Don’t Pretend I’m Yours Read Online Natasha Anders

Categories Genre: Angst, Contemporary Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 115
Estimated words: 108173 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 541(@200wpm)___ 433(@250wpm)___ 361(@300wpm)

When Ben Templeton asks Lilah Beckett to marry him, she’s over the moon. She’s been in love with him for years and now, finally, it looks like those feelings are reciprocated. She eagerly accepts his proposal, but on her wedding day, all expectations of a happily ever after with the love of her life come crashing to her feet. Lilah discovers that her new husband does not love her; he barely even likes her. He married her for all the wrong reasons and now expects her to be satisfied with the scraps of affection and attention he throws her way.

To preserve her heart and her sanity, Lilah knows that she cannot allow this sham of a marriage to continue. But her much-loved grandfather is ecstatic about the union and to avoid disappointing him, Lilah informs Ben that she’ll play at being his wife for one year only. Ben, however, seems perfectly content to remain tethered to her in a loveless union for all eternity. He has his own reasons for marrying Lilah. Reasons he’s hiding behind a wall of secrets, half-truths, and blatant lies.

And when that wall comes tumbling down, Lilah is emotionally unprepared to deal with the further devastation and heartbreak that follow.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************


I give you this ring…

Benjamin Templeton had always dreaded the inevitability of his wedding day to Lilah Beckett. He’d hoped to somehow delay it, even avoid it. But here it was—sooner than he’d anticipated—his own personal doomsday.

There he stood, wearing the most ridiculous clothing, tails and a cravat—Ben had balked at the suggestion of a matching top hat—hands clasped in front of him, watching the woman who would soon be his wife make her way down the aisle toward him.

She was moving excruciatingly slowly, keeping pace with the eighty-two-year-old man beside her. It gave Ben ample time to turn tail and run for the hills.

“Last chance to do a runner, mate,” his best man, Rhys Harper, leaned toward him and said in a low voice. The words were joking but there was an undertone of seriousness to them. Rhys knew exactly how loath Ben was to do this.

He didn’t want to marry this woman. God, he didn’t want to marry anyone. He liked his life. Enjoyed his freedom. And—the worst of it?—Lilah was not his type. He’d never been the slightest bit interested in her. But he’d always known that one day he’d have to bite the bullet and marry her and attempt to make some kind of passable life with this bit of fluff who didn’t appear to have serious thought in her head.

So why the fuck are you marrying her, Ben? his dickish inner voice asked with a sneer and Ben sighed quietly, his eyes drifting to the old man beside his soon-to-be bride. He had legitimate reasons for doing this.

The best reasons.

But he honestly hadn’t expected Lilah to get so caught up in the wedding planning. And now this… this… ballgown. Jesus, she looked like a little girl playing dress up.

Honestly, he didn’t know why he’d expected anything else. The woman was twenty-seven but right now she reminded him of the twelve-year-old he’d first met more than a decade and a half ago. The girl with braces and pigtails, in a catholic girl’s school uniform that had lost an inch in the hemline every year as she matured.

Ben had been seventeen when Cyrus Beckett had first brought him to live with them and Lilah had obviously had a crush on him, which he’d done his damnedest to discourage.

He’d been so certain, when they started this engagement thing, that Lilah had outgrown her infatuation with him. She’d certainly given the appearance of maturity. Even-tempered, usually affable, she was as sweet and bland as rice pudding. He was sure they had an understanding. They both knew why they were doing this.

But then she’d started planning this thrice damned wedding. So much fucking secrecy and coyness around the wedding dress. It had been ridiculous. He’d expected… well, he wasn’t sure what he had expected but this cupcake-shaped gown—with a strapless lace bodice and massive poofy tulle skirt—was certainly not it. The dress had likely cost an obscene amount of money—with Lilah flying from Cape Town to London for the final fitting—but Cyrus, Ben’s mentor and Lilah’s grandfather, would deny his precious granddaughter nothing.

She was wearing a long veil and he could barely see her face. It was an antiquated custom, this veil wearing business. It had been the one detail of her bridal attire that Lilah had shown him upfront. She’d been excited to wear it. Some sentimental drivel about it being her mother’s veil. Now, watching her painstaking progress down the aisle, Ben felt like he was watching an innocent lamb being led to the slaughter.

And he was the damned butcher.

They finally reached his side and her grandfather lifted her veil to plant a kiss on her cheek. She was smiling. That ridiculous, wide, happy smile of hers.


Ben had never felt further from smiling than he did at this moment, but his bride-to-be was grinning mistily up at her grandfather who’d bent down to whisper something in her ear. She nodded, blinking back tears, and the smile—which had slipped ever so slightly—widened again when she met Ben’s gaze. There was something shining in her eyes that made him uncomfortable and he felt his brows lower.

Cyrus shook his hand.

“Take care of my girl, Ben,” the old man said on a note of affectionate warning.

“You know I will, Cyrus,” Ben promised with a curt nod. His mentor beamed approvingly, before lifting Lilah’s hand and placing it in Ben’s grip.

He shuffled over to the—thankfully close—family pew, but Ben barely noticed. He was too focused on the small, slender hand he now had clasped in his own. He hadn’t touched Lilah much in the past. The obligatory kisses in front of Cyrus, an occasional hand to her back, but rarely skin-to-skin contact like this. He was surprised by how fragile her hand felt in his. How vulnerable that made her seem.

He ran a troubled gaze over her face. She looked too fucking happy. He wasn’t sure why. They’d both put up an appearance of happiness for Cyrus, but—despite those dumb drama classes she’d taken, during her late teen emo self-expressive phase—he hadn’t thought she was this good an actress.