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The Love Con

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He's cosplaying as her boyfriend but their feelings for each other are real in this romantic comedy from Seressia Glass. Sometimes Kenya Davenport believes she was switched at the hospital--how else could a lover of anime, gaming, and cosplay come from STEM parents? Still, Kenya dreams of being able to turn her creative hobby into a career. She finally has a chance to make He's cosplaying as her boyfriend but their feelings for each other are real in this romantic comedy from Seressia Glass. Sometimes Kenya Davenport believes she was switched at the hospital--how else could a lover of anime, gaming, and cosplay come from STEM parents? Still, Kenya dreams of being able to turn her creative hobby into a career. She finally has a chance to make it big when she joins the reality show competition Cosplay or No Way. There's just one catch: the challenge for the final round is all about iconic pairs, and the judges want the contestants' significant others to participate. Unfortunately, Kenya is as single as can be at the moment. Luckily her best friend, Cameron Lassiter, agrees to be her fake boyfriend for the show. Roleplaying a couple in love will force them to explore what they're hiding under the mask of friendship. Can Kenya and Cam fake it until she makes it, or will she be real about her feelings, knowing it could cost her the best friend she's ever had?


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He's cosplaying as her boyfriend but their feelings for each other are real in this romantic comedy from Seressia Glass. Sometimes Kenya Davenport believes she was switched at the hospital--how else could a lover of anime, gaming, and cosplay come from STEM parents? Still, Kenya dreams of being able to turn her creative hobby into a career. She finally has a chance to make He's cosplaying as her boyfriend but their feelings for each other are real in this romantic comedy from Seressia Glass. Sometimes Kenya Davenport believes she was switched at the hospital--how else could a lover of anime, gaming, and cosplay come from STEM parents? Still, Kenya dreams of being able to turn her creative hobby into a career. She finally has a chance to make it big when she joins the reality show competition Cosplay or No Way. There's just one catch: the challenge for the final round is all about iconic pairs, and the judges want the contestants' significant others to participate. Unfortunately, Kenya is as single as can be at the moment. Luckily her best friend, Cameron Lassiter, agrees to be her fake boyfriend for the show. Roleplaying a couple in love will force them to explore what they're hiding under the mask of friendship. Can Kenya and Cam fake it until she makes it, or will she be real about her feelings, knowing it could cost her the best friend she's ever had?

30 review for The Love Con

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ali Hazelwood

    Edit on pub day: I picked up this book to make a post on instagram about it and I started like, randomly rereading passages and was transported back to how much I love it GUYS THIS BOOK IS SERESSIA GLASS'S NERDY GIFT TO US AND WE DO NOT DESERVE HER!!!! I LOVED THIS BOOK A LOT!!! LIKE, SO MUCH!! Honestly, anyone who's ever been into fandom or cosplay should buy it and read it and then buy another copy in case the first falls apart. I cannot wait for the fandom/romance community to welcome this ama Edit on pub day: I picked up this book to make a post on instagram about it and I started like, randomly rereading passages and was transported back to how much I love it GUYS THIS BOOK IS SERESSIA GLASS'S NERDY GIFT TO US AND WE DO NOT DESERVE HER!!!! I LOVED THIS BOOK A LOT!!! LIKE, SO MUCH!! Honestly, anyone who's ever been into fandom or cosplay should buy it and read it and then buy another copy in case the first falls apart. I cannot wait for the fandom/romance community to welcome this amazing baby-they are going to FREAK in the best possible way! It has all my fave tropes (friends-to-lovers, fake-dating, mutual pining, opposites attract), it's deliciously steamy, it made me crave gummy worms, and it made me fall in love with KenCam. A truly hilarious romcom that also deals with how women, BIPOC, and most of all women of color can be mistreated and marginalized in fannish environments. Basically: a perfect read, 900 stars out of 5, would recommend to anyone, Kenya is my best friend now. Disclosure: I received a free ARC from the publisher, and Seressia and I share a publisher (Berkley).

