Marcus’ character on TV’s most popular fantasy drama might be nuanced, intelligent, and heroic, but Marcus’ public persona is anything but. Perhaps it’s the vapid, dim-witted personality he projects or his seeming obsession with his own physical appearance that leads a troll to mention him in a fat-shaming tweet about a female fan’s cosplay. Marcus could ignore it–that would probably be the best PR move, the least risk of exposing his true personality and alienating his fanbase–but his conscience won’t let him. When complimenting the woman’s physical appearance doesn’t shut the troll up, he puts his money where his mouth is and asks her out to dinner.
But that turns out to be a mistake. Not because he doesn’t like April–quite the contrary. April is gorgeous, funny, and intelligent. So intelligent that she instantly sees through his “pretty-boy” facade. And then comes the final nail in his coffin: it turns out that April is the fellow fan-fic writer that Marcus has developed a friendship with over the past two years. Revealing his public persona is a fake would be one thing, but revealing that he writes fan-fic under an assumed name, and that under that fan-fic handle he’s criticized the scripts and the show-runners he works for–that would be career suicide, not to mention legally actionable. But now that they’ve finally met IRL, the chemistry they both felt on the Internet blossoms into something more than friendship, despite the fact that April still has no idea that Marcus is both personae. The longer he waits to tell April the truth, the deeper they fall in love with one another, and the less likely it seems that this relationship can possibly survive the revelation of Marcus’ secrets.
I cannot squeal enthusiastically enough to do this book justice! Scientist by day, fan-fic writer by night (and sometimes also by day), April is a killer heroine, while Marcus’ demigod persona on-screen only accentuates his believably human flaws IRL. This book is not-so-secretly about GoT fan-fic, and its exploration of that world is perfect. And then on top of the humor and the fan-fic community, there is some real, gutting content about fat-shaming, learning disabilities, and the far-reaching effects of parental microaggressions on the lives of their (even adult) children. Truly wonderful, and a must-read for fans of steamy contemporary romance, especially GoT/fan-fic fans/writers.