Table of Contents

Book Cover
Author's Notes:
This is Book Two of the Experimental Love series, but it can be read as a standalone. The book does not end on a cliffhanger. It has a solid HEA.

Book Info

Author:
Series:

Experimental Love

Series Type:
Individual Stories
Number In Series:
2
Cover Artist:
Publisher:
Rebecca Raine
Published:
24 January 2022
Book Type
Words:
80,000
Pages:
269
Genre's
Heat Level

Synopsis

My new fake boyfriend may not like me, but he needs me. There are worse foundations for a relationship.

Ned

Toni Fairweather is a liar and a fake. I suspected it the day we met, but when he lies to his friends about being my boyfriend, I know for sure. I’ll play along with his deception, but Toni will owe me – big time.

I have my own reasons for needing a boyfriend. Someone who can handle me. Someone who can keep me in line. Toni is demanding enough to fulfil every requirement.

I don’t need to like the man… to obey him.

 

Toni

I never meant to fake a relationship with the lead singer of a local rock band. But the fib popped out over lunch with my best friend, and now I’m expected to present my new boyfriend at his engagement party next month.

The good news? I’m not the only one in need of a date.

Being boyfriends for a month shouldn’t be hard, but I do have one condition: this won’t be some fake boyfriends deal. I want a real relationship, and Ned’s going to give it to me.

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Welcome to the cafe Rebecca, thanks for taking time out from writing to chat with us today.

 

The prized possession you value above all others?

My phone. It sounds terrible to say that because mobile phones have such negative connotations associated with them. But I really do use my phone for so many things. I talk to loved ones through voice calls and texts. I take photos of special moments. I do many business activities such as posting to social media and connecting with readers and fellow authors. I organise the family calendar. I read books through my kindle app. I listen to music. I learn new skills through YouTube. I’ve even been known to write on my phone at times. It really is a whole bunch of useful devices in one, and I’d be lost without it.

 

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity ?

Hand lettering. I am a huge fan of quotes and when those quotes are presented in interesting ways with fancy and complex fonts, I am in visual heaven. My own penmanship used to be atrocious, and I decided some years ago to consciously try to improve. It’s worked to a degree, as long as I write slowly, but I’m still in awe of people who can produce beautifully shaped words with a skilled and steady hand.

 

The poem that touches your soul?

Invictus by William Ernest Henley. I have a copy of it framed on a shelf in my living area so I can read it whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed by life. There’s a strength and courage in the words that helps me straighten my shoulders and lift my head a little higher. I don’t ever expect to achieve the indomitable spirit described in the poem, but for me it’s a reminder to never give up the fight. I love the poem so much that I wrote it into one of my books (All the Broken Pieces). It helped Harrison, one of the mains in that book, tackle each day in the same way it helps me.

 

The event that altered the course of your life?

Buying a copy of Shifting Gears by Riley Hart. It was the first MM Romance I ever read. The cover is what originally caught my eye. After reading the blurb, I decided to give it a go. Reading that one book opened me to a whole new genre of romance and I dove headfirst into it. Several years passed before I gathered the courage to try writing in that same genre, but I will always credit that book with putting me on a new path. My life was forever altered by that book.

 

The song that means the most to you?

Uprising by Muse. I first heard it when I watched a Queer as Folk fanvid on YouTube and I fell in love. It’s a kick-arse song that always gets the blood pumping.

 

Your early recollections of writing fiction?

I was in Grade 4 when I wrote a story for school. It was a sweeping saga set during the American Civil War (I’d recently watched Gone with the Wind) and featured a brave and beautiful heroine. It had some minor historical inaccuracies (like the heroine finding out the war was over when she heard it on the radio) but I clearly remember getting lost in the telling of that tale. Then, one day, I arrived at school to be told I was supposed to have finished it over the weekend. I hurriedly wrote a ‘and then I woke up’ ending and handed it in. The teacher loved it… except for the disappointing ending. I don’t blame her.

 

The philosophy that underpins your life?

We don’t rise to the level of our goals. We fall to the level of our systems. Run the right systems and the goals will take care of themselves. – This is something I learned from James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits. As with most people, I often feel overwhelmed by everything I need to do to keep all the parts of my life on track. Breaking my goals down into bite-sized chunks helps me manage my time better on a day-to-day basis. Writing a book is huge, but writing 1,000 words is manageable. The steps I take tend to be small, but as long as I keep walking in the right direction I will always end up where I want to be.

