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Book Feature: Pretending Not to Love You by author M.S. Larson

I am pleased to announce a great book by M.S. Larson, an author I met during my journey! This talented writer is stopping by to tell us about young adult romance, Pretending Not to Love You, which released back in April!

Woo hoo! It’s always fun to discover romance authors and books. 😀

M.S. is allowing us a look at a teen sports romance, Pretending Not to Love You, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Pretending Not to Love You (Hazel Pathway Series, Book 1):

He’s broken. She’s a bright, shining star.

Could her love be his salvation?

Popular and the star quarterback,

Alex thought he had it all…

until his girlfriend

makes a move on his friend, Chase.

And he’s left with a broken heart…

Raine is the new girl at school

and an instant sensation.

All the girls want to be her,

and all the guys want to date her.

Convinced Raine will fall under Chase’s spell,

Alex is hell-bent on hooking them up

to avoid another crushing blow to his heart.

Only he’s realizing how special she is…

and how hard it is to pretend he isn’t falling in love.

Why is Raine so popular?

And will Alex let go of his past

and take a chance on love before it’s too late?

If you love sweet high school romance

and strong female characters,

you’ll be dying to see what happens next…

**This young adult contemporary novella

can be read as a standalone**
It does contain a few inappropriate words.

Release Date: April 11, 2020

Genre: YA Sports Romance, Teen Fiction

And here is an excerpt to tease you with...

“Let’s talk about a happier subject,” I suggested as we continued on.

“Okay, so how do you like it here in Hazel Pathway so far?” Cici asked.

“It’s been great. Alex showed me around town not too long ago.”

“Alex? As in Alex Williams?”


“Mary is Alex’s ex-girlfriend.”

“She is?” I asked, my footsteps faltered.

“No, she was—past tense.”

I breathed a sigh of relief. Cici gave me a curious look.

“Alex is a nice guy, but Mary is not,” Cici explained. “I’m not surprised they didn’t last long. They broke up after a few months.”

“Why? What happened? And when was this?”

“I’m not sure what happened. Suddenly, they just broke up.  They were hush-hush about it. This happened last year, our sophomore year.”

I nodded, “Thanks for the tidbit.”

“No problem.”

I chatted with her about different things and what she was up to during the summer. Cici was a junior, funny and quirky. She was what most people would label a nerd, but I only saw intelligence behind those horn-rimmed glasses.

Books in our hands, we both made our way down the hall. Students were pouring into the hallways.

“Speaking of Alex, here he comes along with his football buddies,” Cici announced.

I looked up to see several guys wearing letterman jackets making their way toward us. Bystanders looked at the group laughing and chatting as they made their way through the school hall. Walking not too far behind them was Alex and a blond guy whom I hadn’t seen before. So these were Alex’s teammates.

There was a brown haired guy holding a football in his hand, making a throwing motion. I heard him say, “Yo, Newman, go long.”

Suddenly, this Newman guy broke out of their group and started running toward me and Cici. The guy with the football threw it as the other one was sprinting straight towards us. Except it wasn’t heading toward this Newman guy, it was flying fast and straight toward Cici’s head! We stopped short. Cici was looking like a deer in the headlights.

I heard a loud curse from the brown hair idiot who just threw the football. My eyes flew back and forth between Cici and the ball. There was no time to think. I acted on instinct and with a quick reflex, jumped and gave a flying reverse roundhouse kick to the football. It hit one locker with a loud thud and bounced to the floor.

I landed back down in a crouching position, gave a sigh of relief, steadied myself and righted my body. I was astounded, and thankful, that I could deflect the football while carrying a bunch of books. I could’ve landed hard on my bottom with books flying everywhere, and would’ve looked like a complete fool.

“Are you okay?” I asked Cici. She just stared at me with her jaw opened. There was complete silence in the hallway. I looked around. The football players stared at me with amazement, some of them with their jaws dropped open. The surrounding students looked dumbfounded. Okay, so I did a flying reverse roundhouse kick to deflect a football. Apparently, it was something no one’s ever seen before. I guess it was a little different—well, very different.

“You weren’t just messing with me back there. You would kick Mary and Cara’s behinds if they ever tried something,” Cici accused.

I grinned. “I wasn’t messing with you. I don’t believe in violence.”

