Title: Like Nobody’s Watching
Author: Tara Frejas
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
It’s all fun and games until someone catches feelings.
If there’s something Pio Alvez is good at, it’s pretending to be someone he’s not. On stage and on-screen, the actor has mastered the art of becoming the characters he plays, and his new role should be no different. After all, how difficult would it be to pretend to be smitten with a beautiful, intelligent go-getter like Audrey Alonzo?
Perhaps it’s more difficult pretending not to be.
This book holds a special place in my heart. Of all the #romanceclass books I’ve read, this one has got to be my favorite. (For an explanation of what #romanceclass is, visit this entry at my old blog.) Honestly? I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. I love the fake relationship trope in fanfiction (STONY FOREVER) but in fiction…?
As it turns out…I loved it. Or maybe it’s just the way Tara Frejas did it? I would have to read more of the trope in fiction to determine the answer to that – which, hey, isn’t exactly a hardship, lol.
Like Nobody’s Watching is the story of Audrey Alonzo, whose life seems perfect. She’s an advertising executive, and she’s in a long-term relationship with the perfect guy. The bottom drops out of her world, however, when said perfect guy turns out to be not-so-perfect after all and cheats on her. Heartbroken, Audrey goes out to drown her sorrows in alcohol, is set upon by a pack of douchebros, and is rescued by a handsome Good Samaritan. She ends up pouring out the whole sad story of her breakup to him, thinking she’ll never see this kind stranger again – but then he turns out to be famous actor Pio Alvez, who’s just been hired as the face of Audrey’s new client. Thrown together by the universe, the two decide to make the best out of a shitty situation by pretending to be together to: a) piss off Audrey’s asshole ex, and b) help Audrey get over said asshole ex. They’ve got the ‘be together’ part down pat, mostly because their chemistry is crazy good. The ‘pretending’ bit, on the other hand…
Two things I absolutely, positively adored about this book were Audrey and Pio. Honestly, I really believe that they were what made the whole thing work. There was nothing special about the plot, actually. You’d find it on dozens of Tumblr prompts for fanfiction. A and B pretend to be in a relationship and actually fall in love. But Audrey and Pio made it special. Their chemistry was just so natural, so believable, that you can’t help but root for them.
Audrey Alonzo is the young professional woman I wish I was, to be honest. She’s a creative go-getter who isn’t afraid to call people – specifically, her asshole ex, who works in a supervisory position at the same agency she’s with – out on their bullshit. And most of all, she’s introspective enough to realize when she herself is spouting bullshit. Acknowledging that she’s not in a good place to commit fully to a relationship, and working on healing herself before giving her heart wholly to someone else? That level of inner awareness is one you seldom see in chick lit. Audrey is the romantic-comedy female lead we all need and deserve.
Don’t even get me started on my cinnamon roll Pio Alvez. Helpful and kind without expecting anything in return? Check. Loves his mother and his siblings? Check. Actually listens to Audrey when she tells him about her problems? Check. Refuses to compromise his principles even when doing so will get him his dream job? Check. Respects Audrey’s boundaries and doesn’t push her to do or commit to anything more than she isn’t comfortable? Check. All of that plus he is cute as hell? Damn girl. You might as well just take this book, highlight all the parts with Pio in it, and give it to the man in your life and tell him he needs to take lessons.
All in all, this was a solid romance read, with a sweet, simple plot that allows for some really great character development. I kinda wanna watch this as a movie, to be honest.
Buy it here!