Release Date: August 11, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush
Genre: Young Adult
Sometimes, blackmail is the only weapon a girl has… Haley Patterson has had a crush on golden boy Bryce Colton for ages. But when she hears a rumor that he hooked up with her she gives him a choice: be her boyfriend for a month to show other guys that she’s dateable—despite her overprotective and very intimidating brothers—or deal with the angry, cage-fighting boyfriend of the girl he actually did hook up with.
Bryce didn’t know the other Haley even had a boyfriend. He was just trying to get his ex off his back. And now, not only is he being blackmailed, he's being blackmailed by an honor student. His new “girlfriend” has two three-legged dogs, her father mows grass at the country club, and she's…well, difficult. And different. Can something so fake turn into something real?
This book was just a lot of fun to read. I loved every character in this story. When Haley blackmails Bryce to be her pretend boyfriend for a month, that deal comes two other characters. Both Bryce and Haley have a best friend, and I absolutely adored those characters. Haley's friend was so cute, so funny, and her theory about cupcakes just about had me rolling. Funny how accurate it is!
I just loved watching the interplay between these four characters. They're all basically in on it together, and I love their lunchtime get togethers and how easy they all are together, despite the awkwardness of the situation. I just fell in love with them all, and to me, it was the characters that really drove the story. I love the back and forth between Haley and Bryce. She's not his ideal girl, or what he usually goes for, and she doesn't take any of his guff. I loved that about her, and I loved how they each struggled internally with what they wanted, and whether there were any real feelings between them.
I was expecting just a cute little read with a predictable ending, but the author actually surprised me a couple of times with some unexpected turns in the story that it made it much more interesting. The romance was slow-building, sweet, but had some passion in it.
The writing itself was incredibly fast-paced. It was told from alternating points of view, which I love, because you get to see what each character is thinking about the other, and have an idea of where they are in the relationship. Those books always tend to read faster to me. Yet, the author created such an entertaining and fun story that it pulled me along so quickly.
Putting it all together, the book just worked for me. It was fun, funny, serious at times with some true depth, and had wonderful characterization. This is my first Chris Cannon story, but I will be looking for others. A great read.