When It's Real by Erin Watt

When It's Real

From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend. Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with...

Title:When It's Real
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0373212526
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:416 pages

When It's Real Reviews

  • Christy
    May 20, 2017

    When I first read the writing duo known as Erin Watt, I was so impressed I knew I'd pick up whatever they decided to write. When I heard they were writing YA and saw the gorgeous cover for

    , it went straight to the top of my TBR. This book had a little bit for all readers. Love a good YA? Rock star read? Enemies to friends to lovers? Fake girlfriend/boyfriend? How about the famous leading man/average heroine? This book had all that and more. 

    Oakley 'Oak' Ford is your ave

    When I first read the writing duo known as Erin Watt, I was so impressed I knew I'd pick up whatever they decided to write. When I heard they were writing YA and saw the gorgeous cover for

    , it went straight to the top of my TBR. This book had a little bit for all readers. Love a good YA? Rock star read? Enemies to friends to lovers? Fake girlfriend/boyfriend? How about the famous leading man/average heroine? This book had all that and more. 

    Oakley 'Oak' Ford is your average teen star. He became a huge hit when he was young, and now that he's an adult (barley) he wants to change his sound. He wants to be taken more seriously. The only way that is going to happen is if he shows he's serious. One way to do that? Date a nice, average girl. At least that's what his management team says. Oak is willing to do just about anything to work with the producer of his dreams so he's game. 

    Vaughn is not the type to date a famous guy. In fact, she's already got a boyfriend.... but when the opportunity to date Oak falls in her lap, she can't pass it up. It's too good to be true. Vaughn isn't shallow, but after her parents died years ago, her family needs the money. Vaughn and Oak butt heads at first. Their dynamic is a little... er... rocky. I loved seeing them banter and watching the sexual tension build between them. 

    Oakley is one of those characters that really grew on me. I'm going to be honest, I didn't love him at first. But after some time, he completely won me over. I loved that he didn't want to settle in his career. He strives for more. And I really loved watching him fall for Vaughn. He didn't want to, but it happened. And it was beautiful. 

    Vaughn was kind of the opposite for me. I loved her at the start, but there were moments later on I didn't care for the choices she made. She irked me... overall, I did like her as a character. She was real and I liked that she was willing to sacrifice for her family. 

    is not the same type of read as The Royal's series. It didn't have that angsty, addictive quality. It was, however a fun, fast, and easy read. If you're in the mood for a mature YA standalone that is the perfect blend of light and sweet, this is one I would recommend!

  • Jodi Bibliophile
    Jul 02, 2016

    WE HAVE A COVER!!!

    SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!!

    Erin Watt is writing a new fucking book!!!

    I would sell my fucking womb for a camel for this fucking book!

    For reals I would read these fuckers shopping list!!!!!

  • Patty Belongs To Kellan~Jesse~Lautner~Miller~Garrett~Dean~Rafe~Liam~Prince Nicholas~Gianluca & Archer
    May 23, 2017

    {ARC Generously Provided by Authors}

    Erin Watt fans prepare to fall head over heels in love with their latest collaborative masterpiece! These two authors have struck gold again with

    . I am not particularly a huge fan of YA but when it’s done right even I can’t deny how enjoyable these romances can be. This e

    {ARC Generously Provided by Authors}

    Erin Watt fans prepare to fall head over heels in love with their latest collaborative masterpiece! These two authors have struck gold again with

    . I am not particularly a huge fan of YA but when it’s done right even I can’t deny how enjoyable these romances can be. This enemies to lovers story between America’s #1 Pop Idol and a regular girl with absolutely no ties to the celebrity world was pure unadulterated fun for this particular reader.

    Oakley Ford is going through a rough patch in his life. It’s been two years since he’s released an album and his creative juices haven’t been flowing. Lately, he’s been indulging in liquor and women and his bad boy antics have been providing enough fodder for the sleazy tabloids. Oakley desperately wants to work with one of the industry’s most sought after producers but his current reputation makes him an undesirable prospect. His manager is forcing him to get his act together and to do away with his bad boy behavior. The plan is to romantically link Oak to a down to earth girl who doesn’t have ties to the industry. He sees a picture of one of his employee’s sister on her desk and decides this girl is the key to boosting Oak’s image again.

    Vaughn Bennett is a seventeen-year-old girl who was forced to grow up sooner than most teenagers when both of her parents were killed in a car accident. She graduated from High School a year early so that she could start working to help her older sister take care of their family which consists of their younger twin brothers, Vaughn, and her sister Paisley. When she is approached by Oakley’s management team with the proposal to become his girlfriend for a year and that it comes with a rather large salary, there is no way she can turn it down knowing that it would help to take care of her family.

