Review: Cindi Madsen’s “Act Like You Love Me”

Brynn MacAdams never expected to see her high school crush again, so she gets the shock of her life when he shows up to direct the play where she is one of the leads. She quickly realizes that Sawyer Raines doesn’t remember her at all, not even as the girl he rejected when she asked him to the high school prom. Since he didn’t like the real Brynn back then, she decides to be a different person now. One who’d have Sawyer eating out of the palm of her hand. But the line between real Brynn and fake Brynn begin to blur as she falls for Sawyer. Will she be able to come clean without breaking the heart of the man she’s come to love?

I wasn’t able to connect with Act Like You Love Me as much as I would have hoped. The plot and the characters seemed to rely too much on high school standards and drama for my tastes.

Brynn almost immediately began doubting her identity when her high school crush showed back up in their hometown. The social gap between the theater geek and the football star immediately takes over in her mind, putting this twenty-something right back into high school.

To give Sawyer credit, he lived in the present. His connection to high school had a much deeper meaning than Brynn’s, and I understood why he brought it up. But I still didn’t fall for him as I’d expect to in a romance novel. I couldn’t quite see why Brynn fell for him apart from her high school crush now being attainable.

All of that being said, I did like Brynn’s ploy of acting like a different person in order to attract Sawyer. It felt completely natural with her character; she was an actress and wanted to take advantage of Sawyer not remembering her. I also liked how she fell for him despite trying not to let herself. I think that’s something that a lot of women—myself included—would secretly like to experience. We’re just too afraid of the consequences.

I also enjoyed the way the pair met at the beginning of the book, Brynn’s quirks like owning kissing statues and working at a bait shop, and how the couple connected while working on sets at the theater.

Act Like You Love Me presents a contemporary romance set in North Carolina. It features the heroine trying to overcome her high school identity and a hero fighting against the sad memories that tie him to the state. There are quite a few sweet romantic moments that bring Brynn and Sawyer closer together. This book will be perfect to enjoy at the beach, by the pool, or while traveling.

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