  2. 5 out of 5

    emma

    This is a cute and nice that's kinda fake-dating-y book with subplots about microaggressions and cosplay and annoying families. If any of those five things (cute, nice, microaggressions, cosplay, being irritated by those whose blood is similar to yours) sounds up your alley, I recommend this book. As is, I can only truly appreciate one and a half of them (give it your best guess) and I still thought this was a fun one. Hurray for looking on the bright side for once! Bottom line: When a book is good This is a cute and nice that's kinda fake-dating-y book with subplots about microaggressions and cosplay and annoying families. If any of those five things (cute, nice, microaggressions, cosplay, being irritated by those whose blood is similar to yours) sounds up your alley, I recommend this book. As is, I can only truly appreciate one and a half of them (give it your best guess) and I still thought this was a fun one. Hurray for looking on the bright side for once! Bottom line: When a book is good and not quite for you but still not NOT for you, what is there to really say? --------------- pre-review a rom com with a subplot about microaggressions?? sometimes life gives me gifts i didn't even know to ask for. review to come / 3ish stars --------------- tbr review i don't know a lot about cosplay (what this book is about), but i do know about the fake dating trope (what this book is REALLY about, to me). and what i know is that it rules. thanks to netgalley or the publisher or whoever is responsible for this!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    This was SO GOOD I CANNOT. Review to come!!! CW: death of a parent, child neglect (in the past), alcoholism

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    3.5 stars When I saw the cover and synopsis of The Love Con I knew I wanted to read this book. It just looked so fun, and overall, it really was a fun read. If you love cosplay and reading about the technical parts of costume making I think you would love this book! Kenya is a finalist in a reality show called Cosplay or No Way and she's up against one other guy. The last challenge they have is a Cosplay duo... and they only have 4 weeks to make these costumes. She recruits her best friend, Cam t 3.5 stars When I saw the cover and synopsis of The Love Con I knew I wanted to read this book. It just looked so fun, and overall, it really was a fun read. If you love cosplay and reading about the technical parts of costume making I think you would love this book! Kenya is a finalist in a reality show called Cosplay or No Way and she's up against one other guy. The last challenge they have is a Cosplay duo... and they only have 4 weeks to make these costumes. She recruits her best friend, Cam to be her partner for this final challenge. And she might have accidently told the entire world he was not only her best friend, but her boyfriend as well. Cam and Kenya have been best friends since high school, so over half their lives. They know each other well and truly do love each other. But Cam's feelings have been more than friendship for a while now. And now is the time to show Kenya what it could be like if they were truly together. This is my first book by this author and I liked it a lot. It was a friends to lovers/fake dating troupe, which is always fun. I'm not sure that I loved the conflict and I felt like it was resolved really fast and in a strange way. Also, it ended really abruptly which is something I don't love in books. Still, I had a blast reading this one and I liked it more than not!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    4.5 stars -- The vibes on this one are so ✨wholesome✨which is just what I've needed recently. That is not to say that this is a "closed door" type book, but just that this is a book filled with well meaning people who you understand why they are doing what they are doing and the majority of them are incredibly good intentioned. So the resulting tension isn't from "oh is this person is being a jerk;" it is more that they are collaboratively working together to transition from a platonic friendshi 4.5 stars -- The vibes on this one are so ✨wholesome✨which is just what I've needed recently. That is not to say that this is a "closed door" type book, but just that this is a book filled with well meaning people who you understand why they are doing what they are doing and the majority of them are incredibly good intentioned. So the resulting tension isn't from "oh is this person is being a jerk;" it is more that they are collaboratively working together to transition from a platonic friendship relationship to a romantic one. There were a few moments of stiffness in the writing that kept it from being a full 5 stars, but other than that- this just made me smile. Recommended for fans of SPOILER ALERT last year! CW: racial microaggressions; fatphobia

  6. 5 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)

