Title: Artificial Sweethearts
Author: Julie Hammerle
Release Date: 7/10/17
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Blurb:It’s not chemistry between Tinka Foster and Sam Anderson that made them agree to fake date. With her parents trying to set her up with an annoying student golf coach, and intentionally single Sam’s family pressuring him to bring a date to his brother’s wedding, they could both use a drama-free summer.
So it’s not his muscular arms and quick wit that makes Tinka suggest they tell everyone they’re both taken. Definitely not. And it’s not butterflies that makes a kiss for appearances during the lake party go on way too long—so long that Sam wishes it were real.
But Tinka keeps people at arm’s length—she’s always been second best, even to her parents. And her relationship-for-show could crush everything when she realizes she’s done with fake, pretend, and second-best.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains bikinis at the lake, a lot of making out in dark theaters, and a meet-cute you’ll read twice.
Buy Links:Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072V24Q1J
About the Author:
Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us (Entangled TEEN, 2016) and the North Pole, Minnesota young adult romance series (Entangled Crush, 2017). She writes about TV and pop culture for the ChicagoNow blog, Hammervision, and lives in Chicago with her family. She enjoys reading, cooking, and watching all the television.
The sliding glass door whooshed open behind them. Their opportunity for escape was lost. Tinka spun around as the guy headed toward them. He was carrying three bottles of water and had put on a T-shirt, a faded movie tee, over his mesh shorts. Jaws. A story about a terrifying shark that kills people.
The guy handed a bottle to Tinka. “Take a seat.”
Ready to flee at any moment, she perched next to Jane on the bench, where the hot, sticky varnish stuck to her legs immediately. Tinka unscrewed the cap, which gave off the familiar rip-pop sound that proved the bottle had not been tampered with. Tinka tilted it back; and as the cold water coated her parched throat, she forgot for a moment she was about to be murdered.
“This is a gorgeous house,” Jane said. The guy knocked back his water, then screwed the cap back on.
“Thanks. I like it.” Tinka decided to play civil. “Do you do all the landscaping yourself or do you have a crew that helps you?”
He smirked at Tinka, like she was the most curious thing he had seen in a while. “We have a crew, but I noticed a few spots on the bushes that needed trimming.”
She nodded. “If you need to get back to work, don’t let us stop you. We wouldn’t want you to get in trouble with your boss.”
“My boss?” He was still grinning at Tinka with those dimples as he kneaded the plastic on his water bottle. “You mean my father?”
“Your father owns the landscaping business?”
“My father owns the house. I’m Sam. Anderson,” he added for good measure. “I live here.” He gestured toward the back door.
Jane dropped her face into her hands. “Oh my God, Tinka.”
Tinka spun toward her, pointing. “Oh my God nothing, Jane. You didn’t know he lived here, either.”
“I did so.”
Jane waved her hand to indicate Sam and the flirty smile reappeared on her face. “He has a way about him.”
“He has no way about anything. No offense.” Tinka nodded to Sam.
“None taken.” Knitting his brow, Sam lifted his hat and ran his fingers through his curly brown hair. He had hazel eyes with friendly crinkles on the corners that didn’t disappear even when he frowned.
Heads up! This review contains spoilers.
The romance was cute, but for me, the meat of this book was Tinka coming to terms with her role in her family. It was fascinating to see the different ways each member of the Foster family dealt with the death of her older brother, Jake, who died when he was four and she was one. I really enjoyed watching their growth as a family and individually as they came to terms with the very private feelings of mourning over the death of such a young child.
I felt like Tinka's growth could have been expanded a bit more. I would have liked to have a bit more explanation of why she pushed everyone away. I'm guessing it had to do with her parents and the way they pushed her away. I feel like the author needed to bridge that gap just a little better. But it was addressed enough that I was able to fill in the blanks. My guess is that her parents emotionally distancing themselves from her because of their inability to deal with their grief and that was what influenced her reaction to do the same to her friends.
It was beautiful to see her finally talk openly with her parents about their feelings over Jake's death, and consequently her issue with constantly pushing her closest friends, and Sam, away.
Overall, this book was a good read with lots of cute moments and swoonworthy scenes. The chemistry building between Sam and Tinka felt realistic and they were fully-fleshed out characters with real issues, hopes, and dreams coming to terms with issues they needed to overcome. I highly recommend it!
Signed copy of Any Boy But You (US Only)