Sweet Sapphic Chaos: The Fiancée Farce by Alexandria Bellefleur

the cover of the Fiancee Farce

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“She was a total fucking goner. Whatever magic Tansy was made of, Gemma wanted to drown in it, revel in the honeyed heat burning her up from the inside out. It was better than the finest bourbon she’d ever had the pleasure of sipping.”

After losing her parents and a traumatic romantic experience as a teen, Tansy Adams focuses all her time and energy on her late father’s bookstore. To dodge questions about her love life, Tansy invents Gemma, a fake girlfriend inspired by the stunning cover model on a best-selling romance book. She never expected that real-life Gemma would step into her life, play along, and announce they were engaged, imploding that white lie into a full-on farce. Gemma van Dalen, the outcast of her wealthy family, needs a spouse to inherit Van Dalen Publishing, her grandmother’s legacy. In exchange for Tansy’s hand in marriage, Gemma offers to save Tansy’s beloved bookstore before it’s sold off. Can their marriage of convenience work, or will Gemma’s scheming family get between them?

“As for feeling like you’ve failed, well, failure is an inescapable part of life. But failing doesn’t make you a failure. And I’m sorry your father made you feel like the two were synonymous. You are more than your achievements, Gemma. You are brilliant, and ambitious, and you are good, do you hear me? And what you do or do not achieve in this life has no bearing on your value.”

Oh. My. Goddess. That’s right: goddess, because that’s exactly what these two cunning, sassy women are. Alexandria Bellefleur has taken the generally predictable “marriage of convenience” trope and turned it into an emotional, powerful story about finding the love you don’t realize you deserve. Both Tansy and Gemma are full of so much pain, their family trees full of broken branches (and in Gemma’s case, poisonous barbs). For them to find love and family in one another so unexpectedly (for them, at least, because, come on, that’s what we’re here for), so flawlessly…it’s not only swoon-worthy and sweet, but a relief. It’s the insane, instant, undeniable chemistry between Tansy and Gemma that empowers their every interaction from the start, but unlike other marriage-of-convenience stories, smut doesn’t drive their relationship. What starts off as a business relationship blossoms from a friendship to a true partnership. Gemma is sweet and giving as she navigates her first real relationship, while Tansy comes out of her shell to defend Gemma when no one else has. These goddesses support one another, even when the relationship is only a farce, until it all becomes real. The character development between them both is a flawless example of how empowering love—and having someone by your side—can really be.

As much as I loved every interaction between Gemma and Tansy, it’s difficult to love everything that happens outside of their sweet sapphic bubble. The toxic men—namely Tucker, Gemma’s cousin, who manipulated teenage Tansy and shared underage nudes of her—seem unrealistically cruel. Tansy’s step-mother goes from a social ladder-climbing step-Bridzilla to suddenly sympathetic. None of the secondary characters have real layers, making them no more than pawns to the story’s plot progression. Because of that, none of the conflicts or twists are surprising. The boardroom scene/resolution seemed beyond unrealistic, regardless of how sweet the gesture was. You may need to expand your suspension of disbelief and focus on the sapphic sweetness for this one.

Recommended for fans of Stars Collide, Cleat Cute, and Love at First Set. This heartwarming sapphic romance is full of feels: a stunning addition to any shelf.

✨The Vibes ✨

❤️ Fake Dating
❤️ Marriage of Convenience
❤️ Bi MCs (Bi4Bi)
❤️ Sapphic Romance
❤️ Mental Health Rep
❤️ Opposites Attract
🌶️ Spice