Saturday, November 3, 2018

Review: Just Pretending by Leah Rooper and Kate Rooper

The Chicago Falcons, Book Three
by Leah Rooper and Kate Rooper
Entangled Teen
YA Contemporary Romance

NOVEMBER 5th, 2018!!!

It's not easy being royal. Sixteen-year-old Evangeline wears her crown proudly, but between her duties and her overprotective big brother, the idea of romance is just a dream. But a chance encounter in Chicago changes all that….

Sure, seventeen-year-old Tyler Evans loves playing hockey, but he's more concerned about providing for his dad and little sister. Then he meets Eva--and falls head-over-heels in love—and he has two more problems. One, she's his best friend's little sister. Two, she wears a crown.

But then Eva accidentally mistakes Tyler for a visiting prince, and for the first time, Tyler doesn't feel like a nobody. He knows he has to tell her the truth…but not yet.

His plan? To keep up the royal charade as long as it takes to convince Eva he’s the guy for her. Even if he’s lying to everyone…including himself.

Disclaimer: May cause disillusionment. Those girls looking to find their Prince Charming might consider scouting out hockey rinks.


Romance skates into a magical, fairy tale, where the dreams of finding true love touch upon a dab of Cinderella fantasy.

Eva is sixteen and a queen—a position she loves but sometimes notices how much it keeps her from a usual life. When she visits her brother in Chicago, her hopes of having at least a few days of 'normality' disappear when her mother insists she escort a prince around town. But duty calls. Little does she realize that this prince isn't going to be what she expects in many, many more ways than one. The so-called prince gets pulled to the side as one of her brother's hockey friends accidentally takes over the role and soon finds himself in a bigger mess than he can handle.

This book is so charming and sweet! Fans of romances between royalty and 'commoners' are going to love this book. Eva is a wonderful queen, knows her position and maintains all which is expected of her. Although she does have the usual teenage hopes, she's extremely mature (perhaps too much so?) and deals as best she can. But she's missing experience, and that's what makes her easy to like. On the other side, Tyler—a friend of her brother—is a very average guy who is trying the best he can to keep his family and friends satisfied. He's got a heart of gold, although he stumbles from one mistake into the other.

The side characters are like shining spots which add the right zest at the right times. Each one has a fun personality and keeps the tale light-hearted and fun. Especially Tyler's younger sister added humor and spice, which had me smiling more than once.

The romance in the book is as a young adult romance usually is. From Tyler's side, it's full love right away. Eva needs a little more time but tumbles in quickly too. It's missing a little more build-up, but I didn't read the first two books in the series where Tyler had already seen Eva before (although this doesn't appear to be the case visa-versa). The first two books do not have to be read before diving into this one, but it might have made the relationship between the two more interesting. (My guess.) As it was, there wasn't a lot of build-up in this direction. Rather the story hangs on the trouble the mistaken identity causes, which is fun and holds a lot of humorous moments.

The tale fits well for a younger YA audience (12 to 16), although the characters act a little too mature much of the time. I wish there had been more to the plot than the mistaken identity as it did loose spark in the second half of the book and was easy to see where it was all headed. Still, it's a heart-warming read which will have romance fans fuzzy inside and dreaming of the day they might meet the 'prince' of their dreams.

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