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Behind the Bar #2

Pretend It's Love

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One fake relationship shaken not stirred . . . Bar manager Paul Chapman is sick of his family's traditional ideals. Marriage, babies, and a white picket fence? Not his gig. But now that his golden child big brother is tying the knot, Paul's screwed. His ex will be there . . . and she's having his cousin's baby. Unless he wants to show up to the wedding alone and face his family's scrutiny, he needs a girl on his arm. Now. Cocktail specialist Libby Harris has spent her life earning the nickname Little Miss Perfect, all to win the love of her wealthy, controlling father. But she deviated from his plan, and now her business is on shaky ground. If it fails, she might as well kiss his respect-and her dream-good-bye. Her only hope? Convince the hottest bar in town to take on her product. Luckily for her, the owner's brother is sexy as sin and in need of a perfect girlfriend . . . Contains mature themes.

203 pages, ebook

Published September 28, 2015

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About the author

Stefanie London

109 books911 followers
Stefanie London is a multi-award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romances and romantic comedies.

Stefanie’s books have been called “genuinely entertaining and memorable” by Booklist, and “elegant, descriptive and delectable” by RT magazine. Her stories have won multiple industry awards, including the HOLT Medallion and OKRWA National Reader's Choice Award, and she has been nominated for the Romance Writers of America RITA award.

Originally from Australia, Stefanie lives in Toronto with her very own hero and is doing her best to travel the world. She frequently indulges in her passions for good coffee, lipstick, romance novels and anything zombie-related.

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5 stars
271 (26%)
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400 (39%)
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271 (26%)
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67 (6%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 123 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,688 reviews1,266 followers
January 18, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley.)

“He was going to convince Libby that her ‘no sex’ rule was pointless. He had absolutely no trouble separating sex from emotion.”

This was a good adult contemporary romance, in which the main characters pretended to date.

The characters in this were a little naïve to think that they could pretend-date and feelings wouldn’t get involved! Paul so obviously really liked Libby, even though he wouldn’t admit it even to himself, and Libby seemed attracted to him also.

The storyline in this was about Paul and Libby pretending to date, and of course ending up falling in love with one another as real feelings developed between the two, which was pretty predictable really! There were a couple of hot sex scenes though, and the chemistry between the characters was good.

The ending was once again, pretty predictable, but I was pleased that we got a happy ending.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,101 reviews1,253 followers
December 29, 2015
ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Pretend lovers turned real lovers!!!! Sold. I adored this sweet story, Pretend It's Love by Stefanie London. The premise of the story is two strangers who both needs each other's help and decides that they can work out an agreement. And the agreement is to be in a pretend "relationship." Paul needs Libby to be his "girlfriend" so his family can stop asking him when he's getting married. And Libby will use her girlfriend status to befriend Paul's brother's Des in order to help her with her vodka infused line. So what happens when these two realize that you can't pretend feelings?


Pretend It's Love is a sweet and charming story that centers on romance and family. Ms. London was able to create and weave a fun filled love story with realistic characters who found unexpected love and happiness with each other. So if you are looking for a quick fun cute and sexy story, then I would definitely recommend Pretend It's Love because I can definitely say that there was no pretending about the chemistry that Paul and Libby had.

Review can also be found on Four Chicks Flipping Pages: http://fourchicksflippingpages.weebly...Stefanie London
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,835 reviews624 followers
May 3, 2022
Well, yeah.... not impressive enough. I am so glad to finish this book. I have been putting it off. Now it is finished.

The plot is lukewarm. The writing is fun, but flat in the middle. Miss London did not add more twist into the story. Do not get me wrong, the whole story is OK but not impressive enough.

Well anyway... moving on

3 stars
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,645 reviews3,215 followers
September 19, 2015
3.5 When Pretending...Isn't Any More Stars * * * 1/2

What we have here is two people who have a need.. coming together and "thinking" they have this handled with everything falling into place as planned.

