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Mean Girls by Lucy Felthouse Now Available in Audiobook Format! #audiobook #audible #romance #BBW #Rubenesque

Lucy Felthouse’s Rubenesque erotic romance novella, Mean Girls, is now available in audiobook format. Narrated by voice artist Xanthia Bloom, you can now listen to this sweet and sexy curvy girl tale on the go!

Mean Girls Blurb:

Adele Blackthorne is a big girl, a curvy chick. She knows it, and she’s been picked on all her life because of it. But she’s gotten to the stage where she doesn’t care. She may be Rubenesque, but she’s healthy, too. Much healthier than the mean girls at the leisure center that point and stare and say spiteful things about her. Adele rises above it all, and simply enjoys her secretive glances at the center’s hunky lifeguard, Oliver.

As the bullying of Adele becomes worse, Oliver finds it increasingly difficult not to intervene. He doesn’t want to get into trouble with work, but equally he can’t stand to see Adele treated in such a horrible way. Especially since he doesn’t agree that she’s fat and unattractive. He thinks she’s a seriously sexy woman, and would like to get to know her better. Much better.

Audio links:

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2sFENhc
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2szphZ8
Audible UK: http://adbl.co/2spsB4I
Audible US: http://adbl.co/2tIoBQX
iTunes UK: http://apple.co/2tpm9vW
iTunes US: http://apple.co/2upu64o

eBook available here: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/mean-girls/

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves and Hiding in Plain Sight. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 160 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter and get a free eBook: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

Release blitz hosted by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Out Now! Mean Girls – M/F BBW Erotic Romance by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985)

Mean Girls, a M/F erotic romance by Lucy Felthouse, with Rubenesque and body confidence themes, has been re-released with a stunning new cover and a lower price! Please note, however, if you’ve read it before, that the content hasn’t changed.

*****

Mean GirlsBlurb:

Adele Blackthorne is a big girl, a curvy chick. She knows it, and she’s been picked on all her life because of it. But she’s gotten to the stage where she doesn’t care. She may be Rubenesque, but she’s healthy, too. Much healthier than the mean girls at the leisure center that point and stare and say spiteful things about her. Adele rises above it all, and simply enjoys her secretive glances at the center’s hunky lifeguard, Oliver.

As the bullying of Adele becomes worse, Oliver finds it increasingly difficult not to intervene. He doesn’t want to get into trouble with work, but equally he can’t stand to see Adele treated in such a horrible way. Especially since he doesn’t agree that she’s fat and unattractive. He thinks she’s a seriously sexy woman, and would like to get to know her better. Much better.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://mybook.to/meangirls

All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/29USu5p

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/29NMwE1

iBooks UK: http://apple.co/29TCrpv

iBooks US: http://apple.co/2af9Rga

Kobo: http://bit.ly/29H4e8E

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/29HNIeH

 

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18147145-mean-girls

*****

teaser_meangirls

Excerpt:

As usual, Adele Blackthorne felt the weight of gazes on her as she walked from the changing room to the steps to get into the swimming pool. She was used to it by now, and had learned not to react, to just carry on as though she hadn’t noticed people staring and not-so-subtly pointing at her.

With a polite nod to Oliver, the lifeguard, as she passed him, Adele was grateful for his much more favorable reaction. If he thought she resembled a beached whale, he hid it much better than everyone else did. The warmth in his eyes as he nodded back even looked genuine. But she had no illusions, he probably slagged her off the moment he got into the staffroom, or home, talking about the fat woman who went swimming three times a week without fail. But for now, she’d pretend he didn’t. Pretend he thought she was sexy, and wanted to get lost in her abundant curves. God knows she’d like him to.

It was true, she was a big girl and she was most definitely aware of it. Ever since she’d gotten to the age where her excess weight could no longer be called puppy fat, she’d tried to do something about it. Every diet under the sun, ridiculous amounts of exercise… nothing worked. Adele had grown so depressed in her teens that she’d become bulimic. Naturally, she’d lost some weight that way, but she’d also made herself so ill that she’d had to be hospitalized. It had terrified the life out of her, and ever since, she’d resolved that she’d much rather be healthy than skinny.

