Fauxmance in the City (Love Charades #1) Read Online Brooke Stanton

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors: Series: Love Charades Series by Brooke Stanton

Total pages in book: 66
Estimated words: 62725 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 314(@200wpm)___ 251(@250wpm)___ 209(@300wpm)

She made a career out of lies. He’s a player ready to settle down. Can they fake it till they make it into each other’s arms?
Catie Bloom dreads being found out as a hot mess. So when the high-profile domestic goddess’s supposedly perfect life is scheduled for a TV special, she’s desperate to hide the slovenly reality while she scrambles to learn to cook and find a studly pretend hubby. With her future on the line, she reluctantly accepts the office playboy’s lifeline to help her look the part…
Sportswriter Sam Harding buries authenticity behind his breezy charm. Though he knows Catie’s secret, he’s frustrated when his lady’s man reputation gets in the way of catching the one woman who holds his heart. So when he discovers her goose could be cooked, he jumps at the chance to be her stand-in.
As Catie struggles with burned offerings, her growing attraction to Sam sets off a grease fire—in the kitchen and in her pants. While Sam worries the flash fire of passion they’ve ignited will fizzle before he can prove his love is real. Can Sam move from bogus husband to the real deal before their love is flambéed?



My entire career is made up of lies.

Not little lies. Big, fat explosive lies. It wasn’t meant to be this way. Of course, it wasn’t. I’m not a psycho.

It started innocently—little white puffs of misdirection and half-truths. But now here I am on the set of the biggest morning show in the nation—Good Day USA—dishing out my lies to millions of people.

The studio lights are hot and bright, blinding me for a moment. It reminds me that we’re about to go live. Once my eyes adjust, I scan my notecards. My heart flutters, but it’s only a whisper of the pounding timpani that thundered in my chest the first time I appeared on Good Day almost a year ago.

“Do you need a bottle of water?” Karen, the executive producer, calls from the darkness.

“I’m fine,” I say.

I have my notes, my experience, and my secret weapon—my sister Natalie. She’s standing by in the wings in case I falter.

Mandy from hair and makeup comes at me with a powder brush. Looking me over, she starts to pull my mocha-brown hair in front of my shoulders, then smooths it down.

“Don’t touch,” she gently scolds. Last month, I ran my fingers through my hair and got my oversized turquoise ring tangled in my tresses, forcing me to do the entire segment with my hand cupping the right side of my head.

There’s a scurry of movement as Holly Jenkins, the co-host of Good Day USA, leaves the living room set and joins me on the kitchen set where I stand behind the industrial metal counter. After reviewing her notes, Holly surveys the prepped ingredients in front of us: sliced beets and onions, walnuts, arugula, goat cheese, a halved orange, honey mustard, and a caddy with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.

“Back in three.” Karen emerges from the black abyss beyond the lights, then pulls Holly aside for a quick chat.

Squinting, I search beyond the cameras for Natalie. This is an easy recipe—only a salad—but if Natalie isn’t nearby, my anxiety rises to Everest proportions. Holly is back at my side as the red light of camera two flicks on. Frantically, I glance around the studio. Where the hell is Natalie?

“Welcome back,” Holly says to the camera, her hair, makeup, and couture perfect. “Joining me in the kitchen today is our favorite domestic goddess, Catelyn Bloom from Simply Chic magazine. She’s here to show us the trick to making a gourmet salad in fifteen minutes.” Holly turns her dazzling smile on me.

“Right, uh…” I glance at my cards. I’ve done these cooking segments a dozen times, but always with Natalie in my line of vision, coaching me along. “Today, we’re making goat cheese and roasted beet salad.”

“Looks delicious.” Holly beams. “But there are a lot of ingredients laid out. How do you manage to make it in fifteen minutes? What’s the trick?”

“It’s easier than you think. First…”

Oh, shit. The trick just up and ghosted me. What is it?

My stomach clenches. This is live TV. There is no cut and do-over.

Natalie’s face appears to the right of the camera. She motions to the beets. Holding back a loud exhale, I fix my smile firmly in place.

Oh, right—beets.

“Instead of buying fresh beets—which take ages to boil and make your hands look like Lady Macbeth’s—buy canned beets. And instead of an entire onion—which you have to peel and cut and makes you cry off your mascara, giving you Panda- eyes—buy presliced onions in the produce section. Then quickly slice the beets, place both the beets and onions on a roasting pan”—which I do—“drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper, then stick them in the oven at three-fifty for ten minutes.”