Love, Hate & Clickbait

Liz Bowery. Mira, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1189-8
Bowery’s promising debut has handsome political consultant Thom Morgan anxious to propel California governor Leonora Westwood to the White House. But “Lennie” is adept at putting her foot in her mouth and is often sabotaged by a leaker. As damage control for Lennie’s most recent gaff—a homophobic comment to a reporter—Thom is asked to fake-date his colleague, Clay Parker, a data analyst. Clay and Thom hate each other, but their unlikely “Schrödinger’s Relationship” becomes an internet sensation, thanks in part to a photo of them kissing at a charity basketball game. Soon the guys are playing footsie under the table and spending quality time together. As Clay falls for Thom’s “intoxicating smile, infuriatingly perfect body, and easy charm,” he fears their fake relationship is going to end in heartbreak. Then Lennie asks the guys to get married to help her campaign, and things go into hyperdrive. Bowery keeps the romance light and engaging, with some delightfully cheesy moments and domestic scenes, and delineates the politics in a subplot about a student loan reform bill that Thom is pushing. With political intrigue, social media virality, fake dating, and an enemies-to-lovers romance, there’s arguably a bit too much going on here. Still, it’s a charming, breezy rom-com. Agent: Laura Zats, Headwater Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 11/22/2021
Release date: 04/26/2022
Genre: Romance/Erotica
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