    Vaughn and Oakley’s first meeting is anything but cordial and neither make a really good first impression on each other. Oakley comes off as being narcissistic and condescending, while Vaughn seems to be headstrong and a bit of a spitfire. She actually intrigues Vaughn because for the first time he meets a girl who isn’t falling all over herself to be near him. While Vaughn thinks Oakley is a conceited jerk, she also used to have a huge crush on him and can’t seem to stop her stupid hormones from going haywire whenever he sings or gives her a smoldering look.

    While both Oak and Vaughn start to feel something more for each other, the tiny doubt in the back of their minds that what they have is still

    keeps them from taking the risk and confessing what is truly in their hearts. When they finally take the plunge and give in to their feelings for the first time in their lives they’re feeling what could possibly be true love but can these two make it work when there are countless of people who would rather see them fall apart?

    releases on May 30th! It’s a definite must-read!

    Amazon:

    iBooks:

    Kobo:

    B&N:

    Audible:

  • Katerina
    Oct 30, 2016

    Something pleasurable that induces a usually minor feeling of guilt (probably because you should be doing some serious real-life stuff instead of getting lost in said pleasures).

    The first ones refer to characters so

    twisted and messed up that the sensible part of yours keeps bothering you with nagging thoughts like

    , while the other part enjoys this delightful addiction. And then there is the second ki

    Something pleasurable that induces a usually minor feeling of guilt (probably because you should be doing some serious real-life stuff instead of getting lost in said pleasures).

    The first ones refer to characters so

    twisted and messed up that the sensible part of yours keeps bothering you with nagging thoughts like

    , while the other part enjoys this delightful addiction. And then there is the second kind, the one that in order to experience it properly, you go through an inviolable sacred ritual: you wear your fluffy (insert cute animal) pajamas and eat a bucket of ice-cream or something equally fattening and delicious (like cupcakes or cheesecake) while witnessing a wonderfully

    that makes you wonder

    , shed a tear or two because life is so unfair and eventually you come to terms with reality and pick the cats that will probably be your only company for the rest of your life. And then eat more ice-cream.

    And

    Boy (who happens to be an ultra-famous, rich and spoiled pop star) meets girl (who happens to be your typical, composed and definitely normal girl-next-door).

    Boy thinks girl should drool over his hotness.

    Girl thinks boy is a complete jerk.

    They pretend they're a couple for the sake of press.

    They are bent on keeping their relationship strictly business.

    They fail miserably.

    I know what you're going to say: you've read / watched this story before. I'm not gonna lie, I thought so too. And it took me some chapters to become truly invested in

    . But one thing I know for sure when it comes to

    , is that this duo is a

    . No matter how absurb or far-fetched or unoriginal their stories might seem, they always manage to suck you in their world, to crawl beneath your skin and snatch a place in your heart. If you didn't like the Royals rejoice, because

    couldn't be more different. And if you liked the Royals rejoice, because

    is a bet

    won, with its quick pace and cuteness and the cloud of fluffiness that took you on a journey to LA!

    Oakley and Vaughn's story was

    .

    contains the perfect blend of tenderness and affection to make your insides melt into goo, tension to set you on fire and witty banters, with a little angst and scandals to spice things up! Every single character is well-portrayed, and I loved the family moments and side-stories that interweave with the romantic element only to make it stronger. And since it's the show business we're talking about, the media involvement will keep you at the edge of your seat, and maybe awaken some violent tendencies. But despite the anger and the occasional pain,

    will tug at your heartstrings and fill you with joy and hope.

    While there were many aspects of this novel I found

    , the main reason my heart swelled with so many feelings was the powerful

    between Oakley and Vaughn. Oakley was not an easy character to love, he could be really self-centered and spoiled, blind by his egotism and his success, but you could see that deep down he was insecure and

    , even though every single dream of his came true. And that's precisely what drew Vaughn. She was a lovable and prudent character, always trying to hide her feelings and do the best for her family, while she was searching for a purpose and a place to belong. She saw Oakley's good traits when all everyone else saw was his smoking body, his music and his fame. Oakley on the other hand saw her vulnerability beneath her tough and snarky exterior. He knew that she was good at pretending but not good at living, and he took it upon him to show her the world. What it feels like to be loved. To belong. But the question is, can something that started off as a publicity stunt but turned into something

    , survive in the celebrity world, where the vultures are lurking, waiting to tear them apart?

