Review: When It’s Real by Erin Watt

When It’s Real by Erin Watt
Caitlin Kelly - Narrator
Teddy Hamilton – Narrator
Audiobook, Duration: 11:47:37
Published May 30th, 2017 by Harlequin Enterprises
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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 his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley's team decides it's time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he's settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of "normal." Under ordinary circumstances she'd never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn't have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley's team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley's a shallow, self-centered jerk? It's not like they're going to fall for each other in real life…right?

My thoughts…

As soon as I started listening to the first chapter, I was hooked.

Vaughn is not the type to date a famous pop star, she has sacrificed her college life to waitress and financially help her older sister support their younger siblings after their parents were killed. The publicity team behind Oakley Ford is willing to pay her twenty thousand dollars a month to pretend to be his girlfriend. Vaughn already has a boyfriend, but when the opportunity to date Oak falls in her lap, she can't pass it up, her family needs the money.

Oak became a huge hit when he was young and has grown up in the spotlight, due to his singing career and famous parents. Now that he's an adult he wants to change his sound and wants to be taken more seriously, the music he created in the past is no longer working for him. Oaks reputation has recently turned negative due his outrageous exploits and he is willing to do just about anything to work with the producer of his dreams, even if it means fake dating a nice average girl.

Vaughn and Oak started out barely tolerating each other and were total opposites. Oak was used to the fame and the crazy stuff that came along with it, fan girls, paparazzi, tabloid stories and the privacy invasion. But Vaughn is new to this and after signing the contract and the NDA, her life spiraled into something she wasn’t expecting. Oaks publicity managers, PR consultants, and lawyers calculated their public meetings, until Oak took control of his own social network accounts and began doing things with Vaughn that is PR consultants did know about.

Vaughn does have a boyfriend in the beginning of the book and she does ask him to sign the NDA, he was aware that she will be kissing another guy. I didn’t think of it as a love triangle because it's clear to anyone that her boyfriend is a selfish jerk.

I enjoyed the banter and the sexual tension build between Vaughn and Oak, the more time they spent together the more they saw past their initial impressions and formed a friendship. I really loved watching Oak fall for Vaughn, he didn't want to, but it happened and it was beautiful. There is some ex-boyfriend and family drama but the cute and sweet moments I just loved.

This is the first book that I’ve read (listened to) by Erin Watt, the two bestselling authors Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick. I have The Royal’s Series by Erin Watt on Kindle and I’m very much looking forward to reading it. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Happy Reading -J


  1. I have been really curious about this book. I am happy to see that you liked it as much as you did. I love a book that grabs you right from the start. Great review!

  2. Thanks Carole, I listened to it on audio and I enjoyed so much that I'm purchasing it for my shelves. Have a wonderful day.