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The Fake (A College Sports Romance)

Smart Jocks, Book 4
Narrated by: Jason Clarke, Ava Erickson
Series: Smart Jocks, Book 4
Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

I’ve made a lot of dumb mistakes but none dumber than losing her. 

Senior year. I should be partying and living it up with my friends before graduation, but one more mistake and I’m off the team. 

Enter Chloe. She comes into my life at a low point, but she becomes the bright spot I reach for every day. She’s the kind of girl who makes a guy want to be a better man. And for a while, I even start to believe I’ve changed enough to deserve her.

I’ve got my eye on the future, and I’m letting my past stay where it belongs.

But the thing about the past...it always comes back to bite you when you least expect it.

©2019 Rebecca Jenshak (P)2019 Rebecca Jenshak

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Redemption is for all

Nathan sure has had it hard since the death of his dad and stepping up to be the man of the house. choices were made that his conscience rejects but to feed his family he had to, when hope comes his way he clutches his with both hands but fumbles things a little. But I love the redeeming qualities this story puts forth. life is hard but taking a way outs chance when presented can turn things around and pull out of a deep hell hole and these two deserved it.

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really enjoyed listening to this series

The author of this series was a new to me author before I started reading The Assist (Smart Jocks #1), and I'm glad I came across her as I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to the 4 books across the series. I started off reading them, and then as they all have fabulous narrators I went back to the start and listened to all of the audio versions.

The Fake is finally Nathan's story. Nathan is the jock whose character basically screamed that he was having some type of serious issues in the previous books- always partying hard, and writing himself off. As a talented athlete, he somehow managed to juggle his basketball responsibilities with his party hard lifestyle. He's a good guy that is making poor choices, and his past actions catch up to him in The Fake.

Chloe is a new character that is introduced in this book - she is starting afresh, but finds herself ostracised by her new teammates due to a scandal that she herself had no knowledge of/or responsibility for. She was the easy target for other people's scorn and judgement. The title makes it obvious what happens here - Chloe and Nathan start a fake relationship, keeping up appearances allows them to really get to know each other and for their chemistry and feelings to build. Loved the drama towards the end, and the pressure it puts on their newly found relationship. Fingers crossed for more stories on the other jocks.

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  • Michelle Parkerton
  • 07-02-2020

Nathan -- Saved The Best For Last!

I've now read/listened to the entire Smart Jocks series and I think that Rebecca Jenshak saved the best for last!

Nathan is a character much more intense than his buddies, and he comes with a whole lot of baggage. His dad died when he was in high school, and he's been struggling ever since to be a father figure to his little brother, and send money back home whenever possible. It lead him to making some stupid choices out of desperation for a few bucks, and his bad decisions end up coming back to bite him (and by extension, Chloe) in the ass. I knew from The Tipoff that he struggles with epic nightmares, and when the reason behind them is finally shared, my heart broke for Nathan.

Chloe, meanwhile, has switched schools before her senior year after a it was discovered that her parents bought her way into her previous college. (Great ripped-from-the-headline use!) Even though she is a great volleyball player, her new teammates look down on her, figuring that she greased some palms to get onto the Valley team. The night that Chloe and Nathan meet at an athletic department mixer, they are both down in the dumps, but find a bit of light and cheer in each other.

The one night stand leads to a fake relationship for the benefit of Chloe's roommates, but Nathan wants the girl from the get-go. As lines get blurred and feelings develop, Nathan truly turns his life around in order to be the man that Chloe deserves.

I listened to the audio version of this book, and Joe Clarke has a baritone voice as smooth as butter. Ava Erickson perfectly embodies the image I created in my mind of Nathan's Surfer Princess, and she was a delight to listen to in bringing Chloe to life.

I received a complimentary copy and voluntarily left a review.

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  • Jodi B
  • 21-01-2020

Great real story

Wow...this audiobook was more than I expected. Rebecca Jenshak wrote a book that was real and right with the times.

Chloe had it all until she didn't. She's had to leave her whole world behind because of a scandal her parents created. Chloe is just trying her best to fit in any way she can. Then she meets Nate. Nate is nice but most of all, he doesn't know her past.

I love the man Nate is. He's trying to keep his family afloat while maintaining his collegiate career. I love how hard he fights to love Chloe, even when she feels she's not worth it. I love how great these two are together.

