Review: Pretending He’s Mine by Mia Sosa (2018)

Love on Cue, Book 2

Review of Love on Cue, Book 1

Heat Factor: They fantasize a LOT before they actually get together

Character Chemistry: Sizzling

Plot: Is it a real fake relationship if literally everyone knows that it’s fake? (Literally. Everybody.)

Overall: Enjoyable enough

The conflict between Ashley and Julian is established from page one. Julian is not only Ashley’s older brother’s best friend, he’s also Carter’s manager. The double-whammy of friendship and business make the dynamic of Ashley and Julian more complicated than in your standard best friend’s sibling book, because the stakes are higher. Julian fears not only for his friendship with Carter if he acts on his feelings for Ashley – he also worries about his professional standing. Ashley, on the other hand, feels like she’s competing with Carter in all other aspects of her life, and never wants to feel like she comes second with Julian. 

Of course, Ashley and Julian do eventually get together (with the help of a fake relationship to help them get through a weekend house party leading up to Carter’s wedding), and they do eventually have the inevitable fight. You know, the one we’ve been expecting from the beginning, where Julian does put his job first, and therefore puts Carter first. And even though I was expecting the fight, I was still gutted when it happened. 

And that, my friends, should tell you everything you need to know about Sosa and her control over her craft. She made something completely and utterly predictable emotionally resonant, and that takes skill. 

However, although I found the resolution of Ashley and Julian’s arc immensely satisfying, I didn’t love this book as much as I loved Acting on Impulse. Here’s why:

  1. Tori, the heroine from Acting on Impulse, shows up a lot in Pretending He’s Mine. Ashely and Julian are at her wedding, after all. Now, Tori is awesome, and I loved spending time with her again. However, she’s so awesome, such a big personality, that in comparison, Ashley felt a little…bland. 
  2. I had much more sympathy for Lydia, Ashley’s mean girl cousin, than anyone in the story did. Sure, she’s toxic, but Sosa also makes it clear that Lydia feels excluded by the others, and also that she is under immense pressure to put on a good face in spite of challenges. I guess I don’t love the whole thing where a mean girl gets her comeuppance and then we never hear from her again, because there’s always more to the story. The whole thing just made me less sympathetic to Ashley and Julian – if I could see that Lydia was struggling (because Sosa was showing that Lydia was struggling), why couldn’t they? 
  3. The whole “I can’t be with you because it will mess up my liiiiiiiife” got a little bit repetitive. Yes, it meant that their relationship built beautifully to The Fight, but I also just wanted Julian to get over himself. 

As you can see, none of these criticisms are deal-breakers. More like minor irritants on the way to this HEA. 

Buy Now: Amazon

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