Which was why she visited her local leisure center three times a week. She used the gym and sauna, and went swimming. And every single time she went, she’d catch someone gawping at her. But because of the years she’d spent—especially at school—being called all the names under the sun, she’d developed an incredibly thick skin. She was happy and healthy—so healthy in fact that she could probably beat all of those skinny bitches at a swimming race. Of course she never offered, never called anyone out on their rudeness and ignorance, but it made her feel better to know that she was fitter and much more polite than them.

Slipping into the fast lane, she settled her goggles carefully into position—she hated getting water in her eyes—then lifted her legs to rest the bottoms of her feet against the end of the pool. Looking at the clock on the wall that counted seconds, she waited until the hand reached the top, then pushed off from the side and launched herself into the lane. It was quiet, so she had this section of the pool to herself. Her arms cut through the water, her legs flapped wildly and she did ten laps without losing any speed. Emerging from the water, she checked the clock again and was pleased to note she’d beaten her previous time.

She was just about to start another ten laps, when she heard voices from the other side of the pool. Voices that clearly forgot how well they carried on water. It was as though they were right next to her.

“God, I’m surprised all the water doesn’t jump out of the pool when she gets in. And the way she swims—she’ll cause a tidal wave one of these days.”

The spiteful words were followed by a trio of sniggers, and Adele gritted her teeth. Part of her wished that she could create a bloody tidal wave, so it would sweep those bitches under water and drown them. The other part of her tsked at the thought. Ideas like that made her just as bad as them, just as unpleasant, just as cowardly.

Because they were cowardly—the way they spoke about her behind her back proved that. If they ever passed her somewhere in the leisure center or its car park, they never said anything, not one word. They’d just scurry away as fast as they could, then titter when they thought she was out of earshot. She hoped that just one time, someone would say something to her face, so she could retaliate, speak up for herself. There was no way she’d start anything—she didn’t want to add confrontational to the list of faults that the mean girls had obviously compiled about her.

Sucking in a deep breath, Adele launched into another ten laps, allowing the chilly water and the exertion of powering through it to burn away her irritation. Because that’s all it was—irritation. She wasn’t angry. Anger was too powerful an emotion, and one that was totally wasted on those ignorant women. She almost felt sorry for them, actually. If they had nothing better to do than to stare at her and slag her off all the time, then they clearly had very dull lives.

The thought cheered her considerably and when she completed her twentieth lap, she lay her forearms on the edge of the pool and hoiked herself up. Her back was pressed against the side, and from here she had a perfect view of the rest of the pool. Tugging her goggles down so they hung around her neck, she had a damn good look at everyone else. The small children and their guardians in the kids’ pool right at the other end of the enormous hall, the old people who swum so slowly as they chatted that she was surprised they stayed afloat, the relentless movement of the man in the medium-speed lane and, of course, the mean girls who were in the same sort of position she was, but at the side of the pool rather than the end. The side which faced the lifeguard station.

Adele narrowed her eyes and watched them—the two waif-like blondes and a brunette—as they chatted and giggled, and it seemed for a change, not about her. They’d clearly changed the subject since their previous spouting of vitriol. Their focus was very firmly on Oliver as he sat on his lofty perch, surveying the pools before him, ready to jump in should anyone get into trouble. She often toyed with the idea of faking a problem, just to get him into the pool and his strong arms around her. However, she knew that although he’d undoubtedly do his duty and help her, he’d never believe such a strong swimmer would need his assistance. Then he’d lose all respect for her, and probably stop hiding his disdain for her so effectively. And the polite nods and smiles she got from him were the only thing—aside from the center’s top-notch facilities—that made the place bearable. She was sure that if the three witches—a nickname she’d secretly come up with for the women—had their way, there would be a sign on the main doors to the building saying ‘No Fat People Allowed.’

*****

About Lucy Felthouse

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller) and Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller). Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 140 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter and Facebook. You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

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Release blitz hosted by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Stately Pleasures by Lucy Felthouse

Stately PleasuresAlice Brown has just landed her dream job. Property manager at Davenport Manor, a British stately home. It’s only a nine-month contract to cover maternity leave, but it’s the boost up the career ladder she so desperately needs.

Unfortunately, things don’t get off to the best start, when Alice finds her boss, Jeremy Davenport, in a compromising position. Far from being embarrassed by what’s happened, Jeremy turns things around on Alice and makes her out to be the one in the wrong. So when he and his best friend and head of security, Ethan Hayes, then throw an ultimatum at her, she’s so stunned and confused that she goes along with their indecent proposal.

