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Authors: Regina Kyle

Triple threat

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Sabotage…and Seduction!

The Playwright

It’s emerging playwright Holly Nelson’s big break. Broadway. Having survived her traumatic marriage and divorce, Holly is now aiming for success, not love. And any naughty dreams about Nick Damone—the gorgeously dishy star who was her crush back in high school—must remain a fantasy.

The Star

For Nick, Broadway is a chance to go from big-screen eye candy to serious actor, and to explore the lust blazing between him and Holly. But life-threatening accidents will force a chain of events that could bring down the curtain on the whole production…or give Nick and Holly a chance to finish the sexy something that started fifteen years ago!

“Is it the script?” Holly blurted. “I knew it. You don’t like the script.”

“That’s not it at all.” Nick reached for her hand, remembering that night on the dock when their roles were reversed and he was the one unsure of his future, needing her encouragement. “I do know a good script when I read one. And yours is good. Better than good.”

“If the script’s not the problem, then what is?”

Damn, he could get lost in those deep green eyes. “You’ve heard the expression ‘actions speak louder than words,’ right?”

“Of course, but I don’t see what that has to do with—”

“Good.” And in a move of either sheer genius or monumental stupidity, he leaned in and kissed her long and hard.

Dear Reader,

Hi. My name is Regina. And I’m a theater geek.

On stage. Backstage. In the audience. Since I was ten years old I’ve been captivated by all aspects of theater. So when I decided to write a romance novel (my first!), what better place to set it than the wild, wacky, wonderful—and oh-so-sexy—world of Broadway.

At a Broadway audition, Hollywood star Nick Damone doesn’t expect to find Holly Nelson, the one person who saw past his dumb jock routine in high school and encouraged him to pursue his acting dream. Holly’s just as surprised. She’s trying to prove herself as a playwright and get back on her feet after her messy divorce. And Nick’s one tall, dark and dangerous distraction.

There’s nothing like a good reunion romance, and this couple had the keys of my laptop burning up from their first encounter. But they’re both damaged, touched by an issue I see all too often in my work as a senior assistant state’s attorney—domestic violence. Getting them past their wounds to their own happy ending was a worthwhile challenge.

I love hearing from readers. You can find me on Facebook,www.facebook.com/reginakyleauthor, and on Twitter,@Regina_Kyle1. And keep an eye out for Holly’s brother, Gabe, and her best friend, Devin. Their story is coming soon!

Until next time,

Regina

Triple Threat

Regina Kyle

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Regina Kyle knew she was destined to be an author when she won a writing contest at age eight with a touching tale about a squirrel and a nut pie. By day, she writes dry legal briefs, representing the state in criminal appeals. At night, she writes steamy romance with heart and humor. A lover of all things theatrical, Regina lives on the Connecticut shoreline with her husband, teenage daughter and two melodramatic cats. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely singing, reading, cooking or watching bad reality television. You can find her on Facebook,www.facebook.com/reginakyleauthor, and follow@Regina_Kyle1on Twitter.

For Dad, who always made sure my feet were planted firmly on the ground.

And Mom, who gave me wings to fly.

Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Epilogue

Excerpt

1

“ARE YOU OUTof your goddamn mind?” Nick Damone threw the script down on his agent’s desk. To his credit, Garrett Chandler didn’t flinch, most likely because he’d dealt with more than his fair share of temperamental clients. Not that Nick was temperamental. He had every right to be pissed. “Even if I wanted to play an adulterous, wife-beating scumbag—which I don’t—there’s absolutely no way the studio’s going to go for it.”

“Leave Eclipse to me. You’ve made them a midsize mint playing Trent Savage.” Garrett sank into his butter-leather chair. “Besides, you said you wanted to get out of L.A. for a few months. So do it. Get back to your theater roots. Break free from your on-screen persona and try something edgy.”

“Yeah.” Nick was tired of the backstabbers and bootlickers who were the bedrock of Hollywood society. Spent from the acrobatics of embracing fame but avoiding scandal. And at thirty-three, his days as action hero Trent Savage were numbered, and with it his livelihood unless he expanded. Denzel starred in action, drama, comedy. Won an Oscar in his thirties, another in his forties, and kept getting nominated every year or two. Robert Downey Jr. was buried in awards and prime projects, with first refusal on scripts that would make Nick weep on cue. If he wanted his career to have legs like that, he needed to be more than Trent Savage.

