REVIEW: Playing Pretend by Tamsyn Bester

by - 2:54 PM

“Sometimes you have to care about yourself more.”

Back of the book blurb:

Kadence Kavanagh has spent the last two years trying to rebuild her life. When a job opportunity presents itself, she can’t say no, even if it’s with the man who’s life was ruined by her father’s indiscretion. It’s been years since she last saw Caleb Callahan, and she’s not even sure he remembers her, but she’s determined to give herself a clean slate no matter who she has to work for.
In the unlikeliest of circumstances, Caleb becomes her savior – if somewhat reluctantly - and she discovers that the man she’s read about in the gossip columns is nothing more than a smoke screen. Kadence knows that keeping her distance is for the best, no matter how difficult, but when Caleb proposes the unthinkable, she finds herself caught between what’s real, and what she wishes was real.
 Caleb and Kadence lose themselves in a lie, and when reality comes knocking, they realize that all they were doing was playing pretend…

Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Patchwork Press
ISBN: 9780620676823

A message from the cosmos:

My rating:

            First, I’d like to thank Netgalley and Patchwork Press for sending me an ARC for review purposes! Second, there aren’t any links to where to purchase this novel because I can’t find any. I’m so sorry, because I really wish there was a link to purchase this book because as soon as it comes out, you need to buy it.

            The novel starts off on shaky legs and there a few shaky parts scattered throughout the novel, but for the most part it stands on extremely strong legs. This was my first Tamsyn Bester book and I definitely hope it’s not the last. She has an extremely elegant and powerful voice. I think that’s one of the main reasons why I gave Playing Pretend five stars because of the way the writing makes me feel. I’ve been so busy so I had to read this book in like short intervals and every time, I never wanted to put the book down. Especially those emotional scenes near the end of the book—I promise they’ll ruin your life.

            The plot was super steamy and super intriguing—you have Kadence, who has had to run from her family because her father destroyed the Callahan’s family and you have Caleb who is a CEO and a Callahan. Force these two together and what you get is amazing chemistry and some really fucked up lies. The stakes just kept getting higher and higher and I kept wondering when it was all going to come crashing down, and believe me, it did. And it was glorious.

            Kadence Kavanagh was a beautiful protagonist who had to pay for her father’s mistakes many, many times. I was rooting for her the entire time and when things kept piling up for her, I just wanted to cry. Damn, she was strong too. She kept pushing forward even though no one would’ve blamed her for falling apart. By the end of the book, you’ll think you’ve lost a friend because you don’t want to leave Kadence.

            Caleb Callahan is a world-class jerk. And I loved him, unfortunately. I think that’s how Kadence feels, too. He’s revenge-happy, arrogant, and completely dreamy. He can never say the right thing, but when he does, it’ll shake your world around. But, god, how Kadence forgave him for what he did… he really is the luckiest bastard on the entire planet. Just trust me, this book will make you think about your own morals as well.

            I really enjoyed the tone and feel of this book. I liked the city life of Chicago and all of the uppity parties and snooty bitches that attended them. It was an incredible atmosphere and wonderful to read.

            The only thing that bugged me is that there is a POV shift close to the end of the novel and it’s completely jarring. At least it was for me because I loved Kadence and when it suddenly wasn’t her POV anymore I was pretty sad. I think I understand why Bester did it, but it wasn’t my favorite. It might work for others, though, if you don’t get jarred by things like that.

            I’m definitely picking up more Tamsyn Bester novels!

            Happy Reading!

            The Cosmic Reader

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