Sunday, July 16, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Artificial Sweethearts (North Pole, Minnesota #2) by Julie Hammerle

Book Blurb:

It’s not chemistry between Tinka Foster and Sam Anderson that made them agree to fake date. With her parents trying to set her up with an annoying student golf coach, and intentionally single Sam’s family pressuring him to bring a date to his brother’s wedding, they could both use a drama-free summer.

So it’s not his muscular arms and quick wit that makes Tinka suggest they tell everyone they’re both taken. Definitely not. And it’s not butterflies that makes a kiss for appearances during the lake party go on way too long—so long that Sam wishes it were real.

But Tinka keeps people at arm’s length—she’s always been second best, even to her parents. And her relationship-for-show could crush everything when she realizes she’s done with fake, pretend, and second-best.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains bikinis at the lake, a lot of making out in dark theaters, and a meet-cute you’ll read twice.

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The sliding glass door whooshed open behind them. Their opportunity for escape was lost. Tinka spun around as the guy headed toward them. He was carrying three bottles of water and had put on a T-shirt, a faded movie tee, over his mesh shorts. Jaws. A story about a terrifying shark that kills people. The guy handed a bottle to Tinka. “Take a seat.”

Ready to flee at any moment, she perched next to Jane on the bench, where the hot, sticky varnish stuck to her legs immediately. Tinka unscrewed the cap, which gave off the familiar rip-pop sound that proved the bottle had not been tampered with. Tinka tilted it back; and as the cold water coated her parched throat, she forgot for a moment she was about to be murdered.

“This is a gorgeous house,” Jane said.

The guy knocked back his water, then screwed the cap back on. “Thanks. I like it.”

Tinka decided to play civil. “Do you do all the landscaping yourself or do you have a crew that helps you?” He smirked at Tinka, like she was the most curious thing he had seen in a while. “We have a crew, but I noticed a few spots on the bushes that needed trimming.”

She nodded. “If you need to get back to work, don’t let us stop you. We wouldn’t want you to get in trouble with your boss.”

“My boss?” He was still grinning at Tinka with those dimples as he kneaded the plastic on his water bottle. “You mean my father?”

“Your father owns the landscaping business?”

“My father owns the house. I’m Sam. Anderson,” he added for good measure. “I live here.” He gestured toward the back door.

Jane dropped her face into her hands. “Oh my God, Tinka.” Tinka spun toward her, pointing. “Oh my God nothing, Jane. You didn’t know he lived here, either.”

“I did so.”


Jane waved her hand to indicate Sam and the flirty smile reappeared on her face. “He has a way about him.”

“He has no way about anything. No offense.” Tinka nodded to Sam.

“None taken.” Knitting his brow, Sam lifted his hat and ran his fingers through his curly brown hair. He had hazel eyes with friendly crinkles on the corners that didn’t disappear even when he frowned.


My Review:

4.5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Romance, Teen--

Tinka has always been the perfect daughter, never causing any problems for her parents but when she went away to boarding school, she changed into Tinka the party-girl. When she comes home from school for the summer with a school friend in tow, she has no idea how she is suppose to behave. But her parents have a surprise for her, and it is called North Pole, Minnesota. Yep, a town that celebrates Christmas year round. Meanwhile, Sam is overwhelmed with planning his brother's wedding, a task he feels he is ill-equipped for. When both teens get pressure from their families to date, they find that a fake relationship is the cure to all their problems...until real feelings are involved.

So I guess this is actually book 2 in a series set in North Pole, Minnesota, but I did not find that out until I was writing my review and I discovered that tidbit Goodreads. And based on my review, you can see that me having no knowledge of a first book did not at all hurt my enjoyment of this story. I did a little research (aka I read the synopsis for book 1) and I feel like I vaguely met the couple but they did not really play a role in this story at all, they just live in the town (And the town was super quirky, odd and oh so charming). For all intensive purposes, I think this could be considered a standalone story. I found the book to be the perfect amount of teen romance, with some great character development and some really cute and sweet stolen moments of love, be it family, friend, or romantic. Oh and did I mention baked goods...mmmm, baked goods...

The story was more character driven then plot driven, but in this case I loved it, and I think that works pretty well for a romance because you have to really know the characters to root for their relationship. I loved Sam, hands down, pretty much the entire book. He was sweet, honest, kind and so freaking thoughtful to everyone in his life (let's not mention Dottie because she was crazy) and he had a love of films and nerdy things that made me just want to hug him. He feels like he has to always put on a happy face for his siblings, regardless of how he is feeling on the inside, and it was sad because nobody ever even asked him. I appreciated how level-headed he was at the best and worst of times, how he was willing to keep Tinka in his life any way he could, how her friends became his, and that he refused to let his feelings influence the choices Tinka made for her life. So in summation, he was pretty much wonderful. I use to have a serious love for the bad-boy, but recently, especially when I read books like this, it makes me really appreciate the nice guy so much more.

I struggled a little more with Tinka at the start of the story. She was so conflicted as a person, having no idea what she wanted or who she wanted to be, so it was hard for me to relate to her. And can I mention how awful I found her parents to be, forcing her to pick up a hobby she didn't want, never asking her what she wanted, pressuring her to date their chosen suitor, keeping everything important away from Tinka like she was a mindless child? Sure there was reasons, and things got better, but it did make so much sense as to why Tinka was conflicted. (I loved Jane from the start and would like to see more from her, hint hint). Tinka grew throughout the story, becoming her own person and taking responsibility for her actions and I just wanted to stand up and applaud. I really liked her by the end of the story and fully gave my approval for her and my Sam to be together.

My favorite part of the book was that the romantic relationship was built on a strong base of friendship. Tinka and Sam became each other's friend, then trusted confidant before deeper feelings developed, which makes their relationship more true- they knew each other's flaws and weaknesses and still loved the other. I just wanted to squeeze them both, they were so cute. This is my first book from Julie Hammerle but it will not be my last. I am excited to get my hands on the first North Pole Minnesota book and anything else Julie wants to write about because her characters are endearing and full of heart.

I received this title in return for my honest review.

Author Bio:

Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us (Entangled TEEN, 2016) and the North Pole, Minnesota young adult romance series (Entangled Crush, 2017). She writes about TV and pop culture for the ChicagoNow blog, Hammervision, and lives in Chicago with her family. She enjoys reading, cooking, and watching all the television.

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