by: Evie Claire
Series: Hollywood Hot Mess
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 12, 2016
Publisher: Carina Press
Hollywood's hottest mess gets a shot at redemption—and a chance to star alongside Tinseltown's most sought-after silver fox. But when their on-screen acting becomes a scorching-hot, forbidden offscreen romance, she discovers he's hiding a dark secret behind his carefully crafted public image.
All the dirty details of former child star Carly Klein's fall from Hollywood grace were tabloid news…and they only knew about half of it. But now she's sober and grasping at the last chance to revive her flatlined career.
Devon Hayes is Hollywood royalty. Branded the sexiest man alive, granted his first shot at producing, he's living a life most only dream of. But his offscreen reality is more like a nightmare and makes the twisted tales in his movie plots look tame.
When Carly and Devon are cast opposite each other, Carly is pretty sure Devon is an asshole. Devon is certain Carly is a spoiled brat. But with chemistry that would make a nun lust like a schoolgirl, these two are DTF. Classic.
As their broken parts begin to pull them together, on-screen love turns…could it be? Into the real thing. Faced with the prying paparazzi, vindictive agents and career-ending secrets, Devon and Carly have already sacrificed their souls for fame. Living a lie in public is a small price to pay for ecstasy in private…for now.
Part One of Two. The story continues in Total Trainwreck. Don't miss it!
An hour later, the reflection in Heather’s bathroom mirror is an Aretha Franklin–style, 100 percent pure woman. Powerful, sexy and drop-the-microphone gorgeous. Soft curls frame my face and spill in golden waves down my back, bangs pinned in an old Hollywood swoop by a crystal starburst clip at my right temple. My makeup is soft, yet seductive. Smoky eye makeup smolders around bright green eyes. Red lipstick paints a bowed pout. It’s fabulous but too much for a girl wrapped in a beige towel.
Everything’s so ordered and neat in Heather’s massive closet, you’d think she’s just left. My towel falls to the carpet, fingers trailing over the padded hangers. It’s all bathing suit cover-ups and gauzy linen clothes. But in the far corner, I find just what I’m looking for.
It’s a rich golden color. Almost the shade of my hair, and flows in silken columns to the floor. I slip the straps from the padded hanger and it thuds gently against the wall. The cold yet irresistibly sexy feel of expensive fabric on bare skin prickles goose bumps over me. Too easily the dress slides over my nakedness in the lazy way only silk can. Turning to face the full-length mirror, my jaw hangs open when I see what I’ve become.
I’m no longer little Carly Klein playing dress up in another woman’s closet.
The dress hugs my curves in all the right places instead of gratuitously flaunting them like my clothes normally do. A deep V neckline reaches to my navel, showing just enough cleavage to need some wardrobe tape. Fluttery cap sleeves breeze around my shoulders, framed with a garland of burnt-out leaves. Turning around I find the back is completely gone, leaving zero room for panties.
When I smile, the reflection isn’t me at all. It’s like I’ve stepped into some alternate reality where all my little girl wishes for a grown-up life have been granted.
I grab a pair of killer gold heels and slip them on, knowing exactly what Cinderella felt like in those glass slippers. It’s so sinfully tempting, seeing myself like this. What wouldn’t I give to be this woman every day? I swing my hair like a Pantene model, sticking a smile on my face and striking a red carpet pose. Who is this woman smiling back at me? She could be on Devon Hayes’s arm.
I sashay my hips to the side, dragging a stilettoed toe along the white carpet and resting a hand on the curve of my waist. The mirror has become my adoring public, clamoring for a piece of me, wanting me, needing me, in the way only frenzied fans can. I practice a coy laugh as I answer the questions a journalist asks me in my head out loud, taking mental notes of which facial expressions are the most flattering. My hand goes up in the air to wave, trying out a new pose that I will immediately hit when the paparazzi bulbs flash me into blindness. Oh yes! I can do this. I can have them eating out of my palm again.
“You know, I think fans identify with The Mighty Fall because it’s a beautiful love story. Love is capable of changing anything in its path, and I think everyone has felt a love that strong at least once in their life.”
I tilt my head demurely to the side, as if listening to an interviewer’s question, and then let out a coy peal of laughter.
“Oh yes, working with Devon Hayes was an incredible experience.”
When the imaginary interviewer asks me about my troubled past I immediately frown, my pose deflating. When I find center again, I look back into the mirror and he’s standing there.
Hanging in the doorway, his eyes are heavy with promise. Pure mischief lights his face and he looks more like a damned Greek god than anyone has a right to.
“The pleasure’s been all mine, Miss Klein.” His voice is soft and teasing and my heart drops down to my stilettos.
I flush every shade of red, hiding my face in my hands, mortified by what he’s witnessed.
“No! Don’t be embarrassed. Every starlet has to practice her pout. It’s part of the job.” He uncrosses his arms and shrugs off the doorframe, taking my hands away from my face and turning me back to the mirror. I swish my hair over my face, hoping he can’t see what he’s done to me. I’m completely unraveled by him, dangling by that proverbial thread. I’m no longer strong where he’s concerned. This isn’t good.
“But you’re doing it wrong.” His hands find my waist, hot as fire through the cool fabric. I swallow the moan that slithers up my throat and beg my insides to cool the fuck down. Nothing but a delicate layer of silk keeps me from his hands. The thought stands my nipples on end.
“Does this dress have a slit?” He digs through the skirt until he finds an opening, pushing the fabric away to reveal my tanned, naked leg. I suck in a deep breath, and my stomach tightens. He freezes momentarily too, ogling the bare flesh from toe tip to hip. He reaches for it, sliding a few fingers over the side toward my ass, on the pretense of pushing the fabric away. If his fingers can cause such anarchy in my body I’m almost scared to learn what the rest of him does. Please, who am I kidding? I’m seconds away from ripping the dress off my body and riding him to the floor.
He grips my waist. A quiver escapes my throat that I hope he doesn’t hear. My heart is suddenly beating so hard the closet walls are thumping, too.
“Okay, put this leg out and just barely rest the toe of your shoe on the floor, facing your camera.” His shorts button brushes against my bare ass under the thin silk.
We’re suctioned together, ass to hips and back to chest. He steps his leg forward against mine, bending it with his knee and guiding my toe forward to hit its imaginary mark. But he doesn’t move away. Our bodies lie against each other like the soft sheets on Heather’s bed. I’m completely undone, relying on him to keep me on my feet.
“Turn this leg back at a 45-degree angle, so your hips welcome the camera. Let this hip fall away…” He pushes my right side down so all my weight is being held on the back leg. “This shoulder falls back…” He pulls my left shoulder farther back. His practiced hands jerk me into position, and my mouth goes dry. “Good.” Is his voice shaking? “Now your torso snakes away from this back hip, but not too obvious, just enough to push your tits out and accentuate your curves.” I do as I’m told. The dress strap slips from my shoulder, exposing enough side boob to freeze Devon in his tracks. He takes the strap and slowly raises it back into place. I wallow in his touch like an addict.His hand still grips my shoulder tightly. “Shoulders back, chin up, left hand on hip.” He moves me like a marionette. “Right hand free to wave or hold your bag. And…voila!” He steps away to admire his work.
The reflection staring back at me is even better than it was before. Confidence now hangs on my body like an old friend, mixing with my own beauty and making me Marilyn Monroe sex goddess gorgeous.
“Devon, this is like magic. Where did you learn that?” I turn slightly in the full-length mirror, watching the way my body moves under the gold silk. I barely recognize me. This new woman staring back at me, who still has the heat of Devon’s touch on her skin, looks like the kind of woman capable of bringing a man to his knees.
Devon leans back against the wall beside the mirror, his eyes lingering in all the right places. I’m not so sure what to do with all this newfound woman-power, but he’s obviously enjoying the show. Why not take it up a notch? I bend over, grabbing the dress’s neckline in one hand and my boobs in the other. When my cleavage is boosted as high as I can get it, I stand with a flourish, blond hair whipping through the air. He rewards my efforts with openmouthed gaping. Good girl, Carly!
“Wow, you’re an amazing teacher.” I send my hair spilling over my shoulder and put an arm up to wave.
“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” His eyes are glued to my bare leg peeking through the slit.
“Now you’re quoting Marilyn?” I ask with a mild purr.
It’s not lost on him, and he steps to me on the pretense of fixing my hair. A single touch of his fingertips across my skin ignites what feels like lightning streaking through my body. He feels it too, pressing his fingers further into my skin in a needy way. Gripped by a force that’s stronger than both of us, knowing there’s only one way to break its hold. We’re flirting with a dangerous precipice. A razor-sharp edge that, once tipped, changes everything. We both know it. The question is, are we going to fall?
