Artificial Sweethearts by Julie Hammerle
Release Date: 7/10/17
Published by Entangled Teen
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.
I love North Pole! If you haven't read either of the books yet, North Pole is a fictional town in Minnesota which collectively loves Christmas so much that it is Christmas all year round! No matter the weather, it's the Winter Holiday. A little like that film channel that's currently showing Christmas films throughout July. It's a surreal setting, and maybe in theory it shouldn't work, but it does. The author describes it so perfectly that I had to look it up to find out if it was real (super disappointed that it isn't!). I'm not sure I'd want to live there, but it sounds like an awesome place for a holiday. It's an ideal setting for romance, I can see why Hammerle has chosen to set a series there, it can definitely be expanded more.
Tinka is a wonderfully flawed character. Not in the traditional quirky, clumsy, funny, kind of way (although she is all of those things too!) but in a very unhappy, and made bad choices to deal with it kind of way. It's this aspect of her character that places a ticking time bomb in the story from the beginning. It makes a refreshing change that it has nothing to do with the love interest, Sam, but instead her best friend Jane. It adds more depth to the story which I loved. Friendship can easily be forgotten in romance. There are quite a few supporting characters in this story but it's easy to keep up because they're all so well-written.
The Love Interest:
Speaking of Sam, he is wonderfully likable without being too perfect. His love of film is conveyed in a realistic way. Also some serious past pain, and beautifully drawn sibling relationships make him very relatable.
If, like me, this is the first you've heard of Julie Hammerle's North Pole series, pick up one of these books today! Will be definitely be keeping an eye on them.
About the Author:
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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