Pretending by Shanna Clayton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
GENRE: New Adult
THEME: Contemporary, Romance, Mystery
REVIEW:Pretending was a bit of a surprise, I was expecting a new adult romance of two angst college students, but what I got was an Indiana Jones adventure. Pretending was a great start to what I hope is a series, there is so much more that can happen and secondary characters I hope to learn more about.
Pretending follows Dahlia Reynolds who has been living with a roommate in a large mansion, and he really doesn’t want her there. You see the only man she saw as a father figure left her an inheritance along with his biological son Wesley Kent, but there is a catch. Both must earn their college degrees and live with each other for four years, neither know why this was a must. But after finally having a chance in really meeting each other, they discover they have a lot in common and that their chemistry is undeniable. But the Kent family has an interesting secret and it leads to a highly prized treasure.
Dahlia is a shy and quite girl in the beginning; she just wants to stay hidden and unnoticed. But after years of ignoring each other, Dahlia runs into her housemate Wesley and sparks fly…well until he opens his mouth. Dahlia has only known a few things about the guy she’s been living with for three years; he likes girls and likes whiskey. But after one stormy night she finally sees the real him and they connect. It was interesting to see how these two knew so little about each other after three years but also how wrong they were about each other’s character. I liked watching their discovery and seeing how Wesley’s father knew that would find some connection. Dahlia has lost a lot in her life and even more so is blamed for a misunderstanding, I was glad she was strong about it but I felt it was childish of her to hide from it all. I wanted her to stand up and speak the truth about her real father.
Wesley has a bad boy persona, but deep down seeks adventure and also had a terrible falling out with his father before he passed. After the falling out he didn’t understand why his father would to have him go to school and live with his fathers girlfriends daughter for four years. He tried to ignore her until one meeting in their library led to an attraction he couldn’t forget. He slowly learned why his father left, why he chose to have Dahlia stay with him and that he knew their connection would help them both to the right path. I adored Wesley’s reckless and protective nature, he is smart and in the end grows up to do something he is passionate about.
Overall I thought this was such a great adventure story, the truth behind the treasure, and the secret society after it and two young adults were thrown into a dangerous quest. There are also some good secondary characters; they had some side stories consisting of betrayal, secrets, and lots of misunderstandings. In the end it all tied together but I’m hoping that we get more Wesley and Dahlia adventures.
RECOMMENDATION:This is a young adult novel full of adventure and steamy romance. Fans of the Curse Keepers series by Denise Grover and Eversea by Natasha Boyd will enjoy Pretending by Shanna Clayton.
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I’m not sure if my mother predestined me to become a romance author when she named me after her favorite Kathleen Woodiwiss book, but that’s what happened. Now I live and breathe all things books. When I’m not glued to my desk writing, I can be found eating too much chocolate, obsessing over Game of Thrones, and cyber stalking my favorite authors. Keep up with me on Facebook and Instagram. I love hearing from readers!
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