    And the best way to enjoy it?

    |

    |

    |

    Pre-order links:

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    Dec 30, 2016

    I consistently struggle with writing reviews for contemporaries, whether they are adult or young adult. Over the years they have grown predictable and there isn’t much to talk about regarding the plot as they tend to be more character focused. Needless to say, I’m wary in picking up contemporaries anymore because they just seem to fall into the realm of “nice but not memorable”. When I first saw the cover and description of

    , I’ll admit I was skeptical but gave it a second glance a

    I consistently struggle with writing reviews for contemporaries, whether they are adult or young adult. Over the years they have grown predictable and there isn’t much to talk about regarding the plot as they tend to be more character focused. Needless to say, I’m wary in picking up contemporaries anymore because they just seem to fall into the realm of “nice but not memorable”. When I first saw the cover and description of

    , I’ll admit I was skeptical but gave it a second glance as the author duo is so popular from their successful Royals series. I kept going back and checking out the cover and description which made me realize I had to read it. This sat on my light and fluffy shelf for a couple of months, because I so wanted to love this but I also had to wait for the mood to strike me. I’m really glad I waited, because I picked this up at an opportune time and it heightened my experience like no other.

    I’ll admit I have yet to pick up

    but might have to move it up my list after having such a positive experience with WIR. I’ve heard that the Royals books are darker romance and have been found very controversial amongst various readers (that alone makes me want to read them!), so I was surprised when they released such an upbeat story. Sure, there are some serious themes and darker moments to the story, but I found WIR to be the perfect book for the reader who likes an overall feel good, happily ever after type of story. I don’t want to touch on the plot too much, but I was highly intrigued by Oakley and Vaughn from the beginning; in fact, I was so distracted by their drama that I read the entire almost 400 pages in a single sitting.

    Overall, this was such a fun read. I’d call it a guilty pleasure, but I don’t think I should have to justify if a read is worthy based on how pretentious it’s deemed to be by high brow readers. I love cheesy, heartfelt love stories that are messy; if you are a fan of

    , you will likely love this as it has a YA CoHo feel too it. Perfect to snag for summer poolside days or a week at the beach; if you enjoy a love story that takes a new spin on a classic tale, I highly recommend picking up a copy of

    to add to your summer shelves. You can do like I did and ogle the beautiful cover until you’re ready to read it. 🙂

    ***********************************

    Yay! Time for a guilty pleasure for review. I'm not even ashamed that I'm expecting to devour this like a box of Krispy Kremes with the hot light on.

    🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩

    Surprise! Just received an unexpected review copy of this in the mail- please don't suck because I'm totally crushing on this cover.

    *delicately tosses into the light and fluffy stack*

  • Megan✦❋Steamy Reads Blog❋✦
    May 11, 2017

    After reading and devouring

    series by

    (aka the dynamic duo Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick), I just couldn’t wait to read their next story. I was wondering what sort of world they would create for us this time and I tell you what, I was not disappointed (not that I could say I was surprised). I know this book has received mixed reviews, especially with respect to lack of origin

    After reading and devouring

    series by

    (aka the dynamic duo Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick), I just couldn’t wait to read their next story. I was wondering what sort of world they would create for us this time and I tell you what, I was not disappointed (not that I could say I was surprised). I know this book has received mixed reviews, especially with respect to lack of originality, but that didn’t bother me at all. In the end, if a book is well written and has an enjoyable storyline that keeps me entertained, then there is nothing wrong with familiar territory. I am a big fan of the famous guy/ordinary girl/fake girlfriend trope, so for me, this story was right up my ally.

    Oakley Ford is a well renowned pop star who has shot to fame at the age of fourteen. He has had immense success, including a double platinum album and his latest self- titled album “Ford”, went diamond. At the ripe old age of nineteen he is at a cross roads in his career; he is close to burning out. He appears to have it all to the outside world, but looks can be deceiving. His life is spiralling out of control and his PR team have to step in to do damage control.

    Vaughn Bennett has taken on more than any seventeen year old should have to. She has definitely been dealt a dud hand. After grieving the loss of her parents, she turns her focus to her remaining family; she just wants to get by. With the help of her older sister Paisley, they struggle to make life for better for their younger twin brothers. When an opportunity arises for Vaughn to act as Oak’s girlfriend, she feels she has no other option but to accept the opportunity.