When the dust settles and Alice has time to think about things, though, she realises that perhaps it isn’t such a bad thing. There are worse things she could be doing to advance her career, after all.

Buy links: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/stately-pleasures/

Add to Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18756618-stately-pleasures

*****

Excerpt:

Alice took a deep breath, in through her nose and out through her mouth. Repeated the process once more. Then, realising she could sit there all day doing it and not feel any calmer, she forced herself to step out of the car and close and lock the door.

She bent to peer into the wing mirror of the vehicle and checked her hair and make-up. Satisfied, she straightened, then turned on her heel and walked quickly across the driveway to the great house before her nerve failed her.

Davenport Manor was currently open for visitors, so she walked in through the front door and was met by a smiling elderly lady.

‘Can I help you?’ the woman asked kindly.

‘Yes, please.’ Alice twisted her hands together nervously. ‘I’m here to see Mr Davenport. I’m here for an interview for the property manager’s role.’

‘Yes, of course,’ the woman replied, ‘that’s today, isn’t it? Follow me; I’ll take you to Mr Davenport’s office. But just hang on one second.’

She ducked through the doorway into the next room and spoke with her colleague. Alice guessed she was letting her co-worker know she’d be gone for a few minutes. A few seconds later, she was back. ‘OK, follow me, Miss …’

‘Brown,’ Alice said, then fell in behind the other woman as she led her to Mr Davenport’s office, and the interview that could change her life for ever. It was hardly surprising that she was shaking like a leaf.

Alice quickly felt lost as their journey took several twists and turns along dim corridors – their blinds drawn to protect paintings, tapestries, and furniture from the sunlight – and up a flight of stairs. She had a few seconds to worry about finding her way if she was lucky enough to get the job, then, suddenly, her guide stopped outside a door and turned around.

‘Here you go, Miss Brown. Mr Davenport’s office. Good luck with your interview.’

Alice smiled and thanked the elderly woman, then smoothed down her skirt, which also conveniently helped wipe the nervous sweat off her hands. She stood up straight, gave herself a mental pep talk about being more than qualified for the role, and knocked on the door.

‘Enter.’

Alice knew that voice could only belong to Jeremy Davenport. The posh accent, and the fact he’d said “enter” instead of “come in”, screamed money and an upper-class upbringing. Alice was suddenly nervous of her broad Midlands accent and lowly background, despite the fact she’d worked her backside off to get into a decent university in order to gain a Bachelor of Arts degree and then a Master’s degree. No matter what she sounded like, or what her past was, she had all the skills necessary to do the job she was about to be interviewed for.

Suddenly, she realised that she’d left rather a long pause before opening the door, and she turned the handle before the occupants of the room thought they were about to interview some kind of simpleton who couldn’t follow a simple instruction.

Fixing a polite – but hopefully not inane – smile onto her face, Alice stepped into Jeremy Davenport’s office. Her first thought – which certainly did nothing to help her nerves – was good God, he’s hot.

Jeremy sat behind a desk, with a heavily pregnant woman sitting beside it. Alice barely noticed the woman. All she saw was him. A man with cropped dark brown hair, hazel/green eyes, a jawline you could cut bread with, and lips that looked capable of doing incredibly wicked, sexual things to a woman. Or a man. Alice had no idea what his sexuality was, but she found herself hoping he liked women.

She chastised herself. Even if he did like women, he wouldn’t go for someone like her. A Plain Jane, with mousy brown shoulder-length hair, blue eyes, average height and above average weight. Alice had always known she’d never be a supermodel, so she’d worked extra hard academically, and here she was. About to be interviewed for her dream job.

*****

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over eighty publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

 

Mean Girls by Lucy Felthouse

Mean GirlsAdele Blackthorne is a big girl, a curvy chick. She knows it, and she’s been picked on all her life because of it. But she’s gotten to the stage where she doesn’t care. She may be Rubenesque, but she’s healthy, too. Much healthier than the mean girls at the leisure center that point and stare and say spiteful things about her. Adele rises above it all, and simply enjoys her secretive glances at the center’s hunky lifeguard, Oliver.

As the bullying of Adele becomes worse, Oliver finds it increasingly difficult not to intervene. He doesn’t want to get into trouble with work, but equally he can’t stand to see Adele treated in such a horrible way. Especially since he doesn’t agree that she’s fat and unattractive. He thinks she’s a seriously sexy woman, and would like to get to know her better. Much better.

