Series: Movie Stars in Maryland Duet #1
being in the shadows. But when movie star Ryan McDonnell pulls her into the
spotlight, her whole world is threatened. Can a relationship that starts as a
secret fantasy ever survive in the real world?
has always gotten everything she wants.
never wanted the spotlight. That was my sister’s domain. And now that she’s
America’s most popular starlet? She can have it.
feisty woman who raised us, and who I cannot seem to wean off video games, an
afternoon doobie, or her daily Manhattan—has a huge party to celebrate her 90th birthday,
Juliet brings the Hollywood madness straight to Maryland.
ultimate movie-star crush, Ryan McDonnell. I can barely form a
sentence around the guy (at least I don’t still have a poster of him on my
wall). And I definitely can’t get over the fact that he’s Juliet’s new
through the weekend with them—and with the magazine people who are covering
them and the party for a feature. I just need to stay away from Ryan and his
warm curious eyes, his perfectly chiseled arms, and the impossibly sexy things
that come out of his mouth when we’re alone together.
is an actor. A good one. Because I almost believe him when he tells me we have
a chance together.
the back seat of the car looking every bit the movie star she was. I hoped
everything was going to meet her standards. The security guys had looked around
the property for God-only-knew what, and asked me questions about our alarm system
(nonexistent), our security perimeter (also nonexistent) and our emergency
evacuation CONOPS (seriously? Once they explained what a “CONOPS” was—a concept
of operations, in case you’re wondering—I explained that was also
lived in a world I could barely begin to understand, where movie stars were
people you actually knew. People like Ryan McDonnell.
really belonged here, and she didn’t fit in any better now, with her huge dark
glasses and slim-fitted pink capris and high-heeled sandals. The second I saw
her, I felt myself inching toward invisibility again. I loved her, but my life worked
better when Juliet wasn’t standing at my side, begging the world to wonder how
two sisters could be so different.
insecurities and smiled at her.
told her. It was true. She always looked great.
that breathy voice she’d become famous for. She pulled me into a tight hug,
smiled at me, and then took a step back, ducking her chin a tiny bit as she
said, “I want to introduce you to someone.”
jean-clad legs slid out of the car behind her, attached to a broad tall body
that I already knew too well was Ryan McDonnell. I was more than familiar with
this particular ‘someone.’ He’d been my on-screen crush forever, though I
hadn’t seen him in anything lately. There had been a movie I hadn’t seen—one
that hadn’t done too well, but it included zombies, which were not my thing,
even if you added in Ryan McDonnell hotness.
movie star affections had bright blue eyes, perfectly tousled dark hair—cropped
close now, I noticed—and a body that appeared to have been carved from stone,
or so I’d thought in the last role I’d seen him in as a comic book hero
reimagined as a dark avenger. God, he was hot.
voice cut through my stupor.
shaking off the dreamy haze. “Yes.”
a smile spreading slowly across the perfect lips I couldn’t stop staring at. He
chuckled, and I realized he hadn’t asked me a question. Embarrassment surged
inside me, making my stomach churn.
my affirmative declaration with an equally unnecessary negative word. “Or, I …
short notice,” Ryan said letting my idiocy slide. People probably acted like
loons around him all the time. I tried not to look at him, but there were parts
of my body that were not listening at all to my brain. Ryan’s smile was like a
speeding train coming right at me and freezing me to the spot where I stood,
stupid and dazed. “I hope it’s not an inconvenience having us both here,” he
perfect full lips as he spoke, almost unable to process the actual words. I was
having trouble being human, thanks to his actual existence right in front of
voice higher than I remembered it being.
no one asked. My sister was smiling at me, shaking her head. Juliet knew about
my long-time Ryan McDonnell affliction, and it was pretty obvious at this
point. I hated that she undoubtedly knew I was flustered just trying to form
actual words around her new boyfriend.
things?” I had no idea if it would be weird to acknowledge his status as my
favorite actor or if it was rude to pretend I had no idea who he was.
moronic silence on the topic.
around me. “You don’t need to get the bags,” she said lightly, as two of the
men from her security team emerged from a second car, all black T-shirts and
muscled arms pulling suitcases from the trunk.
sister had people for that.
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