“There was a brilliant brain behind the blonde.” He steps away, dragging a hand through his hair and taking a deep breath. Losing contact with him physically hurts and my body involuntarily follows him. “I don’t know why more people didn’t see that at the time.” He picks up my wet towel, folding it and disappearing into the bathroom. Cold creeps into my limbs when I’m alone. Heather’s closet becomes so surreal I feel high. Get it together, Carly. I inhale deeply, rubbing my skin, trying to put myself back together.
“You should take that dress. It looks great on you.” He’s back, leaning in the doorway again. I startle and slap a smile on my face.
“I can’t take Heather’s clothes,” I say, bending to take off the stilettos.
“When is she ever going to wear a formal gown on this island?”
“Still, it’s not mine. I wouldn’t feel right taking it.” I put the shoes back on the rack where I found them.
“Suit yourself.” His eyes scan up and down me one more time, a hand coming up from where it has been crossed over his chest to trace his lips. “It’s not really your color anyway.”
I’m immediately deflated by his words, reduced to a little girl playing dress up instead of Marilyn.
He comes up behind me, pulls my hair over my shoulder, releasing the thin line of gold silk that traces the nape of my neck to hold the sleeves in place. “So, do you have plans this afternoon?”
You, I want to say, so drunk on his touch I’m already mentally undressing him. “Just working on my tan.” I grab the sleeves of my dress to be sure that little unraveled piece of me doesn’t let them slip to the floor.
“I want to show you something.” Our eyes lock in the mirror. He’s biting his lip.
“Meet me at the dock at three.” It’s not a question.
The moment he’s gone I lean weakly against the wall. How much more of this game can I take?
You can purchase Hollywood Hot Mess from:
The Hollywood Hot Mess Series:
Born and raised in the South, storytelling flows in Evie Claire’s blood. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Evie worked in pharmaceutical sales before chasing her lifelong dream of writing full time.
Writing is her labor of love and giving life to complex characters is her passion. Evie’s first book is a New Adult Romance that challenges the traditional definitions of the genre. Her characters are bold, reflecting a gritty realism and intense human frailty.
When she’s not pounding away on the keys of her Macbook, Evie enjoys life in the Classic City with The Mister, The Divine Miss M, Sweet Baby C, and one very pampered pooch who still pouts over not being listed as a co-author.
Places to find Evie Claire:
It’s a total social media take over in July!!
Sometimes, I’m lazy AF. In a perfect world, I would play with my babes, write the words, and wine with The Mister all day every day. Perfect worlds only exist in fiction. This July, however, I’m going to make it a reality.
But I need your help to check out for the month. I can’t just go radio silent all of a sudden. That would be weird. So, I’m putting it in the hands of you, my lovely readers, to create my content. I’ve got almost 2,500 followers on social media. Translation: your words could be jamming a whole lotta news feeds. Just think of the possibilities.
So how does this work? Tag me with original content related to my books and I promise to repost everything (the good, the bad and the ugly) across all platforms— Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.
What’s even better is that you can WIN all my swag from Romantic Times BookLovers Convention 2017, a free book download of your choice, a YETI Rambler tumbler, and whatever else I decide to throw in.
The Rules Are Simple:
- Every post must include original content related to my books.
- Every post must include @ItsEvieClaire and #HollywoodHotMess
- 1 Post = 1 Entry. Enter as many times as you like.
Even a horribly Photoshopped beauty like this gets you an entry!
Need some ideas to get your creativity flowing?
- Post a picture of my book babies in the wild. Reading Hollywood Hot Mess in your Wonder Woman jammies with a topknot and wine? You are my spirit animal. Post a pic. Taking a mental vacay from yet another sports practice with some good old fashioned mommy porn? I wrote these books for you. Post a pic. Think my book is best used as a doorstop. I’m not easily offended. Post a pic.
- Quote your favorite line from my book.
- Screenshot your Amazon/Goodreads review.
- Create one of those amaze-ball flat lay shots with one of my covers.
- Play casting director. Tell me who should play Carly and Devon on the silver screen.
- Cross promote my books with your own brand. I’m a fervent follower of the sharing is caring movement.
- Literally ANYTHING that has a crumb of relevance to my books
Get creative guys, and most importantly, ENJOY! I know I certainly will.