When It's Real

When It's Real

by Erin Watt


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Under ordinary circumstances, Oakley Ford and Vaughn Bennett would never even cross paths.

There’s nothing ordinary about Oakley. This bad-boy pop star’s got Grammy awards, millions of fangirls and a reputation as a restless, too-charming troublemaker. But with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley needs to show the world he’s settling down—and who better to help him than Vaughn, a part-time waitress trying to help her family get by? The very definition of ordinary.

Posing as his girlfriend, Vaughn will overhaul Oakley’s image from troublemaker to serious artist. In return for enough money to put her brothers through college, she can endure outlandish Hollywood parties and carefully orchestrated Twitter exchanges. She’ll fool the paparazzi and the groupies. She might even start fooling herself a little.

Because when ordinary rules no longer apply, there’s no telling what your heart will do…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781335144164
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 05/29/2018
Edition description: Original
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 89,429
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

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.

Caitlin Kelly, audiobook narrator, is a seasoned voice-over artist with experience in Japan and the United States.

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When It's Real 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This fast paced book should be on the top of everyone's list! I read it in a day, it is that mesmerizing! Oakley and Vaughn are such lovable characters and I love how the kept developing throughout the story! One thing I would like to point out is that there were a little too many similarities between these characters and the ones in Paper Princess (written by the same author), but that means you loved that series so you MUST read this book! This book is full of every emotion humanly possible and you will feel an emotional connection to Vaughn and Oakley so please read away :)
SiobhanDavisAuthor More than 1 year ago
When It's Real by Erin Watt rocked my world and then some!! A perfect rock star romance with a rich, hot, obnoxious bad boy behaving badly and the cute, normal girl-next-door type who wins his heart. Oak Ford has lost his mojo and his way and his bad boy party lifestyle are finally catching up to him. The solution to his problem? A fake girlfriend, or so his manager and PR company think. Cue Vaughan Bennett, and the start of our love story. I adored this book, savoring every beautiful page from start to finish. There is nothing overly intricate in the plot or the character development but it's the superb execution of same that is the winner here. I loved the musical influences and the twitter feed was hysterically funny. The writing is brilliant as I've come to expect from this author and it flowed perfectly. I kept thinking Justin Bieber as I was reading this book even if the description didn't wholly fit. I loved the snarky banter between our couple at the start and how they gradually opened up to one another. Vaughan was a bit of a sap when it came to W and I wished she had more gumption as it seemed at odds with the rest of her personality. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the Oakley Ford show. Man, I loved him from the get-go and my heart ached for him. The romance was slow building and real and everything my romance-loving heart desires. This is a bit different from the Royals series. It's not angsty or dramatic and it's definitely less steamy despite the rock star backdrop and all that entails; however, this is trad-pubbed so I imagine the author had to toe a strict line. It doesn't matter anyway, it didn't detract from my enjoyment at all, it's more of an observation. In summary, this was a superb read and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. Yes, it's not a new story but it doesn't matter. It's a wonderful read and one that had me hooked throughout. I really look forward to reading more of this author in future. I received a complimentary copy of this book via the author's assistant and I have voluntarily reviewed same. Thank you very much, Erin Watt, you have another showstopper on your hands!
Anonymous 6 months ago
An easy, cute read. I love Erin Watt and this story didn't disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why cant this book have 700 pages bc i wouldve read it all. Best book ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After Vaughn's parents deaths, she decided to take a year off to help pay out the debt her parents accumulated. And when the opportunity of being the fake girlfriend of the famous Oakley Ford that comes with an amazing paycheck, everything will be okay, right? This book is probably one of the best books I read this year. I can't complain, I love the story telling in this. I love that it was told in both the perspectives of the main characters. We learn that Vaughn holds in her beliefs very well. And Oakley has a very deep personality. The aspect of slow-burn romance is so nice too. It feels as though there was no point in the where it started, it just came naturally. I also like that this book is not just romance. I appreciate that both the characters are looking for where to place themsleves in the world. The self-discovery subplot is really nice too. And the addition of family love makes all these so good. If the author were to write adult books, I would totally read Paisley's love story too. It's so unique in itself that I wanna see it! Ever since I read 738 Days and Starlight Nights by Stacey Kade (not YA books btw, you were warned), the famous-partner troupe has changed my perspective a lot. These mentioned books has the most realistic things