Source: Author – I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Series: Nashville Nights #4
Edition: ebook, 260 pages
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Olivia Barrett’s always had a weakness for bad boys and Tyler Chamberlain is no exception. His tattoos, his piercings, and even the fact that he has a girlfriend doesn’t keep her away.
Interested in Tyler since she first saw him pick up a guitar, she’s been trying to find ways to be with him for years. He’s the one Livvie runs to when she needs a friend, the one who makes her laugh and holds her when she needs to cry. Unfortunately, they are never single at the same time and sneaking around is getting old.
Now, tired of making bad decisions, Livvie’s making changes. Her friends are all starting to grow up and she doesn’t want to be left behind. Terrified her friends are moving on without her, she’s determined to make things work with Emmett, her on-again off-again boyfriend since high school.
The only problem? Tyler isn’t ready to let her go. Despite her boyfriend and his girlfriend, these two are drawn together like magnets. When she’s with Emmett she wishes she was with Tyler and vice versa.
Will Livvie ever get tired of pretending and pick one guy? Or will she keep bouncing back and forth between the two of them indefinitely?
Allow me to start this review with a bit of a preface. I loathe cheating books. Someone is always justifying behavior and then everything gets all tied up with a neat bow. It bothers me to no end. So I did take a really HUGE chance when I said I’d read and review it, and when I started out I had this awful sinking feeling because it seemed like it was going to go that way. HOWEVER, by the mid way point I definitely found myself hooked in a good way.
Pretending He’s You is definitely not for those looking for a perfect whirlwind romance devoid of issues…because boy do these characters have a lot of problems to work out between them. It’s also not a book where the characters lack a sense of morality or play off the idea of cheating, instead we get guilt and tons of frustration. In some ways it’s more of a cautionary tale than a romance, and I think that’s why I ended up enjoying it. Livvie is not someone who makes good decisions in this. She’s ruled by her emotions and when they run high she only takes her emotions into considerations. It’s actually something that everyone in this book knows about her. I actually really liked Emmett, who is definitely too good for her. There relationship is one that goes back and forth, and is in all honesty a bit toxic for Emmett. He’s stable and wants a future, and his wants are constantly battling it out with Livvie’s desire not to grow up. He’s a good guy. He has his head on straight. Tyler on the other hand is pure sex appeal. He has that bad boy vibe down, and I actually think he and Livvie are a better match fo each other. They are both ruled by the moment and the attraction between them is evident, and they both make bad decisions on the regular.
I actually liked how messy and unsure the ending of this one was. Nothing is cleaned up and sweeped under the rug. Instead we are left with the uncertainty of how Livvie’s future is going to play out. Does she stay with Emmett? Does Tyler move on or return to her? Can she truly be happy with the safe option? And we have to wait until the next book to find any of that out.
Overall I actually enjoyed this one, despite the massive amounts of frustration it provided. It’s certainly not my normal read, and I don’t think I’ll be tackling too many other books like this one but I did enjoy my little trip outside my comfort zone.