He needs a "girlfriend" for his beloved brother's wedding. He does not want to walk into the affair without a skirt on his arm. His cheating ex is knocked up by the cousin he found her with...and she will be front and center. On the other spectrum, his loving family will now be haranguing him to stop playing around and settle down now that his brother has found his soulmate.

She is at an impasse. She has always done everything to impress her father and garnish his love. He wanted her to go to med school and become a doctor.... But while there she became enamored with another idea...using her natural talents and inventing flavor induced vodka. She has now laid everything on the the line for this...all of the business and personal dreams... there to happen... but with needing more exposure in the restaurants and bars. She needs to break through before the completion does...

These two cross paths at just the right time for each... they both need what the other can give...They both are adults with ideas, lifestyles entrenched. They know who they are and what they want out of life... and with those sure feelings of who they are ... they enter into a contract of givens...He will endorse her products to his Bar owning brother...and she will act as his "serious" girlfriend ramping up to and including the wedding. Piece of cake...

Well, maybe not so easy as they both thought... because her vodka isn't the only thing with chemistry happening...these two are cooking with gas when together...and it becomes a bit of an eye- opener for the both of them. Other situations happen to make them see each other differently,too. They defend each other against those who wish to hurt...they think about what would be good for the other...and it warms them and confuses.

A fun tale with charm, banter, sexy times and heart.

A gifted copy was provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC via NetGalley for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Didi.
865 reviews289 followers
January 6, 2016

Very okay. It moved slowly most of the time, picking up a bit at 70%. The whole pretending thing is usually a good trope, but it wasn't as good as I was expecting. I never read the first book and have no desire to, but this works as a standalone, anyways. Paul's sincerity at the end was sweet, I'll give it that.
Also, Paul is half Italian with black, wavy hair and olive skin. I only wish that when choosing a cover, true appearances can be honoured. It's become a pet peeve of mine when covers and characters don't match. I know, first world problems, lol.
Profile Image for Samantha.
571 reviews41 followers
September 13, 2015
What better way to get closer to someone you're attracted to and keep your family off your back about settling down and marriage than to have a fake relationship. Paul and Libby enter a fake relationship in order to serve purposes other than actually liking one another, which is funny since they can't help but fall into each other physically and get emotionally attached. I give Pretend It's Love a solid 4 stars.

Libby is strong-willed, intelligent, clever, and sweet. I liked her and found myself feeling for her. She suffers from a father that doesn't show his care or support well and a mother who traded her in for a new model after remarrying. She was in med school before dropping out to pursue her own business. She ends up at wits end when she meets Paul.

Paul is a charmer with a sinful grin and an unfairly handsome face. He's attractive and he knows it. He's skated by through life without too much effort or care. He's creative and open-minded but never pushes himself to be more than he is until he and Libby become a fake couple. She sees his potential and pushes him.

When you can't seem to figure things out someone can appear and make the world make sense. Libby made the world come into focus for Paul and made him want to be more than he was. Paul gave Libby the praise and support she lacked from her parents. The two gave and took from one another and had to work to get to the point where they not only loved each other but owned up to it.
Profile Image for Danielle.
1,339 reviews48 followers
September 10, 2015
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the plot and the characters.

Libby has quit med school to make a line of flavored vodka. With competition taking over before her business even gets off the ground she is afraid her father is right and she will fail. She literally runs into Paul and just possibly things can turn around.

Paul is a bartender in his brothers bar. After finding out his girlfriend was sleeping with his cousin he doesn't do or believe in relationships. After meeting Libby he knows they can help each other out. He proposes a fake relationship to get his brother to see her talent and she helps him convince his family he has changed.

I really liked these two. They pushed each other and made the other person better. I enjoyed how this fake relationship became real and it happened over a few months. Libby didn't do relationships because of her parents. And Paul didn't do them because of his ex but when these two got together you could see how much they enjoyed and liked one another.

