Playing Pretend

Playing Pretend

by Juliana Haygert
3.6 13

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Playing Pretend 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Lost-N-Love-N-Hopeless More than 1 year ago
Playing Pretend has not been so fun or real. This was a light, sexy dive into the rich and powerful world where being someone else was the way to survive the game being played. For Charlotte one carefree week of fun in the sun and in the arms of a very delicious stranger gave her a sense of who she wanted to truly be, but life has a way of taking you back down the road you don’t want to go. Back home and in her world Charlotte finds that being the real person was no longer acceptable and it was time to go back to playing pretend. Mason was by all means a guy that knew how to have fun. Especially during Spring Break. But things take a change in a different direction after meeting Charlotte. She changes the course of his life and the meaning of it. Making the huge decision to move on and start anew, he never expected to find that woman that change everything for him. Charlotte grows a lot in this one. She learns a valuable lesson of accepting one’s self and standing up for herself. She grows in strength and purpose. Mason was just Mason. He was sweet, strong, and understanding of Charlotte. This romance was darling. I am not sure what the book was like before, but this time with the new content and the revised edit. I am going to say that I really enjoyed this story. Seeing how people deal with the pretend side of life opens my eyes to a new way of living or the way others live.
Rules640 More than 1 year ago
I would start of by saying that the concept of the story was really nice. And I could well relate to Charlotte from the start of the novel. The pain of living a life she didn’t not want to, the agony of not being able to pursue the career of her choice, the anguish of always hiding herself even from her own mother, and lastly the torture of not being able to be with the person she loved, was beautifully described, and her emotions were well expressed. Mason was also a likable character. Through the way he could look right through the mask, Charlotte used to hide behind, the compromises he made, and loved Charlotte inspite of everything, Mason is definite to make a way to your heart. I really liked the way this novel portrayed the parent-children relationship and also the aspect that there is nothing wrong in leaving your parent’s house, even if they are loving, to just make a life of your own. It doesn’t mean you are abandoning or disowning them. There were just a few things I didn’t like about this novel, like the fight between Charlotte and Mason, towards the end of the story. Maybe because I had seen or read about these kinds of fight before, so the course of the fight was almost predictable to me. And there were far too many coincidences at the start of the novel, but I actually forgot all about them by the time I reached the middle of the novel, because I was under the spell of the story. Finally, I would say that the character of David, Mason’s roommate, was a bit downplayed. I started off 2017 with Playing Pretend and I would say this love story of Charlotte and Mason with a happy ending was a perfect New year’s gift. The novel made me feel good, happy and sated and its effect remained long after I had finished the book. I recommend this novel to all romance lovers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lies and politics – where have I seen that before? This is the first book I read by Juliana Haygert and I enjoyed it a lot. More than I thought I would, given the age of the main female character, as I usually have problems connecting with nineteen-year-old characters. Charlotte was a good surprise in that aspect. Mason, on the other hand, is a hunk and a bartender. What’s there not to like, right? In fact, he’s got a lot in common with the male lead man in my second novel, who’s also a gorgeous, sweet bartender, so I connected with Mason instantly. After finishing the book, I logged on to post this review to find out Juliana Haygert is a Brazilian expatriate, like me. Then, it clicked why I appreciated her style so much. She’s got a very refreshing voice and uses interesting analogies that carried a distinct Brazilian flare. Juliana does a very good job at building characters and presenting their background story as well as the settings. Living in Southern California, I felt at home with her description of Spring break around her. I knocked off one star because I felt she dropped the ball with the plot, which is very predictable and not quite realistic, at times. I mean, it’s almost common sense that politicians are deceitful. It’s also a given their lives aren’t private. I can only imagine what it’d be like growing up in a politician’s family. Moreover, being nineteen is tough on any regular girl, for a governor’s daughter, I guess it might be a nightmare. Having said that, I understand Charlotte’s wish to be herself, away from the spotlight and her mother’s authoritative presence. Her lying to Mason, hiding her identity, during a short yet unforgettable Spring break on the other side of the country is believable. Her being the daughter of a sitting governor and not having a security detail isn’t that easy to believe, though. Lastly, the ‘conflict situation’ – no spoilers so I won’t say more than that – was a bit farfetched for my taste. But, hey, that’s is only me. I always leave the best for last – sex! Being a romance author and avid reader, I prefer my love scenes to be more on the spicy and steamy level, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the love scenes in Play Pretend. On the contrary, they’re well-written and sweet. I recommend Playing Pretend to readers searching a new voice in romance novels. You’ll enjoy Juliana Haygert’s style. I received a copy of this book during a promotional campaign with no obligations to write a review. I did so voluntarily.
