The pseudonymous writing duo of the Royals trilogy introduces engaging new characters in a modern version of “Beauty and the Beast.”
He is Oakley Ford, bad-boy white pop star who hit success at 16 and is burning out by 19, with a tarnished reputation and nothing going his way. She is Vaughn Bennett, 17, smart, white, and a very normal girl, dealing with grief over the loss of her parents and struggling to find her life’s passion. Taking a year off before heading to college and working as a waitress to help her siblings make ends meet, she’s offered a golden opportunity: pretend to be Oakley’s girlfriend for a year to help improve his image. Although worried her boyfriend won’t approve, Vaughn takes the job and falls into a whirlwind of paparazzi and scripted social media that just isn’t her at all. Add to that Oak’s disdain and frustration, and she wants out…until she sees his other side. As she begins to help him over his creative block, can these two disparate souls turn the scripted romance into something real? Full of glitz and glamour, with just enough “normal” thrown in, this story speeds readers along through the bumps and bruises of this budding relationship. Oakley’s and Vaughn’s alternating voices flow smoothly, and if there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever about the end of the journey, getting there is undeniable fun.
A quintessential beach read. (Fiction. 14-18)