Ever walk into a room full of strangers and see someone you just have to know? It’s not the smile, the clothes, the demeanor, it’s everything under the surface, creating a connection drawing you two together. It’s not necessarily lust or anything romantic.
This is the special thing we try to capture in our characters, in our books. (We say “our” because Ashleigh Raine is two authors writing under one pen name.) We’re not talking about love at first sight. We’re talking about something deeper, stronger, undeniable, something that’s difficult to describe, and you don’t always know it when it’s happening. It doesn’t matter what the person looks like, it’s what he or she just is like.
In Starstruck, Micah is a very hot hunk of manflesh, and Jenna’s a gorgeous sweetheart, but that’s not what makes their meeting special. In fact, they don’t even have much time to be attracted to each other by the time their worlds collide. They’re on the set of a television show where Jenna is a background actor and Micah is one of the stars.
“Rolling!” was shouted, and the makeup lady stepped away from Micah.
Jenna repeated the same actions, glad she’d already done it twice before since her mind was still whirling from her close call. Crystal’s unprofessional phone interruption had done one good thing in this case—increased the tension. Both actors were more in the moment, the argument resonating with a stronger passion than earlier.
“I think you’re wrong.” Crystal spun toward Micah, glaring, hands fisted at her hips.
There was less room to get around Micah and Crystal, but Jenna figured she could still ease by without looking too unnatural. If her fake ducking drop before hadn’t been a problem, sliding behind the arguing duo shouldn’t be either.
Micah whipped around to face Crystal. “Didn’t you see—” Punctuating his words, he swung his arm out in a wide gesture.
Jenna tried to duck, but there wasn’t enough time or space. Micah’s arm struck her across the face, and she fell backward, landing flat on her ass, staring up at Mr. Sexy M.D. himself.
Crap. Somehow she didn’t think she would escape unnoticed this time.
In thirty years of acting Micah had done just about everything…except punch an extra in the face. How great for him that he’d reached a new fucking low.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t see you there. Are you okay?” He sank to the floor next to the poor girl while Steve, the First Assistant Director, shouted for a medic. Micah didn’t see any blood, and the girl’s eyes were open, wide open, shining a bright blue right up at him. Before he could offer her a hand, she started scrambling to her feet.
“I’m fine. Really.”
Taking her elbow, he helped her the rest of the way to standing. She was trembling, which made him feel like an even bigger shit. Even the small smile and whispered “Thank you” she gave him before stepping away didn’t ease his conscience.
How could he not have seen her? Had she done the same cross in every take? Dammit, he was as bad as Crystal, ignoring everything outside his little bubble and fucking things up in the process.
After she walks away something deep within him makes him seek her out before it’s too late. Something more that pushes him to make plans to see her that night. Neither one of them is aware of the deep connection growing between them. Not yet anyway. Read the rest of this entry »