Pretend Ever After
by Skye Warren
Published by Dangerous Press
Billionaire. CEO. Heir to the largest fortune in the United States.
Finn Hughes has a secret that no one can know. It means keeping people away... And what better way than with a fake relationship?
It will keep people from prying into his personal life.
He won't be exposed. His family will remain safe from public scrutiny and disdain. Then the fake relationship turns all too real.
PRETEND EVER AFTER contains all three books in the Hughes series, taking you from the steamy beginning to the emotional conclusion.
Dementia, memories of child abuse
Before I begin, I would like to thank Valentine PR, Dangerous Press, and Skye Warren for sending me an arc of Pretend Ever After in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Funny story - when I requested this arc, I didn't realize it was connected to the Midnight Dynasty World (this is a compilation of different series' each featuring a romance, all connected because one of the main characters is a member of the the Constantine or Morelli families.) The newest series being Violent Delights, which I recently reviewed the first book, Claim). I just read the synopsis, and I wanted to read it.
My feelings on Pretend Ever After is very similar to Claim. Despite being three books in one, they are short books (all under 300 pages), so it's not actually that long of a read. I finished it in two days. Honestly, I didn't mind them being short. I think if the stories were longer I would have gotten bored, because this story is actually pretty simplistic. We don't need a whole bunch of filler. Also like Claim, it very much follows the billionaire/CEO trope, and its FAST. It's love at first sight, even if the characters don't admit it.
When I realized that this was a part of the Midnight Dynasty collection, I immediately thought this was a BDSM romance. I'm not sure why. This, after all, is a collection of family dynasty romances. It's unrealistic that every member of the family would have the same kink. So I appreciate that that is reflected in the writing. Every person, every couple, has their own sexual identities, and I like that. So while the Violent Delights series is a BDSM romance, this one is not. That being said, I feel like the sex scenes were the weakest part of this book(s). They were very quick, kinda glossed over. It just didn't peak my interest I guess.
Another thing that bothered me, was that Skye Warren is a teller. She tells you EVERYTHING. What a touch means. What a kiss means. What words mean. Not once does she leave it up to a reader to figure out feelings or thoughts behind physical acts, which was annoying. I'm smart. I know what those moments mean. I can put two and two together. When it's followed by the author telling me what it means, it feels redundant. When the scene switches POV, we are told again what it means. It happened enough that it took me out of the story.
Also - what's up with the prologue in the third book? It felt very out of place, and I'm not sure I understood the significance, unless it has something to do with another series in the dynasty.
Pretend Ever After is simple. Despite the content in it, it's a fast read, and not bogged down with a ton of information that will bore you. I appreciated that the overall plot revolves around dementia, and not only the difficulties of living with it, but mostly on the impact on families. I actually found the Hughes storyline in regards to dementia to be the strongest, and most interesting in these books. If you are interesting in the Midnight Dynasty, and love billionaire romance, you will enjoy this. It's not as steamy as I would have liked, but its interesting. I still plan on one day reading the other books in the Dynasty.