Buy links: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/mean-girls/

*****

Excerpt:

As usual, Adele Blackthorne felt the weight of gazes on her as she walked from the changing room to the steps to get into the swimming pool. She was used to it by now, and had learned not to react, to just carry on as though she hadn’t noticed people staring and not-so-subtly pointing at her.

With a polite nod to Oliver, the lifeguard, as she passed him, Adele was grateful for his much more favorable reaction. If he thought she resembled a beached whale, he hid it much better than everyone else did. The warmth in his eyes as he nodded back even looked genuine. But she had no illusions, he probably slagged her off the moment he got into the staffroom, or home, talking about the fat woman who went swimming three times a week without fail. But for now, she’d pretend he didn’t. Pretend he thought she was sexy, and wanted to get lost in her abundant curves. God knows she’d like him to.

It was true, she was a big girl and she was most definitely aware of it. Ever since she’d gotten to the age where her excess weight could no longer be called puppy fat, she’d tried to do something about it. Every diet under the sun, ridiculous amounts of exercise… nothing worked. Adele had grown so depressed in her teens that she’d become bulimic. Naturally, she’d lost some weight that way, but she’d also made herself so ill that she’d had to be hospitalized. It had terrified the life out of her, and ever since, she’d resolved that she’d much rather be healthy than skinny.

Which was why she visited her local leisure center three times a week. She used the gym and sauna, and went swimming. And every single time she went, she’d catch someone gawping at her. But because of the years she’d spent—especially at school—being called all the names under the sun, she’d developed an incredibly thick skin. She was happy and healthy—so healthy in fact that she could probably beat all of those skinny bitches at a swimming race. Of course she never offered, never called anyone out on their rudeness and ignorance, but it made her feel better to know that she was fitter and much more polite than them.

Slipping into the fast lane, she settled her goggles carefully into position—she hated getting water in her eyes—then lifted her legs to rest the bottoms of her feet against the end of the pool. Looking at the clock on the wall that counted seconds, she waited until the hand reached the top, then pushed off from the side and launched herself into the lane. It was quiet, so she had this section of the pool to herself. Her arms cut through the water, her legs flapped wildly and she did ten laps without losing any speed. Emerging from the water, she checked the clock again and was pleased to note she’d beaten her previous time.

She was just about to start another ten laps, when she heard voices from the other side of the pool. Voices that clearly forgot how well they carried on water. It was as though they were right next to her.

“God, I’m surprised all the water doesn’t jump out of the pool when she gets in. And the way she swims—she’ll cause a tidal wave one of these days.”

The spiteful words were followed by a trio of sniggers, and Adele gritted her teeth. Part of her wished that she could create a bloody tidal wave, so it would sweep those bitches under water and drown them. The other part of her tsked at the thought. Ideas like that made her just as bad as them, just as unpleasant, just as cowardly.

Because they were cowardly—the way they spoke about her behind her back proved that. If they ever passed her somewhere in the leisure center or its car park, they never said anything, not one word. They’d just scurry away as fast as they could, then titter when they thought she was out of earshot. She hoped that just one time, someone would say something to her face, so she could retaliate, speak up for herself. There was no way she’d start anything—she didn’t want to add confrontational to the list of faults that the mean girls had obviously compiled about her.

Sucking in a deep breath, Adele launched into another ten laps, allowing the chilly water and the exertion of powering through it to burn away her irritation. Because that’s all it was—irritation. She wasn’t angry. Anger was too powerful an emotion, and one that was totally wasted on those ignorant women. She almost felt sorry for them, actually. If they had nothing better to do than to stare at her and slag her off all the time, then they clearly had very dull lives.

The thought cheered her considerably and when she completed her twentieth lap, she lay her forearms on the edge of the pool and hoiked herself up. Her back was pressed against the side, and from here she had a perfect view of the rest of the pool. Tugging her goggles down so they hung around her neck, she had a damn good look at everyone else. The small children and their guardians in the kids’ pool right at the other end of the enormous hall, the old people who swum so slowly as they chatted that she was surprised they stayed afloat, the relentless movement of the man in the medium-speed lane and, of course, the mean girls who were in the same sort of position she was, but at the side of the pool rather than the end. The side which faced the lifeguard station.

