Blackmail Boyfriend by Chris Cannon

Blackmail Boyfriend by Chris Cannon
Published August 11, 2015 by Entangled Publishing.

Links: Goodreads. Amazon. Barnes & Noble.

Source: Publisher via Netgalley. Thank you Entangled Publishing for providing me with an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: YA contemporary romance.

My rating:

Sometimes, blackmail is the only weapon a girl has…

Haley Patterson has had a crush on golden boy Bryce Colton for ages. But when she hears a rumor that he hooked up with her she gives him a choice: be her boyfriend for a month to show other guys that she’s dateable—despite her overprotective and very intimidating brothers—or deal with the angry, cage-fighting boyfriend of the girl he actually did hook up with.

Bryce didn’t know the other Haley even had a boyfriend. He was just trying to get his ex off his back. And now, not only is he being blackmailed, he’s being blackmailed by an honor student. His new “girlfriend” has two three-legged dogs, her father mows grass at the country club, and she’s…well, difficult. And different.

Can something so fake turn into something real?


This was a fun and quick read. I enjoy enemies-turned-friends plots and while Haley and Bryce aren’t exactly enemies, their story does begin in an unusual fashion. He hooks up with a girl who tells him a wrong name because she has a very jealous, short-tempered, wrestler-pro boyfriend. He tells his friends he’s hooked up with her – and realizes the name he’s been spreading around belongs to a girl he doesn’t even know. She has two very over-protective brothers who scare away any boy who’d want to date her, so she blackmails Bryce into pretend-dating her so she’d look more dateable.

Ok so perhaps the plot isn’t that well-thought-out, or at least Haley’s move isn’t, given how she’s liked Bryce from afar for quite some time, but then she’s in high school and that’s not exactly the time we make our best decisions… It didn’t feel too forced, however, so I didn’t get the urge (as I often do with teenagers in books) to slap them both for being silly.

As you can predict, the lines between the pretend dating and actually being together begin to blur quickly. What seemed like a good deal before (and let me tell you, Haley drives a hard bargain, which is something I really liked about her, the girl’s no pushover) starts to hurt quite a lot and Haley and Bryce realize they’re going to have a hard time extricating themselves from it.

What I disliked somewhat was Bryce’s inability to decide what he wants in life – to please his scumbag of a dad, to date Haley, to live a comfortable life, to do better – decisions, decisions. He really hurt Haley at some point and this may be a personal thing but I’m not a huge fan of big gestures. How about trying not to be an a**hole in the first place?

But overall, I enjoyed Blackmail Boyfriend, especially now that the heat’s melting my brain and I crave fluffy reads.


Do you like grand gestures in general (proposing in public, shouting your love from the rooftops)? 

What fluffy reads have you enjoyed recently?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

  • This sounds like quite a sweet read… It actually reminds me of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Hann, which was pretty adorable. I agree, books like this are *perfect* for the summer, when you just need something fluffy and cute to distract you from the heat!
    Beth x

    • I saw Jenny Han’s books around the blogs but I never got around to reading them. *adds to Goodreads*
      I’ve been trying to read less fluff lately but I keep sneaking romances in between more “serious” books! :)

  • I’m not a fan of big gestures. As you said it, don’t be a jerk in the first place. :)

    I like all the things you pointed out and dislike all the things you didn’t like, so I would probably think the same as you about this book.

    As for fluffies, the latest I liked was: Chaos by Jamie Shaw. I liked that it had an unusual heroine (hardcore rock chic) although she sometimes acted stupid around hero.

    • Well, everyone acts a bit stupid around the person they like sometimes, no? :)

      On big gestures: I do think they can be romantic *sometimes* but it has to be like a culmination of other good things, not a way to apologise/make up for something bad.

  • Nicole Hewitt

    I agree that this book was a sweet and fun read. I’m kind of with you on the big gesture thing, though – it felt like it resolved the conflict just a little too quickly and easily. I actually don’t MIND big gestures, if they feel organic and I see some build up to them, but the ending to this seemed a little rushed to me.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    • Yeah, I don’t hate big gestures if they’re a cherry on top of other good things (like if a guy is really sweet and then decides to do something extra-cool and public to tip the scales for the heroine) but I dislike grand gestures as a form of apology, for example.

  • Ahhh high school decision making…it really is universally flawed, isn’t it? If you look back on high school and don’t cringe at your behaviour, then you’re lying or you’re Mother Theresa. End of.

    Big gestures are such an important part of romances, but I often find that they aren’t enough. Maybe if you only messed up once and it was minor to middling, then a grand gesture could work. Multiple screw-ups? Nope! Recently I read Need Me by Tessa Bailey, book two in her newest trilogy, and there’s a big gesture situation there that just didn’t work for me. Why is it okay for you to be a total asshole multiple times as long as you make some grand gesture at the end? I don’t think it should be! I still love TB and I’m excited to read book three but that whole repeatedly terrible behaviour followed by a grand gesture thing had better not be a part of it. /end rant

    • Yep. I think everyone has SOME regrets – or maybe it’s better to say that we all have decisions in our past we wouldn’t repeat if we got a do-over? I mean, I’m ok with the sum of my actions, I don’t think I made any MAJOR screw-ups but there are definitely some cringe-worthy moments I’d rather forget about!

      I don’t mind grand gestures if they’re like a culmination of other good stuff – like if a guy is trying to convince a girl he’s really worth her time and does something sweet and public. But I don’t like them if they’re meant as an apology, especially if they put the recepient in the spotlight and they HAVE TO decide to forgive, for example, which is what happens here. I like to wash my dirty laundry in private, thanks.

      I have to read more Tessa Bailey books. :)

  • I am totally with you, summer is the time for fluffy romance reads. I don’t know why, but warm weather makes me crave these reads. Although, so does winter, so maybe it’s an extreme weather thing?

    This sounds like a great fluffy read. Not too taxing on the brain, obviously predictable, but the kind of thing you crave at times so must indulge in. As you’ve seen, I’ve been indulging in Jill Shalvis, some steamy romance and general feel good reads. It’s been perfect, I’ve needed a romance binge.

    • Umm I think the weather is just an excuse :D I read romances regardless of what’s happening outside.

      Yep, I often feel like reading romances is like treating myself to a bubble bath or something, it’s relaxing and makes me feel good.

      • Shhh, don’t ruin my perfect weather excuse for reading romance! Although, the bubble bath analogy is perfect because that is what it’s like, that is until you over indulge and find yourself with pruney fingers because you stayed in the bath too long, but a minor issue with overindulging is nothing.

        • Hahaha :D Pruney fingers :D That is SO right – but what is the romance-reading equivalent of pruney fingers? Total ennui when it comes to another angsty love story? :)

          I thought I was over my romance reading slump but it continues somehow, I can’t seem to find anything that would cure me so I have at least 5 unfinished romances on my Kindle… (Half of them are review copies, ugh.)

          • I think complete ennui when it comes to angsty love stories is exactly the equivalent of pruney fingers. It’s when you get part way through a romance and roll your eyes at the romance and the ridiculous situations the romantic pair get into. At that point, you must stop and find any other genre of book as a bookish palate cleanser.

            And that sucks, there is nothing worse than being in a romance reading slump and it is always hard to know if it’s the books you’re reading or just your mood. No point pressuring yourself to read review copies if you can’t enjoy them, you need something completely different to refresh you, I have no suggestions as to what though, great help I know.

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