A Starstruck Novella # 1
A Starstruck Novella # 1
By: Beth Ciotta
Releasing April 13, 2015
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About the Book:
A showplace for talent. A playground for love. STARSTRUCK. A new contemporary continuity series by Beth Ciotta, Cynthia Valero, and Elle J Rossi. Three authors. One world. Launching with Ciotta’s sexy novella—Obsessed.
A Fallen Star…
A hot-mess of controversy and scandal, Dakota Breeze—tarnished pop star of fading fame and fortune—accepts a friend’s offer, taking refuge in a small Midwestern town in order to rehearse her comeback concert in secret. Starstruck is the perfect venue however rehearsals are marred by Dakota’s reluctance to resurrect her former bad-girl persona and complicated by an anonymous death threat.
A Haunted Bodyguard…
Enlisted by a mutual friend, Wyatt MacDermott—a seasoned protection specialist—agrees to act as Dakota’s temporary bodyguard. Forced to set aside a personal grudge in order to fulfill his duties, Mac’s stunned by his fierce and instant attraction to the reckless celebrity he’s long associated with his greatest regret.
Obsessed with conflicting needs and united passion, Dakota and Wyatt spin out of control, indulging in a whirlwind affair and tempting an avenger’s wrath.
I am a huge fan of Beth Ciotta. You can always depend on her for a sexy fun read. Her novella OBSESSED is no exception. Dakota Breeze is a former "Pop" Princess trying to make a comeback. Wyatt is hired as a security expert to protect her as she rehearses for a comeback at Starstruck.
I don't often choose stories about stars in the music or movie business. Spoiled, overindulged and self absorbed doesn't appeal to me for a hero or heroine. But I knew that if anyone could pull a "star" off well, it would be Beth Ciotta. Dakota is harsh at first and hours after meeting her new protector, she has a melt-down and does something foolish. Little does she know, but Wyatt has a connection to her that she doesn't know about and while he could have chosen to be vengeful, he decides to go the other way and be a professional. And this means he needs her cooperation, especially since she has started to be threatened.
So what would keep me interested in a bad-girl start and an uptight bodyguard? Ms. Ciotta began to peel back the layers of her characters in a perfect pace, one layer at a time. You are introduced to Rusty, a country star who owns Starstruck, and who provides to both Dakota and Wyatt a wonderful friendship. When Wyatt first meets Dakota, he doesn't really want to be her babysitter. But Rusty steps in and tells him that Dakota is not what she seems and to give her a chance. And layer by layer Ms. Ciotta paints the real Dakota. A woman who is haunted and remorseful, and who just wants to enjoy her career the way she really feels about her love of music before the producers and managers take over and take the joy out of it.
Of course, there is the sexy chemistry between Wyatt and Dakota. In a short period of time, they come to know and understand each other and the possibility of a happy future opens up for them both.
This story draws you in and you can't help liking not only the main characters, but there are plenty of secondary characters that make you smile. And the changes in Wyatt and especially Dakota make you feel good that they get their HEA. And we could all use a friend like Rusty. Do yourself a favor, read this story!
Meet the Author:
Storytelling comes naturally to award-winning author Beth Ciotta. Dubbed "fun and sexy" by Publisher's Weekly, Beth specializes in contemporary, historical, steampunk, and paranormal romantic fiction.
Beth lives in NJ with her husband, two zany dogs, and a crazy cat. A retired professional performer, Beth now pours her artistic passion into her writing. To learn more about her colorful life, visit her website at www.bethciotta.com
Dakota palmed her aching chest, fought for an even breath as Mac steered the sedan through the gates to her temporary residence. She hadn’t meant to spew or to beg. She didn’t want his pity.
But she did want him.
For all his indifference, he made her feel safe. At this point she’d welcome anything, even the company of Ice Man, to minimize her stress. Stress messed with her concentration and judgment, undermining her on-stage performances and her pursuit of private serenity.
Feeling exposed and raw, Dakota pushed her agenda. “So are you with me or not?”
He didn’t respond. Of course, he didn’t respond. The man was a freaking robot.
The car stopped just shy of the house and, with a white-knuckled hold on her purse, Dakota pushed open her door. Her shoulder sang with the effort, but she didn’t groan or complain or even wince. Mac was right. She was lucky to be alive.
She blocked his cold rejection from her mind, focused on Maggie. She needed to check on her ailing assistant and she didn’t want to compound matters by looking like a frazzled mess.
A startled scream stuck in her throat as her new bodyguard backed her against the car.
“One,” he said, spearing her with steely grey eyes, “You don’t move without telling me first. Two: As soon as we get in the house, I want that letter. Three: I say jump, you jump. I’m talking unflinching trust, Dakota.”
It was the most he’d said to her since they’d met and even though he’d done nothing but issue arrogant orders, a strange sense of calm snaked through her tense being. Pinned between the tank of a car and her broad-shouldered bodyguard, Dakota held his gaze and raised onto her toes, her mouth a breath away from his own. “For me to jump, MacDermott, I need to know something other than ice flows through your veins.”
And with that she indulged in one last impulsive act. She pressed her lips to his, anticipating rejection. Anticipating Antarctica.
Instead, he blew her away, melting her bones with a deep, searing kiss. His touch, his taste, his passion dazed her far more than any spinning car. Who could think straight with his strong hands exploring her curves? With his massive erection raging between them?
Dakota gave over to the intensity, the wonder, the mind-blowing melding that obliterated morality. Just shy of her jumping his freaking bones, Mac cooled her jets by backing away.
“Now you know,” he said as he reverted to professional indifference. “And if you’re smart, you’ll leave it at that.”
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