One of my favorite parts was when Libby stood up to Paul's ex. Not only was it sweet but it showed what type of person she was and how she was beginning to really feel about Paul. Another favorite part is when Paul kicks her father out of Libby's house. It showed how protective he really was and how deep he was getting into the relationship.

I didn't read the first book but I enjoyed getting to know his brother and Gracie. After reading this book I have plans to read the first book.

I recommend this quick romantic read that will have you drinking to the happy couple.
Profile Image for Tarsha.
111 reviews21 followers
September 28, 2015

Happy book birthday to Pretend It's Love by Stefanie London. On sale now! http://amzn.to/1NSqOgs

***ARC review provided through NetGalley***

***3.5 stars with a recommendation for a cute light read***

This was an enjoyable story for me. It was cute with some hot moments in between. Libby and Paul had a plan. They would pretend to be in a relationship, so that Paul family would get off his back and Libby can get some help with her business. That plan was supposed to work with no complications. Right? They had two rules. No sex. No falling in love with the other. Paul and Libby both had their share of heartache and wanted no part of love. Well let me just say that plan did not work out to well. They probably shouldn't have expected that it would. The no sex policy went out the window quickly and that love part happen shortly after. They both were good people who just needed to meet the right person. I enjoyed seeing those two together and they had great chemistry. Paul just needed to realize Libby wasn't like his ex and Libby needed to have a little faith. Paul's family was great and I love seeing Libby interact with them. There was a happy ever after but it took a bit to get there. Some hurdles but not too many to get to the yes!
Profile Image for Kari Lemor.
Author 32 books153 followers
September 24, 2015
I read this in one sitting because it was so great! The characters were well written and I felt their emotions and conflicts. They both came from different places with very different types of families but the conflicts they had were general enough for any family (not feeling like you're good enough or not loved). The witty banter and sexy flirting is always something I love seeing in a book. Yet it wasn't all fun and games. The serious moments tugged at my heart.

It was a fairly quick read but one I thoroughly enjoyed. I had read the first in the series Rules According to Gracie and that was also wonderful. I was glad to see the characters from that book interspersed in here too, though the book certainly stood on its own merit.

I've read a few books now by Stefanie London and I have to say I really like her writing style. It's fun, flirty and steamy in all the right ways. I haven't been disappointed yet. Hope she's got more on the way!
Profile Image for Elaine.
3,270 reviews100 followers
September 21, 2015
I’ve been missing out - this is the second book in the ‘Behind the Bar’ series and I haven’t read the first one! I certainly enjoyed this one so will be definitely looking out for others by this author in future. Sometimes fate just drops opportunity into your lap and if you dare grab it, there’s no telling where it might lead!

Libby Harris has always done everything she can to win her father’s love and approval but never feels like she’s succeeded. She was studying to become a doctor to follow in his footsteps when she discovered a talent making flavoured vodkas that others love. She decides to opt out of studying and have a go at making this her business. Needless to say her wealthy father, as usual, doesn’t approve. All seems to be going well though until a celebrity launches a similar product, causing all sorts of problems for Libby so she’s distracted when she encounters into bar manager Paul Chapman.

Paul is also at an impasse in his life. His older brother, Des, is getting married and one of the other guests attending is Paul’s ex who he found with his cousin, both will be attending the wedding and she’s now pregnant. He doesn’t want to appear a total looser so wants to show up with a girlfriend. He suggests Libby pretends to be just that to help promote her business to his brother who owns the bar and to help him appear a winner. A win-win situation for both of them! Or will it be as the attraction between them makes this much more than a pretend situation. Can they give their love a chance? Will pretend become real? Can they find their own HEA - together?

With a full range of brilliantly written characters, an intricately developed plot and engaging style this is a great book to escape into. I really enjoyed the contrasting family interactions portrayed. Paul’s Mum is Italian, a proper classic Italian Momma, keeping an eye on her sons, promoting traditional values and relationships, encouraging them to marry, have babies and find their own HEA. Just wait to you meet the rest of the family - sorry, daren’t say more or I’ll be giving out spoilers and I really don’t want to do that! Libby’s Dad is the antithesis of Paul’s Mum, appearing hard, uncaring about anyone else’s plans, focussed on everyone doing what he wants, bullying and threatening others in order to do so. Get ready for fun when Paul meets him for the first time!