I sat the books down, picked up the football and walked over to the guy who threw it.

“I see you need more practice,” I said coolly and handed it to him. “Watch where you’re throwing, you almost hit my friend in the face.”

“You must be new here? I’m Oliver. Ollie for short. That was one kick-ass move. What’s your name?” he asked.

Alex’s football buddies broke out of their trance-like state and started talking.

“Who are you?”

“Are you new here?”

“What’s that move called?”

“That was such a sick move!”

“Yo, that was badass!”

“I’m Raine.” I directed my attention towards Ollie.

Ollie apologized to me.

“I think it’s Cici you need to apologize to,” I replied.

Cici came up behind me and Ollie turned to her and apologized. “I’m so sorry, Cici. It was an accident. My throw was off.”

Cici was dazzled by Ollie. “It’s okay. I’m not hurt or anything, thanks to Raine.”

Another guy approached us. “That was amazing! Hi, I’m Todd Newman. I’m so sorry about what happened, Cici. Harris couldn’t throw straight if his life depended on it.”

“Hey!” Ollie complained as the others laughed.

I find myself surrounded by a group of football players. They introduced themselves, asking questions and complimenting me. They checked with Cici to see if she was okay. Cici was standing next to me with a big grin on her face, soaking in all the attention.

At first, I wasn’t digging the attention because it was more my style to stay out of the spotlight.  But I relaxed and enjoyed it for once.

I answered all the questions, breathing a sigh of relief when the school bell rang and everyone dispersed to class. The football players said their goodbyes and left. I recruited Ollie and Todd to help carry Cici’s books for her.

“It’s the least I could do for being so careless,” Ollie admitted.

“Thank you so much. You’re my hero,” Cici exclaimed and gave me a hug. “I should really get going. I need to drop these books off.”

“That’s fine. You go on ahead. See you at lunch,” I told her. Cici nodded and bounced off with Ollie and Todd in tow. I smiled and watched them go, then pulled out my class schedule. Sigh, I still had to find my homeroom.

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:


♥♥♥ This sounds like an intriguing read!

So, what are readers saying about this book?

A light and entertaining read. I enjoyed the character lead. This book makes you feel the emotions of the characters and brought back those teenage experiences for me. I was curious about how Alex and Raine would get together and was not disappointed by the small, twist ending.” – Tia Vang, Amazon

A Cute, Feel-Good First Love YA Romance! I enjoyed the tension between Raine and Alex because it was so obvious they had instant chemistry but didn’t know what to do about it.

I also loved how great their parents were. I find we don’t see a lot of positive parental influences in YA, so it’s always notable for me when I come across that.

I am really excited for the next book! I liked the little hints we got here about what could happen next.” – SERIESous Book Reviews

I love that we get to see how the story unfolds through the eyes of two friends on their journey to love. It’s so true that too often miscommunication or past experiences can block you from seeing true love standing right in front of you. I easily and happily connected to the characters as they were introduced. I highly recommend reading for a super sweet love story.” – Victoria A., Amazon

“A cute love story. It was written very well. There were no grammatical errors. I wouldn’t change one thing in this story. I love how it started out with Raine moving next door to Alex and they started hanging out.” – Shakia, Amazon

“Great book! I’m such a fan for romance novels and these stories DID NOT disappoint. All the hair pulling moments of wanting Raine and Alex to finally be together made me not able to put the book down until the end! Great characterization and scene setting made this story even more enjoyable besides from the plot. I would definitely recommend!” – Jen, Amazon

Thank you for telling us about your novella, M.S.! I know I can’t wait to read this sweet, young adult sports romance!

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome novella! 🙂 Or you can add it to Goodreads!

And here’s the book trailer!

Author Bio

M.S. Larson is a mom of three young kids who keep her on her toes, but once they are down for bedtime, that’s when she gets on her laptop and the magic happens. She has a loving and supportive husband, Jeremy, and lives in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

She loves arts and crafts, crocheting, playing with her kids, researching online and watching TV.

One of her biggest passions is reading books, and, as a girl, aspired to be a writer. Now her dream has come true with her first e-book, Pretending Not to Love You.

Author Links:


Amazon Author Page:



Coming in September:

Available Now:

1 thought on “Book Feature: Pretending Not to Love You by author M.S. Larson”

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