that happen to a famous person. And this book made a good attempt in doing so, but not the best. There are times when I thought things were about to get real because of the famous-person-status, but it felt short for me. I realized that books with this troupe looks more into the appeal of dating the most attractive person, but not everything about fame is included. Plus, there were times where I thought it was so dragging. Relevant, yes, but also dragging. I really enjoyed the plot very much. Just the flow of the story will take you on a roller coaster ride. I read this as an audiobook, and besides the Twitter conversations being read (it was a bit awkward), I thought the two narrators carried Vaughn and Oakley very well. Their voices matched their emotions so much, I loved it. This book was amazing! And I would love to read the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a YA fantasy novel, with teens acting like adults. And adults acting more than stupid. Not for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Written for 12-year olds and teens The story could have been great if not filled with profanity and I will admit I did not read the product detail where I would have seen it was for 12-up. Although the story is written for teens it could easily be adapted to read for the 20-40 age group. Because of the excessive profanity, which I guess teens use today, the rating is lower.
Book_Sniffers_Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When It’s Real combined two of some really good tropes. You have the celebrity romance aspect which is always a favorite for me. Plus, it’s also a fake relationship turned real romance. When you combine those two together, you get an amazing story. You see, Oakley’s image is deteriorating and people are tired of seeing him always out partying. Not to mention, one of the biggest producers out there refuses to take Oakley seriously and work with him. So, Oakley’s team comes up with a plan. Maybe if Oakley is seen settling down some with a wholesome girl, maybe people will see him in a new light. Which is where Vaughn comes in. Her sister works for the talent agency that Oakley’s manager’s brother runs. Oakley’s manager spots a photo of Vaughn in her sister’s office when he was visiting his brother at work. One thing led to another and Vaughn is being approached to be Oakley’s new “normal” girlfriend. Since her parent’s passing a couple of years ago, Vaughn and her sister have been struggling to make ends meet. So, while spending a year pretending to be some spoiled musician’s girlfriend isn’t at the top of her list of things she wants to do, she can’t turn down the money that comes with the job. I really enjoyed this story. It was so less dramatic than Paper Princess, but not any less addictive. I love celebrity romances and this one delivered. While there wasn’t any over the top drama, you did have a jealous boyfriend, jealous fans, and some teenage angst. However, we also got a ton of swoon-worthy scenes. Even thought Oakley starts out as a bit of a douche, he quickly changes his tune and is actually attentive when it comes to Vaughn. Heck, even in the first meeting between these two, even though he’s irritated by the fact he needs a fake girlfriend, he notices that she’s hungry and makes a point to have food ordered for her. Granted, he was the reason she was sitting in that meeting for hours, waiting for him to actually show up, is neither here not there. I just really liked that the author’s softened Oakley up some, while still maintaining his edge. Even though Oakley did things for Vaughn, she also did a lot for him, too. She tried to give him normalcy. She threw him a birthday party, she invited him over for a BBQ, she even set rules for her friends so that she could bring him to a high school party. It was the little things like that that really made you see Oakley in a new light. You could tell he craved a normal life, but at the same time was used to, and sort of loathed, playing the celebrity role 24/7. He was also always so sure someone was doing or saying something in order to get in his good graces to benefit themselves instead of just wanting to be his friend. So, it was those little moments where Vaughn pulled him into her world that made me fall head over heels for this couple. I could honestly go on and on about this book. I loved the characters, I loved that we got to see some behind the scenes with Oakley, and I loved that for being something that seems unlikely to ever happen, the authors made you believe in it. There was no crazy over the top drama. Oakley wasn’t some condescending jerk that belittled Vaughn at every turn up until he realized he liked her. He was so respectful of Vaughn that you couldn’t help but fall in love with him. This was an amazing story and I’m soon coming to realize that Erin Watt is a force to be reckoned with. These two authors really know how to write an engaging story.
lenorewastaken More than 1 year ago
5 stars — OMG OMG OMG OMG!!! I have a weakness for celebrity romances, which seems fitting given our blog name. And this one was done up just perfectly for my tastes!! It hit all the buttons that I love, and I ended it hugely satisfied! Well, if I’m being frank, I was bummed when it was all over, I really just wanted more and more and more…like a whole novella’s worth of epilogue would be great. I’ll wait. ANYWAYS. I will admit that I was worried at the beginning that I wouldn’t fall in love with Oakley, b/c he really was an entitled spoiled brat douche. And yet, I did fall in love! Watching the way his character grew was freaking AMAZING!! I totally believed in his growth, it went at a fairly realistic pace and I appreciated why he was such a dick to begin with. I felt sorry for the struggles that he faced, and watching him become the man he was always supposed to be was ridiculously satisfying. So all