Just for Show
What happens when an overachieving psychologist with OCD tendencies and an impulsive, out-of-work actress start a fake relationship?Claire Renshaw thought she had it all: a successful career as a couples therapist, a publishing contract for her self-help book, and a happy relationship. But her perfect world falls apart when her fiancée calls off their engagement. Because of that, even her book deal might be off the table. After all, readers don’t want relationship advice from someone who can’t even make her own relationship work.So Claire sets out to hire herself a fake fiancée.Lana Henderson, the actress who shows up to audition for the role, is not exactly Claire’s ideal woman. Her frankness and the messes she leaves everywhere drive Claire up the wall. At least she won’t fall in love with someone like Lana.But soon, Lana starts to win her over with her big heart, tickle fights, and—gasp!—carbs after six. The longer they pretend to be a love-struck couple, the less fake their kisses feel and the more the lines between reality and role begin to blur.Once the book contract is signed, will they walk away or is their relationship no longer just for show?A lesbian romance where role-playing has never been so irresistible.Themes: actress · fake dating · fake relationship · fauxmance · pretend romance · psychologistWords: 103,000

Just for Show Details

TitleJust for Show
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 21st, 2018
PublisherYlva Publishing
Rating
GenreRomance, Lgbt, Glbt, Lesbian, Contemporary, Lesbian Romance

Just for Show Review

  • Lex Kent
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars. This was my kind of book! That darn fake relationship storyline just gets me every time. I think I’m such a sucker for this premise because the author has to really work at the romance. These are not insta love stories, often the characters are opposites or even dislike each other. Authors have to build the chemistry and sexual tension up slowly to make it believable and that is exactly what Jae did here. Anyone who is not living under a rock, and reads lesfic, knows Jae is one of the 4.5 Stars. This was my kind of book! That darn fake relationship storyline just gets me every time. I think I’m such a sucker for this premise because the author has to really work at the romance. These are not insta love stories, often the characters are opposites or even dislike each other. Authors have to build the chemistry and sexual tension up slowly to make it believable and that is exactly what Jae did here. Anyone who is not living under a rock, and reads lesfic, knows Jae is one of the top author talents out there. She did not disappoint with this book, and I easily recommend it to romance fans. I’m going to skip a summary in this review. I don’t want to ruin anything or be too spoilerish. I believe this is a book that should just be picked up and enjoyed. I do want to mention a few things though. There were a few points in this book, that I kind of sat back and said, “that part was really well written”. Of course I think Jae always writes well, but this book stood out to me at times. The warmth in parts, the realism… this book is not perfect, but it made me feel at times that Jae was actually improving her craft. She’s at the point in her career she doesn’t need to, but I think this book was better written than some of her past few offerings. The actual romance storyline, I really enjoyed. It built at such a lovely pace. The sexual tension, the chemistry, I absolutely believed all of it. There is some angst in this book, but it is not forced, it felt organic to the story. There is even an ex in this book, but shocker… she is not a crazy ex. It was actually a realistic ex storyline which is so rare in lesfic! As others have mentioned, there are a few cameos from characters from other books. The secondary characters that showed up the most were Jill and Crash. I was really happy about that as I love the book Just Physical and actually think Jill may be one of my favorites of all of Jae’s characters. There also was a new character, she was a sister of one of the mains and her job was a stand-up comedian. I actually wonder if Jae might try a book with her next. I liked her character and you don’t see many romances with comedians.If you are like me and enjoy the fake relationship storyline, absolutely get this book. If you are a fan of Jae’s or just a romance fan, get this book. It was a joy to read such a good book and I can’t wait to see what Jae writes next.An ARC was given to me by YLVA, for a honest review.
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  • lov2laf
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this more than Jae's other books of late. It ticks some boxes that are usually fun to read: ice queen, fake romance setup, opposites attract, slow burn. And thankfully it's absent of the late break up trope and instalove.I particularly preferred Lana's character especially because she was straight forward and I liked seeing Lana and Claire share their thoughts and feelings. Strangely enough, that's not something we often see in our romance books. There were several cute moments in the I enjoyed this more than Jae's other books of late. It ticks some boxes that are usually fun to read: ice queen, fake romance setup, opposites attract, slow burn. And thankfully it's absent of the late break up trope and instalove.I particularly preferred Lana's character especially because she was straight forward and I liked seeing Lana and Claire share their thoughts and feelings. Strangely enough, that's not something we often see in our romance books. There were several cute moments in the story and I kept reading and wanted to find out how it would all get resolved. Towards the end there's definitely an angsty vibe, first for them to get together and then how will they stay together?Like many romances in this genre, at least one of the characters is very well off and model beautiful. Lana, at least, is a counter having imperfections and a little weight on her.I wouldn't call this a perfect book but the read is a pleasant and solid romance. For me, Jae's last batch of books have a paint by numbers feel. This one, though, had just enough falling outside the lines to make it worthwhile.3.85
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  • Tiff
    January 1, 1970
    Jae, she does it every time. What does she do? She writes a damn good book, that's what she does. Every single time I am just floored by the work she puts out. I loved her newest novel, Just for Show. Loved, loved, loved it. A classic romance that does everything perfectly! Dr. Claire Renshaw has her life perfectly mapped out. she has a thriving career, her book is complete, she is next in line to take over the counseling practice that she works in and she has a gorgeous and sucessful fiancé. Li Jae, she does it every time. What does she do? She writes a damn good book, that's what she does. Every single time I am just floored by the work she puts out. I loved her newest novel, Just for Show. Loved, loved, loved it. A classic romance that does everything perfectly! Dr. Claire Renshaw has her life perfectly mapped out. she has a thriving career, her book is complete, she is next in line to take over the counseling practice that she works in and she has a gorgeous and sucessful fiancé. Life according to Claire is going splendidly. Well, that is until Abby, her soon to be wife, tells her its just not working anymore. I love you but I'm not in love with you anymore. Inset mega-sized dagger right into Claire's ego. So what would this relationship guru who needs to have her book published ASAP do? Well, hire a Hollywood actress to fill in of course. Lana Henderson is a starving artist. She has had a well-paying acting gig in two years. Of course, during that time she has been recovering from a near-fatal car accident that has left her with mental and physical scars. Lana takes a chance on Claire's proposal, because how the hell else is she going to pay these ridiculous medical bills that just keep coming.The premise of this story is not new. You have seen films with Hollywood A-listers and romance books galore that have had this same idea of a relationship for hire. Not new, but so very good. What is so great about this book is that the main characters are dynamic and adorable. Not to mention the chemistry between them is sizzling hot. Its a fun read and I adored my time with it! You can always count on Jae to give a quality book. Every. single. time.
