A Charmed Little Lie
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,/i>/i>
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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 . . .
About the Author
Sharla writes modern day, quirky love stories with dysfunctional families, love problems, and snarky humor. Because who doesn’t love a love story? Especially one with strong women and drama and baggage and hot men that can’t get enough of them.…
Read an Excerpt
Charmed in Texas
A Charmed Little Lie
By Sharla Lovelace
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2017 Sharla Lovelace
All rights reserved.
"Take caution when unwrapping blessings, my girl. They're sometimes dipped in poop first."
In retrospect, I should have known the day was off. From the wee hours of the morning when I awoke to find Ralph — my neighbor's ninety-pound Rottweiler — in bed with me and hiking his leg, to waking up the second time on my crappy uncomfortable couch with a hitch in my hip. Then the coffeemaker mishap and realizing I was out of toothpaste. Pretty much all the markers were there. Aunt Ruby would have thumped me in the head and asked me where my Barrett intuition was.
But I never had her kind of intuition.
And Aunt Ruby wasn't around to thump me. Not anymore. Not even long distance.
"Ow! Shit!" I yelped as my phone rang, making me sling pancake batter across the kitchen as I burned my finger on the griddle.
I'm coordinated like that.
Cursing my way to the phone, I hit speaker when I saw the name of said neighbor.
"How's my sweet boy?" she crooned.
I glared at Ralph. "He's got bladder denial," I said. "Possibly separation anxiety. Mommy issues."
"Uh-oh, why?" she asked.
"He marked three pieces of furniture, and me," I said, hearing her gasp. "While I was in the bed. With him."
"Ralph was in the bed?" Tilly asked.
"That was the part that caught your attention?"
"Well, I just don't allow him up there."
"It wasn't by invitation," I said. "I woke up to him staring down at me and then he let it rip."
I liked my neighbor, Tilly. She was from two apartments down, was sweet, kinda goofy, and was always making new desserts she liked to try out on me. So when she suddenly had to bail for some family emergency with her mom and couldn't take her dog, I decided to take a page from her book and be a giver. Offer to dog-sit Ralph while she was gone for a few days.
"Oh wow, I'm so sorry, Lanie," she said.
"Not a problem," I lied. I'm not really cut out to be a giver. "We're bonding."
"How's he eating?" Tilly asked. "Sometimes he's shy about eating around other people."
I glanced over to see Ralph lick pancake batter off the cabinet, then sit back on his haunches and lick himself.
"I think he's doing all right."
Tilly sighed on the other end. "Thank you so much for this," she said. "It takes a load off my mind to know he's taken care of."
Something in that sentence or in her voice sounded weird.
"So, how long are you going to be gone again?" I asked.
"Um, well," she began. "Things are a little complicated, so it may be a little bit."
A little bit. My weird radar perked up.
"Yeah?" I prompted. "Like — a week? What are we talking?"
"Well, I'll call you in a couple of days when I know more," she said. "It's — you know, my dad is really sick, and family just gets so —"
"Your dad?" I asked. "I thought it was your mom."
"Oh yeah," she said. "That's what I meant. Sorry, I'm just a little scattered right now." She laughed. "I'm buzzing on too much coffee, probably."
Too much something.
"Hey, remember," Tilly continued. "When you put him outside to leave for work, talk sweet to him so he doesn't think it's a punishment."
"He peed on me!" I exclaimed. "His fragile ego isn't my biggest concern right now."
"I know, I'm sorry," she said. "I'll send you some money to clean your mattress. I actually kind of hoped he'd cheer you up."
What? "Cheer me up?"
"You've been so — I don't know — forlorn?" she asked. "Since your aunt died, it's like you lost your energy source."
Damn, that was freakishly observant of her. Maybe she got the Barrett intuition. She nailed it in one sentence. Aunt Ruby was my energy source. Even from the next state over, the woman that raised me kept me buzzing with her unstoppable magical spirit. When her eyes went, the other senses jumped to the fight. When her life went, it was like someone turned out the lights. All the way to Louisiana.
Honestly, I had this thought. That I'd feel her more after she passed. After all, she'd been the one with all the intuition. A rumor that had wagged tongues in Charmed, Texas my whole young life. Something I'd thought was cool when I was little, spent most of my teenage years denying, and mostly forgot as an adult — living hundreds of miles away. Forgot until I'd go for a visit, anyway. One step inside that old house left little question.
