A twist of fate proves wildly explosive in New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss’s smart and sexy Hollywood romance about the cost of running from your past to get to your dreams.
LEAD ME BACK is out now!
Cutting all ties, Kayla Montgomery drives cross-country to Los Angeles. New start. New life. And an unexpected new job: assistant to Justin Beckett.
The Justin Beckett.
The boy band rebel with the cocky attitude and dreamy bed head who casts a spell over his fans and tests the patience of his handlers.
Now at the peak of Mount Adulthood, he has to build a clean-cut, movie star image. It’s in his contract. No partying. No attitude. No groupies.
To tie it together, he needs a normal girl.
Suddenly, Kayla’s swept up in Justin’s glamorous world, and his arms. But the most dizzying thing is Justin himself. Sweet, generous, reliable, and as eager to shed his past as Kayla is hers.
Those ties she thought she’d cut? They’ve followed her across the country with her secrets in tow, and they’re about to test Kayla’s courage, Justin’s loyalty, and a love that wasn’t part of the deal.
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Standing right there in bare feet, white tattoo-exposing tank, white basketball shorts with an orange stripe down the side, with his blond hair so precisely bed-headed it had to be on purpose, and a gold chain that was the icing on the cake of a look every fashion and celebrity magazine called “douchecore” was Justin Beckett.
From the band Sunset Boys. That Justin.
From the cover of GQ. Twice before age twenty-two.
I considered myself too much of an adult to listen to his music, but I wasn’t dead. The Sunset Boys breakup that spring had drowned Twitter in sobs and DMZ in clicks. Justin Beckett, with his ghostly pale-blue eyes, had been the front man who’d thrown it all away for a crazy night at the Roosevelt Hotel. There had been a party at the pool. He’d beaten a bandmate bloody, gotten caught with another bandmate’s wife and a bunch of drugs in a hotel bathroom. It was impossibly salacious. Like watching a car wreck where everyone was fine except the one guy who deserved to get hurt.
The clean-cut, silky-smooth boy in the band wasn’t so silky smooth anymore. Maybe it was the rough night at the Roosevelt. Maybe it was just adulthood, but he’d transformed into a fully muscled, square-jawed man. His size and presence dazed me.
“Weeze,” he said to his grandmother. “Who is this person?”
Louise gathered the smooth stems into a bouquet and put on her glasses.
“You’re such a big deal you don’t even know your own assistant?”
He shot his gaze to me.
“All right.” He snapped his fingers and pointed to the door. “Get the hell out.”
“Wait,” I snapped. I didn’t want to stay, but I wanted my money.
“I mean it. You got this far. Now get out.”
“You don’t have to be so rude,” Louise said, inspecting a stem.
He grabbed my upper arm and pulled me out.
“Don’t touch me!”
Ignoring me, he opened the door and pushed me outside, joining me in his bare feet and closing the door behind us.
“How did you find me?” he demanded, letting me go.
“I wasn’t looking for you!”
“You one of the ones who parked on Laurel Crest?” He pointed to some street over thataway that I was supposed to know. “Because you’re violating an order of protection.”
“No! You stupid jackass!” With my finger pointed and an insult hurled in a decisively unfannish tone, his face softened for a moment. I almost lost my resolve and smiled.
But he was still the guy who’d gripped my arm so hard it hurt, and that guy could suck it.
“You’re from what paper?” he asked.
“I just got a new phone, and your grandmother dialed the wrong number. She insisted it was you. And I was like, here’s a nice lady who’s not going to have a present for her boyfriend, so I went to get the flowers, which cost seventy-five dollars after I already got a hundred-and-sixty-two-dollar ticket for talking to her in the first place.”
“I like your accent,” he said. “New York?”
“Round it up to eighty.” I held out my hand. “The receipt’s on the kitchen counter.”
His mouth twisted, and he looked at me from shoes to hair. I wished I’d showered after the drive from Vegas.
Sooo goood!! I love this author and her spectacular storytelling and swoon-worthy characters. It’s hard to believe but this might be my favorite! I know…crazy. But this is crazy good. There maybe a few little things but didn’t matter because this has all the feels from the panty-melting couple to the endearing family to the crazy friends. It’s fairly obvious who the muse is for Justin but soon this hero is separated from the muse quickly as his personality comes out as the boy band hottie that’s now navigating adult life as the douchecore bad boy running from papz, fans, bad publicity and rotten choices. But he is so much more and I fell in love with this fabulous bad boy. I fell even harder for the feisty fashion designer, Kayla. Her story is right out of the Me2 movement and rang true without being overly salacious. My heart broke a little not only for these characters but also for the real life heroines in this modern day tragedy. I loved Kayla’s family and background. The fast build of Justin and Kayla’s relationship was hilarious as he tried to navigate this firecracker‘s lack of game playing and fan girling. His entitled existence held little relevance in her world as she struggled to regain her career on the other side of the country even if she couldn’t outrun her past, especially when his spotlight landed on her. Their attraction was mutual and their chemistry sizzled. Sexy and sweet! I really loved the growth of Justin in the story and Kayla part in his maturation. I’ve got to give a shout out to Wizzy, Justin grandma. Love her zaniness! I was hoping we would get more stories from this fabulous world. I was curious about Justin’s twin. Or maybe…Kayla’s dad. That would be interesting and a different direction. Anyhoo, this story is absolutely terrific and a must read. Loved it!
About CD Reiss
CD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up she’s at the well hauling buckets.
Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.
She’s frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut which is flattering but hasn’t ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood.
If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.
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