Adele narrowed her eyes and watched them—the two waif-like blondes and a brunette—as they chatted and giggled, and it seemed for a change, not about her. They’d clearly changed the subject since their previous spouting of vitriol. Their focus was very firmly on Oliver as he sat on his lofty perch, surveying the pools before him, ready to jump in should anyone get into trouble. She often toyed with the idea of faking a problem, just to get him into the pool and his strong arms around her. However, she knew that although he’d undoubtedly do his duty and help her, he’d never believe such a strong swimmer would need his assistance. Then he’d lose all respect for her, and probably stop hiding his disdain for her so effectively. And the polite nods and smiles she got from him were the only thing—aside from the center’s top-notch facilities—that made the place bearable. She was sure that if the three witches—a nickname she’d secretly come up with for the women—had their way, there would be a sign on the main doors to the building saying ‘No Fat People Allowed.’

*****

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over seventy publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include Best Bondage Erotica 2012, 2013 and 2014 and Best Women’s Erotica 2013. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

 

Design and Scandal by Annabeth Leong

Design and ScandalBlurb:

Costume designer Kahala Lin didn’t get into her line of work to make clothes for tiny models. She dreams of creating high-fashion masterpieces for BBWs such as herself. When she’s hired to work on costumes for the science fiction movie Laser Sentinel, she passes up the opportunity to dress the film’s heroine and ends up with the hardest job on set—pleasing the demanding and devastatingly handsome star, James Corwin.

James is one of Hollywood’s best known actors, but he’s in trouble when he’s forced into working on this dud of a movie. James can’t relax and enjoy the shoot on Hawaii’s black sand beaches. He needs to prevent this film from becoming an embarrassment, starting with making sure he’s not shot wearing nothing but spandex, a headdress and a ray gun. His collaboration with the new costume designer starts out promising, but soon he’s so busy taking off her clothes that he’s hardly thinking about what he’ll wear at all.

The press, however, discovers their relationship almost before it begins, and the resulting scandal threatens both their livelihoods and James’ chances with Kahala.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

 

Excerpt:

“Is James Corwin as hot in real life as he is onscreen?” Kahala Lin winced a little at the question, but couldn’t help herself. Apparently going to work on the set of an honest-to-God big budget film excited her more than she’d let on when Lani had first asked if she wanted the job.

Her friend Lani grinned, revealing a bit of the fangirl herself. “Hotter. I don’t think the camera captures exactly how beautiful his eyes are.”

Lani pulled her truck into the makeshift parking lot on the edge of the set, just out of sight of the black sand beach where the first two weeks of filming would take place. Kahala figured she’d better get the silliness out of her system now, so she could act professionally once she actually met her new colleagues and the contingent of movie stars.

Kahala winked. “Eyes. Not exactly the body part I was thinking about.”

Lani slapped her arm. “You are so bad.”

Kahala shrugged. A serious expression spread over Lani’s wide, friendly face. She narrowed her dark eyes and peered at Kahala. “They’re really strict about that, you know. They don’t want you bothering the stars.”

“I’m not going to embarrass you, Lani. Don’t worry.”

Lani rolled her eyes. “Sorry. I know you’re not a teenager. You nervous?”

“Nervous?” She shook her head firmly. “This is a fun job to me. I’m not looking for a career in the movies. Believe me, these aren’t the people I’m really hoping to dress. My designs are for women with meat on their bones, not size negative two like Madison Marin.”

Lani tapped her fingers against the steering wheel. “I hear what you’re saying. I appreciate it. You made me a gorgeous wedding dress, anyway.” She smiled, then paused. “I just don’t think you should dismiss the opportunity. You might make some good connections. The work you do here is going to be seen by millions of people. That has to be worth something, even if your clothes are on a skinnier girl than you’d like.”

Kahala looked out the window. The Big Island was prettier than she remembered, way less developed than Honolulu, where she lived. Here she could actually see glimpses of what the island must have looked like when her ancestors had lived there.

Lani took her hand. “What’s the matter, Kahala? Other than being excited to see James Corwin in person, you’re acting like you don’t want to be here.”

