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FAKING IT TO MAKING IT

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Happily never after?

Natural born charmer, Nate Mackenzie, is in the middle of a plus-one dilemma. Wedding dates inevitably take one look at the bride and measure Nate for a beach house, a chocolate Lab and a diamond solitaire. Worse, going stag will leave him at the mercy of a set-up by his ever-hopeful sisters.

Enter Saskia Bloom - a bohemian beauty researching online dating. She already has a house (ramshackle), and a dog (rescued), and an ex who turned commitment into a four letter word. And since there's no shortage of sexual attraction between them he’ll give her all the data she’ll ever need!

But when the fake affair starts to feel real, will they even make it to the wedding? Or can they beat the odds and make it happily ever after.

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DID YOU KNOW?

There's a prequel!

 

 

 

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REVIEWS

 

"Humor interspersed with chemistry that sizzles off the pages"

4.5 stars ROMANTIC TIMES

 

 

‘I know it's a cliché, but I physically could not put this book down!'

Stephanie, Hampshire

 

 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

 

 

 BEHIND THE SCENES

 

 

PINTEREST

 

Check out the Faking It to Making It Pinterest inspiration board here

 

 

 

THE WORKING TITLE

 

"DATING BY NUMBERS"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXCERPT

  

Saskia Bloom flicked her kinky dark fringe out of her way and peered through her vintage glasses at her laptop screen before madly scribbling notes on the yellow legal pad stuck under the mouse.

“I’ll eat my shoes if you’re even a day under forty,” she mumbled at the photo of the guy grinning inanely back at her from the Dating By Numbers website.

Undeterred, StudMuffin33 kept on smiling, as if the dauntingly athletic profile beneath his not so daunting photo was so appealing any woman would let the age-fib slip.

Favourite Movie: Fast and the Furious

Collects: Surfboards

Who’d Play You in the Movie of Your Life: Jason Statham

Looking for: An open-minded lady with a twinkle in her eye

Good lord.

Mouse hover and click.

The photo of the next guy gave her such a fright she actually flinched.  BirdLover28 had tufty hair, wore a grimace rather than a smile, and had a chicken on his shoulder.  A live one, she hoped.

Favourite TV Show: Dr Who (the original!)

Sundays are for: Garage sales

Celebrity Crush:  Tyra Banks

Looking for: Fun in all the wrong places

The thought of BirdLover28 with a curvy super-model type with a thing for feathers and public indecency puffed a laugh from her lungs.  But who knew?  Somewhere out there, CockFancier25 might be waiting just for him!

Alas, that wouldn’t be her.

Even while it had been several months since she’d been kicked unceremoniously out of the dating pool, she wasn’t online looking for The One.  Or a ‘Saturday night special’ as one possibility had so gallantly offered.

Her account with Dating By Numbers was research, pure and simple.  She and her mate Lissy – otherwise known as Sassy Stats - had been hired by the site to collate a fun statistical analysis on online dating.  When Saskia got her degree in applied mathematics, she’d never dreamed it would lead to her jumping out of an aeroplane for a piece on adrenalin-junkies.  Or diving with sharks for an Infographic about phobias.   In comparison, creating an online profile was cushy.

Saskia lifted her ugh-booted foot to the chair, wrapped an arm around her woolly-tights-clad knee, and, chewing on the end of a pen, shook her head at the dozen more possibilities in her inbox.

Research or not, it was actually pretty flattering.

It didn’t take the brain of a maths whiz to know she was no Tyra Banks.  With her kinky brown hair, her mother’s olive skin, eyes that were kind of brown, a pointy nose, pointy chin, and a lean frame that puberty had pretty much ignored, under the right lighting, with humidity at a low, she could pull off cute.   Add a slight case of the nerds, and the idea that a dozen guys had considered her for a follow up email was actually a marvel.

If she’d known this was the response she’d get by going avant-garde, she’d have signed up long ago!  After all, she’d met Stu in a pub, and look how that had turned out.

There he’d sat, looking so serious, so dark and mysterious hunched in his old coat, with the pen smudges on his fingertips.  He’d looked like he’d needed a warm meal and a hug.  Turned out he’d needed her mobile phone, her TV, her computers, her small appliances and large appliances, her good linen and most strangely all of her shoes.  In recompense he’d left a nasty note, a huge debt, and his dog.

Saskia glanced over at Earnest, the big wiry Airedale currently lying on his back, his legs akimbo, snoring on the dinky old armchair in the corner of her office.

She’d ended up with the better guy.

With a sigh, she slid her feet back to the floor and shifted the legal pad an inch.  She and Earnest may have discovered a bona fide fondness for one another, but she’d never get used to the angry, red envelopes that fell through her mail slot on a weekly basis.  Never wanted to.  And the only way to make them go away was to work.  And work some more.  And then when night fell and her bed was beckoning, get back to work.

Mouse hover and click. 

Saskia raised both eyebrows as she scribbled away.  “CFO of a Fortune 500 company?”  Honestly, even if she could look past MrMillion29’s fake tan, the frayed collar of his shirt, and that the guy was clearly wearing eyeliner, he didn’t have the slightest grasp on the basic rules of grammar.

Mouse hover and click.

Saskia’s hand lifted off the mouse, ready to take notes on the next candidate but at the sight of him her hand wobbled pointlessly mid-air.

She might, in fact, have gasped at the sight, as Earnest snorted, his legs twitching like an upended spider, before settling back into a dream filled sleep.

Gorgeous didn’t even begin to describe the man with the handle NJM.  Drop dead, movie star, take-your-breath-away gorgeous came a tiny bit closer.   The shot was candid, the man looking at something over the photographer’s shoulder.  Dark-blonde hair precision cut.  Sleeves of a pale-blue business shirt neatly rolled up his upper arms, a vein or two roping from wrist to elbow.  A solitary raised eyebrow, a barely there lift to one corner of a truly sensuous mouth.  But who’d even notice, considering the guy had the bluest eyes Saskia ever seen.

How does a man who looks like that not have someone in his life? she wondered.  Though considering the fibs the other men had told, she couldn’t discount it!

He did look kind of resolute, like he wouldn't be used to hearing the word no; so maybe he was mean.  Or into cross-stitching.  Or he had halitosis, or really gnarly toenails.  Or maybe he was looking for something even more outrageous than ‘fun in all the wrong places’.   As for why he’d look twice at her – in the real world they’d cross paths only if he accidentally stumbled into some hip Brunswick cafe in which she and hers were mainlining free-trade coffee.

By that stage her intrigue levels were at Defcon Four, so Saskia wriggled blood back into her fingers and scrolled to the mini-profile that had been sent out with NJM’s initial contact.

Favourite Book: Catch-22

Drink of choice:  Double Espresso

Thing you say more than any other:  Next

Looking for: A wedding date, no strings

Concise, matter-of-fact, to the point, so pretty much bang-on to his picture, which was an anomaly unto itself.  And Saskia did love an anomaly.  Such love had sent her from pure statistics into research in the first place.  In that moment it proved why, as a seed of an idea sprung to life inside of her.

Lifting her backside from her chair she flicked through a pile of random papers.  Half the pile slid into the next, she’d fix it up later; she’d found the press release Marlee at Dating By Numbers had sent over as part of the initial brief.

The number of people signed on, only to that one site, was staggering.  All of whom had struggled using traditional avenues in their search for companionship, for sex, for love.  Including her.  And if a man who loved coffee as much as she did, had awesome taste in literature, and looked enough like a young Paul Newman to induce a drool epidemic had reached his thirties without finding someone, what would it take?

She’d been looking for an angle for her Infographic, and with the help of one NJM she might just have found one.

 

Like it?  Buy it!

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