When Fake Becomes Too Real

The Real Deal – Lauren Blakely

Romance, fake boyfriends, drama, comedy, fiction.

April hates every time there is a family reunion, her mother and aunts try to set her up with some guy in Wistful. April decided to bring buffer, but her buffer has something he has to go to leaving April potentially alone. However, her friend refers to this guy who can act like anything she would possibly want. Theo is looking for work to help pay the bills and pay his brother’s ex off who is money hungry. Theo sees this request and is glad. April and Theo meet each other and make rules that this is strictly an acting job nothing more nothing less. As time progresses, April’s family falls in love with Theo and its evident that April and Theo caught feelings for each other. A storm comes and makes the two really question everything.

When I grabbed this novel off the shelf and the library, I didn’t know what to expect besides the synopsis on the back. After reading this novel the first time, I was impressed. Reading again and I don’t know how this works, but the story got more hilarious. I love how the best friend in the story predicts the romance ending. I had to buy this book and recently bought it. I am going through all the stuff I’ve read and borrowed from the library to not only reread it, but to have in my ever-growing collection of books.

Learned Something New Here

The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World – Sarah Weinman

Sally Horner, kidnapping, United States, Case Studies, Child Abuse, captivity, Nonfiction.

Rating 10/10

In this examination case study of Sally Horner, this is a timeline of her life from beginning to her untimely end. Sally Horner was a young schoolgirl trying to impress her friends and was caught by a person. That person told her she should meet his requests, so she doesn’t end up in jail. Horner was given instructions and asked her mother for permission to leave to do some business in another neighboring city. The man had kidnapped Sally Horner and took her far away from home. From eyewitness accounts, one had said that the little girl claimed the man to be her father. This man went by the name of Mr. Warner, but he was Frank La Salle by the FBI. Frank Le Salle is a child molester and he was sent to prison for a while but was released. During the time of Sally Horner’s disappearance, her mother didn’t expect nothing much of the disappearance at all and was merely indifferent about it. Eventually it was six weeks before any serious actions were taken place and even then, Sally Horner was long gone from that city. During this time, Sally Horner’s family was devastated, and investigators were doing research as well as using whatever they had to try to find Sally Horner. Frank Le Salle had made lies, acclaiming that Sally Horner was his daughter but the truth was kept from the light for so long. It wasn’t until a woman by the name of Ruth to help Sally Horner in the dire time. Frank Le Salle was imprisoned, and Sally Horner was saved. After all the trauma, it is seen that Sally Horner had a passion to live and thrive. Not long after, Sally Horner was killed in a car accident. This is not a fiction story. This was a story of a girl who faced horrors beyond the imagination. When Vladimir Nabokov learned about this case, he was already currently writing the novel Lolita which is eerily like this case. When he published Lolita, the case of Sally Horner was pushed from the minds lest was forgotten.

I typically do not read nonfiction literature, but I had to make an exception with this one because of how the title captured my attention. I had vaguely known about Lolita, but I had no clue that there was an actual case study that did happen at the same time. My heart broke when I read the synopsis and the introduction. As I had continued to read this case study, I had found myself wanting to know more about what happened to Sally Horner and I wished that she didn’t die prematurely the way she did. The details that the author goes in depth left me astonished and amazed. The way Weinman constructed and wrote this felt like a fictional novel, except it really wasn’t all fiction. This was all facts with evidence and eyewitnesses. I hate pedophiles and honestly the way this guy was sent to prison for a long time satisfied that part of the case. However, the lesson remains is that always be safe and stay safe. I enjoyed learning about this case and made me want to read more nonfictional literature.

Unsuspecting Romance

The Real Deal – Lauren Blakely

Romance, drama, fiction, comedy

Rating 11/10

Meet April Hamilton, a young artist who is desperate for a date for her family’s reunion. Theo Banks is a man who is trying to pay off debts and works as a boyfriend for hire plus bartending as well. When April and Theo go together to her family reunion, certain events lead them closer and closer. Things get pretty hot and heavy for them both. Eventually she feels like she is lying to her family and found out some truths about Theo that he hadn’t told her. She comes out to the truth to her family and so does he with her and to his own family. April pays him but he doesn’t want her money, so he chases the girl he fell in love with on the job. She fell for him too. After all, something that was a gig became the real deal in the end.

Usually I don’t read romance comedies but the back synopsis plus title ensnared my attention. I love how the characters just eventually seeing through the bullshit of the gig and became like real boyfriend and girlfriend. It was funny too the whole trip and events that led them to get closer and hot and heavy. Totally worth rereading.

BLAKELY, LAUREN. REAL DEAL. ST MARTINS Press, 2019.