Watch Me (Harlequin Blaze Series #710)

Watch Me (Harlequin Blaze Series #710)

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by Lisa Renee Jones

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Twelve young dancers are competing for the dream. Only one will win. But with sabotaged sets and flooded living quarters, the "Curse" threatens both competitors and crew. And unless she can turn this train wreck into a TV triumph, producer Meagan Tippan's dream will be the Curse's last victim….

Enter security head and former Special Forces


Twelve young dancers are competing for the dream. Only one will win. But with sabotaged sets and flooded living quarters, the "Curse" threatens both competitors and crew. And unless she can turn this train wreck into a TV triumph, producer Meagan Tippan's dream will be the Curse's last victim….

Enter security head and former Special Forces soldier—and all-around pain in Meagan's butt— Sam Kellar. He's a nightmare…and the stuff that X-rated dreams are made of! But as tensions between Meagan and Sam become increasingly explosive, their only choice is to get it all out—and take it all off!

Product Details

Publication date:
Harlequin Blaze Series, #710
Product dimensions:
4.34(w) x 6.44(h) x 0.64(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Screams filled the air, jolting Meagan Tippan, the producer of the new dance reality show America's Stepping Up, from a dead sleep to a startled, heart-pounding sitting position. That was about two seconds before the sprinkler system in the restored Victorian beachfront mansion kicked into gear. Meagan arched her back against the icy fingers of wetness that seeped through her thin T-shirt.

The very real possibility of a fire pierced the momentary shock of Meagan's abrupt awakening. Quickly, she shoved away her soaked blankets and darted across the room. There were twelve hopeful dancers in the house who'd come here to chase a dream, not to live a nightmare, and she had to get them, and her crew, to safety.

Flinging open her door, Meagan found Ginger Scott, one of the two choreographers for the show and "House Mom," in the hallway, rushing the six female dancers in the competition down the stairs.

"Is anyone hurt?" Meagan shouted loudly, because the water seemed to be muffling everything but the panicked voices echoing around her.

"Just scared," Ginger said, shoving a wet mop of blond hair from her face, as Meagan did the same to her light brown hair. "And I don't see a fire. DJ says he doesn't see one downstairs, either." DJ being her twin brother and male counterpart in the house.

"I called 9-1-1," DJ shouted, rushing up to meet them. "Could be electrical though. Big trouble for a house this old."

Right, Meagan thought grimly. Wouldn't that be peachy? After ten weeks spent casting across the country, with one mishap after another—enough to prompt whispers of a "curse" that she'd hoped to put to rest—only to discover they'd also managed to move into a place with electrical problems, and have it catch on fire their first night there.

"Is everyone okay?" came the voice of another male dancer at the bottom of the stairs. "Do you need help?"

"No! Stay where you are," Meagan yelled, taking in water as she spoke. "We don't need help up here, and there is no fire." That they knew about, but she didn't say that. She didn't want to freak anyone out any more than they already were.

"Get everyone on the lawn where we can get a head-count," Meagan said, shooing Ginger and DJ down the stairs. The sooner they had this situation under control, the better. Control? After thirty-two years, and her own dance career destroyed by a knee injury, she should know control was a facade. Just when you thought you had it, it slipped away.

Eventually, Meagan finally had all her hot-bodied, dripping-wet dancers on the front lawn, looking as if they were posing for a kinky spread in an X-rated magazine. She could only imagine editing this segment. Their stationary cameras had no doubt caught everything and the studio execs would want this mishap included in behind-the-scenes footage. After all, they'd insisted on broadcasting every other disaster—from falling sets and broken-down buses, to a crazed fan who'd set the hotel lobby on fire.

A thought hit Meagan like a huge brick. Oh, God. It was a very bad thought.

