Goodreads Rating: 4.28 / 5 stars
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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?
I received an ARC from the authors / publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Nineteen year old heartthrob singer Oakley Ford is on a two year hiatus in the music industry. He’s a successful, talented musician and worked hard to reach it aside from being the son of famous movie stars. Having a strained relationship with his parents makes him rebellious giving him a bad reputation. His lack of inspiration becomes a hindrance creating a new music and has a difficult time convincing Donovan King, a renowned music producer, to work with him unless he sees the drive, seriousness and maturity.
As a solution, his team got an idea. He’ll have a fake relationship with an ordinary girl, Vaughn Bennett to clean up his reputation. Vaughn is the second eldest child of four children. She helps her older sister Paisley providing their family’s needs since their parents died in a car accident. Though she has a boyfriend (who is a piece of crap by the way), taking the job acting as Oakley’s “girlfriend” for a year will help them financially. She signed the contract and hopefully this fake relationship lasts.
Everything was on the rocks when they first met. Vaughn never thought that the person she used to idolize was a rude, conceited brat. Honestly, I can’t stand Oakley too. The progression from fake to real relationship is adorable and heartwarming. It isn’t an insta-love. These two warmed up when they got to know each other and their relationship is wonderfully developed. They also made me smile whenever they flirt and throw witty comebacks.
I really love the main characters despite of their flaws. Vaughn is simple, hardworking, responsible, and kind. Unlike other girls around, she doesn’t try hard to impress to get attention and she’s exhibits patience in all the things she does. She’s beautiful inside and out. Oakley is a jerk at first but I grew to love him in the end. He’s attractive, charming, sweet and affectionate. It saddens me how his parents treated him, particularly his father. I’m glad Vaughn supports him and Oakley is grateful as she inspires him to be a better person. No wonder these two fell in love with each other and they’re both happy in the end.
Shoutout to my favorite side characters: Paisley and Ty. Is it selfish of me I want them to have their own book? They also made me giddy aside from Oakley and Vaughn. Also a special mention to the characters I want to throw to the Piranhas: W, Luke, Dustin, Claudia and Jim. They really got me on my nerves.
When It’s Real is an enjoyable and winsome story filled with sweet romance, tension, angst and little drama. With Erin Watt’s writing style, it will surely hook you from start to finish and this duo knew how to stir their readers’ emotions. Praises to Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick! I recommend this book to everyone.
Here’s a little teaser from the book: