Sneak Peek: Excerpt from STAR BRIGHT

ABOUT THE BOOK

She’s an A-list Hollywood starlet. He’s a gossip reporter. Sleeping with the enemy has never been sweeter…

Kimberleigh Cress didn’t get to be one of the hottest young actresses in Hollywood without learning how to protect herself. Rule number one? Don’t show weakness. Ever. Especially not in front of the press.

So when a sleazy tabloid reporter comes upon her during a vulnerable moment, the last thing she expects is kindness.

Sexy, charming, and surprisingly thoughtful, Spencer Devlin isn’t at all who Kimberleigh thought he was. After their fateful encounter, she can’t seem to stay away from him—even though she knows she should.

Spencer never expected to share an unlikely connection with the spoiled starlet who hates his guts. With the face of a goddess and an attitude to match, Kimberleigh Cress is one ice queen he’d love to melt.

Now that she’s gotten under his skin, he’ll do anything to keep her in his life. Or will he?

 

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* EXCERPT *

 

“You should know up front that I don’t do relationships.”

 

Spencer’s eyes narrowed. “That’s funny, because I distinctly remember reporting on several of your relationships.”

 

Over the three years that he’d been doing red carpet interviews, he’d watched Kimberleigh parade multiple boyfriends through the press line. Her most recent relationship had ended just a couple of months ago, in fact, amidst a firestorm of media coverage after her actor boyfriend was photographed canoodling with an up-and-coming pop starlet. Spencer had even interviewed the guy earlier in the year, and he’d gone on at length about how happy and in love he and Kimberleigh had been.

 

If she was still getting over the breakup and wary of starting anything new, that was one thing. But she could say that instead of feeding him an obvious lie.

 

She bit down on her lip as her gaze flicked to his. “This stays between us?”

 

“Of course.”

 

“Those relationships were all publicity stunts.”

 

“All of them?” Spencer was well aware that fauxmances and “love contracts” happened all the time in Hollywood. They were an easy way of generating hype, either to promote a new project or distract from bad publicity. But Kimberleigh had been linked with a steady stream of romantic partners on her rise to stardom. That was a lot of fake boyfriends and a lot of pretending.

 

“Every one you heard about.” She tugged the sheet up over her chest as she rolled toward him onto her side. “The only way to protect my privacy is to create a fiction to offer up for public consumption. I give people what they want: a boyfriend they can talk about, judge, insult, fixate their jealousy on, and tear to shreds. Someone who’s used to the attention, knows exactly what they’re in for, and is getting something out of it in return. Someone I don’t have any feelings for, so the awful things people say can’t hurt us.”

 

There was a slight roughness to her voice that betrayed echoes of old pain. Clearly she’d had some bad experiences that had caused her to put up defenses around herself. What Spencer didn’t know was how ironclad those defenses were and whether she was willing to let him inside.

 

He turned onto his side so they were face-to-face. “Okay. So…what? Other than these fake boyfriends, you just don’t date? Like…at all? Is that what you’re saying?”

 

Kimberleigh reached for his hand and curled her fingers around his. “I’m not willing to live my personal life in public. That means the things I care about have to stay private.” Her thumb rubbed over his. “If we were to keep seeing each other, no one could know.”

 

His mind faltered and got stuck on “I care.” Did that mean he was one of the things she cared about? Was that what she’d just said? His heart rocketed in his chest, but he only allowed himself to show a small smile. “Did you think I’d have a problem with that?”

 

“Some people do.”

 

“I don’t want to date you to raise my profile.” He brought her hand to his lips. “I like you, and I want to spend time with you. If you want us to keep it to ourselves, I’m fine with that.”

 

“It’s not easy. Trust me.”

 

He shrugged. “Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx kept their relationship secret for five years.”

 

“The thing is, you’re the person people like me try to keep our secret relationships secret from.”

 

“Are you suggesting I’d blow the lid on my own secret relationship? Because I’m a lot more invested in seeing you again than I am in reporting on your love life. Your romantic exploits are considerably more interesting to me on a personal level than a professional one.”

 

“Right now, maybe. But what if things don’t work out? What if I piss you off?”

 

“Am I going to seek revenge by writing a tell-all about our relationship, you mean?”

 

Her lips pressed into an unhappy line. “I suppose that’s what I’m worried about, yes.”

 

“Look, I told you that anything between us stays between us unless we both explicitly agree otherwise.”

 

“I know.”

 

He reached out to brush a strand of golden hair off her face, tucking it behind her ear. “So I guess it comes down to whether you’re willing to trust me or not.”

 


 

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