Blog Tour, Book Review, Comedy, Fake relationship, Friends to Lovers, Opposites Attract, Rachel's Random Resources, Romance, Series

Is This for Real? (New York Friendship #2) by Kathy Strobos

Is This For Real


Love is all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. Usually me. I admit it, I’m a relationship-recluse. Ironic, given that I write romantic comedies. So, I’m on a sabbatical from dating.

Which is why fake dating my best friend Rory is fool-proof. Rory suggested it because he needed a date for work functions. And I can use our experiences as fodder for my romcom novel. Plus, my sister doesn’t know it’s not real and she is thrilled that I’m not walling myself off emotionally. Her words, not mine. But I do wish she would stop saying that she always suspected there was something more between me and Rory. She should realize that we’ve been friends forever so I’m immune to his appeal. 

We would never work. Rory is such a romantic; he still believes in that perfect love similar to his parents’ marriage. My parents fought bitterly. So, we are better off as friends. I can’t risk losing our friendship, even if this might be my chance—before his ex-girlfriend wins him back.  

Those flickers of attraction? Easily extinguished by cold water reality—like a two-mile hike in drenching rain over sand with wheelie luggage. 

But our relationship is not sticking to the plot—or is it?


Welcome to my spot for the Is This for Real? Blog Tour hosted by Rachel’s Random Resources.

Penelope is following her dream to become a writer despite all of the publisher rejections and the various naysayers in her life.  In the meantime, she creates, sells, and blogs about her dollhouse miniatures (a fascinating hobby, by the way). Living off the money she receives from her miniature sales, some odd jobs here and there, and the money she received after her parent’s tragic death, she is scraping by to her sister’s dismay. If that weren’t enough, after some time, she is having a lunch meeting with her childhood friend and ex-crush, Jamie, and his girlfriend. Penelope’s last meeting with Jamie involved three little words from her and a rejection from him, so she is bringing reinforcements under the guise of a fake relationship with her tall, sexy, and charming best friend Rory.  The fake relationship extends to Rory’s request for a plus one during his huge ad campaign with a certain handsy client’s wife. The good news is she’s over Jamie. The bad news is she’s crushing on Rory.

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of Penelope.  I empathize with her tragic loss and her constant rejections of her book, but I get frustrated when she won’t open up to her best friend Rory.  She’s kept so much from him and I find it surprising he doesn’t know a lot about her. He’s only protecting himself when he tries to move on by dating other women while holding out for Penelope to pull her head out of her ass. Penelope is a mess and she pulls herself all different directions to please everyone but herself. She finally has a great opportunity with her writing, but she’s mired down with unexpressed feelings for Rory.  Tell him already! Rory is a good man who has waited a long time for Penelope to be ready. He’s the only one, besides Zelda, Penelope’s friend and roommate, who supports her job and her hobbies. Yes, he was a bit of a dick with the whole comforting Callie thing because Callie is Rory’s ex who wants him back. His comparing Jamie to Callie is completely different. With that said, Penelope and Rory do get a happy ending despite wading through all the muck.

There is a large cast of characters who are important to the story such as Zelda, Penelope’s writing group, Jamie’s mother, and Penelope’s sister, who give the reader perspective on Penelope and her life.

I recommend this delightful romantic comedy about following your dreams and taking risks when it comes to relationships and your job plans.  

Thank you to Ms. Strobos for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


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Kathy Strobos is a writer living in New York City with her husband and two children, amid a growing collection of books, toys and dollhouses. She grew up in New York City and graduated from Stuyvesant High School, Harvard-Radcliffe University magna cum laude, and Columbia Law School. She spent two semesters abroad at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. She previously worked as a lawyer. She left law to pursue her dream of writing fiction full-time and getting in shape. She is still working on getting in shape.

Follow Kathy on Twitter, Instagram, her website, and Facebook.


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