~*~ Book Blitz ~*~ Playing the Part by Lynn Rae

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Book Title: Playing the Part (Love Around the Corner, Book 3)
Author: Lynn Rae
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 23, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book Blurb

Independent Melanie Sheraton has to hustle for odd jobs in her small town to eke out a living. When the opportunity to act as a driver for some movie folks comes up, she jumps at the chance to earn an extra paycheck. What she didn’t bank on was one of her passengers invading her imagination, something she resists since no movie star would ever be interested in her.

At a crossroads in his professional life, action star Thomas ‘Wheeler’ Locke is in Ohio for a role he hopes will launch his career in a new, serious direction. Instead of concentrating on his acting, he finds himself growing more and more distracted by his feisty driver and her irascible ways.

Dancing around the attraction growing between them, both Mel and Thomas struggle to maintain their distance as the time for filming grows short. Will a reunion at the movie’s London premiere bring them together, or will their disparate lives keep them apart?

excerpt

She sighed and grumbled and got out of the car. He followed her to the steps at the entrance, skirting a green metal sculpture by Robert Murray, and they made their way inside. The hush and calm of the museum atmosphere settled around him like a hug as he paid their admission and accepted a gallery guide from the attendant.

“You wanted to see the Bellows pieces,” Mel said as she unfolded the guide, obviously determined to continue navigating for him. “They’re upstairs in Gallery G.”

“That’s not all I want to see,” he warned her as she trudged up the broad steps, passing a large and aggressive Lichtenstein. “There’s a Winslow Homer here and a Chihuily.”

“It’s a really nice piece. If you’re interested, there’s lots of Chihuily at the Franklin Park Conservatory,” Mel added and then frowned at some fuzzy photographs at the top of the stairs.

“You like Chihuily?”

“You don’t have to sound so surprised.”

“I’m not surprised. It’s just not what I expected.”

“The unexpected is usually surprising.” Mel seemed irritated with him again. “I appreciate art.”

Now that was a pleasant personal detail. “What’s your favorite piece here?”

“It’s hard to say.” Now, she put on a vague air, her eyes unfocused as she stood in front of a soft-looking printed textile. She was probably thinking about Larry and maintaining professional distances again. Too late, he wanted to tell her.

“Tell me about one.”

Sighing as if she was in actual pain, Mel stared at him from under her eyelashes. “That’s really personal.”

“I don’t think Larry would consider discussing art preferences to be improper. Is Larry a passionate art collector? Does he develop instant likes and dislikes of people based on their favorite French Impressionists?”

Mel snorted. “I’m pretty confident Larry has no strong opinions about any sort of Impressionists. I have a feeling that the Pirelli Tire Calendar is as sophisticated as he gets.”

“Don’t knock it, those photographs are great.” The Herb Ritts one was brilliant, but Terry Richardson’s was awful, to be fair.

“They’re lovely. I was trying to imply it wasn’t the photography that he admired.” Mel considered him as she folded and unfolded the gallery guide. “You probably hung out with those models at some fabulous Italian villa, didn’t you?”

“I don’t make enough money for women like that to notice me. I’m sure they are nice women, but they are definitely in a different social stratum. Oil money and inherited titles.”

Crossing her arms, she gave him a balky stare as she tilted her head. Why showing him artwork she liked was too intimate, he wasn’t sure. He wanted to see something she appreciated and then entice her into talking about it with him. Every interchange with her made him more curious, and every little fact he gathered about Mel Sheraton resided in a deep part of his brain.

“You’re going to stand here until I show you, aren’t you?”

He nodded, trying not to let on he was enjoying himself. Thank God he was an actor. “Just walk over and stand next to it. You won’t actually have to tell me anything, just act adoring.”

“Adoring? I don’t think I’ve adored anything in my life.” Mel radiated skepticism as she raised her chin and watched him as if he was going to throw a spitball on board her bus.

“Try it. Live a little,” he coaxed her and hoped he didn’t show how much he enjoyed provoking her.

“I’m walking away now.” Shrugging her shoulders, Mel headed down the marble lined corridor, illumination from the skylights blazing in her twisted bronze hair. She was wearing a skirt today, and her calf muscles flexed very distractingly as she walked. As she made a left into a gallery, he lost sight of her for a moment, and then found her standing in front of a stark Edward Hopper. The barely dressed woman in the painting looked anxious as she sat on her plain bed and stared out the window. Clean lines, clear color, and a sense of tension; it was impressive.

“What’s she thinking about?” Thomas asked quietly, staring at the melancholy woman painted decades before.

“She’s thinking about all the work she has to do that day and hoping that she has the energy to manage it,” was Mel’s equally quiet reply. Thomas stopped studying the art and glanced over at the woman standing there next to him, hardly looking adoring but certainly weary.

“You’re probably right. Let’s keep looking around.” He didn’t want the painting’s sad mood to infect them. Mel glanced over at him.

“Do you want to see another one of my favorites, or am I too much of a downer?”

“I can handle one more. Then we need to see something with some life in it.”

She walked away again, not waiting to see if he followed. Sculptures on plinths watched them go by until she came to a halt in front of a dark canvas covered by vibrant splotches of colored fireworks shimmering down toward their reflections in the water. It was unusual and magical, and he sighed when he saw it.

“Now that’s lively.”

“That’s why I like it,” Mel said, tilting her head as she inspected it. “It makes me think of mysteries. Everything is obscured, uncertain. I think the artist wants us to wonder about how it might be good to go toward the bright light, but it also might be better to stay in the dark. Should we go into the unknown, or is it safer to be still, to avoid challenges and change?”

Thomas thought about that for a moment as he tracked orange and red and pale coral brushstrokes through the gloom. “I want to know what’s hidden. How about you?”

“Me too, even if it’s sometimes a disaster.” They shared a quiet moment of accord.

He hated to break the mood, but if he didn’t, he’d begin to wonder what she had hidden under her clothes, and that would be a disaster. “So you don’t see this and think ‘Oh, cool, fireworks!’?”

“No, I don’t. Should I?”

Thomas shook his head, very entertained by her. “Think what you want. That’s why it’s art and not a math test.”

Mel bobbled her head back and forth as she considered this. “Why are we here looking at art? I have to say if you’d asked me what I thought you’d do on a day off, this never would have crossed my mind.”

A personal question! He was making progress with the self-contained Mel Sheraton. “I minored in fine arts in college. My major was drama.”

She peered at him, and he was again shaken by the light in her serious grey eyes. What was going on in there? Why did she always appear as if there was an elaborate scene playing inside her head? “What did you do? Artwise?”

“Drawing, mostly.”

“Do you do it anymore?”

“When I can.”

Nodding with apparent satisfaction, she turned back to regard her rocket’s red glare painting.

“What did you think I did on my days off?”

“Work out. Go to trendy restaurants with beautiful and fascinating people. Evaluate what your stylist picked out for you to wear. Lie by a pool in the sun with a drink.” He laughed at the images; it seemed he wasn’t the only one who’d had a few preconceived notions. She grinned and turned away from the painting and started to amble through the gallery, pausing in front of a few canvases but not stopping for long at anything in particular.

“The only one of those I do consistently is work out. But I have to for my job and my health, so it’s not really much fun. My trainer is mean to me.”

She turned her mouth down in pretended sympathy but didn’t pull it off. Mel wasn’t really an actress, which was incredibly comforting. He hadn’t realized how nice it was to be around a person with little pretense. Not especially relaxing, since she could suffer an outbreak of irritation at any moment, but still, it was genuine when she was upset. Or happy.

Meet the Author

Lynn Rae makes her home in land-locked central Ohio after time spent in the former Great Black Swamp, beside the Ohio River, and along the Miami and Erie Canal. With professional experience in fields ranging from contract archaeology to librarianship along with making donuts and teaching museum studies, Lynn enjoys incorporating her quirky sense of humor and real-life adventures into her writing (except the naughty bits). She writes sci-fi, contemporary, and historical romances. You can find her posting frequently on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lynnraewrites or at her webpage http://www.lynnraewrites.com/

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~*~ New Release ~*~ Desire Disguised by Lynn Rae

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Book Title: Desire Disguised
Author: Lynn Rae
Genre: Romantic Sci-Fi
Release Date: January 24, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Synopsis

Cara Belasco has been on the run from assassins since childhood. Living in the shadows with her younger brother and one elderly guardian, her luck nearly runs out when the smuggler’s ship carrying them crashes into a soggy jungle planet.