Meagan whirled around to face the house, as if it were possessed, glaring at the monster that was about to ruin everything, even her own career. The chance to pitch the idea for this show had come after years of working as the producer for a top news show in Dallas, Texas. Leaving that job on the long shot that this could survive the ratings war had been a big risk. She knew the chips would be stacked against her. Tonight that stack had gotten bigger. Not only were the cameras getting wet, but the house, where they'd intended to spend the next twelve weeks, was being destroyed by the water. And she had enough experience with fickle network executives to know that her show, her darn dreamfulfilling show, was turning into a nightmare that might well be called "cancelled."

And although the top dancer among her contestants was set to win a new car, a studio contract and cash, while the other dancers would earn major industry exposure that could change their lives, she wondered if it would all end tonight.

Meagan tried to comfort herself by recalling the high-powered panel of judges she'd secured for the live shows—a well-known choreographer, a highly respected casting agent and even a highly acclaimed pop star. Surely, the studio wouldn't want to pay out their contracts and see no real return.

Who was she kidding? Studio executives always leaned toward taking their financial hits and cutting losses. Meagan had to do something to save the house, if she expected to save the show.

Meagan leapt to action, darting toward the house, ignoring shouts of her name. Clearly, there was no fire, only water—lots and lots of destructive water. She burst through the door, and headed straight to the basement through the kitchen. Though she had no real idea how to turn off the sprinklers, flipping the circuit breaker seemed logical, and she remembered seeing it by the washer and dryer.

Sure enough, the breaker was where she thought it was, but any relief she felt at finding it was doused when she realized it was ridiculously high off the ground. Oh yeah, it was high, well above her reach, or any normal human's, for that matter. Resigned to the climb ahead of her, she splashed her way closer.

She couldn't help but ask herself if the night could possibly get any worse, as she heaved herself on top of the washer.

Footsteps sounded on the stairs, and she yelled over her shoulder, "I said go to the lawn!" She jerked the metal panel, but it wouldn't open. "I need everyone outside and safe." There was the sound of more splashing and she grimaced. "I said—"

"Come down from there before you get hurt," came an order from behind her.

Meagan froze at the deeply resonating voice of Samuel Kellar, the sexy, blond-haired, blue-eyed, irritating, arrogant, six-foot-two—if she had to bet her life on it—head of studio security, who she knew all too well and wished she didn't.

Samuel, or Sam as everyone called him, had directly coordinated much of the show's security over the past few months, especially the open casting calls. She'd had innumerable occasions to know with certainty that few people could rattle her nerves the way Sam could. When Sam said jump, people jumped. He didn't ask anyone to do anything, he ordered them. And since that trait irritated her to no end, how was it that the man made her want to both yell at him and strip him naked at the same time—she didn't know.

But shouting wasn't her style, nor was sleeping with a man like Sam. She preferred subtle and submissive, to his demanding and arrogant. Unfortunately, Sam wasn't the least bit dissuaded by her sharp-tongued retorts meant to be off-putting. In fact, he infuriatingly seemed to enjoy sparring with her.

And just when Meagan thought Sam's presence ensured that the night really, truly, couldn't get any worse, it did. With frustration, she yanked at the panel door with an unsuccessful jerk that hiked her butt up in the air. Meagan froze, mortified, in the embarrassing position. Sam, her sexy pain-in-the-backside, now had a view of her backside. Because Meagan was pretty sure her skimpy, wet, hot-pink boxers weren't leaving much to the imagination.

Sam Kellar might be former Special Forces, a man of restraint and discipline who considered himself a gentleman, but he was still a man when it came down to it. And the man in him was standing at attention for Meagan's impossibly sexy, heart-shaped butt, despite the cold shower he was enduring. It said a lot about how much he wanted this "taboo" woman. Taboo because they not only worked together, but she chilled him with her ice-princess routine every time the sparks between them got too hot.

"Get down, Meagan," he ordered, having no doubt he would get an argument—prickly arguments were part of her ice-princess routine.

She yanked ineffectively at the panel door. "Not until I turn off the water."

