Publication date: October 24th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
**New extended (13,000 more words) and re-edited version!**
As the Governor’s daughter, Charlotte McClain is an expert in playing pretend. High society, the men her mother shoves in her direction and a Pre-Law major are all a part of her perfect pretense. But when she pretends to be a nobody during Spring Break, she meets someone who rocks her world.
Mason Rowell knows heartbreak and Spring Break don’t mesh well, so he allows the mysterious Charlotte to seduce him. What should have been a fling, results in something deeper. After Spring Break has long since passed, he moves to Washington to pursue his graduate degree, but what he never expected to find living among the rich and pompous, was the girl who gave him the strength to change and the desire to start anew.
When the guy Charlotte can’t forget goes from a sensual memory to temptation in the flesh, her facade is put to the test. If she surrenders to his charms, she risks ruining her mother’s perfect career and master plan. Playing pretend is what Charlotte does best, but how long can she pretend she doesn’t love who man that made her proud of her true self?
While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting–but equally gratifying–life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.
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4 stars – Lies and politics – where have I seen that before?
This is the first book I read by Juliana Haygert and I enjoyed it a lot. More than I thought I would, given the age of the main female character, as I usually have problems connecting with nineteen-year-old characters. Charlotte was a good surprise in that aspect. Mason, on the other hand, is a hunk and a bartender. What’s there not to like, right? In fact, he’s got a lot in common with the male lead man in my second novel, who’s also a gorgeous, sweet bartender, so I connected with Mason instantly.
After finishing the book, I logged on to post this review to find out Juliana Haygert is a Brazilian expatriate, like me. Then, it clicked why I appreciated her style so much. She’s got a very refreshing voice and uses interesting analogies that carried a distinct Brazilian flare.
Juliana does a very good job at building characters and presenting their background story as well as the settings. Living in Southern California, I felt at home with her description of Spring break around her. I knocked off one star because I felt she dropped the ball with the plot, which is very predictable and not quite realistic, at times.
I mean, it’s almost common sense that politicians are deceitful. It’s also a given their lives aren’t private. I can only imagine what it’d be like growing up in a politician’s family. Moreover, being nineteen is tough on any regular girl, for a governor’s daughter, I guess it might be a nightmare. Having said that, I understand Charlotte’s wish to be herself, away from the spotlight and her mother’s authoritative presence. Her lying to Mason, hiding her identity, during a short yet unforgettable Spring break on the other side of the country is believable. Her being the daughter of a sitting governor and not having a security detail isn’t that easy to believe, though. Lastly, the ‘conflict situation’ – no spoilers so I won’t say more than that – was a bit farfetched for my taste. But, hey, that’s is only me.
I always leave the best for last – sex! Being a romance author and avid reader, I prefer my love scenes to be more on the spicy and steamy level, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the love scenes in Play Pretend. On the contrary, they’re well-written and sweet.
I recommend Playing Pretend to readers searching a new voice in romance novels. You’ll enjoy Juliana Haygert’s style.
I received a copy of this book during a promotional campaign with no obligations to write a review. I did so voluntarily.