Jae’s books and I go way back. She’s written a few of my absolute favorite stories with Backwards to Oregon by Jae being at the top of my list for her stuff. No, I will never stop telling anyone who will listen how much I love that damn book. But back to this review…
Before I go further, here’s the blurb from Amazon should you care to check it out:
When Claire, an overachieving psychologist with OCD tendencies, hires Lana, an impulsive, out-of-work actress for a fake relationship, she figures the worst she’ll have to endure are the messes Lana leaves around. It’s only for a few months anyway. And it’s not as if she’ll enjoy all those fake kisses and loving looks. Right?
A lesbian romance where role-playing has never been so irresistible.
I’ve been mostly out of the loop on f/f romance but I feel like I’ve seen a few “fake relationships turn to real love” books out fairly recently. Since I’ve been wrapped up in murder and mayhem, I’ve not been tempted to give the new ones a read. Until Jae’s showed up on my radar. I will very likely always give one of her books a try, no matter the theme or genre. Hell, I even loved her non-fiction work.
Back to Just for Show. I became engrossed in the story very quickly and thought Lana was a lovable character. I didn’t take long for Claire to grow on me and, soon, I was cheering for them. I mean, it’s a romance novel so there’s no mystery about how the book will end but I do love finding out what the drama will be that brings the near strangers to fall in love and live happily ever after. I think Jae knocked this part out of the park. Even if some of the plot points were predictable, the fun of getting to and through them made this book a definite re-read for me. I absolutely loved Lana and Claire and Claire’s family.
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for me, though. I wasn’t prepared for this book to be part of the Hollywood series, so when the cameos started rolling through fast and furious, I was unhappy. Yeah, I know, lots of people love seeing characters from previous books show up in a new book by the same author but I really disliked it in this case. I thought the Hollywood series was fine, some books were more enjoyable to me than others for various reasons, but I didn’t care a lick about Jill or Crash or any of the other characters that made appearances in this one. The time taken to remind the reader of who they were and the key points to their relationship was time that could have been spent on the couple I did care about: Claire and Lana.
There were so many characters that were either featured in Just for Show or mentioned that I found myself irritated each time. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Claire’s sister, Steph, is the subject of a book in the future. There seemed to be some heavy foreshadowing in that direction. It might be that I was blindsided by inclusion of so many past characters because it wasn’t billed as a part of the series or it might be that I was enjoying the story of Lana and Claire and didn’t want the focus moved to previous story lines and characters. Whatever the reason, it really took away from my reading enjoyment. I liked the protagonists and story that was featured in this book and wanted to stick with it without call backs to other books.
The cameos probably won’t bother other folks as much as they did me. I normally don’t mind a throwback here and there but with this one, it hit me the wrong way. So take my bitching with a grain of salt and if those things don’t bother you, no worries! If you’re not a fan of series books, now you’re forewarned.
With all that said, I still ended up loving this book. I finished it yesterday and am missing my new friends. That doesn’t happen often for me anymore. I’m old and jaded and tend to quit reading a romance novel more often than I finish one these days. It’s got to be good to keep me reading and this one definitely kept me involved.
You can buy a copy or download a sample by clicking here