those moments where I wanted to smack him became worth it in the end. I love watching a fictional celebrity being taken down a peg, and having that be the best thing for them. And Vaughn was her own set of conundrums!! There were so many things I LOVED about her, she was the perfect foil for Vaughn! I loved how she didn’t fall under his celebrity spell, and how she stood up for herself a lot of the time. I loved how much she cared for the people she loved, and how she took care of them. And it wasn’t just that she showed that kindness and care to the people she was close to, she showed kindness and empathy for EVERYONE, or at least as much as was reasonable. She brought changes in Oakley just by being herself. But she had her own growing to do. Her relationship with her boyfriend, which I totally didn’t see coming (not hinted at in the blurb, and made me leery of cheating and triangles, but it wasn’t too bad), was extremely dysfunctional. Which, honestly, made me annoyed with her. But like with Oakley, I was sort of able to understand how the situation came to be, and it made her feel more realistic. She wasn’t perfect. She’d kind of trapped herself with fear. And so we got to see her growth too. And OMG, once Oakley and Vaughn started to connect, SWOON!!!! Seriously, they had a bit of a rough ride, but those tummy butterfly moments were EVERYWHERE and I LOVED them!! The chemistry was fantastic, and it was both steamy and sweet. I loved that I actually got to see them develop a relationship based on more than lust… I LOVED the way they interacted, and how they were with each other. How they brought out the best in each other, even as they struggled as individuals. And the secondary characters!!! Lots of fantastic ones, from Ty and Paisley to the twins to Oak’s Mom to King, to even the glimpses of Vaughn’s friends! They all added their own flavour to the story, and made it that much more. But Ty was my favourite. I actually fully believe that the life of a celebrity can be just awful, and this book showcased the truly horrible downsides. Having so many people take advantage of you, not knowing who are your real friends, having perfect strangers feel they are entitled to pictures with you, talking to you, etc. I can’t imagine what it’s like for those that honestly just want to perform, but have to accept the rest of celebrity in order to do it. OK, I’mma stop gushing now. I’m just so happy, it was just a perfect Lenore book and I LOVE that. I know this is a book I’ll end up rereading in the fut
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing. Really well done
MinaTheFangirl More than 1 year ago
I adored the main female character, Vaughn Bennett, probably because I could relate to her personality so well. She has a strong sense of family and always puts their needs first, especially her younger twin brothers. Her sense of responsibility to, not only take care of her younger brothers in the absence of her parents, but also to financially help her older sister is what puts her in the whole hired-to-be-a-celebrity’s-fake-girlfriend-scheme in the first place. She also has an awful (and I’m not just saying this because I like Oakley way better. This jerk is literally the worst and probably the only thing I really hate about this book.) boyfriend who she has known for years, so she’s comfortable with him. I admire how Vaughn does not put up with Oakley “Oak” Ford’s awful attitude towards her in the beginning of their farce without dishing back some of her own, and has shown in multiple occasions that 1) she is not one of his fangirls who worships the ground he walks on and will bend to his every whim, and 2) despite the fact that she is being paid to be his fake girlfriend, she has principles and is a decent human being. (Unlike a lot of the people in Oakley’s life, unfortunately.) One major thing that really irked me about Vaughn though, was how she seemed to have two completely different personalities when it came to her real life relationship with her boyfriend (we don’t need to remember his name, he’s not worth it – yes, I hate him that much), and her fake one with Oakley. She was a pushover and timid in her real relationship, but with Oakley she had more backbone and an attitude to match his. She was her genuine self with Oakley, but with her boyfriend she constantly filtered herself and held her tongue. Oakley Ford seems like your typical spoiled, bad boy, rock star but his parts in the book that are in his point of view give his character more depth, and made him immensely more likable for me. I’ll admit, in the beginning I found him completely irritating and the epitome of spoiled teenage jerk, but as the story progressed I grew to like him more and more. Seeing how his side of fame looked – being unable to even step foot on the beach in his backyard because there would likely be paparazzi or someone would recognize him and start a mob – really made me sympathize with him and made me wonder about the lives of the celebrities I admire and idolize. The development of Vaughn and Oakley’s relationship from barely tolerating each other, to tentative friends, then to real boyfriend and girlfriend was really well done, and highlighted each character’s strengths and weaknesses. Both characters complemented each other’s personalities really well and helped the other become a stronger and better version of themselves. Their romance was also really sweet and fluffy and totally had me fangirling. There is some angst but not as serious as there was in The Royals series, but that twist at the end!? Completely caught me off-guard even though I probably should have been expecting it. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed “When It’s Real” and highly recommend it if you love stories with the following troupes: fake relationship turned real or rock star and normal girl meet and fall in love. (Both are a guilty pleasure of mine.) Or if you are looking for a fluffy, sweet romance with a little bit of spice (meaning, this is mature YA). **Review originally posted on My Fangirl Chronicles**
