Friday, 2 June 2017 / 2 Comments

When it's Real by Erin Watt

 Title: When it's Real
Author: Erin Watt
Publisher: Harlequin Young Adult
Date of Publication: June 1st 2017
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley


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?


Oakley is a young musician known for catchy pop tunes and popular with teenage girls, but he has an image problem. He wants to be taken seriously as a musician, but his bad boy reputation does not endear him to the serious producers he wants to work with. To address this his team decide a relationship with a wholesome, girl next door type is just what he needs to improve his image.

Vaughn is 17 and, after finishing high school early, has taken the year off to help her sister support their younger twin brothers. Her job as a waitress doesn't pay much, so the offer of acting as Oakley's fake girlfriend, for significant sums of money, is something she can't say no to.

Predictably, Vaughn and Oakley do not get along at first, but as they get to know each other, the chemistry builds and what's meant to be a fake romance becomes real.  The developing romance between Vaughn and Oakley is really sweet, while the chemistry is sizzling. The path from fake relationship to real isn't smooth, however. Not least because Vaughn does actually have a real boyfriend, and he's not impressed at being replaced by a rock star.

It reminded me a bit of Kylie Scott's Stage Dive series in feel, but obviously it's intended for a slightly younger audience. This is an enjoyable contemporary romance which addresses some serious issues such as controlling and abusive relationships, and substance abuse.

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  1. This sounds really cute and fluffy. I'll definitely need to be in the mood for something super light. Glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for the review. :)

    Cass @ Words on Paper

    1. It does address some darker issues than many contemporary romances, but it is also light, and fun, and the chemistry is sizzling hot!

      Thanks for stopping by!


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