Liam knows that he came to Portland at a young age, but he doesn’t remember anything about his life in Chicago before that and his mother refuses to talk about it. Liam likes his job at Café Seuil, where he makes coffee by day and entertains clients by night. His job is also a barrier to his relationship with his mother and when Liam’s mother gives him a letter that might be from his father, their relationship continues to be strained. Liam never gets attached to his clients, but a new contract with Nate changes everything for Liam.
Mountain lion shifter, Nate, always thought he would take over as CEO of his father’s company. He even got engaged for the good of the company. But when he calls off his engagement and tells everyone he is seeing someone else, everyone expects to meet his new man. Nate now has to find someone to be his new boyfriend and his already complicated life gets even more complicated. It’s been years since Nate has let his cat out and he feels it growing restless. The only time Nate seems to feel at ease is when he is with Liam and he knows there is nothing fake about his feelings. But there is a side to Liam that even Liam isn’t aware of and danger within the shifter community pull the men in different directions—but there is no fighting fate.
The Fake Boyfriend is the second book in the Men of Café Seuil series. While the relationship between Nate and Liam does stand alone, the book follows a larger storyline of the café and I did prefer reading them in order. The café is where Liam works, just as Damien did in The Problem Client. Liam likes his job at the café and he has no hang-ups about being an escort, or a host as they are called at the café. There is an interesting setting here with magic provided by the owner of the café, Melanie, and we get just a touch more on how things work at the café, although Melanie does remain a mystery.
I liked the start of the relationship between Nate and Liam, as there is more than just attraction going on between them. Neither one of them can put a name to it at first, because neither expected it or even knew what they would be to each other. Nate is dealing with his family business and Liam is just coasting along at the café until family issues pull him in as well.
We know Nate is a shifter from the start and Liam’s mother is a shifter as well, but Liam was brought up to believe he was half human. Nate hasn’t shifted in years and there are only two brief shifting scenes in the entire book and for me, one of the biggest draws of the book was the fact that Nate was a mountain lion shifter, but it didn’t play out too much as part of the story. Liam’s mother was also keeping so many secrets from Liam and he’s mostly okay with it all at the end, even though they were huge, life altering secrets. Also, Liam’s issues with his father and the mysterious letter was mostly dropped at the end. That storyline was never finished and while Liam and Nate were in a good place at the end, parts of the story did feel unfinished. The series does continue, but the next book has two new MCs, so it doesn’t seem like Nate and Liam’s story will continue any further.
I like the world here, the magical elements, and the relationship between Nate and Liam. The book was good, but I needed a bit more from it overall to make it great.