    Oak’s public image is going downhill faster than then a teenage girl can scream

    In order to help to address the slide, Vaughn is hired to be his girlfriend and with the money she makes, she’ll be able to secure a future for her family and perhaps even be able to put her twin brothers through college. The celebrity life is definitely not Vaughn’s scene at all, but she is willing to put up with the paparazzi, the over the top Hollywood parties and having her every move watched, all for the benefit of her family. She is a noble creature.

    I really loved the character development between Oak and Vaughn; in fact I actually found it more relatable than I thought I would which is a credit to the authors. Oak was a major douche at the beginning, but I really enjoyed reading the transition of his character into somebody more likeable and loveable. Vaughn was the perfect ‘normal’ girl to help boost Oak’s public image. She appears quite conscientious and timid. You really could label her the perfect ‘girl next-door’, but she certainly can hold her own.

    I would most definitely recommend this story to anyone who wants to read a sweet, easy, light read with little angst and who also love their celebrity/normal girl/ fake girlfriend trope. I’m sure this one will hit the spot.

  • Veronica PARENTAL GUIDANCE ALERT:  A Court of Mist and Fury is an EROTICA/NEW ADULT but most booktubers won't tell you
    May 31, 2017

    THIS BOOK ISN'T A YOUNG ADULT BOOK, IT'S A NEW ADULT BOOK THAT IS SOLD IN THE CHILDREN SECTION OF EBOOKS RETAILERS AND PROBABLY BOOKSTORES.

    ****I repeat this ISN'T A YOUNG ADULT BOOK. It contains sexual content*****

    This is one more time another example of a new adult book that contains erotic elements and is marketed as young adult. I haven't read it yet, but I know the authors

    THIS BOOK ISN'T A YOUNG ADULT BOOK, IT'S A NEW ADULT BOOK THAT IS SOLD IN THE CHILDREN SECTION OF EBOOKS RETAILERS AND PROBABLY BOOKSTORES.

    ****I repeat this ISN'T A YOUNG ADULT BOOK. It contains sexual content*****

    This is one more time another example of a new adult book that contains erotic elements and is marketed as young adult. I haven't read it yet, but I know the authors to be two very good erotica authors: Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick.

    They call themselves Erin Watt and their debut novel was a book with content not suited for under 18 readers named Paper Princess. When they were self-published they had the decency to add a warning in their notes that their book contained erotic elements.

    Now that they are published by Harlequin teen they aren't adding warnings anymore because IMHO big publishers have 0 ethics and they prefer to sell soft-core porn to children than advertise new adult properties as new adult books. Lately new adult books are advertised and marketed as Young adult books. Several of my friends have reported to me of kids as young as seven-years-old perusing through books like

    or of 7th graders reading

    Sites with parental guidances like Common sense media, several goodreads librarians and a prestigious site like Kirkus reviews have been participating of this deceitful marketing with regard of this and other books that aren't suited for young audiences. So be careful.

    More of that in my

    Problematic issues and erotic content of the previous work of these authors

    More on misleading marketing on my A court of mist and fury review.

    I haven't read When it's real yet, I just wanted to warn you about sexual content in case you prefer clean reads or were thinking to give it as a gift to an underage reader. I personally prefer smut in my reads and although I hated paper princess I like Elle Kennedy and I'll read this. I just think that it's big time authors and publishing companies stop shoving sex scenes down young people's throats WITHOUT A WARNING. Give us a warning and don't try to mislead us.

    If you need a book of similar theme which is indeed young adult and clean and not new adult read

    . You can read aloud the romantic scenes of that book to your parents or underage kids and you wouldn't get into trouble. And if you want to give a young adult book as a gift to an underage kids you can trust your gift won't be see as of bad taste if you buy catch a falling star.

    I only wish I could say the same of other Young adult reads. I don't have confidence to give books as gift anymore. If there's a rating system for movies, why not for books?

    If you see children reading this book or A court of mist and fury in a bookstore I hope you can report to the bookstore or their parents.

    UPDATE: My friend Lanae gave me more information on the sexual content of this book. Aparently the sexual scene in this book is very "fade to black" and it's not as graphic as Paper princess. That leaves me exactly in the same position because

    a) A fade to black sex scene is more New adult than YOung adult, especially considering that a relatively clean book like Slammed by Colleen Hoover is considered New adult

    b) 10-15 YO readers might enjoy this book enough to later want to purchase, borrow or read Paper princess, The deal and all the rest of the authors' erotic books. So careful!

    By no means I'm saying don't read the book.

    By no means I'm saying that erotica authors can't write clean YA. Even though Paper Princess isn't clean YA some erotica authors (other than Frederick and Kennedy) might manage to write clean YA.

    All I'm saying is that:

    a) We need a PG system like the one for movies and videogames

    b) Bookbloggers, Booktubers, Kirkus reviews, Goodreads librarians and moderators shouldn't lie to us or actively participate in the deceiving marketing of big publishing houses. This is a place that was supposed to be from readers to readers. Stop pretending that a book like A court of mist and fury is a young adult book because I've read reports of young children, as young as 7 YO reading or perusing copies of ACOMAF and Paper princess.

  • Aestas Book Blog
    Jun 02, 2017

    WOW! This book was addictive, heart-warming, and so well-written!! I read it in one non-stop sitting because I just did not want to put it down! If you're looking for a new rock star romance to fall in love with, check this out!

    The story begins when Vaughn, a completely down-to-earth, no-bullshit, no-nonsense girl who h

    WOW! This book was addictive, heart-warming, and so well-written!! I read it in one non-stop sitting because I just did not want to put it down! If you're looking for a new rock star romance to fall in love with, check this out!

    The story begins when Vaughn, a completely down-to-earth, no-bullshit, no-nonsense girl who has sacrificed her college life to waitress and financially support her younger siblings after their parents were killed, is offered an unexpected job that has the power to change her life. The publicity team behind Oakley Ford -- the most famous teenage pop star on the planet -- is willing to pay her twenty thousand dollars a month to pretend to be his girlfriend. She's baffled by the absurdity of the concept, and has no patience for his drama, but hey if they're willing to pay her that much money to pretend to be in love with this guy, who is she to say no?

    Oakley is no happier about their situation. Having grown up in the spotlight as a child star, he now only wants to be taken seriously as an artist. Sure, he's made bucket loads of money being a pop star, but his fan base is mostly rabid, slightly crazed teenage girls. The music he's shelling out just isn't the sound he wants to be creating and as such, he's lost his mojo. Not to mention that despite his awards and fame, his reputation has recently taken a beating and he needs a more wholesome image to sell to the press to give them a reason to believe in him again. Enter Vaughn.

    Oakley and Vaughn were polar opposites. Even at nineteen, Oak was used to the fake facade of fame, to the privacy intrusions, gossip lies, and unwanted attention. He was a bit egotistical and spoiled but ultimately had a very good heart underneath everything. And for him, Vaughn's lack of adoration, fangirlyness, and her unfiltered sass and honesty was exactly the reality check he so desperately needed. But she was still new to his whole world and after signing the contract, her life spiralled into lies built on lies -- with each move either of them made being calculated deliberately by a room full of publicity managers, PR consultants, and lawyers.

    However, in the midst of the crazy new pretend relationship that they were selling to the press, something real began to grow between them. It was unexpected and thrilling. They'd been fooling the world into thinking they were a real couple, until they realized that the only people they were fooling were themselves...

    Now, just because I knowww that many of you will be wondering about this, I'll tell you that yes, Vaughn does have a boyfriend in the beginning of the book for a while. I don't consider it a love triangle though at all because it's clear to anyone that her boyfriend is a selfish douche and isn't close to worthy of being the hero of this story (or any other one) so yeah, it's a little annoying, but they did a good job explaining why she was with him so his character made sense for the part he played in this story.

    I loved many things about this book. I loved that even though Oak had so many opportunities to be a manwhore in his life with all the girls constantly throwing themselves at him, he actually had standards and a sense of loyalty. He was a one-woman man and I really respected that quality about him. I loved that Vaughn wasn't a pushover when it came to Oakley. Despite his fame, she had no problem dishing out the sarcasm, attitude, and she didn't sugar coat her feelings. She kept things real with him and I loved her honesty.

    This is a standalone novel that kind of rides the line between mature YA and early NA. The hero and heroine are in their late teens, and there is some sex but not very much. It's also written in first person from alternating POVs. It's lightly angsty in places, but nothing gut-wrenching. The romance is very sweet, slow-burning (but believable) and the ending was completely heart-warming, swoony, and satisfying. It left me smiling!

    As soon as I started reading the first few pages of this book, I fell in love with loved the writing. Erin Watt has a fun, fresh, addictive voice that just compels you to keep reading. I'm definitely going to be on the look out for their next books and I highly recommend this one as a great rock star romance and a new favorite!

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