Review: Don’t Pretend I’m Yours by Natasha Anders

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Natasha Anders
Release Date:  June 6,  2023

When Ben Templeton asks Lilah Beckett to marry him, she’s over the moon. She’s been in love with him for years and now, finally, it looks like those feelings are reciprocated. She eagerly accepts his proposal, but on her wedding day, all expectations of a happily ever after with the love of her life come crashing to her feet. Lilah discovers that her new husband does not love her; he barely even likes her. He married her for all the wrong reasons and now expects her to be satisfied with the scraps of affection and attention he throws her way.

To preserve her heart and her sanity, Lilah knows that she cannot allow this sham of a marriage to continue. But her much-loved grandfather is ecstatic about the union and to avoid disappointing him, Lilah informs Ben that she’ll play at being his wife for one year only. Ben, however, seems perfectly content to remain tethered to her in a loveless union for all eternity. He has his own reasons for marrying Lilah. Reasons he’s hiding behind a wall of secrets, half-truths, and blatant lies.

And when that wall comes tumbling down, Lilah is emotionally unprepared to deal with the further devastation and heartbreak that follow.


The woman seemed have been operating under some massive misapprehension about this marriage. He wasn’t doing this for her. He barely even liked her.

This, THIS was the book I didn’t know I was waiting for from Natasha Anders. I still remember the rabid giddiness I read The Unwanted Wife back in 2012, which marked my obsession with all things Natasha Anders. While she’s a well rounded contemporary author able to bring sweet and angsty in equal measures, there’s just something about her angst ridden romance with alpha holes that just does it for me. And boy did Ben deliver on all of the things.

The story was in the vein of Unwanted Wife, but also remarkably different. I’ll explain. This is an arranged marriage trope where the heroine is going into the marriage blissfully happy believing it’s love and the hero has anterior motives which love doesn’t enter into. But that’s about where those similarities end. It’s also not your run of the mill arranged/marriage of convenience trope. It’s so much deeper.

Ben and Lilah grew up together, but where Lilah idolized and crushed on Ben, Ben resented Lilah. He found her to be a petulant, spoiled child who could do no wrong in her beloved grandfather’s eyes. While Ben is the Forster child taken in by him and idolizes his mentor to a fault. Theirs is not a marriage built on love or even like, and Ben wastes no time disillusioning Lilah of any notion of anything otherwise.

Lilah was absolute perfection. She was such a wonderfully endearing combination of strength and vulnerability. She wants love and will settle for nothing less. She doesn’t take any of Ben’s BS and isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and boy did she give as good as she gets. Ben was insufferable for the first half (just like I love my heroes); cold and unfeeling. And let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying then seeing him fall helplessly for his wife and begin to see her in a light he never did growing up. And when he finally sees beyond the impression he built in his eyes, he wants more. But at this point Lilah wants nothing more than a divorce from him. Oh the grovel! The sweet sweet grovel.

I know that right now you hate me, but I’m fucking begging you to give me another chance, mo chridhe. I swear to God, I would move heaven and earth to make you happy and make you love me again.”

I hope we get books for all of Lilah’s garden ‘hoes’. Their friendship was the sunshine needed to break up some of the more heavy elements of this book. But man did I devour this story. Only thing that could have made it better is if it was written in first person POV. But this took nothing away from the story that sucked me in from the first page and kept me glued to it until the end.

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