Shooting Star – Bright Young Things Read online Staci Hart

Categories Genre: Contemporary, Romance Tags Authors:
Total pages in book: 13
Estimated words: 12201 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 61(@200wpm)___ 49(@250wpm)___ 41(@300wpm)
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Read Online Books/Novels:

Shooting Star - Bright Young Things

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Staci Hart

Language:
English
ISBN/ ASIN:
B08DDHK81B
Book Information:

Gatsby meets Gossip Girl in this contemporary romance prequel where secret society parties and the thrill of the unknown tempt fate.
Lush parties. Love lost. Broken hearts and hope for the future.

Meet the Bright Young things and the woman behind the mask in this origin story. Stella Spencer wants what we all want—love. But sometimes we have to have our hearts broken to get us ready for the one we were meant for.
And Stella learns that the hard way.
Books by Author:

Staci Hart



1

Excelsior!

The dance floor bounced.

I meant that literally—the reverberation from my swing-dancing friends shook the floor all the way up to where I stood on a platform off the side of the parquet. It was a sight to behold. The victory rolls and saddle shoes. Costumed sailors and soldiers. The occasional glimpse of petticoats as a girl was flipped over somebody’s shoulder under the golden glow of naked Edison bulbs.

None of my friends had known how to swing dance before tonight. The professional dancers I’d planted in the crowd showed them how. And from the looks of things, they were quick studies.

I smiled at the thought, glancing at the gigantic banner over the stage that read, Victory!

The party was Zeke’s idea—one of my best friends, though tonight, he was here as Zelda Fitzperil, her drag name—a victory party to celebrate the end of lockdown. It’d been so long since we’d all been in the same place, and you could see the relief and joy on every face under the roof.

All I had to say was, thank God for inoculations.

Our freedom warranted a celebration, and this one took the cake. My closest friends had pitched in ideas—their specialty. The trick was getting it done, which was where I came in. I’d taken their ideas and multiplied until every little detail was planned, and the end result was nothing short of spectacular. The theme was World War II, and to find the location, I’d come up with a treasure hunt—telegram invitations with instructions as to where to start and where their first clue could be found. A Rosie the Riveter street performer in Washington Park had one. A diner in The Village had another when you ordered a milkshake. An ammo box full of dossiers of every attendee waited under a park bench on The High Line to direct them here.

And God, did it feel good to be out.

The energy in the room was palpable, and I wanted to soak it up like a big, fat sponge.

I spotted my closest friends on the dance floor. Betty, her raven hair up in victory rolls with a giant red flower behind her ear to match her dress and lips, which were curled in a downright wanton smile at the sailor who’d been twirling her around for the last half hour. Joss’s strawberry-blonde Hollywood waves bounced—ever the epitome of effortless glamour, befitting the Hollywood starlet she was—as she jitterbugged with one of our friends. And Zelda was—

I looked around, frowning when I didn’t find her.

“Looking for this?” she asked, placing an old fashioned in my hand.

Z was gorgeous, more gorgeous than any of us on a regular day—alabaster skin and bone structure to die for—but in her pinup Army outfit, she was spectacular. A wool garrison cap sat nestled in platinum victory rolls—this particular wig was named Sally—and her uniform was a tiny, tailored cap-sleeved crop top coupled with high-waisted shorts. It was one of her favorite drag show outfits, the usual performance to “I Wish I Was Back in the Army.” In her vintage red heels, she was at least a foot taller than me.

“Cheers, Stella. You outdid yourself, which is a feat, given how extra you are.”

I laughed, clinking my glass to hers. “You’re one to talk.”

She shrugged. “Why aren’t you out there dancing?”

“Dex disappeared.”

A derisive snort at the mention of my boyfriend-not-boyfriend.

“Stop it. I wanted to come up here and watch you all anyway.”

“Oh, I’m sure standing up here all by yourself is preferable to dancing with your … Dex.”

“Well, Miss High and Mighty, where’s Roman?”

“He’s around here somewhere,” Z said with the wave of her hand.

“So exactly where Dex is?”

She gave me a look. “I trust Roman.”

For the life of me, I had no idea why. “I trust Dex. That’s what open relationship means—open. He tells me everything.”

Her look intensified.

“Well, everything I need to know.”

“Open relationship,” she scoffed. “Him fucking who he wants and you only fucking him?”

“Don’t be vulgar,” I teased.

“Dex rhymes with ex. I’m just saying.”

I laughed. “If it doesn’t bother me, why does it bother you?” I asked with enough conviction, even I believed it.

Z didn’t.

“We’ve been together well over a year. Why are we still talking about this?”

“Because I don’t believe you, Stella Spencer.”

“Well, believe it, baby. I’m a modern woman with modern ideals. Love and monogamy aren’t mutually exclusive, you know.”

“You’ve gotten so good at bullshitting through Dex’s line, I think you might actually believe yourself.”

“God, look who put on her judgy pants tonight,” I joked, deflecting.

Z sighed, an impatient sound. “What if I’m not just fine with your … arrangement with Dex? You’ve been together all this time, and he hasn’t figured out that you’re the end all. Which either means he’s stupid or he’s really fucking stupid.”

I frowned when I realized this was more of a trigger than an ambush. “What happened?”

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