One totally innocent photograph taken out of context and Nomi’s reputation goes up in flames.
Easy fix: marry the man from the picture. After all, he’s her best friend.
Malone makes it his job to look out for Nomi. So, of course, he can’t say no when she proposes a fake marriage to save her political campaign. But the betrayals they’ve suffered in the past make their marriage of convenience a risky move—especially when real feelings start to swirl between them. Will this favor cost them their friendship or turn into something greater than they’d ever imagined?

Somehow she’d gotten him to agree to commit to a fake marriage. Hadn’t she? “So, to be clear. You’re in?”
He shrugged, in opposition to his all-in vibe from a moment ago. “It’s only for a few weeks, right? Until the election?”
“Maybe a little bit afterward. I mean, I can’t just lose a husband without staging a messy divorce that won’t win me any fans.” She’d already thought through her response if someone asked where her husband was lately. Busy. Politics isn’t his thing. He’s giving me room to find my wings. Something that didn’t make her gag. “But definitely not more than a couple of months.”
“But we don’t tell anyone it’s fake.”
Bless him for cutting right to the chase and for reading her mind at the same time. “The fewer people who know the truth, the better. No chance of anyone slipping.”
“We might slip.”
“No way. I’m used to being in the public eye and… What?” The look on his face arrowed straight to her tummy, flipping it over.
“You didn’t do so well with the hand-holding,” he reminded her. The texture in his tone hooked her and when their gazes collided, his was laden with all sorts of heaviness that shouldn’t be there. “What’s going to happen when I kiss you?”
Her tongue went numb.
“I took a theater class,” she said with confidence. If she could say that without her voice cracking or tipping him off that her insides felt like they were being run through one of those machines that made sauerkraut, she could handle this fake marriage business.
As long as he didn’t keep talking about kissing.
“My acting skills are top notch,” she assured him but she was pretty sure she was talking to herself more.
“Want to put that to the test?” he murmured and lifted two fingers to her face.
A firecracker detonated across her skin as he traced the line of her jaw. She flinched. Which only widened his grin, even as he dropped his hand.
“Yeah, we’re going to have to practice that a lot more,” he told her with a smart-aleck nod. “But with more touching and less cringing.”
“We so do not! We’re not kissing each other. Lots of people don’t kiss their spouses in public. We don’t have to be one of those PDA couples.” Except they did, especially if they wanted to sell the idea that they were an affectionate couple, like in the photo. And then his gaze dropped to her mouth, studying it so intently that she touched it with her fingers automatically. “Is my lipstick bleeding or something?”
“I was just wondering how on earth you plan to sell the idea that I’m in the non-PDA camp when I’m married to a woman with lips like yours. Surely any man who got lucky enough to kiss you on a regular basis would do it as much as possible, even if he started out completely opposed to any sort of public affection.”
The blush that burned her cheeks was so potent, it might as well have a couple of neon arrows accompanying it. Look here! Nomi doesn’t handle compliments well! “Stop saying things like that.”
“Why? You need to believe I’ve got it bad for you just as much as everyone else. That’s how we won’t slip.”
Madness. What was he even talking about? That they’d pretend to each other? “Malone, I think we should cover the most important part of this deal. The one thing we haven’t mentioned yet. This fake marriage cannot affect our friendship. In any way.”
Kissing her friend sounded like a pretty straight path to screwing up the one thing in her life that made sense right now. Everything had slid away from her with alarming speed—her career, her brother, her fiancĂ©—and she refused to do one single thing that threatened her relationship with Malone.

I write romance novels starring swoon-worthy heroes that you can share with your daughter, the ladies at church and your grandmother without fear because my books never contain bad language, violence or adult content. I live in Texas where I’ve seen bobcats and beavers near my house, but sadly not one cowboy. I’m raising two mini-ninjas alongside the love of my life who cooks while I write, which is my definition of a true hero.
Come for the romance, stay for the happily ever after. My books will make you laugh, cry and swoon–cross my heart.

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