Hollywood Deception

( 4 )

Overview

Two friends, one woman, and one deranged fan.

Former supermodel and talk show host Hailey Barnes has a knack for catching her guests off guard with difficult and personal questions. Her tough interviews have earned her a Daytime Emmy, but while her professional life is at its peak, she's not satisfied with her personal life.

Hailey wants what she can't have, and that's her ...

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Overview

Two friends, one woman, and one deranged fan.

Former supermodel and talk show host Hailey Barnes has a knack for catching her guests off guard with difficult and personal questions. Her tough interviews have earned her a Daytime Emmy, but while her professional life is at its peak, she's not satisfied with her personal life.

Hailey wants what she can't have, and that's her ex-college sweetheart's hand in marriage. Her on again/off again relationship with Trevon keeps her name in the tabloids, and that works for her, until she receives a wedding invitation in the mail—inviting her to Trevon's wedding to another woman. He's ready to settle down, just not with Hailey.

Besides dealing with a broken heart, the ex-supermodel is dealing with a deranged fan who has resorted to sending her disturbing mail at her Hollywood studio and her home. Hailey decides to use the opportunity as a quest to convince Trevon she should be his bride.

Trevon and childhood friend Garrett Morgan are co-owners of GT Securities, a security firm that caters to celebrities. Hailey's plan backfires when Garrett heads her case instead of Trevon. When ex-playboy Garrett starts developing feelings for Hailey, Hailey's life becomes even more complicated. As Garrett investigates, all evidence points to the person Hailey least suspects.

With fans like this, who needs enemies? Shelia M. Goss is back with this hot sequel to Double Platinum.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599830865
  • Publisher: Urban Books
  • Publication date: 4/6/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

First Chapter

Hollywood Deception


By Shelia M. Goss

URBAN SOUL

Copyright © 2010 Shelia M. Goss
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59983-086-5


Chapter One

Modesty and simplicity were rarely used to describe Hailey Barnes. Why should they be? Life wasn't always easy for her. She worked hard to get to this point in her career. She was blessed with natural good looks, thanks to the genes of both of her African-American parents. Many assumed she inherited her height from her father, but to the contrary. Her mother was tall, and most of the men and women on her mother's side were five-ten or taller.

Hailey glared at the picture left on her dressing-room chair. Shock registered immediately when she opened up the brown envelope and saw her eyes cut out. The words I hate you were written in red. She threw the picture and envelope in the trash. As a former model, she was used to receiving hate mail. Many would be surprised at the amount of people who sent her hate mail simply for the color of her skin. She learned early on how to protect herself from the pain. While growing up in a suburban town, right outside of Dallas, she learned from her mom not to allow the opinions of others to dictate how she felt about herself. Her survival tactics kicked into high gear and she decided to ignore the picture-although her instincts told her this one was different than the others.

She blinked a few times, as if it would erasethe memory of the picture. She looked at her reflection in the mirror one last time before leaving her dressing room.

"We're on, in one-two-three, you're on," John Woods, the executive producer, stated in Hailey's earpiece. The Hailey Barnes Show was the number-three talk show in her market. She was vying for the number-two spot because O had number one on lock.

Hailey flashed her Colgate smile, and with a walk reminiscent of her time as a model on the runway in Paris, she walked out on the stage to an audience that gave her a standing ovation fit for a queen. She enjoyed the reaction and soaked in the energy. She fed on the excitement, and as she walked to take her seat, her long auburn tresses bounced and glistened on the screen.

"Today's 'Freedom Friday' and, as you know, it's ..." Hailey stopped speaking and looked at the audience.

The audience yelled, "Fan mail time."

"Let's see what you the viewers have to say this week. I want to remind everyone that neither I nor my producers know what's in your letters. I read them live on the air and ad-lib my responses."

She picked out a few letters, read them, looked into the camera as she responded. The in-studio audience laughed or aahed at some of the responses. She repeated this process for the first ten minutes of the show. Hailey held the last letter in her hand, and viewers had to look close, but the gleam in her eye had disappeared for a split second.

"We have some bills to pay and we'll be right back," she said as she dropped the letter back in the bag as if it were hot coal. She ignored her studio audience and ran off the stage.

John rushed behind her. "Hailey, have you lost your mind? What's gotten into you?"

