Star Power Out Today!

And it’s already had a rockin’ review at Long and Short Reviews!

It’s only available at TWRP right now, but I’m sure it will be at Amazon before long.

Here’s an excerpt:

He set the glass down and spun it in circles. “Come into the pool with me.”

As she stared at him, twin reactions of panic and desire pulsed through her. “What? Why?”

“Because it’s a pool party. If I go in there by myself, I’ll look anti-social, which I am, but if I go in there with you—”

She inclined her head, understanding. “It’ll look like you’re making time.”

He grinned.

She thought she should be used to the power of it by now, and lowered her gaze to the margarita glass, her fingers brushing his. When she snatched her hand back, his grin widened. Damn it.

He stood and stretched out a hand. “I love that you get me. So come on.”

The casual gestures, his touches, were part of his charm, and she should have absolutely had her shields up, but here her defenses were down. She touched her fingers to his and felt the sizzle all the way to her pretty pink toenails. Before she could withdraw, he closed his hand around hers and guided her across the rock patio to the pool with its floating candles. She touched her toe to the surface.

Surprisingly, the water was warm.

“Take off that net thing. There aren’t any fish to catch in here.”

She glowered, but tugged the cover-up over her head and tossed it over the nearby landscaping rocks. Sam never took his gaze from her.

“What’s the point of it, anyway?”

She reached up to wind her hair into a knot at the back of her head. “It’s a cover up.”

“What does it cover, exactly?”

Ignoring him, she walked around to the diving board to the hoots and cheers of the other guests. She tugged at the legs of her suit, stepped to the end of the board and dove into the water, needing the distance, at least for a few seconds. She surfaced to see Sam treading water nearby.

“Show off.”

She pushed her hair back from her face and straightened. Okay, maybe she had been showing off, just a little. “Sometimes it’s better to just dive in.”

“I’ll remind you that you said that.” He swam closer.

Oops. She paddled backwards.

“You’re not doing much for my reputation.”

Her hair had come loose from its knot, so she reached back to secure it. “That’s not my job.”

“Maybe it should be, for the weekend.”

“What, to make you look good? I do that anyway.”

“I mean, maybe we should be a couple. For the weekend you could be my buffer.”

She narrowed her eyes against the panic blossoming in her chest. “Bad idea.” Bad, bad, bad idea.

“Why?” Oh, so many reasons, not the least of which was he’d have too many excuses to touch her, maybe kiss her, and her defenses would crumble and she’d fall head over heels, only to be thrust back into her regular role when they returned to California.

Then watch him romance the rest of the female population.

“You’re the actor, not me.”

“It won’t be hard. I just want to be— unavailable.”

He was definitely unavailable. And, he was right, it wouldn’t be hard to pretend. Too easy, in fact. “You could be brave and just say no.”

“What’s the fun in that?” He swam closer. She bumped against the rock waterfall that blocked them from the view of the other guests. No escape.

“I’ll make it worth your while.”

She lifted her chin as everything in her quivered with the desire to say yes—along with the fear of that desire. “I already make more money than I can spend.”

“Comp time, then. Another week of vacation. My house in the Hamptons. Full staff.”

If she agreed to this role of ‘buffer’, she’d need a week to recover—but not at a place that would do nothing but remind her of Sam. “No deal.”

“A week. My house in Italy. You could take Susie; you’ve been saying she needs a vacation. Take her, take the whole family. Two weeks.”

Temptation tugged. Her sister Susie did need a vacation. God knew the woman’s life was tough, with her husband unable to work because of an injured back, her oldest daughter recently diagnosed with Asperger’s, and her youngest retained in first grade, for which Sue blamed herself because she was so scattered about everything else, including trying to support the family. Lorelei helped as much as Susie’s pride—or sometimes desperation—allowed. A vacation where someone waited on her every wish would be a godsend.

Three days playing Sam’s girlfriend. She could keep her guard up for three days. She’d just have to remember it was all an act. Hadn’t she been watching Sam act for years?

She thrust a palm up before he came any closer. “Two weeks in Tuscany, complete with access to the yacht and staff.”

He closed his hand around hers, warm and firm, and made no move to release her. “I’ll even throw in the jet skis.”

She frowned. “Not sure about that.”

The light tug on her hand sent a ripple through the water. “Do we have a deal?”

“Okay.”

“I think a deal like this needs more than a handshake.”

Before she knew what he was doing, he pulled her through the water toward him and lowered his lips to hers. She barely had the chance to register the firmness of his shoulder beneath her hand, the tang of margarita on his breath, the warmth and smoothness of his lips, before his mother appeared above them.

“Time for cake!”

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marianne
    Oct 06, 2010 @ 06:07:19

    Congrats on the release! And… we have a few MJ Fredrick fangirls at LASR. I’m beginning to think things are going to get violent. 😉

    Reply

  2. MJ
    Oct 06, 2010 @ 17:21:02

    Thank you SO MUCH, Marianne! LOLOL on the violence–what a picture!

    Reply

  3. Mary
    Oct 06, 2010 @ 18:33:48

    What a great review! I can’t wait for it to come available on Amazon.

    Reply

  4. MJ
    Oct 06, 2010 @ 19:20:55

    Thanks so much, Mary. It shouldn’t be long–last week’s release is already there.

    Reply

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