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 feela love that lasts long after the cameras stop rolling.
About the Author
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/
Read an Excerpt
Shay: You can tell me anything, Stefan.
Stefan: I'm sorry, Shay. But I'm going back to my wife.
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."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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??
This was a really fun and enjoyable read!