Friday, January 29, 2016

Book Review: Playing Pretend by Tamsyn Bester

Kadence Kavanagh has spent the last two years trying to rebuild her life. When a job opportunity presents itself, she can’t say no, even if it’s with the man who’s life was ruined by her father’s indiscretion. It’s been years since she last saw Caleb Callahan, and she’s not even sure he remembers her, but she’s determined to give herself a clean slate no matter who she has to work for.

In the unlikeliest of circumstances, Caleb becomes her savior – if somewhat reluctantly - and she discovers that the man she’s read about in the gossip columns is nothing more than a smoke screen. Kadence knows that keeping her distance is for the best, no matter how difficult, but when Caleb proposes the unthinkable, she finds herself caught between what’s real, and what she wishes was real.

Caleb and Kadence lose themselves in a lie, and when reality comes knocking, they realize that all they were doing was playing pretend…

Playing Pretend is the first book that I've read by Tamsyn Bester and holy crap. What in the hell is wrong with me?!? I should have picked up one of her books WAY before now. All of that lost time with a new author that have come to adore. Le sigh. I just added a ton of her books to my ridiculously long TBR pile but they are definitely at the top!

Gosh, I just don't even know where to start but before I do ... if you don't enjoy reading gushy reviews then you definitely need to go somewhere else right now because this review is going to be full of praise for this amazing book and more than likely, I'll go overboard. Let's start with the story itself ... no ... the characters! The leading lady in this one is named Kadence and she's this spunky, headstrong woman who is clawing her way out of a horribly deep hole that her family has left her in. She is perfectly flawed and you can't help but love her from the very first page. I found myself laughing with her and sympathizing with her and being mad at her and loving her ... the way that Bester wrote Kadence, she made Kadence like a friend and it created a connection that I always look for in books. Now on to Caleb ... dear, sweet, Caleb. I wanted to hate this ruggedly handsome, stubborn man but I just couldn't. I would get so damn irritated with him and then forgive him almost immediately. Bester sure can write some entrancing characters. The push and pull between Kadence and Caleb had me on the edge of my seat throughout most of the book. I just couldn't get enough of either of them and saying that I was absolutely pissed when the book ended would be a massive understatement. Livid. Times infinity. 

The storyline took some twists that I wasn't expecting. It was refreshing to not be able to predict what was going to happen in a romance novel. Too often, it feels as if romance novels all have this outline that they follow and everything is predictable but not with Playing Pretend. Just when you think you've got a firm grip on the story, Bester will come out of nowhere and smack you on the back of your head and while you're disoriented for a bit, she'll elbow you in the side and knock the wind out of you. There was quite a bit going on within the story but never once did I feel bogged down or hindered by the heaviness of the story. It was the perfect combination of humor, sass, action, controversy and everything in between. 

This was such a great book. Definitely one that you need to read if we are going to continue being friends. I have a feeling that I'll be picking this book up again soon because the love story between Kadence and Caleb isn't going to leave my memory any time soon. Absolute perfection.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: February 2nd, 2016
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Links for Amazon and B&N aren't available yet, but I'll update when they are!!

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