From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.
Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.
Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?
I am a sucker for any romance featuring a small town girl and famous guy. After seeing the synopsis for this one, I couldn’t request a copy fast enough. I made the mistake of starting this book at bedtime, thinking I could sneak in a few chapters before sleeping. I remember looking at my clock around 1:00 a.m. and forcing myself to shut down the Kindle to catch a few hours of sleep. Five minutes later, I was up and reading once again. I could not put this book down. It was definitely worth the night of lost sleep, and I could not wipe the silly grin off my face. This is one of my favorite contemporary romances of the year, and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.
I adored Vaughn from the beginning. She is full of sass and determination, but she is carrying so much weight on her young shoulders. She’s mature for a seventeen year old, and has an optimism that makes her endearing. I especially admire how she constantly puts Oakley his place. Their banter was some of my favorites moments of the book.
“Careful babe, or you’re gonna give me a complex”
“You already have a complex. It’s called egomania.”
Despite the circumstances, they quickly develop an intense and slow burning relationship. I literally could not sleep wondering if these two would ever admit to their true feelings. It was the best torture and something I always long for in romance novels. It was the perfect balance of emotion and humor.
This is as real and as awful and as wonderful as it gets.
Even though the plot wasn’t unique and somewhat predictable, I still loved it immensely. I think it’s a testament to the amazing writing skills of these two authors. If you are looking for an entertaining and well written book, I highly recommend When It’s Real! It’s technically YA, but it’s more along the lines of NA. I’ll be suggesting this one to book friends all summer.
**Thank you to Bocci PR and Erin Watt for my advanced copy.**