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?
Charlotte, daughter of the Governor of Virginia went out with her friends to California for the spring break. There she met Mason, a part time bartender. Charlotte, who has always led a life her mother planned for her, her every movement monitored, going to California was a freedom, from her scheduled life. She let herself lose, and mingled with Mason, not letting him know anything about her. After the holiday she moved back to Richmond, to her mother’s house. But she couldn’t get over Mason or again blend in her old life. Then Mason shows up.
I would start of by saying that the concept of the story was really nice. And I could well relate to Charlotte from the start of the novel. The pain of living a life she didn’t not want to, the agony of not being able to pursue the career of her choice, the anguish of always hiding herself even from her own mother, and lastly the torture of not being able to be with the person she loved, was beautifully described, and her emotions were well expressed. Mason was also a likable character. Through the way he could look right through the mask, Charlotte used to hide behind, the compromises he made, and loved Charlotte inspite of everything, Mason is definite to make a way to your heart.
I really liked the way this novel portrayed the parent-children relationship and also the aspect that there is nothing wrong in leaving your parent’s house, even if they are loving, to just make a life of your own. It doesn’t mean you are abandoning or disowning them.
There were just a few things I didn’t like about this novel, like the fight between Charlotte and Mason, towards the end of the story. Maybe because I had seen or read about these kinds of fight before, so the course of the fight was almost predictable to me. And there were far too many coincidences at the start of the novel, but I actually forgot all about them by the time I reached the middle of the novel, because I was under the spell of the story. Finally, I would say that the character of David, Mason’s roommate, was a bit downplayed.
I started off 2017 with Playing Pretend and I would say this love story of Charlotte and Mason with a happy ending was a perfect New year’s gift. The novel made me feel good, happy and sated and its effect remained long after I had finished the book. I recommend this novel to all romance lovers
LIFE AT 17 RATING:
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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Find the Playing Pretend tour schedule at: http://xpressobooktours.com/2016/10/25/tour-sign-up-playing-pretend-by-juliana-haygert/