I love this story in general. The narrators did an amazing job. I do feel the male narrator sounded a little older than 21, but it was good. All in all, a great story to listen too.

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  • Avephoenix
  • 21-01-2020

A delightful and pleasant listening experience!

Jason Clarke and Ava Erickson will knock your socks off with the brilliant and perfect performance of this audiobook. Both of them are pretty amazing at voicing each character and bringing them to life.

The Fake is the 4th and final book in the Smart Jock series, and can be listened/read as standalone as the previous installments.

Nathan and Chloe's story is one that will still your heart. Their chemistry and connection is palpable, and their journey believable and captivating through the voices of Jason Clarke and Ava Erickson. This two narrators had been an automatic buy since I first found them. 

All in all, this is a well written sports romance, with a heartwarming, sexy, funny, and sweet storyline beautifully brought to life by two great narrators that will make of this, a delightful and pleasant listening experience.

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  • Nicole Hoefs
  • 20-01-2020

What They Had Was Real!

I really enjoyed this book a lot. I’m giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

First, I loved being able to actually get to know Nathan! We met him in the other books, but honestly, he was off in his own world. We didn’t get to see him as much as the other guys. And we finally got to see his backstory that was talked about vaguely before. He was a very believable character to me, and while he didn’t always make the right choice, he was trying to do what he thought was best at the time. I liked him a lot, and my heart went out to him.

As for Chloe, I wouldn’t say she was my favorite female character from this author, but she wasn’t bad. I felt like I didn’t really get to know her as deeply as I wanted to. Because of what she dealt with before coming to Valley U, she had some reservations about most things besides volleyball. There was one part in the book where I knew something was going to happen, and I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. It could have gone a lot worse, and my heart went out to her, but at least she finally found a group of people at her new school that had her back.

All that being said, I liked how these two weren’t a picture perfect couple, and that what they had was real. Except when it wasn’t haha. I also enjoyed that they hung out with each other’s friends/roommates, because I got to see a lot of the characters I’ve loved. Overall, I thought this was a great ending to this series, and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

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  • Jenn @YeahOrNeighReviews
  • 20-01-2020

Fake relationship at it's finest!

The Fake will have you cheering for the home team! This story is about overcoming obstacles, especially those that are out of your control. If you don't have a current book boyfriend, be prepared for Nate to steal your heart away. This was my favorite book so far in the Smart Jocks series and I highly recommend the audio version as well!

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  • Rochelle
  • 18-01-2020

A great ending to a great series

This is the 4th book and final book in the Smart Jock series and it is finally Nathan’s story. Loved Nathan and Chloe. Their story and the chemistry and attraction was so good. It was a really good ending to the series. Each couple will hold a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to reread/relisten to each one again.

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  • Inked Belles Book Blog w/AudioBookObsession
  • 12-01-2020

I want more!!!

I loved finally getting Nathan’s story. He held a special place for me and it definitely did not disappoint. I do want more from this series!!!

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  • Sweet Red Reader
  • 09-01-2020

Sorry to see this series come to a close :(

I'm sad to see this series come to a close, but The Fake does provide us with a satisfying ending. Chloe situation is practically ripped from the headlines, and I love how Rebecca Jenshak gave an alternate perspective to what is portrayed in reality in this regard. I've wanted Nate's story since he was introduced, but I especially wanted to see him get a HEA after he suffered a bit of heartbreak and rejection in The Tip-Off. His backstory and the responsibility he took on made him a very sympathetic hero and I think one of my favorite aspects of the book was that when ish hit the fan, it didn't take an inordinate amount of time for the dust to settle - because I don't think I would've enjoyed reading about Nate being in any kind of emotional turmoil for any longer than necessary. I also really loved the fake relationship trope utilized here. I think I can officially say that Rebecca Jenshak is a must read author for me and I can't wait to read whatever she comes out with next! 4 out of 5 wine glasses.

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  • Steamy on Sundays
  • 03-01-2020

Second Chances and happily ever after's

Alright, confession time. I have never listened to an audiobook of a book I haven’t already read. I hadn’t read The Fake before so I was a little nervous about going into an audiobook blind. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a little hard for me to follow at first but once we got into the story, I was all in.

