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Act Like You Love Me-500Brynn McAdams marched to her own drummer in high school – an awkward, geeky drummer – but now she’s all grown up and nothing like that girl.  At least she believes so most of the time.  Then her crush, still handsome and out of her league, comes back to town to help direct her community play and get his family’s lake house in shape to sell . . . and doesn’t recognize her.  Now she can use her acting ability to pretend to be someone else, a confident girl who Sawyer would be attracted to.  Sawyer’s last girlfriend was an actress and things ended so badly he never wants anything to do with one again.  Too bad he can’t ignore his attraction to Brynn.  She’s sweet, funny and most importantly honest, nothing like his ex.  The closer they get, the guiltier Brynn feels, but can she come clean about who she really is without losing Sawyer forever?

I’m not a big fan of deception romances – where someone is lying to or misleading the other – but I can kinda understand why Brynn did it.  They aren’t that far out of high school and those teenage years can leave some deep scars.  I get that she didn’t expect the relationship to progress as far as it did and that she quickly was past the point where telling the truth made sense.  She’s an appealing characters, foibles and all, with a little Lucy Ricardo in her so that things quickly spiral away from her.   Plus Sawyer states that he has no intention of staying.  Mix that in with her believing that he couldn’t really like her anyway and her reasoning becomes a little more believable.

Sawyer has his own problems stemming from watching his dad succumb to Lou Gehrig’s disease while he was in high school.  Seeing his mom have to take care of his dad while he faded away left scars, especially with Sawyer’s fear that it could happen to him too and that his wife would have to do the same thing.  Throw in a bad relationship and it’s a given that he’ll be a little romance shy.  And really, who could blame him for being upset once he finds out that Brynn lied to him.  It’s a romance so of course it works out, but it would be totally understandable to have him walk away.

Dani from Falling for Her Fiance plays a supporting role as Brynn’s friend and it’s fun to get an update on her and Wes.  But if you haven’t read it, don’t worry.  Dani does a great job of filling in any of the relevant details that might apply to this story.

In Act Like You Love Me,  Cindi Madsen gives us a fast-paced and interesting read, one that pulls you in right away and makes you impatient for Brynn’s runaway car to crash.  I mean that in a good way – you know things are going to get messy but you care enough to see it to the end.

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