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

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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.See all my reviews at www.lezreviewbooks.wordpress.com
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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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  • 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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  • 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 a such 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 a such 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Sum
    January 1, 1970
    I've been purposely saving Jae's "Just for Show" since its release because I wanted to have something to look forward to. For the most part, I can always depend on Jae to deliver a delicious and slow burn romance with lovable characters. And after the string of recent hits that I have loved - "Falling Hard," "Perfect Rhythm," and "Heart Trouble" - I was definitely looking forward to Jae's newest release like a book addict jonesing for my next fix.The fake relationship trope is one of my favorite I've been purposely saving Jae's "Just for Show" since its release because I wanted to have something to look forward to. For the most part, I can always depend on Jae to deliver a delicious and slow burn romance with lovable characters. And after the string of recent hits that I have loved - "Falling Hard," "Perfect Rhythm," and "Heart Trouble" - I was definitely looking forward to Jae's newest release like a book addict jonesing for my next fix.The fake relationship trope is one of my favorites in romance. There's just something about two people pretending to be in love and falling in love along the way that gets me every time. So I had high hopes about "Just for Show." My main question going into this read was this: would Jae be able to deliver? My answer: unequivocally yes!The Slow Burn...LiterallyThere are some characters that I like very early on. Others grow on me, and of course, some just never connect with me as a reader. I have to admit that Lana and Claire took a bit longer to grow on me than I anticipated...like a lot longer. In fact, I started to have concerns about Lana and Claire as a couple, fake or not. And it had nothing to do with me not liking Lana and Claire. These two are just so opposite, and I couldn't see how they would work as a HEA couple. I know that opposites attract, but for some reason, Lana and Claire weren't working for me until suddenly it just clicked around the 50% mark of this book. When Jae started to crank up the feels and emotions, that's when things really took off for me. From the point forward, she had me totally invested in their relationship. So while it did take a little longer to get there, it did. To be honest, up until that point, I felt like this book was just a solid 3-star read, but once I bought into their growing love, my rating moved up.The Cast of CharactersThere are some characters you just love a little bit more in any book you read. While it was great to revisit characters from Jae's previous books, my absolute favorite is Crash.I always felt that Crash was a true, blue one of a kind woman when she fell for Jill, despite her illness. I loved seeing her again in "Just for Show" and how disgustingly happy she is with Jill. Not that I'm surprised since Jill is a keeper.Beyond Jill and Crash, I got to see Hope and Laleh again, whose story I also loved. There was also a nice mention of Jordan and Emma in addition to Grace and Lauren. Even Michelle from "Departure from the Script" makes a cameo. Of course, Jae introduced new characters in "Just for Show." Lana and Claire have sisters, both of whom I liked. I wouldn't be surprised if Jae does something with Claire's sister in a future novel. I was also highly amused by Claire's parents and their family dynamic. While her parents are clearly brilliant, it's obvious that they love both of their children very much. The Good StuffOnce I was behind Lana and Claire, I was fully invested. Their differences somehow started to compliment each other, despite the fact that neither was each others type in the past. This book just shows that sometimes your type is not always what you think it is.I found their natural progression from strangers to friends to something more believable once I got over the hump at the 50% mark. Those kinds of relationships are my favorites to read in romance, and the slow build towards the romantic crescendo really paid off in the end.I have to say this about their sexual chemistry. While Jae does tease this a little, she really cranks it up over time. I found their gradual awareness of each other believable and organic through the growth of their friendship/fake relationship. The one thing I hoped for when it came to Claire also came true. I won't spoil it too much, but I have to say it's always the quiet or prim and proper ones that can surprise you. Claire didn't disappoint. While Lana had the more overt sexiness down pat, Claire took it to a whole other level of sexy. I have to say, she was pretty hot. This book does have some angst but not enough to make you go crazy if you're not into angst. For me, I can deal with some angst, and Jae gave me something that felt real without going overboard. Fortunately, that angst made me feel even more for Claire and Lana as a couple.Is There Anything Bad?One of my pet peeves is repetitiveness, and surprisingly, Jae stumbled into this a tad bit with "Just for Show." I'm okay with running jokes/lines if it's mentioned a couple of times. However, if it's mentioned a little too much, then it starts to leave a bad taste in my mouth. Jae never made me feel sour with certain jokes/lines she repeated, but I felt she mentioned those one or two things probably a couple of more times than she needed to. Sex on the kitchen table is funny to read a couple of times, but I could have lived without a few of those mentions in the book.I already somewhat mentioned this, but it's worth repeating. It took some time for Lana and Claire to stop simmering and turn up the heat. I'm actually okay with that, even preferring that in my romance. This just took just a bit longer than I'd wished for. My response to them as a pairing was a bit lukewarm, but I decided to be patient. We are talking about Jae, so I figured if I gave it more time. In the end it did pay off, but I did feel something was a little off or not quite right with Lana and Claire's pairing for the first half of this book. I don't know. Whatever the case, it does get better, so I would say to hang in there, especially if you love the feels.ConclusionsI really loved "Just for Show." I was happy and pleased to see Jae turning out yet another diverse romance novel. Lana is no stick thin actress. She is no Grace ("Damage Control") or Jill ("Just Physical"), but that's a good thing. She's the epitome of a working actress who isn't consistently working as an actress...until Claire shows up and offers her the role of a lifetime as her girlfriend.I appreciate the effort Jae is taking to write about all kinds of characters with different types of backgrounds. This book just continues the trend. Jae continues her streak of hits, at least in my eyes, and I'm already awaiting her next release.
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  • Jade
    January 1, 1970
    *ARC provided by the publisher for an honest review*I really thought I would be bored with this storyline by now but apparently not.This story is funny and sweet and makes you want to sit up all night reading (which is what I did).Lana and Claire are complete opposites but the author does such a good job of creating chemistry and making their relationship believable.I didn't know how Hard was going to make this relationship work past the fake side of the relationship but she did a seamless job a *ARC provided by the publisher for an honest review*I really thought I would be bored with this storyline by now but apparently not.This story is funny and sweet and makes you want to sit up all night reading (which is what I did).Lana and Claire are complete opposites but the author does such a good job of creating chemistry and making their relationship believable.I didn't know how Hard was going to make this relationship work past the fake side of the relationship but she did a seamless job and this is now one of my favourite books.*4.6 stars
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  • Anja
    January 1, 1970
    Sweet story, nothing out of the ordinary with likable main characters and an ending that came way too fast.
  • Kim L
    January 1, 1970
    As I have said before, and will say again - Jae is one of my favorite authors. When I see a new book coming out by her I am confident it will be good, and once again she did not let me down. The "fake relationship" turn true love is a theme that has popped up quite a bit recently, but "Just for Show" tops the list for me. I enjoy stories of opposites coming together and embracing their differences. When you add in the twist of the characters being thrown together intentionally, it makes it even As I have said before, and will say again - Jae is one of my favorite authors. When I see a new book coming out by her I am confident it will be good, and once again she did not let me down. The "fake relationship" turn true love is a theme that has popped up quite a bit recently, but "Just for Show" tops the list for me. I enjoy stories of opposites coming together and embracing their differences. When you add in the twist of the characters being thrown together intentionally, it makes it even more fun. Enjoyed the fact that Jae again delivers characters that are not perfect, but amazing regardless. Claire is career-driven to a fault, and Lana is not the traditional skinny actress. She embraces her curves and scars. In a world of everyone searching for perfection - physically and in relationships - it is refreshing to see imperfections in characters that make them… perfect. Overall another great book by Jae. I could not put it down once I started, I enjoyed every minute of it, and I am left waiting for the next story to come along and take me away for a few hours.Also, worth a mention is the visit from Jill and Crash from Just Physical, as well as some other characters. I know some folks don't like these references, I love when characters from other books from Jae pop in to remind me of those wonderful stories! For me, it is like when you meet up with old friends you have not seen to in a while and are reminded of how much fun it was to spend time with them. I added a reread of some of Jae's prior books onto my reading list to spend some more time with them soon.I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    This book is one of those where you feel like you wrap yourself up in it and forget the rest of the world for an afternoon while you dive into another world. I loved it from the very first page to the last one - it had the right amount of humor, love, suspension and drama in it. The only negative thing is that it ended too soon!!!!It was fun that Jill and Crash made appearances in it....
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  • BookFiend17
    January 1, 1970
    How did I spend my one day off after a 60+hour work week? Devouring Just for Show by Jae! I didn’t get any of my chores accomplished but I’m not even upset by that. Lol! This is a wonderful read that I highly recommend. I couldn’t put this lovely novel down. I received a free arc in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Jane Clements
    January 1, 1970
    Oh goody, another book by Jae, one of my favourite authors, using one of my favourite tropes – the fake relationship that develops into ‘true love’. And it’s part of Jae’s Hollywood series, so we also get glimpses of Jill and Crash and Hope and Laleh (as well as casual mentions of other characters in previous books). All good then, right?Well, the premise of a fake relationship is a tricky one. The author needs to find a reason for the deception that justifies the dishonesty so that we can accep Oh goody, another book by Jae, one of my favourite authors, using one of my favourite tropes – the fake relationship that develops into ‘true love’. And it’s part of Jae’s Hollywood series, so we also get glimpses of Jill and Crash and Hope and Laleh (as well as casual mentions of other characters in previous books). All good then, right?Well, the premise of a fake relationship is a tricky one. The author needs to find a reason for the deception that justifies the dishonesty so that we can accept and like the main characters. Otherwise it’s difficult to trust and invest in the characters and their story. For example, G. Benson’s Who’d Have Thought? had the excellent premise of fulfilling the marriage condition of a trust in order to access the money (and for a good cause). The other main character needed the money to support her family. So, good ethical reasons all round.In Just for Show Claire is eager to have her book on relationship advice accepted by a prestigious publisher in order to advance her career. But her own personal life needs to demonstrate that her advice is sound otherwise the publisher may not give her a contract. Unfortunately, her fiancée and partner of seven years has just dumped her. How can she save face and her book deal with it?Enter Lana, a struggling actress (and friend of Jill) who rejects Hollywood stereotypes and tries to remain true to herself. After an accident, Lana has bills she can’t afford to pay and the money offered for this acting job is too good to pass up.Lana is easy to like, but Claire is an ice queen with OCD tendencies and a lack of insight into her own shortcomings when it comes to relationships. Not great qualities for a couples and relationships counsellor.In lesser hands, I would have found Claire unrelatable, annoying and unlikeable, but Jae is an accomplished author. She’s skilled at manipulating the emotions of the reader (and I mean that in a positive way!) so that I gradually came to understand and like Claire. Claire’s evolution as a human being through her relationship with Lana is believable because she is always portrayed as a decent person who worries about doing the right thing, even if she does have her flaws. Lana too, grows and develops through her exposure to Claire. They are good for each other despite, or because of, being so different.I admire Jae for understanding that the reason for the deception needed to be addressed and the moral dilemmas resolved. I also admire that it wasn’t done in an easy or trite way. One of the reasons that I like Jae’s work so much is because it’s always intelligent and thought-provoking.Given the subject matter and the main protagonists’ histories, the book could have been full of angst. Kudos to Jae for not introducing any unnecessary angst, histrionics or contrived disagreements. The situation itself provided all the dramatic tension required. There were several other things I really liked in this book. It’s a story that demonstrates how important compromise is in relationships and how compromise doesn’t necessarily have to result in any kind of loss for either party but may instead result in a gain for both.I loved the sex scenes, they felt very honest, realistic, loving and erotic. Even when first time sex is great, it’s never perfect. Insecurities, unknown preferences and awkwardness are always present. I liked that Jae showed me these in a way that wasn’t dramatic or comedic, just factual and somehow even more erotic for being so real.I liked that Jae demonstrated that ethics are never pure or easy and that sometimes the complete truth can be more damaging than judicious withholding of the full story.I loved the handling of Claire’s meeting and emotional resolution with her former fiancée, Abby. Again, it felt realistic and not contrived. Some resentment, some forgiveness and a lot of acceptance. Good stuff.The only thing I didn’t like was that the book seemed too short and that the ending seemed rushed. I don’t think that’s really the case though, since it’s 103,000 words. I think I just wanted it to go on longer. I wanted to know more about them. I wanted to know more about Avery and Stephanie (their sisters).In short, I loved this book and highly recommend it to lovers of good lesbian romance stories.Note: I was given an advance copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • vacatedboat
    January 1, 1970
    While there has been an obvious influx of fake relationship lesfic over the last few months, not many are as well written or as believable as this one, but left in Jae’s hands I’m pretty sure almost any trope no longer feels common. If you’re into her style of storytelling, she has a way of writing and drawing you in that is immersive; it’s hard to give your attention to anything else while in the midst of one of her books and ‘Just For Show’ is no different.One of the biggest lures I always fin While there has been an obvious influx of fake relationship lesfic over the last few months, not many are as well written or as believable as this one, but left in Jae’s hands I’m pretty sure almost any trope no longer feels common. If you’re into her style of storytelling, she has a way of writing and drawing you in that is immersive; it’s hard to give your attention to anything else while in the midst of one of her books and ‘Just For Show’ is no different.One of the biggest lures I always find in Jae’s writing is that her characters are likable and relatable. It doesn’t matter if the character is an actress, psychologist, cop, or stuck up VP; rich, poor, or middle class. She writes characters that are human and that are flawed, which I don’t think many authors do as well. Too often, I tend to find that authors create these perfect characters with this one emotional scar that defines them...and that one scar is overcome by finding the one person that can fix it all just by loving them. There is no complexity to the human condition in these type of stories and as fantastic as that dream is, it’s not realistic and Jae doesn’t dumb down her writing by trying to convince us that it is. By the end of this book, her characters are still flawed, they still have their issues, but they’ve learned some lessons and they have each other. This particular fake relationship is quite similar to one I read a few months ago, so I was hesitant to actually read ‘Just For Show’ because I didn’t want to read the same book all over again. I’m glad that hesitation only lasted a few days because Claire and Lana are wonderful characters, the story is perfectly paced, which allows their bond to feel natural instead of forced, and I’m kinda gonna miss being a part of their world for a bit. If you have the same hesitations, I can only say that I was wrong...I recommend giving this book a whirl no matter.Adding this to my re-read shelf and kinda hoping an audible edition (with a good narrator) is released, as well. I’m excited for whatever Jae’s got coming next...
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  • Kitty Kat
    January 1, 1970
    ‘Just For Show’ is a Fake Girlfriend story so impeccably written and with such depth of emotion that I can see me re-reading it again and again. The storytelling appears effortless and flows so well. I wish I knew Jae’s secret! She manages to write such believable and sympathetic characters that draw us into their world so completely.Psychologist Claire is trying to get her book on relationships published and needs to convince her prospective publisher that she is madly in love with her fiancée. ‘Just For Show’ is a Fake Girlfriend story so impeccably written and with such depth of emotion that I can see me re-reading it again and again. The storytelling appears effortless and flows so well. I wish I knew Jae’s secret! She manages to write such believable and sympathetic characters that draw us into their world so completely.Psychologist Claire is trying to get her book on relationships published and needs to convince her prospective publisher that she is madly in love with her fiancée. The problem is she has just broken up with her fiancée and needs a new one quickly. Hiring an actress to play the part seems like the solution. Lana is the complete opposite of OCD Claire and how they deal with living together and convincing others they are in love is just perfect. Of course there is a whole lot more to Claire’s OCD behaviour and to Lana’s particular issues. These are dealt with in a caring and understanding way. I almost jumped for joy at the inclusion of Jill and Crash from ‘Just Physical’ and Laleh and Hope from ‘Heart Trouble’. Yet again Jae has penned a winner and had me swooning. I was given this ARC in return for an honest review.