Nathan, oh sweet Nathan. I just adored him, there was so much more to him than meets the eye. Jason Clarke crushed it, he was such a great Nathan and at times even had me swooning. There’s just something about hearing a hunky guy profess his love to his girl that gives me goosebumps. Nathan was going through a lot when he meets Chloe, but meeting her helped clear the fog and see what he really wanted. Jason was fantastic and perfectly believable.

Ava Erickson killed it as Chloe, she was fantastic. Chloe had a lot to prove when she showed up at Valley and a boyfriend was very low on her radar. Well, until she meets Nathan and realizes he may be able to help her gain approval of her teammates. Their little arrangement started as mutually beneficial, a transaction but the more time they spent together the harder their chemistry was to deny. Ava did a great job as Chloe and I really enjoyed her.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and Jason and Ava’s telling of it, it was captivating. I can’t wait to listen to more of Rebecca Jenshak’s stories through Audible. I don’t know if any of her other guys will be able to top Nathan though, he’s a romantic at heart which just makes me melt.

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  • Jocelyne
  • 03-01-2020

Great Sports Romance!

This is the fourth book in the Smart Jock Series, a college sports romance. I love this Series! This story is my favorite of the Series. Nathan and Chloe's story is beautiful. They are both athletes. Chloe is a lovely woman, resilient, understanding, and mature. Nathan is handsome, caring, and protective. I like the friendship and the solidarity between the teammates. This is a sweet, sexy and heartwarming romance. Jason Clarke and Ava Erickson did an amazing job with the narration. I enjoyed it and I highly recommend it.

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  • Mom Seeks Smut
  • 10-01-2020

Nathan’s Story

Nathan has been breaking my heart thru this entire series. I was so excited to FINALLY get his story. He seems so incredibly lost and broken but also you just know he’s an incredibly good and faithful guy to all those important in his life.
Nathan and Chloe were this amazing mix of opposites attract and perfect for each other. Rebecca Jenshak just knocks it out of the park with this NA sports romance.

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  • Sara
  • 06-01-2020

☆ ☆ Bringing out the best in each other ☆ ☆

I'm so sad that we've reached the ending of the Smart Jocks series. The Faje is book 4 and the story is about Nathan and Chloe. I've been curious if Nathan since the start. Nathan seems fun and carefree but he's hiding some struggles. Chloe is a perfect woman for him. She's loyal and sweet and she brings something great about of Nathan. I loved them together. I also adored seeing some characters from the previous books. It just felt like catching up with old friends.

The narration was done by two of my favorite narrators, Jason Clarke and Ava Erickson sounds like a perfect harmony. They have this fabulous way of sounding together. Not to sound too cliche but they are simply put, just pleasing to the ear. They are two of my favorite male and female narrator combinations. Never a disappointment.

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  • Monica
  • 02-01-2020

There’s so much more to Nathan than meets the eye

Valley U basketball player and former party boy Nathan Payne has been trying to change his ways and make money to send home. He’s just landed himself in hot water and almost lost his scholarship when he meets Chloe McPherson.

Beach volleyball player Chloe just transferred to Valley U after being expelled from her previous school because of a scandal. Her teammates have been giving her a hard time–until they see her with Nathan! Chloe realizes that the best way to get them to see beyond her past is for them to think she’s dating Nathan. She makes an offer that Nathan could hardly refuse: pretend to be her boyfriend and she’ll pay him for his time. Things go well until their feelings get in the way…


I loved how Chloe and Nathan are both damaged by their past and how they both “fix”each other. There’s so much more to Nathan than meets the eye.


Narrators Jason Clarke and Ava Erickson did a great job bringing this story to life.


The Fake is a contemporary new adult romance written in dual first-person POV and performed in dual narration. It’s a low-angst standalone that ends with a HEA. No cliffhanger, no cheating.

I received this book at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review.

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  • serenechaosnyc
  • 29-12-2019

Great sports romance

I was looking forward to Nathan's book since the last book, since he seemed like such a great guy. And this book definitely didn't disappoint. Nathan has a lot on his shoulders, what with trying to provide for his brother and his mother. Because of that, he's had to do some bad things- the book begins with him getting in trouble for this bad thing but he is trying to turn the corner.

