Blog Tour and Giveaway: Star Struck: Laurelin Paige

Star Struck (Lights, Camera, Action #2)
Laurelin Paige
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Onto every diva’s backside, a little wood must fall.

Hollywood actress Heather Wainwright was looking forward to a long, relaxing break before starting her next shoot. Except her assistant volunteered her for L.A.’s annual 24 Hour Plays.

Nervous about doing a good job for such a worthy charity, Heather falls back on “diva” mode, a defense mechanism that always carries her through. Until she encounters something that really gets on her nerves—a lowly carpenter whose Norse god eyes pierce right through her.

Highly sought-after production designer Seth Rafferty has little patience for A-listers with superior attitudes, which is why his attraction to Heather is absurd. Yet, sensing vulnerability beneath her screen-queen act, he lets her assumptions play out.

After the wrap party, Heather awakens with little memory of the night before—except that Seth gave her the best orgasm of her life, then disappeared. When he shows up on the set of her next movie, she winds up to give him a piece of her mind…and Seth shows her just how stinging hot “chemistry” can get.

Warning: Contains an outwardly snobby actress with a good heart, a delicious carpenter with a power drill, some much-deserved spanking, and an appropriately consensual—if tipsy—orgasm, as well as sex at an inappropriate time of the month.

Companion novel to TAKE TWO but can be read as a stand alone

We met actress Heather Rafferty in Take Two when she tried to get in between Micah and Maddie. She is a diva, starlet, a little anxious, and snobby. She has no desire to return to the life she came from and is all about moving onward and upward. So anyone she becomes involved with has to meet her high standards.

She meets Seth Rafferty in planning meetings for a charity event she is involved in and believes in. He is ruggedly handsome, charismatic, sexy, and easy to talk to. But finding out he is just involved in set design...a mere "carpenter" has her retreating. 

Needless to say Seth does not appreciate the insinuation that he is beneath her especially since he is not disclosing what he normally does as a career.

So begins a game of taunting, teasing, and attempts at avoidance. But that seems difficult and they react strongly in every encounter. Their interactions are witty, fiery, judgmental, and angry with underlying sexual tension and unwanted interest. It is a mix of conflict, drama, and desire. And put them in close confines and then throw in a bit of alcohol and all bets are off. 

They both have past issues that serve as triggers and influence their opinions and choices. Unfortunately theirs are often in direct conflict to each other. She needs acceptance and is sensitive under her armor, but also has a strong need to distance herself from her past and how things are perceived. He also wants acceptance, but he wants to be accepted for the man he is, not where he came from or success he has achieved. They both have more under the surface than is readily apparent. At times, they both made me want to smack them upside the head due their behavior and choices. There were misconceptions, lies, secrets, miscommunication, and drama. 

They had chemistry and when they let go, they were out of control (although Seth likes control if you know what I mean). And they even began making some progress. But they also had a lot of baggage. They had to deal with their personal pasts and shame, preconceived notions, and appearances. They both needed to learn to open their hearts, trust, and change. But when trust is already an issue, lies and secrets have the ability to cause significant damage. 

It was a sweet, feisty, sexy story of acceptance, growth, change and finding love in the least likely place. It was told in both points of view that was especially fun while they were fighting, but also much needed throughout since they both had their own underlying issues. I actually liked both characters even Heather who I was not fond of in the first book. And I totally loved Seth.

I also really liked her bubbly and supportive assistant Lexie. She was not afraid to say what was on her mind and do what she thought was best. I would like to see her find her Prince Charming. Micah from Take Two makes a little appearance and we get to see a bit about what is going on in their lives. This series is much lighter and humorous than the Fixed series, but it fun and good romantic escapism. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Heather Wainwright is a movie star with a diva reputation. She has built a shell around herself and keeps people at arms reach, except for her assistant, Lexie. But that shell hides something no one around her takes the time to look for until Seth Rafferty catches a flash of something in her eyes: her past. 

I did not like Heather while reading Take Two. She was a snob and walked around with such an air of entitlement and privilege that she was hard to like. She still has those airs, as evidenced by her reaction when she learns Seth's role at the charity event they are working, but getting to know her better changed everything I thought I knew about her. She has a real vulnerable streak that she tries so hard to hide from everyone around her, and her reasoning for being so strict about the rules she set for herself became clear. While a lot of what I thought about her changed, I still had to chuckle when Seth started calling her Princess, as a more appropriate nickname for her couldn’t be created. 

