Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley follows the story of Jada Townsend-Matthews and Donovan Dell. Jada, a young woman and former reality TV star, is trying to figure out what to do with her life. After disappointing her scientist parents by not pursuing a scientific career or agreeing to work with them at their research lab, Jada has tried a few things; European DJ, acting, and now failed reality TV star. A former contestant on the Bachelor-esque show “My One and Only,” Jada managed to make it to the end, where Dr. John proposed to her. She declined, on national television, and is now suffering some of the backlash that came with that decision.
After hiding out in her condo for a while, she agrees to meet up with her best friend, where they end up visiting Sugar Blitz bakery for cupcakes. Immediately after entering the shop, Jada begins criticizing the shop’s decor and assumes the cupcakes are not that good. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, except that the owner, NFL player Donovan Dell was within earshot. He challenged her comments, offering her a free cupcake to prove that her assumptions were wrong. They thought that they’d never see each other ever again after that exchange, and boy, were they both wrong.
Donovan’s bakery, Sugar Blitz, is struggling with sales. After having a successful launch, business has died down to the point where Donovan is stressed about the bakery’s future. He reaches out to his NFL boss, Mrs. T for some advice. Mrs. T is the owner of the Knights, the football team Donovan plays on. He goes to visit her to ask for some business advice in hopes that he can figure something out to boost sales. While there, Mrs. T asks Donovan for a favor; employ her granddaughter who’s searching for some direction in life and needs a job. He agrees to employ her and comes to find out that his granddaughter is none other than Jada.
Though Jada was reluctant to accept the job offer after discussing it with her grandma, she ultimately agreed as her grandma offered her early access to her trust fund if she can stick it out at Sugar Blitz for six months. After Jada starts working at the shop, she and Donovan continue on the wrong foot until they both essentially call a truce. I legit thought this was gonna be an enemies to lovers story but not after this truce. The notoriety of Jada’s actions on the reality show follow her to Sugar Blitz, where people start lining up at the bakery to catch a glimpse of her, and buy cupcakes of course. What she didn’t expect was a journalist to pressure her into divulging details as to why she said no to Dr. John. Jada panics and says that the man she’d been thinking of while on the show was actually Donovan, and thus began their fake relationship – much to Donovan’s chagrin.
Common Themes + Opinions:
The underlying theme in the story is Jada’s journey to figuring out what she wants to do with her life. She’s in her 20s, so she’s young, but is feeling the pressure from her parents and sister, all successful scientists, and the fact that they cut her off financially. Thankfully, she has her grandma in her corner, who’s trying to offer her some guidance to help her get on her two feet. Because of her parents disapproval, Jada thinks she’s an impulsive screw up. She’s one of those people that if she doesn’t immediately succeed, she drops it. That, and she’s trying her hardest to win over the approval of her family while trying to do her own thing. Honestly, commendable of her to push for this but I can also understand the type of burden this brings. It’s touched on a bit in the book, but still felt surface level.
As Jada begins to see success in her role at the shop, and her developing romance with Donovan, she begins to question whether or not she’s worthy of all of it. Her relationship with Donovan escalates fairly quickly, to the point where she isn’t able to tell if that is her impulsiveness driving the relationship, or if its real feelings of love. Donovan questions the same thing where he’s unsure if it’s love but recognizes those feelings before Jada does.
Final Thoughts + Ratings:
I was shocked at the minor plot twist towards the end, and almost hoped Jada followed through but that meant the happily ever after would have been in jeopardy. Overall, Fake It Till You Bake It is a sweet love story (see what I did there?) that focuses a bit more on the love story and a bit less on character development. The story and the characters felt like they were missing some sort of depth, and things in the story began moving fairly quick too. I’ll give Fake It Till You Bake It three stars for the cute romance and the bakery component – the cupcake flavors sounded divine. As for the spice, once things with Jada and Donovan heat up, it gets a lil steamy though it’s short lived in the pages.
Have you read Fake It Till You Bake It? Let me know what you think in the comments!