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  • Lexxi Kitty
    January 1, 1970
    *I received this book from Ylva Publishing for an honest review*An exciting event occurred last night – I glanced at my Kindle and saw a new Jae book sitting there (this isn’t magic or unexpected, I had requested the book). And, as luck would time it, I’d just finished a different story right before I noticed. Naturally, though, I couldn’t begin right then and there, for reasons, except I did and found it hard to pull myself away, as I really did need to go off and do something else at the time. *I received this book from Ylva Publishing for an honest review*An exciting event occurred last night – I glanced at my Kindle and saw a new Jae book sitting there (this isn’t magic or unexpected, I had requested the book). And, as luck would time it, I’d just finished a different story right before I noticed. Naturally, though, I couldn’t begin right then and there, for reasons, except I did and found it hard to pull myself away, as I really did need to go off and do something else at the time. Course I was unnecessarily teasing myself, since that ‘something’ was walk to a train station and commute, so my departure from the book was brief. I then proceeded to gobble 81% in almost one go (if you count 7 hours as one go; one go, is that actually a phrase or am I just randomly putting words together again?). But then needed to sleep. As previously noted, though, hard to stop reading.Simple enough reason why it was difficult to pull the book from my hands – I really like both main characters - Claire Renshaw, psychologist, and Lana Henderson, struggling actress & barista. Both of whom are allowed their own point of views to be seen. Oh, and when I say I liked both main characters, I mean separately as their own people, and together. Though the two first meet under odd circumstances – at an audition. Lana was there thinking she was there for a film audition (though thought it odd she was the only one in the waiting area); Claire was there because her agent (literary) talked her into it. It wasn’t a film audition, though, but an audition to be Claire’s fake fiancée. But then, I’m off chronologically, as the reader already knows why Claire might need a fake fiancée. Since the book opens with the real one taking off. Strangely enough, despite going out of their way (agent and Claire) to find a fake girlfriend for Claire, they came up with someone completely different than her norm. This is where I was going to slide in things like ‘not super thin’; ‘not a lawyer or the like’; and the like, but I got distracted and when I came back I lost the thread. Long and short – there’s a certain cultural clash on obvious display in this book, and part of that, and part of why Lana is a struggling actress instead of a leading actress, is the part in which Lana isn’t ‘standard’ actress thin, instead being curvy and comfortable in her larger than normal body. Bah, I keep getting distracted with scenes from the book flashing in my brain, messing up my ability to write.I move to how I almost started this little write up – the game of connecting the dots. Or, more accurately, connecting books to this one. Through side characters. But let’s see if I can do that without just bluntly stating book titles.I’ve mentioned the main characters, very briefly (read, learn for yourself, they good people), so something about the side characters now, as noted in that mini-paragraph above. The previously encountered via other stories side characters are almost entirely meet through Lana Henderson’s side of things. I’m fumbling around in my brain, thinking hard, but I can’t think of anyone on Lana’s side who isn’t a previously meet character (other than her mother, but never meet), and finally remember her step-sister, Avery. Interesting, thinking to myself, there’s one character on Lana’s side not previously meet; and one character one Clarie’s side previously meet. Right, so – Lana’s mother, despite never actually appearing in the book, plays a somewhat important role in the book, as an example of someone addicted to self-help books, and as someone who pulled psychologists into Lana’s orbit (and made her wish to avoid them as much as possible – see, more conflict, since that’s Claire’s life). Avery is actually seen, somewhat barely (well more than barely but near that), as Lana’s boss at the coffee shop Lana works at (though they act more like sisters there than employee/employer). And then there are all those previously meet characters – not previously meet in this book, but in previously works.Lana learned about the audition through her friend Jill, who in turn was informed of it by, I think, her friend Mercedes Soto. Jill and her girlfriend, Crash, pop up several times in the book. When some pictures are needed to be taken, Lana turns to her friend Michele to take them, being as she’s a professional photographer. And Lana both eats at another friend’s family restaurant, then later in a different meal, eats with that friend, Laleh, and her girlfriend Hope. I might be forgetting someone but I think I got every character who has previously appeared, at least those meet through Lana. Jill and Crash are from Just Physical (and other books, but that’s the one they star in); Laleh and Hope are from Heart Trouble; and Michele is the Hollywood series character who normally doesn’t get to do more than occasionally be mentioned or spotted, and is from Departure from the Script (Amanda, from that same book, is, as far as I recall, not seen or mentioned). (Somewhat strangely, Claire makes a joke in the book about maybe needing an actress for a job, then jokingly says Grace’s name, despite Grace never being mentioned to Claire (Grace is mentioned as someone invited to a party that Lana can’t go to, told to Lana without Claire present (Grace’s Lauren was also mentioned in that same conversation (Grace and Lauren from Damage Control), as were Jordan and Emma from Falling Hard)).On Claire’s side of things, several side characters also wander throughout the book. That would include that literary agent, already mentioned (Mercedes Soto), both of Claire’s parents are meet several times, as is her sister Stephanie. And ex-girlfriend Abby. And the various people from Claire’s work like Renata and Vanessa. Oh, and that character previously meet? Barely in the book, is mentioned and is meet – the radio psychologist Dr. Christine Graham from Midnight Couch who interviews Claire. Though, as far as I could tell, there is no previous connection between Claire and Christine.Well, I just spent way too much time playing connect the books. Pfft. Long and short – loved the scenery, images, characters, and story I encountered in this book. I had two specific problems with the book, but I worked past them. How to word it, hmms. First problem consists of a sequence of scenes that seemed forced and weirdly out of character – not that the action itself was, just how everything was being presented, as if the characters needed to go from here to there, so . . . they did. Wow this is vague. Less vague for those who have read the book – it’s the scene that involves Claire and Lana going to the top of the hotel to drink – which weirdly seemed forced. The second problem I had involved how the book ended in longish sex. I watched as the percentages increased, as the book got closer and closer to 100% and continued reading what I didn’t particularly want to read right then and there though knew there were those who would, feeling vaguely cheated, for reasons, then, finally, action moved to a few tiny moments out of the bedroom before concluding. Funny thing to have a problem, of course, but, meh, was something I personally had a problem with since I wanted to spend more time with the two in the real part of their relationship.((view spoiler)[crap, people are talking loudly around me and it’s bloody impossible to write a review (hide spoiler)])Rating: 4.89February 6 2018
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  • Netty
    January 1, 1970
    Now that’s the kind of book that'll get most romance fans out of a reading funk, I really enjoyed that, had me glued to my iPad, both character’s were very well explained in appearance which is always a plus for me, I loved that Lana was a bit overweight, made a change from the perfect body we always read about, fair enough Clair was perfect but she was a bit of an ice queen/bitch so I really liked her, this storyline has definatly been done time and time again but i still loved it, the sex was Now that’s the kind of book that'll get most romance fans out of a reading funk, I really enjoyed that, had me glued to my iPad, both character’s were very well explained in appearance which is always a plus for me, I loved that Lana was a bit overweight, made a change from the perfect body we always read about, fair enough Clair was perfect but she was a bit of an ice queen/bitch so I really liked her, this storyline has definatly been done time and time again but i still loved it, the sex was a little tame for my liking and it could have done with less of the silly thinking from both character’s!4.5 stars ARC was given for an honest review.
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  • Alexis
    January 1, 1970
    Two thumbs up!When it comes to the fake relationship trope it seems to me writers either knock your socks off or make you wonder why you even picked up the book in the first place. Jae has definitely hit the nail on the proverbial head with this novel. Although I really didn't like Claire in the beginning and was wondering if I would even want to continue reading about such a shallow, stuck-up control freak of a character, I eventually really began to like her as she started loosening up a littl Two thumbs up!When it comes to the fake relationship trope it seems to me writers either knock your socks off or make you wonder why you even picked up the book in the first place. Jae has definitely hit the nail on the proverbial head with this novel. Although I really didn't like Claire in the beginning and was wondering if I would even want to continue reading about such a shallow, stuck-up control freak of a character, I eventually really began to like her as she started loosening up a little. Lana on the other hand had me wrapped around her finger as soon as she was introduced.Full of great dialogue, some very sweet moments and loads of sexual tension this is a great novel to read for those hopeless romantics among us!Overall 4,5* rating.
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  • Jane Shambler
    January 1, 1970
    It's Jae..... What more is there to say? Always a good story, always good characters and always a great read. Am I biased? I don't think so! I always tend to like Jae's writing. She is easy to read and allows you to connect with her characters.The story is an old one that you've probably seen on the big screen. Someone needing a partner urgently and advertises for one. But what makes this one better then the rest is that there is a lot of chemistry between the two leads and it is really well wri It's Jae..... What more is there to say? Always a good story, always good characters and always a great read. Am I biased? I don't think so! I always tend to like Jae's writing. She is easy to read and allows you to connect with her characters.The story is an old one that you've probably seen on the big screen. Someone needing a partner urgently and advertises for one. But what makes this one better then the rest is that there is a lot of chemistry between the two leads and it is really well written.Honestly, it is a great read and I don't think you will be disappointed. Enjoy!*ARC provided by publisher via Ylva Publishing*
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  • Luce
    January 1, 1970
    5 StarsI rarely am able to finish a full length novel in one day. I did this one. Jae is so readable it was a breeze. A very enjoyable breeze at that. This is not an unusual plot line - one person (usually wealthy) pays someone to pretend or actually be their girlfriend/fiancé/wife. I was surprised when I read that Jae was writing such a common plot. Not to worry, It’s Jae.Psychologist Claire hires an actress, Lana to pose as her fiancée because she is trying to get her book on how to have a suc 5 StarsI rarely am able to finish a full length novel in one day. I did this one. Jae is so readable it was a breeze. A very enjoyable breeze at that. This is not an unusual plot line - one person (usually wealthy) pays someone to pretend or actually be their girlfriend/fiancé/wife. I was surprised when I read that Jae was writing such a common plot. Not to worry, It’s Jae.Psychologist Claire hires an actress, Lana to pose as her fiancée because she is trying to get her book on how to have a successful relationship published. The problem, her longtime girlfriend dumps her at their engagement party. She fears no one would be interested in a book by someone who didn’t have a successful relationship themselves. So Claire and Lana navigate convincing friends and family their relationship is real and the guilt of lying to them, living together especially when Claire has OCD tendencies and Lana does not and what to do when their mutual attraction grows. Highly recommend this book.