Seth spent much of the book hiding his own secrets too. As a carpenter at the charity event Heather also volunteers for, he wants Heather to be interested for him rather than his status, so fails to mention that carpenter is not his actual job title. He is confident, to the point of being bossy at times, but it works for him when dealing with Heather’s protective wall. 

Seth and Heather have immediate chemistry that leads to as many missteps in their relationship as it does steamy moments. Though they both try to hold back, there is too much attraction for them to ignore it for long.

I loved watching Seth try to take down Heather’s walls, learning what helped her to open up and what caused her to close down again. The secrets each character held back kept me wondering when something or someone was going to break, and how that would play out. 

This was a fun, cute read and a great summer escape. There were plenty of chuckle-inducing moments to balance out the more serious revelations throughout. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
The entire back counter had an array of tools—hammers, saws, screwdrivers, and tools she didn’t know the name of. This was where Seth would be constructing the set pieces. These must be his tools. He’d touched these tools, used them.
She put her hand out and brushed the items as she walked along the counter, enjoying the rush that came from knowing they belonged to the sexy carpenter. Images of him using them filled her mind, turning her entire body to warm mush.
She let her hand settle on an electric drill. It felt strange in her grasp, not an item she’d ever find herself in contact with. She wasn’t even sure she knew how to use one. It was perfect—an unexpected prop and one that a writer could have a lot of fun with.
But she couldn’t take it…could she?
She heard voices from the stage and could tell the group was gathering. The intros were about to start. She had no time. She glanced around to see if she had any other options and spotted an older, more worn drill on the counter. Black sharpie marked it as “Property of Broad Stage”. This drill was better. Bigger and more awkward, but she’d feel less guilty about borrowing it. Without another thought, she picked up the old drill and began wrapping the cord around its body.
“Did you get lost?”
She spun around at the sound of the familiar voice—the voice that made her slippery in her silk panties—and clutched the drill behind her back.
Seth stood in the doorway, one arm propped against the frame, his blue eyes freezing her to her spot. He wore a plain burgundy T-shirt and carpenter jeans.  She hadn’t imagined the intensity of her attraction to him—it was real. Just looking at him now made her chest tight and her lungs struggle for air.
Realizing he’d nearly caught her in the act of “borrowing” a tool, she threw her shoulders back and put on her best innocent look. “No, I was…just…trying to find some place I could be alone.” She could feel her eyelashes fluttering as she spoke, as if they had a mind of their own. Whether they were trying to hide her guilt or flirting, she wasn’t sure.
God, she was pathetic.
Seth narrowed his eyes and approached her with long slow steps, each making her heart beat faster. “There are lots of places in the theater to be alone. This isn’t one of them.”
It certainly wasn’t. Though she was alone with him. His words pretty much acknowledging that fact made her lightheaded.
He kept coming toward her until he was right beside her. “Aren’t you supposed to be at the cast Meet and Greet?”
“Aren’t you supposed to be there?”
“I’ll get there eventually.” He leaned against the counter and gestured at her with a nod. “Whatcha got behind your back?”
His scent, a mixture of soap and sweat and cedar, wafted from his skin, making her weak in the knees. “Nothing.” Yeah, that didn’t sound childish. “I mean, none of your business.” Oh, much better.
Why did speaking to Seth always get her so flustered? He wasn’t supposed to talk to her, anyway. It was a rule all the crew was given—only talk to the actors when necessary for the show. That was the assurance given to protect the stars’ privacy. She clutched onto that rule now like a life vest. “You aren’t supposed to talk to me.”
Obviously, Seth didn’t care too much about following rules.
And if he was going to be that way, she wasn’t going to feel bad about borrowing a drill. She just had to figure how to get out of there with it. Glancing around, she spotted another exit just behind her. If she walked backwards, she could make it to that door without him spotting the drill. She had to try.
“Well, since I’m essential out there, I better go.” She took one cautious step away from him.
“You mean as opposed to me being unessential.”
She hadn’t meant for that to sound so snotty. “No.” But it was true. The Meet and Greet was about the actors. The set was completely unnecessary. “Well, yes. But…”
“Don’t fret it, princess. I knew what you meant.”
His tone reaffirmed that he’d already made up his mind about her. He thought she was stuck-up, and wasn’t she? But he didn’t have to parade his disgust for her. “Whatever.”
She took another couple of steps backward, but the cord slipped from where she’d wrapped it around the drill. Before she realized it, the heel of her sandal caught on it, throwing her off balance. She cast out her arms, trying to stop her momentum, but she only managed to postpone the inevitable fall.