There hadn't been any intuition my way, however. No feelings. No aromas of baked apples or orange peels. No sudden penchant for raw honey or the color blue or the new ability to sew. No Aunt Ruby.
Well, maybe the honey part, but that was just me. You can't grow up in a bee-farming community and not have strong feelings about honey. You either love it or despise it.
I was truly alone and on my own. Realizing that at thirty-three was sobering. Realizing Aunt Ruby now knew I'd lied about everything was mortifying. Maybe that's why she was staying otherwise occupied out there in the afterlife.
Then again, lying was maybe too strong a word. Was there another word? Maybe a whole turn of phrase would be better. Something like coloring the story to make an old woman happy.
Coloring with crayons that turned into shovels.
No one knew the extent of the ridiculous hole I had dug myself into. The one that involved my hometown of Charmed, Texas believing I was married and successful, living with my husband in sunny California and absorbing the good life. Why California? Because it sounded more exciting than Louisiana. And a fantasy-worthy advertising job I submitted an online resume for a year ago was located there. That's about all the sane thought that went into that.
The tale was spun at first for Aunt Ruby when she got sick, diabetes taking her down quickly, with her eyesight being the first victim. I regaled her on my short visits home with funny stories from my quickie wedding in Vegas (I did go to Vegas with a guy I was sort of seeing), my successful career in advertising (I hadn't made it past promotional copy), and my hot, doting, super gorgeous husband named Michael who traveled a lot for work and therefore was never with me. You'd think I'd need pictures for that part, right? Even for a mostly blind woman? Yeah. I did.
I showed her pictures of a smoking hot, dark and dangerous looking guy I flirted with one night at Caesar's Palace while my boyfriend was flirting with a waitress. A guy who, incidentally, was named — Michael.
But it made her happy to know I was happy and taken care of, when all that mattered in her entire wacky world was that I find love and be taken care of. That I not end up alone, with my ovaries withering in a dusty desert. Did I know that she would then relay all that information on to every mouthpiece in Charmed? Bragging about how well her Lanie had done? How I'd lived up to the Most-Likely-To-Set-The-World-On-Fire vote I'd received senior year. Including the visuals I'd sent her of me and Michael-the-Smoking-Hottie.
So later on, in Aunt Ruby's last days, when said boyfriend — a very fair, blond-haired GQ-style guy named Benjamin — wanted to come with me to meet the woman that raised me, and be with me at the sparse little funeral, I couldn't do that. Not when Lanie Barrett's husband was dark-haired, tall and blue-collar sexy Michael. Which would have come as somewhat of a surprise to Benjamin.
"I know, Tilly," I said, pulling my thoughts back to her as Ralph finished up cleaning the cabinets and had come nosing around the counter to find the source. "I probably have been in a funk. Just — nothing's been the same."
"Well, and Benjamin," she said, and I could hear the nod.
Damn, I really needed to stop talking to people so much about my personal life. I forgot I'd told her about my boyfriend.
"Benjamin was a douche," I said, feeding Ralph a burned pancake. Maybe he'd be less likely to pee on me tonight.
Benjamin was a douche. He called me cute.
He didn't understand the insult, but it was really the whole disclaimer phrase that went with it that got my goat. The words still echoed in my head.
I've always wanted that average, girl-next-door, dependable girlfriend. The one that isn't too sparkly. Cute but not gorgeous.
I wanted to throw up just thinking about it. Nothing in my entire life had made me feel more mediocre than that. Whether it was true or not, your man shouldn't be the one to say it. Not that I was looking for undying love. I didn't do love. But I was certainly looking for unbridled lust with someone who thought me above average.
My phone beeped in my ear, announcing another call, from an unknown number. Unknown to the phone, maybe, but as of late I'd come to recognize it.
"Hey, Till," I said, finger hovering over the button. "The lawyer is calling. I should probably see if there's any news on the will."
"Go ahead," she said. "I'll call you in a few days and see how my Ralph is doing."
So, not coming back in a few days.
"Sounds good," I said, clicking over. "Hey, Carmen."
"Hey yourself," she said, her voice friendly but smooth and full of that lawyer professionalism they must inject them with in law school. She warmed it up for an old best friend, but it wasn't the same tone that used to prank call boys in junior high or howl at the top of her lungs as we sped drunk down Dreary Road senior year.
