I really enjoyed the first book in this series, not least for its charming-but-shy Deaf heroine, and her ability to overcome all adversities, including the woman posing as her, initially unsanctioned: then later as a means to take attention away from the real protagonist of the story. This sequel turns that idea on its head and focusses on Veronica Wilde, the woman who has gone on to make a career out of posing as other people in a variety of public and not-so-public settings. As Veronica was a bit of an anti-heroine in the first book, I was interested to see how she would alter her behaviours in order to act as the heroine of this book.
Although this is a sequel, and in some respects requires knowledge of past events in order to understand who our heroine is and how she forged her current career, we see very little of the characters and settings from the first book and receive few indications at first as to exactly how much time has passed or how Veronica has apparently managed to build up her clientele so rapidly. Instead, we first meet Veronica when she’s posing as the girlfriend of a man intent on reigniting his ex’s interest in him. The plan works even better than either expected, and Veronica finds herself with a free evening and a surprisingly wistful feeling toward the happy couple. Not one to worry about such details, however, she sets out to enjoy herself and spend some of the money she’s earned partying like – and with – a rock star.
As a total contrast to Veronica’s high-octane (and high-maintenance) lifestyle, former accountant and would-be entrepreneur Baxter Linton is determined to make a remarkable difference to as many people’s lives as possible. While working with homeless people, he has come up with a new kind of blanket that will provide insulation on even the coldest nights out of doors. His only problem is that of convincing at least one backer that this project is worth their investment. Fortunately, a friend suggests hiring Veronica to pose as his business partner to make the operation look like more than a one-man-band.
Veronica is sceptical, but agrees to work with Baxter to improve his image and secure a backer. As they begin working together, Baxter becomes curious about Veronica’s background and slowly learns about the family she walked away from – and has no intention of reconnecting with. Nevertheless, Veronica learns more about Baxter – and about herself – than she ever anticipated, and events eventually conspire to give her a shot at a real relationship in which she can be herself.
This book really didn’t grab me the way the first one in the series did. It had a lot to live up to and felt a little too much as if it was piggybacking off the success of the previous book without incorporating many of the features I loved about that one. On the other hand, we do eventually get to catch up with Elise and Gavin from Flirting with Fame and see how life’s been treating them. Rather a disappointment overall, but I’ll still be watching out for more from the author.
As an actress-for-hire, Veronica Wilde has made a living out of pretending to be other people. It’s the one thing at which she’s always excelled: taking on someone else’s personality and running with it. So after Elise Jameson, author of the bestselling Viking Moon series, decides she no longer requires Veronica’s services, she needs to find a new gig—and fast.
But when her newest client hires Veronica to help him make his small business look more successful than it actually is, the sparks that fly between them are definitely not part of the act. Suddenly, Veronica finds she’s tired of playing pretend for a living. She’s been acting for so long, she’s blindsided by the one man who sees her for who she really is. And the most terrifying part? She might actually like it.
Read an excerpt.