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Publisher's Summary

I'm pretending I'm in love with my best friend. What could possibly go wrong?

Leighton is my best friend. My subordinate.
My girlfriend.
That's the story we're selling. To our co-workers. To our friends. To everyone who's anticipating the breakdown of the year at my ex's wedding. It's a terrible idea. This ruse is going to f--k sh-t up. Losing her is out of the question. 

Touching her is all kinds of wrong.
And right deep in my bones.
Then Leighton slides her hands into my hair and presses her berry lips to mine.
And all that wrong fades to right.
I stop pretending.
I forget the woman who broke my heart. I forget our rules. I forget I'll be lost without her.
I kiss her back like I'll never get enough.
I won't. 

But I can't risk losing my best friend.
Even if she's the woman who might finally unlock my heart. 

From the author: Pretend You're Mine is a full-length, standalone romance with a pretend girlfriend theme. Come see why listeners say "no one writes broken bad boys like Crystal Kaswell."

©2018 Primrose Press LLC (P)2018 Primrose Press LLC

What listeners say about Pretend You're Mine

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A must read for everyone!

Narrators did a fantastic job narrating this book.
Storyline was great, touched feelings we've all been through.

3 people found this helpful

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Good Story!

Both narrators were perfect for this story. They brought these characters to life. Love their banter back and forth...can’t wait for the next novel with Dean as the main character.

3 people found this helpful

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This is how a recorded book should be narrated

I have hundreds of recorded books, I have my favorite narrators, but, when I downloaded this book I wasn’t prepared for this performance.
This is genius, this is perfect, this is how you bring the book to life and live the story. Thank you soooooo much.

Damaris

3 people found this helpful

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Another great story from Crystall Kaswell

Pretend You're Mine is the third book in the Inked Hearts series from Crystal Kaswell. This is a best friends to lovers romance between Ryan and Leighton. They are fun and sexy and quietly lust after the other until the plunge is made. Crystal Kaswell has cornered the market on the sexy tattooed man in whatever he is doing. I love to read about all of her heroes and the women in their lives! And the narration is always top notch.

1 person found this helpful

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Ryan & Leighton’s Friends-to-Lovers Story!

Ryan & Leighton’s Friends-to-Lovers Story Is About Trust, Betrayal, & Moving On. Together They Learn How To Spread Their Wings & Open Their Hearts. Don’t Forget To Download The Free Bonus Epilogue!


This is book three of eight in the Inked Hearts series. Each book reads as a standalone, though they are best enjoyed in order.

Book one, Tempting, is Brendon and Kaylee’s moving story. It is tender and patient. Broody with a dose of kink, Brendon falls for his little sister’s best friend, whose secret crush isn’t so secret.

Book two, Hooking Up, is Walker and Iris’s hookup turned friends with benefits story. Star Wars nerds will love it! Their romance dives deep into the issue of addiction. On the surface they are opposites – he is the bad boy and she is the good girl – but neither lives up to that image.

Inked Hearts is a tattoo parlor in Southern California that sits about five blocks from the beach. Brendon, Ryan, Walker and Dean are like family. They are tattoo artists and the heart and soul of the shop, along with Leighton who runs the front desk. Manning, who had been an absentee owner for the past few years, recently sold the Venice Beach shop to the four tattoo artists, who somehow manage to get things done despite their lack of coordination. Together they all serve a variety of clients – to include some rather well-known celebrity types.

Don’t forget to download the free bonus epilogue! Sign up for the newsletter then scroll down to the bottom of the email for the link.

Book Three:

This story opens in July, one month following the end of Walker and Iris’s story in book two (epilogues aside).

Ryan Maddox, twenty-seven , loves black. His wardrobe is entirely black. His outlook is black. He decorated his apartment in it as well. He also loves tattoos. He loves running Inked Hearts, which he does for the most part with some help from Brendon. He never wanted to follow in his parents’ footsteps. He and his younger brother Dean, twenty-five, grew up in luxury in Beverly Hills. Their parents have MBA’s and wear suits to work, but that never appealed to Ryan, nor to Dean who always looked up to him. Nevertheless, Ryan went on to earn a business degree, strictly to appease his parents.