This Carmen Frost was polished. I saw that at the funeral. Still Carmen, but edited and Photoshopped. Even when I met her for drinks afterward and we drove over to the house to reminisce.
This Carmen felt different from the childhood best buddy that had slept in many a blanket fort in our living room. Strung of course with Christmas lights in July and blessed with incense from Aunt Ruby. That Carmen was the only person I truly let into my odd little family circle. She never made fun of Aunt Ruby or perpetuated the gossip. Coming from a single mom household where her mother had to work late often, she enjoyed the warm weirdness at our house. It wasn't uncommon for her to join us to spontaneously have dinner in the backyard under the stars or dress up in homemade togas (sheets) to celebrate Julius Caesar's birthday.
Returning for the funeral and walking into that house for the first time without Aunt Ruby in it broke me. It was full of her. She was in every cushion. Every bookcase. Every oddball knickknack. Her scent was in the curtains that had been recently washed and ironed, as if she'd known the end was near and had someone come clean the house. Couldn't leave it untidy on her exit to heaven for people to talk.
We sat in Aunt Ruby's living room and cried a little and told a few nostalgic stories, trying to bring back the old banter, but it was as if Carmen had forgotten how to relax. She was wound up on a spool of bungee rope and someone had tied the ends down. Tight and unable to yield.
Still, we had history. At one time, she was family. Which is why Aunt Ruby hired her to handle her will and estate.
A word that seemed so silly on my tongue, as I would have never associated estate with my aunt or her property. But that was the word Carmen used again and again when we talked. Her estate involved the house and some money (she didn't elaborate), but it had to be probated and there were complications due to medical bills that had to be paid first.
Which made sense. It had taken almost two months, and I had almost written off hearing anything. Not that I was holding my breath on the money part. I was pretty sure whatever dollars there were would be used up with the medical bills, and that just left the house. I figured that would probably be left to me. I was really her only family after my mom died young. Well, except for some cousins that I barely knew from her brother she rarely talked to, but I couldn't imagine them keeping up with her enough to even know that she died.
I didn't know what on earth I'd do with the house. It was old and creaky and probably full of problems — one being it was in Charmed and I was not. But it was home. And it had character and memories and laughter soaked into the walls. Aunt Ruby was there. I felt it. If that was intuition, then okay. I felt it there. But only there.
So I'd probably keep it as a place to get away, and spend the next several months going back and forth on the weekends like I had right after she passed, cleaning out the fridge and things that were crucial. Mentally, I ticked off a list of the work that was about to begin. That was okay. Aunt Ruby was worth it.
"How's it going over there?" I asked.
"Good, good," Carmen said. "How's California?"
"Fine," I said. "You know. Sunshine and pretty people. All that."
I closed my eyes and shook my head. Where did I get this shit?
"Sounds wonderful," she said. "It's been raining and muggy here for three days."
"Yeah," I said, just to say something.
"So the will has been probated," Carmen said. "Everything's ready to be read. I wanted to see when you'd be able to make it back to Charmed for that?"
"Oh," I said, slightly surprised. "I have to come in person?"
"For the reading, yes," she said. "You have to sign some paperwork and so do the other parties."
"Yes — well, normally I don't disclose that but you're you, so ..." she said on a chuckle. "The Clarks?" she said, her tone ending in question.
"As in my cousins?" Really?
"I was surprised too," she said. "I don't remember ever even hearing about them."
"Because I maybe saw them three times in my whole life," I said. "They live in Denning. Or they did. I don't think you ever met them."
"Hmm, okay." Her tone sounded like she was checking off a list. "And you'll need to bring some things with you."
"Two, actually," Carmen said, laughing. "Just like your aunt to make a will reading quirky. But they are easy. Just your marriage certificate —"
Carmen chuckled again, and I was feeling a little something in my throat too. Probably not of the same variety.
"I know," she said. "Goofy request, but I see some doozies all the time. Had a client once insist that his dog be present at the reading of the will. He left him almost everything. Knowing Aunt Ruby, there is some cosmic reason."
Uh-huh. She was messing with me.
I swallowed hard, my mind reeling and already trying to figure out how I could fake a marriage certificate.
"And the second thing?" I managed to push past the lump in my throat.
"Easy peasy," she said. "Your husband, of course."CHAPTER 2
"Men are like icing, Lanie. Sweet and tasty and good to look at, but kind of unnecessary without your favorite cake. Wait for the cake."
The paralysis that afflicted my vocal chords had a similar effect on my feet. I stopped dead in my tracks halfway around the counter, wet rag in hand to clean up where Ralph had left off.
Bring my husband?
I started chuckling, and it sounded something like gargling plastic so I stopped, then flipped my hair, which Carmen couldn't see but it gave me the nonchalant I'm not lying air I needed.
"Bring my husband?" I said, laughing again. "That's crazy. He's working."
"We didn't decide on when," Carmen said.
"He's always working."
"Wow, that can't be an easy life," Carmen said. "What does he do?"
Right now, he was making me sweat. "He, um, well, he —" My gaze darted wildly for inspiration. Landed on a chair, a towel, a dark spot on the rug — ugh, focus, Lanie! Coming back to the kitchen, they stopped on pancakes. "He cooks!" I blurted.
"Oh, he's a chef?"
"Yes! Well, no," I amended, realizing I should make it more generic and less able to prove. "Not a chef, but he's working on that. In a major restaurant."
"Really? Which one?"
Oh God, please end this.
"So — he travels for a local restaurant?" Carmen asked, and I nearly groaned out loud.
"No, the travel is because —" Why? He's a banker? Corporate lawyer? Snooze. Something hotter. Something — "He works construction."
So much more logical.
"Oh!" Carmen said. I could hear the what-the-fucks ticking in her brain.
"I mean, not just works construction," I said, wondering when my mouth would surrender and stop digging this giant hole. Maybe I could get my cooking-construction-working husband to fill it in. "He has a team that he runs. They're all over the place. All the time."
Excerpted from Charmed in Texas by Sharla Lovelace. Copyright © 2017 Sharla Lovelace. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Loved A Charmed Little Lie by Sharla Lovelace! This book is the first in the Charmed in Texas series & is such a great story. I look forward to the next book in the series. Lanie & Nick are such a fun couple & I loved the romantic build up. The "side" characters are interesting too & I am so excited to read Carmen's story. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Love it!! Can't wait for the next one.
Loved! Why on earth haven't I read anything from this author before? I added her entire backlist to my TBR almost as soon as I read the last word of this book--not to mention Charmed in Texas, book 2 ( Lucky Charmed ), because OMG, I need to read Carmen's story, like now. Seriously. A Charmed Little Lie had me giggling like a loon in the waiting room of the dentist's office yesterday--fortunately, there weren't too many people in there to witness it. Goodness gracious, Lanie and Nick's story hit all of my buttons. It's funny, it's real--even the more outrageous bits, like Lanie's imaginary spouse and how well Nick fits the bill (especially considering how she finds him) and Lanie's aunt's will end up seeming somehow plausible--and romantic and so, so hot. Lanie and Nick have tons of repressed chemistry, and whoa, it had me squirming almost as much as it did them. So, yeah. I want to crawl into the world of this book and live there. I want to hang out with Lanie and Carmen, and dodge Ralph's doggy kisses, and sit enraptured in the Blue Banana while Nick makes me a burger. Or pancakes. Or a salad. Heck, I'd even watch him make liver and onions. I'm not picky. How soon until Carmen's story? Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
I happen to love the fake relationship romance story, and this one hit the spot for me. Nick and Lanie start out as two strangers doing a favor for one another, but somewhere along the way it becomes real. I loved the build up, both physically and emotionally. It was fun and sweet and sexy, I enjoyed reading it. The small town setting is a plus and I'm looking forward to seeing how Nick and Lanie are settling in during the next installment of the series featuring Lanie's friend Carmen. 4.5 stars I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
A Charmed Little Lie (Charmed in Texas) by Sharla Lovelace This is Lanie Barrett and Nick McKane' story. Fake marriage and small town romances are the best. The author really delivered on this one. Lanie and Nick are so much fun. You can't help but fall in love with them. I loved the banter between them. This is a fun, entertaining, and sexy romance. This is a must read! FYI, contains mature content. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
3.5 stars A Charmed Little Lie is your typical Rom Com about a fake relationship turning into something more. It was cute and funny at parts, but it is nothing new when it comes to storylines. Lanie wants to make her great aunt not worry so much about her, so she tells her she is married. Now, he aunt has passed and in order not to lose her aunt's house to her distinct relatives, she must prove she is happily married. Problem is... no real husband. Then she meets Nick. Nick is fired/quits from his job seconds before he and Janie meet. Janie offers him the job of being her fake husband and he can't say no to the money. Cute story. Nothing we haven't read before unfortunately....
