A hardworking Australian financier who refuses to settle down has finally met his match when he makes a deal with a statistical whiz he meets on a dating website. Nate Mackenzie is a charming attractive man who owns a hugely successful investment firm in Melbourne, Australia with his best friend Gabe Hamilton. He has set up a profile on a dating website called Dating by Numbers in an attempt to find a woman who will attend a wedding with him and pretend to be his girlfriend for a short period of time.
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Nate sends a message to a woman on the dating website named Saskia Bloom. Saskia is an eclectic freelance statistician who owns a company called StassyStats. She was hired by the owner of Dating by Numbers to analyze their data. Saskia has been working really hard to pay off a large amount of debt she accumulated after her ex-boyfriend, Stu, wiped out her bank account and stole most of the items from her home.
When Saskia receives Nate's message, she contacts him and they set up a date. Saskia is cute but often looks like a walking fashion disaster. She thinks Nate is drop dead gorgeous and is slightly intimidated by his looks.
Nate tells Saskia that he would like her to pretend to be his girlfriend for six weeks and attend a wedding with him. He hopes that having a fake girlfriend will keep his sisters from pressuring him to be in a serious relationship. In exchange for Saskia's services, Nate agrees to pay off her debts and answer her questions about online dating for her research project.
A few days later, Saskia meets Nate at his office so that they can find out more details about each other's lives. Saskia's mother died during childbirth. Her father was so distraught that he buried himself in his work and never gave Saskia the love, attention, and affection she needed as a child. As a result, Saskia keeps having relationships with men who are emotionally unavailable.
Nate's father died when he was fifteen years old. At that point, Nate became responsible for the welfare of his mother and three sisters. He always made sure they were well taken care of, but being there for them wore him out emotionally. He tended to avoid serious relationships because he didn't have enough room in his life to handle the emotional needs of a girlfriend.
Nate was nervous about Saskia meeting his family, but they really enjoyed her company. His mother and sisters were relieved that he was finally in a committed relationship. While Nate and Saskia were in his childhood bedroom, they started making out and the lines between what was real and fake became blurred.
When Nate meets up with Saskia at a bar a few days later, he tells her that they should have sex. Saskia decides that wouldn't be smart because she is developing real feelings for Nate and doesn't want to get her heart broken. Nate is disappointed but keeps pursuing Saskia.
While Saskia is renovating her home, Nate stops by to see her. When Saskia asks Nate questions about relationships, he tells her that he craves his independence and doesn't plan on getting married. It becomes apparent to Saskia that Nate has many walls built up around his heart. As he starts to flirt with her, Saskia doesn't want to hold back anymore and they have sex for the first time.
During the next few weeks they spend a lot of time together. Saskia falls in love with Nate. When Nate realizes that Saskia has become emotionally attached to him, he knows that he can't give her the type of relationship she wants or deserves.
Saskia is shocked when Stu suddenly appears at her door. She confronts him about stealing all of her things. She was too embarrassed to call the cops and press charges against him. Stu said he wants to repay the debt even though he doesn't have a job and is living off of unemployment benefits. Then Stu tells Saskia that Nate tracked him down and ordered him to apologize to her. Saskia never wanted to see Stu again and is hurt that Nate would have Stu show up at her home.
When Saskia spoke to Nate, he said he wanted to give her closure. It becomes clear to Saskia that Nate has no intention of pursuing a relationship with her once the six-week period is over. She tells Nate that she is not going to attend the wedding and ends the deal they made.
Nate told his family about the emotional toll their father's death had on him and the truth about his relationship with Saskia. His mother told him that he shouldn't live a life full of regrets. Nate thought about how much better his life had become while he was seeing Saskia and he missed her terribly.
In the meantime, Saskia handed in the results of her project to the owner of the dating website, Marlee. When Saskia and Marlee started talking about their personal relationships, Saskia decided that she wanted love in her life and was going to admit her true feelings to Nate.
Nate was pleasantly surprised when Saskia showed up at the wedding. He was hoping she would arrive. He told her that he loved her and she let him know that she felt the same way towards him.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked it when Nate and Saskia decided to be together and let down the internal walls they had built up over the years.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was when Nate tells his family how the father's death affected him. Once he was able to be honest with them, he reached a turning point and was able to come to terms with his feelings for Saskia.
Opinion about the main character:
Saskia is a bright, strong-willed woman who knows how to take care of herself. Since she was neglected by her father, she doesn't really think she deserves to be loved. Being in relationships had always been hard for her until she realized she needed to deal with her own intimacy issues.