The Fake Boyfriend (Werewolf High Book Seven), by Anita Oh

After how much I enjoyed The Time Loop, Author Anita Oh’s previous installment in her Werewolf High series, I couldn’t wait to get into junior year at the titular magical Amaris High to see what Lucy O’Connor and the werewolf (lycanthrope!) pack are up to.

It’s immediately apparent that this book looks different than the six previous books in the series, as it’s the first one NOT to feature Lucy on the cover. That alone intrigued me. I wasn’t sure at first if I was looking at Tennyson or Sam on the cover, and that intrigued me even more. Who exactly is the fake boyfriend? I had some ideas, but I don’t think I would have predicted who I think the fake boyfriend turned out to be.

This is the seventh book in the series, which makes it harder for me to be completely spoiler-free in my reviews, particularly when it comes to previous books in the series. You’ve been forewarned.

It’s now the start of junior year for our first-person narrator Lucy, and I must say that I enjoy the format of three books per year of school. It’s easily digestible for me because the school where I teach splits its year into trimesters. In the previous six installments, each book has seen Lucy deal with a very specific magical spell, curse, or similar. This one is different.

Because of the events at the end of The Time Loop, Lucy and her family are now under the protection of Tennyson Wilde’s mother—the alpha of the lycanthrope pack. Because of events back in The Body Swap and The Soul Bond, Lucy is part lycanthrope and psychically connected to Tennyson so she’s another member of the pack. Well, his mother is wary of Lucy’s true intentions, especially since Lucy’s father is…well, evil. Alpha imposes some rules on Lucy, which require periodic reports, but the fuss is all worth it to Lucy, as she will still be part of the pack.

Making matters worse, Tennyson’s cousin Henry is taking a teaching position at the school, specifically to keep an eye on Lucy. He’s a real piece of work and perhaps the least likeable character in the series thus far. He’s full of himself and prejudiced, so Lucy definitely can’t reveal that she has a soul bond with Tennyson. Therein lies the need for the titular fake boyfriend.

I’m not going to tell much more about the plot because compared to other installments, there didn’t seem to be as much plot. The book breaks the typical narrative by not involving an overarching magical event. But that doesn’t make it significantly less enjoyable. The strength of this series has always rested on the shoulders of the relationships between the major characters. Now that it’s the seventh book, spending time with Lucy, Tennyson, Althea, Nikolai, and Sam is like wearing your favorite hoodie or pair of sneakers. There’s just something really comfortable about it. Like always, there’s some great laugh-out-loud dialogue between them.

The Fake Boyfriend doesn’t have the riveting plot that some other books in the series do (particularly The Time Loop), but it’s got great character moments and developments. That may be because it’s the first book of Lucy’s junior year, priming readers for what may be something bigger when part eight, The Rival Pack comes out. But even so, there’s nothing fake about the book, and I give it just a hair below FOUR STARS.

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The Fake Boyfriend is available at Amazon.


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