Keep calm and move to good ol' Charmed, Texas! "A Charmed Little Lie" is the first ever book I've read by Author Sharla Lovelace, but after that captivating, small town romance, it most definitely won't be the last! I'm really looking forward to Book 2, Lucky Charmed (Charmed in Texas). Thanks to Lanie's quirky Aunt Ruby’s stipulations, in order for her to inherit her Aunts money and home when she passes, this twosome, duo, set of newlyweds are "Lucky Charmed" and are perfectly made for one another. There marriage may have started as one of convenience, but it won't end that way. It's undeniable how much Nick and Lanie are truly the light in one another's life. Even if it takes them a bit to figure that out for themselves. This story had so many aspects to it and literally made me feel like I found a new home with all of the townsfolks of Charmed, Texas! I want to move there if it's anything like Sharla Lovelace describes it! Sharla Lovelace brings us a funny, light hearted, pleasing love story that you won't want to miss out on, nor put down once you get started. With the sexy heat between Nick & Lanie it adds some serious spice to their romance, too! I recommend you give it a small town Texas One-Click and get prepared to be Charmed! ***Read and Reviewed by Laura Redmon for Cutting Muse Blog Review*** ***Copy provided by Net Galley, I voluntarily reviewed this advanced reader copy.*** Laura Redmon Cutting Muse Blog Review
Early on I didn't think I was going to like Lanie. I kinda get the whole lying to her aunt thing to make a sick woman feel better but you start to understand that she made up stuff as a young girl too. That kind of bad character trait tends to be off-putting but Lovelace does an amazing job of making her likable. She's sassy, funny, and a bit of a disaster, but she has a huge heart and means well (most of the time :) ). The story is all from Lanie's POV so we don't get the inner-workings for Nick, but his actions speak pretty loudly. While it is a bit of a hit to his pride, once he decides to help her out he definitely gives Lanie 100%. He does everything he can to sell their relationship but still respect that getting involved is not a good idea for either of them. He's a stand up guy, doing this for his daughter, and he also has a healthy sense of fun. If I had to have a fake husband I would definitely be willing to share my inheritance with him! ~~spoiler alert~~ Buuuuut, I do wish we'd been given some details about Nick's side of things, especially at the end. We get the kiss and make-up and live happily ever after moment, but I had so many questions - about where he went, what he did while he was gone, what he felt, why is he back in charmed, especially if he thought she'd gone to California ... we really don't get much from his side but what we do get is text-book Nick and fantastic! ~~End Spoiler~~ With a lively writing style, full of humor and fun, Lovelace gives her readers a delightful, comical and still heartfelt journey of two people who don't trust in love but find themselves falling anyway. You might know going in that it all ends with a HEA but that doesn't mean they aren't going to screw it up a few times along the way! *** I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. ***
Loved this small town romance. A little white lie that turns into true love. Lanie needs a husband and marriage certificate per her grandma's will or everything will go to her hungry cousins. She meets Nick at a diner, who is done on his luck and out of a job but is willing to become her stand in husband. Not expecting anything more, but soon the little lie becomes so much more. Loved this small town with everything honey. Great characters with fun banter that will have you laughing out loud. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
A Charmed Little Lie charmed me right off. I loved Lanie. I loved that she loved her aunt and the home she provided. I loved that she was willing to do what it took to make her aunt’s last moments happy. Even if Aunt Ruth did not buy the lie. It was total fun watching Lanie and Nick getting to know each other while pretending to know each other. Charmed, Texas had its own quaint small town charm. I loved the characters that played secondary. I loved the closeness. I hated the closeness. It was warm, fuzzy, funny, crazy, and more. What do you get when you lie about and husband and then have to produce that husband? You get this charming little read that will brighten your day and make you smile.
Lanie had given a lie to a dying aunt. Now, she must prove the marriage is real. No pressure, right? Especially since she is not even seeing anyone right now. Nick comes across Lanie in the middle of a crisis and is not sure to take her seriously. She has him fitting the general description of the man she lied about. He needs the money, so he gives in. Then the attraction begins...... I really felt it all with this story. There is plenty of humor, heat, sarcasm, and lots of fun. I really wanted the characters to see what I saw for them. There was sparks flying between them and it was fun to see the slow burn speed up. I cannot wait to see the next book in the series. ****This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers in exchange for an honest review.
