Overnight Sensation (Harlequin Blaze #422) [NOOK Book]


Actress Ivy James is finally getting her big break! She's been cast as the lead in a steamy blockbuster movie, a sizzling flick based on war hero Garrett Stokes's military--and sexual--experiences behind enemy lines. In the role, Ivy will be required to shoot a lot of on-screen sex scenes with her costar, one of Hollywood's top hunks. Unfortunately for Ivy, the only guy who can get her motor running is the technical consultant--Garrett himself!

Garrett has been secretly in love ...

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Overnight Sensation (Harlequin Blaze #422)

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Actress Ivy James is finally getting her big break! She's been cast as the lead in a steamy blockbuster movie, a sizzling flick based on war hero Garrett Stokes's military--and sexual--experiences behind enemy lines. In the role, Ivy will be required to shoot a lot of on-screen sex scenes with her costar, one of Hollywood's top hunks. Unfortunately for Ivy, the only guy who can get her motor running is the technical consultant--Garrett himself!

Garrett has been secretly in love with Ivy for years. In fact, it was only his infatuation with her that got him through all those months in a military hospital. So when Ivy asks him to show her just how good the sex was, how can he resist? But will she still want to share his bed when she learns that Garrett's lust for her was the only reason she got the part?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426821509
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Series: Harlequin Blaze Series , #422
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 209,933
  • File size: 202 KB

