Author: Sharla Lovelace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 18, 2017
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.
Buy this book:
I’ve always had a special place in my heart for small town romances. So when one comes up my way I can’t help it, I feel the urge to delve in and get to know the people. Being not so adventurous in real life, the reader in me wanted to give this book a try. Plus, the plot about a marriage of convenience was just the thing to help me across from point A-“hmm, do I dare?” to point B-“hell yeah I will!”
Lanie is a woman in trouble. Not trouble as in with the police, but she has trouble with her dead aunt. Per her aunt’s specific instructions, in order to keep the childhood home she loved so much and shared with her aunt, she needs to have a husband. In a desperate attempt for both parties, she strikes a deal with Nick, a chef who’d do anything for his daughter. Get married, get the house and the inheritance money and then go their merry ways. Easy? Not so much.
I sympathized with Lanie a great deal, I gotta say. The book is told from her point of view, which is not something common in contemporary romances, at least not in the ones I’ve read so far. It was different but okay, since it gave us a chance to be inside Lanie’s mind the whole time and to witness the whys of her whats. But I felt like it also took away from getting to know Nick better. While Lanie had her baggage, so did Nick. His character had gone through some tough stuff and he had trust issues, plus the fact that he had a daughter he’d do anything for, I would’ve preferred to see things from his point of view also.
While this story was funny in the beginning, it took an emotional turn too with both Lanie and Nick’s struggle over their feelings and personal issues. And then there was the sexual tension of having to live together and pretending to be husband and wife. All of them great storylines. Very promising. And while I enjoyed reading this story, I think some things might’ve been more detailed. Like Lanie and Nick’s friendship after they got used to each other’s company but before they started to fall in love. Or Nick’s family. Or even Lanie’s for that matter. Some of those were given to us in bits and pieces but not so many details. I think I preferred more details. They would’ve created more drama, yes, but they would’ve made the story more conclusive too.
Albeit all this, I still enjoyed this story. It had that small town charm in it-pun was unintentional but damn!
I’m adding three and a half spoonfuls of this story into my hodgepodge. I’ll definitely be back to Charmed, Texas. There’s a story there of the next couple that was left incomplete, and I have a feeling that the completion will be fun to read.
- Describe yourself in five words or less.
- Snarky (Might be kind of scary that this was the first one that came to mind.)
- People-watcher (notice how I hyphenated to get an extra word? Yeah, see #3)
- Dog-lover (it worked last time)
- Can you tell us a little about your book?
It’s about lying! LOL. Truly, it’s about when all your little white lies catch up to you, and what the hell do you do then? You make up a gargantuan sized one to cover them, and then hope it doesn’t swallow you whole. Unless it’s in the form of a hot sexy get-under-your-skin man….then by all means swallow! (I did not just say that.)
Lanie and Nick’s story was honestly one of my favorite books to write—EVER. It was so much fun, and such a runaway train ride with no hands! I loved literally watching them fall for each other, I loved Lanie’s spunk! I loved every second of it, and it birthed the town of Charmed, so I hope you will love it as much as I do.
- If you had a theme song, what would it be?
I Hope You Dance
- Name one thing you won’t leave home without.
My phone and a hair tie on my wrist. (That’s 2. Damn I have trouble following rules.)
- What types of scenes are your most favorite to write?
I adore writing intense scenes with either sexy-smexy chemistry burning up the page or fast snappy dialogue. Sex scenes before the sex…with the tease and the tension and the snarky back and forth talking…I love that. Also fights are a blast with all that emotion churning around. Dialogue is always the most fun. I groan to write description…
- Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Everyone says this, but seriously, never give up. I met Sandra Brown at a writer’s conference, and she was behind a table signing for a line of hundreds, and when I got up there I said “Everyone in this line wants to be you one day.” She looked at me and said, “You’re here. You’re already halfway there. Don’t ever stop learning and don’t ever stop writing. You’ll get here. One day, maybe I’ll be in your line.” I never forgot that. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing by any means, but my first book was published almost exactly 5 years ago, and now A CHARMED LITTLE LIE is my 10th published book, and I’ve just finished writing my 12th. Don’t give up on your dream. Also, remember that you write about life, and to do that you have to live. There are times (deadline evil times) that you have to stay in a cave and pound out words, but outside of that, find a balance and enjoy your life. It will show in your writing when you do…and when you don’t. If you write romance, kiss your husband every day. And if you are writing about hot sex and he is one of your readers, you’d better be prepared to give up the goods. Saying you aren’t in the mood after penning being banged against a wall—doesn’t cut it honey. 😉
- Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I wouldn’t be here without you, and I love and adore you so much for taking the time to buy my books and give my stories a try. And when you email or message me to tell me about it…oh my God you just don’t know the rainbows and unicorns that fill me up. Nothing is more important in this job than readers. When I make you happy…when I make you laugh or cry or feel something that you are moved enough to tell me about…my God, ice cream isn’t even as good as that. It’s close. But not quite. 😉
Sharla Lovelace is the bestselling, award-winning author of sexy small-town love stories. Being a Texas girl through and through, she’s proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her retired husband, a tricked-out golf cart, and two crazy dogs. She is the author of five stand-alone novels including the bestselling Don’t Let Go, the exciting Heart Of The Storm series, and the fun and sexy new Charmed in Texas series.
For more about Sharla’s books, visit http://www.sharlalovelace.com, and keep up with all her new book releases easily by subscribing to her newsletter. She loves keeping up with her readers, and you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Connect with Sharla: