on July 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Family, Young Adult
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Publishing
I voluntarily reviewed an advance review copy of this book I received for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
Artificial Sweethearts by Julie Hammerle is book two in her North Pole, Minnesota series. Though the story mentions characters from the previous book, overall, it can be read as a standalone.
The novel is about Tinka Foster and Sam Anderson who, with pressures outside of their control (i.e. family), find that they need each other’s help to help ward off any unwanted suitors thrown their way. So they agree to fake date during the summer. An easy plan until it becomes uneasy especially when both begin to wish their newfound relationship were real and no longer pretend.
I liked Ms. Hammerle’s Artificial Sweethearts. I found the characters interesting, particularly Sam. He and his family were my favorite part of the book. Tinka, as a heroine, grew on me. Truthfully, she wasn’t my favorite person in the beginning and she felt kind of all over the place for me with how she behaved in regards to Jane, Karen and her whole relationship with her parents. However, when she was with Sam and she let her guard down, so to speak, she began to appeal to me. I liked her growth through the story and I think that is what helped me like her more as a character. Also, her and Sam’s connection, though fake at first, builds and improves her has a character as well. This is somewhat reminiscent of the other North Pole book, Any Boy But You.
As Sam and Tinka’s relationship gets more real, the book gets better (same as in Any Boy But You). This was definitely a story where the made up relationship and fake boyfriend/girlfriend, not only worked as plot but also helps you like the characters better.
Overall, Artificial Sweethearts by Julie Hammerle was an entertaining novel that had moments that I loved especially between Tinka and Sam, and the scenes with Sam and his family. I would easily recommend.
Read below for an excerpt from Artificial Sweethearts:
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.
Giveaway: Singed copy of Any Boy But You (US Only)