Tishia More than 1 year ago
Playing Pretend is a New Adult romance by author Juliana Haygert. It centers around Charlotte McClain – the Governor's daughter. She leads a high profile life, which she hates. She is told how to dress, who to date, what to do, etc... She goes on spring break, and for the first time she gets to pretend that she is just a normal girl. She doesn't have her mother with her to control her, and she has the time of her life with her best friends. Charlotte meets a handsome bartender named Mason, and spends a lot of time with him until she has to leave. She doesn't tell him who she is or where she's from. So, a little while after she gets back home from spring break – she is shocked to run into Mason. He just so happens to get a scholarship to a nearby college. Mason is surprised to see Charlotte when he is bar-tending a party for a bunch of rich, stuck up politicians. He can't believe she is one of them. Charlotte is a very likable character. You can't help but feel really bad for her. Her mother is awful and she isn't able to live the life that she wants. However, she is an adult and I felt like she let her mother push her around for too long. I really liked Mason. He is a sweet guy. Their romance was sweet and a little steamy too. The issue I had with this book was more of a personal one. In the beginning of the book, Mason and Charlotte already knew each other and were already intimate. It took some of the excitement away for me – I like reading about the characters meeting for the first time and falling for each other. Because of this, I felt like I was missing out on important moments between them and I didn't connect with their relationship as much as I would have liked. Also, it seemed really unlikely that they just happened to run into each other so many times in DC. For the most part though, it's a good story and I would recommend it to fans of New Adult.
Lisa-Lou More than 1 year ago
Playing Pretend by Juliana Haygert My rating: 4 of 5 stars A beautiful story of expectations and obligations and how a true love can challenge even the most demanding of those expectations. Well paced and well written with characters that will immediately endear themselves to you. The story line was a little different from anything I've read lately and was a very enjoyable read.
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
Playing pretend is the fun, new novel by Juliana Haygert. When Charlotte met Mason, she got a chance to be herself. She didn't know this version of herself, and she liked it. So, when she had to go back home to mommy, who I really wanted to punch in the nose several times, she had a hard time re-adjusting to her old life. And rightly so. When Mason happens to unknowingly move to the area, it becomes that much harder for her. I love how Charlotte and Mason are together. Their relationship is magnetizing. Playing Pretend almost has the feel of a coming of age story, only it's really not. It's more of a finding yourself story, and what makes it different is that more than just the main characters find themselves, or at least start to. It was fast paced with lots of flirty fun. Romance lovers will eat this up. I know I did! The ARC of Playing Pretend by Juliana Haygert was kindly provided to me by YA Bound for review. The opinions are my own.
chucha_13 More than 1 year ago
The blurb says: A LIGHT, SEXY NA Contemporary Romance, and certainly it was! Reminded me of movies about the president’s daughter – girls who wanted to be free, experience life, and fall in love with someone with no ulterior motives other than to love her shamelessly. Yay. Charlotte is the governor’s daughter and she spent her life playing Peyton (her mother) says. She was really good in pretending. She can smile, laugh and talk FAKE. So when Spring Break came and she had the opportunity to be reckless, she dove in, and meets a boy who rocked her world: Mason. Mason was a nobody. He was not rich, he didn’t belong to any political family, he was just an ordinary guy with a broken heart, who met an amazing girl during spring break. They agreed not to exchange personal stuffs during the break, instead they spent every day in each other’s arms. It was suppose to be a rebound, a fling, but it ended out to be something more. After Spring Break, he decided to move out to Washington and pursue his graduate studies, and he never expected to find Charlotte again, only this time, he wasn’t the Charlotte he knew over Spring Break. This Charlotte was different – rich, controlled, elegant, way beyond his league. But it didn’t stop him from pursuing her. Charlotte tried to fight it off, she knew her mother would never approved. But they have that “connection” she couldn’t just ignore. How much long she can resist him? How much long will she allow her mother to dictate her? I was waiting for THAT moment when Charlotte would stand up and fight for herself, and for everything that she wants including Mason. I hate seeing her nodding yes, smiling fake, and be with people whom her mother wanted her to be with. She’s a talented girl who prefers roller skating, drawing and short skirts rather than pencil skirts and law school. It took a little while, and a lot of sneaking around before her actions finally caught up with her, and she found the courage to speak her mind out.  It was an easy read, good for my heart, since it needed rest. It’s a short, sexy novel, perfect for a lazy afternoon!  ¿ARC Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.¿
Chrissy_W More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars Did I enjoy this book: Sure. It was a fun read that I read every free chance I had. Playing Pretend is light, fun, easy. It’s an escape read. It’s one of those reads that make you smile, gets you involved, and leaves you with a smile. It has a lot of those squee-worthy moments. Some awwwwww moments. Some oh no! moments. And a whole lot of other moments. It has characters you root for, you like, you don’t like, you really don’t like, and characters who change your opinion about them. Would I recommend it: Sure, if you like light, romantic NA books. Will I read it again: I will not. (I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest  review.)
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
The basis of Playing Pretend was along the same lines as movies Chasing Liberty and First Daughter, except instead of being the daughter of the president, Charlotte was the daughter of the conservative, uptight governor of Virginia. Her mother, the governor, had Charlotte's future all mapped out for her. Of course, it's not the future Charlotte wants. She has to sneak around to spend time with her real friends, her mom handpicks her boyfriends (and they're a snoozefest) and she controls everything down to her wardrobe. I liked Charlotte, but I wanted her to grow a backbone. I did feel bad for her, but I felt like she brought it on herself. The things she wanted weren't that extreme. I mean, roller skating and drawing? Come on. Even the most uptight and controlling mother should be able to allow that.  Charlotte gets a taste of freedom over Spring Break, but she knows it's short-lived. She meets Mason and they forge a connection. Neither of them were looking for anything more than a fling, but they find it. Of course, Charlotte hasn't been completely honest with him about who she is and they don't plan to keep in touch. But fate plays a hand and they find each other again when Mason moves to Washington, DC for school. The majority of the book takes place after they're reunited and focuses on their developing relationship and the troubles outside forces cause. Through it all, though, the book keeps things light and fluffy, sometimes steamy, and never gets too angsty, despite the complications.  Playing Pretend was fun new adult romance. The characters were likable, the goings-on believable and the love scenes steamy. Charlotte and Mason had great chemistry and they were easy to cheer for. This was a quick, sweet read that I would recommend to new adult fans looking for a light romance.  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
kydirtgirl68 More than 1 year ago
Charlotte leads a secret life. As the daughter of a Governor she has to keep up an image and do everything her mother says. She has to do the right things and date the right guys. What she really wants to do is hang out with her real friends, skate and draw. She has to keep them a secret from her mother. On spring break she meets Mason and he makes her come really alive. It has to end but she is always thinking of him. Mason had his heart broke and thought a fling on spring break would be a good thing. Charlotte doesn't tell him who she really is and never ask for anything more from him than just a fling. He can't get her out of his head even when he knows he will never see her again.When he moves to Washington he runs into Charlotte and finds out who she really is. He wants to be with her but Charlotte can't risk her mother or the press finding out. She will soon have to face a decision on whether to stay on the path her mother wants or make her own path in life. Charlotte seems like a girl who just wants to have fun when you first meet her. She isn't out to have a long time relationship just a fling. She is rich but doesn't like people to know it. At home she tries to be the perfect daughter her mom wants and fake being happy even when she is dying on the inside. Mason may not be who her mother would ever be ok with her dating but he is an amazing guy. He could move on from Charlotte but he never does. He tries his best to get her to see she deserves her own life. He has goals in mind but always takes the time for Charlotte. I really enjoyed this story as Charlotte could have easily been a spoiled girl but she is not. I actually cared a lot for her and felt bad for her. Her mother is constantly making her feel bad and making her feel guilty using her dead father as the reason. She has so much going on I am surprised her head doesn't explode. She has one guy being forced on her she doesn't like and another she really cares about but can't be with. Mason and Charlotte are very hot together. There is several steamy, sexy scenes to enjoy. The actual characters made the book great for me. I kept hoping the best for them but wondered how Charlotte could ever get her mom to listen to her. I would recommend this to anyone wanting a NA sexy romance book.
