Pretending by Shanna Clayton
Publication date: March 12 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
That’s how long Wesley Kent has to live with the girl his dad shacked him up with, and then he can collect his inheritance and escape small town life. He gets through the prison sentence by pretending Dahlia Reynolds doesn’t exist. With three years down and one more to go, he doesn’t expect much to change. That is, until the girl that’s not supposed to exist sharpens into his reality, making it impossible to ignore her.
That’s how long Dahlia Reynolds has been living with a total stranger. She’s convinced herself Wesley Kent is no more than illusion in the hallways. It’s easy to do, especially since that same illusion has never spoken more than two words to her. But one mistaken identity later, and she finds herself caught up in the mysterious world Wesley lives in. One by one, he begins knocking down the safe, comfortable walls she built, leaving her wondering what his motives are. Does he want to expose her—or free her?
Recommended for 17+ due to mature language and adult situations.
Book Review ~ ‘Pretending’ by Shanna Clayton ~ 5 Stars!
This entire review will probably consist of me jumping up and down squealing ‘I LOVE THIS BOOK!’, because honestly, this book was amazing!
I fell in love with this book from the first page. The writing style was just so fresh and drew me into the story and it was one of those books that I couldn’t put down until I’d finished it. I just had to know how it ended. I loved both main characters Wesley and Dahlia, and seeing their different perspectives of their living situation was brilliant. There were times I wanted to whack Wesley around the head for being so close-minded, but he was just so loveable and kind-hearted beneath the hurt that I really couldn’t hold his anger against him. Whilst I as a reader knew the circumstances surrounding Dahlia’s future inheritance of half of Wesley’s fathers assets, I could see how the situation, if not explained, would be a point of contention between Wesley and Dahlia, so it was brilliant to see how this story played out, and how Wesley’s opinion of Dahlia changed before these revelations.
Dahlia was a character that I’m sure a lot of women will relate to. She likes to remain hidden, and attempts to do so by hiding behind thick pale makeup and baggy clothes. It was really heartbreaking to see how she was treated because of the way she dressed, and I first really warmed to Wesley as a character when he tried to keep her from being hurt by some petty frat girls at a party.
There is a case of mistaken identity at the beginning of Wesley and Dahlia’s relationship and it was really funny to witness the ‘kicked puppy’ Wesley when he didn’t understand why he’d been rejected. It also really drew home just how little Wesley knew of Dahlia when he made assumptions about her character. The fact that he didn’t recognise her speaks volumes and made for some relationship development when he learns of his mistakes.
The archaeological mystery of this story was entwined beautifully throughout. It was this that gave the story a real edge and made it so different to many other books in the same genre. I loved that the story was centred around the topic of archaeology, as it made the educational side of the story more realistic and exciting.
There are many twists and turns in this story, with people with false pretences, family drama, romance and the breaking apart of friendships over romantic jealousy. I can’t recommend this book enough.
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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