    If you like these things, you'll love this book: *Friends to Lovers (very strong friendship as a foundation for their love relationship) *Hero Who Adores the Heroine *Geeky Fandom *Sexy Plus Sized Heroine Comfortable in Her Own Skin *Pop Culture References * A Couple You Root to Get Their HEA *Interracial Romance (without the racial drama being the big part of the story) *People Going After Their Dreams I loved this book. It's fast-paced and humorous, but also poignant. There are some really tense moment If you like these things, you'll love this book: *Friends to Lovers (very strong friendship as a foundation for their love relationship) *Hero Who Adores the Heroine *Geeky Fandom *Sexy Plus Sized Heroine Comfortable in Her Own Skin *Pop Culture References * A Couple You Root to Get Their HEA *Interracial Romance (without the racial drama being the big part of the story) *People Going After Their Dreams I loved this book. It's fast-paced and humorous, but also poignant. There are some really tense moments that had me on the edge of my seats. I would have gave it five if the love scenes were a little more steamy and description like they deserve to be because Kenya and Cam had fantastic tension together. Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars. Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine. http://affairedecoeur.com ARC provided by Jove through Netgalley for review for Affaire de Coeur Magazine.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    2.5 stars rounded up This is a case of a book having specific things that bother ME as a romance reader, while also doing a lot of things very well. If you're looking for a geeky friends to lovers romance with cosplay and reality TV that also addresses microagressions, you might give The Love Con a try! This follows a Black woman competing on cosplay TV show who ends up getting her best friend to help her and pretend to be her boyfriend for the final round. Of course he takes it as an opportunity 2.5 stars rounded up This is a case of a book having specific things that bother ME as a romance reader, while also doing a lot of things very well. If you're looking for a geeky friends to lovers romance with cosplay and reality TV that also addresses microagressions, you might give The Love Con a try! This follows a Black woman competing on cosplay TV show who ends up getting her best friend to help her and pretend to be her boyfriend for the final round. Of course he takes it as an opportunity to make a move like he's been wanting to for years. There was a lot I liked about this- the focus on the technical side of cosplay, exploring fandom as a place for legitimate careers, dealing with the microagressions that Black women and fat Black women face in these spaces.... That was all great. The romance was a bit more of a mixed bag for me. I think this book helped me realize that I'm picky about enjoying a friends to lovers plot. I have a hard time with something like this where they've been friends since they were children and he's had a thing for her for a lot of that time. It just feels deceptive to spend literal years acting like you aren't more than friends. In this case it works out because she ends up having feelings for him, but there are cases where that doesn't happen and things become toxic. I think I prefer a more recent friends-to-lovers story rather than from childhood, unless they've been separated for years and are reconnecting. It also doesn't help that they end up lying about being in a relationship to the most important people in their lives. I mean yes, I get that it's to try to not slip up on the show, but I'm not a fan of lying to your parents and best friend like this. Speaking of which, her parents are pretty awful and it's just glossed over at the end. While there were scenes and moments where I was rooting for them, in general I was kind of uncomfortable with this setup and that made it hard for me to totally get into it. One other thing that isn't my favorite is this trope of thinking someone won't want to be with you because you're fat and assuming straight size people to be more attractive, even when you have evidence this person is into you. I get that is a real experience people have, but I don't like reading it in my escapist romances and it's not my preferred version of fat representation in the genre. I was told this book is similar to Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade (which I loved!) and in many ways that's true: geeky theme, fat heroine, friends to lovers plus fake dating tropes, dealing with public spectacle and fatphobia.... The thing for me is the details made me enjoy this less: Childhood friends to lovers instead of adult friends. Explicitly lying to close friends and family. A heroine who has more insecurities about her body and spends time doubting whether the hero could actually be into her. The couple not being honest with each other about their feelings until very late in the game. This isn't going to bother every reader because we all have different things we do and don't like, which is the beauty of the romance genre! But I wanted to give people a heads up in case you need it. That said, if you aren't bothered by any of that I would definitely recommend giving this book a shot. It does a really good job with the subject matter of cosplay and microagressions.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lacey (laceybooklovers)

    3-3.5 stars! This was cute but I can’t say I fell in love with the characters. I liked the idea of the story, with friends who fake date for a cosplay competition, but I wasn’t as invested in all of it as much as I wanted to be. I think partly it was the audiobook - the narration felt flat to me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mallory

