In the Heat of the Spotlight

By: Kate Hewitt

His power and passion will lay her bare

Ambitious CEO Luke Bryant needs a big-name star to help launch his luxury department stores—everything hangs on its success. What he doesn’t need is washed-up pop princess and tabloid joke Aurelie Schmidt.

Faced with the sexiest, angriest man she’s ever met, Aurelie’s first comeback gig isn’t exactly going as planned. But Aurelie’s tougher than that, and she won’t let any guy, no matter how gorgeous, get beneath her skin, even if he does get between her sheets….





“Don’t call me Bryant. My name is Luke, and considering we almost slept together, I think you can manage my first name. So just stop it with the snappy one-liners and the bored tone and world-weary cynicism—”

“My, that’s quite a list—”

“Stop.” He leaned forward, his face twisting with frustration or maybe even anger. “Stop being so damn fake.”

She stilled. Said nothing, because suddenly she had nothing to say. She’d defaulted to her Aurelie persona, to the bored indifference she used as a shield. But Luke saw through it all. He stared at her now, those dark eyes blazing, burning right through her. She swallowed and looked down at her lap.

“What do you want from me?” Aurelie asked in a low voice.

“I want to know what you want from me.”





Bound by blood, separated by secrets

These powerful New York brothers know a thing or two about beautiful women, and what they don’t, they’re more than happy to learn!

But beneath the playboy facade—the slowly spreading smile and the tempting gleam in their eyes—are secrets they aim to keep deeply hidden….



January:



Beneath the Veil of Paradise

Chase Bryant seeks an exquisite oblivion in the arms of the beautiful Millie Lang for one week of pure indulgence. But will they be able to walk away at the end?



This month:



In the Heat of the Spotlight

Ambitious tycoon Luke Bryant’s power and passion will lay scandalous Aurelie bare. She’s determined not to let him get beneath her skin, but just can’t resist one touch!

Look out for the final story as the Bryant family secrets continue in 2013!





Kate Hewitt

In the Heat of the Spotlight








CHAPTER ONE

LUKE BRYANT stared at his watch for the sixth time in the last four minutes and felt his temper, already on a steady simmer, start a low boil.

She was late. He glanced enquiringly at Jenna, his Head of PR, who made useless and apologetic flapping motions with her hands. All around him the crowd that filled Bryant’s elegant crystal and marble lobby began to shift restlessly. They’d already been waiting fifteen minutes for Aurelie to make an appearance before the historic store’s grand reopening and so far she was a no-show.

Luke gritted his teeth and wished, futilely, that he could wash his hands of this whole wretched thing. He’d been busy putting out corporate fires at the Los Angeles office and had left the schedule of events for today’s reopening to his team here in New York. If he’d been on site, he wouldn’t be here waiting for someone he didn’t even want to see. What had Jenna been thinking, booking a washed-up C-list celebrity like Aurelie?

He glanced at his Head of PR again, watched as she bit her lip and made another apologetic face. Feeling not one shred of sympathy, Luke strode towards her.

‘Where is she, Jenna?’

‘Upstairs—’

‘What is she doing?’

‘Getting ready—’

Luke curbed his skyrocketing temper with some effort. ‘And does she realise she’s fifteen—’ he checked his watch ‘—sixteen and a half minutes late for the one song she’s meant to perform?’

‘I think she does,’ Jenna admitted.

Luke stared at her hard. He was getting annoyed with the wrong person, he knew. Jenna was ambitious and hardworking and, all right, she’d booked a complete has-been like Aurelie to boost the opening of the store, but at least she had a ream of market research to back up her choice. Jenna had been very firm about the fact that Aurelie appealed to their target group of eighteen to twenty-five-year-olds, she’d sung three chart-topping and apparently iconic songs of their generation, and was only twenty-six herself.

Apparently Aurelie still held the public’s interest—the same way a train wreck did, Luke thought sourly. You just couldn’t look away from the unfolding disaster.

Still, he understood the bottom line. Jenna had booked Aurelie, the advertising had gone out, and a significant number of people were here to see the former pop princess sing one of her insipid numbers before the store officially reopened. As CEO of Bryant Stores, the buck stopped with him. It always stopped with him.

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