Love, Lies and Videotape [NOOK Book]

Overview

Jasmine St. Clair always dreamed of starring in movies. She just wasn't expecting her most famous role to be in the intimate home video that her sleazy boyfriend secretly made in hopes of furthering his own film career. With her "good girl" image in tatters--along with her faith in men--Jasmine leaves Hollywood and heads to St. Lucia. Against this lush Caribbean backdrop, Jasmine meets Darien Lamont, a sexy, mysterious American with secrets of his own. But after being so deeply wounded, can Jasmine trust her ...

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Love, Lies and Videotape

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Overview

Jasmine St. Clair always dreamed of starring in movies. She just wasn't expecting her most famous role to be in the intimate home video that her sleazy boyfriend secretly made in hopes of furthering his own film career. With her "good girl" image in tatters--along with her faith in men--Jasmine leaves Hollywood and heads to St. Lucia. Against this lush Caribbean backdrop, Jasmine meets Darien Lamont, a sexy, mysterious American with secrets of his own. But after being so deeply wounded, can Jasmine trust her heart enough to embrace a red-hot new romance?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426804311
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 3/1/2008
  • Series: Kimani Arabesque Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 774,261
  • File size: 213 KB

Meet the Author

Kayla Perrin
Kayla Perrin

Kayla Perrin is a USA TODAY and Essence bestselling author who resides in southwestern Ontario with her young daughter. She has a bachelor of arts in English and sociology and a bachelor of education, having entertained the idea of becoming a teacher — but she always knew she wanted to be a writer.

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Read an Excerpt

In life there are moments of pure bliss and moments of utter despair. The day Jasmine St. Clair realized her biggest dream, she experienced both.

That day, from sunrise till sunset it rained, making the August day in Los Angeles abnormally cool. The wet weather hadn't bothered her at first, not like it usually did. Jasmine had been in a giddy state of elation, the rush of delicious emotions so strong as she anticipated the coming evening that she'd hardly noticed the summer shower. Hours before the hairstylist and makeup artist arrived—two of the best in the business—her mind had danced with thoughts of how extraordinarily beautiful she would look at the gala event, how incredible she would feel. But when by late afternoon the sky grew darker and more bleak with heavier rain, Jasmine took notice, her excitement quickly fading. Instantly her skin prickled as she felt the familiar chill take hold of the base of her neck, slowly creeping across her shoulder blades and down her spine. But before it could totally overpower her and take her to that dark, cold place, she fought the chill with three shots of brandy and thoughts of her mother. Her mother believed that rain was a blessing. Despite the fact that it rained the day her younger brother had been killed in a senseless hit-and-run incident and didn't stop raining until after his funeral, her mother still believed that. Today, the most important day of her life thus far, Jasmine needed to believe it, too.

But if Jasmine had been looking for a sign that her success would be short-lived, the rain should have been it. With the rain normally came an inexplicable feeling of cold so deep inside nothing could warm her.The cold could last for hours or even days, until something ultimately went wrong in her life. Something major, like when her brother died. Or something minor, like when her fingernail caught in her car door and completely tore off.

Jasmine had moved from Florida to California to escape frequent showers, and today she refused to see the weather as a bad omen. Today, she knew, was different. Not even the unexpected downpour could dampen her sweet mood.

This was why, as she followed her boyfriend into the lavishly decorated penthouse suite later that evening, a glass of champagne already in hand, Jasmine felt a rush of excitement. Like a woman thrown into a time warp she was in awe, examining everything around her with the interest of someone seeing it for the first time. Her eyes surveyed the mahogany-hardwood floor partially covered by a giant Persian rug, the gold and crystal chandelier in the center of the room, the textured cream-and-rosecolored wallpaper, the French Provincial furniture and Victorian era paintings. It was all so incredible. And it was all, for one night, hers.

Jasmine's cell phone vibrated in her palm. She glanced at the screen and saw her agent's number, and decided to ignore it. She wanted nothing to interrupt her emotional high, not even another congratulatory call from the woman who'd booked her the audition that had landed her this major film role.

As Jasmine continued walking into the suite, she was aware of sounds around her, but they were drowned out by the intense pounding of her heart. Mesmerized, she took tentative steps toward the floorto-ceiling window, placing her fingertips on the cool glass as she scanned the wide expanse of the city. Rain trickled down the glass like teardrops. She traced the path of one raindrop, suddenly wondering if it was a tear of joy or sadness. It's just rain, she thought, quickly halting the direction of her thoughts. It wasn't a blessing or a curse; it was just an evening shower.

That decided, Jasmine saw past the rain, enjoying the view of the city below. Had she ever been this high before? Thirty-five stories up, the world below seemed abstract, like a different planet. An infinitely friendlier, more attractive place. Certainly not the Los Angeles she knew, where people smiled to your face while they stabbed you in the chest. This world seemed like one she could control, like her own personal playground.

And in the night, the glittering streetlights below looked like a carpet of stars. Stars laid out just for her.

The corners of her lips twitched, wanting to smile, and as Jasmine splayed her free hand on the window, she finally released the scream she'd held inside for hours. The carpet of stars was for her—to walk on, sit on, roll around on. Because tonight, this high in the sky, she was literally on top of the world. She had made it! Conquered the dream she'd once believed else's. She was the queen of the universe.

Downing a liberal gulp of champagne, Jasmine smiled, laughter bubbling from her throat like the tiny bubbles floating to the surface of the champagne. God, this feeling of success was so incredible she could savor it for days and days. She'd done it— she had reached a point in her career where she could go nowhere but up. The options were boundless now, as limitless as the stars in the sky. She had dreamed of this day since she was a child, had practiced the appreciative wave for her fans, had strutted the seductive, actress walk. She even had her Oscar award-winning speech memorized. Though tonight she hadn't needed it, she knew one day she would.