    This was a very cute and fun romantic comedy. I really liked the premise of following a contestant on a cosplay competition who is the underdog. I loved the main character Kenya and found her voice to be fresh and engaging. Kenya has always been a nerd and her dram is to make costumes which disturbs her parents who want her to get a real job. For the finale of the show she needs to create two costumes for her and for her partner, her best friend Cam. Cam has his own plan: help Kenya win the comp This was a very cute and fun romantic comedy. I really liked the premise of following a contestant on a cosplay competition who is the underdog. I loved the main character Kenya and found her voice to be fresh and engaging. Kenya has always been a nerd and her dram is to make costumes which disturbs her parents who want her to get a real job. For the finale of the show she needs to create two costumes for her and for her partner, her best friend Cam. Cam has his own plan: help Kenya win the competition and win her heart. The atypical chaos and drama of a romantic comedy ensue and it was fun.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    3.5 stars I really liked getting to see characters be passionate about something I know nothing about, so Kenya's drive, charm, and dedication made this a really enjoyable read. And her fake relationship (that quickly spurs some real feelings) with her best friend, Cam was beyond adorable. The mutual love and pining was everything I wanted. I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review 3.5 stars I really liked getting to see characters be passionate about something I know nothing about, so Kenya's drive, charm, and dedication made this a really enjoyable read. And her fake relationship (that quickly spurs some real feelings) with her best friend, Cam was beyond adorable. The mutual love and pining was everything I wanted. I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    This is the second fake romance while competing on a reality TV show that I've read. I grabbed it because of the diversity, and because I have only watched about a minute and a half of a reality show before I turned it off. What is it that others enjoy that just seems like super noisy fakeness to me? Well, the book answered the question (a sense of competition, obvs!)in giving us a couple of cos-playing best friends who design and make costumes. That I find tres cool. The twist (not a spoiler as This is the second fake romance while competing on a reality TV show that I've read. I grabbed it because of the diversity, and because I have only watched about a minute and a half of a reality show before I turned it off. What is it that others enjoy that just seems like super noisy fakeness to me? Well, the book answered the question (a sense of competition, obvs!)in giving us a couple of cos-playing best friends who design and make costumes. That I find tres cool. The twist (not a spoiler as you learn it early on) is they have to pretend to be lovers for purposes of the show, when they've been tight friends. So: friends to lovers, which can be a tougher sell than enemies to lovers. Glass makes it work by surrounding Kenya and Cameron with terrific characters (especially Kenya's family) and by throwing a ton of plot at the reader around the romance, so to speak. We get covert racism, trolls, the naked ambition that really does exist in Hollywood, where you do find people who actively relish stepping on someone else to get to the top (which is one of the main reasons I got out of that world, much as I adored the creativity). This aspect of the story is really absorbing, almost overwhelming the romance. I had to stop and think about why, when Glass gives us plenty of description of how hot they find one another. I began to believe in the evolution of their romance once I hit the back end of the story, when Glass lets us in on flashbacks. In that first half, the narrative voice keeps telling us about their relationship, which creates a distance romance-wise, while steadily building the plot tension around the TV show. I could wish those flashbacks had been up front, but really, the payoff makes it all worth it. I loved the couple, I loved reading about their designs and how they went about accomplishing them. I adored the end. The voice is also fun--salty, for those who watch for language, with exuberant appreciation for each other's hotness. Altogether a fun read--I intend to watch out for this author. Copy provided by NetGalley

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nev

    3.5 - A fun romance to start off my reading in 2022! The Love Con follows Kenya as she’s competing on a cosplay competition TV show and gets herself into a fake dating situation with her best friend Cameron. I LOVE fake dating stories and while friends to lovers isn’t my favorite trope I felt like it really worked here. There was enough background information to make me understand their connection and why they’ve never gotten together before. I enjoyed the chemistry between Kenya and Cam. I like 3.5 - A fun romance to start off my reading in 2022! The Love Con follows Kenya as she’s competing on a cosplay competition TV show and gets herself into a fake dating situation with her best friend Cameron. I LOVE fake dating stories and while friends to lovers isn’t my favorite trope I felt like it really worked here. There was enough background information to make me understand their connection and why they’ve never gotten together before. I enjoyed the chemistry between Kenya and Cam. I liked the backdrop of the cosplay competition show, it gave a lot of space for the author to explore microaggressions Black women and plus size women face in fandom spaces and in the world in general. Although, sometimes it felt like the descriptions of the costumes they were working on and how they were making things overtook the story. It was obviously important to the progression of the plot, but there were just too many details about things that didn’t feel completely necessary. Also, not to sound like a smut fiend or anything… but this book’s sex scene was so underwhelming. Which surprised me since I really felt the building tension between the characters. While the scene itself wasn’t exactly fade to black, there was so little description it was like I blinked and it was over. So there wasn’t enough time for me to really feel the emotional or physical connection between the characters in that scene.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ezinwanyi Chinyere

    4.5 stars. It's been awhile since I read a Seressia Glass book and she did not disappoint. This book was everything a friends to lover story should be. Karen and Cameron really cared for and respected each other. Kenya Davenport has been trying to make it a cosplay designer and her parents were not supportive of her dreams. Luckily her best friend Cameron Lassiter had her back and agreed to pretend to be her boyfriend on a tv reality show that required a duo cosplay costume. Their "relationship" b 4.5 stars. It's been awhile since I read a Seressia Glass book and she did not disappoint. This book was everything a friends to lover story should be. Karen and Cameron really cared for and respected each other. Kenya Davenport has been trying to make it a cosplay designer and her parents were not supportive of her dreams. Luckily her best friend Cameron Lassiter had her back and agreed to pretend to be her boyfriend on a tv reality show that required a duo cosplay costume. Their "relationship" became part of the storyline on the show so the two friends had to sell it. But at some point, they realized it wasn't pretend anymore and they really felt more than friendship for each other. What made this book really great for me was the communication. Cameron and Kenya talked about the small and big stuff regardless of how hard it was. That was the key to the relationship being believable. They also had chemistry in spades so you couldn't help but root for them as a couple and to win the reality show. This story was one of my favorites this year and I highly recommend this author.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Richelle Robinson

    Thank you Berkley for my free book for review purposes. What I Liked: * Body Positive Rep * Black Girl Magic * Cosplay * Interracial Romance were race wasn’t an issue or obstacle to overcome. Issues I Had: *I wanted the love scenes to have more steam. There was all this build up and it was kind of lackluster in that department. *The conflict between the couple could have been resolved way sooner if they spoke to each other instead of assuming what the other person was thinking and feeling. *The inn Thank you Berkley for my free book for review purposes. What I Liked: * Body Positive Rep * Black Girl Magic * Cosplay * Interracial Romance were race wasn’t an issue or obstacle to overcome. Issues I Had: *I wanted the love scenes to have more steam. There was all this build up and it was kind of lackluster in that department. *The conflict between the couple could have been resolved way sooner if they spoke to each other instead of assuming what the other person was thinking and feeling. *The inner monologue’s tended to be a little long winded and repetitive.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carly

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. There have been so many fandom-centric romance novels coming out recently, and this is another charmer for sure! If you're into cosplay or even geek fandom, this is a book you're going to want to pick up. It's fun, sweet, sexy, and FUNNY, and pulled off the childhood friends-to-lovers dynamic in a way that felt true to the characters' relationship and their very intense history together. Plus, as someone who's lived in Atlanta for the last several years, I'm always excited to see more books set There have been so many fandom-centric romance novels coming out recently, and this is another charmer for sure! If you're into cosplay or even geek fandom, this is a book you're going to want to pick up. It's fun, sweet, sexy, and FUNNY, and pulled off the childhood friends-to-lovers dynamic in a way that felt true to the characters' relationship and their very intense history together. Plus, as someone who's lived in Atlanta for the last several years, I'm always excited to see more books set here too. Fake dating + sharing a bed + reality competition environment (which I very much enjoyed)! My one quibble was that the parents had so much concern about Kenya and Cameron and then came around over the course of a single conversation, but it was a minor issue that didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the novel. content notes: racist microaggressions against heroine I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    This was a big-hearted friends to lovers, fake dating reality tv show, cos-play loving romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. New to me author Seressia Glass has written a love story perfect for fans of Out of Character or Spoiler Alert. I loved the relationship between Cam and Kenya and how supportive Cam is encouraging Kenya to pursue her costume designing dreams despite the pressure she's under from her parents to do something with her engineering degree. Great on audio narrated by Zenzi Williams This was a big-hearted friends to lovers, fake dating reality tv show, cos-play loving romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. New to me author Seressia Glass has written a love story perfect for fans of Out of Character or Spoiler Alert. I loved the relationship between Cam and Kenya and how supportive Cam is encouraging Kenya to pursue her costume designing dreams despite the pressure she's under from her parents to do something with her engineering degree. Great on audio narrated by Zenzi Williams (a new to me narrator). I also enjoyed that this was a dual perspective romance and we got to see inside both Cam and Kenya's heads and just how much they truly loved one another. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my advance review copy. I can't wait to read more books by this author!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Thank you Berkley for my gifted review copy. This book has a lot of things going for it. -Cosplay -reality show competition -friends to lovers -who also live and work together -interracial friendship/relationship -parents who don't like cosplay So when I first started this one, I was LOVING it- so much. I'm highly invested in the character's relationships, their success and I love cosplay and all the nerdy things. No for real - the nerdier the better. For me, the lack of communication between the main Thank you Berkley for my gifted review copy. This book has a lot of things going for it. -Cosplay -reality show competition -friends to lovers -who also live and work together -interracial friendship/relationship -parents who don't like cosplay So when I first started this one, I was LOVING it- so much. I'm highly invested in the character's relationships, their success and I love cosplay and all the nerdy things. No for real - the nerdier the better. For me, the lack of communication between the main characters was bothersome at best. For being friends so long, I would have expected more open communication - it just didn;t add up for me. If you're into cosplay and enjoy friends to lovers, this one may be a winner for you!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elley Murray