It was when he began apprenticing during college that Ryan really knew what he wanted to do with his life. As a tattoo artist, he makes a connection with the client. It is a somewhat spiritual experience, learning more about them and then finding the inspiration to design a tattoo that really speaks to their soul. It is gratifying. And as much as he hates to admit it, that business degree he got has been helpful, especially since he and the guys bought Inked Hearts from Manning.

Besides ink and running the shop, there was one more thing that Ryan wanted to make his life complete. Something he thought he had until last summer – twelve months ago. That was when everything fell apart, when Penny took hold of his heart and ripped it out. Ryan isn’t great with words, and doesn’t like a lot of change. He has intimacy issues, too. He hates being touched too much – he isn’t big on passing out hugs. But the hole is his chest left him afraid to get close emotionally now, too. Finding Penny in their bed with someone else after nine years together completely shredded everything he thought he knew about love.

He had been seventeen and she sixteen when they fell deeply in love. Their fathers worked together. And they both swore they would never sell out. Her only apology had been for falling out of love with him. Nowadays Ryan lives a rather vacant existence. Everyone knows him as the eternal pessimist. He comes and goes to work with a scowl on his face and little say. He and Leighton have become closer over the last year, though. She is probably his best friend. She even makes him smile sometimes. He may not understand what love is anymore. He may not understand how he drove Penny away. He may not be worthy of receiving love. But he does know one thing. He doesn’t want to do anything ruin his friendship with Leighton.

Leighton Black, probably about twenty-seven, is a punk rock princess who loves rocking her purple hair. She is also secretly in love with Ryan. It isn’t a well-kept secret, though. Everyone seems to know except for Ryan himself. She fell for him when she first started working the desk at Inked Hearts two years ago. She and Dean went way back, and Dean had hooked her up with the job. Leighton had been bartending at Rock Bottom for four years, where Dean had been a regular. Even though it meant a loss in income, she had needed a change. Inked Hearts was now the closest thing she had to home. It was like family. She couldn’t imagine leaving, but that was the problem. Her job was too easy. She enjoyed graphic design, and had even signed up for a class at Santa Monica College thanks to Ryan’s encouragement. But pursuing a new career would mean leaving Inked Hearts and Ryan behind.

Leighton had declared that she was taking a break from dating after a string of bad choices. She hasn’t been with a guy in quite a while. She is tired of being the second choice. She is tired of dating losers. When she first met Ryan he was with Penny, and her crush had been innocent. He is now single, though, and a year has passed since his breakup with Penny. Their friendship has grown deeper, and their lives have become entangled. Leighton’s love for Ryan has only grown stronger, but Ryan sees her just as a friend. She has been happy to have him in her life any way that she can. He is now pressuring her to spread her wings, but she stubbornly delays the inevitable in the hopes that her friendship with Ryan will evolve into something more.

When Ryan receives a wedding invitation, it is a shock to his system. Penelope Winters is marrying Francis Hobbs – Frank – the same man that he caught her in bed with one year ago. Their parents are friends, which may explain the rather awkward invitation. He toys with the idea of having a fake girlfriend at the event to help save face – he doesn’t want to look like the pathetic mess he really is – but he isn’t sold on it. Leighton volunteers and finally gets him to reluctantly agree. They will help each other. She will stand in as his girlfriend, and he will help get her new career as a graphic artist launched. He knows from the outset that they are putting their friendship at risk, so he makes her promise to speak up before that happens.

Ryan and Leighton’s friends-to-lovers story is about trust, betrayal, and moving on. It is about rebuilding self-confidence. Both have scars from their past that have changed them. Their innocence has been lost, stolen by those closest to them. Neither wants to be vulnerable like that again, so neither wants to take that first step. Still, Ryan’s scars are much more fresh, and his inability to work through his feelings about the past prevent him from opening up to anything more than friendship with Leighton. The pair faces several challenges in the six weeks leading up to the wedding. As their relationship begins to change, the stakes get even higher. The couple eventually earns a happy ending.