 

And the promo?

Bona Fide Fake is one of those books that was never supposed to exist. I wrote the first book in the Experimental Love series, The Experiment, as a standalone novel. That was supposed to be the end of it. But there was one side character who stood out from the crowd. He had dimples to die for and a deep love of cocktails. He also managed to show a surprising amount of complexity in the two scenes in which he appeared. When The Experiment was released, readers were quick to point him out. They wanted Toni (with an I) to have his own story. How could I resist?

Bona Fide Fake is a fake boyfriends romance with low angst and high heat. It features a graphic designer who’s determined not to ‘fake’ anything and an almost rock star in need of a man who’ll keep him out of trouble. They may not get along, but that won’t stop the sparks from flying. Let the snark begin…

Thank you.

 

 

 

Excerpt

From Chapter Six (Toni’s Point of View)

“You need a date for the festival. I need a date for Rodney and Leif’s engagement party next month. The answer is obvious.” I place a hand over my chest in a show of sincerity. “I think we should be boyfriends.”

Ned’s head falls back as he laughs out loud. “That’s why you’re here? You want to rope me into going to the engagement party with you?”

Hilarity isn’t the response I’d hoped for, but it’s better than instant rejection. “You have to admit, a twenty-minute acting job does not equate to an entire weekend away. This is simply a way to bring our arrangement back into balance. It’s only fair.”

He shakes his head at me. “How long are you planning to drag this fake boyfriend thing out?”

“Just until after the party. Then, we can break up and go our separate ways. It won’t be messy,” I assure him. “If there’s any moping to be done, I’ll keep it to myself. You’ll never have to hear from me again. However…” I lift a pointed finger to make sure he’s paying attention. “I don’t want to be fake boyfriends. I want to be real boyfriends.”

Ned’s amusement is replaced by confusion. “Real boyfriends.”

“Yes.”

“Just like that?”

“Why not just like that?”

He gapes at me in disbelief. “People don’t go around deciding to be real boyfriends as though a relationship can be plucked out of thin air. It has to come naturally. You get to know each other, spend time together, develop actualfeelings.” He gestures between us with one hand. “Do you have any actual feelings for me, Toni?”

“Yes,” I insist. “I think you’re incredibly sexy. That counts, doesn’t it?” His groan—half exasperation, half lust—makes me smile.

“Usually yes, but in this context not so much.” He crosses his arms over his chest. “We might be able to fake a real relationship for other people, but we can’t actually make it real. Tell me you know this.”

“Of course, I do.” In theory. My longest ‘real’ relationship didn’t make it to a monthiversary, so my practical experience is somewhat lacking. “But can’t we skip over all the getting to know you crap and go straight to the part where you adore me, and I make you happy?”

Groaning, Ned drops his head forwards.

“You need this as much as I do,” I snap. “Maybe more.”

Straightening, he places his hands on his hips. “How do you figure?”

“If we go down to the festival as friends, or let’s face it acquaintances, then I’ll be hard-pressed to stop you doing anything. This ex of yours will have power over you, and I will have none.” Ned opens his mouth as if to disagree with me, but then he must see sense because he closes it again. “If I’m your boyfriend… I will have power, too.” I give him a moment to contemplate my statement before I continue. “Trust me when I say I’m the jealous type. As long as we’re together, there is no way in hell anyone will be touching you but me. There will be no getting seduced by your ex. No sneaking off into dark corners to be fawned over by groupies. Nada. You’ll be my boyfriend, and I will not allow you to disrespect our relationship.”

He stares at me with wide eyes, a slow smile appearing as his ears turn a lovely shade of pink. “I take it you don’t like to share?”

The word alone makes me grit my teeth. “I don’t even want to share the air you breathe.”

His tongue darts out to swipe across his bottom lip as he contemplates my offer. Taking a deep breath, he nods his agreement. “All right, you’ve convinced me. Real boyfriends it is.” A smile bursts onto my face, and his eyes close on a quiet groan. “Holy fuck, those dimples will be the death of me.”

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Biography

Rebecca is a long-time lover of all things romance. Whether it’s a book, movie, or real life, she will always have more fun if there’s a love interest thrown into the mix. She lives in Queensland, Australia with her very own hero husband, two quirky kids and one big, black dog. Other than reading and writing books, her favourite things include loud music, enjoying a glass of wine on the patio, organising everything in existence, and spending too much time on the Internet.

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