Fair Isn’t Life (Belen’s Review)

Title: Fair Isn’t Life (States of Love | Minnesota)
Author: Kaje Harper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 16th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 148 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Luke Lafontaine survived the past year by not thinking about the father he lost, the dairy farm he couldn’t save from bankruptcy, or his way of life that vanished with the rap of an auctioneer’s hammer. Cleaning up city folks’ trash at the Minnesota State Fair is just another dead-end job. But at the Fair, surrounded by a celebration of farm life, ambitions he’d given up on and buried deep start to revive. And seeing Mason Bell in the parade—gorgeous, gay, out-of-his-league Mason—stirs other buried dreams.

Mason left his hometown for college in Minneapolis without looking back. Student life is fun, classes are great, gay guys are easy to find, but it’s all a bit superficial. He’s at the State Fair parade route with his band when he realizes a scruffy maintenance worker is Luke, his secret high school crush. Luke should be safely home working on his dad’s farm, not picking up litter. Mason wishes he hadn’t fallen out of touch. He’s an optimist, though, and it’s never too late for second chances. Now he just has to convince Luke.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Far sexier than I anticipated (in a good way), and with far more feels and churning emotions throughout, Fair Isn’t Life was a real pleasure to read.

Both Mason and Luke complement each other so well, which, for me, is a hallmark of Kaje Harper’s writing style. She consistently creates believable characters with relatable problems and weaves a storyline that sucks the reader in and keeps them interested throughout.

The only thing I would have liked differently would have been an on page conversation between Mason’s vegan sister and Luke.

At one point I thought we were going to get that, when Mason brought Luke home for a roast Sunday dinner…but alas no luck.

Dual third-person POV romance, with medium heat, some hurt/comfort, and a very happy ending.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Fair Isn’t Life provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


I am an unapologetic book addict/lover. I'm happiest when reading and I spend most of my time with my Kindle, which is never far from my hand. I love to be told a good story! I mostly read fiction: Romance, Erotica, Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal (shifters? Yes, please!), a little BDSM when I'm in the mood, and I love a good ménage story. I DEFINITELY PREFER A HFN/HEA! My biggest no-no's are cheating, miscommunication / misunderstanding plots, unnecessary angst, and cliffhangers.

A sampling of my "Favorite M/M" stories:

Carry the Ocean The Half of Us Red Dirt Heart Adulting 101 Tied Up In Knots
Shelter the Sea Manties in a Twist David, Renewed Ethan who Loved Carter Perfect Imperfections
Wolfsong Fight the Tide How to Walk Like A Man The Lightning-Struck Heart Forging the Future