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For months I stood by, an understudy waiting in the wings, preparing for my time to shine. I never imagined he would watch in the audience that night.

Canon Holt. Famous film director. Fascinating. Talented. Fine.

Before I could catch my breath, everything changed. I went from backstage Broadway to center stage Hollywood. From being unknown, to my name, Neevah Saint, on everyone’s lips when Canon casts me in a star-studded Harlem Renaissance biopic.

But stars shine brightest in the dead of night. Forbidden attraction, scandal and circumstances beyond my control jeopardize my dream. Could this one shot—the role of a lifetime, the love of a lifetime—cost me everything?


Kennedy Ryan


Book Series: 

A renowned film director plucks a relatively unknown actress from obscurity, giving her the chance of a lifetime and, just maybe, the love of a lifetime in Kennedy Ryan’s brand new romance, out this week, and I have a little sneak peek for you.

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I should get out of here now. I’ve managed to keep the promise to myself. I’m ahead in this game and should cut my losses.

But do I?

Am I that smart?

Am I that strong?

Hell, no.

When she leans closer, aligning our faces, I don’t pull back or push her away. Our noses touch and panting breaths wrestle between our lips. We’re inches from the inevitable, and she’s the only one who could stop us now. Desire clouds the clear brown, long-lashed eyes that bore into mine.

“I want to kiss you,” she whispers over my lips. “Is that okay?”

I swallow deeply, wrestling with my own longings. If I say no, she’ll step away. She’ll go into the kitchen. I’ll leave and return to my empty house. To my empty bed. To a life that, aside from the stories I tell, the movies I make, is pretty empty, too.

“It’s not the best idea,” I say, my voice low, raspy, nearly unrecognizable.
She carefully climbs onto the couch, over my knees. The short skirt rides up as she spreads her thighs to bracket mine.

“What would be a good idea?” she asks, so close now her lips skim the words over my mouth. 
I take a deep breath that brushes my chest against the generous curves of her breasts, the contact robbing my brain of thoughts for a second.

“I’m your boss, Neevah.”

“What does that have to do with it?” She pulls back, concern knitting her thick, sleek brows. “You think I’ll say you made me do it? I would never do that, Canon. If you think this is some kind of trap . . .”

She starts sliding off, but I can’t let her do that. I don’t want her to do that. Every inch separating us is excruciating. I hold her in place and draw her close again, my hands palming the tight, slim line of her back, rolling from her shoulder blades past the delicate cage of her ribs to the dramatic indent from waist to hip.

“I’ve dreamt of you touching me,” she says, her breath scented with apples and spice and want. “Don’t stop.”


“Don’t. Stop.” She sets the bowls on the couch to our left and right, freeing her hands to reach back up and caress my nape, run her fingers over the coarse waves of hair I’ve let grow while we’ve been shooting. “I want to touch you, too.”

She scrapes the neat crescents of her nails over my ears. I shudder, and she pauses smiling, repeating the simple caress. Her fingers wander to my jaw, scraping through the bristly beginnings of my beard.

“You are so beautiful,” she says, leaning forward to rub her cheek against mine.

“I’m not.” I keep my hands at her waist because if I touch her ass, it’s over. My dick is already impossibly stiff, pressing into the warm cove between her legs where she straddles me.

“You know at first I didn’t think so either.” She pulls back, the heat in her eyes tempered with a dangerous tenderness. “But then I saw you smile, and I could never think of you as anything but beautiful again.”

And as much as I want more, there’s a part of me that relishes just this. The eager discovering of first touches and near-kisses. We’ll never have these again for the first time, and I’ve had enough things that weren’t special to savor this thing that is.

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Hollywood Renaissance - Recommended Reading Order

(standalone stories with interconnected characters)

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