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  • Corporate Slave
    January 1, 1970
    Oh Jae I feel so bad writing this review because I’m such a big fan! I was so excited to start this book, come on it’s Jae!Lately I’ve read a couple of amazing fake relationship books and unfortunately this comes the last on my list. I didn’t connect with the characters that’s for starters.I also got so bored of the storyline where the ice queen always needs to be rich.. and falls in love with her opposite who’s always suffering. There was a good twist where you get to see some characters poppin Oh Jae I feel so bad writing this review because I’m such a big fan! I was so excited to start this book, come on it’s Jae!Lately I’ve read a couple of amazing fake relationship books and unfortunately this comes the last on my list. I didn’t connect with the characters that’s for starters.I also got so bored of the storyline where the ice queen always needs to be rich.. and falls in love with her opposite who’s always suffering. There was a good twist where you get to see some characters popping in from her previous books, that was my fav part of the story.
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  • Arn
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received from YLVA for a fair review.3.85 stars. It's Jae so of course it's good but the book has some issues I can't ignore. First the good things. I think it's paced well and the plot is interesting (even though I've read about almost the exact same thing before, I don't recall the name of the book but it was about an author precisely in the same situation - a book on relationship advice, girlfriend left, book deal cannot be allowed to go wrong, there was an escort in place of actress thou ARC received from YLVA for a fair review.3.85 stars. It's Jae so of course it's good but the book has some issues I can't ignore. First the good things. I think it's paced well and the plot is interesting (even though I've read about almost the exact same thing before, I don't recall the name of the book but it was about an author precisely in the same situation - a book on relationship advice, girlfriend left, book deal cannot be allowed to go wrong, there was an escort in place of actress though which Jae references in this book so she's self aware :D ). Still, it's fun. Especially because Just for Show is far better written than the other one. I certainly wasn't bored.Now to what went wrong. First of all the characters - I don't think I really got to know them that well even though it's not that short of a book. Their life goals and motivations largely stayed unexplained. There's a book that needs to be published at all costs because Claire always wanted to publish that type of book. That's it. Why does she go out of her way to that extent and why does it need to be published right now? No idea. She certainly doesn't need the money and she's not a professional author. Meanwhile Lana wants to act, she doesn't get roles because (view spoiler)[of her curves and accident. (hide spoiler)] That pretty much sums up what I got to know about her all throughout the book besides some of her hobbies I guess. I don't know... it's all presented in a superficial way to tick some boxes off. Then there are the story issues. They are put in a situation, they clash and then in a classically opposites attract kinda way they get together. They do have some previous baggage relationship wise but it all felt inconsequential. Claire is not really that hung upon her previous failed relationship and Lana's baggage felt really manufactured. In fact many things in this book are too convenient. Lana's background was specifically written so she'd dislike Claire at first. There was nothing natural about it. Same with events in the book, a lot of them felt forced for drama and plot progression. To me the flow of it all didn't feel natural.The sex scenes were ok'ish, I wasn't really invested in them because I didn't feel that much love between them. There certainly was sexual chemistry but otherwise it felt they got together because of circumstance and not because of love. I'm not sure why they love each other besides the age old "opposites attract" or "opposites complete each other"...Then there's that crosspromotion'y thingy going on with tons of characters from her previous works. I didn't count but as I now recall it was eight or nine characters from her other books? At one point there are five characters from her previous books in the same scene! Almost no new characters of note appeared in this book. It kinda felt like fan fiction at some points when all of these well established characters start to appear and instead of focusing on the story I'm sitting and recalling other books she's written and what they were about.Overall an entertaining book with some flaws but worth a read nonetheless.
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  • Rosi
    January 1, 1970
    In this book, almost from the beginning, you are waiting for the disaster to unfold. The situation has its logic, but there are so many factors that can throw everything away, which is a matter of time that everything falls apart. Meanwhile, as is also to be expected, Claire and Lana are discovering that not everything they are performing is fiction, overcoming their great differences in personal situation, family background and childhood. With all that you can think that the book can be predict In this book, almost from the beginning, you are waiting for the disaster to unfold. The situation has its logic, but there are so many factors that can throw everything away, which is a matter of time that everything falls apart. Meanwhile, as is also to be expected, Claire and Lana are discovering that not everything they are performing is fiction, overcoming their great differences in personal situation, family background and childhood. With all that you can think that the book can be predictable and uninteresting. But it's not like that, since being hooked from the beginning, you're always eager to read how the author will solve situations. For me, this has been a good book, with a good story, with a good development of the attraction between the two protagonists and with a good ending.
