{Review} Playing Pretend by Juliana Haygert

Title: Playing Pretend
Author: Juliana Haygert
Published: 3rd Mar 2014
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5

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 (17+)**

A Fresh And Fast Paced Story With A Sexy Romance!

The story:
We begin this story with Charlotte on Spring Break with her friends, where she meets Mason and they begin a spring romance. Mason is trying to get over an ex girlfriend and Charlotte is trying to discover who she really is, away from the pressure of being the perfect daughter for her politician Mother. They have a fun and carefree fling, but after she returns to her life in Washington, she never expects to see Mason ever again, but that's exactly what happens. After realising they now live in the same city, Mason wants to continue their relationship and see where things go, but Charlotte is reluctant, knowing her overbearing mother will disapprove. Her mother's political career is the most important thing even above her own daughter's happiness. So embarking on a secret romance is their only option, but when Charlotte's mother starts pushing her into a relationship with Donnie, a young man with aspirations for Presidency, things start to get complicated and it's only a matter of time that Charlotte's double life is exposed!

The characters:
Charlotte has spent her life doing everything to please her mother. Tired of the suffocating pressure to be perfect, and hiding her true identity, she relishes the feeling of freedom she has around her real best friend Liana and secret boyfriend Mason. Around her mother, she's weak and never stands up for herself, but around her friends the real Charlotte comes out; a carefree girl with a passion for street chalk art (such a different and fun idea!) - a stark contrast from the uptight and poised woman her mother wants her to be. I loved seeing her grow into her true self and go after the things she wants in life.

Mason comes from a poor background and is desperate to make a good life for himself. He's determined and goes after what he wants - one of which is Charlotte. He's also working towards a career in engineering and I loved that he never let his lack of money be an excuse for giving up, he's driven and passionate about his future, which was really refreshing! I also loved that he wasn't a man-whore!!!

The supporting charters where also excellent, with Mason's roommate David and also his brother Matt and best friend Brody. Brody is a total player, while David and Matt are a bit of a mystery. I actually think there might be something going on between David and Charlotte's BFF Liana!

The romance:
In every scene, Mason and Charlotte where so natural together. They brought out the best in each other's personalities and they didn't have to hide who they are. Mason was really sweet and I loved that he encouraged Charlotte to enjoy the things she was passionate about, like her art. And the love scenes where seriously sexy and passionate! Such a beautifully written romance!

The writing:
After reading and LOVING Breaking The Reins by Juliana, I knew I had to read this book, and while it's not as intense and doesn't address any series or heavy issues, it still has the same heart and emotion. I also really appreciated the length of the story. Juliana didn't fill the book with unnecessary filler scenes just to extend the story, she used just the right amount of words to tell this story. It made for a quick and fast paced book!

With a sexy romance and a fresh and fast paced story, Playing Pretend is perfect for any contemporary romance fans! I can only hope there will some companion novels for Mason's roommate David, best friend Brody or Charlotte's best friend Liana! 

Sexuality: medium / descriptive sex scenes
Violence: mild
Language: medium / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: mild

• One (1) $10 Amazon or B&N gift card {INT}
• Two (2) eBook copies of Playing Pretend by Juliana Haygert {INT}


  1. I love when the characters feel natural together and the romance feels genuine. Lovely review, I think I would enjoy this one.

    1. Thanks! The romance is so genuine in this one

  2. Oh this sounds so good! I love a good contemporary romance. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  3. Sounds like both characters really complement each other very well. I have heard great things about Haygert's books and they sound so character driven! I really have to give one a try soon!

    1. So true Giselle, her character development is excellent!

  4. I love a good romance that is fast-paced and doesn't have a lot of fluff. Sounds good. Might have to check it out. Great review!

    1. Thanks Vi, hope you get a chance to check it out!

  5. Oh hey! I love that Mason isn't a man-whore. Playing Pretend sounds like a lovely story. I think I would like Charlotte and Mason as well. Thanks for the review!

    1. Such a lovely story, Charlotte and Mason were just perfect!

  6. Oh Wow! I loved the sound of this book from the blurb but your review totally made me love it even more. I like the no man-whore thing and I totally relate to the overbearing parents who no matter what seems like you can't stand up to them. Thank you for sharing. I'm actually a Juliana Haygert virgin so can't wait to read something by her now. Awesome review!

    1. Aw thanks Sharrice! Juliana's writing is so wonderful, I think you'd enjoy her books (hint: you should also check out Breaking The Reins with hotty polo player Leo *wink wink*)

  7. aww I only seen a review for this once, so awesome but.. this sounds very well done.. Glad to hear the secondary characters have been just as good. Wonder if they will get their own book.

  8. This sounds like a great story! I love the idea that the two main characters can be themselves around each other! I'm glad that this story had so much heart, and emotion! I hope that Charlotte eventually stood up to her mother, and took control of her life! Great Review Amy!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape


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