Publisher: Createspace on March 3, 2014
Reading Challenges: 2014 Standalone Reading Challenge
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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?
“Mason and I—we had something special, I knew this. He knew this. And he was pretty special. And kind. And attentive. And handsome. And hot.”
“I squeezed his hand, then let go because one touch would become a caress, a caress would ignite the fire in me, and we would end up in bed. I really wanted to sleep with him again, but he wanted to be my boyfriend, not my boy toy. Truth be told, I liked this.”
“I turned to Mason and bit my lower lip. His brows shot up. ‘Hmm, what’s with the naughty look?’ I took another step into the ocean. ‘I know!’ He offered me a smile of his own. ‘You’re a mermaid. That’s why you’re entering the water. Are you going to leave me now?’ I laughed, and then kicked the water and showered him. Mason gasped, pretending to be shocked. ‘Oh, you’re going down.’”
Playing Pretend follows Governor’s daughter, Charlotte McClain as she spends her spring break in California without her mother knowing. Charlotte’s mother has her on a tight leash so that she doesn’t ruin her image. So in an act of rebellion, Charlotte journey’s to California with her real friends, telling her mother that she is in Canada with who her mother thinks is her ‘best friend’. While in California, Charlotte meets Mason, and they hit it off. But they have a rule–no learning about each other, and when spring break is over, it’s over. But coincidentally, after summer, Mason moves to Washington, not knowing that Charlotte lives just miles away. After chance meetings, Mason becomes determined to win her over, no matter what her mother says.
This novel was light and funny. It kept me entertained with its cute characters and mild conflict. It wasn’t too heavy, and it was fun to read. But it wasn’t too light: there was still conflict, so it wasn’t a meaningless plot. It was the perfect combination of a lazy day read.
Charlotte was suppressed, and I cheered for joy when she finally stood up for herself. Unfortunately, I could understand why she remained her mother’s puppet for so long, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy when she finally told her mother off. Charlotte really grew a backbone in this novel, starting from the beginning with the spring break trip. It was nice to see her do something that she loved instead of what her mother told her to do. I love seeing characters finally come to say no to other overbearing characters.
“He snuggled in the booth with me, his arm over my shoulders, holding me close. I looked up at him, trying to etch every detail of him in my mind. His chiseled jaw, his chin, his cheekbones, his sift lips, his cute nose, the long lashed over his hypnotizing hazel eyes, the black hair framing his face in a planned-disheveled manner. He was beautiful. More than that, he made me feel good; he made me feel loved. With him, I could be the person behind the façade and still be okay.”
Mason was determined. With his own story, he also had some things to get over. But what he knew for sure was that he was going to get Charlotte. And he worked and worked until he did. His determination was one of my favorite qualities about him. On top of that, he wasn’t perfect; he had some relationship and family problems to deal with. But he was funny and joking and just over all adorable and cute.
I enjoyed reading about Charlotte’s friends and their relationship. They were really her support line with her mother always peering over her shoulder, even though her mother didn’t know about her. I love that they were still there for her, and that she didn’t listen to her mother and remained friends with them anyway.
“‘You know what I think?’ He didn’t wait for my answer and said, ‘That we’ll keep meeting like this, unintentionally. You know why? Because we should be together.’ I crossed my arms. ‘Don’t tell me you believe in destiny, karma, or fairy tales.’ ‘I guess I don’t, but it’s kinda hard to deny. Look at us. We’ve met thousands of miles away, had the most amazing time together, then, out of nowhere, here we are, crossing each other’s paths.’”
The romance in this novel was one of those cute, under the radar, secret romances for the second half the novel. I loved the thrill of it. I kept waiting for them to get caught, but I was not expecting it to happen the way that it did. And add in the fact that there was another guy that Charlotte’s mother wanted her to go out with? It was like a subdued love triangle. Sure, you obviously knew who Charlotte wanted, but there were complications that kept things interesting. But I loved seeing Mason and Charlotte together, as they brought out the best in each other. It stopped Mason from thinking about his problems, and allowed Charlotte to be her true self, who didn’t get to come out to play very much.
Playing Pretend was a cute, light, and fluffy read that is perfect for a nice spring/summer day. A novel that would be easy to read in one sitting, you may not be able to put it down!