NY Times Bestselling Author
He thought she was the one . . .
until she walked away.
Now she’s back and he wants her more than ever.
As a former Marine, Xander Kingston’s writing keeps him sane. Bonus? His thrillers made him one of Hollywood’s most desired screenwriters – and also introduced him to a fledgling starlet who broke his heart. With his close-knit family in New York, Xander returned home and found peace. Until Sasha Evans shows up at his Hamptons retreat. Now an A-Lister, she’s as beautiful as he remembers. And just as dangerous to his heart.
Sasha learned from watching her mother to never sacrifice her dreams for anyone—only to discover how empty life could be without the man she loved. Now cast in Xander’s latest movie, she needs his insight to play the part, but secretly hopes for a second chance.
Xander has built emotional walls to keep Sasha at a distance, but their physical attraction can’t be denied. When a stalker’s threats intensify, Xander moves Sasha into his house to keep her safe. Before long she’s back in his bed and making inroads in his life.
But when the danger passes and the movie wraps, Sasha and Xander face a familiar choice—put career first or give love a fighting chance.
Xander Kingston’s latest book is being made into a movie. It will be filmed in New York City and he will be on set as a consultant. This one is important since the main character is getting a new love interest, the first since his wife died. The actress who was to play the part backed out and her replacement, Sasha Evans has a history with Xander. She broke his heart, her career first and foremost always.
While Xander knows she will bring the audience, he’s not looking forward to seeing her and intends to keep his distance. But she shows up on his doorstep looking to clear the air and learn more about her character before filming starts. Against his better judgement Xander agrees to meet her in the city for dinner. Once they actually get to their table the meal and talk went well, but a bit of chaos ensues as they are leaving.
This is a favorite scene once they reach the hotel.
He exited the car first. She slid across the seat and stepped out, accepting the hand he offered. Xander Kingston was nothing if not a gentleman.
Then he slammed the door shut and she forced herself to meet his gaze. His closed-off expression told her all she needed to know, and she had no intention of prolonging the inevitable.
“Thanks for dinner and the information about Amanda. I’ll see you on set,” she said, turning to go.
“Wait.” He touched her shoulder, and she glanced back. “I’ll walk you to your room.”
She had no desire for a long goodbye. “Thanks but I’ll be okay.”
He raised an eyebrow. “You hoped for the same thing when we left the restaurant. Humor me,” he said, gesturing for her to go first.
She knew better than to argue, and they headed inside the hotel, walking through the lobby. They reached the elevators, and he stood beside her as she pressed the up button.
She glanced at him. “I’m sure I can get to my room without a problem.”
The doors opened and he stepped inside along with her, subjecting her to his heady body heat and scent in the enclosed space. With a deliberately loud sigh, she pulled her keycard from her purse and watched the floor numbers go upward, waiting in silence while wishing this awkwardness would end.
She had nothing to say and clearly he didn’t either. His one-word curse earlier had been enough.
The elevator stopped, the doors opened, and she strode to her room. She opened the door, planning to turn and tell him to leave, but the sound of familiar voices distracted her.
In the suite sat Cassidy with Rebecca and Dina Addams, her publicist, who was located in LA but had come to the city for meetings this coming week.
“What’s wrong? What is everyone doing here?” Sasha entered the room and Xander stepped in behind her.
“It’s about time you got back! Since when don’t you check your phone?” Rebecca asked.
“I… We were busy talking. What’s going on?” Sasha glanced at her team.
Rebecca, a dedicated career woman at sixty years old, still looked closer to fifty. She wore her hair in a short bob and was the epitome of New York chic. Dina was in her early forties, dressed like she was twenty-five, and handled some of the most famous people in Hollywood.
“Shut the door,” Dina said. Xander immediately let go and the door closed behind him.
Whatever was going on, Sasha didn’t want him as an audience and turned his way. “As you can see, I’m here and I’m safe. You can go now.”
His scowl deepened and Dina spoke. “Let him stay. He’ll be on set. He should know what’s going on.”
“What is going on? Is someone going to tell me?” Sasha strode over to the cocktail table by the sofa and put her purse down before leveling her team, one by one, with a hard stare.
Cassidy looked the most worried.
Her friend sighed. “I ordered dinner, and while I was waiting, I took a shower. When I came out, a note had been slipped under the door. I thought it was a bill they’d put for you to look over even though we weren’t checking out soon.” She twisted her hands in front of her.
“It wasn’t?” This came from Xander.
Sasha had almost forgotten he was there. Almost.
