Pretend With Me, an all-new fake-engagement small-town standalone romance in the Kanfield Brothers Series from bestselling author Allie Everhart is available now!
Tall, athletic, really hot baseball coach.
My first and only one-night stand.
And surprise! The father of my child.
I met Jason at a friend’s wedding and our chemistry was off the charts.
After a night of dancing and a few too many drinks, we ended up in his hotel room.
The next morning we decided not to see each other again since I’d be moving away soon.
Months later, I’m still thinking about him, wanting to see him, but not sure if I should.
A positive pregnancy test made the decision for me.
Jason’s shocked at the news and wants to know how we’ll co-parent with me moving away. But I have a more immediate problem… my parents coming to town.
My very traditional parents would be crushed if they knew I was having a baby with a guy I barely know. I can’t disappoint them like that. So I hatch a plan.
A fake engagement, just for the week my parents are here.
Or so I thought, until that little white lie gets leaked to the whole town.
I have to make a decision: Tell the truth or keep pretending.
I decide to fess up… until Jason gets down on one knee. With an engagement ring.
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I walk up to Jason in the kitchen. “Remember how you said you owed me a favor for going to the wedding?”
“Yeah. What about it?”
“You said you’d do anything, right?”
“Within reason. Why?”
“You didn’t say within reason. You can’t add that part now.”
He laughs. “Mia, what is this about?”
“My parents don’t know that I’m pregnant. I was going to tell them after my graduation, but I don’t think I can wait. They’ll want to know who the father is and since you’re here, and they’re here, and I’m here, I thought I’d introduce you to them.”
“Okay. But that’s not doing you a favor. I’m happy to meet your parents. I want to.”
“Yeah, um, that’s not really the favor part.”
“Then what is it? What do you want me to do?”
“I need you to pretend to be my fiancé.”
“Fiancé? We’re not even dating.”
“But my parents don’t know that.”
“Why would you lie to them?”
“Because they’re old-fashioned. I don’t want them knowing I hooked up with you at a wedding and haven’t seen you in months. I was going to tell them we’ve been dating this whole time.” I pause. “And maybe part of last year.”
Jason laughs. “You’re kidding, right? This is some kind of joke?”
“It’s not a joke. I need you to do this.” I clutch his arm. “I’m begging you to. If you knew my parents, you’d understand.”
“I’m sure they know things have changed since they were our age. People have kids outside of marriage all the time.”
“Yes, I know, but it’s not what they wanted for their only daughter. Jason, you said you’d do anything if I went to your brother’s wedding. I did my part of the deal. I’m asking you to do yours.”
“So what happens when you leave at the end of the summer?”
“I’ll tell them we broke up. I’ll say we tried to make it work but it didn’t.”
He shakes his head. “I don’t know, Mia. I don’t like this. I think you should just tell them the truth.”
“And break their hearts? Jason, I’ve seen how much you love your parents. If you knew something would hurt them and disappoint them, but there was a way to avoid all that, wouldn’t you do it?”
“Maybe. But I’d be more likely to tell them the truth.”
My phone dings with a text. “My mom says they’ll meet me for breakfast in a half hour. I’m going to go pack up.”
I nod. “My parents want me to stay and spend the week with them but it’s too risky. I’d end up running into your family and then I’d have to tell my parents everything. I’m just going to go with my original plan of telling them I’m pregnant right before they leave.”
“What are you going to tell them about the father?”
“I haven’t decided, but I’ll figure it out.” I go to the bedroom and pack up my things. I take my suitcase out to the living room and see Jason sitting on the couch.
“Bye, Jason.” I walk to the door.
“Wait.” He jumps up. “I’ll walk you out.”
“You don’t have to.” I don’t want him to because I’m pretty sure I’ll burst into tears when I get past the door. I really thought he’d do this for me, but he won’t.
Jason goes with me to my car. He puts my suitcase in the trunk, but doesn’t close it.
“Jason, I need to hurry. I’m going to be late.”
He closes the trunk and walks up to me. “What would I tell my family? If we did this?”
“You don’t have to tell them anything. My parents don’t live here, and as long as we keep them away from your parents, they never have to know.”
“What if your parents want to meet mine?”
“We could tell them we haven’t told your parents yet. We could say we just got engaged and that you wanted to wait to tell them about the baby.”
“This is never going to work.”
“My parents aren’t going to be here that long. There’s very little chance they’ll run into your parents.”
He checks his watch. “I need to clean up. I’ll meet you there.”
“Really? You’ll really do this?”
He shrugs. “I owe you. I have to pay you back.”
Sunny Shelly’s Review: 4 Stars
Pretend With Me is the second book in the Kanfield brothers series that I’ve read, and I enjoyed it just as much as Brody and Kate’s story. Jason and Mia clicked right from the start, and I felt every ounce of their connection the night they meet at a wedding. And the yearning after! Mia was planning to move back home to Boston in a few months, so they both decided pursuing a relationship was pointless. Until Mia realized she was pregnant.
But man, I felt like I was getting hit over the head with all the back and forth about how she needs to love back home to take care of her aging parents, and he won’t leave his family to go with her. I got it the first time, but between the multiple conversations and all of the inner dialogue, I felt it was all these two spoke and thought about. And as soon as Mia’s old-school parents came to visit and she and Jason pretended to be engaged since she was pregnant, the solution was so obvious. I can’t believe it took so long to get there!
Still, Pretend With Me was a pretty low-angst, instalove story that I easily read in a day. It hits all the right notes, and ends with a HEA for all! I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
Allie Everhart is the author of more than 50 books and several bestselling series, including The Jade Series, The Kensington Series, and The Wheeler Brothers. Allie writes angsty love stories, often with a twist of mystery and suspense. She loves reading for hours in a comfy spot, drinking strong coffee, walking in the woods, and writing emotional stories that make the characters work for their happy ending.
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