blog tour

✍🏻 CD Reiss’s Fake Crowne has been out for three days, and I want more people to read it so we can talk about it. Want a little nibble of it? Read an excerpt below. ✍🏻

Fake Crowne, an all-new fake-relationship, billionaire romance standalone from New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss is available now! 

How can I let him destroy everything he’s worked for just to make me happy?

I’m a singer with stage fright who’s famous for…well…nothing yet. And I promised my family if I didn’t make it big by the end of this year, I’d go back to med school.

My agent thinks Colton and I would be a great team both in the studio, and outside of it—especially if label executives think we’re dating.

The rules? We can kiss in public, but not in private.

We can act like we’re doing the deed, as long as we’re not.

And as far as having actual feelings for each other goes…that’s obviously out of the question.

But after so many late nights in the studio and a bunch of stolen kisses, I start to see beyond his party boy facade to something real underneath. And he believes in me–with his coaching and encouragement, I’m finally overcoming my anxiety and giving the best performances of my life.

If only time wasn’t running out so fast.

Then Colton has an idea to keep us together. It’s terrible, but it’s the only way.

How can I let him destroy everything he’s worked for just to make me happy?

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I watch him move into the shadows. The lights that line the edge of the walk go on as he passes. My phone buzzes, so I check it before driving off. It’s Liam.

 —look what showed up on DMZ—

A photo slides in. It’s screenshot from DMZ and a link. A picture of Colton pushing me against my car and me grabbing his jacket. Everything else is cut out. Liam. Gene. It’s shot from a little above, through a windshield.

 The headline under it reads: HAS COLTON CROWNED THE NEXT TAMIKA? 

What? I tap the link. The article is short and breathless. Colton Crowne, who “discovered” Tamika in Memphis and who was “viciously” cut from credit or royalties by Gavin McCormick, may be nursing the next baby star into the sky. 

They don’t even know I’m a musician. 

I could be a lawyer or an accountant. 

But that wouldn’t get clicks. No one cares about that story. 

Liam follows with a text. 

—You guys—

Colton is on the chat. I look at the driveway. The path lights have gone dark, but I can see him standing there, looking down with the screen glowing on his face. 

“Fuck!” he barks, moving enough to turn on the lights. 

That’s when I know he’s seen Liam’s messages. He looks at me and, seeing I haven’t moved, jogs over while his brother’s texts ding.

 —This is gold-plated—

—A gift from the gods—

—We’re on second base before we even get to the plate—

Colton stops. Types into his phone. 

—What are you talking about?—

—You guys together in public coronates Skye—

This feels more real than when Liam mentioned it before.

I don’t have long to do something…anything…or I have to fulfill my promise to my mother and take up last year’s deferment to University of Michigan Medical School. Being coronated, as Liam calls it, makes that possible. Without an electric shock to the process, I don’t have a chance. I’m dead in the water. Pursuing a music career and med school at the same time isn’t possible without a clone. 

But I want clarity, so I text the chat. 

—You mean you really want us to pretend we’re fucking?—

I hit Send before I rethink the word fucking to describe what I’m not doing with Colton, who answers from halfway back to the car. 

—That’s what he means—

He could have told me that himself. Instead he stands there as Liam’s message comes in. 

—That’s what I mean—

I’m about to text that I’m in. I’ll do it. I’m thrilled actually. But it’s not just about me, so I wait for Colton to come to me. I open the passenger window. He doesn’t come. Instead, he sends a message. 

—You know Gene took this right? From the angle?—

I look back at the photo. Yeah. It was taken from the SUV before Gene got out. Maybe he took it to get evidence in case he’d hit anyone or maybe he was thinking that fast. That’s secondary to the fact that it found its way to a gossip website. 

A notification drops over the picture. A text from Colton. 

—So, no. Fuck him. No—

Once that comes in, I look at him as he puts the phone in his pocket and starts back my way. 