4.5 Stars! A Charmed Little Lie by Sharla Lovelace, is a marriage of convenience romance that kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. The two main characters, ad copy writer Lanie Barrett, and chef Nick McKane, met and formed a bond under very unusual circumstances. Overtime, they fell hopelessly and devotedly in love. Lanie recently lost her Aunt Ruby, the beloved woman who raised her. In order to keep Ruby smiling throughout her last days, Lanie assured her that she was madly in love and engaged. However, the tale backfired, because Lanie only inherits her aunt's house and a decent chunk of change, when she gets married and lives in the house with her husband for three months. Nick comes to her rescue in exchange for some money, which he desperately needs in order to send his college age daughter to a highly regarded art school. Nick is unemployed, so this crazy arrangement works for him. However, both Lanie and Nick are riddled with baggage, including a gorgeous ex-wife, some very unneighborly neighbors, and an estranged cousin or two that want their aunt's land for selfish reasons. Ms. Lovelace packs a lot of excitement, as well as heartache, into this romance. The small town of Charmed Texas, where the story takes place, is known for its pure honey. Many of the town's residents are beekeepers and pride themselves on the honey they manufacture, while keeping tabs on everything about everybody. This is a very creative romance with characters that are chock-full of personality and greed. I formed an immediate connection with both Lanie and Nick, and their sexy times were very seductive. This is the first book in the author's brand new series, Charmed in Texas, and it can be totally enjoyed as a standalone. I am looking forward to the second book in the series, where Lanie's best friend Carmen is in the hot seat. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Lanie lied to her aunt Ruby to make her happy. She told her she was happily married, so that her aunt wouldn't worry about her. Lanie is single and doesn't have a job she enjoys. When her aunt dies, Lanie has to return to her childhood village to find out the contents of Ruby's will. As soon as she hears what her aunt decided to ask of her Lanie knows her lies weren't convincing enough. To inherit her childhood home and her aunt's money Lanie has to be present at the reading of the will together with her husband. They have to move into Ruby's home for three months, otherwise the house will go to a greedy family member who didn't love her aunt at all and wants to destroy the house and sell the land to a developer. How can Lanie prevent that from happening? Nick just lost his job as a cook and needs money for his daughter's college tuition. As money is something Lanie will have when she'll receive her inheritance she convinces Nick, a total stranger, to be her husband, so Lanie can save her childhood home. However, what will happen when her fake marriage starts to feel like a real one instead? Will Lanie finally find love or will Nick leave her as soon as he receives his money? A Charmed Little Lie is an original romantic story. I loved the idea behind it, Nick and Lanie get married first and then they get to know each other. It's a fun subject and I enjoyed reading about it from the start. Lanie is a sweetheart. She's generous and kind and she's genuinely interested in people. Because of something that happened in her past she's afraid to let anyone come close and I kept hoping Nick would be the person who'd break down the walls around her heart. Nick has a complex relationship history of his own though and it isn't easy for Lanie to compete with his past. I felt they both should have a chance at happiness after everything they've been through. Nick is a troubled, but very gentle man. He deserves a much better life than the one he had before he met Lanie. I couldn't wait to see if she would give him a more promising future. They have plenty of chemistry and their connection is deep from the start, which is something I liked a lot. Sharla Lovelace's writing flows easily. I read A Charmed Little Lie in one sitting. It's an interesting story filled with complicated relationships, schemes and unexpected twists and turns. I loved reading about Charmed and its inhabitants, it's a wonderful setting with fascinating festivals and a great gossip mill. I'm a big fan of small town romance and Sharla Lovelace combines this with another favorite topic, an unusual love story. I really enjoyed reading A Charmed Little Lie, it's a fabulous entertaining story.
