In the synopsis, Picture Perfect Boyfriend is described as a funny beach romance. Seeing how it’s almost summer I’d say it’s the perfect time to talk about this book. Today is my stop on the tour being hosted for this book by TBR and Beyond Tours. I had the opportunity to interview Becky Dean. So keep on reading to find out more about Picture Perfect Boyfriend and its author!
Picture Perfect Boyfriend by Becky Dean
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: May 23, 2023
Two strangers, one tropical island, and lots of lies in this funny beach romance from the author of Love & Other Great Expectations!
Aspiring nature photographer Kenzie Reed just can’t get her straitlaced family of optometrists to take her art seriously. She’s resigned to putting aside her dreams and accepting the depressing life that awaits her at the family business. She even makes up a fake, boring boyfriend—Jacob—to get her parents off her back.
But when the Reeds arrive in Hawaii for spring break, Kenzie is shocked that “Jacob” shows up at the airport—and joins their vacation. Kenzie can’t reveal him as a fraud without confessing her lie, so she’s stuck playing along while trying to find out who he really is.
No way is she going to actually fall for him—because even though he’s funny, nice, smart, and cute, he’s also a liar. Isn’t he?
Filled with warm summer breezes and salty sea air, Becky Dean’s Picture-Perfect Boyfriend will sweep you off your feet into a tropical paradise, sun on your shoulders—where love is just around a palm tree.
What inspired you to write Picture Perfect Boyfriend?
I drew inspiration from several places to make this book come together! The basic premise came from an old TV show I used to watch with my mom called Remington Steele, where a female PI makes up a fictional male boss so people will take her more seriously, and then a con man shows up pretending to be that boss (hello, baby-faced Pierce Brosnan!). I wanted to use that concept in a story for a while, and it came together for this book.
Maui is a place I love and also one that I thought readers would enjoy visiting, with the beauty and the potential for romance. Kenzie’s love for nature and photography came from my own love for the outdoors and my husband’s interest in photography. The walls of our house are covered in photos of our travels, which I think Kenzie would like. The theme of embracing who you are developed naturally from writing about a girl who was trying to be someone she’s not.
What has been the favorite part of your publishing journey so far?
The most amazing experience has been talking to or hearing from readers who enjoyed my books! Whether the stories made them laugh, or inspired them, or something in the story resonated with them, I’ve loved knowing that the books are finding the people they need to find. Some have been online and some have been at local schools or book clubs, and I’m so grateful for every reader.
If you were a character in Picture Perfect Boyfriend, what kind of character would you be?
I hope I would be like Gran! She’s the wise and supportive family member who loves Kenzie just as she is and wants her to be happy. I hope I would be the person encouraging someone I love to be true to themselves. I’m also a little like Kenzie’s sister with her love for spreadsheets… Really, I’d be happy to be any of them, since they’re all in Maui!
Describe Picture Perfect Boyfriend in five words or less.
Travel, adventure, quirky, romantic, immersive
What is your favorite quote from Picture Perfect Boyfriend?
“What makes each person beautiful is that no one else is like them…You either embrace that idea and live to be your fullest self, or you don’t. But those who don’t are usually unhappy. Not only that, but they’re depriving the world of something only they could have offered.”
What do you hope readers take away from your story?
I hope the book makes them laugh and come away smiling and feeling good, but I also hope they come away with a determination to be themselves. I hope Kenzie’s journey encourages readers to take their unique passions and interests and gifts and embrace those, and not let others’ opinions dictate how they live. And of course, I’m always happy if my travel books motivate readers to want to see more of the world and visit new places!
Could you give us 5 random facts about Picture Perfect Boyfriend (think the story, writing, publishing, anything that comes to mind)?
- I love the island of Maui and have been several times, so it was a great setting for a travel romance written during the pandemic when I couldn’t travel somewhere new for research. I felt like I had enough familiarity with the island that I could do it justice.
- I’ve done almost everything the characters do in Maui and I love adventure, but I hate bicycles and would never bike down the volcano! I watched a lot of YouTube videos to write that scene!
- This is the first book I wrote on a deadline, so it was exciting and also a challenge, knowing that for the first time, people were waiting for the story and I had to finish it. It felt like a big step in my author career!
- I borrow a lot of small things from real life when I write. Kenzie’s grandma decides to make her way down the menu at the shave ice place, trying every flavor. I took this from my dad, who did the same thing at the ice cream shop that was on his way home from high school.
- Kenzie’s family is big on golf, and though she doesn’t love it, she did enjoy learning from her grandfather when she was young. My grandfather, who was one of my heroes, also loved golf and taught me to play, so that was a small tribute to him.
If the synopsis and interview has you curious about Picture Perfect Boyfriend, click here for the full tour schedule. Amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers are talking about this book all throughout the week.
About the Author
Becky Dean is a fan of adventures both real and fictional. When she’s not writing or traveling, she can be found drinking tea, watching science fiction shows or Jane Austen adaptations, or quoting The Lord of the Rings. Though she’s a proud Baylor grad and lives in Texas with her husband, she remains a Southern California girl at heart.
Picture Perfect Boyfriend sounds like a book I’m going to really enjoy, so keep an eye out for my review sometime this summer. It definitely screams beach read to me. A big thank you to Becky Dean for taking the time to answer my questions!