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HE’S A HOLLYWOOD SUPERSTAR. SHE’S LITERALLY THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
One of Hollywood’s A-listers, I have the movie industry in the palm of my hand. But if I’m going to stay at the top, my playboy image needs an overhaul. No more tabloid headlines. No more parties. And absolutely no more one night stands.
Filming for my latest blockbuster takes place on the coast of Maine and I’m determined to stay out of trouble. But trouble finds me when I run into Lana Kelly.
Ego shredded, I know I should keep my distance, but when I realize she’s my neighbor I know I’m toast. There’s no way I can resist temptation when it’s ten yards away.
She has a mouth designed for pleasure and legs that will wrap perfectly around my waist. She’s movie star beautiful and her body is made to be mine.
Getting Lana Kelly into my bed is harder than I’m used to. She’s not interested in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but I’m determined to convince her the best place in the world is on the red carpet, holding my hand.
I could have any woman in the world, but all I want is the girl next door.
A sexy, standalone romance.
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As a teenager, I couldn’t wait to escape Worthington, Maine, but as I paused to breathe in the last of Mr. Graham’s lilacs, I couldn’t imagine why. I’d been incredibly lucky to have grown up in such a beautiful place.
My arms were full of groceries, so I half waved to Polly Larch as she crossed Main Street opposite the post office, tugging at her cat’s leash. Even though it looked like Polly was in charge, I was pretty sure she was following wherever the cat wandered.
I pushed my sunglasses to the top of my head and climbed the steps to Mrs. Wells’ porch. I knocked and headed straight in. “Mrs. Wells, it’s Lana.” As well as being a self-proclaimed psychic, Mrs. Wells was the oldest resident of Worthington and a number of us took it in turns to drop off her groceries.
The television fell silent as I shut the door behind me.
“Hello, dear.” Mrs. Wells turned to wave at me as I smiled before heading to the kitchen.
“I’m just going to unpack these groceries and I’ll be right over,” I replied. I put the brown paper bag on the counter alongside the canvas tote that bore my newly designed logo for Kelly Jewelry. I grinned as I straightened it out so I could see the raspberry pink set against the duck-egg blue. I’d spent weeks designing it, had commissioned a painted storefront sign and eventually I would recover the seats of the chairs in my shop with the same colors and maybe paint my nails that same shade of pink. Everything was coming together.
I emptied the tote, rolled it up and snapped it shut in my faux-vintage carpet bag.
“The Young and the Restless?” I asked, checking to see which soap opera Mrs. Wells was watching.
“No dear, it’s yesterday’s General Hospital. Thank you for dropping off my groceries, now come and sit here.” She removed a faded patchwork quilt from the chair beside her and patted the cushion. “I haven’t seen you for a few weeks. Tell me what’s been going on.”
I smoothed down the back of my skirt before taking a seat. “I’m sure you know far more than I do.” Mrs. Wells had been born in this town and there was nothing she didn’t know about either before it happened or, at the very latest, the moment after. And it had nothing to do with her psychic ability.
“Did you hear about the movie they’re making along the coast?” she asked.
“Is that even true?” More than one person had mentioned the movie being filmed just between here and Portland, but there were plenty of beaches in California. Why would they come to Maine?
“Bree Kendall stopped by on her way back from Portland yesterday. She said she saw a hundred trucks trailing through the town.” As Mrs. Wells’ house sat right at the end of Main Street, and she spent almost as much time on her porch as she did watching TV, she had a bird’s-eye view of most of the action that took place in Worthington and passersby told her the news from out of town.
Not that there was much, which was exactly how I liked it.
“I hear the whole of Portland is full of Hollywood types and all the hotels are booked up,” she told me.
“Well, that’s good for local business,” I said, staring at the TV, trying to work out if I’d seen the woman on the screen in something else. I had a terrible memory for names and faces. Another reason why staying in the same place I grew up was such a good idea for me. Other than tourists, there were few new people who came to town.
“It might be good for you, too. Perhaps you should take an ad out in the Portland Press Herald.”
“Maybe.” I was pretty sure if a film crew was in Portland, they’d have neither the time nor inclination to visit a jewelry store thirty-five minutes north of where they were staying.
“You should think about it. There are a lot of things happening for you this summer.” I could tell by her sure voice that she wasn’t just making small talk. She had information. Or at least she thought she did. Although Mrs. Wells had long-since retired from giving readings to passing tourists on the beach, apparently the spirits weren’t so keen on her retirement and she still passed on what they told her to any Worthington resident who asked. But I hadn’t asked. And I didn’t want to know.
She pulled out my yellow silk scarf from where it was lodged beside her. So that was where it had disappeared. I hadn’t seen it in weeks. I should have known. “You must have left it when you were last here, my dear.”
She was trying to appear nonchalant, but the sparkle in her eyes told me she was busting at the seams to tell me whatever reading she’d got on my scarf.