But there was edgy and there was diving off cliffs. Onto jagged rocks, at low tide, in front of a live audience. Eight times a week.

“Trust me, Nick. I didn’t get you this far by pulling advice out of my ass. This role is gold. I’m talking Tony-worthy.” Garrett motioned for Nick to sit in one of the webbed chairs opposite the wide mahogany desk and pushed the script toward him. “Dig into this again. I think you’ll see it’s everything you’re looking for.”

Nick sat, stretching his long legs and crossing them at the ankles. The flight from Hong Kong, where his latest picture just wrapped, had been long and damn uncomfortable. Even first class was no place for a guy of six foot four. All he wanted now was a thick steak, a hot shower and a good night’s sleep. All of which he’d get after he won this argument with his worthless agent, who, unfortunately, also happened to be the closest he had to a best friend. He tended to keep people at arm’s length, where they couldn’t mess with his head. Or his heart.

“What do we know about this playwright?” He traced the words on the script cover, his brain taking a moment to decipher the jumbled letters.The Lesser Vesselby H. N. Ryan.

“Not much,” Garrett admitted. “She’s new. Her bio’s pretty sketchy—went to Wesleyan, a few plays off-off-Broadway that closed early. But Ted and Judith say her talent is once a generation. They optioned this play before it was even finished. Coming from two of the hottest producers on Broadway, that’s a pretty big endorsement.”

“She?” Nick leaned forward in his chair. Spousal abuse was a hot-button topic after a spate of recent celebrity arrests, but the writing hadn’t felt like an “issue” play, which—shoot him for saying so—made him assume it was written by a man.

He wouldn’t admit it to Garrett, but he’d read the whole gut-wrenching story on the plane—instead of sleeping. The author had gotten into his head, and to find out the guy who spoke to him was a woman was...disconcerting.

What Garrett didn’t know—what almost no one knew—was that domestic violence had been a part of Nick’s daily existence for years. It still reared its ugly head every time his mom visited him, or when he talked to her on the phone. Affected him most on those rare occasions when he contemplated going home to confront his father.

He’d kept his distance, though, because he didn’t trust either of them to control their rage. His mother suffered enough already. She didn’t need the two of them beating each other to a pulp.

“A woman,” he said again.

“Down, boy. She’s not your type.”

Nick didn’t bother correcting Garrett’s perception of him as a skirt-chasing man whore. He’d given up fighting that image. In reality, he was more of a serial monogamist, but he’d learned the hard way that it wasn’t worth bucking the Hollywood machine. The press, the studio—hell, even Garrett—were happy to exploit his image as a ladies’ man, truth be damned. Nothing he could do or say was going to change that. “How do you know she’s not my type?”

“According to Ted, she’s short, smart and sweet. That’s three strikes against her in your book.”

“Hey,” Nick protested with a wry smile. “The women I date are sweet.” Tall, leggy and vapid, sure. But sweet. He wasn’t looking for a lifetime commitment. If watching his parents hadn’t been enough to sour him on marriage, then dealing with the liars and cheaters in Hollywood for the past ten years had put the nail in that coffin.

Love would have to wait a very long time to catch Nick.

“I’m not kidding.” Unlike Nick, Garrett wasn’t smiling. “This one’s off-limits. She’s a serious author, not one of your blonde bimbos.”

“Whatever.” Garrett’s threat was meaningless for one simple reason: Nick wasn’t doing this play. Final answer. Game over.

Exhaustion invading like crystalline Ambien, he closed his eyes and rested his head against the back of the chair. He needed to come up with a new plan of attack or he’d find himself in a rehearsal room in Chelsea. “So the writer’s legit and the play’s the real deal. But why the bastard ex-husband? What about the cop?”

Garrett shook his head. “Pussy part. Besides, it’s already been offered and accepted.”

Nick snapped to attention. “Who?”

Garrett shuffled through some papers, doing a shit job of stalling. They both spoke fluent body language, and Nick could tell he wasn’t going to like Garrett’s answer. “Malcolm Justice.”