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  • Gaby
    January 1, 1970
    This is another fantastic book by Jae, a heart warming romance about a fake relationship between psychologist Claire Renshaw and barista/actress Lana Henderson. Dr. Renshaw is a successful couples therapist with a mild obsessive compulsive disorder and a big reputation at stake when her fiancée calls the engagement off. As an expert in relationships, a career changing book deal might fall through if her publisher realises that she's been dumped. Hiring an actress to play the role of her fiancée This is another fantastic book by Jae, a heart warming romance about a fake relationship between psychologist Claire Renshaw and barista/actress Lana Henderson. Dr. Renshaw is a successful couples therapist with a mild obsessive compulsive disorder and a big reputation at stake when her fiancée calls the engagement off. As an expert in relationships, a career changing book deal might fall through if her publisher realises that she's been dumped. Hiring an actress to play the role of her fiancée seems to be the perfect solution, at least in theory. But when Lana appears in Claire's life with her untidiness, her diet full of carbs and tendency to put her foot in her mouth, Claire starts second guessing her decision. Will they be able to fake their relationship? And what if it's not so pretend after all? Lately there's been a few lesfic books on sham marriage or fake relationships with different degrees of success. 'Just for show' is one of the best (if not the best) I've read so far. As usual, Jae likes to deviate from the common stereotypes portraying Lana as a plus size woman proud to show her curves and happy to enjoy food. Jae tackles issues such as anxiety and OCD with tact and the rest with a healthy dose of humour. She exploits the absurd fake relationship situation with great skill.“I want you to be my girlfriend.” For a moment, all Lana could do was stare at her. Was this some kind of joke? Then the humor of the situation overcame her. “Shouldn’t you at least buy me dinner first?”The dialogues are witty, the chemistry is off the charts and the secondary characters are spot on. Jae is a master of the 'show not tell' in lesfic (no wonder she's authored a non-fiction book on the issue), the pace is perfect and the growing chemistry is believable. A pleasure to read.As a bonus, readers can catch up with the lives of Jill and Crash from 'Just physical' and Lelah and Hope from 'Heart trouble' who make their appearance as secondary characters.Overall, a very entertaining, well written, heart warming romance. Highly recommended. 5 stars.This book is in my list of recommended books of the month:https://lezreviewbooks.wordpress.com/...ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.See all my reviews at www.lezreviewbooks.wordpress.com
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  • MD
    January 1, 1970
    I just love the " Fake Relationship" Trope, you add an Ice-Queen and that's it you have me.I have been wanting to read this book for a while but I wanted it to be my 100th read of the year, so I had to wait. Now the book: Is not insta-love, is more A well-developed romance, there were some sparks that's for sure, Claire is uptight but Lana little by little makes her loosing up a bit and see that sometimes adventures are cool and no everything have to be put on a calendar. I know that there are m I just love the " Fake Relationship" Trope, you add an Ice-Queen and that's it you have me.I have been wanting to read this book for a while but I wanted it to be my 100th read of the year, so I had to wait. Now the book: Is not insta-love, is more A well-developed romance, there were some sparks that's for sure, Claire is uptight but Lana little by little makes her loosing up a bit and see that sometimes adventures are cool and no everything have to be put on a calendar. I know that there are many fake relationship books lately but this one is quite nice. I would recommend for anyone who wants to read a good book.
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  • MJS
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received from YLVA in return for an honest review. I don’t think I’ve read a book by Jae that I haven’t liked, and this one is no exception. I’m a bit of a sucker for the fake romance trope, so I liked the basis for the storyline. Both lead characters were also interesting and their chemistry was believable and fun. I liked that Jae’s books give the characters time to get to know each other, thankfully there’s no insta-love here. Kudos to Jae for also having a main character that’s a normal ARC received from YLVA in return for an honest review. I don’t think I’ve read a book by Jae that I haven’t liked, and this one is no exception. I’m a bit of a sucker for the fake romance trope, so I liked the basis for the storyline. Both lead characters were also interesting and their chemistry was believable and fun. I liked that Jae’s books give the characters time to get to know each other, thankfully there’s no insta-love here. Kudos to Jae for also having a main character that’s a normal woman who eats carbs, isn’t a twig and doesn’t hate herself for it. The secondary characters aren’t as fleshed out, although both Lana’s sister and Claire’s family added a bit of dimensionality to their backstories. Crash and Jill from Just Physical pop up a bit and other couples from Jae’s previous stories get cameos or name dropped, (her Heart Stop/Falling Hard stories also form part of the Hollywood universe, although Jae calls them standalone books in her book listings), which is my only gripe, it bugs me when authors feel compelled to tie all of their books together. Because this is a fake dating trope, I usually spend the whole book waiting for them to get found out, and this one was a bit overly complicated because they were keeping up different parts of the same lie, and at the end I was still wondering how they were going to explain to Claire’s boss Lana’s different career. I also loved that there’s no pointless melodrama, and that even though Claire’s ex does feature, she’s not an evil caricature, or a paragon, they’re just women who weren’t suited to each other. This is a nice, pretty charming love story, with believable characters, who aren’t perfect, but end up being perfect for each other. Four stars.
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  • Heinerway
    January 1, 1970
    I agree with most reviews here. This is a wonderful story, warm and fluffy. And it happens that I like fake relationship stories. They are always fun.As a bonus we have a few cameos. Jill and Crash from Just Physical, Lelah and Hope from Heart Trouble. Grace and Lauren from Damage Control are also mentioned.With an ending with more umph or fireworks or whatever, I would have given easily five stars to this book.
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  • Joc
    January 1, 1970
    I nearly stopped reading at page two after: “Listen, Claire. I love you. [… ] But I’m not in love with you anymore.” Been there, got the t-shirt; really don’t want to read the book. But I pushed on to chapter two and was relieved to find I didn’t need to go through the angst only to find I’m hit by another block in my reading pleasure. Usually I enjoy the ‘fake relationship’ trope because it does heighten tension with the fear of being caught out and also because if they do get caught out, there I nearly stopped reading at page two after: “Listen, Claire. I love you. [… ] But I’m not in love with you anymore.” Been there, got the t-shirt; really don’t want to read the book. But I pushed on to chapter two and was relieved to find I didn’t need to go through the angst only to find I’m hit by another block in my reading pleasure. Usually I enjoy the ‘fake relationship’ trope because it does heighten tension with the fear of being caught out and also because if they do get caught out, there is not much harm done.In Just for Show it is a little more complicated. Claire, a highly educated and good psychologist, desperately needs her book on how to sustain a long-term relationship published partly because she wants to take over the running of the centre where she is a therapist but also because it would validate her worth in her parents and colleagues eyes. The hitch is that the publisher wants to meet her and her fiancé before she commits to publishing. Her agent, and friend, suggests hiring someone to be her fake fiancé.So, and this is my dilemma, a renowned psychologist who has expounded her theory on how to keep a relationship going has been unable to follow her own advice (or her advice is wrong) is willing to lie about her own relationship in order to get a book published for prestige and financial gain. Sounds a bit like the anti-gay family-values politician who gets caught in a hotel room with cocaine and an underage prostitute. Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh but I did freak out a bit about the ethics and hypocrisy.I really appreciate the way Jae writes so I carried on reading. I don’t know how she does it, whether it’s the way she develops the characters or how she effortlessly (seemingly) moves the focus of the story to lightness and humour, but before I knew it, I was engaged in Claire and Lana’s story and my issues had receded to the back of my mind.There is always a lovely depth to Jae’s characters. Claire comes across as rigid with OCD tendencies but it becomes apparent that there is so much more to her than initially suggested. Lana initially seems the laid-back type but with each page her thoughts and views deepen. I love that Lana is not skinny but it’s also that it is not an issue. It is filled with great dialogue and lots of interaction with other characters although I would like to have seen more of Claire’s sister, Steph.To my surprise, Just for Show ended up being a wonderful read.Book received from Ylva Publishing for an honest review.
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  • Ted
    January 1, 1970
    Very little to keep things interesting for the vast majority of the book. The mains didn't present with much chemistry whatsoever. The premise is cute, but the road was just way too long. I did appreciate that Lana wasn't a size 2 and was just fine with that. I guess books that center around lies, deception and zero communication between partners, or for this book, actors in their own play as very appealing. Crazy for me to rate this the way I am, as this is the 27th book from Jae I've read. Gue Very little to keep things interesting for the vast majority of the book. The mains didn't present with much chemistry whatsoever. The premise is cute, but the road was just way too long. I did appreciate that Lana wasn't a size 2 and was just fine with that. I guess books that center around lies, deception and zero communication between partners, or for this book, actors in their own play as very appealing. Crazy for me to rate this the way I am, as this is the 27th book from Jae I've read. Guess you can't love em all.
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  • Yoly
    January 1, 1970
    I think it's a rule that every time you read one of Jae's books you say "this one is my favorite", and then you read another one and then that one is your favorite, and then rinse and repeat...So I'll just say this one is my favorite (along with all of her other books) just to be safe :)You might think that you have read every fake-relationship/fauxmance book that you needed to read until you get to this one. I loved the story, I loved the characters, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed wishing t I think it's a rule that every time you read one of Jae's books you say "this one is my favorite", and then you read another one and then that one is your favorite, and then rinse and repeat...So I'll just say this one is my favorite (along with all of her other books) just to be safe :)You might think that you have read every fake-relationship/fauxmance book that you needed to read until you get to this one. I loved the story, I loved the characters, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed wishing that Jae writes a novel about Claire's sister. I would love to read more about her, she was a great character.
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  • Kurt
    January 1, 1970
    I was surprised I liked this as much as I did. The rent-a-girlfriend/fiancée has been done before with varying degrees of success but Jae's take on the theme is enjoyable fluid reading. I felt I knew the characters and liked them. Claire confronting her desire to win regardless of cost was well handled and I really enjoyed her character's arc in the story.Well done.
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  • Corrie
    January 1, 1970
    Just for Show gave the reader what was promised in the blurb. Two women from different walks of life sign a contract to play happily engaged couple. One gets a coveted book deal out of it and the other walks away with 50 grand. And of course shit goes wrong. There is a lot of lying involved, lying to colleagues, lying to friends, lying to family and lying to each other about the feelings that eventually (and unavoidably) pop up during their weeks together playing pretend. Who said it was easy?Th Just for Show gave the reader what was promised in the blurb. Two women from different walks of life sign a contract to play happily engaged couple. One gets a coveted book deal out of it and the other walks away with 50 grand. And of course shit goes wrong. There is a lot of lying involved, lying to colleagues, lying to friends, lying to family and lying to each other about the feelings that eventually (and unavoidably) pop up during their weeks together playing pretend. Who said it was easy?The relationship of convenience trope is a much favored subject for a romance novel and this particular scenario – getting a book contract and a fiancée who does a runner at an unfortunate time felt similar to the Kiss and Tell plot (by Cynthia Dane and Hildred Billings). Only now it wasn’t an escort who was playing the role as the stand-in but an actor. Book Club Buddy D. and I were sufficiently entertained but it didn’t knock our socks off (not that I wear any). I don’t have a real complaint with the book. The writing is solid even with a plot that lacks originality, but maybe I’m expecting too much at this point. Not every book you read ends up on your ultimate favorites shelf. Jae has made a name for herself in lesfic so if you like her other work, I’m sure you will have a good time with this one too.f/f explicitThemes: fake fiancée, lying takes so much energy, a slob and a neat-freak… what can go wrong, cameos galore, the sex scenes where okay… maybe I’m jaded but it just lacked that little extra oompf to make me sit up and take notice.3.8 stars
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  • Rach (Les Rêveur)
    January 1, 1970
    This is definitely my new favourite book by Jae. I literally felt better after reading this book as it is such a heart warming story. I’ve been excited about this storyline from the minute I read the synopsis a few months ago and I could’t wait to get started. Psychologist, Claire has just had her perfect world turned upside down when her fiancé ended their relationship minutes before their engagement party. Claire picks her self up but the news of her break up could ruin any chance at publishin This is definitely my new favourite book by Jae. I literally felt better after reading this book as it is such a heart warming story. I’ve been excited about this storyline from the minute I read the synopsis a few months ago and I could’t wait to get started. Psychologist, Claire has just had her perfect world turned upside down when her fiancé ended their relationship minutes before their engagement party. Claire picks her self up but the news of her break up could ruin any chance at publishing her self help guide on relationships if she’s no longer in one. She needs to be in a relationship to sell that she knows whats she’s talking about. Enter Lana, an out of work actress looking to land her next gig. She’s nothing like Claire expected but sometimes it's what you're not looking for that turns out to be what you can’t live with out.I absolutely adored this book and the characters from the moment I started to read it. Claire was all snobbish and uptight and Lana just unravels her neat little life and its fun to watch. I loved that Jae made Lana more full figured and with heaps of confidence. It made her extremely sexy to the me and she’s definitely a woman I can picture in real life. I also want to mention that this book has the sexiest sex scenes I’ve ever read from Jae… I mean they were HOT!I really enjoyed the secondary characters as well and there might be storyline lurking from Claire's little sister, Steph. When I finished the book I knew she had her own story to tell as did Claire’s ex-fiance, Abby. Quite a few characters and plots that could be written out of this story and that always excites me because I love characters from past books popping up like in this book... Jill and Crash from Just Physical and Laleh and Hope from Heart Trouble pop by and there is also mention of Grace and Lauren from Damage Control… all of these little cameo roles just make my heart happy and satisfy my happy ever after theory about Jaes characters. Another great storyline from Jae that I can’t wait to start reading all over again. This one is definitely going into my favourite shelf. 5 stars
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  • Tiffany
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this book, the dialogue was well done and I really liked Lana and Claire (and Claire’s sister) BUT my one complaint was the over use (wayyy too many times) of the word ‘belly’. I get it already, Lana is voluptuous, curvy, has a ‘soft belly’, etc. Sorry, not really a review, just me feeling irritable right now. LOL.
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  • Dee
    January 1, 1970
    Unlike most of my fellow lesfic readers, who have devoured almost every single one of Jae’s books, this is only the third story I’ve read by this talented author. So, while I don’t have many others to compare it to, this is without a doubt my favourite.Both leads are awesome women. What keeps me glued to the pages of a book is being invested in at least one of the leads. Being invested in two, as was the case here, meant for a couple of late nights of reading into the wee hours of the morning.As Unlike most of my fellow lesfic readers, who have devoured almost every single one of Jae’s books, this is only the third story I’ve read by this talented author. So, while I don’t have many others to compare it to, this is without a doubt my favourite.Both leads are awesome women. What keeps me glued to the pages of a book is being invested in at least one of the leads. Being invested in two, as was the case here, meant for a couple of late nights of reading into the wee hours of the morning.As per the blurb, when Claire is unceremoniously dumped by her fiancée, she needs a fake fiancée to seal a book deal. The thing is, when two very different women who know next to nothing about each other, are thrust together, things are bound to go either extremely well…or not.If you’re looking for convoluted drama, silly miscommunication, we like each other/we hate each other, push-pull conflict, you won’t find it here. And, in a nutshell, the absence of all those things made this story all the more better.I loved the contrast of body image and size. Claire has rigid rules and is extremely thin, whereas Lana is unapologetically curvy. Again, their acceptance of each other, warts and all, okay no warts, was heart-warming.While I could go on and on about all the things I loved about this story—I wrote about two pages of notes—I can sum it up in two words; LOVED IT!Just for Show gets 5 big fat hearts from me.Reviewed for LoveBytes LGBTQ book reviewshttp://lovebytesreviews.com/2018/03/0...
