by Juliana Haygert
Release Date: March 2014
"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?"
When I first received the email notifying me that I was signed up for a review on this tour, instead of a guest post or interview, like I assumed I was, I wasn't sure how I was going to read and finish this book in two or three days. Reading a book in that short amount of time is easy as pie, but not for me when it's on the computer. But once I got going on Playing Pretend, there was NO stopping me! Playing Pretend, and Juliana Haygert's writing suckered me in like a vortex, and there was no letting me go!
Right from the start of the book, I was already in love! Why?
BECAUSE we didn't see the INSTA-love! I hate when people first look at each other, and fall in love right away (....like really, when has that ever happened...), but Haygert just skips all that and takes us to the end of Charlotte's spring break trip, six days later, when her fling with Mason is about to end.
I know I like when couples promise each other forever
After a week of doing whatever, whenever she wants, Charlotte goes back home to her controlling mother, AKA the governor, and a possible candidate for future presidency. Charlotte is told who her best friend is, who she is supposed to date, what she is supposed to have fun doing, and what activities she is allowed to partake. Charlotte isn't allowed to decide anything for herself.
Mason on the other realm of things, is dealing with money issues, his college career, and the extremely tough break up with his girlfriend of three years who cheated on him multiple times. He was hoping to get over his ex through the fling with Charlotte, but soon he realized that Charlotte was worth so much more than a fling, and that she may even have been PERFECT for him.
Charlotte is back home in Washington DC, and living her normal controlled life. Mason doesn't want to go to the same old community college he has been attending and decides to move all the way across the country to attend a school there who is offering him a scholarship; leaving behind EVERYTHING he's ever known.
Thousands of miles apart from where they first meet, Mason can't believe his eyes when he sees Charlotte strolling past him with another guy. He never wanted to go out and sight see, but he was SO HAPPY that he was dragged out!
Mason and Charlotte are battling through a storm, when Charlotte is forced to date a guy, named Donnie, that she feels no connection with, hangout with Tracey who isn't even her friend, and the sneaking around to spend as much time with each other. When Charlotte is caught coming home at 4 a.m. after spending the night with Mason, she loses all of her mother's trust; deciding's had enough of her mother, and leaves.
But things quickly go from bad to worse, when pictures of Charlotte and Mason is leaked to the media and her mothers reputation and career is on the line, and their world seems to be collapsing around them.
Through the next couple of days, we witness the struggle Charlotte faces of standing up for herself to her mother, and the ups and downs Charlotte and Mason faces when there relationship is on the line and public. The reader gets to see just how far each one of them is willing to go to save the other!
Playing Pretend was honestly the perfect insta-love read. I did find myself frustrated multiple times with Charlotte's mother, and I wasn't too happy with how long it took Charlotte to stand up with her mother and walk out. It wasn't as explosive as I hoping it would be. But I'm still really glad she finally did it!
I LOVED Charlotte and Mason together, they were perfect! The story was AHH-mazing, the character was fantastic, and I just couldn't force myself to stop reading...even if it meant my eyes balls bleeding...
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.