Cupid's Match

A Hachette Audiobook powered by Wattpad Production


By Lauren Palphreyman

Read by Laurie Catherine Winkel

Formats and Prices


Audiobook Download (Unabridged)


Audiobook Download (Unabridged)

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around July 18, 2017. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Cupid’s Match is a new release from Hachette Audiobooks: Powered by Wattpad — an innovative collaboration between Hachette Book Group, a leading publisher, and Wattpad, a passionate storytelling community of over 45 million people. Your favorite online stories, now available in your headphones!

When seventeen-year-old Lila Black goes to the LA based Cupids Matchmaking Service it is to tell them to stop spamming her. Instead she finds out that cupids are real, she has been identified as the ‘match’ of the banished, dangerous (and irresistibly attractive) Cupid himself, and that due to an administrative error he will be arriving at her high school tomorrow.

The organization assigns one of their Matchmaking Agents, Cal, to hide her from him, but despite his efforts she finds herself increasingly drawn to her match. And though Cupid may be reckless and arrogant, he doesn’t seem nearly as dangerous as people have been telling her.

She soon discovers that the Matchmaking Service will go to deadly lengths to make sure the match doesn’t take place, that Cupid may have a secret agenda, and that she must fight her growing feelings for him; because if the two get together, Lila may not survive the consequences.

When the inevitable happens Lila finds herself caught alongside Cupid and Cal, in a fight for her life, on one side of an Ancient battle over Love itself.




Part 1

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Part 2

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Part 3

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Part 4

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60

Chapter 61


About the Author


About the Publisher


To Jamie, for his endless support, and for listening to me talk nonstop about cupids over the past four years.
To my mom, dad, and sister for always cheering me on.
And to my readers on Wattpad. We did it!

Part 1

The Cupids Matchmaking Service

Dear Lila,

I am contacting you on behalf of the Cupids Matchmaking Service.

You will not have heard of us but we are an organization that works behind the scenes of society, identifying each person's perfect match.

Usually, we do not contact our clients. We prefer to work in secrecy—setting up ideal environments for our matches to have a chance encounter.

Recently, however, we ran your details through our system and . . . well . . . in your case. . . .

We think you'd better come in.

Please respond at your earliest convenience.

Yours Urgently,
The Cupids Matchmaking Service


The Cupids Matchmaking Service is written in elegant calligraphy above the glass shop front. A sign reading "Not Taking New Clients at This Time" is taped to the door.

"That place never takes anyone new on," a girl remarks to her friend as they pass by with shopping bags.

I frown as I look up at the towering building, shielding my eyes from the sun with the stack of letters in my hand. I can't believe I'm actually here.

When I couldn't find information online, I'd assumed the dating agency would be small. I didn't expect a skyscraper with gilt window frames and cherubs carved into the white stone walls. I feel out of place. I can't imagine anyone in battered Converse, skinny jeans, and a leather jacket has passed through its doors before.

But then, it's not like I wanted to spend the last day of summer break on the bus to Los Angeles. And, if anyone in this huge building had bothered to answer the phone, I wouldn't have had to.

I push open the glass door. A bell tinkles as I step inside.

Shiny white tiles cover the floor and several stylish neon-
colored armchairs surround a large coffee table boasting a range of fanned-out fashion magazines. On the opposite side of the room stands a high, stone reception desk where a blond in a crisp white suit chatters into a headset. Above her, hanging by wires from the ceiling, is a long, golden arrow.

Something glinting on the wall catches my eye. It's a plaque that says Making Matches for 3,000 Years.

Shaking my head incredulously, I march over and dump the stack of letters onto the desk. The blond looks up, startled. A name badge reading Crystal is pinned to the pocket of her white suit jacket.

"Can I call you back?" she says into her headset. "Something's just come up."

Her blue eyes look me up and down. Suddenly, I am aware of how I must look; she is immaculate, not a hair out of place, and here I am, having spent an hour and a half on the ripe-smelling bus from Forever Falls. I catch sight of my dark, tangled hair in the reflective surface of a glass door. I could be her polar opposite.

"I'm sorry," she chimes, "we're not taking on any new clients at this time."

She fiddles with her headset and I realize she is about to continue her conversation. A wave of irritation washes over me.

"I'm not here to become a client, I'm here to tell you to stop bugging me."

She looks back at me, confused. "Excuse me?"

I gesture toward the five letters scattered across the reception desk.

"All summer you've been spamming me with letters, text messages, emails," I say. "I am not interested in your services. I don't know how you have my personal details, but you need to remove me from your mailing lists. I have a boyfriend already, thanks very much."

I turn on my heel and march toward the exit.


Her voice is lower, more assertive than before. Urgent, even.

I spin back around.

"You say we have been trying to contact you?"

I nod slowly.

She frowns. "Well, that is most . . . irregular." With a manicured hand she picks up one of the letters I've dumped unceremoniously on her desk. "We don't contact our clients, ever. It's against our—"

"Privacy laws?" I shrug. "Whatever. Just don't contact me again. Okay?"

I'm about to turn and leave again when she stands up abruptly.

"No!" she says, her voice higher pitched now. "Please!" As if suddenly realizing the weirdness of her behavior, she sits back down with a robotic smile. "Just let me run your name through the computer, find out what has occurred here. Then we can remove you from our database. Yes?"

I sigh. "Fine."

Relief washes over her face as I walk back to the imposing reception desk.


"Lila Black."

Her long nails click on the keyboard as she enters my name. She waits a few moments. Then she frowns and hurriedly types something else. As she stares at the screen, all the blood drains from her face. A mask of surprise replaces her faux smile. There's another emotion there too.


"Miss Black, we have a big problem. You have been matched with"—she stops and bites her lip—"I think . . . I think one of our agents is best suited to fill you in on the situation. Please take a seat. I will send someone out right away."

"I really—"

The receptionist raises one hand, signaling me to be quiet, while pressing a white button on the intercom beside her. A few moments later a muffled male voice sounds through the small speaker.

"What is it, Crystal?" He sounds disgruntled.

"Cal," she chimes, "I need you to come through to reception right away."

"You know the line, Crystal," he snaps. "We're not taking on any new clients at this time."

She coughs, a little embarrassed, then quickly slips off her headset and picks up the receiver. "It's not that," she whispers. "Look, you just really need to come out here."

There's more muttering on the other end before Crystal places the phone back down. The robotic smile reappears.

"One of our agents will be with you momentarily."

I'm about to argue that I don't want to see an agent, I just want them to stop contacting me, when the frosted-glass door beside reception swings open to reveal a young man I can only presume is Cal.

He is as beautiful as Crystal, with well-groomed blond hair and sharp silver eyes. He wears a crisp white suit even though he looks like he could be around my age, seventeen. He's definitely attractive, if you like that sort of thing; he's a bit too clean cut for my taste.

His eyes sweep over Crystal, irritated, before settling on me. "I'm sorry," he says, his voice laced with disdain, "we're not taking on any new clients at this time."

"Yes, I get the picture," I say through gritted teeth, "but I'm not here to become a client. I'm here to tell you to stop contacting me."

"You do need to see this, Cal," Crystal says.

He exhales sharply through his nose then makes his way over to the desk, leaning over Crystal to read whatever is on the screen. His eyes darken. Shock flickers across his angular features. Then he regains his cold composure.

"So, you're the girl," he says. "Of all the girls in the world, you're his Match. I must admit, you're not what I expected. Now, please come with me. We have something very important to discuss. Your very life could be at—"

Crystal coughs and gives him a warning look.

He sighs. "Please come with me, Miss Black. I'll explain everything." He spins back around and heads through the glass door.

For a moment I consider just walking out, despite Crystal's encouraging nod. But my best friend, Charlie, isn't back from her journalism camp yet, and James, my boyfriend, has a shift at the diner all day. So it's either this or sit at home with no promises that the Cupids Matchmaking Service will stop contacting me.

Plus, I hate to admit it, but I am kind of curious about who exactly they think I've been "matched" with.

"Fine," I say. "But for the record, this is seriously weird."

I walk to the door, swing it open, and step inside.


Beyond the door is an immensely hectic, open-plan office.

It's predominantly white—like the reception area—but with black classical columns that reach up to the high ceiling and a left wall that has been turned into a collage of faces, names, and places linked together with pieces of pink string. Through an arched door in the far wall, I can just make out a weathered stone statue of a woman draped in a toga in the room beyond.

People in white suits rush around babbling into headsets. I can't help but notice that everyone who works here is stunningly attractive, as though they made being good looking a job requirement.

Cal strides through them, looking over his shoulder only once as I follow him between the rows of computers, maneuvering around people who don't seem to care whether we knock shoulders. It looks more like a stock-trading floor than a dating service.

As we walk forward, I notice a number of wall monitors looping through a stream of different images. "Top Ten Undesirables" suddenly flashes across one of the screens, followed by a mug shot of a guy with penetrating eyes. But before I can focus properly on the rest, the image fades into darkness.

Cal opens the door to a glass-walled office and gestures that I go inside. "Take a seat, Miss Black," he says, his tone of voice still cold.

I glare at him as I sit down in a quaint red armchair.

He closes the door, grabs a black envelope from a filing cabinet against the wall, then takes a seat behind the desk. He sighs heavily, making him seem older than on first impression. In fact, his whole demeanor makes him seem more grown up; there's a cool confidence in the way he maintains eye contact, and I don't think I've ever seen a teenager sit so upright in a chair before.

"You're not what I was expecting," he says while opening the envelope.

"Yes, you said. Now are you going to tell me what I'm doing here?"

Cal slides a piece of paper out of the black packet and scans it. "We recently ran your details through our system," he says, "and you were matched with someone we did not expect to see matched with anyone."

I shake my head. "Why would you run my details through your system? Why do you even have my details?"

Cal smiles coolly. "We have everyone's details, but that is not the issue here."

"Well, can you tell me what the issue is?"

His eyes flash an icy silver. "It's a difficult situation. I risk breaking our . . . our laws by telling you what I'm about to tell you."

"Have a lot of dating-club laws, do you?"

Cal ignores me and takes a deep breath. "We are . . . cupids," he says, running a hand through his perfect blond hair. "We match people. We have done so for many centuries. But we do not dabble with love ourselves. It is too dangerous. Many years ago, one of our own went off the rails. Dabbled with human affairs, human hearts. Obsessed over human women and made them obsess over him. He became very dangerous. His power grew, his ideology became extreme. And we banished him from our organization. Forever."

I stare at him. "Is this some kind of joke?"

Cal shakes his head slowly. "Unfortunately not, Miss Black."

I sit a little straighter in the armchair, my gaze sliding to the busy open-plan space outside Cal's office as I calculate how long it would take me to get back to the exit.

"Okay, Cal, that's great." I keep my voice as even as possible and force my lips into what I hope is a reassuring smile. Charlie's going to love this when I tell her. She'll probably want to put it in her blog: "Dating Service Thinks It's Run by Cupids!"

From the way Cal's brow furrows, my acting may not be as good as I thought.

"So, what has this got to do with me?" I ask, continuing to play along.

Cal stares at me, then takes another deep breath. "Recently, for the first time in cupid history, he was matched with someone." He shakes his head. "He shouldn't even be in the system. He definitely shouldn't have a match. It's dangerous. And if he finds out . . ." Cal pauses but doesn't remove his gaze from my face. "Miss Black, he will do anything to get what he wants. He is the original. The most powerful of us all. He is Cupid himself. And he has been matched . . . with you."

Neither of us speaks for a moment. Then I laugh—I can't help myself. Cal merely stares at me, his cold eyes unreadable.

"You're telling me that my match is Cupid?" I say. "Cupid?! As in the little guy with wings and a bow and arrow?"

For a moment I wonder if I've been brought onto a reality TV show. I risk another glance at the busy office, half expecting a camera crew, but all I see is a stream of white suits and another glimpse of the stone statue beyond the archway.

Cal slowly slides the piece of paper he's been holding across the desk. "No," he says. "This is Cupid."

I take the glossy sheet. It's a black-and-white head shot of a guy with ruffled hair and eyes that seem to pierce my own, even from the page. Although he could be the same age as Cal, there is something more mature about his features; his jawline is squarer and his shoulders broader. His lips are curled into a mischievous smirk and he has a cute chin dimple that softens his ruggedness with boyish charm.

There is no denying he is good looking—the page could have been ripped from a menswear magazine—but there's also something familiar about him.

"You're telling me this is Cupid?"

I return my gaze to Cal, who looks disappointed.

"Your pupils dilated," he says, staring at my face in unnerving fashion. "You find him attractive."

"That's a pretty weird thing to say."

A flicker of confusion crosses his face, as though usually people love it when he tells them about their dilated pupils. I throw the photograph back onto the desk and look him directly in the eye.

"I have a boyfriend. I've already told you that."

I wonder momentarily what James would think about me coming here in the first place. I didn't tell him. He's been so busy working over summer that we've not had time to hang out much lately.

Cal looks exasperated. "Yes, but your boyfriend is not your match. His match is . . ."—he stops himself—". . . someone else," he finishes, ignoring my dirty look. "You have been matched with Cupid."

I look back at the head shot. Then suddenly it clicks where I've seen "Cupid's" face before. "This is the picture I saw on the screen out there. One of the Top Ten Undesirables." Whatever that means.

Cal nods darkly. "The number one undesirable."

I blink. Then I bring back my weird smile.

"Riiight, okay. Well, thank you, Cal. This has been very . . . informative." Hands on the chair's red armrests, I slowly lift myself out of the seat. "Now, I'm just gonna . . . you know . . . go."

"Please sit down, Lila Black," says Cal. "And stop smiling like that. It's quite unnerving."

"I'm unnerving you? Seriously, what is this? Are you trying to con me out of money or something?"

Cal exhales and pinches the bridge of his nose.

"You don't believe me. You don't believe anything I'm saying."

"Of course I don't!"

He stares at me. "But you need to. You are in danger. He will come after you."