    I *L*O*V*E* this book! As a plus-size cosplayer myself, I loved seeing Kenya be a total baddy. Seressia Glass does just a fantastic job of building this world and these people in it that I completely forgot I was reading a book and just lived in the experience. Kenya and Cam are such realistic, complex characters that they really felt REAL to me, and I totally want to be their friend please! One of the hallmarks for a favorite book for me is wanting to live in that world and be friends with the I *L*O*V*E* this book! As a plus-size cosplayer myself, I loved seeing Kenya be a total baddy. Seressia Glass does just a fantastic job of building this world and these people in it that I completely forgot I was reading a book and just lived in the experience. Kenya and Cam are such realistic, complex characters that they really felt REAL to me, and I totally want to be their friend please! One of the hallmarks for a favorite book for me is wanting to live in that world and be friends with the characters, and The Love Con was totally that for me. It was also enlightening to watch Kenya practice Ahimsa (do no harm but take no... er, nonsense) while she deals with micro-aggressions and sometimes downright straight-out aggression directed at her. This is an excellent example of how romance can be escapist and sweet and hot while also dealing with very real issues and pain in a space where the reader feels safe to do so because we know the characters will get their happy ever after in the end. And Kenya, as a queen size Black woman, has plenty of people ready to tear her down or try to make her feel small or act in ways she doesn't want to. At times this book was really hard to read as Kenya deals with repeated tiny cuts to her ego and her personhood, and those times were hardest when it was her family cutting her down. There's a moment where someone (I'll try not to post spoilers!) tells her she doesn't have to be the Angry Black Woman, but she doesn't have to be the Strong Black Woman either, and I just sobbed. I want to hug them both, but especially Kenya for having to keep it together, try so hard, and be so strong all the time. I'm so glad she has folks that she can fall apart and really feel her feelings with. (And there I go forgetting again these are characters in a book and not real people - Seressia Glass is just that good!) This is my first book by Seressia Glass, but I was looking at some of her other books and was so pleased to see she has a series called Sons of Anubis... which is TV series mentioned in The Love Con. I love these sorts of easter eggs! Now obviously I need to read the Sons of Anubis series. I ADORED this book, and can't recommend it enough! It may get a bit technical on the cosplaying aspects, so if you're not a cosplayer or someone who loves reading about the mechanics behind things, that may be a detractor for you. As someone who has attempted to make armor out of EVA foam and knows exactly how much of a pain it is doing those beveled edges, I really appreciated the incredibly accurate detail, haha! A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own. Like this review? Check out more of my reviews on my blog, Elley the Book Otter

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shae

    Ok, this is mostly and adorable story about 2 individuals who want to progress their relationship. They have been friends and cosplay partners for a very long time, but don't know how to become more with one another. Their journey connected to a cosplay competition was fun, and I do love to see a curvy girl cosplaying. You will be dealing with some racism, as well as fatphobia in this book, so please be aware of that. I did end up enjoying this one, and now want to explore more by this author. Ok, this is mostly and adorable story about 2 individuals who want to progress their relationship. They have been friends and cosplay partners for a very long time, but don't know how to become more with one another. Their journey connected to a cosplay competition was fun, and I do love to see a curvy girl cosplaying. You will be dealing with some racism, as well as fatphobia in this book, so please be aware of that. I did end up enjoying this one, and now want to explore more by this author.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maria Rose

    This is the first story I've read by this author and it won't be the last! I never knew how complex cosplay costume making was until reading this and I found that quite fascinating. But I also really loved how Kenya and Cameron always have each others backs, and up their friendship into the romance department with a fake relationship that gives them the excuse to act on their true feelings for each other. Kenya is a plus-sized black woman and her grace and perseverance under some trying circumst This is the first story I've read by this author and it won't be the last! I never knew how complex cosplay costume making was until reading this and I found that quite fascinating. But I also really loved how Kenya and Cameron always have each others backs, and up their friendship into the romance department with a fake relationship that gives them the excuse to act on their true feelings for each other. Kenya is a plus-sized black woman and her grace and perseverance under some trying circumstances (and especially with people who questioned how she could be in a relationship with an attractive white man) had me rooting for her all the way. A copy of this story was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alesha

    I was conned. This gave me no feels. Her parents were awful, the show people were awful, their fake love was terrible. The maturity level was very YA - but they were all adults. The he’s much too good looking to be with someone like me is my least favorite trope. My second least favorite- family’s who don’t t mind their business. I had such high hopes and was so excited to read it. Now I just want Thanos to come and nuke it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cari