Read an Excerpt

No doubt about it—she was going to die. She could almost see the headlines: B-List Actress Killed In Chicken Bus Accident. Dreams Of Hitting The Big Time Crushed With Her.
For someone who'd just been chosen to star opposite Hollywood's hottest actor, Ivy James sure didn't feel like red-carpet material. While she certainly hadn't expected mobs of eager fans to greet her, or a stretch limousine to sit waiting to whisk her away to a five-star hotel, still she'd held out hope that someone—even a minor crew member—would come to meet her flight. But no one had been waiting for her at the arrivals terminal, and in the end, her only option had been to stick with the itinerary provided to her and hop a public bus for the eighty-mile ride from the resort city of Veracruz to the remote mountain town of Pancho Viejo. And now here she was, bone-tired, sweaty and, above all, scared stiff, on a suicide ride through the Mexican jungle.
The garishly painted bus, decked out with a roof rack and brush guards, lurched violently to one side of the badly potholed road, throwing her against her neighbor. The driver—or piloto, as he'd called himself—apparently believed that although his vehicle might look like a beat-up school bus, it was in fact a finely tuned Formula One race car.
For the past hour they'd careened along steep mountain roads. Twice, they'd passed other buses on blind, hairpin curves. Ivy had squeezed her eyes shut, but the honking horns, smoking brakes and violent rocking weren't things she'd soon forget.
With a muttered apology to her neighbor, Ivy clutched her overnight bag tighter on her lap and pressed herself against the window, prayingshe didn't throw up. She cast a sideways glance at the old woman beside her. Her brown face was seamed with creases, her eyes were closed and her mouth worked soundlessly as her callused fingers slid over the beads of a rosary. The sight gave Ivy a strange sense of relief that she wasn't the only passenger who found the ride terrifying, but at the same time it confirmed her belief that her life was indeed in peril.
The air was sticky and hot. Passengers were packed in like cattle. Some sat three to a seat; others stood in the aisle, gripping the handrails and swaying with the movement of the vehicle. The steamy heat only worsened the pungent smells permeating the air—everything from rank body odor to diesel fumes to the rich coffee beans the old woman carried in the sack at her feet. Even the lush vegetation, carved gorges and occasional stunning waterfall failed to distract Ivy from the odors. She was too busy keeping her stomach in check to appreciate the dramatic scenery that surrounded her.
The linen pantsuit she'd donned back in New York had seemed a good choice at the time, but after hours of traveling, it was wrinkled beyond recognition. Perspiration trickled between her breasts, and her shirt stuck uncomfortably to her back. Her feet, clad in a pair of slip-on sandals, ached.
A sudden waft of air through the bus brought with it the strong smell of spicy jalapenos, and Ivy's stomach roiled alarmingly in response. Stifling a curse, she dug through her handbag until she found what remained of a roll of antacids. She brushed away crumbs from the exposed end, unwrapped the last three tablets and popped them into her mouth, praying the chalky substance would help her queasiness subside. The bus driver had assured her they were going to Pancho Viejo, but she hadn't expected the trip to take so long. She pulled out her itinerary, which was crumpled from handling. After unfolding it, she read through it swiftly.
Arrive Veracruz, Mexico. Okay, she'd managed that part, having departed New York City some fourteen hours earlier aboard an AeroMexico flight, with only a brief layover in Mexico City.
Take public bus to Pancho Viejo. She'd managed that, too. Well, so far. It was anyone's guess when or if she'd make it safely to her destination.
Obtain local transport from Pancho Viejo to Hacienda la Esperanza. Just where was Pancho Viejo, anyway? If the bus ride was any indication, the place was somewhere in the dense mountain region north of Veracruz.
The events that had led to this moment had unfolded so quickly she hadn't even had time to do an Internet search about the region before her agent had hustled her off to the airport. She'd been back in NewYork less than a week, having just wrapped up a film shoot in Montreal, when he had called with the mind-blowing news.
Ivy had been too stunned to question why Finn Mac-Dougall wanted to cast her in his latest movie, opposite Hollywood's golden boy, Eric Terrell. If she hadn't actually touched the contract with her own hands, she'd have thought somebody was playing a bad joke on her.
Finn MacDougall wasn't just a great director. In the hallowed studios of Hollywood, he was king, with a reputation for filmmaking rivaled only by Steven Spiel-berg's. Barely forty years old, he had it all: a gorgeous wife, two adorable kids and a house overlooking the Pacific worth seven figures.
According to Ivy's agent, MacDougall had seen her in several small, independent films and thought she'd be perfect for his newest project, Eye of the Hunter. The proposed salary had left Ivy speechless. As if there had ever been any doubt Ivy would agree to take the part. A two-time Academy Award-winning director, Mac-Dougall specialized in action movies that were pure adrenaline, with edge-of-your-seat suspense that ensured every picture was an unforgettable experience for the audience. Some of the most acclaimed actors in the business owed their careers to Finn MacDougall.
And he wanted her.
Ivy wasn't about to question his motives. Without even reading the script, she knew she wouldn't let this opportunity slip by. She just needed to get to the set before he changed his mind, especially since they'd begun shooting three weeks earlier. That information had surprised her. Obviously, she was a last-minute replacement. Directors normally didn't wait until the eleventh hour to pick their leading ladies.
The two days following MacDougall's offer had been a whirlwind of signing contracts and release forms, obtaining medical clearances and insurance, packing and making travel arrangements. Finally, her agent had driven her to the airport, where, at the last minute, he'd thrust a large envelope into her arms.
"It's the script, darling," he'd told her. "You have a nine-hour flight. Do yourself a favor and read it."
She had. Three times, using a lime-green highlighter to underscore all her lines. The story was about a Special Forces soldier, Garrett Stokes, who'd been taken prisoner by a ruthless drug cartel in Colombia, then rescued by a beautiful missionary. It had more than captured her imagination; it had held her spellbound.
Initially, the script, with its graphic violence and no-holds-barred depiction of covert warfare, had disturbed her. At one point she'd had to put it down and pull several deep breaths in order to control her emotions. The screenplay touched a place within her that was still raw, dragging old memories out from where she'd kept them carefully hidden for two years.