Thankfully her plummet was stopped by strong, fast arms that circled around her waist in a firm grasp.
“Whoa.” Seth held her, his face inches from hers, concern in his eyes mixed with something else. Desire? “You okay?”
She stared into his face, at his lips so close she could kiss them if she lifted her head. She wanted to lift her head. So bad. “I’m okay.” Her voice was a whisper. “I just tripped.”
His eyes scanned her face, lingering on her mouth. Then moved lower to her breast line. She felt her skin warm and redden under his gaze. When his stare found its way back to hers, he unwrapped an arm from her waist and brought it between them.
She tensed, waiting for his touch. Longing for his touch. Would his hand trail up her arm? Or caress her cheek? Or, though highly inappropriate, brush her breast? She let out a shaky breath at the thought.
But the touch she longed for didn’t come in any form. Instead, he pulled the tool she still clutched from her grasp and curled his lip. “If you needed a drill, princess, all you had to do was ask.”
Disappointed and embarrassed, she pushed out of his arms. “Don’t call me that.”
“Do you need a screw as well?”
“Stop it, okay.” It surprised her how near tears she was. “I needed a prop. Are you happy? I knocked over my purse in the car and my handcuffs must have fallen out and my assistant is clear out in Bel Air picking up my birth control and she won’t be back in time for the Meet and Greet, even if I manage to go last and I was desperate so I came in here to look for something I could use and this was the first thing I found.” Her words tumbled out in a rush.
He chuckled in a way that both irritated and excited her. “Handcuffs? Birth control?”
Her face warmed from equal parts frustration and humiliation. “Can I just…can I use it?”
“Can you use what?”
“The drill, Seth.”
“Of course. I told you all you had to do was ask.” His eyes sparkled with amusement. “But here—” He exchanged the theater’s drill for his own still on the counter. “Take mine instead. No one will know who it really belonged to or that you came unprepared. Now, wasn’t it a good thing that I was around?”
He held out the drill to her and she took it, brushing his fingertips as she did. The touch shot a surge of electricity through her body. Still, she said, “This doesn’t make us friends.”
His hand sprang out and grabbed her arm just below her elbow. “Do you really think I want to be friends?”
Confused by the roughness of the action and the delight of his fingers on her bare skin, she didn’t know if she should pull away or lean in farther. “I…I don’t know what you want,” she managed to stammer, realizing she didn’t know what she wanted either.
His grasp softened slightly and he drew her closer. For the second time that night, she thought—no, wished—he would kiss her. Instead, when his head bent toward her, it stopped near her ear. “Isn’t it too bad that you won’t let yourself find out?”
His husky whisper sent a serious shiver through her body. For one minute she believed she could let herself find out. That she could forget her past and everything that Seth represented to her. That she could fall into his arms and let his mouth and body erase every bad memory and association she had with people who performed manual labor for a living.
But she’d spent too many years believing just the opposite. The walls she’d have to break down to let someone like Seth in were pretty sturdy.
When she spoke, her voice didn’t sound like her own. The tone was meek and unsure and breathy. “I have to go.”
“Yes, you do.”
He released her and she turned and walked away on unsteady legs. And just like when she’d left her trailer house at sixteen, she didn’t look back.
He was like her past. She didn’t need him. She didn’t want him.
This time, though, the effort to not look was excruciating.

Take Two
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He’s ready for his close up, but she’s the one calling the shots. 

On the night of her graduation from film school, straight-laced Maddie Bauers fell completely out of character for an oh-my-god make-out session with a perfect stranger. Complete with the big O.

Seven years later, that romantic interlude is still fresh in her mind. That stranger is now a rich and famous actor. And she’s one very distracted camera assistant working on his latest production. She might consider another tryst…if he even remembers her.

Micah Preston does indeed remember Maddie. Too bad he’s sworn off Hollywood relationships. He allows himself as much sex as he likes—and oh, he does like—but anything more is asking for trouble. For the woman, not for him. Yet knowing Maddie could want more than a movie-set fling doesn’t stop him from pursuing her like a moth drawn to hot stage lights. 

But as the shoot nears its end, it’s decision time. Is it time to call, “Cut!” on their affair, or is there enough material for a sequel?

Warning: Contains a dreamy movie star hero, a focus-pulling heroine, off-the-charts instant chemistry, steamy sex in near-public locations, and a new use for lip gloss.

Laurelin Paige 

Laurelin Paige is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She's a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there's kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn't seem to complain, however. When she isn't reading or writing sexy stories, she's probably singing, watching Mad Men and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Adam Levine.

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