She snatched the letter out of the bag and threw it on the counter near John. "Look at this! This is the third letter from this creep. I need someone to find out who it is, and now."

John picked up the letter and read it. "I need for you to get your behind back on stage. We'll deal with this after the taping."

"But, John," she said, batting her long black eyelashes.

John was one of the few people who could handle Hailey-especially when she was in diva mode. John ignored her rant and pushed her back toward the stage. Her makeup artist met them at the entryway and blotted out the sweat that had formed on her forehead. An intern handed her a bottle of water. She took a quick sip, passed it back to the intern and walked back on stage right before the end of the last commercial aired.

Hailey inhaled and exhaled a few times, and as John spoke in her earpiece, she mentally prepared for the next segment of her show. "Now I'm taking it to the audience. Talk to Hailey. What's on your mind?" she asked as different audience members took turns on the microphone. On "Freedom Fridays" Hailey was known to pick audience members to come on stage to be her special guests. She called it her way of giving back to her viewers.

"My boyfriend says he loves me, but he's always talking about his ex-girlfriend. Should I believe him?" asked a slender brown-skinned woman wearing braids that hung to her shoulders.

Hailey moved in her seat and looked directly in the woman's eyes. "He has some unresolved issues with his ex. I wouldn't get emotionally involved with him."

"Too late," the audience member responded.

"Let Hailey talk to you for a minute. You don't mind, do you, audience?" Hailey said. They responded, "No."

"This is from one sister to another. Don't settle for being second best. If you can't be number one in his heart. Correction, if you can't be the only one in his heart, you need to bounce."

"B-but ...," she stuttered. "I love him."

"To quote Tina, 'What's love got to do with it?' It's up to you, but don't be nobody's fool," Hailey stated.

The woman went and sat back down in her seat. The camera focused on her for a few seconds before turning to look at the next audience member at the microphone. John's voice came across the earpiece. "Wrap it up."

Hailey addressed the audience member's issue within a few minutes and then ended the show. "Thank you all for tuning in to The Hailey Barnes Show. We'll be back on Monday. We'll be talking to members of the paparazzi. This should be interesting. Until Monday, have a fun and safe weekend. Remember, don't nobody love you like you love yourself. Treat yourself to something nice this weekend."

Hailey removed the microphone. She walked into the audience to shake hands and give autographs. Hailey noticed the young lady with the braids crying. She hugged her. "It's going to be okay. Don't let him bring you down."

The lady responded, "Thanks for the advice."

Hailey left to go backstage to the cheers of "Hailey! Hailey!"

John met her at the entranceway. "Follow me to my office."

"This has been a long day," Hailey whined.

"It's about to get longer. I don't like the sounds of this letter."

"Handle it. I have a hair appointment."

"Cancel it. We have a meeting with the head of security, and this is more important," John said.

"John, I trust you to handle it for me."

"Hailey, you need to get your priorities straight," he responded.

"I do, and when I look good, the show looks good. Besides, it's time for a touch-up," she said as she pulled on her wig. "I know it's hard to tell under this wig, but, trust me, it's time."

John shook his head from side to side. He knew better than to argue with her. "Be careful," he said.

"It's probably nothing. You know how I can overreact."

"You're right. We'll just beef up security, and all will be fine."

Hailey pulled John into a quick hug. "Have a good weekend." Hailey went in the opposite direction of John's office. The only thing she wanted to do was relax. She was confident that John could handle an irate fan.

"Trevon, did you tell her yet?" Garrett Morgan asked.

"That's her calling now," Trevon Swint responded.

Garrett watched his best friend from elementary school make the biggest mistake of his life. He was playing with fire. Hailey wasn't a woman he wanted to keep hanging on a string. Garrett could smell disaster a mile away.

He typed up his final report while waiting on Trevon to end his phone call. Their company, GT Securities, was one of the top security firms in the area. Thanks to Hailey's celebrity connection, they had added security to the stars as part of their business structure. Whether it was for corporate or personal, GT Securities had a good reputation of providing good results.

"I'll be there in a minute," Trevon said, before ending his phone call.

Garrett shook his head from side to side. "You're a trip. You know you're wrong, don't you?"

Trevon leaned his six-foot medium-build frame back in the plush leather chair. "I can't help it if I'm irresistible to the ladies."

"Everybody can't be like me. Trust me. A player you're not."

