Title: A Charmed Little Lie (Charmed in Texas #1) by Sharla Lovelace
Release: April 18, 2017
Published by: Lyrical Shine
Lanie Barrett didn’t mean to lie. Spinning a story of a joyous marriage to make a dying woman happy is forgivable, isn’t it? Lanie thinks so, especially since her beloved Aunt Ruby would have been heartbroken to know the truth of her niece’s sadly loveless, short-of-sparkling existence. Trouble is, according to the will, Ruby didn’t quite buy Lanie’s tale. And to inherit the only house Lanie ever really considered a home, she’ll have to bring her “husband” back to Charmed, Texas for three whole months—or watch Aunt Ruby’s cozy nest go to her weasel cousin, who will sell it to a condo developer.
Nick McKane is out of work, out of luck, and the spitting image of the man Lanie described. He needs money for his daughter’s art school tuition, and Lanie needs a convenient spouse. It’s a match made . . . well, not quite in heaven, but for a temporary arrangement, it couldn’t be better. Except the longer Lanie and Nick spend as husband and wife, the more the connection between them begins to seem real. Maybe this modern fairy tale really could come true . . .
The cake-eating contest was first, and I was playing for the bank. It was my favorite one of course.
“I’m a cook,” Nick teased, sitting next to me. “I’ve got this.”
“Just because you can make a cake doesn’t mean you can eat it,” I said, rolling my head on my shoulders and popping my knuckles. The four-layer cake in front of me was daunting. I formed a strategy, one slice at a time.
“Big words, Mrs. McKane,” he said.
Calling me that sent goosebumps trickling down my spine.
It wasn’t the first time. But something about sitting next to my husband in a goofy town festival cake-eating contest suddenly felt so domestic. So normal and real.
The bell rang, and we were off. We each had knives, but those of us with experience skipped that time consuming task. Hands worked just fine, and going for big bites with minimum chewing was optimal. The winner was Berty Carson from the barber shop, an elderly man who obviously had been practicing judging by the girth around his waist.
Still, I had three-fourths of my cake gone compared to Nick’s little over half.
“What was that, Mr. McKane?” I said, putting my cake-covered hand to my ear. “Was that the sound of losing?”
Nick grabbed my hand and stuck one of my fingers in his mouth, sucking the cake off with his tongue. Everything stopped for me for a moment, the world going on tilt, and he winked as he licked his lips.
“What was that, Mrs. McKane?” he said. “The sound of shock?”
Oh, what a dirty, dirty boy. He didn’t play fair. I would so remember that.