Book Review: How to Fake it in Hollywood by Ava Wilder

02 July 2022

How To Fake It In Hollywood by Ava Wilder Book Review
How to Fake it in Hollywood
by Ava Wilder
Published on June 14th, 2022 by Dell
Genres: Romance, Contemporary

A talented Hollywood starlet and a reclusive A-lister enter into a fake relationship . . . and discover that their feelings might be more than a PR stunt in this sexy debut for fans of Beach Read and The Unhoneymooners.

Grey Brooks is on a mission to keep her career afloat now that the end of her long-running teen soap has her (unsuccessfully) pounding the pavement again. With a life-changing role on the line, she's finally desperate enough to agree to her publicist's scheme... faking a love affair with a disgraced Hollywood heartthrob who needs the publicity, but for very different reasons.

Ethan Atkins just wants to be left alone. Between his high-profile divorce, his struggles with drinking, and his grief over the death of his longtime creative partner and best friend, he's slowly let himself fade into the background. But if he ever wants to produce the last movie he and his partner wrote together, Ethan needs to clean up his reputation and step back into the spotlight. A gossip-inducing affair with a gorgeous actress might be just the ticket, even if it's the last thing he wants to do.

Though their juicy public relationship is less than perfect behind the scenes, it doesn't take long before Grey and Ethan's sizzling chemistry starts to feel like more than just an act. But after decades in a ruthless industry that requires bulletproof emotional armor to survive, are they too used to faking it to open themselves up to the real thing?


How to Fake it in Hollywood by Ava Wilder has easily made its way to my list of ‘best debut novels I’ve ever read’ and covers all the bases I need in a well-written guilty pleasure fake dating romance: searing chemistry between the main characters, witty banter, and delicious angst! It’s got everything I want and more. If you’re a fan of Emily Henry's Beach Read, Christina Lauren's The Unhoneymooners, and might I add, The Roommate by Rosie Danan, this debut novel might just be right up your alley!

Ava Wilder’s debut novel, How to Fake it in Hollywood, was a treat from start to finish; readers are exposed to a glimpse of what it’s like to really be a celebrity in this dog-eat-dog industry: red carpet appearances, PR stunts, paparazzi stalkers, tell-all interviews, scandals, gossip rags, exposés, and many more. One wrong move can send your career into a downward spiral. 

Ava Wilder is definitely an author to look out for. While the plot for How to Fake it in Hollywood may be common in many fake dating romances — two Hollywood actors enter into a PR relationship and then sparks fly — Wilder’s execution of this beloved trope is not what you usually expect in a romance. Sure, the stunning cover may scream ‘charming rom-com’ but don’t be fooled because Wilder definitely digs deep, emotional damage be damned. 

Wilder's writing flashes in front of your eyes like a cinematic piece, starring raw and realistically flawed characters like Grey and Ethan. Grey, as a young woman in Hollywood, is not without her insecurities. It's been a year since she ended her long-running teen soap opera and has yet to book another project but knows she won’t be taken seriously in the industry and the only way to get to the top is to hitch a ride on someone else’s train. Meanwhile, Ethan still hasn’t moved on from the death of his best friend and it’s also no help that he also went through a high-profile divorce, resulting in him being a recluse for five years. 

But in spite of all the melancholic moments, the romance — abounds with charming, swoon-worthy scenes — is so well-rounded and realistically paced, from when Grey and Ethan kick off their ‘fake’ relationship to when they start to realize that things are becoming ‘too real’. The tension build-up is delectably steamy and also wonderfully tender — the perfect balance! I also can't express how much I loved how this book wrapped up so nicely in the end. 

Easily a new addition to my favourites list, How to Fake it in Hollywood will make you swoon, laugh, and cry. I'd definitely look forward to more of Ava Wilder's works in the future!