Trevon stood up. "Jealous. I got two fine women vying for my attention."

Garrett laughed. "Man, you got me confused. I'll pretend like you didn't say that."

"I'm out. Have a good weekend," Trevon stated before exiting Garrett's office.

"Mine will be safe. Yours dangerous," he responded outside of Trevon's earshot.

His personal cell phone rang. A smile swept across his face after he saw the name displayed. "I was just about to call you."

"Good. Well, my man is busy, so if you have some time, I would love to see you tonight," the woman from the other end purred.

Garrett turned his computer off. "I'm offended. I wasn't your first choice."

"Gee, you know if you would only settle down, you would be my only choice."

"True. One woman is never enough for me."

"One day your playing ways is going to come back and bite you."

"Until then, I got something you can bite on."

"You're nasty."

"And you know it."

Garrett grabbed his briefcase, turned out the lights and left for his Friday-night rendezvous.

Chapter Two

Hailey looked at the wedding invitation on crisp tan paper shaped like a heart and trimmed in gold. She read it twice, because she knew her eyes were deceiving her. How could one of her best friends be getting married and not tell her? Why was she just finding out? These thoughts and more mangled her mind.

She contemplated shredding it, but instead she held on to it. She hated to be outdone, and the invitation was a reminder-a reminder that she needed to step up her game. She refused to be second.

Hailey took longer in the shower than she had planned, but the hot water hitting her body seemed to hit every nerve, releasing the pent-up stress from the day's disturbing events. She sprayed on her signature fragrance Issey Miyake and dressed in a short silk one-piece black dress. The timing was perfect. Her doorbell rang just as she slid on her black slippers. She brushed a strand of hair from her eyes and answered the door.

Hailey pulled him into a long embrace. She inhaled his masculine scent mixed with Sean John's Unforgivable. Trevon looked as good as he did on the day Hailey had met him in college. When she had decided to take time off from modeling and get her business degree, Trevon was one of the few guys who didn't treat her like a star. She ended up hanging out with Trevon and Garrett so much, they were known around campus as "the Three Musketeers."

"We better close the door or the paparazzi will be posting this pic in every paper," Trevon stated as he pushed Hailey inside the door.

Hailey's mood went from one of admiration to repulsion. "We couldn't have that now, could we?" She stormed away toward the dimly lit living room. Trevon followed her and had to almost run to catch up with her. Hailey stood with her back toward him. He put his arms around her, and Hailey jerked her body away. She picked up the wedding invitation on the nearby table, turned around and threw it at him.

He bent down to pick it up. He opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out.

Hailey stood with her arms crossed. "That's what I thought."

Trevon placed the invitation back on the table. He reached for Hailey. "I was going to tell you."

"When? After you said, 'I do.'"

He pulled her into his arms. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean for you to find out like this."

She jerked away from him again. "Who is she?"

"Nobody you know."

Hailey's face changed colors. She was beyond livid. She put her emotions in check. She looked him directly in his eyes. "I thought we had something special."

"We did. We do. You'll always be close to my heart." He placed his hand over his heart.

"Bull. You wouldn't be marrying another woman if that was the case."

When Trevon pulled her into his arms this time, she didn't push away. "We tried the relationship thing before, remember?"

Hailey did remember. She remembered being on the road, going from one photo shoot to the next, constantly worrying if Trevon was cheating on her. She recalled the sleepless nights of not having him there to share her bed. She recalled the times he had confessed his love to her, and the times that she had refused to believe him because no man had ever mouthed those words to her and meant them. They only saw the superficial Hailey. The one that makeup and cameras worked magic on and made her into the object of many men's desires.

Slowly she had begun to realize that Trevon did mean those words, but by then, it was too late. He had tired of convincing her, and she had decided that their lives were too different to commit to a relationship. They mutually ended things. When she retired from modeling and settled in Los Angeles, they rekindled their physical relationship. Neither had asked for a commitment from the other. Hailey wasn't so conceited that she didn't know he dated other women, but none of them had come before her-none of them, up until this point.

Before, she could call him, and whatever he was doing, Trevon would be wherever she needed him to be. Hailey rarely showed her vulnerable side and she felt betrayed. She had allowed him to see the real Hailey.

The love she once had for Trevon was swiftly changing. No one hurt her and got away with it. Now that she knew his intentions, she would treat him like the rest. She normally allowed him to be the aggressor in their relationship, but not tonight. She placed her hands around his neck and pulled his lips on top of hers.

