Win the NEXT September book of the month: Fake by Stephanie Wood

We have five copies of Fake by Stephanie Wood to give away.

Humans are hard-wired for love and journalist Stephanie Wood is most definitely human. So in 2014, when a tall stranger with twinkling green eyes contacted her after finding her dormant profile on a dating website, she thought, 'What the hell.' It certainly wasn't love at first sight: during their first couple of meetings, she sensed there was something slightly off about this "daggy" bloke called Joe – an affluent farmer and former architect who worked on the land but also had a harbourside home in Sydney, two kids, an ex-wife and a fabulous boat.
She brushed the doubts away, telling herself she was being too picky. They kissed after their fourth date, went on weekends away and started talking about a future together. "Commitment," declared Joe, "is a word on my mind."
Stephanie had fallen head over heels in love but "anxiety's skin-tingle and stomach-churn" took up residence in her body when Joe began a series of cancellations and no-shows. Despite her "instincts howling" that something was awry, she stuck with him as he explained he couldn't make a date because of a business deal going "tits up" or his dog getting a snake bite or his former wife unexpectedly dumping the kids on him.
When she finally dumped him after he stood her up at the airport on the way to a wedding, Stephanie began a long, painful investigation into who Joe really was.
In Fake, Stephanie recounts her story and talks to experts about the psychology of romantic love. She also interviews a range of other duped women – some of whom also had dealings with Joe – to shine a light on just how damaging relationships can be in a world of liars, fantasists and phonies.
Fill out the form below and enter the unique code from the September issue of NEXT to be in to win one of five copies of Fake by Stephanie Wood.

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