Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “You should walk in there at ease with the world. Like you’re getting more sex than anyone in the room.”
When Lanie discovers her aunt is dying, she tells a few little lies to help ease her passing. Only, her aunt didn’t quite believe her. Now Lanie has to find a husband and convince him to live with her in her childhood home for three months or everything her aunt owned will go to her shifty cousins who want to sell it all to a developer.
Nick McKane has no money and now no job, having just quit his last one. The spitting image of the man Lanie described to her aunt as her husband, Lanie offers him the deal of a lifetime. Help her fool the town and her cousins for three months and she’ll give him part of her inheritance. While not quite the work Nick was looking for, it’s an easy job for maximum pay.
Lanie and Nick’s marriage scam goes off without a hitch but when their temporary arrangement begins to take on a permanent feel, can this couple go from fake to real?
A Charmed Little Lie is the first in Sharla Lovelace’s Charmed in Texas series. So far, the series seems to be based on two childhood friends so I’m unsure if this will be a duology or if more characters will be introduced. Set in Charmed, Texas, this fun, sexy, and smart small town romance takes a marriage of convenience from temporary to forever when a young woman finds out a lie or two she told has come back to bite her in the arse.
Bring my husband?
Small town romances are one of my favorite settings because of the setting and inevitable eccentric characters and Sharla Lovelace hits the nail on the head every single time. Notorious for being nosy, unforgiving, and gossipy, everyone knows everyone’s business and what happened ten years ago is viewed as if it happened yesterday. Well written with Lovelace’s trademark humor, snappy dialogue, and sexy love scenes, there is also that quiet undertone she is famous for that has the reader taking note as the main protagonists try to do the right thing even as they struggle with their individual issues and various external conflicts.
Tears fell freely from my eyes as I saw everything slip away. Everything that mattered that I didn’t even know mattered. There was no way. Not for me. Not for Nick. What was she doing? What was she thinking?
“What the fuck was she smoking?” I choked.
Lanie is an absolute delight with her intelligence, wit, and a strong sense of self though she does have some serious unresolved relationship issues. Her mom and dad had a very turbulent relationship and her mom shut down completely when her dad left them. Lanie’s aunt took Lanie in and raised her. When Lanie left for college, she fudges some truths in order to keep her aunt from worrying about her. Lanie doesn’t believe in love and will never let herself become her mother.
Nick is utterly charming with his good looks, easy ways, and ability to roll with the punches. Married at a young age when his rich and fickle girlfriend got pregnant, he found out the hard way that you can’t fix someone who doesn’t want to be fixed. Divorced and at his wit’s end, Lanie’s offer couldn’t have come at a better time. He needs to pay for his daughter’s college tuition, if only to prove to himself he isn’t a failure.
Nick and Lanie’s meet cute only serves to foreshadow their delightful chemistry and snark fueled banter.
Come on,” he said. “You started this game. Play it out. What’s a twenty-dollar ring at Wal-Mart?”
“It’s not a game,” I said, popping my neck. This guy was making me tense.
“I started it to make my aunt happy,” I said. “She did everything for me, and all she wanted was to see me taken care of.” I felt the tell-tale burn behind my eyes and I blinked back fast. “When she got sick, it seemed like the kind thing to do.”
“Lie to her?”
“Make her happy,” I huffed. “Give her peace of mind.”
“I’d rather know the truth,” he said.
“Well, I’ll keep that in mind if you contract a terminal illness in the next twenty-four hours,” I barked.
“Just sayin’,” he said.
“So yell if you see a friggin’ Wal-Mart,” I continued. “We’ll get you all official.”
This couple clicks instantly and you can only hold on tight for what you know will be an emotional and laughter filled ride as they struggle to come to terms with their relatively new relationship and sexual attraction to one another. The romance is definitely slow moving though the sexual tension keeps you firmly engaged.
His gaze got heavier as it fell to my lips.
“Well played, Mrs. McKane,” he said under his breath.
“Back atcha, Mr. McKane,” I said just above a whisper as I watched him watch my mouth.
He wouldn’t kiss me.
It was too dangerous.
And that made me want it a million times more.
Quirky and interesting secondary characters round out the storyline, using the past and their own agendas to help guide our protagonists onto the same page. I loved meeting everyone who had a hand in helping to shape the woman Lanie is today though Ralph the rottie stole the show on numerous occasions. my heart. Two subplots intertwine and add melodrama to the story though I honestly felt one of them was unnecessary. It does nothing for the story except add some conflict where none was needed.
Lovelace continues to offer up yummy romances with sexy men and women, entertaining storylines, and just enough craziness to keep the story from becoming too serious. I look forward to Carmen’s story, Lucky Charmed, which is set to release July 18, 2017 from Lyrical Shine.
“Mm-hmmm, they get bossy when they put a ring on it.”