Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: eARC, 416 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Under ordinary circumstances, Oakley Ford and Vaughn Bennett would never even cross paths.
There's nothing ordinary about Oakley. This bad-boy pop star's got Grammy Awards, millions of fangirls and a reputation as a restless, too-charming troublemaker. But with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley needs to show the world he's settling down—and who better to help him than Vaughn, a part-time waitress trying to help her family get by? The very definition of ordinary.
Posing as his girlfriend, Vaughn will overhaul Oakley's image from troublemaker to serious artist. In return for enough money to put her brothers through college, she can endure outlandish Hollywood parties and carefully orchestrated Twitter exchanges. She'll fool the paparazzi and the groupies. She might even start fooling herself a little.
Because when ordinary rules no longer apply, there's no telling what your heart will do…
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’ve been looking forward to When It’s Real since I first saw that the dynamic duo behind Erin Watt was writing a new book. I loved The Royals, found myself totally and thoroughly addicted to the characters, storyline and writing, so I had pretty high expectations for this book. And you know what? They were exceeded. I got everything I loved about The Royals without all the angst and drama. (I mean, there was *some* angst and drama, but it wasn’t at all like in The Royals series.)
I do love a good famous person/regular person pairing and Vaughn and Oakley were great together. They were also great characters on their own. Initially I appreciated Vaughn’s willingness to do what she needed to do for her family, but I came to like her even more later on for her intelligence, sassiness and strength. She was a wonderful heroine. Oakley, on the other hand, needed some time to grow on me. (The famous ones always do.) Underneath his superstar exterior, he was a great guy. He was more vulnerable than I would’ve expected and I found I liked that quite a bit. I loved the relationship between these two characters. They played nicely off each other, despite their differences. They gave me feels and swoons and smiles. This fake romance turned out to be something very real, indeed.
When It’s Real was a lovely, charming and swoony book. It’s beautifully written and totally addictive. Even with the “fake” aspect of the storyline, it all played out realistically — at least with the regards to the romance and the characters. Books like this are why I continue to read YA contemporary. If that’s your jam, definitely think about picking this one up. You won’t be sorry you did.
“I’m never going to believe another thing I see on the internet,” I whisper.
His thumb brushes my cheek. “This isn’t the internet.”
“You’re beautiful. Every day I’m with you is brighter and more exciting than the last. And if we ever have sex, it’ll be because you want it, not because I want it or because you think it’s necessary to keep me. But until you’re ready, there’s a ton of other stuff we can do to make you feel good.”
“I know I’d be fine without you. I’d live a perfectly good life. But I don’t want a perfectly good life. I want a messy, exciting, happy, sad, emotion-filled, loud life with you.”
Will you be reading When It’s Real?