Wed
Jun 7 2017 9:30am

Jennifer Blackwood Excerpt: Falling for the Fake Fiancé

Jennifer Blackwood

Falling for the Fake Fiancé by Jennifer Blackwood

Jill Michaels prides herself on one thing: being independent. That is until her daughter gets into an elite school, and she needs money more than ever. It seems her fairy godmother—aka her deceased Grammy—has granted that wish in the form of one-fourth of her estate. The only catch? She must be married by her thirtieth birthday. In two months.

Aaron Collins is fresh out of the army and back in town to help his father’s failing business. When he runs into Jill at a hotel where she’s attending a single’s mixer, he makes sure she doesn’t make it past his room and into another guy’s arms. When he hears about her predicament, he has a plan: they’ll get married and keep it a secret. And maybe have a little sexy fun until he leave towns for his new job.

But letting go of the woman of his dreams may be harder than Aaron could have ever imagined.

Get a sneak peek at Jennifer Blackwood's Falling for the Fake Fiancé (available June 12, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

One more mention of colonization on the moon, and she’d jam her damn steak knife into her skull. It’d be far less painful than this conversation.

“And did you know that when we start colonization, I will be one of the first ones up there.”

Her fingers inched toward the cutlery. This was it—death by horrible small talk. And with her stint as a bartender a few years back, that was saying a lot.
“I’ve already bought a share in the company, so I’ll be an automatic contender to go on the first flight.”
Her moral compass must have taken a nose dive if this seemed like a sweet deal. Sure, Dwight, go on that scouting mission. Let’s hope it doesn’t have a return ticket. That was pretty negative, even for her cynical self. No wonder she sucked at dating.

“Will you excuse me, please?” She scooted away from the table without waiting for his reply. In fact, he hadn’t stopped talking, even when she edged around the other couples along the rows of speed daters. This was stupid. And if Kate ever mentioned a girls’ night out again, Jill would squash that suggestion like a cockroach in a millisecond.

Obviously, she hadn’t been in her right mind if she let her best friend and her deceased grandmother, of all people, rope her into this.

Instead of making her way to the bathroom, she ducked into an empty hallway at the Sea Glass Inn and pulled out her cell. She contemplated calling her mom, but really, at twenty-nine, that was beyond lame even for her. Her mom promised Emily would be ne. Jill didn’t doubt her seven- year-old daughter was in good hands, but...hell, she’d rather sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in an empty hallway than go back in there to Dwight or the other seven men who were as interesting as reading a nutrition label.

Leaning against the wall, she texted Kate: SOS ABORT MISSION. Their other best friend, Mia, was joining them after she got off her shift at Rick’s Pancake House. In Mia’s words, “There’s not a chance in hell I’m passing up free wine and cheesy pick-up lines.” She wasn’t going to get in the way of her friends’ fun. With a hotel room all to herself, bundling up in blankets and binging on Cake Wars called to her on a visceral level.

She cursed under her breath, wondering how she let herself get roped into this in the first place. Of course, her grandmother would put her up to something like this.

C’mon, Jill. You’re only going to be young for so long. Then you’ll start to get saggy tits and no one’s going to want that.

Yeah, no one ever accused Grammy of being tactful, but she was endearing, in a Betty White kind of way. Twenty- nine didn’t constitute enough years for boob-saggage, but who knew what the thirties held for her.

Jill stared at her messaging app, willing her friend to respond. Five minutes remained of her speed-dating time with Dwight, and there was a better chance of finding prince charming in the utility closet than of her going back to that table.

Jill: Where the hell are you? Does it take twenty minutes to find lip gloss, or did you fall into someone’s mouth? Meeting men who want to take me to outer space is not my idea of a first date.

Kate: C’mon, give him a chance. Mr. Moon Man must have something going for him. You promised you’d let go tonight and have fun.

Jill: The only thing he has going for him is a first- class ticket to space. Not exactly what I need atm.

Kate: I swear I saw a bulge in those polyester pants. Seriously, girl, you’re just rusty. Maybe he has a major hard-on for women who let him rant about the solar system.

She sighed. Yes, she was rusty, but dammit, she wasn’t desperate.

Jill: STANDARDS.

She added the middle- finger emoji.

Kate: Fine, when Mia comes, we’ll find you someone else, but you promised not to bail on this weekend until you’ve found someone to bring back to your hotel room.

Ah, yes, the other condition of this trip from hell. At this rate, she should sign up for a convent.

Truth time: she was way out of practice. She hadn’t dated a guy since her ex, Jake, left her and Emily high and dry. Bastard. She swallowed hard and crossed herself. She really shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, not when he passed in a motorcycle accident last year. Her life may have been a crumbling mess, but at least she still had her daughter and food on the table.

Someone once told her that the twenties were a learning experience, and once you hit thirty, that’s when people started getting their shit together.

“Please let that be true,” she whispered. Because her twenties were a goddamn dumpster re that could really benefit from a fire extinguisher and trash service.

Just last month, she’d taken a second job as a receptionist at a radiology center just to make sure the electricity stayed on and organic fruit, which the school insisted on—more like guilt-tripped to the nth degree—stayed on the table. Whole Foods owned half of her paycheck and possibly her soul.

Damn. She did need a break from reality. Yes, just one night to let it all go, and then she could worry about all her responsibilities once the sun rose.

Jill: Fine. I will find a guy.

Kate: Very next guy you see.

Jill: What if he’s a biker with spider neck tats?

Kate: Even better. A pierced peen would do, as well.

Jill: Seriously, you’re sick in the head.

Kate: What is that? Oh yeah, the thing formerly known as your vag is calling. It says you need a hefty dose of vitamin D, stat.

Jill rolled her eyes. So she had severe vitamin deficiency. Since when was lack of a love life a crime?

Jill: Ignoring that. This is giving me a headache. What room are you in?

Kate: You know what gets rid of headaches...? ;-)

Jill: ROOM NUMBER

Kate: 1162. Trust me, you’ll thank me for this.

What the hell was that supposed to mean?

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Copyright © 2017 by Jennifer Blackwood.
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Note: On top of being a kickass author, Jennifer Blackwood is also an H&H blogger. 

Learn more about or order a copy of Falling for the Fake Fiancé by Jennifer Blackwood, available June 12, 2017:

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Jennifer Blackwood is an English teacher and contemporary romance author. She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and poorly behaved black lab puppy. She is the author of The Drexler University series, the Rule Breaker series (May 2016 and Jan 2017) and an upcoming Brazen series (July 2016 and early 2017)

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