    What an awesome, heart-warming book! I knew I would like this as soon as I saw the words "cosplay competition." A fun blend of Project Runway and nerd-dom. Kenya Davenport has been on the show for weeks and is now a finalist. She has to announce her partner for the final costume build, and without an actual partner, she blurts out the name of her best friend, Cameron Lassiter, whom she also lives with. Kenya and Cameron have been lusting after each other secretly for years, but they've never man What an awesome, heart-warming book! I knew I would like this as soon as I saw the words "cosplay competition." A fun blend of Project Runway and nerd-dom. Kenya Davenport has been on the show for weeks and is now a finalist. She has to announce her partner for the final costume build, and without an actual partner, she blurts out the name of her best friend, Cameron Lassiter, whom she also lives with. Kenya and Cameron have been lusting after each other secretly for years, but they've never managed to make it work. They start a fake-dating relationship, and the show draws them closer, but will their arrangement last through the end of the competition? I loved the conflict here (I always love when a romance conflict is unique) and I loved the relationship between Kenya and Cameron. Glass's portrayal of both characters is realistic and sweet. I can't wait to read more by this author.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    The cover immediately caught my interest. The characters made me root for them from the very beginning. And the story, the story was simply epic! I loved this book!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    Absolutely loved all aspects of this character-driven novel about a young black female named Kenya (Ken) participating in a cosplay contest in which she; as a single, plus size woman must get her best friend Cameron agree to play her significant other in the Iconic pair in order at a chance at winning. I love reading about people that could be real. That they are flawed, not being a size 0 and not being a stereotypical romance won it for me. Seeing a trope where pretend to be lovers begin to fal Absolutely loved all aspects of this character-driven novel about a young black female named Kenya (Ken) participating in a cosplay contest in which she; as a single, plus size woman must get her best friend Cameron agree to play her significant other in the Iconic pair in order at a chance at winning. I love reading about people that could be real. That they are flawed, not being a size 0 and not being a stereotypical romance won it for me. Seeing a trope where pretend to be lovers begin to fall for each other is always the sweetest way to fall. These are characters that provide a fun and entertaining read and a book that is definitely re-readable and the Author does not disappoint.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mae - Twice Upon A Book

    Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review CW: alcoholic parent (past), death of a parent (past), gaslighting, bullying, toxic relationship with parents, racism, fatshaming I would recommend if you're looking for (SPOILERS) -m/f childhood best friends to idiots to lovers -rooommance -only one bed -fake dating -so much pining -appreciation for Marvel movies -cosplaying competition -close proximity I loved the first half of this book. The cosplaying competition. Kenya an Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review CW: alcoholic parent (past), death of a parent (past), gaslighting, bullying, toxic relationship with parents, racism, fatshaming I would recommend if you're looking for (SPOILERS) -m/f childhood best friends to idiots to lovers -rooommance -only one bed -fake dating -so much pining -appreciation for Marvel movies -cosplaying competition -close proximity I loved the first half of this book. The cosplaying competition. Kenya and Cam were such great friends and supportive of the other. And the pining, Cam was gone on Kenya from the beginning and such a cinnamon roll and soft for her in the best ways. The sexual tension all while they're sharing a bed and fake dating. Ughhh my catnip. The pay off unfortunately wasn't there in terms of the steam. I enjoyed this read and it had so many wonderful aspects. The fat heroine rep, Kenya was so sure of herself despite the people around her rooting against her. The sexual tension and chemistry between the MCs was plabpable and I was rooting for them so hard. A fun low steam read, I definitely overall enjoyed this one. Steam: 3 (one slightly open door scene that was mostly vague terms otherwise entirely closed door)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    GEEKY THINGS YES PLEASE