Her life was as wonderful as she'd always known it could be. It had taken thirty-one years, but finally she had achieved her ultimate goal.

She was now a verified movie star.

Jasmine, what a fabulous performance! You are destined for super stardom!

Ms. St. Clair, please, your autograph?

Jasmine, over here. Just one quick picture… The lights had flashed around her all night; the buzz had surrounded her wherever she walked; she had been the center of attention, sometimes so crowded by fans and industry people that she hadn't been able to move. But she hadn't minded. It was her life's ambition to be surrounded with love, to know

Some people craved money, and yes, money came with a successful acting career, but that wasn't what it was about for Jasmine. She just wanted to know that she would never go back to that lonely place. And now, she wouldn't. That lonely place of her childhood was finally locked away, forever hidden in a dark corner of her past.

Glancing heavenward, she wondered what her brother would think of her now, of how far she had come. Her gaze fixing on a star brighter than the rest, Jasmine imagined that it was her brother, Rickey's, star, that he was smiling down at her, happy that she'd finally gotten out of life what she wanted. When he was alive, she had been happy. Her whole family had been. But after his death, her parents had become so lost in their despair that life in the St. Clair household had changed drastically and permanently. Jasmine's parents hadn't been there for her the way she'd needed them to be. They hadn't been able to smile at her achievements without remembering Rickey and what should have been. They hadn't been able to smile, period. The grief had been overwhelming, and unlike most families that found a way to go on after tragedy, Jasmine's parents hadn't been able to do that. Jasmine had lost Rickey physically that day, but she'd emotionally lost her parents.

Her parents… Jasmine felt only a moment's regret that she hadn't invited her mother and father to the screening, easing her conscience by telling herself that they were so far removed from Hollywood life that a shindig like this one would bore them. Besides, they wouldn't know what to say to people. The troubled world of Miami's north side was a far cry from the glamour and glitz of Hollywood. Her father would no doubt embarrass her with talk of what she'd been like as a child, how she'd been so poor she'd had to wear hand-me-down shoes a size too small. Her mother, sweet but clueless, would have gawked at the likes of Denzel Washington and Brad Pitt, surely humiliating her.

But the truth was, Jasmine feared that if her parents had been at the screening of her first blockbuster film, the memory of their missing son would have ultimately depressed them, and as a result, depressed her. And that wasn't something she'd wanted on such an important night.

No, she'd done the right thing by not inviting them. "Come here."

Startled, Jasmine giggled as Allan's firm hands circled her waist from behind, pulling her buttocks against his arousal. Champagne spilled from the crystal flute as she gained her balance, settling against him. All thoughts of guilt fled her mind. "Allan…"

His tongue found her ear, gently licking the lobe the way one would lick honey from a rose petal. Jasmine closed her eyes, gripped his thigh…and wondered why she wasn't getting turned on. Her ear was a definite erogenous zone, but as she opened her eyes, she realized that his tongue wouldn't do the job because her mind wouldn't let it.

She wasn't ready. "Damn, Jasmine, you taste so good. You feel so good. Come to the bedroom."

"Not yet," she replied, then sipped more champagne, hoping it would relieve the sudden annoyance she felt at Allan's impatience, his one-track mind. Recently he'd been cutting short the foreplay and going straight for the main event. He always wanted her in his bed, and yes, he was a great lover, but didn't he realize that she wanted to enjoy this feeling for as long as she could? That not even an orgasm could be better than the natural high she felt right now?

Jasmine heard the faint sound of her cell phone vibrating, and while she hadn't wanted to answer it before, she reached into her purse and pulled it out. Once again, she saw her agent's number. "I should—"

"Ignore it," Allan told her, pulling the phone from her fingers. He tossed it onto the nearby chaise, then continued trying to seduce her.

His breath hot on her ear, he ran his hands over her ribs and firmly cupped her breasts. Finding her nipples, he tweaked them through the fabric of her one-of-a-kind sleeveless silver gown. "Tell me what you want, Jasmine. I know you love my tongue. Where do you want it?" He lapped at her neck. "I've waited all evening for this. God, I'm going to explode with lust if I don't have you soon."

Jasmine let Allan grope her, hoping his hands faked a moan, all the while wishing he would find something else to entertain him until she was ready. Finally she said, "Allan, I—"

"Tell me, Jasmine…"

The sound of Allan's heavy breathing was interrupted by a knock at the door. He froze. Jasmine released a sigh of relief, thankful for the opportunity to escape.

"Did you order room service?" he asked, moving his hands to her shoulders.

Turning in his arms, she faced him. "No…but Ron knows we're up here," she said, referring to the director of The Game, the blockbuster movie in which she'd starred. "It would be just like him to send something special up for us."

"You're right."

Jasmine framed one side of Allan's golden brown face. Having shaved earlier, his skin was smooth and soft. He wasn't the most attractive man—his face was too narrow and his nose too broad—but he was extremely good to her. She planted a soft kiss on his lips, then gave him her glass. "You open another bottle of champagne. I'll get the door."

As she hurried across the large suite to the marblelayered foyer, her eyes misted at the thought that she had truly escaped her past. Risen from the ashes of pain and achieved all she'd ever wanted. She had a man who loved her. She had a fabulous career. She had respect, fame. She had a raison d'être. She was finally, truly happy.

Giggling, Jasmine allowed herself a girlish twirl of delight before answering the door. It was silly, she knew, but damn it felt good.

She swung open the mahogany double doors. Seeing the hotel manager—who had welcomed her upon her arrival—her eyes narrowed with confusion.

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