MATURE READERS 18+
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult.
***THIS STORY CAN BE READ AS A STANDALONE.***
Hollywood It Girl, Francesca Leon, has just landed the biggest role of her career…one that could clinch an Oscar nomination and open doors. If she’s going to move her career to the next level and work with top directors, she has to nail this part — and keep her sexy, but unreliable leading man from screwing everything up.
Bad boy Calder Fox is the son of Hollywood royalty and fresh out of rehab after his best friend’s death sent him on a downward spiral of drugs and alcohol. While his fans still love him and the paparazzi stalk him, he’s never taken life, or anything about his career, seriously. He may be charming and drop-dead gorgeous, but if he doesn’t stay sober, he could ruin Frankie’s future and expose her long-hidden family secret to the voracious media.
Behind the scenes.
Things heat up during filming and have the potential to become hotter, deeper, and much more real. But can Frankie trust Calder with her secret? Or is he doomed to sabotage his own happiness yet again?
One-click now to meet Hollywood's bad boy, Calder Fox!
By Elisabeth Grace
More Than A Year Ago…
Gasoline and smoke burn my lungs as I inhale a sharp, painful breath. The pounding in my head is unrelenting and my ears ring with a dull buzz. I manage to pry open my eyes, only to find that darkness consumes my surroundings. Not that it matters since my lids are so heavy that I have to close them again.
When I’m able to open them, I realize there’s a small amount of light permeating the darkness from the flickering clock on the mangled dash.
I try to remember where I am. Bit by bit I become aware of the crushing pain in my arm—it feels as if it’s on fire. I draw a deep breath, singeing my throat, and look down to see my right arm bent at a funny angle. The constant ringing in my ears and the throbbing of my head have my thoughts moving like sand through an hourglass.
My thoughts are sluggish, but I’m cognizant enough to recognize the all-consuming ache throughout my body. I consider closing my eyes again—all I want to do is forget the pain I’m in, but somewhere in the back of my head it registers that the thick smoke has become suffocating. I cough and bring the arm that isn’t broken up to cover my face.
A strangled breath sounds from my right and I turn inside the crushed metal can I’m in, immediately wishing I hadn’t. Bile rises up in the back of my throat and my breathing becomes even more ragged and shallow than before.
My best friend, Akoni, lies unconscious in the driver’s seat, blood trailing down his face. The steering wheel presses further into his belly than nature should allow.
Guilt consumes me like a tidal wave and I’m flailing on the inside. This is all my fault.
I attempt looking out the front window, but it’s almost impossible to see through the shattered glass. I’m just able to make out the buckled hood of the car and the smoke pouring out from underneath.
I cough again, trying as best I can to get some clean air, but there is none to be had. I need to get out of here.
With my good arm, I release my seat belt and lean over with my left hand to open my door, ignoring the stabbing pain in both my arm and abdomen as I do. After a bit of fumbling, I’m finally able to pry it open enough to squeeze myself out, just in time to see flames rising up from under the car’s hood. I flop out onto the ground clumsily, landing with my broken arm underneath me, my feet still pinned between the dash and the seat.
I cry out from the pain of having my weight resting on my broken arm, and I’m unable to control my body’s reaction. I vomit as I lie there on the grass, a mixture of the evening’s earlier festivities spewing out onto the ground.
Recovering enough from the pain, I pull my legs out. Before I know what’s happening, there’s commotion around me. People are shouting but I can’t make out what they’re saying. Someone pries my legs out of the car and a pair of hands pulls me up, helping me to stand upright.
The image in front of me becomes hazy, black spots edging the corner of my vision. I drop my head down, trying not to puke again, while people on either side hold me steady and help me hobble away from the wreckage.
As they sit me on the curb a ways down from the carnage, my vision and thoughts come back to me more clearly.
Horror twists my insides as I set my sights on the piece of twisted metal. The front of the car is bashed in, the driver’s side almost wrapped around a tree trunk. Flames shoot skyward and lick some low-hanging branches while black smoke illuminated by a nearby streetlight continues to pour out from under the hood.
“Akoni!” I scream, my voice hoarse, my throat raw and swollen from the smoke. I push away from the helping hands and turn to race back to the car as fast as my broken body will let me.
“You can’t go over there! You’re hurt!” a faceless person in front of me screams. With my good hand, I push them to the side, adrenaline and maybe the cocktail of other narcotics from earlier in the night surging through my veins, releasing me from most of the pain. I have to get Akoni out before the flames reach him.
“I’m not leaving my friend,” I shout at no one in particular.
Sirens sound in the distance, drawing nearer. Thank God. The fire department will be here any minute. They’ll put the flames out and get my friend—
The sound of an explosion rips through the night. It’s reminiscent of some of the on-set blasts I’ve heard, only this one is so much worse. So much more terrifying. Because it’s real.
An unseen force pummels me backward until I crash to the ground, hitting the pavement below. Complete and utter terror grips me as I watch the flames engulf the wreckage, the lifeless body of my friend lying motionless in the middle of it.
I scream … and scream … and scream—unable to stop until mercifully everything goes black.
I’d been an avid reader my entire life, but when I discovered romance novels during my first pregnancy I was hooked! Not sure if it was the hormones or the lack of a life that was headed my way once my daughter was born, but since then I’ve been devouring several romance books a week. I love nothing more than reading about some serious alpha males and a happily ever after.
To sum up this book, It was amazing! absolutely wonderful. I loved it because here you have a actor Calder who is not only hot and sexy and surfs who has live a life where no one cared about him and all he did was use everyone like they used him. Then the tragic accident of his best friend changed him and all he ever felt was guilt and agony of it all and chose to change himself.
That's when he met Frankie his co-star and talented actress of indie film. She knew about his bad ways and was determined not to let him screw it up for her trying to make it big in her first major film. As they grew to know each other and learning that Calder is determined to change his ways but Frankie is hesitant and will do anything to keep him from ruining her career.
Throughout the book when they start giving into their feelings it wasn't like most books where it's always the significant other who changes them for the better Frankie may have had a part in him being better and keeping him from going back to old ways but for him to be able to see the big picture to forgive himself it took a person who was going through what he was but had a different way of going through their bad ways and a person to show him all is forgiven and that he was still loved and capable of having it.
If I can come back from the brink of almost destroying myself, so can you. Forgiveness is a gift you have to give yourself and that validation come from within. That's the most important lesson I've learned through all of this. You've got to forgive yourself in order to move forward. Everyone deserves a second chance to start new. We think it's everyone else in our lives that harbor ill will towards us, and perhaps in some cases that's true. But often the self-hatred come from within and we just need to let it go in order to see clearly. You're worth it. It does get better. So don't stop trying until you find your second chance.
Definitely well said and a moral of the story!
you did an amazing job and I can't wait to read more!!!