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Love in the Afternoon

Love in the Afternoon

4.0 7
by Alison Packard

Kayla Maxwell is eager to shed her slasher-flick bimbo image—and she plans to do just that in her new role on daytime's most popular soap. With a chance to showcase her dramatic range, Kayla will be able to wash away the lingering betrayal and public humiliation left by her controlling, philandering ex-boyfriend.

Sean Barrett, the son of an influential,


Kayla Maxwell is eager to shed her slasher-flick bimbo image—and she plans to do just that in her new role on daytime's most popular soap. With a chance to showcase her dramatic range, Kayla will be able to wash away the lingering betrayal and public humiliation left by her controlling, philandering ex-boyfriend.

Sean Barrett, the son of an influential, award-winning actor, is the hottest soap star in the country. Paired on-screen with the talented and beautiful Kayla Maxwell, Sean is determined to keep her at arm's length, burned before by fame-seeking actresses who had no qualms about using him to get to his famous father.

But when Kayla receives threatening letters, her past as a scream queen seems to be coming back to haunt her. Succumbing to an attraction neither one of them can deny, Sean and Kayla must face down her stalker and their own personal demons before trusting what they both feel—a love that lasts long after the cameras stop rolling.

94,000 words

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Packard’s debut features a refreshing venue for her two protagonists, Kayla Maxwell and Sean Barrett, soap stars on A New Dawn. Sean, a veteran of the show, is a Hollywood heartthrob who has been burnt from women using him to get to his famous father. Kayla, still trying to prove herself as a serious actress, also carries emotional baggage from her ex and vows never to date another actor again. When the writers start scripting a new romance featuring Kayla’s and Sean’s characters, it’s clear that the chemistry is just as hot off screen as it is on. While the couple are navigating this new relationship, Kayla starts receiving hate mail that indicates the threat is more serious than the ranting of just another crazy fan. Sean and Kayla look to each other for safety as they work to stop the person who endangers more than just their relationship.

Verdict Most readers will peg Kayla’s stalker early on, but that is a minor defect in a novel that succeeds in crafting an engaging and substantive romance with likable characters. Packard’s next book (The Winning Season), featuring Kayla’s sister Kelly and Sean’s best friend Matt, is set for release in July.—Kara Kohn, Plainfield P.L., IL(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

Carina Press
Publication date:
Feeling the Heat
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File size:
368 KB

Read an Excerpt

Shay: You can tell me anything, Stefan.
Stefan: I'm sorry, Shay. But I'm going back to my wife.

"You slut!"

Since Kayla Maxwell was the only other person in the produce section, there was no doubt the scathing insult was meant for her. Or to be more precise, her alter ego Shay McKade.

Turning from the refrigerated vegetable display, she pasted on a fake smile and found herself looking into the eyes of one very pissed off woman who, sadly, was dressed in a garish hot pink jogging outfit that looked like someone had attacked it repeatedly with a Bedazzler gun.

"Excuse me?" She tossed a bag of baby carrots into her cart. "Did you just call me a—"

"How could you?" the woman interrupted, her close-set eyes blazing with contempt. "You...you tramp."

"Actually, I'm not really a tramp. I just play one on TV." She flashed another smile. Maybe a little actress humor would appease the woman. This wasn't the first time she'd been accosted by an overzealous soap opera fan that had it in for her character.

"You slept with a married man." Her face mottled with anger, the woman pointed at her with a pudgy finger." I've waited years for Stefan and Cassie to get together and then, when they finally do, you slither into town and lure him into your bed."


The woman's beady eyes narrowed. "Like the snake you are."

"Snake?" Kayla's voice rose. "Now, wait just a minute—"

"No! You wait." The woman moved closer. Kayla could smell the cloying scent of old lady perfume. It permeated the air, just like the woman's outrage. "Stay away from him, or else."

"Or else what?"

"Or you'll be sorry." The woman's nostrils flared before she gave Kayla a final glare and then turned and pushed her cart toward the deli counter.

"Believe me," she muttered at the woman's retreating back. "I'd love to stay away from him."