This is a great story with well developed characters and some fantastic interactions. The journey of Paul and Libby is so well written that the reader finds it easy to empathise and travel with them, feeling their angst, turmoil and uncertainty, desperate to encourage them to be brave, face their fears and fight for their happy ever after. It is one of those delightful romances that you pick up, start reading and actually don’t really want to put down until you’ve finished reading it. It has plenty of feel good factors in it and the ending leaves the reader feeling happy that things work out in the end. A great journey from everything feeling like it is going wrong, through to the HEA. It may well be a predictable ending but that’s what most of us want from our romantic reads and this has plenty of twists and turns en route to ensure this is a charming, fun read that is lovely to escape into!

Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for this, an honest review.
Profile Image for Helen.
2,181 reviews12 followers
September 15, 2015
This is one of those stories that you will pick up fall into and not want to put down till you get to the end and then still want more I loved this one as I did the first one in The Behind The Bar series.

Paul Chapman is a bartender working in his brother's bar and restaurant First he is known for having lots of flings and nothing permanent but there is a reason that Paul has decided to be this way even though the pressure from his family especially his mother and the fact that his brother Des is just about to marry is to find the right girl and settle down but he is fun loving always smiling on the outside and enjoying life and the drinks he mixes but then in walks Libby Harris and things could very well change.

Libby Harris has walked out on her studies to start her own business making fancy drinks she has always tried so hard to win the love and respect of her father and she is hoping that this will do the trick but her business plans are getting a bit shaky at the moment so she needs all the help she can get and when she meets gorgeous hunky bartender Paul at First bar and restaurant and he agrees to help her this will change her life.

This is a very sensual emotional and heart-warming story where both Paul and Libby decide on a fake relationship to help each other out with rules that are made for breaking but this brings them so much closer to each other and then they open up to each other and help and support each so much and through a few ups and downs on a beautiful journey to a HEA learn to love in such a passionate way that you will be cheering them on and smiling with tears here and there. Of course catching up with Des and Grace from the first story was so good and learning more about The Chapman family. MS London knows how to bring the characters to life on the pages and make you feel like you are in the bar tasting those cocktails, this is a story that I highly recommend and I do look forward to Noah's story fingers crossed.
Profile Image for Irene.
1,847 reviews120 followers
September 20, 2015
4 stars

I really enjoyed Pretend It's Love.

What a fun and entertaining read this turned out to be. I enjoyed watching Paul and Libby get together. They had amazing chemistry and a strong attraction that you could see/feel right from the start.

I liked both Paul and Libby, they were good people who'd been hurt in the past that left them feeling love and marriage was not on the cards for them.
My heart was full of feels seeing them work through their fears and learn to trust their feelings. They truly were perfect for each other.

Overall this was a heartwarming, fun and entertaining read, I highly recommend this book.

Thank you Entangled Lovestruck via Netgalley for the advance copy.
Profile Image for Jackie (Jackie's Book World) .
831 reviews59 followers
October 6, 2015
***Review can also be found at Jackie's Book World. :)***

I enjoyed reading Pretend It’s Love; Stefanie London did a good job coming up with a fresh take to your typical “fake-relationship-type-of-story.”

At the beginning we get to meet cocktail specialist Libby Harris, whose idea of creating the perfect cocktail has come to an abrupt stop after learning that a celebrity has just stolen her idea. Now the bars that were supposed to take on her product are backing out and she has no idea what to do. But Libby is determined to do whatever it takes to prove to her father that she can make a name for herself in the business world without having to go back to medical school just to get his approval. After accidently bumping into stranger outside a bar, her luck increases when she discovers that he is the bar manager and his brother might just be interested in her product if she has the help of Paul Chapman with her.

When Paul Chapman bumps into Libby outside his brother’s bar, he knows that he can help her get her product feature there. After having had a long conversation with his family, he knows that he is running out of time to get someone to go with him to his brother’s wedding as his date/girlfriend. So he does that only thing that came to his mind at the moment. He asks Libby to be his fake girlfriend and in return he will get his brother to get her product in their business. She agrees immediately, but as the two spend more time together they soon start to realize that their chemistry is getting stronger and they might just be falling for each other.

From the characters and the plot, the story takes us to a ride filled with twists and turns that made it hard to stop reading. The chemistry between the main characters is undeniable. It is evident from the beginning that they both want their families to approve of what they do, but they are also proving them wrong. Libby has an overprotective father who has influenced her whole life. Now that she is ready to break free, he has turned away from her and that has made Libby that much more determined to get her business to work.

On the other hand, Paul’s family is all over his personal life. Not only did he just suffer from a bad break-up, but now that he has to face his ex at his brother’s wedding and he doesn’t know what to do about the situation. His only option is to get a fake girlfriend, and Libby came in just at the right time. As the pair start to spend more time together, they soon start to reveal more about each other, and they ultimately have to decide whether they want to take their relationship to the next level. Like I mentioned before, I really enjoyed reading the book, it was fast and filled with steamy scenes. I highly recommend it. : )

***ARC provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest reivew. All opinions are my own.***
453 reviews1 follower
January 31, 2017
I have read about 200 stories EXACTLY like this story. I have written like 4 or 5 reviews this week alone in which I could copy any one of those reviews and paste them here for this book review and it would apply perfectly if I just changed the names of the characters. So here we go again. Let's look at the 'Generic Romance Novel Checklist' and see if any apply to this book: Is this story written in dual point of view between the lead male and lead female? Why, that would be a YES! Do they explain all of their feelings in detail during their points of view so there is no mystery or wondering? That would be another YES! Do the two love interests meet and immediately monologue about how hot the other one is? That's another big YEP! Do they each think the other is very different from anyone else after only one, mostly forgettable encounter? Yes again!! Is there an actual electric shock the first time they touch hands? Why yes, yes there is!! Can each of them feel this instant connection they've never felt before? Oh yes. Yes they do! Does the author over emphasize the fact that each character is extremely good looking and/or rich with amazing personality traits? That's another YES! Can either or both characters make personality assessments of the other one just by reading a single facial expression made by the other or a generic statement they say about something? Yes. Yes again! Hmm maybe you can see where I'm going with this. There must be a 'romance novel writing for dummys' book out there somewhere that lists the afore mentioned criteria as must haves when writing a romance novel. That's the only explanation I can come up with for why there are so many books written this exact same way. Either that or I've just read a lot of books and the authors of these types of books don't realize they are coming up with a rehash of these dime a dozen novels? But it would be quite the crazy coincidence that all these authors have the exact same ideas on what to put in their romance novels. Anyways, my point is that there are billions of ways to write a story and things you can include in a story. Why would authors do the same thing that so many others have done? Why can't they use their imaginations and make characters that are different and unique?? And don't do everything you'd expect. Be surprising. Get rid of the insta love/lust. Isn't the best part of a romance the build up? The wondering of do they or don't they like each other? Will they or will they not get together? In this book and so many others like it I already know all of the answers to those questions because I'm being told them in the first chapters. I know how the guy feels through his monologues during his pov and I know how the girl feels because of her monologues during her pov. I don't really need to keep going because they are both hot for each other and they are both generic, uninteresting characters. Perfect people make for a boring read. I stopped reading after page 25
Profile Image for Amy.
1,614 reviews164 followers
December 26, 2015
If you're going to face an ex - and a happily married ex who is pregnant and whose husband happens to be a despised cousin - you don't want to go in alone. Paul Chapman certainly believes this, so when the opportunity to bring gorgeous cocktail specialist Libby as his date, Paul takes it.