"I'll do that," he promised. "Come down before you—"

She slipped before the words were out and then tried to right herself. He didn't wait to see if she was going to succeed or fail. Sam wrapped his arms around her long, slender legs to make sure she didn't fall.

"Sam!" she objected, pressing her hands to the ceiling, shifting unsteadily to stare down at him. Their eyes locked. Awareness flashed hot and fast between them, a silent understanding that she was half naked and in his arms, and that this wasn't the first time either one of them had thought about such a moment.

"Let go of me," she said, a hint of panic in her voice, the same panic he heard every time their combustible attraction flared to life.

"And let you break your pretty little neck?" he asked. "Not a chance." Not giving her time to object, he slid his hands to her waist and forcefully lifted her down from the washer. Not an easy task from his lower position, and she ended up plastered against him as intimately as those shorts hugged her backside. And oh yeah, the man in him was alert and present all right. He'd wanted this woman too long not to react to having her lush body pressed to his.

"What do you think you're doing?" she demanded. Her hips were melded to his, her hands pressed against his chest—hands he'd often dreamed of having on his chest and all kinds of other places. Sexual awareness had caught them like the water they couldn't escape.

Her nervous energy escalated, just as her temper did, meaning their same routine as always. "Sam, damn it! The house is being destroyed. My career is being destroyed." She squirmed out of his arms, and reluctantly he let her go. "I have to stop the water." She turned back to the washer.

That, he wasn't letting her do. Sam shackled her arm and pulled her around to face him, and she was close, so close he could kiss her, and damn if he didn't want to in a bad way. He would have, too, if not for the fact that she was right—the water needed to be turned off.

"Stubborn woman," he mumbled. "I'll do it. That's why I came down here in the first place. That and I saw you rush into the house, and knew you were up to no good."

Sirens sounded in the distance, and unintentionally, his gaze brushed her very visible, red, puckered nipples beneath the transparent shirt. He didn't like the idea of the entire fire department getting the same view.

"Sam!" she objected, folding her arms over her chest.

He scrubbed a hand over his face, as if he would ever wipe away the image of those perfect breasts. "Sorry," he said, meaning it. He didn't want to make her feel uncomfortable—no, uncomfortable was the last thing he wanted to make Meagan feel. "That wasn't on purpose. It just. .happened." He slid out of the rain jacket he'd put on before coming inside and handed it to her. "Put this on," he told her, "before a gaggle of firemen make the same mistake." The idea of that gnawed away at his gut in an unfamiliar, uncomfortable way.

Sam turned away from her, lifting himself on top of the washer and hitting the button to the panel door that Meagan had missed.

She made a surprised sound. "I loosened the door for you."

His lips quirked, but he didn't reply. He so enjoyed how easily he ruffled her feathers, even when he wasn't trying. He cut the breaker to the sprinklers. The water was off. The sound of firemen's voices and loud, heavy footsteps echoed from the floor above.

He eased to the floor, ankle deep in water. Meagan was thankfully well covered in his way-too-big jacket, but there was something intensely erotic about her in something of his that he couldn't dismiss.

She slicked her hair back, drawing it away from her face, a face incredibly appealing without makeup, au naturel. And then they stood there.

Water clung to her thick, dark lashes, framing grass-green eyes that swept over his wet studio T-shirt and returned to his face.

More of that sexual tension zipped between them.

"We need you folks out of here," came a male voice from the stairs, effectively jolting them from the hot little spell spinning around them.

"We're coming," Sam yelled, and then to Meagan, "Better late than never, but had this been a real fire, people could have been hurt. I'll be talking to them about how this happened. In the meantime, one of my guys is already arranging a hotel for everyone." He motioned for her to head upstairs.

A sudden wave of vulnerability washed across her features. "I ah…considering the firemen and your guys and…well, thanks for the jacket. And for turning off the water." And then, when he thought they'd made some progress, she proved him wrong, pursing her lips and adding, "But I was about to turn off the water myself. I had it. I was getting it."

He couldn't stop the corners of his lips from twitching, despite the certainty that a smile—and most certainly the laugh threatening to escape—would only set him up for a battle. "Of course you would have," he agreed, playing the cat-and-mouse game she seemed to want him to play—though, damn if he knew who was the cat and who was the mouse half the time. "But I'm here, Meagan. Why not use me?"

Her lips parted slightly at the words. Then her brows knit together, and her hands went to her hips, giving him a delectable glimpse of skin below her breasts. "You're impossible," she announced, glowering, before sloshing toward the stairs.

He stood watching her, thinking that the real "impossible" here, was not him, but that either of them believed they were going to be satisfied with this game much longer. She wanted him. He wanted her. And he was going to do something about it. No matter how many washers he had to climb.

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Watch Me 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the story line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookcaseLaura More than 1 year ago
In a sea of re-used and overused romance novel themes, it was so refreshing to read a novel that is as current as it gets. Reality TV, especially a dance show - and then throw in the possibility of a curse? Perfect set up for a romance novel in these times. I could do without backstabbing and vindictive people, but I get that it adds to the drama that is reality TV, and subsequently this book as well. I loved the matching damaged set of Meagan and Sam, and how their pasts and current situation builds up the tension and threatens their relationship. More light and campy than truly a romantic suspense, but a great quick read. Looking forward to seeing what comes out of this set next! 3.5/5 stars
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
4 STARS Watch Me has a lot love scenes. I skimmed over them. I really like the plot of the story and the characters. The main plot is the making a reality show of dancers and after the dancers are down to certain amount all live together and live dancing competion with someone being voted off the show. But the show is cursed or is it. Meagan Tippan had dreamed up the show but things keep going wrong. Broken pipes,fire,tornado,fights and back stabbing. Samuel kellar is security that the studio has in charge of making sure everyone is safe. He is ex-military and is in charge of making things safe. He did not want to leave military but had to because of injury. Meagan had to give up danceing because of a injury. She still loves it and feels making a show around it is now her dream. Meagan because of her youth is very controlling she has had to fight for a lot of her freedom and does not like to give up controll. She has an assistant that she has to work with who is going behind her back and hurting the show. Her Uncle is high up at the studio. Kiki has a past history of making the show get cancelled. Meagan and Samuel fight thier attraction but does not last too long. Meagan after is always trying to push Samuel away. Which I got tired of. I was given this ebook to read in exchange of honest review from Netgalley. 09/03/2012 PUB. Harlequin imprint Harlequin Blaze 224 pages
lrhubble More than 1 year ago
Meagan Tippan is a producer that is trying to make twelve young dancers dreams come true with a reality TV show. But there are rumors of a curse when sets are sabotaged and their living quarters end up flooded. If Meagan can’t turn things around and quickly the dancers’ dreams aren’t the only dreams that won’t be coming true but Meagan’s dream of the TV show being a hit won’t happen either. Sam Kellar is a former Special Forces and now head of security. While it is his job to make sure the security for the show and dancers are covered he is also proving to be a pain in Meagan’s butt. As Sam and Meagan work together on the show the tensions between them continue to heat up and it is soon becoming clear that their only choices is to either get everything out between them so that they can take it all off. Meagan knows Sam is hot but he is also an alpha male that she has a tendency to steer clear of but for some reason when it comes to Sam she is more inclined to head his way rather than away from him. Sam enjoys the challenge Meagan presents him as she keeps him on his toes but he knows another way for them to work out what is between them; he just has to convince Meagan to see things his way. This story is a fun take on the reality TV craze. The characters are interesting and will draw readers into the story and keep them hooked. And with this being a Harlequin readers are guaranteed an HEA. The story also gives the readers a small peek into the behind the scenes of what can happen on a reality TV show. This one will have readers eagerly awaiting the next book in the Step Up books.