Title: A Charmed Little Lie
Author: Sharla Lovelace
My Rating: A
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Charmed in Texas #1
Main Characters: Lanie and Nick
Release Date: April 2017
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy
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 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...
Sharla Lovelace is a queen at writing second chance at love stories. This was not one of those so I went into it with a bit of trepidation...just hoping her style would translate to a different trope as well. OMG, it did...so well. I loved this book!
Lanie is stuck. She told her dying aunt a lie, not thinking it would hurt anything. She said she was happily married. But her aunt told everyone and then put some stipulations on her will about Lanie and her husband before Lanie could inherit the house she grew up in. She doesn't necessarily want the house, but she doesn't want to give it up either. It doesn't help that her skeevy cousin inherits if she blows it, and he has plans to tear the house...her house...down. She can't allow that to happen.
And that's where Nick comes in. Lanie lost the man who she'd planned to bring home as her husband when she met Nick...on the way there. He was fired from the diner where she was trying to eat and he fits her description of her husband perfectly and he obviously needs a job. She hires him for the 24 hour period...that then turns into so much more.
The way the story progresses wasn't a huge surprise, but the authenticity of the characters and their mental trials throughout the story was. It was all so well done. I loved Lanie and Nick. The story is told entirely from Lanie's point of view, so the reader doesn't get to know Nick as well, but the author did an amazing job of giving us tiny clues and insights into his stress throughout. Nick is a fairly closed off guy, so that wasn't the easiest thing to do.
Both of these characters have histories which made them really leery of committing to a true relationship. But I liked that they settled in with one another so naturally even though they were strangers. They were a team against everyone else. I loved that about this story and made their connection feel so real and possible. They have a joint mission to make this work. And then there's Nick. He has these moments when he's just so perfect. He sees Lanie's flaws and shores her up when she needs it most. Gah...he was such a great hero.
There were so many highlights in this book. The visuals of Nick...in his towel, cooking, rolling up his shirt sleeves...so many happy places. For that aspect alone, I loved that this book was told from Lanie's viewpoint.
My only (teeny, tiny) complaint is that I wish there had been a bit more of Nick's background filled in. He obviously knows how to cook and is possibly a trained chef, but it was never really explained how he ended up working in a diner where no one appreciated him. There were hints at more to the story there and unless I just missed it, some of those questions weren't answered.
But seriously, that's a minor, minor complaint...because everything else about this book was fantastic! I loved it and can't wait for the next installment in the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.