A bar manager in business with his brother, Paul knows how to keep his customers happy. He's personable and charming, not that he needs much charm to convince Libby. She agrees to go because doing so will help her professionally and financially. She makes it clear to him that this is a business relationship and neither will fall in love with the other.

Yeah, right.

For one thing, Paul is HOT. And successful. And fun. And entertaining. And a good guy. Libby would have to be an idiot to say no to that. For a while, you suspect she might, but Paul's charisma is too much for her to withstand. When their relationship turns personal (read: sexual), what does this mean for the two of them?

Of the two, Libby is the one with real fear of commitment. Paul is far more open to the idea, largely because his family is a loving, cohesive unit, one that supports him without reservation. Libby can't quite say the same for her family. Her mother is off on a new marriage with new children, and her father - someone she is desperate to impress - treats her like an errant child unable to do anything other than chronically disappoint him. With parents like that, it's no wonder that Libby distrusts the concept of love and marriage.

Paul and Libby are a fun couple to get to know, and they are impossible to resist. When they allow themselves to become sexually involved, you will praise the Hot Romance Novel gods because you get the treat of reading Stefanie London's sex scenes. They are gloriously hot, and you will require the services of a man friend (or, at the very least, a fully charged vibrator). The sexy times also give an opportunity for Libby and Paul to connect as more than just business partners. This more than just sex, even if they don't recognize that at first.

Stefanie London delivers characters you enjoy reading about, and she lets their relationship unfold in a believable way. She also writes some pretty awesome sex scenes, which I certainly appreciated.

Disclaimer: review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Published on VoxLibris.net
Profile Image for LJT.
1,214 reviews2 followers
June 25, 2016
​​​​​I adore "relationship of convenience" romances and Pretend It's Love by Stefanie London is a wonderful addition to the trope. This book draws you in immediately, and the engaging story continuously captivates with each and every moment. The two primary characters, cocktail inventor Libby Harris, and bar manager Paul Chapman, have amazing chemistry, and their relationship is replete with desire, compassion, and inspiration. Ms. London is a new to me author, and I can't wait to read more of her work.

After carefully deciding that being a physician is not her cup of tea, Libby uses her expertise and instincts to create a line of vodka infused cocktails, geared toward the female population. All she needs is a distributor to get her product out there. Paul has a connection, his older brother Des, who just happens to own one of the trendiest bars in town. Libby needs Paul to help get her business off the ground and Paul needs Libby to save him from his overbearing family, who wants to see him married with children. A gorgeous woman on his arm will also help Paul get through Des's wedding next month, where he will have to deal his ex-fiancee, who cheated on him with his cousin, and is now married and pregnant. A favor for a favor is what they both need to reach their goals, and move past their previous relationship heartbreaks.

I loved this sweet and sexy story. Ms. London evolved the strangers to lovers relationship with transparent finesse, and there was never a moment that I did not want Libby and Paul to find their forever together. Libby and Paul are a unique couple and their sexy times are both sensual and hot. Libby's father was quite a character, with his nonyielding notions and lack of understanding. My heart broke for Libby, each and every time her father let her down. If you are looking for a fun, well-written book with characters that are easy to connect with, then add Pretend It's Love to your TBR list.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 2 books166 followers
November 6, 2015
See more of my reviews on my blog Thoughts At One In The Morning.

My Thoughts:

After discovering Stefanie London from the first Behind the Bar novel, The Rules According to Gracie, I can't stop myself from standing by with grabby hands for the next book. When I found out about the second book in the series AND that it was going to feature a fake relationship (that trope is like chocolate to me), I knew I needed it straight away!

I was charmed by both Libby and Paul from the very start. They have their own goals--hers is to get her product off the ground and his is to get his family to stop bugging him about getting married. Although they claim their fake relationship is all for show, their chemistry charges in to tell them otherwise. While I adored the romance (because it was a HECK of a hot romance), I think what I loved most was the unwavering support they had for each other. They both had their strengths and weaknesses, and each of them knew how to bring out the best in the other. Which is what made the romance more than just a fling for show.

Pretend It's Love was a delightfully endearing love story! I seriously couldn't stop loving Libby and Paul. The growth in the characters was believable, and their interactions super sweet. Paul's insistence on the nickname he gave Libby (Tiger) was both funny and lovely. Can I have more Stefanie London books NOW, please and thank you very much?

My Rating: Very Good
Profile Image for Jaime Fiction Fangirls.
1,581 reviews148 followers
September 24, 2015
4.5 Stars
I admit, this story started off a little slow for me but at about 15% in, it got interesting and then I couldn't put it down.This story was sexy, sweet and just the slightest bit infuriating and I loved every second of it.

Paul, despite what he thought of himself, was so sweet and so supportive and inspiring. His family, as pushy and intrusive as they could be, love him with everything they have and just want the best for him but he can't help but feel judged by them and inferior to his "perfect" brother. Libby was so much fun and I love the fact that she is starting up her own infused vodka brand. I didn't like her father, not in the slightest bit. Feeling unloved and unwanted by her parents has Libby guarding her heart and focusing on being successful. Love just lets you down.

The two of them are perfect together and bring out the best parts of each other. They have this awesome chemistry and there is a natural ease to their friendship that makes it inevitable that they end up together.

If you love sweet, sexy fake-to-real romances then this is definitely a story you should pick up. The writing is on point and the characters are well-developed and relatable. I will absolutely be going back to read book one in the series and any books that follow.

*I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for A Klue.
1,498 reviews298 followers
September 12, 2015
An engaging, predictable, yet entertaining, angst-filled romantic read featuring a couple who have both given up on finding true love. What they do find is they need each other for other reasons. Libby needs to get Paul’s bar to help launch her new business venture. Paul needs Libby to act as his fake girlfriend during an upcoming wedding to get his family off his back after his girlfriend leaves him for his cousin. Though their heads says no to taking their fake relationship with benefits from pretend to real, the heart seems to have other plans. Libby helps Paul believe in himself and his dreams, and, he fills a void in Libby’s empty life. After some last minute cold feet, one of them pushes the other away then has to make things right.

With writing that flows and a great cast of secondary characters, I think this book will appeal to most avid contemporary romance readers.

Title: Pretend It’s Love, Series: Behind the Bar (Book 2), Author: Stephanie London, Pages: 203, stand-alone, steamy scenes, HEA, no cheating

Book 1 – The Rules According to Gracie, 1/19/15
Book 2 – Pretend It’s Love, 9/28/15

(This review is based on NetGalley ARC e-book received in exchange for an honest, unbiased opinion.)
Profile Image for Kira.
170 reviews2 followers
April 28, 2018
I fell in love

I fell in love with Libby and Paul!!! This was an enjoyable quick read, fun and sexy and heartwarming. I even liked Sadie in the end
Profile Image for Bette Hansen.
5,051 reviews37 followers
September 11, 2015
Loved this one. Paul and Libby were so cute and you knew right from the start no matter how hard they fought it, the were destined to be together.

Paul had his heart shattered once and that was more than enough, thank you very much. So - no long term relationships for him ever again. Now if he could just get his family to accept that and get off his back. When he learns that his ex is coming to a family wedding he desperately wants to show her he's moved on but he has no idea who he can take to the wedding that won't get the wrong idea! Then he meets Libby.

Libby has tried her whole life to get the one thing she craves - her father's approval. No way can she go to him and tell him her business is failing. She has to get the hottest bar in town to serve her product. She's devastated when the owner turns her down. Then she meets his brother Paul, the sexy bartender who could be her ticket in!

This is a fast, fun, sexy read that will definitely get you smiling! I highly recommend it
Profile Image for Juanita Kees.
Author 21 books103 followers
February 29, 2016
Stefanie London takes the pretend lovers trope to a new level in this smart, witty and sexy tale. Even though this is book 2 in the series, it was my first Stefanie London read. I'm pleased to say that it doesn't matter which sequence you read them in because even though Book 1's characters are featured, you're not left wondering what happened in Book 1 that led to Book 2. So now I'm reading Book 1 which is proving an equally enjoyable read.