  27. 4 out of 5

    Simply Love Book Reviews

    4.5 stars I really wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy this story or not. I have family that’s into Cosplay and really wanted to see what all the hoopla was about. Boy, am I glad I read this story. I so enjoyed myself and the whole storyline. And now, I totally understand the Cosplay world! Kenya really made this whole story. She was smart, strong and independent and actually made me laugh out loud. And, I was actually able to relate to her feelings. I may not be a woman of color but I am not a sv 4.5 stars I really wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy this story or not. I have family that’s into Cosplay and really wanted to see what all the hoopla was about. Boy, am I glad I read this story. I so enjoyed myself and the whole storyline. And now, I totally understand the Cosplay world! Kenya really made this whole story. She was smart, strong and independent and actually made me laugh out loud. And, I was actually able to relate to her feelings. I may not be a woman of color but I am not a svelte 110 lbs either … I totally understood why she felt the way she did. She laughed and hung in there no matter the criticisms or complaints and no matter how hard people tried to sabotage her. Cameron was her rock and did everything in his power to encourage her and keep his feelings on lock-down. I actually loved both of these characters and the way they were portrayed. The Love Con checked off every box of mine when it comes to fluidity of a story, the storyline itself and wonderful, easy to love characters. The chemistry between Kenya and Cam was off the charts and I loved that it was a slow-burn. It took me a while to warm up to Kenya’s parents and their obsession with Kenya’s career. But, they finally came around. Seressia Glass is a new to me author and I would definitely pick up another one of her books. She made me laugh, not only at the story, but at myself. It was so easy to read this book. If you are into Cosplay or not, I guarantee that you will enjoy this story. Review copy provided for a voluntary review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    3.5 Stars. This was a cute book. I really liked the friendship turned fake relationship turned real romance between Kenya and Cam. They worked so well together and were adorable. Even though there was really nothing at all going on for most of the book, I enjoyed pretty much any scene they were interacting (hence the extra 1/2 star). I really wanted more from the reality show, though. I wanted more details of what the show entailed. I was picturing it as kind of a Project Runway type show except 3.5 Stars. This was a cute book. I really liked the friendship turned fake relationship turned real romance between Kenya and Cam. They worked so well together and were adorable. Even though there was really nothing at all going on for most of the book, I enjoyed pretty much any scene they were interacting (hence the extra 1/2 star). I really wanted more from the reality show, though. I wanted more details of what the show entailed. I was picturing it as kind of a Project Runway type show except for Cosplay, which is why I couldn't understand why making two costumes in about a month for the final episode seemed like so much work? How much time did they have for previous segments? Does cosplay design really take that long? (I may be nerdy, but I'm not that type of nerdy, so this was all new to me.) There was also some conflict that was never really resolved to my satisfaction. I kept waiting for the racist, fat-shaming judge to be called out and face some type of reckoning, but it never happened. Kenya's parents also said some truly awful things to her and then when confronted with it later, their whole personalities just did a 180 where they're all of a sudden completely supportive with no actual resolution to how they behaved before. Despite those things, though, I shipped KenCam pretty hard, so this was a pretty enjoyable read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Reads It

    As if competing in a cosplay competition wasn't enough, Kenya has to deal with a prejudiced judge and her negative commentary. For her last challenge, she needs a partner and the only person who comes to mind is her best friend and secret crush Cam. The representation was excellent in the Love Con and I appreciated the bluntness of the stigmatism associated with racial discrimination towards the black community. Lots of authors try to be politically correct but the way it was penned was realisti As if competing in a cosplay competition wasn't enough, Kenya has to deal with a prejudiced judge and her negative commentary. For her last challenge, she needs a partner and the only person who comes to mind is her best friend and secret crush Cam. The representation was excellent in the Love Con and I appreciated the bluntness of the stigmatism associated with racial discrimination towards the black community. Lots of authors try to be politically correct but the way it was penned was realistic and informative. The Love Con covers a ton of relevant tropes- plus-sized, interracial relationships, fake relationship tropes, friends to lovers tropes, and enemies trysts. I relished the chemistry between Cam and Kenya and their slow burn towards full-blown relationship status. There is an overall sense of standing up for who you are and what you believe in that spoke to me. The Love con was such a fun, relatable rom-com about taking chances and believing in yourself. Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group, NetGalley, and the author for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    The Love Con is a super sweet romance that is perfect for the pre-Valentine's Day season for anyone who enjoys cosplay, reality tv and/or fake romances Kenya Davenport has always dreamed of becoming a costume designer and she is one step closer to achieving her goal when makes it to the final round of a reality tv competition called Cosplay Or No Way! When single Kenya discovers that the final round of the show involves a couples costume and she is put on the spot to tell the host, judges and ent The Love Con is a super sweet romance that is perfect for the pre-Valentine's Day season for anyone who enjoys cosplay, reality tv and/or fake romances Kenya Davenport has always dreamed of becoming a costume designer and she is one step closer to achieving her goal when makes it to the final round of a reality tv competition called Cosplay Or No Way! When single Kenya discovers that the final round of the show involves a couples costume and she is put on the spot to tell the host, judges and entire viewing audience who her partner will be, she names her long-time, platonic(but hot!) best friend Cameron Lassiter. Luckily, Cam agrees to be Kenya's competition partner, fake relationship and all! This book is filled with secret crushes, sweet friendships, costume fabrication, reality tv drama and even some steamy love scenes! Kenya is someone I could seriously see myself being friends with and Cam is the perfect boyfriend (fake or otherwise😉), although I'd never try to come between him and Kenya because they were seriously amazing together! I really enjoyed this book and read the second half slowy so I could continue hanging out with Kenya and Cam a little longer!💕

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