April 19, 2014


I am thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for Shanna Clayton's PRETENDING, organized by Xpresso Book Tours. Read on for my review, and then enter the tour giveaway. And, don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour!

Pretending, by Shanna Clayton
To Be Published March 12, 2014
e-book, provided by Xpresso Book Tours
new adult contemporary romance/suspense
To Buy: Amazon 

Rating:  4 STARS

(From Goodreads)
Four years.

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.

Three years.

That’s how long Dahlia Reynolds has been living with a total stranger. She’s convinced herself Wesley Kent is no more than an 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?

Pretending was a really pleasant surprise. When I started it, I expected just another new adult book. But, I soon realized that Pretending was like one of those fancy-tinis. You know - it's a martini at its core. But, you add a splash of something else and a twist of another thing, and you have a new drink - a choco-apple-tini. Or whatever. Pretending is a fantastic new adult book with steam and angst and drama. But, it also has a splash of suspense and a twist of mystery. 

Dahlia and Wesley have lived in a huge house together with very minimal interaction for the better part of three years, each formulating opinions about the other based on nothing more than speculation and superficial information. They are both anthropology majors and into treasure hunting, a love instilled by Wesley's father and Dahlia's good friend. As other treasure hunters attempt to steal a particular item, Dahlia and Wesley finally have to work together to stop them. And, they realize their opinions of one another might not have been correct.

I've always been a fan of treasure hunting movies like Indiana Jones and National Treasure. There's something so intriguing about following ancient clues to find items lost by history. Museums are my thing. I'd much rather go to an old city and check out the artifacts than lay around on a beach and get sand in my crack. 

So, maybe that's part of the reason why I loved Pretending so much. It took two things I love - romance and treasure hunting - and mushed them together in a great story. Shanna Clayton is a wonderful writer and knows how to weave a story you won't want to put down. 

Dahlia prefers to be a wallflower, blending into her surroundings. She's lost everyone she's ever loved, and is now content to just stick to her studies, get her degree, and go on the ultimate treasure hunt. She's always been a little afraid of Wesley - always thought of him as a huge jerk. He obviously hates her, but she has no idea why. 

Wesley has a lot of unresolved daddy issues, which he takes out on Dahlia. Well, not really, since he chooses to not even acknowledge her existence. Then, he has a chance to really talk to her and realizes he was wrong about her. When that happened, the change in Wesley was totally swoon-worthy. He admits his mistakes and resolves to make things right between them so they can be friends. 

They share a love of treasure hunting, which was shared by Wesley's family going back generations. Their shared love of ancient mysteries, coupled by the fact that they're both hot and have raging hormones ensure that they won't just stay friends. Shanna knows how to bring the sexy times. And Wesley's chivalry and protective instincts make him a fantastic book boyfriend worthy of all the swoons and sighs. 

As we delve deeper into the mysteries surrounding those who want to beat Dahlia and Wesley to the treasure, as well as some side mysteries surrounding Dahlia's and Wesley's BFFs, I found it easy to get sucked into the story. It was exciting and suspenseful and a lot of fun.  

About the Author

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!

Learn more about Shanna Clayton --> Website / Facebook / Twitter


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Tamara said...

I appreciate the chance at winning. Thanks!

Pixel Berry Pie Designs said...

Thanks for the giveaway!