The Fine Art of Pretending


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According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you’re friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.

With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.



An exhale of breath leaves Brandon’s lips, almost like a laugh, and he scoots closer to me on the blanket. I twist my legs under myself, sitting tall as I face him. He cups my chin and tilts it toward him, drowning me in the now dark-green depths of his eyes, the cologne I gave him for his birthday filling my head. It’s woodsy and yummy and I always loved how it smelled on the store testers, but on Brandon, it’s even sexier. My eyes flutter closed, and I inhale again, this time slowly. Goose bumps prickle my arms, and my head gets fuzzy.

Brandon slides his hand down the column of my neck and brings the other up, threading his fingers through the hair at my nape. His breath fans across my cheek, and everything south of my bellybutton squeezes tight.

When his mouth first meets mine, it’s hesitant, questioning. But as I move my lips with his, he quickly grows bolder, coaxing them apart.

Desire, pure and raw, electrifies my veins as his tongue sweeps my mouth. A whimpering sound springs from my chest, and instinctively, I wrap my arms around his neck, tugging him closer. Needing more. My teeth graze his full bottom lip, and I pull it, sucking on it gently.

He moans and knots his fingers in my hair, and a thrill dances down my back.

Brandon is an amazing kisser, just as I knew he would be. I have no control over my body’s reactions. I lose myself in his lips, his tongue, and his strong arms, forgetting time and space and even my surroundings—until Gabi’s snicker brings reality crashing around us, reminding me we have an audience.

And that I’m kissing Brandon.

We break apart, out of breath, and stare into each other’s eyes.

That was unexpected.


*Review copy received from the author for an honest review*

5 “on your word” Stars!!

Rachel Harris and her awesome, sweet, and innocent love stories get me every damn time!! I know the Book Bitches are known for our reviews of mostly smut, but I am also a sucker for those first love romances where it takes you back to those high school years, and those struggles. And this one definitely will take you back. Whether you were one of the “cool” kids, or one of those that didn’t need to be with the “cool” kids, you still can’t help but remember those times. Good or bad!

“Getting attention, being noticed—I thought it would be fun. This is decidedly not.”

In this story Aly is not what they call a “casual.” And this is a good thing, but Aly doesn’t agree. And her best friend Brandon is part of the click that she so wants to be a part of. But let me tell you that the “click” is not all it looks to be.  This story is about A LOT of growing up, and figuring out that not being a “casual” is actually much cooler 🙂

“It’s Operation Sex Appeal,” I clarify. “Hot to Trot makes me sound like a race horse.”

“Operation sex appeal” Is what Aly calls her makeover and it actually made me smile, because not only did Aly learn a lot about herself, but so did almost every other character in this story. Teenage girls, and boys, could learn a lot from this story. Hell, I wish I could have read it back in high school. Lol!! And, yeah, I know every relationship doesn’t work out so perfect in the end for every teenager, but who wants to read that the guy and girl don’t get their happily ever after?!?!

“I just kissed Brandon. And I liked it. A lot.”

I enjoyed all the characters in this story. Even the evil Lauren, who eventually gets her payback 🙂 Aly’s friends, Gabi and Kara, are awesome, funny, and so supportive. I just loved them! They are exactly what girlfriends are supposed to be.  And Brandon…Brandon made me want to squeeze his cheeks and hug him!! Yep, that’s it, because he is way too young for anything else 😉 He is truly a confused (even if he doesn’t know it) teenage guy with an amazing heart, who also was just finding his way 🙂

“As of this moment , Operation Sex Appeal is officially called on account of stupidity.”

This story will make you smile, laugh, be sad (but not much sad, thank goodness), and get angry, at times. It truly is a sweet, sweet, sweet young adult love story about two stubborn best friends finding out there is possibly more to their friendship than just being friends. And I HIGHLY recommend it 🙂




Author Photo

Award-winning and Bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls next door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing.

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romance, and LOVES talking with readers.



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