My not-so-secret affair with romance novels
Twenty-three year old rising theatre star Jill McCormick has built a life out of pretending. Pretending she’s happy, pretending her long-distance crushes add up to something real, pretending she’s not haunted by the dark secret that shattered her world six years ago. Cast in her first Broadway show, she desperately needs to keep her façade intact, but that’s before she comes face to face with her devastating new boss…
Hot-shot director Davis Milo knows the first rule of directing: never fall for your leading lady. Captivated by Jill’s raw talent, he fights his feelings, but watching Jill on-stage with another man is more than his jealous streak can take. Keeping things professional isn’t an option. He wants all of her.
Soon the ingénue and her director are staying late in the empty theatre, their private rehearsals spiraling into new, forbidden territory. Caught up between fiction and reality, Jill struggles to find the truth in all their staged kisses. But how can she be sure that what she feels is real, and not a part of the play? And when two people spend their lives pretending, what happens after the final curtain falls?
He leans into the car, reaches for the seat belt, and pulls it across my chest, buckling me in. He’s inches from me, and he smells cold like the night air. But he also smells the way a man should at the end of the day: a little bit of sweat, a lot of work, and all raw power. He brings one hand behind my head and unclips my hair, letting it fall over his fingers. I tremble from his touch as a shiver runs down my spine. “I like your hair up and I like your hair down,” he whispers to me, breaking down all my resistance in an instant.I can see this playing out if I do nothing—I’ll spend it rewinding this moment and putting it on repeat all night long. But I don’t want to go home with only a memory to feed my body, and I can’t stand the thought of this night ending too soon. I make my choice. There’s only one choice. “Do you want to share?” I ask, praying he lives in the same direction. “You’re downtown, right?” I nod. “Me too.”
Lauren Blakely is an unabashed fan of clever jokes, toast, and good guys in novels. Like the heroine in CAUGHT UP IN US, she thinks life should be filled with movie kisses and coffee drinks. Lauren lives in California with her husband and children, and spends her days writing both true stories and make-believe ones.