I want to be coronated. I want it to be easy. I need the boost to start before the walls close in. 

They’ve been closing in for months. Ever since last year when I applied. Before that, when I took the MCAT without studying. I thought I was so clever, setting myself up for failure. I wasn’t clever enough to get the answers wrong though. 

That’s fine. It’s fine. I’m okay with it. Screw the coronation. I can’t make Colton do something he doesn’t want to do. He has every right to refuse. But I’m still reeling from the transition between hope and regret. For a minute, I was in a world where I had a head start and I’m just as suddenly back in the status quo. 

He’s coming this way. I don’t want to talk to him. I don’t want to hear the reasons he thinks it’s a bad idea. Not right now, because he’s probably right and I just want to sit in my disappointment alone. 

Before he reaches the car, I drive away.

Learn more about CD Reiss and her releases by visiting her website:


✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 4.5 ⭐️ Review: CD Reiss’s Fake Crowne, a Crowne Brothers romance ✍🏻

Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️

Tropes: fake relationship; work romance; LA romance; contemporary romance; billionaire brothers; band of brothers

Bear with me as I ramble about CD Reiss’s newest Crowne family story, Fake Crowne. There’s so much I want to say, but it’s not organized or probably even insightful; however, I need to say it anyway. 

Reiss is attempting (I actually believe she did it — but I really want to hear from people) to capture a voice in romancelandia that is burgeoning: the voice of the later Millenials or the older Gen Zers. I’ve been thinking about this generation in romancelandia. They live in a different world than the former generations, and they connect in spaces that are visual and muted. They’ve been raised with trauma infused into their systems and parents who have recognized that and created safe spaces to fall. All of that has conspired to build people with mental health struggles. How does this generation fall in love? It’s both the same and different from the past. And CD Reiss builds the space and unspoken words into the relationship between Colton Crowne and Skye. 

As I was reading this book, I was imagining my son’s voice as Skye’s voice. They have very similar mental health struggles, and Reiss elaborated on them in a real way. Both Colton and Skye are overwhelmed by and push against parental expectations. Colton rebels against it, while Skye contends with them within a set of stifling boundaries she sets for herself. Through this struggle, Colton and Skye forge a fake relationship, upend their own set boundaries of that relationship, and fall in love on their own terms. This is CD Reiss imagining correctly, I think, a love forged in the 21st century by people who simply don’t know the depth of their future. They’ve either denied themselves, rebelled against tradition and expectation, or made concessions to avoid failure. 

In fact, that seems to be the battle cry of Fake Crowne: “There’s something comforting about failure. Like I don’t have to be responsible for my work or my choices because…whoops, I failed, color me shocked. Oh well, no big deal. And it’s easy, right? I don’t have to improve. I don’t have to face the next stage. I don’t have to learn. […] I’m weak, but sometimes weak is a choice.” Through Colton and Skye’s journeys, Reiss suggests that we can treat life in one of three ways: play it safe; fail incredibly and stay down; or fail on some level and get up and try again. Each of these has consequences, and Reiss illustrates it beautifully through Colton and Skye’s falling in love. 

Are Reiss’s style and storytelling flair all over this book? Yep. In fact, as I read this book, I felt like it straddled her Crowne Brothers series and her Hollywood A-List/Star-Crossed/Lead Me Back stories. It’s very LA…and freaking Gene Testarossa is back wreaking havoc. Given I’m a So. California girl, I love Reiss’s characterization of LA for her readers. But her knack for wordsmithing and her infusion of spice and steam are encompassed in this book. 

Please…read Fake Crowne and tell me she’s capturing some of Gen Z in it. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not of that generation. I simply need more stories in it so we keep Gen Z readers gobbling books, and they need to find themselves in the books that are served. And I believe CD Reiss has done it with her newest book. 

In love and romance,

Professor A

Sorry for the rambly quality of the review. I just had so many words to say about this book.