Published October 24th 2016
Purchase: Amazon | Nook | Kobo | iBooks | GooglePlay
**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?
About the Author
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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Once again Haygert took me on a journey of emotional highs and lows. I love that serendipity plays a significant role in Playing Pretend - it ways makes me feel like the powers that be are on the couple's side, too. The cuteness levels of the relationships in this book are crazy high. And not just between the two MCs, but them with their respective supporting characters. It was lovely to read, and left me feeling like the novel is more 3-dimensional.
As the leading lady, Charlotte actually kind of bothered me a bit for the fact that she started the novel without much of a backbone in staying true to herself. Because of this, I couldn't really relate to her much on a personal level, as I am a strong believer in being who you are no matter how quirky or strange others my find it. Also, unlike Charlotte, I am blessed enough to have always had nothing but love and support from my parents in regards to my interests and aspirations - even if they don't always completely understand them. I did however, love to watch her growth throughout the novel, slowly, piece by piece, allowing to let the world see her as she wants to be seen.
It was hard for me to not fall for Mason. I mean, he's a structural engineer that's not afraid of his feelings for Charlotte - there is the possibility I am bias here, as we share the same profession... Anyways, I also love that he has his own plot, and that his whole purpose in the novel is not to just be the love interest - sure, it's a big part of his role, but it's not all of it.
Playing Pretend is a story of self discovery and finding the strength to find your own path in life. A standalone novel that doesn't leave you hanging off a cliff, and with a HEA for all you romantics out there.
3 out of 5
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