“No, it wasn’t.” Dina, who stood by the window, stepped in closer. “You received a note,” she said to Sasha.
“Can I see?”
The other women looked at each other before Dina pulled a sealed plastic bag from her tote. “Just preserving evidence as best I can,” she said.
“Evidence?” Sasha took the bag and looked at the paper with the words You’re Mine on the page. Each letter, individually cut out and pasted on the paper, had a different computer font.
“Jesus Christ,” Xander said from behind her, his big body vibrating with anger.
“Someone sent this to me?” she asked, unease rippling through her.
“Yes,” Dina said.
Sasha blew out a long breath, trying to be rational. “Okay, well, we all know celebrities get notes from obsessed fans all the time. It doesn’t mean–”
“It means someone reached your floor and got as far as your door. Which is why I said you need security,” Xander all but growled in her ear.
“We’ll get to that,” Rebecca said.
Dina cleared her throat. “Unfortunately, this isn’t the first note you’ve gotten that has this … possessive tone.”
Sasha’s mail was sent through Dina’s agency. They vetted each piece and forwarded on to Cassidy what was important. It helped keep both Sasha’s and Cassidy’s life manageable and the crazies at a distance.
“How many more notes has she gotten?” Xander stepped around Sasha and pulled the bag out of Dina’s hand.
The publicist shifted from foot to foot in her expensive heels. “We run her social media accounts, and I have someone pulling the messages and actual fan snail mail as we speak. But quite a few.”
Anger and concern rushed through Sasha. She paid these people to handle things and report back to her. If they didn’t, how could she know she was safe? “Why wasn’t I told about them?”
“For the reason you just mentioned. Our clients get these kinds of emails, snail mail, and direct messages often,” Dina said. “The only time we bring them to their attention is if the contents seem dangerous or it escalates. Otherwise, there would be no point in us handling things for you.”
Her reasoning made sense but Sasha wasn’t completely satisfied.
“I don’t like this,” Xander muttered. “Not after today.”
“What happened today?” It sounded like all three women asked the same question at once.
Xander folded his arms across his broad chest. “Someone recognized her, which led to autographs and photos. After we ate dinner, she was surrounded on her way out of the restaurant. A guy grabbed her and tried to pull her away.”
“Xander wrapped an arm around me and we made it to the car that Cassidy arranged for us.” Sasha hadn’t been as freaked out by the incident as he had, mostly because she’d been in those situations before. But now? “Do you think it’s the same person? The guy who grabbed me and the one who left the note?”
“Serafina is within walking distance,” he said of the restaurant. “It could be the same person. Or it could be two different people.” He’d begun pacing back and forth in the suite.
Although the room normally felt big, with his long strides and large build, the area seemed to shrink, and she grew more aware of him. It didn’t matter that there were three others in the room. Xander took up all her oxygen.
“Either way, I don’t like this.” He turned to face her. “I’m calling a friend of mine who runs a bodyguard business. Alpha Security is the best and I’m bringing them in,” he said.
“I—” she began.
“Not up for argument.” Xander had an obstinate expression on his face as he interrupted her and his determined gaze met hers.
She shrugged. “I was just going to say I have a company on retainer. I don’t plan on being stupid with my safety.”
Dina cleared her throat. “Your firm in LA is solid,” she said. “A lot of my clients use them.”
Xander glared at her. “Alpha is excellent and they’re local. Dash uses them, and if they’re good enough for the Original Kings, I feel comfortable hiring them for Sasha.”
“You feel comfortable? Why are we considering your feelings? And why is everyone talking around me instead of to me?” Sasha glared at Xander, the person she was most upset with, the memory of his reaction to their kiss still lingering along with the hurt she felt at his rejection.
“Excuse us a minute,” she said to everyone else in the room before grabbing his hand and pulling him into the bedroom, slamming the door shut behind them.
Carly Phillips. Just One Chance (Kindle Locations 657-722). CP Publishing.
Not really liking the options, Xander insists Sasha come stay at his Long Island home. His security is excellent and the added men from Alpha Security would have no problem keeping an eye all around.
They find there’s more than just a few things from this stalker and he’s definitely escalating. Finding this person isn’t going to be easy and while Sasha is mostly accepting of the additional security, she’s also straining at the bit.
Being alone together has both Xander and Sasha remembering how good they are together. Sasha just has to convince him she’s not the same person she was and her goals are different now. She just needs a plan.
Suspense, intrigue, action and a romance that builds to some sizzling heat. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Carly!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.
Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.