thereadingchick More than 1 year ago
When Vaughn Bennett meets pop star and teen idol Oakley Ford she is totally unimpressed. He’s late, rude and well, a bit stuck up. She used to be a big fan of his music, but that attitude! Vaughn unfortunately has to suck it up because she’s been hired to be his fake girlfriend to help improve his image. It took Vaughn and Oakley a long time to warm up to each other, so the first two thirds of the book was all about the tension between the two of them. Oakley was also used to getting everything he wanted, so his lack of courtesy towards Vaughn really made him out to be a jerk. That lack of courtesy wasn’t just one sided though, Vaughn was also not very nice to Oakley for that same period of time. This may have been why I had a hard time with these two characters. I’ll admit that when they finally learned how to be friends with each other I grew to like them more and had an easier time with their transition to love. I thought it interesting that Vaughn and Oakley were both so independent. Vaughn because her parents died in an accident leaving she and her older sister to raise their younger brothers. Oakley was raised by actor parents and had emancipated himself at 15 from them so he could make his own decisions about his career. His parents pretty much dropped out of his life at that point leaving him to raise himself. Vaughn and Oakley’s history should’ve given them a commonality, and it was certainly used, but not until much later in the book when they stopped antagonizing each other and became friendly. Once they did, those similarities did provide that bond, but I wanted it much sooner! This was a book that should’ve been easier to like. I thought the plot was interesting, and the characters back stories made them human and sympathetic. When they finally really became a couple I really did enjoy the story, I just wanted them to get there a little sooner than they did. However, once they got over that hump I found that I easily forgave them for taking so long to get there, and Erin Watt really does craft a good story. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story. Every young girls dream is to meet and fall in love with their teenage idol. This story is filled with emotions and struggles of an enlikely relationship that was to be fale, but becomes so real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book and a fast read. Sweet story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really great read but Paper Princess series is still my favorite!
LightningCityBookReview More than 1 year ago
Erin Watt always hits that sassy and sweet mark with her New Adult Romances. "When It's Real" has main characters that spark in a battle of wills and with high energy adorable chemistry. This books features a delicious mash-up of an enemies to lovers and faux girlfriend trope. Oakley Ford's a nineteen-year-old music superstar. He's already earned a few Platinum and Diamond albums since launching his career during his early teens. Now his reputation is that of an out-of-control womanizing partier. His label and manager want to turn that image around. Frankly, Oakley's tired of the lifestyle. He feels that even people he considers to be his friends are using him for his money and celebrity. Oak's the son of Hollywood royalty and his parents are jealous of his success. His fans feel he's their property and grab him without warning, so he hates being touched, unless he initiates it. Vaughn Bennett's a seventeen-year-old high school graduate deferring college for a year to help her family. Her parents died and she's working to help her sister pay the bills and raise their younger twin brothers. She has a steady boyfriend named "W" who likes getting his way and is pressuring her for sex. Vaughn isn't ready for that commitment even though she loves W fiercely. Vaughn tells people she wants to be a teacher because that was what her parents were. But isn't passionate about anything nor has the drive to follow any path. She's lost and her only lifelines are her family, W, and her friends. Vaughn is a fascinating character; a combination of strength, loyalty, confidence and self-doubt. She can wisely advise others but lacks the confidence for herself. Erin Watt adds so many subtle touches and side stories that truly make "When It's Real" rich and captivating. The side characters are fun, charming, and delightful. Oakley and Vaughn are adorable, feisty, vulnerable, and lovable. The storyline is engaging and captivating while the pace keeps you thoroughly hooked. There's a lot of conflict in the form of antagonism, misunderstanding, doubt, and vulnerability. Add in the interference and machinations from agents and publicists and a successful relationship would be challenging for anyone. Bottomline Vaughn and Oakley are fabulous and "When It's Real" is addictive. To read the entire review please visit: http://wp.me/p4XqxF-1TT This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed
BookWorm221 More than 1 year ago