There is a little bit of everything here from ex's, drama, jealousy, lies, secrets, surprises and so much more. I just adore it and had a hard time putting it down. You are drawn in from the first page with the heartbroken Lanie who just lost her beloved aunt who is more of a mother to her. She would have done anything for this woman and did by tell one BIG lie to make an old woman happy before she left this world. Her aunt is a woman full of surprises. You will fall in love with her as she throws a twist to win her way until the very end. Lanie is in a pickle she must now find a husband to bring home to prove she is married. You are so going to love how these two meet and start their new life as husband and wife. I really loved these two characters and lord the messes they get into. Of course they have a little help getting into them which brings you hours of laughter, a little heart break and a lot of love. Nick has his hands full not only with Lanie but the whole town. As you well know small towns know everything and what they don’t know they make up. Throw in a few cousins and their friends and what a mess that makes. You are not going to believe what these people come up with and what they are willing to do to get their hands on aunties house. There were a few times my jaw hit the floor and some other times I just laughed myself silly. I stayed up late, got up early and read through my breaks and lunch. I had to force myself to stop to work around the home. There is sorrow and heartbreak with a big mess that you don’t see anything good coming out of this. The romance is slow and steady but the passion is hot and wild. There is conflict in different levels as wells as deep meaning, humor, strength, and learning to give and take. Both Lanie and Nick have issues they will have to overcome from past relationships. Alan and his wife is something else but they are dealt with in a way that leaves you laughing your head off. I love the wisdom her boss gave her I think we could all live by it. Her aunt even though we never get to meet her plays a big rule. I was a shocked at times and other times I laughed out loud. What a wise older women, I wish so much I could have gotten to know her. This is a laugh out loud book with lots of humor, a time or two I did have to reach for a tissue. The characters and supporting characters are wonderful all but the cousin and Alan I would have liked to run them out of town. I loved the dog, her best friend and I even grow to like the ex. This book is full of surprises. It was just a delightful fun read. One of Ms. Lovelace’s best stories yet. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. Ms. Lovelace as a winning series that would make a wonderful movie, I loved it from start to finish.
GREAT book!! This was a really fun, frustrating (at times), entrancing story. Two people (Laney & Nick) who have some major issues from their past to work through. I absolutely loved how these two met and were like fire & ice. I also hope Aunt Ruby shows up in other stories, she a real pisser!! Can't wait to get my hands on the next book!!
Welcome to Charmed, Texas a picturesque town where you can find crazy townsfolk, possibly haunted houses, old flames, and new beginnings. Sharla Lovelace pens another wonderful small town romance filled with emotion and desire, quirky characters and fun twists. When Lanie lied to her Aunt Ruby about having the job of her dreams and a husband to match it, her intentions were good. She didn’t want her dying aunt to worry about her. But after reading her aunt’s will she finds out her good intentions have an unpredictable impact in her life and now she desperately needs to find a fake husband who’ll live with her in order to save her childhood home from falling into the hands of her greedy cousins. As Lanie has forsaken love, she’s in no danger of falling for her newfound gorgeous roommate is she? Nick McKane needs a job to pay for his daughter’s education and he’s just desperate enough to accept a perfect stranger’s insane plan to fake a marriage for three months. But as he deftly jumps into his role of loving husband while getting to know Lanie the illusion they create is slowly turning into reality, but can he trust in them enough to believe it’s real or will he walk out on them when the time is up? I get the impression that Sharla Lovelace has a great time writing about small towns, creating the charming places with interesting townsfolk and their wacky dynamics. I loved reading about Charmed and feeling as though I was transported there. Aside from the parochial appeal, I very much enjoyed the slow burn relationship between the perky Lanie and sexy yet closed off Nick. It’s clear that they both have vested interests in pulling off the lie, but Nick is able to jump effortlessly into his role whereas Lanie has a more difficult time having to quit her current job, not being able to accept her actual dream job in California all while having to deal with the ridiculously attractive man who struts dripping wet in only a towel after a hard run and before heading to work at the local dinner filled with fawning females who can’t get enough of the easy going new chef. Having the need to show everyone that they’re madly in love and happily married requires them to be out and about together, holding hands and showing other PDAs which helps to fuel the already existing smoking hot attraction, but it’s during the quiet times when they’re alone when they get to know more of each other when that attraction turns into so much more. I loved both Nick and Lanie equally. She was so lively yet a tad broken and insecure, but not enough to that it stopped her from defending her “husband” against all the unwanted female attention he got. That was so much fun to witness. Nick on the other hand was a bit walled off having had bad luck whenever it came to love, but I just swooned over every time he got instinctively protective over Lanie, whenever he flirted with her when no one was there to watch or listen in, and every time he sexily called her “Mrs. McKane.” There’s so much I’d love to share, so many things I highlighted from sweet, to sexy, to emotional. Needless to say I was captive with their story and wanted to know how it would all turn out. I look forward to reading the next book in this series and anything else Sharla Lovelace puts out for the sentiments she evokes and the emotive stories she composes. A Charmed Little Lie is the kickoff book in the series Charmed in Texas by author Sharla Lovelace. It is a standalone contemporary romance