She summoned a smile. Her friend didn’t deserve to feel bad about this. “I’m really glad you set me up with this, Lani. Don’t get me wrong. I need seed money to get my design business into higher gear. It’s just that I swore I wasn’t ever going to make clothes for tiny girls.” She closed her eyes, remembering how she’d felt when she’d gone shopping back in high school, looking for knockoff versions of styles she’d seen in Vogue and W. “They didn’t even bother to make sizes larger than twelve for most of the clothes I wanted to wear when I was younger. When I started making my own stuff, I promised myself I wouldn’t make anything smaller than twelve. I want the skinny girls to wish they were bigger so they could wear my stuff.”

“This doesn’t take away from that,” Lani said. “Don’t worry about Madison Marin. You might not even end up working on stuff for her.” Lani lifted her shoulders and spread her hands wide. “You ready to do this, girl? For the next three months, we’re going to drink, breathe and eat this place. I hope you like coffee, because your next full night’s sleep won’t be until August.”

Kahala grinned. “You love this work.”

Lani smiled back. “Craft services is rewarding. Everyone’s so hungry and tired, they love everything we do. Believe me, I never felt so appreciated working in a restaurant kitchen.” She slapped the top of Kahala’s thigh. “Let’s go. This’ll be fun.”

***

Lani dropped Kahala off with Lawrence Marsh, head of costumes. His office was a trailer nestled under a stand of papaya trees. Whip-thin and more than six feet tall, the man’s pale skin shone bright and startling against the lush, tropical background. Kahala hadn’t known a person could be that color in Hawaii—even the whitest people typically had the grace to turn red. Lawrence wore a woman’s shirt, skinny jeans and more rings than a gypsy fortune teller. He greeted Kahala with a hug but broke it off to grab a papaya off the tree behind her.

Kahala smiled nervously while he produced a small knife from the back pocket of the skinny jeans and sliced the fruit open with surprising expertise. He ate a piece of juicy flesh off the point of the knife. He didn’t wait to finish chewing before speaking with a cultured British accent that, given his behavior, seemed incongruous. “Kahala Lin!” He sounded much more pleased to see her than she’d expected. “Lovely online portfolio. Very fresh.”

She started. “Thank you!” Lani had made it sound as if she’d pulled strings with the union to set Kahala up with this job. She hadn’t thought anyone would have paid attention to her work.

“I wish I had a star worthy of your talents,” Lawrence said, leading the way into his trailer. The inside looked like an exploded dress shop. Pieces of odd fabrics mingled with half-destroyed specimens of the latest designs from Fashion Week. A dressmaker’s form wore nothing but thin gold chains. Scissors and measuring tape tumbled off tables, and Lawrence possessed more sewing machines than one person could reasonably use. Tilted against the trailer’s AC unit, a laptop showed flashes of an odd shape rotating slowly in a computer-assisted design interface. “Don’t mind the mess,” Lawrence said, shrugging. “It’s my creative process. You understand. Pull up a chair.”

Kahala blinked. She couldn’t see a chair to pull up. The only thing around remotely resembling a seat looked about half as wide as she was. She stayed standing. “I’m really glad you liked the portfolio! What were you—”

Lawrence took another bite of papaya. “I loved it. Most designs for plus-sized women try to hide the body. You let the body do the work. You have a very nice eye for accentuating natural features. I can see it in the dress you’re wearing now.”

Was she blushing? “I did make it myself! How did you—”

“You couldn’t have bought a dress with that stitching for under three thousand these days.” He shuddered. “Machines are so much sloppier than most people realize.” He slapped the papaya down and took Kahala’s hand dramatically. She flinched but tried to roll with it. “I’m going to ask you to betray every instinct that makes your work special. Can you do it for me, Kahala?”

She blinked. “What are you talking about?”

“This is science fiction. The clothes need to do the work, not the body beneath them. Madison Marin’s got no body to speak of. You can’t rely on her shape. You have to give her a shape. Designers like bodies like hers because they can give them any shape they desire. I’m asking you to betray your obvious appreciation for the female form and work with the alien specimens we have here on this project—otherwise known as actresses.”

Kahala stared. “You’re assigning me to work with your female lead?”

“I believe in delegating.” Lawrence smiled tightly. “I’d planned to work with her myself, of course. I spent months drawing sketches for her. You’ll be following those, making adjustments as needed to the costumes I’ve started creating. I’d do it myself, gladly, but ever since I arrived on set I’ve had a certain problem that’s—James Corwin.”

“James Corwin?” Kahala echoed, confused. “That’s your problem?”

“Oh, James Corwin is about to be his problem, all right,” said a deep male voice behind her. Kahala jumped, turned, and found herself face to face with the screen idol himself, all six solid feet of him. James Corwin had played football in high school, and Kahala could see why. He had a linebacker’s build and muscle. He gripped the doorframe with big hands. His face wrinkled with distaste at the sight of Lawrence Marsh, but as his gaze settled on Kahala, his expression changed. His famous golden eyes focused on her and she caught the subtle flicks he used to check out her body below the neck. Kahala’s face heated and James smiled slowly, his nostrils flaring. His dark skin seemed much warmer in person than it did onscreen. The red tones in it caught the light so he almost gleamed.

“Hello,” James Corwin said, dragging the word out to two syllables and lifting his eyebrows with appreciation.

“Um, hi.” Kahala was relieved that her voice didn’t squeak.

Lawrence dropped a hand onto her shoulder. “I’m impressed again, Kahala. That’s the first civil word I’ve heard come out of this fellow’s mouth. Even if it reeks a bit of the chauvinist pig.”

James Corwin grinned. A slight gap between his front teeth marred his perfection just enough to make him convincingly real. He didn’t take his eyes off Kahala. “I can be nice if given reason.”

“Well I’m afraid I don’t have DD reasons,” Lawrence shot back.

Kahala bit her tongue before she could add that she wished they were just DD. Bra shopping would have been so much easier if Lawrence had been right about her size.

“Lawrence, that’s crass,” James said. He leaned in toward Kahala, his voice dropping and turning conspiratorial. “Don’t think I’m not a gentleman just because of the way I’m looking at you. I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the full package, but I also enjoy learning about a beautiful woman’s personality.”

A thousand red flags went up in Kahala’s mind. This man was trouble. It couldn’t have been clearer if he’d tattooed the word on his forehead in capital letters and accentuated them with glitter. Unfortunately she could be as circumspect about this as she wanted inside the sanctuary of her own thoughts, but that didn’t help to control her glee at the movie star’s compliments. He’d still made her grin like a fool.

James winked, mischief pulling one side of his smile higher than the other. “Well? You didn’t sound shy when you were talking with just Lawrence a minute ago.”

“I’m not,” Kahala admitted. She saw his challenge and raised him. Surveying his body frankly, she allowed herself a wicked grin. “I can’t make a call on your full package yet. I haven’t seen enough of it.”

James liked that response, clearly. He moved even closer. His fingers twitched against the doorframe as if they wanted to move to Kahala’s frame instead.

Lawrence broke into the moment before she could see where it would lead. “Whoo!” He fanned himself and continued with high-pitched sounds of appreciation. “It’s gotten very, very hot in here. Almost as if you two are forgetting the full workday we have in front of us.”

Kahala blushed. She’d gotten so caught up in coming up with cool responses to James Corwin’s flirtation that she’d forgotten to act professionally. “Sorry.” Instinct told her to leave the two of them to their business, but she couldn’t see a graceful exit out of the cramped trailer. Whether she ducked left or right, any attempt to leave would involve an intense negotiation between her body and that of James Corwin. She stepped back instead, then looked to Lawrence for direction.

Lawrence drew himself up even taller, so his Adam’s apple poked prominently out of his long, thin neck. “Before you arrived, Mr. Corwin, I was in the middle of delegating loads of work to Kahala here. She’s going to take over dressing Miss Marin for me, all so I can devote the bulk of my time to satisfying your demanding self.” His words sounded light and irreverent, but Kahala caught a strain of sincere irritation running through them.

Corwin must have picked up on that too, because he scowled in response. “I don’t know if I want any more of your attention, Lawrence. That’s what I came to talk to you about.” He sighed. All the playfulness he’d shown with Kahala had gone out of him. He seemed tired and far less glamorous. “The studio’s leaning on me to be here, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’ll be professional, I’ll do as I’m told, but I won’t tolerate being made to look or behave like a fool.”

 

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Bio:

Annabeth Leong has written erotica of many flavors. She loves shoes, stockings, cooking and excellent bass lines. She always keeps a new e-book loaded on her phone and a paperback stashed in her purse, but her eyes are still bigger than her stomach whenever she visits a bookseller. She blogs at annabethleong.blogspot.com, and tweets @AnnabethLeong . Watch for her next contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave, Heated Leather Lover.

 
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The Romance Reviews

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