Chloe had to transfer schools when she was kicked out of her prior school due to a scandal. She transfers to Valley and tries to fit in but has to deal with mean girls. Together, she and Nathan lean on each other and they decide on a fake relationship that help both of them with their respective issues.

Chloe is great- unselfish, sweet, and loving, if a little lonely. Nathan is similar so I rooted for their HEA. Overall, the story played particularly well because the characters were so likable. I really enjoyed learning more about Nathan and Rebecca Jenshak did such a great job conveying the way the characters felt about their situation and about each other. While this is standalone, we did have visits by characters from prior books and that just added to the fun of the story.

I read the book first and then i received the audiobook and it actually managed to elevate the book. Fair notice, I am a huge fan of Jason Clarke. And this book showcases why- within the first few minutes, he had to play about 4 male characters and he differentiates between them flawlessly. He has a gruff voice for Nathan (sigh) and then a beautiful smooth voice for his female voices. It is wonderful to listen to. And then, paired with Ava Erickson, who is also amazing, with her ability to play multiple characters. These two together made the book even better!

I requested and received this audiobook.

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  • Gillek2
  • 28-12-2019

Nathan and Chloe!

When it comes to his teammates or friends Nathan is always the first one with a joke or ready to party but there is much more to Nathan than first appears. When Nathan’s off court antics put his future in basketball at risk changes need to be made and who better to help him than Chloe who is a new student.

Chloe is looking for a new beginning and that means leaving her past where it belongs. Even though she is on the volleyball team she is finding it harder to make friends and fit in as she thought. From the moment that Chloe and Nathan meet they have an immediate connection and his way with people helps ease the transition for her so they decide to pretend to be dating. It is only a matter of time before the relationship becomes real but is it enough to overcome both their pasts?

These two couldn’t have been more perfect to each other. They meet each other when they need someone the most, but it is how they support each other through all the obstacles in their life that you will remember. Hot chemistry, witty banter, great characters and all the feels. I received a complimentary copy of the audiobook and thought that the narrators were a perfect choice for the characters.

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  • K. Ramjohn
  • 27-12-2019

I loved this story

I am so loving this Smart Jock series and The Fake is no exception. This is Nathan and Chloe's story and it did not disappoint. This story will touch your heart as you get into these characters lives. They were both likable and relatable and you will be rooting for them throughout the story. This novel included sports romance and fake relationship tropes in a NA setting and I was hooked from beginning to end and could not put it down. I loved these characters, I loved the storyline, and I loved the appearances for the other characters from the previous novels. It all just came together to make this a novel a fantastic read and one I would highly recommend to all lovers of sports romance.
The audiobook was narrated by Jason Clarke and Ava Erickson. They did a fantastic job with the narration and were perfectly suited to these characters. They infused the right amount of emotion into the story and had excellent pace and timing. I enjoyed listening to them narrate this novel.

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  • PATRICIA
  • 23-12-2019

Nathan & Chloe

Smart Jocks is one of my favorite sports romance series. Rebecca Jenshak has an intuitiveness to this college age that is refreshing and realistic, yet lets me escape as I listen to the story. This one is Nathan and Chloe. Nathan is a college basketball star, well known on campus. Chloe is a volleyball player, just transferred and with her history is having a problem fitting in. And how does she make her first attempt? She claims Nathan to be her boyfriend. And now the fun begins with her fake boyfriend. There is a lot of emotional baggage on both sides of this fake relationship, and Jenshak knows just how to pull at my heart strings and make me root for their happiness. It's definitely a book that relates to today's college experience, from acceptance in, finding friends and trying to figure out where life is supposed to go. I love Nathan and Chloe, each seeming so real. They are a great way to end this amazing series.

Narration by Jason Clarke and Ava Erickson just enhance the story. They are an amazing team, really compliment each other and find a way to make the characters their own. Clarke is the perfect, sexy jock, with his warm voice and vulnerable sound. Erickson has a voice that exudes that new adult sound, finds the emotional side and comes out as Chloe. I loved their portrayal of the story.

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  • 💜SarahBookNerd💜
  • 13-12-2019

an amazing end

Oh my.....this book......
It was amazing! This whole series has been amazing and i really hope it doesnt end here....
The possibilities are endless of so many more character.
I could just keep reading and reading!
I was so excited for Nathans story and i was not let done!
An easy 5*