Kayla's cell phone rang as she pushed her cart toward the tomato display. Pulling it from her purse, she saw her publicist's name on the caller ID.

"Hi, Lisa. What's up?" Lisa had not only been her publicist for the past seven years, but was also a good friend.

"Great news. You're going to be on the cover of Soap Opera Journal in three weeks. I just got a call about the photo shoot."

"The cover? Is something going on I don't know about?"

"You tell me."

"There's nothing to tell." Kayla stopped her cart in front of the vine-ripened tomatoes. "But I have a few scripts at home I haven't read yet. Maybe something big is going to happen between Shay and Stefan." She paused. "Oh, hell no. You're going to ruin this by telling me I have to do the shoot with Marcus, aren't you?"

"Unfortunately, yes." Lisa's voice was sympathetic. "Although I'm not sure there's a lens wide enough to capture both him and his over-inflated ego."

"Tell me about it. Oh, and get this, we had a love scene last week. It was all I could do to get through it without puking."

"Did he try to shove his tongue down your throat again?"

"He did. But I took care of it," Kayla said with a grin. "Thanks for the tip."

"Anytime. By the way, Sean will be there too."

Kayla's jaw dropped. "Sean Barrett?"

"Yep. Maybe his character is going to be involved in the story with Stefan and Shay. Look, I've got to go. I need to call Sean and give him the news. I'll call you later with more info. And let's try to meet for lunch this week."

Meet the Author

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Alison now lives in Southern Nevada where she's still getting used to the blistering summers and the slot machines in every grocery store.

When not working at the day job that keeps a roof over her head and supports her chocolate habit, she spends most of her free time writing. But when she takes a break, she enjoys reading, watching TV, and spending time with her loved ones. For more info visit: http://alisonpackard.com/

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Love in the Afternoon 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed about 3/4 of this book--Kayla and Sean had some nice chemistry going on, and the concept of soap opera stars trying to have a "real" life too was fun. (Although I did have a hard time believing that the son of a famous movie star wouldn't be more aware of the dangers of kissing anyone in a public place, let alone a co-star. Wouldn't staying out of the public eye like that be second nature?) Towards the end, though, it started to get a bit of a cartoonish feel to it. Sean's reconciliation with his father felt way too easily fixed for such a long-term issue. The big moment with Kayla's stalker definitely moved into cackling-villain-twirling-his-handlebar-mustache territory. Even their ultimate HEA just seemed way too effortless. Up until that point, though, Packard had me hooked--definitely a good first effort from this author. I'll be interested to see what she comes up with next.
DaniC More than 1 year ago
I was in the mood for a sweet, contemporary romance and I am so happy I picked Love in the Afternoon to read. It just fit the bill perfectly! It has everything you would want in a good romance story – two compelling characters, an interesting plot with a bit of mystery thrown in. Sean Barrett is an actor on one of the top rated Soaps on TV. He has been on the show for ten years despite his father’s disapproval. His best friend is a famous baseball player and has issues that are affecting his game. Now Sean is paired up with a new actress and is worried that she was hired just for her pretty face. Kayla Maxwell’s mother is so excited her daughter is an actress on A New Dawn. Kayla is excited to work opposite of Sean, who she has had a crush on since she was younger. Now she has to prove herself as an actress all the while dealing with a cruel stalker who has been leaving her threatening messages. Love in the Afternoon is a classic kind of contemporary romance that will never go out of style. A perfect way to escape from your problems for the afternoon and be entertained by an delightful story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really great story. The main characters had major chemistry. The story had a bit of mystery-who was the stalker? And the author set up the sequel brilliantly. I look forward to Matt and Kelly's story. And if we're lucky, maybe we'll get to hear a little more about Sean and Kayla, too.
sueJE More than 1 year ago
Great story and I love the way the author began the chapters with an excerpt of scenes that the characters soap characters. It was like a sneek peek at behind the scenes, but on paper??
IMKt More than 1 year ago
This was a really fun and enjoyable read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago