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Forget About Faking It (A Novel)

Forget About Faking It (A Novel)

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He's a grumpy detective, craving career advancement. She's a vulnerable witness, her honesty captivating his heart. Can their temporary union fuse into a love that withstands the tests of danger and deceit? Experience a tale of passionate protection and unexpected love in this enthralling sweet marriage-of-convenience romance.

    This is a love story featuring Small Town dynamics, a Guaranteed HEA and multi-racial couple (bwwm black woman white man). Includes discussions of faith by main characters who are Christian or are struggling with faith in Christ.

    Main Tropes

    • Small Town
    • Marriage of Convenience
    • Protector/Guardian
    • WITSEC
    • Amnesia
    • Grumpy/Sunshine
    • She falls first but he falls harder

    Please Read:

    Includes closed-door scenes between married couple.

    There are no open door sex scenes.

    This story is a bit spicier than general Clean & Wholesome.

    Content references purposeful instances of strong language.

    Content includes a cautious depiction of a violent criminal encounter.


    Thanks to her mischievous cat, Marlia witnesses a curious moment; a seemingly minor event which becomes the linchpin to cracking open Detective Lucas' high profile case. But an accident soon erases Marlia's personal recollections.

    Amidst the fog of her forgotten details, only one thing remains vivid—Lucas. And though he assures her all is well, Marlia suspects otherwise.

    Marlia's amnesia makes her even more vulnerable to those who intend to bury more than her memories. So, in a daring charade, Lucas assumes an unforeseen persona: the devoted husband of Marlia.

    With his arm around his new bride, he reluctantly embraces the discomfiting role as Marlia’s constant guardian. However, amidst the ever present danger comes a very new threat: the undeniable bond that flourishes between him and Marlia. Yet the more Lucas attempts to keep Marlia at arm's length, the more fervently she strives to mend the threads of the marriage she desperately believes they share.

    Seeking refuge in the requirements of his duty, Lucas is determined to shield Marlia from the forces conspiring to silence her forever. But will he succeed in shielding them from the heartbreak they will share when Marlia remembers the truth?

    Intro Into Chapter 1

    Chapter 1

    Early May 1988

    One day, she’ll learn to mind her own business; but today isn’t the day. 

    Marlia has made peace with that fact as she sits across a desk facing Officer Rogen and his obvious annoyance.

    Her eyes take in the sweat glistening off the blond stubble covering the surface of his light-tan colored scalp, the thin line of his pink lips and the dull gaze of his blue eyes.

    “Sorry,” she blurts.

    Why did she even bother filing a report? Lot of thanks she gets.

    She can practically feel the irritation from his gaze, despite her eyes being fixed to the contents that’d formerly resided within her purse—contents now splayed in disarray atop Officer Rogen’s desk.

    As much as she wishes she could blink and everything would be set to rights again, all she can do is just what she’s doing: moving as fast as she can while shoveling items she’d dumped onto the surface of his desk back into her blackhole of a handbag.

    Glancing up, Marlia catches the man’s eyes sliding closed and sliding open, as unhurried and detached as her cat’s.

    Ugh, that reminds her—Sadie.

    Marlia hopes her little fur ball hasn’t missed her litter box, again, since Marlia left the house an hour ago.

    Sucking in a breath through his nose, the officer turns away from the show Marlia is unintentionally providing for anyone who happens to be in the precinct. 

    He proceeds to study the driver’s license she’d managed to dig out of her wallet. Swiveling in his chair, he faces his computer and types in whatever information he needs from her ID before returning his attention her way.

    Just as the officer is about to speak, the pounding of shoes upon the brown linoleum floor wrenches her gaze toward a man barreling down the aisle.

    Not quite a blur, the bull charging toward her is a series of contrasts: dark haired, curls trimmed close, a trimmed black mustache and goatee displayed against light peach skin and chiseled jaw. His solid, muscular frame fills out pressed charcoal gray pants held up by olive green suspenders over a denim colored shirt and gray tie.

    The man’s gaze is hard and pointed straight ahead as his long, determined strides bring him past where Marlia’s seated, leaving in his wake a breeze laden with the scent of sandalwood and vanilla.

    He doesn’t even glance her way and yet Marlia’s idiotic heart skips a beat as the chords of one of Anita Baker’s latest releases seeps through every layer of Marlia’s mind.

    “...I’m in love...”

    When the grumpy, thick-necked man across from her clears his throat, the soundtrack stops—and Marlia realizes she might have hummed that tune aloud while zoning out and drooling after Officer Rogen’s colleague.

    Her eyes swing back to the man in front of her and she gapes for a moment before wetting her lips, swallowing.

    “Sweet Love. By Anita Baker?” she ventures, her tone lilting upwards as she hopes for an unlikely connection that’d prove she wasn’t talking with a robot.

    He jerks the corner of his mouth back in what might be perceived as an attempt at a smile, but really just reinforces the impression that he’s too tired to even attempt an attempt.

    “Alright, I’ve got your details recorded,” he grumbles, facing her as he settles his forearms on the table. “If we have any questions, we’ll be in touch. Thank you for your service.”

    “Of course. Though, it’s really Sadie you should thank. I don’t know what she thought she was doing when she slipped out my door. It’s not like she can make it out on the streets; she’s an indoor cat, through and through,” Marlia laments towards the officer's expressionless face and slightly bobbing head. “She’s the only reason I’d ever be out at this time of night.”

    “Well,” the officer sighs, standing from his desk and rounding it. “It’s a good thing Sadie has a good mom like you, then,” the man finishes, his voice gravelly. 

    Marlia mirrors his motion and stands. 

    “Can I walk you out?” he says before offering a tight-lipped smile.

    No, thank you. She’s sure they’ve both had their fill of one another’s company.

    “I’m fine,” she smiles before turning and winding her way through the aisle of desks. 

    Taking a right where the desk officer sits, Marlia exits the police station and, minutes later, is in her car.

    Drawing in a deep breath, she sits, considering what she’d just done. 

    Sure, what she’d witnessed was relatively minor, and probably wasn’t anything; but a guy walking out of a building that’s been abandoned for the eight years she’s lived on the block? That was strange, wasn’t it?

    It warranted someone taking notice.

    Well, she’d done her part. It’s in the cops’ hands now.

    Shrugging, she turns on the ignition and turns her mind to the cozy home that awaits her.

    Smiling to herself, she’s already picturing entering the warmth of her small apartment and finding Sadie meeting Marlia at the door. No doubt, her little cat will purr, meow and flop onto her back, presenting an irresistibly furry tummy ready for her mom’s rub: Sadie’s form of greeting…and rare show of repentance.

    If Marlia doesn’t catch all red lights, she might even make it in time to catch the start of one of her favorite shows.

    Night Court with a bowl of popcorn, here she comes.

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