some time to calm down and can actually review this now. I love a good mistaken/secret identities trope. Make it a love triangle where she likes online him and real life him not realizing they’re the same person? Yes please. And then add a fat heroine and cosplay and fanfiction and dang, Olivia Dade, my heart is yours forever.
I adore April. By and large she’s a very confident, gorgeous person and nowhere at any time in this book does she consider needing to change the way she looks to fit a certain standard of beauty. THANK YOU for giving us a gorgeous, fat leading lady. She does have some conflict because of her size, such as some personal growth journey in her relationship with her family, but a lot of April’s story is about coming out as a closet fanfiction nerd, which is great.
Marcus is amazing, but I wanted to smack him upside the head SEVERAL times. In no romantic situation where there is a misunderstanding if the answer ever “lie more.” MARCUS. You write fanfiction. You KNOW THIS. Still, I absolutely adored Marcus – he’s hot, smart, a total nerd, and he also goes through a lot of growth on his personal journey through this book. It’s as much about becoming comfortable with your full, multi-faceted self, being brave enough to be who you are, and setting healthy boundaries and creating space for yourself and your comfort around people who want to tear you down, as much as it is about the (SUPER HOT, AMAZING) romance between April and Marcus.
This was the first book I’ve read by Olivia Dade, but it CERTAINLY won’t be the last. I am EXTREMELY excited to read Alex’s book, Slow Burn!
A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.