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?
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About Erin Watt:
Erin Watt is the brainchild of two bestselling authors linked together through their love of great books and an addiction to writing. They share one creative imagination. Their greatest love (after their families and pets, of course)? Coming up with fun–and sometimes crazy–ideas. Their greatest fear? Breaking up.
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Review by Yvette:
I have a confession to make: When It's Real is my first Erin Watt novel. *emerges from the shame corner* I’ve read books by Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick but I have yet to dive in to author duo’s series, The Royals, partly because I was waiting for all the books to come out before starting, and partly because I don’t read many YA novels. After reading When It’s Real, though… I. NEED. MORE! This book is addictive. It’s entertaining. It’s attention-grabbing. Did I mention it’s addictive? I couldn’t get enough!
I love a good rock star romance and a fake relationship is one of my favorite tropes so I was particularly intrigued by the concept of When It’s Real. What does a bad boy teen rocker do when in need of an image overhaul? Hire a pretend girlfriend, of course. Vaughn Bennett, a down-to-earth, “normal” seventeen-year-old girl has her life turned upside down when she signs up to be girlfriend to world-famous rock star, Oakley Ford. What starts off as an emotionally-detached job, however, soon transforms into a friendship, then something more as Vaughn and Oak blur the lines between what's real and what's for show.
With their teasing, slightly antagonistic banter and ever-present undercurrent of sexual tension, it’s the relationship between Vaughn and Oakley that makes every sentence of this book so riveting. This is a romance, but it’s also a journey of self-discovery for both Vaughn and Oakley. As a reader, I loved being privy to the behind-the-scenes drama because, you know their romance is “fake” but you also experience them getting to know each other. Defenses are lowered, pretenses are dropped, and real feelings are developed. It’s messy and complicated, but also sweet, romantic, and undeniably compelling.
My advice about going in to When It’s Real? Carve out a few hours of uninterrupted reading time because this book is impossible to put down once you get started. This book might’ve been my first Erin Watt novel but it definitely won’t be my last.
*complimentary copy provided by author for an honest review
Rating: 5 Stars