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  • Jasmine
    January 1, 1970
    You cannot go wrong with anything Jae writes. You just can’t. She is a master at her craft. Claire, a psychologist, is trying to get her book published to push her career forward. The only problem? She's trying to sell a self-help book about relationships. And her fiancé cancelled their engagement, at their engagement party. She doesn't have a choice. She needs a new (fake) fiancé stat. Lana is a struggling actress, she's been working in a coffee shop, taking any audition she can. She takes an a You cannot go wrong with anything Jae writes. You just can’t. She is a master at her craft. Claire, a psychologist, is trying to get her book published to push her career forward. The only problem? She's trying to sell a self-help book about relationships. And her fiancé cancelled their engagement, at their engagement party. She doesn't have a choice. She needs a new (fake) fiancé stat. Lana is a struggling actress, she's been working in a coffee shop, taking any audition she can. She takes an audition for the role of Claire's fiancé, and is hired on the spot. The money is too good to ignore. They're soon living in Claire's fancy house together, putting on a show for colleagues, family and friends. But what happens when they become sort of almost friends. And what happens when the attraction between them is too strong. Will they be able to walk away when the contract runs out?I love a good fake marriage trope. I love it. And Jae takes the trope and build this beautiful and unique story. Its so real. It's so good. It’s a natural love story that grows from an odd situation. The characters catch you from the very first page and you’re absolutely hooked. Lana is amazing - she's so strong and confidant and cool. I wish we'd been able to get to know Claire a little bit more, but at the same time it's who she was. They're the perfect balance for each other. The romance is beautiful. I love the slow burn, a perfectly paced give and take, attraction and irritation, affection and friendship, denial and angst, and just head over heels love that will last a life-time. The sex scene in this book, wow, it was so sensual and intimate. Jae outdid herself here. I love the lovely community of friends that have grown throughout the years and throughout the many wonderful novels Jae writes. I always love catching up with them. Plus, it makes me excited and hopeful that we'll see another lady from this universe in the future. I’d love to read Claire's sister’s story. Or even Abby’s story. Who knows! I just know if Jae writes it, I will read it. This is yet another one of Jae’s books I need to buy in paperback to add to my Jae collection that is bursting out of my bookshelf. I recieved an ARC from YLVA in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    Despite that the theme of a fake relationship seems very popular in the last view month, I at least read three of them, this one was perfectly created.Claire, the couples therapist, who’s always composed and in control of everything, got dumped by her fiancé short of her wedding. She can’t understand what had happened to their relationship. She’s helped so many couples during their therapy sessions, but was unable to see, what was going on in her own relationship. What should she do, she has the Despite that the theme of a fake relationship seems very popular in the last view month, I at least read three of them, this one was perfectly created.Claire, the couples therapist, who’s always composed and in control of everything, got dumped by her fiancé short of her wedding. She can’t understand what had happened to their relationship. She’s helped so many couples during their therapy sessions, but was unable to see, what was going on in her own relationship. What should she do, she has the chance to get her book published, about the seven secrets for a long lasting relationship. She won’t get the contract, when she isn’t capable of living one herself. Her perfect world was crumbling. Lana isn’t the typical type of women for Claire to fell in love. But she’s an actress, who should be able to play the role of a fake fiancé, to get Claire the publishing contract. Lana is the contrary of Claire, spontaneous, frank and leaves a mess everywhere. She struggles to get some roles and can’t say no to this unusual offer. When they start to show up together, there are many hurdles to catch, to convince everybody, that their madly and head over heals in love. I loved Lana from the first appearance in the story. She hasn’t the «perfect» (too thin) body that’s required by the film producers, and that made her even more loveable. And I very much liked her frankness, her humor and that she feels comfortable in her body. To like Claire wasn’t easy. Sometimes she was nearly annoying with her craving for order. Jae’s protagonists are very well developed, and she tells their story in a wonderful way. Both character are learning from the other, and their silent dialogues with themselves are telling a lot about why they are, as they are. With this background information and their ability to question oneself and to change themselves, they both were growing on me. It shows the importance, that sometimes it’s necessary to make some compromises in every kind of relationship. And that it is not always associated with abandonment. That sometimes you can gain a lot more than expected. There weren’t a lot of sex scenes but, I liked them. I felt the chemistry between them and they were honest and erotic. I recommend this book to everybody, who likes a sweet romance.My rating 4.5 starsThanks to Ylva Publishing for receiving an ARC for a honest review
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  • CLo
    January 1, 1970
    Jae has been one of my go to authors and I'm glad I finally got to reading her book. I love when authors I read take characters from previous books and put them in their new ones in such a way that fans will love it but people who haven't read the other books won't mind. Jae has so many returning characters it was great. I enjoyed it, though it did get a bit long and wordy at times when I wanted more to happen, but overall a great and worth it read. An easy 4.5 stars and a bit more.
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  • Margaret
    January 1, 1970
    Detailed score: 4.5 rounded upOh yes. Jae is back to her best with this one. Fantastic pacing, show not tell, lesrom trope (fake relationship becomes real) done well, three dimensional characters and sexy pwoar scenes.Lost .5 of a star as it ended a bit abruptly for my taste (despite the epilogue) and because I found the family characters to be a bit one dimensional. These are minor quibbles though.Overall: delicious.
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  • JF
    January 1, 1970
    I always read Jae’s books because the reviews draw me in . The book is well written and who doesn’t love the fake girlfriend theme . I just never fall in love with her characters
  • Anja
    January 1, 1970
    Sweet story, nothing out of the ordinary with likable main characters and an ending that came way too fast.
  • Marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun, heartwarming romance.
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