REVIEW: How to Spot a Fake- Rachael Paige Campbell

How to Spot a Fake Book Cover How to Spot a Fake
Rachael Paige Campbell
Contemporary Romance, Woman's Fiction
Champagne Book Group
June 26, 2023

When the wrong John Smith appears on Lovelyn Pettigrew’s doorstep, is he too good to be true? Or could he be exactly who she needs?

Lovelyn Pettigrew wants to transform the mansion and collection of fine art inherited from her grandmother into a world-class museum. She has one week to submit a proposal to her family foundation. Her parents prefer the museum to operate downtown with a staff they’ve already hired. Her success depends on authenticating the works their curator dismissed. She finds the receipt for the egg rumored to be one of the missing Imperial Faberge works. When she calls the gallery in London, she is given an email address to send proof of the artifact.

Her email reaches the wrong John Smith.

Finishing his degree in art conservation, John is passionate about art. One of many side hustles to afford life in Chicago, he runs a website dedicated to tracking down tips about some of the most famous missing works of art. When he checks his inbox, he is floored by the contents of the email. With weeks until he graduates from university as a mature, thirty-year-old student, he is looking for a full-time position and the correspondence could be the opportunity of a lifetime.

Working side-by-side, John and Lovelyn grow close and their mutual respect deepens into something more. When the mistaken identity is revealed, shocking them both, they must choose between the future or each other. He might not be who she expected, but could he be exactly who she needs?

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

A mistaken identity would bring a struggling young man, John Smith and a very, very rich young woman, Lovelyn Pettigrew together. This is what happens when they meet.

John has given up many conveniences to keep himself debt free, a cheap apartment, no car and two jobs while finishing his degree in art restoration. He is an art lover and is very talented with his own art. He dreams of a career restoring art, but his prospects are not looking good. When he receives an e-mail inviting him to examine a Faberge Egg, he jumps at it.

Lovelyn has inherited her grandmother’s mansion and all the fabulous art and antique furniture that his grandparents accumulated in their lifetime. Her dream is to open the mansion as a museum sharing all the art and artifacts with the world and not keeping it locked away in storage. The museum would be a legacy to her grandmother who approved of her idea for a museum but in her will stipulated that she receives assistance and approval from the family foundation. Her father is the head of the foundation and is not in favor of her idea but is giving her time to come up with something that would turn the tides in her favor. Kirk, the curator that her father hired, turned his back on many items that Love is sure are great finds including the Faberge Egg.

When Love contacts John Smith in London she is not given any consideration by his assistant who gives her his e-mail address, the e-mail that belongs to John Smith but not the one she anticipated hearing from. When John knocks on her door he has no idea that he was not the one she expected and accepted Love’s invitation to see the Egg and to examine the rest of the art. In his heart he feels that he doesn’t belong in this world but his ego and desire to be part of a new museum would be to overcoming to ignore.

Lyn wants John to be the curator of the museum and do the restorations. His dream is coming true but is it too good to be true. His best friend since childhood, Henry has tried over and over to dissuade him from getting involved but it falls on deaf ears. The more time Lyn and John spend together and him being the only one that encourages her dream and takes her side just adds to her proof that he is the man she needs.

He is sure the Egg is original and some of the art that Kirk wants to put in storage is by famous artists. The art needs to be restored but to Kirk it is a waste of time, to Lyn and John it is a sure sign that Kirk is not as invested in art as he portrays. The dream proceeds but there is a dark shadow over everything and a person who will put an end to John and Lyn’s dream.

The book was primarily aimed at the quest for a museum, and I didn’t feel much in the way of romance, but it was an interesting story and Lyn and John were amazing characters.

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