Suddenly he reaches out to his computer monitor and switches it on with a long slender finger. He has musician's hands, I observe, then shake the random thought off as he hurriedly types something on his keyboard. And after a few moments of silence, a look of satisfaction creeps onto his face.

"I have something to show you, something that will make you believe in cupids."

He grabs a scrap of paper and scribbles down a sequence of numbers. Then he abruptly stands, triumph glinting in his cool eyes.

"Follow me, Miss Black. You're going to want to see this."


I don't move. Cal pauses, eyes holding mine.

"If you still don't believe me after what I'm about to show you, we'll stop sending the letters," he says.

"And emails. And Messages."

"I will see to it myself. Personally."

I exhale. "You'd better . . ."

He inclines his head sharply, then spins on his heel to lead me through the chaotic office and into the indoor courtyard beyond the arch, where the statue I noticed earlier overlooks a stone-rimmed pond. The water is so clear that it reflects a perfect mirror image of the summer sky shining in through a skylight. Ivy creeps up the high walls and trails over the three other archways. The scent permeating the air is a strange mixture of old and sweet, like flowers in a museum.

It's beautiful and still—a stark contrast to the bustling office we have just left behind.

Cal pauses to give the stone statue an odd look I can't quite read before quickly striding across the courtyard to one of the arches on the other side. It might just be my imagination, but he seems to put as much space between himself and the toga-wearing
woman as possible.

The statue is clearly ancient, its face worn and its body chipped. Any recognizable features have been eroded. There's something unnerving about her blank eyes, so I let my gaze wander down to her podium, where something's been carved—a list, although the only line I can make out is: "No cupid must ever be matched."

"Miss Black," Cal says sharply. "I haven't got all day."

I look at him as seriously as I can. "Yes, being a cupid must be very busy work."

He looks at me coldly. Then, as he disappears beneath the ivy-covered arch, I hear him mutter, "Should have known his match would have an attitude problem."

We enter a long corridor that employs the same chiaroscuro color scheme as the office. Dimly lit by faux candle lamps, it's lined by closed doors and wallpaper with jet-black swirls. Cal heads to the door at the very end, his footsteps echoing against the white linoleum. I walk behind him and we enter the room.

I blink a couple of times as my eyes adjust to my surroundings.

We're in a huge, dark space. Artificial beams of light cut through the darkness, causing pools of white to collect on the black floor tiles. A vast screen surrounded by hundreds of smaller monitors dominates the opposite wall. On each small screen I can see a variety of different people going about their daily business—having coffee at a street cafe, eating ice cream in the park, waiting at the checkout line in Walmart, and some even sleeping in their beds.

The whole place smells like warm electricity—that overheating-
computer smell that reminds me of Dad's old office before he was let go.

Cal walks over to a black control desk in the center of the room that has a joystick, a keyboard, and a range of red and amber buttons. He clicks something and the screens fade into darkness.

"Who are all these people?" I ask. "Do they know you're watching them? You're a dating service, not the freaking CIA."

Cal doesn't look at me. He types something into the keyboard and a serial number appears in the middle of the central screen.

"Hey," I say, frowning. "You haven't answered my questions."

"We're not a dating service. We're cupids. How many times must I tell you?" He looks at me, and even in the near-darkness his eyes blaze silver. "Monitoring our clients is necessary when setting up a match. We use advanced statistical algorithms to ensure our clients end up in the right place, at the right time. But unfortunately, statistics cannot always predict human behavior. Manual interference is sometimes required. Now," he says, looking at the screen once more, "I'm about to show you something a little shocking. Something that you may not be prepared to see. But I have little choice."

Before I can protest, he clicks Enter and a crowded scene materializes on the largest monitor. When he clicks another button, the screen zooms in on a person who's halfway through a laugh. I inhale sharply and feel a sudden jolt in my heart.

Bright eyes, dimpled cheeks; I'd recognize that face anywhere.

It's my mother.

But how?

My mother died two years ago.

Cal presses a button and the image pauses. I can't stop staring at the woman. It's my mother, there's no question, though on closer inspection she's younger than she was when she died. A teenager.

I glare at Cal. "What is this?" I'm no longer finding this situation remotely amusing.

Cal's gaze moves away from the monitor, his cold eyes softening momentarily before he becomes stone faced once more. "I'm sorry for your loss."


On Sale
Jul 18, 2017

Lauren Palphreyman

About the Author

Lauren Palphreyman is a writer based in London. She is best known for her book Cupid’s Match – which has accumulated over twenty-three million reads online and was named the third most popular story on Wattpad in 2016.

You can usually find her on Wattpad & Twitter @LEPalphreyman, hanging out with her cupid characters on Facebook @CupidsMatchmakingService, or by putting on the kettle (she really likes a cup of tea)!

Learn more about this author