All the Lies Page 1

Author: Charlotte Byrd

Series: All the Lies #1

Genres: Romance

All the Lies



To save my job, I have to get an interview with a reclusive bestselling author who is impossible to find.

It’s an insurmountable task until I get a lead. It’s probably a joke but given what just happened in my personal life, it’s an excuse to get away.

The last person I expect to see there is him, the dashing and mysterious stranger who was the only man who knew the truth that night.

He invites me inside under one condition: everything he says is off the record. He’ll answers my questions but I can’t write about him.

Then things get even more complicated.

Something happens between us.

His touch ignites a spark. His eyes make me weak at the knees.

We can’t do this.

But then he looks at me in that way that no one has ever looked at me and I can’t say no…









“You either get this done or you're fired,” my boss says, slamming the door to my office in my face.

A cold shiver runs down my spine.

This is an impossible task.

It's also a trap.

She knows that I could never get an interview with someone like D. B. Carter and it’s her way of finally getting rid of me.

I put my head on my desk and sob. I've never cried at work before.

I've always saved those moments of total breakdown for the couch in my living room where I could have a glass of wine in one hand and a remote in the other, but today I just can't stop myself.

Corrin Matthews has been trying to get rid of me for months. She's my immediate superior and she has made my life at Coast Magazine impossible.

She's the kind of boss who never lets up. She works harder than everyone else and is always the first one to get to the office and the last to leave.

It's not that I'm not a hard worker. It's just that I do my best work outside of here.

After a while, the walls start to feel like they're closing in and I need to grab my laptop and write somewhere else.

I hope that it doesn’t seem like I’m slacking, but I think it does.

Of course, it doesn't help that there's something else creating the wedge between us; my fiancé.

Tall, easy on the eyes, and broad-shouldered, Alex Wetterling first bought Corrin a drink during a girls’ night out after work.

When she went to the bathroom, he bought me one, too, and we ended up closing down the bar, driving to Zuma Beach, and making out in the front seat until the sun came up.

He was quite a gentleman that night and for three more dates after and we did nothing more than kiss, laugh, and talk.

After wiping my eyes, I call Alex on the phone, but he doesn't answer. I know that he can't always talk on the phone while at work. I text him a couple of times, but he doesn't reply.

I turn on the camera on my phone and check my appearance. My eyes are bloodshot. I dab a little concealer underneath and hope that’s enough to cover up the evidence of tears.

Everyone in the office knows that Corrin hates my guts and many have even admitted it out loud. I wish there was something I could do to change it, but I can’t.

Corrin’s uncle owns Coast, this fledgling magazine trying to compete in an ultra-competitive environment where print and online media outlets with much more power and gravitas go under all the time.

Coast started out as something of a lifestyle magazine focusing on coastal living and showcasing brands that represent that style.

However, when one of the writers broke a story about a movie studio executive abusing many well-known actresses and other female executives, Coast found something of a niche in juicy investigative journalism.

Daniel Matthews, Corrin’s uncle, was very keen to jump on all of this exposure and even found a few journalists from other news outlets to do deep dive pieces similar to this one.

Back at the University of Southern California’s School of Journalism, I wrote a number of pieces for the school’s newspaper that got picked up by the LA Times.

My stories focused on the sexual abuse that the head gynecologist perpetrated against female students for almost three decades.

USC had paid the students settlements in a number of these cases to keep quiet and I almost didn't get my degree in my efforts to uncover the truth.

It was Daniel Matthews who conducted my interview and who hired me on the spot. When he had a heart attack and had to take time off, his niece, Corrin Matthews, increased her sphere of influence.

Now she is the managing news director and in charge of my entire department.

It would be a stretch to say that Corrin is bad at her job.

She isn't. Actually, she's quite good.

The problem is that she can't stand the sight of me and despite how good she wants Coast to be, she’s going to do everything in her power to stop me from making a career here.

“Alex, pick up. I know you're there. I really need to talk to you,” I speak into my watch on the way to his office and it sends the text message.

We don't have plans to meet until our engagement party tonight, but his office is only five blocks away from mine in downtown LA and I know that he's going to be on his lunch break soon.

I stop into Just Thai and order two of our favorites to go and text him again. It’s not like him to ignore my texts, so I actually get worried that something might've happened.

Alex and I have been together for two years today. We decided to hold our engagement party tonight, on a Thursday, because it is our two year anniversary. We both took tomorrow off to have a little staycation in Laguna Beach in celebration of our impending nuptials.

I'm not much of a party planner, so my mom and sisters are taking care of all the details. My parents are even hosting it at their Calabasas home, which is tucked in the hills above Malibu.

My phone rings.

I answer immediately and then realize that it’s Lindsey, my very helpful, but often annoying, sister.

She’s three years older than I am, married and expecting her first child with her husband, who is an attorney in my father’s firm. While I have always been somewhat of a tomboy, favoring the color black and refusing to wear a dress even to prom, Lindsey is totally Blair from The Facts of Life.

She has never encountered a pink that she did not like and her room, growing up, always looked like a bottle of Pepto-Bismol had exploded in it. Her style matured in her twenties and now she always shows up so stylish and put together that I feel like she is walking out of an issue of Vogue.

“Listen,” Lindsey starts talking as soon as I answer. “This is an emergency. The caterer has totally flaked and now we have no idea what to do.”

My mouth drops open.

I shake my head and stare at my reflection in the mirror on the counter.

The front desk woman hands me my boxes of food and hungry patrons usher me out of the door.

“What do you mean?” I ask.

“That's exactly what I mean. We didn't want to worry you, but it happened this morning and Mom and I are trying to find someone else. So far, we haven’t had much luck.”

“I'm really sorry,” I say after a long pause.

I know that I should be more concerned, but if it were up to me, I wouldn't even be having an engagement party. It was really Alex's idea to have this big bash and to bring the families together so that they can meet each other before the actual wedding.