Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Release Day Review: Playing Pretend - Tamsyn Bester

Created by Sofie Hartly for Tamsyn Bester

Rating: 4 Stars
Published: Today February 2, 2016
Many thanks to Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Amazon Goodreads
Putting her family and wealth behind her hasn't been easy, but Kadence isn't one to take the easy route. After finishing her degree, she is determined to move back to Manhattan and start life anew, even if it means working for her family's enemy. Caleb Callahan isn't just the enemy though, he was also her first kiss, and when he lends her a helping hand she can't help but fall back into those old feelings. Caleb's reasons for helping Kadence aren't all out of kindness however and when the truth unfolds Kadence will have to decide if she can love someone who only knows how to play pretend.

Talk about strong female characters, with only one leading man and no real male secondary characters, this book takes the cake for having some awesome girls in empowering roles. That's not to say they aren't idiotic at times, but I liked the almost all female ensemble. Kadence is a fantastic heroine, she takes blow after blow and holds her ground. She's got her flaws and can be a bit annoying, and sucks at picking friends, but she's headstrong, always determined, and has the kind of confidence I wish I could have. Then there's Caleb, who looks like McDreamy and is a total jerk with an agenda. Doesn't it always work that way? Their chemistry is hot, you can feel it coming from the pages, which is why, just like Kadence, I could forgive every dumb move Caleb made. Their relationship is intriguing, because with only insight into Kadence's mind we know there's reason to be wary, just not why. There's a lot of background between them that is given over time, so even though the reader knows things could heat up between them we always know there's something holding both back. I love being on the edge of my seat like that.

The overall story itself is just like another reviewer said, very Romeo and Juliet. The main character's families have major beef with one another and 5 years of hatred stewing. While Kadence is estranged from her father and sister, she still lets them rule her life by making herself such a private person. I really enjoyed watching her come into her own as that part of the story finally revealed itself. Then there's the whole Caleb aspect of it, because their relationship can't be all rainbows, butterflies, and hot sex. I really enjoyed how immersed Caleb was in getting revenge that he couldn't even see right from wrong anymore. It brought twists and turns into this book that I wasn't expecting and kept the book from being predictable. I loved all the emotions in this book, all the love and angst, then Tamsyn Bester delivers a stunning epilogue and I was one happy reader.

What the writing lacks, the emotional story makes up for. There are a lot of grammatical errors, I'm sure many were fixed in the final version, but it pulled me away from the story a few times. Then there's the deja vu I felt while reading it. This book feels like something I've read before, I just can't put my finger on it. It isn't necessarily original, but it is a good story and as I said, I like the characters. I cannot get behind the baby scenario 100%, but mostly because it's ridiculously unbelievable, and I didn't really love how Kadence gets played by even her friends, but even Tamsyn makes that work right. In reality, I think this book deserves 3.5 stars, however I am letting my personal enjoyment of it bump this up to 4.

If you're on the hunt for a standalone New Adult Romance, look no further than Playing Pretend by Tamsyn Bester. I loved the romance, the drama, and all the angst, I couldn't put this book down.

Post a Comment

© Carlene Inspired. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.