OMG I AM SO UNBELIEVEABLY HAPPY RIGHT NOW! Why are you shouting, you may ask? Well, I have been in a bit of a book slump for a bit but Sharla Lovelaces’s A Charmed Little Lie has cured me – thank goodness! I am on a book high right now Sharla is the Queen of Small Town Romance – she has given us a book with a little bit of everything – fun, wit, emotion, heartfelt conversations, and sexy chemistry. The whole marriage for convenience storyline has definitely been done before, but Sharla is able to put her spin on it and give readers something totally different and unique. Lanie Barrett needs to return home to Charmed, Texas when her beloved Aunt Ruby passes away for the reading of her will. Lanie was raised by this wonderful woman and Aunt Ruby has wanted nothing more than for Lanie to find love and happiness. In her dying days, Lanie invented a fake marriage to appease her Aunt and of course in a complete twist for the reading of the will, Lanie must return home with her husband to live in Charmed for 3 months in order to receive the family home. Enter Nick McKane – a handsome cook who has recently lost his job. Nick works in a bar that Lanie happens to stop at on her way home to Charmed and because of his looks that so closely resemble her fake husband, Lanie has a proposition for him. In return for money to help pay for his daughter’s art school tuition, she needs him to pose as her husband for 3 months. But in a small town where everyone knows each other’s business AND in a situation where you try to live with someone platonically to only discover that there could be something MORE—what happens next? I LOVED the ease with with which Lanie and Nick took on the roles of husband and wife, and that beyond the pretending readers will be on that journey with this couple as they find that something more. The sexy chemistry, the fun bantering, and the mesmerizing writing made me just fall in love with this book and these characters. Lanie went above and beyond protecting the man she started falling for and vice versa. It was just an amazing journey to be a part of. The only thing I wish for was that I wished that this story was told in dual POVs and that I had the chance to hear Nick’s voice too. I would have loved to be in his head in certain scenes. But overall, I am IN LOVE with the start of this series and can’t wait for more!!!
Absolutely adored this book!! I love a good small town romance so this book had that going for it. Add in the exceptional writing style, funny and interesting characters, a little snarky banter and I'm hooked! What started out as a tiny white lie turns into a huge problem for Lanie Barrett. For the reading of her Aunt Ruby's will, Lanie finds out that she not only needs to produce the husband she told her aunt she has but also the marriage certificate. If she can do that everything is left to Lanie. If she can't everything goes to her money hungry cousins. That's were Nick McKane comes in. He's down on his luck and desperate for money - 0h and recently out of a job - he agrees to Lanie's crazy plan of posing as her husband for the official reading of the will. Things take a turn towards complicated real quick though! This one will make you laugh out loud and will grab your heart. I highly recommend it.
A Charmed Little Lie by Sharla Lovelace Charmed in Texas #1 This book kept me up till the wee hours of the morning. Why? I just could not put it down. I knew there would ultimately be a HEA BUT I had to know how it would come about. How would two people who married in a type of marriage of convenience that would garner them both something they wanted find their way to that HEA? What kind of place would Charmed, Texas be? Who might show up in future books of the series? Well, I read and read and read some more then when I turned the light off at 2:30am I couldn’t put the story behind me though it was dark and the light was out. Lanie and Nick stayed with me and left me wanting to know more about Charmed’s apiary community and also wanting to read the next book in the series BUT it is not out yet! I am not going to tell you more than this BUT I will say that if you are looking for a wonderful small town romance with two characters that are perfect together and richly deserve their HEA then this book is one I highly recommend! Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books – Lyrical Shine for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars
A little white lie magnifies in this heartwarming and witty escapade of hope, faith and charity. A good heart lead Lanie to ease a dying woman's fears. Desperation leads her into the arms of the perfect man. Can a bit of divine intervention give her the happy ending she's been dreaming of? Nick and Lanie prove that if something is meant to be, nothing can stop it from happening. A Charmed Little Lie puts a smile in the heart while uplifting the spirit.