The Price of Celebrity
by Robin Covington
My latest book, PLAYING THE PART, is centered around a mega action movie star, Mick Blackwell and a successful romance novelist, Piper James. The story came to me as I looked over my favorite celebrity blogs and reviewed article after article that feed the almost insatiable need for the public to know everything about their favorite stars.
And, yes, I believe that the perks that come with Brangelina are pretty damn awesome—but the downside is just as real.
I’m not just talking about the paparazzi (which can be pretty scary at times) but the reality of the entertainment business being a BUSINESS. A business with a bottom line. A business which expects actors to maintain a certain image in order to support sales and publicity. It isn’t an unbearable burden but it is a real one . . . and that inspired me to dream up Mick Blackwell.
Mick is at the top of his game, the first biracial actor to carry a hugely successful action movie series, a former child star and son of Oscar-wining Hollywood royalty. Mick doesn’t complain about the reality but he wants to shape his future and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. He gladly (understatement) revels in the perks of being named America’s Sexiest Man two years in a row . . . yeah, women . . . lots of women.
When the reality of Hollywood intrudes into their relationship the question becomes if they will be able to survive.
It was so much fun exploring the glamorous world of the movies and I can’t wait to return to the setting with Book Two in the Playing Around series when I get to explore the hard-living, hard partying life of rock-n-roll with Mick’s best friend – rock star Lincoln St. John.
Thanks for having me Stella!
Robin is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Washington Romance Writers, a faculty member at Romance University, a member of the Waterworld Mermaids, a Goddess at The Naked Hero, and a contributor to the Happy Ever After blog at USA Today.
You can find Robin on her website, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter (@RobinCovington).
Playing the Part by Robin Covington
The harder they play ... the harder they fall
After publicly self-destructing over a heartbreak a year ago, bestselling romance writer Piper James is now making nice with her publisher by agreeing to teach Hollywood's favorite action star how to act like he's in love. Only playboy Mick Blackwell has no clue what love looks like.
When a seductive heat ignites between Piper and Mick, she jumps at the chance for a bit of fun between the sheets, but with two stipulatons: she's kept out of the public eye and things end when she returns to New York. Only Mick keeps changing the rules on her. Tempted by America's favorite bad boy, Piper is wondering how far she's willing to bend...
Excerpt of Playing the Part by Robin Covington
“I’ve never been in love.”
Piper peered at him in the lowlight, and he shrugged. Her face was partially in shadow, but he could see the questions stewing in her brain just behind the cute little furrow between her eyes.
“But—” Piper inched over a bit in her seat, leaning over the center console, which gave him a birds-eye view of the soft curve of her breasts peeking over the edge of her top. “But you’ve been with so many women!”
“That’s sex. Not love.” Mick turned to fully face her, his arm brushing hers. Electricity practically sparked between them in an arc. He should lower the convertible roof and let out some of the heat burning him alive. He forced his brain to focus on the current conversation, a confession slipping out before he could stop it. “I thought I was in love once.”
“She slept with my dad.”
Piper gasped, her closing her hand over his own, fingers twining together with an ease that hitched his breath for a moment. “You’re dad slept with your girlfriend?”
“Yeah, well, that’s my dad.”
“That’s totally screwed up.”
“Since I was seven years old, I’ve spent more time pretending to be other people than I’ve been myself. My life isn’t exactly normal.”
“Okay. Fair enough.”
She bit her lip and Mick pulled his eyes away before he closed the distance and claimed that plump morsel with his own mouth
“Do you talk to your dad?” she asked.
“Yeah, we’re actually pretty tight.” At her incredulous look, he let out a laugh. Apparently, this wasn’t the usual thing in wherever her Deep South, happy suburban childhood took place. Maybe not even in the Big Apple, where he knew she lived. Welcome to Hollywood. Love wasn’t for people like him. Besides, he had no problem finding a willing partner when he needed to let off a little steam. Why mess up his life by throwing a relationship into the mix? “He’s my dad. He’s never been able to keep it in his pants.”
Her only response was a firm squeeze of his hand, and he looked down to where his fingers linked with hers. She followed him when he tugged her closer, hormones and naked desire overriding his earlier decision—and hers, apparently. Her hair brushed against his lips just before he pressed a tender kiss against the soft skin of her temple. She nuzzled him back. Mercy.
Piper raised her face, her tongue gliding along her lower lip, leaving it glossy and inviting. Her dark eyes were huge, drinking in every detail of whatever she saw in his face. She opened her mouth to speak, gave a little shake of her head, and then shocked him to his core by closing the distance between them.
Mick’s first reaction was to reel backward and make sure the work thing was laying flat. But who was he kidding? He was one big walking “id,” and Piper James was beautiful, smart, funny, and kissed him like a porn star. Game over.
He angled up over the center console, weaving his hands roughly in her hair as he pressed her back against her seat. She moaned under his assault, opening up to allow him to sweep in and taste the sweet, tender recesses of her mouth. She dug her hands dug into his shoulders, twisting the material of his shirt and holding him captive against her body. Their kisses were rough, hungry, forcing them to take ragged breaths between the bruising press of lips and tongues.
Mick sucked in a huge lungful of air into his tight lungs and lowered his head to dive back in, Piper’s hands pressed firmly against his chest as she pushed him away with determined strength.
“What…” Mick struggled up from the haze of lust to figure why they’d stopped when the good stuff was just beginning. In shock, he watched as Piper climbed over the center console, then reached down to release the lever and push the seat back as she straddled his body.
With a sensuous half smile on her lips, she gazed down on him from her vantage point, reached up, and removed her glasses, tossing them in her seat while she shook out the silky waves of her hair. It was as if she’d opened up his brain, lifted out his kinky little librarian fantasy, and decided to give him the Dirty Harry treatment and make his day.
“What are we doing?” he choked out.
Piper smiled a little wider, then leaned down whisper against his mouth, “Giving you something to use on set tomorrow.”
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