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    This book was ok although I must say that I am not too fond of the "fake relationships" type of books. After awhile, this sort of storyline gets little trying.I'm not sure that I completely get how the 2 main characters fell so much in love with each other. The book did not draw me in at all. In fact, I could not wait until it ended, wondering whether the lie about Lana being a lawyer would be found out (how could it not- Vanessa being a colleague of Claire and would presumably be so for the for This book was ok although I must say that I am not too fond of the "fake relationships" type of books. After awhile, this sort of storyline gets little trying.I'm not sure that I completely get how the 2 main characters fell so much in love with each other. The book did not draw me in at all. In fact, I could not wait until it ended, wondering whether the lie about Lana being a lawyer would be found out (how could it not- Vanessa being a colleague of Claire and would presumably be so for the forseeable future).I wish I could say that I liked one or both the characters but they just felt very bland. Not much was said about Lana's talent and apart from Claire declaring Lana a talented actress (not sure how she can say this since Lana did not act in anything at all except in some commercials), Lana suddenly ends up being asked to be a lead in a movie - I mean this is stretching it too much in terms of believability.\Anyway, I see that I'm one of the very few giving a less than stellar rating so please don't let this review turn you off from reading the book. It is an easy read, just not something I personally connected with.
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  • Starsandsun
    January 1, 1970
    I had no doubt that I will give this a 5. Relationship of convenience is really high on my TBR paired with Ice Queens what more can you ask, right? :)I started my obsession regarding this plot because of Olivia and Darcy, Addison and Joanne, Rachel and Pari, Samantha and Hayden and I hope the list will go on.Just want I like. Guilt pleasure. A lot of appearance from the past couples.I got excited reading about Laleh and Hope even just a glimpse of them. I also miss the Hollywood series.Maybe I w I had no doubt that I will give this a 5. Relationship of convenience is really high on my TBR paired with Ice Queens what more can you ask, right? :)I started my obsession regarding this plot because of Olivia and Darcy, Addison and Joanne, Rachel and Pari, Samantha and Hayden and I hope the list will go on.Just want I like. Guilt pleasure. A lot of appearance from the past couples.I got excited reading about Laleh and Hope even just a glimpse of them. I also miss the Hollywood series.Maybe I will re-read it some time.I know with just the blurb you’re already curious and excited to read this.Am I bias? 🤔😛👏🏽👏🏽
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  • Fia
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a sucker for these types of romances - fake relationships. I loved it in Who'd Have Thought but not that much in Jae's newest book.I don't know, I was bored and skipped a lot of paragraphs. And I didn't even like main characters that much. I liked to see Jill and Crash from Just Physical though. I didn't remember them first but I was sure I knew them from somewhere, so I checked out other Jae's books and here they were. And some other familiar faces and names appeared in the book as well.
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  • Kamloth
    January 1, 1970
    Good use of the fake relationship trop. A good novel.
  • Aj Smith
    January 1, 1970
    I was a bit conflicted about this book before I read it; Jae = good, ocd psychologist meets laid back actress = far too fucking clichéd for my liking, however, Jae's excellent track record won out so I read it. Funnily enough I'm very glad I did, while not quite as striking as some of her earlier works this is still a very good book and definitely worth your time and hard earned cash.Thankfully Clare, the psychologist, is a wonderfully complex character and her conflicted thoughts towards Lana a I was a bit conflicted about this book before I read it; Jae = good, ocd psychologist meets laid back actress = far too fucking clichéd for my liking, however, Jae's excellent track record won out so I read it. Funnily enough I'm very glad I did, while not quite as striking as some of her earlier works this is still a very good book and definitely worth your time and hard earned cash.Thankfully Clare, the psychologist, is a wonderfully complex character and her conflicted thoughts towards Lana are very well rendered making her incredibly realistic, when she could quite easily have come across as cold. Portraying the two women as genuine, warm humans as opposed to just characters is the real achievement here, given this is an increasingly common storyline (not that this should be a surprise with Jae at the keyboard.)Best of all, I thought I'd guessed the ending but I was wrong! Highly recommended.
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