If We Pretend

A Fake Dating Scottish Sports Romance

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Pub Date 10 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 02 Oct 2023

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Reese Hart can’t wait to spend the summer in Scotland, resetting her life while her daughter attends an elite soccer camp. Her goal? To move past what happened between her ex-husband and her former best friend, now happily engaged and eager to rebuild their relationship with Reese. What’s definitely not on the agenda? A summer fling with a sexy Scot.

Two years after an injury ended his professional soccer career—and his bad behavior in clubs made headlines—Oliver Vass is running trainings for a soccer camp. He knows two things: one, he’s nothing without soccer, and two, if he doesn’t get his act together, he’ll lose the chance to be a father to his ten-year-old son.

When Reese’s ex-husband and his fiancée show up in Scotland, Reese’s reset month dream disappears … until Oliver comes up with a solution: fake dating. A new boyfriend is just the excuse Reese needs to avoid her ex. And if Oliver brings wholesome Reese to his son’s birthday party, it’ll look like he’s getting his act together. It’s the perfect plan, but when Oliver kisses Reese in the ruins of an ancient abbey, their steamy chemistry explodes.

But Reese is only in Scotland for a month. And as the end of their charade approaches, she and Oliver have to figure out what’s real and what’s not, before they end up an ocean apart.

If We Pretend is a first person, present tense, dual POV romance about a divorced mom and a Scottish ex-professional soccer player who fake date against the gorgeous backdrop of the Scottish Borders. For fans of Tessa Bailey, Lucy Score, Meghan Quinn, and Ted Lasso.


Reese Hart can’t wait to spend the summer in Scotland, resetting her life while her daughter attends an elite soccer camp. Her goal? To move past what happened...

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ISBN 9798988745808
PRICE $4.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 47 members

Featured Reviews

Upbeat, realistic, lovely story. Characters are believable and pleasant; a real joy to root for well-written parents. That’s a rarity. I typically dislike fake-dating tropes, but this one was palatable. Their reasoning was sound if silly, and the transition to not-so-fake was lovely to read. Conflicts in the story are non-traumatic, real-life problems that would impact any reasonable person. Unlike most romance novels, the characters don’t just bumble around making obviously crap decisions and creating problems where none exist; these two had an actual issue that was eventually solved in a mature, yet romantic, way. I’m not that into “steamy scenes”, but the few this book has are well written, realistic, and admittedly hot. They’re also not overwhelming to the narrative— it’s a cute book with steam, rather than a dirty book with some dialogue in between. I don’t give 5s that often, but I read this book cover to cover in a few hours and I’m still smiling. Well done, Chrissy Hopewell! Looking forward to reading more.

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I really liked this book and oh my god did it make me miss Edinburgh.

I loved how the relationship blossomed and their growth within the relationship too. I appreciated how the problems within the relationship were real life problems that were solved together, realistically.

There were a few spicy scenes, which fit in well within the book and added to the plot rather than just being there for the purpose of adding spice.

I'm not usually a big fan of stories where the MC's have children, but the portrayal of the children was realistic and the relationship between the FMC and her daughter was cute and again, realistic.

I also appreciated how the priorities of the MMC weren't thrown away for a woman.

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I adored this book! Right off the bat I felt a strong connection to Reese, who just wanted a little break after her husband and the father of her teenage daughter divorced her and is now engaged to her best friend. Planning to enjoy her time in Scotland while her daughter is attending a soccer camp, Reese is horrified when her ex-husband and ex-best friend show up, wanting to hang out and be besties. Cue Oliver, the younger former professional soccer (ahem, football) player and coach at the soccer camp. Not only is he hot (can we talk about those tattoos?), but also he’s so ready to step in and play the part of doting boyfriend so Reese doesn’t have to face those exes alone.

The relationship between Oliver and Reese was lovely. There was plenty of heat but they also had this loving, warm friendship underneath it. This book will definitely appeal to readers looking for a sports romance (but without too much sports), for Scottish romances, and to anyone who enjoys reading about sticking it to an ex and an ex-best friend. Highly reccommend!

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What a great romance! I'll definitely be buying a physical copy when it comes out because I'll be reading this one again!

This book has such an adorable beginning in an amazing setting. Right off the bat, we’re on vacation with the protagonist Reese in Scotland. Yes, please!

The characters are sympathetic and realistic adults. I love that Reese is in her later 30s and as such has a lot going on in her life, including parenthood. Then the relationship between Reese and her love interest Oliver (the other protagonist as this is a dual perspective novel) grows in a realistic way that makes both individuals and the relationship healthier. I was so invested in whether they would make it work and how.

It has a very spicy scene! It fits into the story in a way that doesn’t feel gratuitous.

This isn’t my first fake-dating book, and I particularly enjoyed The Unhoneymooners. However, I liked this even more because this book never stressed me out, kept the length perfect to the genre, and felt more realistic throughout. Like The Unhoneymooners, it had me smiling and laughing a lot. This is my favorite fake-dating interpretation.

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I blew through this one, it was easy to do with the likable MC's and their realistic love story.

Reese has decided to take a month-long vacation to reset in Scotland while her daughter is at soccer camp but that all blows up in her face when her ex-husband and ex-bestfriend show up with the same idea. Oliver, the hot tattooed ex-professional soccer player is the coach and now Reese's fake boyfriend who helps her enjoy Scotland and deter the unwanted attention from the new arrivals.

I adored Reese and her relationship with her daughter right away. I hated to see her struggle with her ex-husband and the pressures her ex-best friend was putting on her and was glad to see with the help of Oliver her confidence bloomed.

The fake dating trope was done well especially since before it was introduced you could see the chemistry between Oliver and Reese and they genuinely had me smiling and laughing during all their interactions.
The spicy scenes weren't overdone and since these two are in their thirties with responsibilities and priorities involved they had to overcome realistic problems but solved them like mature adults.

I highly recommend this easy, fun-to-read romantic story that stands out amongst the rest and will be sure to give you all the feels.

Thank you Netgalley, Fox Hollow Publishing, and Chrissy Hopewell for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

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