When news of their heated rivalry hits the gossip columns, drastic measures must be taken to save their sinking project. In an elaborate PR hoax, she is publicly linked to Greyson Meyers, the swoon-worthy star of her movie. A whirl-wind love affair is staged for the couple to mirror the steamy chapters of her own books.
Can the introverted author resist the charms of Hollywood’s sexiest leading man? Or will love find her in the City of Angels?
“Camden! Camden!” I shouted, loud enough to strain my throat, the instant I caught a glimpse of him.
His thumbs were looped in his front pockets, and his denim shirt rolled up his forearms. An annoyingly charming smile curled across his face as he turned my way. That lone dimple plunged deep into his cheek.
Between heaving pants, I recited the speech I’d mentally prepared on my long journey across the excessively large lot. “Hey! I’ve got a question for you. If we hit a local bookstore we could probably find every book I’ve ever released. If you want, I could gather them all up in a big pile so you can take a shit right on them. Would you like that?”
Kole’s eyes narrowed while his amused smile held steady, as if he was struggling to find his place in an argument I’d jumped a few chapters ahead in. “I feel like I know the right answer here, but there’s a chance this is a trick question.”
“No, I’m serious!” I ranted, flicking a stray lock of hair from my eyes. “Because you seem so hell bent on destroying everything I’ve created, maybe we could try this method as a time saver!”
“You know,” Kole tilted his head, his arms crossing over his chest, “after the whole pizza and beer comment I was a little worried things would be awkward between us, but I was wrong. Now it’s awkward. I see the distinction.”
“Aubrey!” Tandy hollered, her parts jiggling enough to catch the eye of every straight man on the premises in her jog to catch up. “Let’s take a time out before you yank your earrings off and forget you’re a lady.”
“Nah, don’t tell her that!” Mateo rushed after her, holding his baggy pants up by his belt buckle. “Tackle her to the ground, roll around a little! I’ll video it and add it to my spank bank!”
“Ugh! Why the hell are you following me, you perverted little troll?”
Ignoring their banter, I clasped my trembling hands in front of me and brought them to my lips. I forced myself to take a minute before I blurted something I couldn’t take back. “I mean no disrespect, truly. I’m sure Killer Robots from Outer Space, or whatever it was called, was a cinematic masterpiece. I’m just not sure your … vision is right for this film.”
“It was the sixth in the franchise, actually. That would make it KRFOS6, by your titling.” His smile tightened around the edges, acting as the only hint of his underlying annoyance. Taking a step closer, he dropped his voice to a gruff whisper only I could hear—much to the disappointment of the crowd that had gathered. “I’ve directed Shakespeare to historic war films, and everything in between. If the content is there, I can bring it to life. Simple as that.”
“If?” I scoffed at his audacity, and I’m not an avid scoffer. “Two hundred and six weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list says there’s something worthwhile there.”
“Not every person that goes to the movies is a horny housewife,” he brought one hand to the side of his mouth as if revealing a huge secret to me alone, “so we may need to broaden our appeal just a tad.”
A colorful spew of expletives was about to purge from my lips when Duncan stepped forward, nerves having drained his complexion waxy.
“Mr. Camden?” he cautiously interjected from a safe distance—just in case one of us started swinging. “You’re needed on set. Greyson says he’s having trouble finding his motivation for the new scene.”
“That’s my cue. Unless there was something else, Ms. Evans?” Kole grinned, one ebony brow raising in an open dare for me to make more of a spectacle of myself.
Oh, how I wanted to call him every name I could think of, then make up a few new ones just for fun. Instead, I rose up on my tiptoes and jabbed my index finger into the dead center of his forehead. “This is me putting a pin in our conversation. It isn’t over.”
In a bold move, his hand encircled my wrist and he tugged me to him. His firm but gentle grasp scorched my skin. My breath caught in a hitch, his penetrating stare making my muscles weak … despite my better judgment. “I’d be deeply disappointed if it was.”
I wanted to be outraged he had dared touch me; however, I found my attentions were fixated on his lips as they formed each word. Dropping my hand, his lashes brushed the top of his cheek in a quick, cocky wink and then he was gone. Turning on his heel, he strode off with a determined gait, leaving Duncan scrambling to keep up and me stewing in my own pressure cooker of pheromones laced with contempt.
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series as well as the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.