For fans of the series, book four will feature Ryan’s younger brother Dean, the jokester and shameless flirt. He and Walker are best friends, and Dean is the last of the four co-owners to couple up. He plays a role in Ryan and Leighton’s story. More is gleaned of the man beneath the façade in this book. At the end of this story, Emma – Brendon’s sister – finally steps in to spend some time behind the desk at Inked Hearts, and Chloe – a new hire – is introduced.

Ryan and Leighton’s friends-to-lovers story is patient and tender. Together they learn to spread their wings and open their hearts. After a horrible breakup, Ryan struggles with trust; Leighton has never experienced love, but finds herself hopelessly in love with Ryan, who is clueless about her feelings for him. Both are too afraid of rejection to take things to the next step. The story is well-written. In the conversational passages, it is occasionally a little hard to follow who the speaker is. The plot is fairly simple. The characters are rich and carefully crafted. They feel real. Leighton and Dean have a great camaraderie that lightens the mood – and stands in stark contrast to Ryan’s extreme broodiness. The story is written in first person. The POV alternates between Ryan and Leighton. I rate this book 4.5 stars.

As for the Audio: it is very well-performed and consistent with the book.

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loved it

great book.  I really enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading more books from this author in the future.

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Need new female narrator

it was hard for me to finish this book. The female narrator drove me crazy. It wasn't her voice it was the obvious ad-lib she kept adding. She made the female character sound like a
"ditz" or air head .
Wen Ross was great but he definitely needs a new "leading lady" .

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Pretend He's MINE!

This is my favorite book in the series and I loved getting to hear the story too! Kai & Wen are my go to when I want to listen to a book, LOVE their voices.

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Laughable

This book sounds like it’s narrated by a grandpa and the lunch lady. I literally was laughing. Horrible. Not sexy or intriguing...or able to get past 5 minutes.

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Hot Hot Hot

I didn’t realize that this story could get any better but I was so wrong. Listening to it makes it so much better! I fell in love with Ryan and Leighton’s story. What can be better than best friends becoming more? Nothing! They struggle to deal with their feelings and other outside situations. A must read!!

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  • Mylifethroughfiction
  • 10-22-19

My favourite audiobook. Ever.

Always loved this book but the two narrators really bring it to life. A fab listen!

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  • Mis E. M. Jones
  • 04-02-19

Another fab story

Once again a brilliant read from Crystal Kaswell and perfectly read by Wen and Kai.
This series will draw you in and make you smile 😊

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Profile Image for 🎧Mandy🎧 Sawyer 🎧Audiobook 🎧Obsession🎧 Reviewer🎧
  • 🎧Mandy🎧 Sawyer 🎧Audiobook 🎧Obsession🎧 Reviewer🎧
  • 09-24-18

Great humour

Really enjoyed this book. Brilliant balance of emotion and humour. A lovely happily ever after. Dean was one of my favourite characters from the previous books in this series. Fantastic narration as always.

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  • Shaz
  • 07-10-18

Brilliant

Loved this story and characters especially Ryan, can't wait for the next book to come out!

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  • Ruth
  • 05-08-18

Hiding in plain sight

As always from Crystal, the characters are well rounded and the story gripping. Like many other Inked Hearts fans, I've been impatiently waiting for this book and I wasn't disappointing. Leighton is sweet and funny, but also no nonsense. Add in matters of the heart though and like many, her heart and head come to blows. Ryan is... Well he's just Ryan! He's been hurt so bad that he's blind to the obvious. He truly values his friendship with Leighton, that really comes across beautifully. As events unfold and their friendship is tested, you find yourself on the 'Will they? Won't they?!?' journey. I laughed, cried and shook my head at times. Both main characters pull you in and give your heart a squeeze.

I absolutely adore the narrators. They add another dimension to Crystal's characters and truly bring them to life.

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  • Cas
  • 08-23-18

Wow

This one kept you guessing right till the end. Even I wasn’t sure which way Ryan would go. I think what he thought was love turned out to be infatuation and complacency till he was faced with losing his girl. Loving this series. Narration was awesome too. Loved the banter between characters.