Her tongue darted in and out of his mouth. "Does that mean I'm forgiven?" Trevon asked.

"Shhh. No talking," Hailey responded.

She took his hand and led him into one of the guest bedrooms. She pushed him on the bed. He smiled. She swayed her hips as if to the beat of music. She seductively removed her silk dress. Trevon licked his lips at the sight of her naked body standing above his.

"Is this what you want?" Hailey asked as she straddled him.

He didn't have to respond because the bulge in his pants said it all. She leaned down and kissed him with an intensity that surprised even herself. The heat radiating between the two of them was sizzling, enough to start a fire.

"Treee," Hailey moaned.

He gently moved Hailey to another position. He removed the remainder of his clothes and entered Hailey in such a way that caused them both to gasp. Hailey inhaled and exhaled with each stroke. She momentarily forgot his betrayal as their bodies entwined, reaching a peak simultaneously.

Hailey held on to Trevon, as if her life depended on it. He wasn't able to see her face from this angle. She wiped the lone tear that ran down her cheek. She rolled away from under his body. She shook him and he grudgingly responded, "Wake me up in the morning."

She pulled the covers off, revealing his sweat-drenched body. "Get up and get out!" she yelled.

"You don't mean that," Trevon said smugly.

Hailey threw the covers on the floor. She didn't flinch. "You have five minutes to get dressed and to get out of my house, or else."

He sat up in the bed. "Your temper tantrums aren't going to work with me, Ms. Barnes."

Hailey stormed out of the room. She was pissed for letting him get to her like he had. She went to the bathroom and put on a robe to cover her naked body. She grabbed her phone and went back into the room. To her relief, he was dressing. She threw the phone on the bed.

She folded her arms and tapped her foot. "Two minutes left," she responded.

He looked at her with his piercing brown eyes. "Things don't have to end like this."

"You've made your decision and I've made mine."

He reached for her before exiting the room. She never unfolded her arms. She rolled her eyes when he hugged her. "I'll always love you." He kissed her on the forehead.

"I love me too. Now go," she responded.

Trevon looked at her one last time before walking out the front door. Hailey picked up the first thing she could find and threw it at the door. Hailey felt her heart splatter as the three-hundred-dollar porcelain vase shattered everywhere.

"Yes, baby, that's the spot. Don't stop." Garrett moaned at the same time his cell phone rang. The ring tone indicated it was Trevon. "Whatever you do, don't stop." Garrett answered the phone in between strokes. "This better be good. Yes, that's it."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Hollywood Deception by Shelia M. Goss Copyright © 2010 by Shelia M. Goss. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 25, 2010

    Hollywood Drama

    The characters in this book seemed so real. I liked Hailey and Garrett but did not like Trevon. I was surprised at the ending. This was definitely a Hollywood Drama.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 24, 2010

    A Hit

    Hollywood Deception had it all--drama, romance and suspense. I couldn't put the book down. Hailey Barnes is not your typical diva. She put on a front for the media, but had a soft side reserved only for those close to her. Hailey's heart is turned inside out when the one man she thinks she wants, wants someone else. Hailey's not having it, so she devises a plan. A plan that leads to some unexpected twists. Between Shareeka, Trevon, Garrett and Hailey, Hollywood Deception is filled with non-stop drama.

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Flop

    This book started off pretty decent. As it went on, it started getting very annoying. Towards the end, I felt like I wanted to stab my eyes out. I had to force myself to finish it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hollywood Glitz, Glamour & Suspense

    Hollywood Deception is a THRILLING addition to Ms. Goss' Women In Hollywood series...a pleasant mixture of romance and mystery...although I find some aspects of the SUDDEN romance between Hailey and Garrett to be a BIT unrealistic...being the ROMANCE JUNKIE that I am...it doesn't take me long to move pass my disbelief...LOL...and become CAUGHT UP in the DRAMA of their whirlwind romance and the SUSPENSEFUL twists and turns surrounding Hailey's stalker troubles...I also ENJOY catching up with the characters from the previous novel, Double Platinum...so, despite the typos and/or editing issues...Ms. Goss once AGAIN keeps me turning the pages with another ENTERTAINING, yet fictional glimpse into the fast-paced lifestyle of a celebrity.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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