Ms London's characters are true to life and draw you in completely. I felt for Libby's plight and the perception that she'd failed to be the perfect daughter, and instead chose to follow her own dreams. Paul is a 'pretend' playboy and I was pleased to find that he had a lot more depth than he portrayed in public. The contrast between Libby's family and Paul's was believable enough for me to feel empathy for her and pleased when the family embraced her the way they did.

Overall, I though this was a heartwarming, easy read with some great lines and a very satisfying ending.
Profile Image for FMR Book Grind.
2,189 reviews126 followers
September 30, 2015

Sexy, sassy and sweet... This book had it all. This was my first book by the author and it was a great read. I loved that the book was set in Australia and that the characters were written authentic to the country. It made for a lively fresh kind of read which I fully enjoyed.

Paul and Libby were a great pairing for the main characters in this book. They each had quirks that complemented each other completely. Paul was amazingly driven and devilishly handsome while Libby was ambitious and firey. Together eh filed the story brilliantly,

I enjoyed this book completely. It was well written and had very easy flow. There wasn't a tremendous amount of angst which was perfect for the story line. The characters were well developed and meshed together well with the plot and secondary characters. I would recommend this book and rate it a 4 star.
Profile Image for Isha Coleman.
6,877 reviews133 followers
September 25, 2015
There was no pretending on my part. Pretend It's Love is a delightful read. It's sweet, enthralling, guilty pleasure fun. For me it was love at first sight. Stefanie London is new on my radar of writers, but I am so glad to finally discover her. She took a story that could have come across cheesy and forced and created a masterwork of dramedy. Paul and Libby go into the charade trying to please others and stumble into an unexpected love. I received an ARC of Pretend it's Love in exchange for an honest review. Will be reading more of Stefanie London 's books.
Profile Image for Rhonda Ziglar.
3,528 reviews30 followers
September 29, 2015
I absolutely loved Pretend It's Love. Stephanie London has became one of my go to authors...she always writes great entertaining books. When you start one of her books you can not put it down until you are finished. This book was so fun watching Paul and Libby relationship develope. It starts out as pretend and turns to more, but can they make it last. No spoilers from me. I would highly recommend this book for any contemporary romance lover, you will not be disappointed.

I was given this ARC by publisher via NetGalley, for an honest review.
Profile Image for Linda Quick.
1,201 reviews18 followers
September 3, 2015
This is a fun contemporary romance that introduces us to Paul and Libby - two people that have both been badly burned in love and settle into a fake relationship to help them each achieve a goal. While this is a predictable tale, it is told in such a charming and fun way, that you can't help but love it and be captivated by it. This is a quick read that will bring a smile to your face and is perfect for romance fans.
Profile Image for Jenn C Reads.
1,736 reviews28 followers
September 21, 2016
Received an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

When are these MCs going to learn that you can't fake a relationship? Every time someone does, it turns into love. Libby and Paul were both super-resistant to love, and who could blame them? Her parents set a terrible example and his girlfriend is the actual worst. It was great to watch them come together and their interactions with each other's families was heartwarming.

I'll be interested to see how Noah gets hooked.
Profile Image for E.
69 reviews
September 6, 2015
Pretend It's Love is so sweet! I loved seeing Libby and Paul, the two outsiders of their family, come together and help each other's dreams come true! We get to read about two people who didn't believe in love fall in love and inspire each other to be the best people they can be. Loved this so much!

*ARC provided by NetGalley
Profile Image for Sara.
1,393 reviews175 followers
September 29, 2015
What a great book. This is the book version of the perfect romantic comedy movie. Paul and Libby have issues and they need each other so they make a deal. This is a great story of pretend becoming real and a sweet little happily ever after. I loved it!

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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