by Juliana Haygert
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 65,000
Release date: March 2014
Cover: Berto Designs
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 the man who made her proud of her true self?
**A light, sexy NA Contemporary Romance**
Mason was a nice change from the typical new adult guy. He comes from a good family with a loving mom and dad. A brother that he is super close with and a best friend. The biggest obstacle he has in life is his lack of money which makes it rough for him to go to college because he has to work constantly to make ends meet. He comes across is such a good guy. You can’t help but love him.
Charlotte is an interesting character because she has two sides. The side that does everything her mother wants her to do and the side that wants to be who she really is. I wanted to be mad at Charlotte when she didn’t fight her mom harder but at the same time I can understand wanting her moms approval. She only has one parent and has already experienced the loss of her father. Does she really want to lose her mom too even though it might not be in death. Plus the guilt if she screws up her moms campaign. Of course I think her mom is not cool, I’m not saying I don’t. She should support her daughter instead of forcing her into that uncomfortable situation. I also really loved the close relationship Charlotte has with her real best friends. They seem like a fun group that you just want to hang out with too.
The relationship Charlotte has with her mom and how Charlotte herself handles the pressure is a big part of the book. We see a lot of Charlotte trying to find herself while navigating the minefield that is politics. It was neat to see how she comes into her own. Even though one incident really made me a bit mad at her.
This plot is pretty cool because I love the idea that if you are supposed to be with someone you find your way back to them. Kind of like that “Serendipity” movie (even though I actually hate that movie). Maybe I’m a romantic I just think that sometimes people end up going separate ways but they might find one another again when they are seventy and playing shuffle board or something. So basically this story has a bit of that in it. Mason and Charlotte thought their fling was done but then they cross paths over and over again. How can that not be fate right.
So I really enjoyed Playing Pretend. I mean it has Mason in it, how can it not get better than that. Plus all of the characters are fun and the book is well written. I say definitely pick it up.
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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