Ben Zashi, the stalwart head of security who rescued her from the wreckage, is very curious about her cover story, and Cara has to fend off his inquires as well as her escalating attraction for him. Will the secrets she’s been hiding come between them, or can Cara allow herself to find passion with the one man who longs to protect her?

excerpt

Cara followed at a jog, or tried to for a few paces until a broad chest appeared in her line of sight, blocking her view of the doorway. Ben Zashi. She’d forgotten about him for a few minutes, which was a first during her time on Gamaliel. He held up both hands and tilted his head, his eyebrow quirked in an inquiring fashion.

“What? Move, I need to go—”

“Actually it would be better if you waited.” He directed her to stand by his door and she did, too shocked by his interference to protest. He walked into their suite of rooms, and she heard his low voice, too indistinct to make out any words. Mat replied a few times and Ben returned, closing the door behind him.

“What are you doing? I need to get in there and—”

“No, you need to get in here unless you want everyone in the building to hear this,” Ben commanded, and a flicker of something close to fear wrapped in a thrill fluttered in her chest.

He jerked his chin at the door behind her, and she turned and entered his rooms. She’d never been inside. The layout seemed to mirror their suite, but she was too unsettled to take notice of more than a piano and a blue sofa. Whirling around as soon as she heard the door close, she found she was face to face with an unsmiling man.

“Give yourself a minute, Cara.”

She shook her head. “No, let me out of here. I need to talk with him.” She’d just found Mat, and this man was going to keep her from him. Unacceptable.

She tried to dodge around him, but he was too quick, flinging out an arm to block one side of the hall, and then the other when she tried it again. Her frustration built up in her chest, and she found it hard to take a deep breath. Ben’s dark eyes never left hers as he talked.

“Listen. You’re upset. He’s upset. Take a breather before you see him. He’s safe in there, and he’s not going anywhere tonight.”

“How do you know that? He just disappeared—”

“No, he went to a new friend’s house and thought he’d have time to get back here before you returned. The school routine is new for him, and he just forgot to check his datpad. Cara, listen, he’s just being a kid, don’t be so hard on him—”

The anger popped in her head in a burst of red light, and all the years of fear, the stress that never let up fueled her rage as she lifted her hands fully intending to shove at Ben’s broad chest with all her might. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. I have to be hard on him or he’ll—we’ll die.”

Her strength failed her as soon as she touched him, and her arms gave out before she could actually push. Ben pulled her in as she fell against him. “Nobody died.”

“But we will,” Cara muttered into his chest as his arms wrapped tightly around her. She wasn’t going to be able to do this on her own. Two men had already died protecting them, and Soren was nearly dead. That left her, a naïve woman with no experience or skills.

“Not on my watch.”

“I can’t do this.” Cara shivered into the comfortable warmth of Ben and tried to talk herself into some courage. She had to do it, there was no one else. But she’d already lost Mat once in the few days she’d been responsible.

Something moving against her hair distracted her. Ben’s grip on her loosened, and with an unexpected ache, she realized he was going to let her go. She didn’t want that, not yet, so she slid her hands around his arms and held on. He said something low she couldn’t make out, and he touched her hair again. The soft and mysterious strokes were mesmerizing. She could hear his heart beating and the steady thump made her feel sleepy, a strange reaction after so much heightened emotion.

Ben moved one of his hands to her cheek and tilted her head to peer at her. She stared into his eyes and wanted to fall into unconsciousness, to just let all of it go for the rest of the day. A respite from her tattered life was all she wanted.

Ben frowned, looked at her mouth, and said, “Blast it.” Then, he kissed her.

Meet the Author

Lynn Rae makes her home in land-locked central Ohio after time spent in the former Great Black Swamp, beside the Ohio River, and along the Miami and Erie Canal. With professional experience in fields ranging from contract archaeology to librarianship along with making donuts and teaching museum studies, Lynn enjoys incorporating her quirky sense of humor and real-life adventures into her writing (except the naughty bits). She writes sci-fi, contemporary, and historical romances.

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