Monday, March 10, 2014

Playing Pretend by Juliana Haygert Blog Tour and Review

Playing Pretend
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**

Buy Links:
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Createspace


My Review!

I was excited to read this one after really liking Destiny Gift by the same author. Though, that one is paranormal, not contemporary. And I have to say, I so enjoyed Playing Pretend! The two main characters were both likable and easy to connect with, and I loved how their relationship progressed. 

Rating: 4 stars!

Playing Pretend is told in double POVs; the two main characters are Mason and Charlotte. Two people who meet during spring break and form a connection, two people who think a no-strings attached affair will suit them both. But neither one wanted to end the relationship when spring break is over. However, they do. 

A little while later, though, they meet again (honestly can't remember how long the separation was). And the chemistry is still strong!

Charlotte is perfect. Well, on the outside. She does what she's told, plays by her mother's rules, and does what's expected of her. No one knows the real Charlotte, the one she keeps locked away for fear no one will accept her for who she is. Most of the book, I thought she'd have no backbone when it came to her mother. And I also pegged her as this prissy rich girl. But boy, did she prove me wrong! She had a strong, likable personality, and her character development was wonderfully written. Half of this story is about a girl who just wants to be normal and live her life the way she's always wanted to.

And the other half is about a man who was burned by his first love and finds the strength to open up again. Mason was hilarious, and charming, and utterly adorable. He's sweet and just trying to figure out his life after he moves away for the first time. When he finds out who Charlotte really is (after their spring break affair), he doesn't care, because her name and status don't define her. And I'm glad that the fact that Mason is poor and Charlotte is rich didn't define their relationship. Money never mattered to them. And I just love how Mason handled the situation near the end. He did the only thing he could to prove to Charlotte that he loved her, and that was to SHOW her.

Their relationship was sweet, a little bit spicy, and a whole lot of fun. I was a wee bit bored that nothing was really happening sometimes, and that there wasn't any conflict, but I didn't mind so much. The conflict wasn't filled with drama or angst, and I was so happy about that! The conflict that existed (besides the little bit near the end) was in the characters themselves. Mostly Charlotte, for she had to choose between continuing to pretend or stand up for herself and her love for Mason. 

I also really loved the side characters, and the relationships they had with the main ones. I loved the additions of Liana, her parents, and Charlotte's two other friends, Becca and MaryAnn. They are the only ones, beside Mason, who understand her and why she can't just stand up to her mother. And they all accept her for who she is, which I LOVED. That is friendship. :) Also, I really liked how the author showed the relationship between Charlotte and her mother. Her mom was a bitch, but I could see by the end, that maybe she could change for her daughter. 

The plot was really good, though it was very short. I was kind of hoping that this would be longer (and that's the main reason why I gave this four stars). I felt that there could have been much more character development with Mason. I honestly wanted a little bit more with Mason, maybe more background information, more interactions with him and his brother. I was missing a little bit of the connection with him, but I still liked his voice.

Playing Pretend was a very enjoyable, very light contemporary romance about two characters who just want people to see them for who they are. Not their status or their looks. It had strong characterization, a fun plot, and I kind of wish it'd been longer because I wanted to keep reading! :)


About the Author:
New Adult author and contributor at NA Alley blog.
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.

Author Links:

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