Even now, thoughts of her older brother, Devon, brought an ache to her heart. That he'd died doing something he loved didn't matter. It couldn't dispel the anger and grief she had felt at his loss. She'd arrived at the military hospital in Washington, D.C., shortly after he'd emerged from surgery. Despite the severity of his wounds, she hadn't believed he would die. He'd always been so confident, able to handle anything life threw at him. With the death of their mother four years earlier, he'd been the only family she'd had left. He'd always promised her that he'd come back from Iraq in one piece, that he'd always be there for her. She'd believed it—right up until the moment he'd died.
Devon had wanted to join the marines for as long as Ivy could remember. He'd enlisted on his eighteenth birthday, and nothing had given him as much pride as wearing that uniform. He'd served three tours in Iraq, but his career had come to a tragic and bloody end the day a roadside bomb had shattered his convoy. He'd survived long enough to be airlifted to Landstuhl Hospital in Germany, then to the Walter ReedArmy Medical Center, where he'd finally succumbed to his injuries.
Ivy thought he would have approved of the script she now held in her hands. Her own feelings aside, she acknowledged that the story held a universal appeal. Guys would love it for all the military pyrotechnics, everything from exploding cars to buildings to aircraft. Not to mention some graphically brutal torture scenes. Women would appreciate the romance in the film, especially the love scenes featuring a naked Eric Terrell as the special-ops soldier who falls in love with the missionary who saves his life. Women around the world would faint in their seats at the sight of Eric's cobblestone abs and supremely sculpted arms, not to mention his superior posterior.
Ivy felt a little faint herself at the knowledge that she would be on the receiving end of his manly caresses. Thank God she'd maintained her daily exercise regimen in Montreal. Nothing worse than playing opposite the most desired man in America while your thighs jiggled with cellulite.
Not that she was interested in Eric Terrell other than professionally. The last thing she needed was to become involved with yet another leading man. She'd been there, done that, and it had led to only heartache.
There'd been Jacques, the artistic Frenchman she'd thought was totally into her, until she'd discovered he was more into himself. Then there'd been Simon. He'd played a deliciously sexy bad-boy hero, but his naughty habits had extended into his private life to the degree that he'd been unable to commit to just one woman. Finally, there had been Malcolm. She'd completely fallen for his charm, and had believed him when he'd told her she was the only girl for him. It had been the truth, at least while they'd worked on the same project. But once filming had ended, so had his interest in her.
As she looked back on those disastrous affairs, her only excuse was that she'd really believed she was in love. She just hadn't realized that her leading men had been heroes only in the films they were shooting. They'd morphed into complete jerks once they'd returned to the "real" world.
Still, she couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to work so closely with an actor whose reputation made her own appear tame by comparison. Eric Terrell's risqué love affairs were continual fodder for the tabloids, upstaged only by his public displays of temper. He'd once dangled an overly ambitious photographer from a tenth-floor balcony for trying to take his picture. Of course, Eric had also been cheating on his then-fiancée that night, and hadn't been too thrilled about having those particular photos made public.
The bus pitched to the right, and Ivy flung out a hand to steady herself, praying the nightmarish ride would soon be over.As if to mock her, the overcast skies opened up, releasing a torrent of rain so heavy that Ivy could no longer see the dense vegetation on either side of the road. Water sprayed in through the open window, soaking her as she struggled with the latch until she finally succeeded in closing the window against the onslaught.
She thought of her tapestry suitcases, strapped to the roof, and all her belongings inside, getting completely soaked. The bus began to slow down, but the hammering rains prevented her from seeing why. Several minutes later, the vehicle shuddered to a stop and the driver stood up, grabbing a little umbrella from beneath his seat.
"Pancho Viejo!" he called, and several people rose and began pushing their way through the passengers in the aisle.
Ivy rose, as well, clutching her carry-on bag to her chest as she struggled to squeeze around the old woman beside her.
"Con permiso," she murmured, squeezing past the woman and trying not crush the coffee beans underfoot. She worked her way to the front of the bus, but halted in the doorway, reluctant to step out into the deluge. She hugged her bag closer in an attempt to protect the script inside from becoming completely ruined. Then, with a deep breath, she exited the bus.
The force of the tropical downpour took her breath away, blinding her as it slapped against her face and plastered her clothing to her skin. Grimacing at the mud swirling around her feet, she peered toward the roof of the bus, where her suitcases were strapped down. Shielding her eyes, she thought she could just make out the driver crawling along the top.
She was unprepared when a piece of luggage came hurtling off the bus to land squarely in the red soup at her feet and splash her with mud.
"Oh!" She jumped back just in time to avoid a second suitcase pitched over the side. This one, a floral tapestry bag, bounced once then split open, exposing its contents to the torrential downpour. "Hey!" she cried indignantly. "That was my suitcase!"
The bus driver climbed down from the roof, and without glancing in her direction, clambered back aboard the bus. Ivy stepped over to the first suitcase and bent over it, studying the blue vinyl exterior before jerking upright.
This one was not her suitcase.
A swift look around showed no other luggage sinking into the mud, which meant her second suitcase was still secured to the roof. Even as she watched, the engines throbbed into life and the vehicle began to slowly pull away.
"Hey, wait!" Ivy started toward the door of the bus, but was abruptly halted when the thick mud refused to release her foot. Staring in desperation at the retreating bus, she gave her foot a yank. With a sucking sound, it pulled free from the slip-on sandal, which remained entrapped in the churning muck. Ivy grimaced as she half ran, half hopped after the bus.
"Wait! My suitcase!" Grasping her overnight bag in one arm, she frantically waved her free arm, but knew the likelihood of the bus driver's seeing her was slim to none.
When the bus finally vanished into the driving rain and surrounding forest, Ivy stopped, her shoulders sagging in defeat. Great. Her larger suitcase had contained the majority of her clothing and cosmetics. The smaller suitcase, now lying open to the elements like a split melon, held mostly her underclothes, nightwear and three swimsuits.
Peering through the torrent, she saw she'd been deposited at the beginning of a narrow road that was little more than a rutted path through the dense undergrowth.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    Really enjoyed

    I really enjoyed the story, the characters, and the chemistry!!!

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    Posted October 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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