Just For Show by JaeJust For Show by Jae is a story about learning to love yourself unconditionally, opening your heart to love and choosing happiness over other people’s expectations.

Claire Renshaw has everything in the palm of her hand—a rewarding career, the love of her life and a book deal on the horizon. All good things eventually come to an end. Claire’s fiancé breaks up with her, the publishing contract she wants to grab with both hands and hold on to with all of her might, could be in danger because of her broken relationship. Everyone wants self-help advice from someone who is successful in whatever they are promoting and here’s the catch… no one wants relationship advice from someone who is newly single.

Claire needs some form of positivity in her life and getting the publishing contract is the beginning and end all of it. To solve her dilemma, Claire decides to get a fake fiancé.

Lana Henderson is nowhere near Claire’s vision for a fake fiancé. Her outspoken and laidback attitude just rubs Claire the wrong way. Somewhere along the way, Lana’s annoying habits become endearing to Claire. Lines are crossed and smudged, have they become so comfortable with the charade of intimacy between them that each tender touch or brush of their lips begins to feel like the real deal?

Things should be able to go back to normal after they go their separate ways. Is the publishing contract responsible for the smoldering chemistry they share or do they have something more between them?

The Characters

Claire Renshaw is a prominent psychologist who is eager to publish her book about relationships. She equates happiness with success and she is relentless in her efforts to make her dream become a reality. Claire has so many endearing qualities! I just love the sensitive, kind-hearted and sensual woman beneath the indifferent exterior she presents to the world. I also admire her single-minded focus; once she sets her mind to a task or a routine, she does not deviate from it unless it is absolutely necessary.

Lana Henderson is an actress who has not had an acting gig in quite a while. She is a free-spirited and exuberant woman who enjoys life despite the challenges she faces. I really adore Lana’s love for tasty food (How can I not love a woman who enjoys food like I do?!) I must admit that Lana’s charming personality won me over because she has a way of turning a negative situation into something beautiful and inspiring. She never gives up on her dreams, she is trustworthy, fun-loving and loyal to her friends. 

The Writing Style

I can attest to the fact that this story started off with a bang and the story flowed seamlessly without a hitch in the storyline. The author did a fantastic job of portraying the inner worlds of the main characters. I felt so close to these amazing women! They felt like dear friends that I haven’t seen in a long while because the author gave me such a vivid description of their quirky personalities and I couldn’t help but get attached to them.

The Pros

What I really loved most of all about this story is the fact that Claire and Lana’s differences highlighted and complimented their unique qualities. I enjoyed a hearty laugh over Claire’s OCD tendencies (I couldn’t help myself because I saw quite a lot of my own OCD quirks showing up in this story!)

The Cons

I just don’t like the fact that there is no sequel and I got so attached to the lovely characters in this book!

The Conclusion

aprils favourite booksThis delightful story struck a chord with me because I could relate to some of the struggles the main characters faced. The doubts and anxieties that plagued Lana and Claire made me marvel at how simple or complicated life can become when love takes center stage. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the way the story progressed. This superb author surpassed my expectations by delivering a story with bizarre situations that had me either chuckling at the characters’ blunders or doing a face palm and groaning as I empathized with them.

Excerpt from Just For Show by Jae

Lana gripped the folder with her headshot and her admittedly modest acting resume and smiled at the only other person in the room, a woman she guessed to be a few years older than her own twenty-nine. Was she the casting director’s assistant?

No, Lana decided. She was too well dressed for that. Everything about the woman was refined: her blond hair secured in an elegant chignon, the turquoise silk scarf knotted around her neck that gave her pale grey eyes a greenish tint, and the formfitting pencil skirt hugging her slim hips.

When the woman crossed the room to shake Lana’s hand, Lana noticed her shoes. The modestly heeled pumps looked as if they had cost more than Lana’s rent.

Definitely not an assistant. Maybe someone sponsoring the movie?

Whoever she was, her expression didn’t bode well for Lana’s chances of getting the part. The woman stared at her with obvious dismay. Had she wanted to cast a different type of actress? Maybe one of those size-zero stick figures? Or was it the scar or the tattoo peeking out from the short sleeve of the blouse she’d bought for the audition?

Lana held her head up high and looked her square in the eyes. She had encountered that attitude hundreds of times in showbiz and refused to let it intimidate her—or let it make her hate the way she looked.

As if she had guessed what Lana was thinking, the woman’s expression cleared. “Hi, I’m Claire Renshaw.” Her tone was carefully neutral, and she didn’t add anything that told Lana what role she played in the production.

“Lana Henderson. Nice to meet you.”

The woman’s hand was slender and felt pleasant—if a little damp—in her own. Why the hell was she so nervous? Was she an actress reading for a role in the movie too?

Lana glanced around. No script on the table. Apparently, they wanted her to do improv. No problem. Lana had learned to work with unexpected situations and could improvise at a moment’s notice.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 9783955339814

Publisher: Ylva Publishing

Jae Online

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