This book is just as addicting as the Royals! This fantastic writing duo brings us a sweet and heartfelt story about a boy that despite being surrounded by people all the time he always feels alone and a girl that has the weight of the world in her shoulders. Oakley is a famous singer, he is been making a name for himself for a long time but now his bad boy reputation is catching up with him and on top of that his inspiration for writing new lyrics is running low, so his "team" comes up with the brilliant idea of creating a fake relationship with a normal girl, in enters Vaughn who shares the responsibility with her sister of taking care of her little brothers. It all starts very innocently but soon real feelings start to appear and neither of them know what to do with them. I really loved the relationship that Vaughn has with Oakley, I enjoyed getting to know them and I enjoyed reading about them getting to know each other, this is one of my favorite tropes ever so I was super happy but also presently surprised at all the ways that Erin Watt takes that trope and makes it into something so much more. We see different family dynamics, we see how being supported by the ones you love the most can make or break you at times and also we see how hard it is sometimes to live in the now and take each and every opportunity that comes your way and how hard work really pays off. I just felt so happy and giddy when I was reading this book, it was hard for me to stop reading and I just wanted them to be okay, by the end of the book I was freaking out thinking maybe things weren't going to go the way I wanted them but I shouldn't have worried because Erin Watt sure knows how to write an ending as impactful as the entire book. I'm not sure if this is a standalone but I wouldn't be against reading more form these two characters or from the people that are close to them.
LexyH More than 1 year ago
**4.5 Stars ** Oh how I love everything Erin Watt gives to us readers, the dynamic duo that makes up Erin Watt has a gift and oh did they deliver. When It's Real is no different. Oakley and Vaughan are two of my favorite characters of 2017. Don't expect this story to be anything like The Royals because it's so different, which I think is why I loved it even more. There is just something about Vaughan and Oakley that you love from the first page. I seriously couldn't get over how awesome this book was and how much I loved it. The slow burn romance between these two is something I so needed when I read this and it was perfect. At first you can't get over how spoiled Oakley is and how much of a jerk he is. But when you start seeing the many layers being pulled back, you start to see why he is the way he is and you hurt for him. He might be a rock star but his life seems empty. So when his PR team throws someone normal like Vaughan at him to be his fake girlfriend for year, you kind of hurt for them both. Vaughan hasn't had an easy life recently either, but when this opportunity comes up, she does it for the money. But, does she keep doing it for the money or does she end up really having feelings for him? I LOVED Oakley and Vaughan. I seriously can't say that enough. Their story was unique to them. It shows them each grow up in different ways. Vaughan has to learn to trust the playboy and Oakley has to learn to think more of himself. Erin Watt gave us this story of a normal girl falling in love with a rockstar guy. But in the end, Vaughan gave Oakley the chance to do "normal" things as well. Which made their story even better.
Timitra More than 1 year ago
When It's Real was over the top goodness that kept me highly entertained throughout. It was also annoying at times when I didn't agree with the characters choices and things they said but for the most part I loved these characters and the growth they experienced on their journey. I'd definitely recommend it because it kept my attention even during those moments when I wasn't loving what was happening yet I couldn't help but continue to read. Kudos to the authors for such an enjoyable read. ARC provided by publisher through Net Galley in exchange for a honest review
Momscookingthebooks More than 1 year ago
I will warn those that were fans of the darker Royal’s series (Paper Princess etc.) that this book is nothing like it and for that I was happy. I loved The Royal’s series don’t get me wrong, but I love it when the author’s switch it up and give us something fresh and new. That is exactly what I got with When It’s Real! I truly enjoyed every chapter and I couldn’t put it down. This book gave me a rock star romance, slow burn, frenemies to lovers, and bad boy rocker to girl next door romance all rolled into one! The character development throughout the story was fantastic and I really loved both Oakley and Vaughn. There is a lot that goes on between these two and the supporting cast. As a reader, I enjoyed the journey of witnessing their individual transformations as well as their transformation as a couple. I don’t want to give anything away, so you will have to read this sweet, sexy, fun and engaging read!
tradermare More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars Oakley Ford needs a new image if he wants to work with the producer that could take him to a new level. When his handlers see a picture of Vaughn Bennett, she seems like the perfect girl to clean up his bad boy reputation. Money is a powerful motivator and Vaughn decides to go along with the plan. She becomes almost as managed as Oakley, plus she has to actually spend time with the rockstar's humongous ego. Things start out a bit rocky between Vaughn and Oakley, but as they get to know each other, things change between them. There aren't many twists in this story, but it didn't matter. It was the gradual development of the relationship between Vaughn and Oakley that had me loving both of these characters, which was a feat in itself, since Oakley reminded me of an actual pop star I'm not fond of. But by the end of When It's Real, I really had a good old fashioned crush on Oakley myself. When everything falls to pieces for Oak and Vaughn, I felt it. My only complaint was that the ending was a bit abrupt, but I loved it and what it represented regarding this two young adults. When It's Real is a very sweet new adult title with a very cute and satisfying (fr)enemies-to-lovers romance that kept my interest. It left me with a smile on my face, and that is a very good thing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was everything I wanted it to be, and so much more. I couldn't put it down.