ysar More than 1 year ago
Charlotte’s life is a carefully maintained façade. The right clothes, dates, education … It’s all required playing the part of the governor’s perfect daughter. But Spring Break comes along & she gets a taste of freedom, of life out from under the microscope, and of the delectable Mason, a bartender who doesn’t know who she is. Mason isn’t quite sure what to make of the carefree girl spending her Spring Break in his hometown. She won’t tell him her last name or share any details about her life, but none of that matters when they’re making the most of every moment together. They both know it can’t last — vacation romances never do — but this is different, better, something altogether more than either of them expected. They thought it was over when Spring Break ended. But then Mason accepts a waiter gig at a catered party and comes face to face with the girl that got away. Her mother will never approve, the media will be all over them, but the spark that flared during Spring Break is about to burst into full flame. But... For about 90% of the book, I thought the pacing was brilliant. While most authors rush to get their characters together, only to throw heaps of crazy drama at them, in Playing Pretend it wasn’t so easy — & that’s a good thing! Charlotte resisted, and it made for an anxious tension that led perfectly into sneaking around. So when the story came to a close with a rushed ending, wrapped up a little too easily, I wasn’t sure what to think. Don’t get me wrong — it was still a great read — but I wish the careful pace hadn’t been abandoned so suddenly. The Verdict... While the plot line points to a million cliches, Playing Pretend dodges the expected & takes a refreshingly simple approach. When Charlotte and Mason separated, it was clear that something wonderful had awakened between them, but instead of pining and plotting to find each other, they moved on with their lives — albeit with some wishful thinking about each other. It’s so true to how things like that play out in real life, and that’s what makes this story different — and better. Sure, Charlotte’s rich, a bit famous in her part of the world, and should be the stereotypical rebellious princess. Instead, she does what so many young women do when trapped under a parent’s thumb — she lies & sneaks & covers but can’t simply take a stand. It’s that great compromise that is common in the face of young love… Sneak around with the boy for as long as possible, use friends/events/excuses to get away with it, & avoid the consequences for as long as possible — even though you know they’re coming. And Mason… Aside from being hot as hell, he’s a good, patient, incredibly understanding guy. He wishes things were different, that they could easily and publicly be together, but he gets why Charlotte keeps him under wraps, and he doesn’t harp on her about it or give her some impossible ultimatum. It’s so nice to see a leading man who doesn’t resort to the selfish and rash behavior I’ve seen in so many other stories like this! If you’re a sucker for the “classic” romance story lines but feel like they’re all the same, definitely check out Playing Pretend. It’s got the boyfriend Mom doesn’t approve of, the wannabe boyfriend society seems appropriate, and the girl who desperately just wants to live her life on her own terms, but it’s not just another retelling of the same old story! *FicCentral received this book from YA Bound Book To
SavannahJ More than 1 year ago
Lightly emotional and sexy Playing Pretend will surprise Juliana Haygert's readers and will attract the new ones. Charlotte and Mason meet at a bar in California. They start a spring break romance, they pass six perfect days together. Mason knows Charlotte is a rich girl for her clothes, hotel and car, but he has not an idea how rich she is. His family is humble; he goes to the college in his town and lives with his parents.  Spring Break is almost done and Charlotte has to return to her pretend life. She didn’t say anything personal to Mason. The plan was easy: six days together, a fling and nothing else; but the fate has other plans.  One fine day Mason and Charlotte run into each other and their worlds collide again.   I knew Playing Pretend is not like Breaking the Reins, Juliana made the warning perfectly clear. I was prepared for read a book a little sexier than BTR, but Jeez I didn’t see this coming. The characters definition is flawless. Charlotte is the ultimate goody-goody girl; her relationship with her mother is so frustrating sometimes. Like I always say if the female audience doesn’t connect with the heroine that book is not good. But Charlotte’s background is perfectly expressed in the story; maybe you don’t share her actions but you can understand them.  Same case with Mason, Juliana wrote a sweet, sexy, and worker guy; the kind of guy I love. He’s so perseverant from beginning until the ending when he felt had lost Charlotte.  The storyline is exquisite; not the classic NA story girl meets boy and have an explosive relationship. This is Charlotte’s travel to her independence, to find her own voice and defend her decisions and life.   The only con I found was the POV titles in the chapters, although there weren’t changes in the POV order. But isn’t so biggie.  With the plot, the dialogues and scenes I was immersed in the story and I didn’t want it finish.
ValerieStuckInBooks More than 1 year ago
First Impressions... The title got my attention.  I am drawn to stories where people are pretending to be together.  This story wasn't one of those but it is what got my attention. The Characters... I really like Mason.  He's a sweetie.  From his name to his character, he's just a great guy.  A gorgeous bartender, he's walking sexy.  Not a player, not a bad boy, he's one of the few good ones.  Coming out of a long relationship that ended badly, he's hurting.  The week he spends with Charlotte heals him but then she's gone and he can't stop thinking about her.  He needs cuddling.  That's all I can say. The Story... Charlotte is being controlled by her mother but at nineteen she wants to be who she really is.  The week of freedom she spends on spring break gives her a taste of what she really wants.  But for some reason, she won't tell her mother no.  So she's miserable.  She's not my favorite character and I wondered a lot about why she put up with so much from her mother but since I have no experience in her circles of life, I really don't understand. Could I Put It Down... It's a quick read and I read it straight through in an evening. In The End... This book is an enjoyable evening with a side of yummy scenes.  If that appeals to you, then give this one a try.