Book Title: The Husband Hoax
Author: Saxon James
Release Date: February 9, 2023
Genres: M/M Romance
Tropes: Fake Relationship, Friends With Benefits to Lovers, Found Family
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Being invited to my cousin’s wedding really shouldn’t be such a big deal except, oh yeah, I haven’t seen my family for a decade.
My parents turned their backs on me and I’ve done everything since to become successful and show them what they lost. Only, it’s kinda hard to be a success when you’re a walking trainwreck.
So I’m going to fake it. Hire a guy with an online presence so impressive they’ll be desperate to welcome me back into the elitist fold, and roll into the wedding with the kind of confidence I’ve never felt a day in my life.
The plan’s a knockout.
Until my fake date cancels minutes before the ceremony.
One letter from my dearly departed grandfather, and suddenly I’m on a husband hunt.
He’s reworked his entire will so I’m set to inherit far more than I’m entitled to, and all because he’s asked me to use that money for “good”.
In order to get that inheritance, though, there’s one stipulation: marriage.
Even with his request, I’m tempted to stick to my original plan of getting as far from my wretched family as possible, and letting them fight it out.
But then I run into a tall drink of scattered mess outside of a wedding who’s in desperate need of a date, and the pieces click into place.
I help him, he helps me.
Marriage, money, then go our separate ways.
Now all I have to do is stop myself from actually falling for the guy.
The Husband Hoax is the first book in a new series by Saxon James, and I can already tell this series is going to be a lot of fun. While reading this one took me way longer than usual cause I was so busy, I still really enjoyed it. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it still had so many sweet and loving moments, along with some hilariously cringeworthy and embarrassing ones.
One of the main characters, Christian, is one of the clumsiest MCs I’ve read about in a while. And one I could definitely relate to! Christian has the propensity to word vomit, trip over his feet, and simply say the wrong thing. Even so, his heart is always in the right place, and it’s honestly super adorable. I was definitely feeling some serious second-hand embarrassment though. My poor anxiety was through the roof when Christian kept getting himself into crazy situations. Émile on the other hand is much more confident and is much less concerned with what people think of him. Which is exactly what Christian needs.
The two were perfect together and balanced each other’s flaws effortlessly. Émile’s confidence helped Christian come out of his shell a bit, while Christian’s sincerity and his relationship with his found family helped Émile to find the strength to defy his horrible, and crazy rich family.
From the start, Christian and Émile are immediately attracted to each other, though they decide to put their feelings on hold when Christian agrees to be Émile’s fake fiancé so he can receive his inheritance, and help Christian pay off his crippling debt. Even so, the two are always there for each other and support each other. This leads to some adorable moments, including when Christian, Émile, and all of Christian’s roommates go hunting for a taco truck, or when they play monopoly together.
While the romance was super sweet, one of my favorite parts was the found family aspect (which I’m sure no one is surprised about). Both Christian and Émile have strained or non-existent relations with their parents, so Christian finds his own family in his five roommates, his emotional support cat, and Aunt Bertha, who’s not their biological aunt, but will take them out of the will the moment they say anything about it. Meanwhile, Émile and his sister Elle bond over their mutual hatred for their family and what they stand for. They come up with coping strategies to navigate the tumultuous waters that is their family events, so that the two can stay sane.
I just have to mention how much I loathe both Christian and Émile’s families. Émile’s family stands for everything I hate in this world, and are perpetuating all the problems that could easily be fixed if they would take their wealth and use it for good instead of whatever it is they’re doing now. The way they treat Émile and Elle, who dare to defy their standards, is despicable. And then of course there is Christian’s family who kicked him out the moment they found out he was gay, cut contact with him, only to try and repair things when they realize he’s engaged to someone with money. They made my blood boil, and my heart hurt for Christian.
I’m just glad Christian has the best roommates and the most amazing cat to help him through all that. And of course, a loving fake fiancé who cares about him so much. While their relationship might have started out fake, there is no denying the two cared for each other and would do anything for the other.
The only thing I wish is that there’d been just a little more tension surrounding the fake engagement, especially in the beginning. Because Christian and Émile were already interested in each other, there wasn’t as much build up as I was hoping for. There were still tons of sweet and tender moments, which I did love, but especially since the conflict towards the end of the book was really well written with just the right balance of anxiety and relief, I’d hoped for a little more in the beginning.
Even so, I still enjoyed this one, and it was a fun read! If you’re looking for something light (but with some heavy topics discussed throughout) and enjoyable, with low angst, I’d definitely recommend this one.
I can’t wait to see what’s next for this series. Christian’s disaster roommates really stole the show here, and I’m so excited that Molly’s now part of their group!
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
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About the Author
Saxon James unapologetically writes happy endings for LGBT+ characters.
While not writing, SM is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.
Member of SCBWI.
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Check out my last blog post: Can’t Say Goodbye (ARC Review)