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Izzie Greene never wanted the limelight. As a caterer for Poe, the top-rated U.S. TV show, she had background player down pat. Her main focus was to spoil the cast and crew and fantasize about her celebrity crush, Scotsman Cardwell Bennett, while navigating the daily chaos.
Izzie’s professional life takes a sharp left turn when her ex-boyfriend unexpectedly arrives on set. Her personal life spirals into Hell when she runs afoul of an unethical paparazzo. Thrust into the public eye, her notoriety is fueled by equal measures of constant scrutiny, speculation, and half-truths. Her rumored romance with Cardwell further stokes the flames.
Held captive by the media, accident-prone Izzie struggles to keep her privacy, secrets, and sanity intact—not to mention her sense of humor. With help from her best friend Delly, her temperamental cat Edgar, and unexpected backup, Izzie might withstand the onslaught. And survive the season.
Page Count: 274
Word Count: 63875
Contentment oozed through my body, and I relaxed. In the back of my head, I wasn’t worrying about Ritchie nursing a grudge over something stupid or wondering what drama he would unleash. Life wasn’t perfect, but it was my perfectly weird life.
I had just stooped to pull the last tray of scones from the oven when someone leaned over and whispered in my ear.
Startled, I jerked back my head, connecting with the person behind me. Together, we crashed to the floor in a tangle of bodies. I lifted my cheek from the warm chest I’d landed on and froze.
“Are you okay?” Cardwell smoothed away the hair from my face.
Dumbstruck, I nodded, held my breath, and slid off his body. I didn’t exhale until I sat leaning against the counter, waiting for my racing heart to slow.
Cardwell stood and held out his hand.
I grasped it and let him haul me to my feet. Once upright, I gasped. “Shit! Your nose is bleeding!” Nothing better than head butting the leading man first thing in the morning. I grabbed the closest towel and forced it under his nose. “Sit.” I steered him to the stool Delly vacated.
He leaned back his head, blood oozing through the fabric.
“No, don’t tilt your head!” I shook my open-palmed hands. “Vincent will kill me if you choke on your own blood.”
Cardwell dropped his head back to a normal position, his eyes shining brightly over the top of the towel.
“Keep that in place and pinch just below the bridge of your nose. Don’t move.” I grabbed a second towel, bolted to the icemaker, and created a makeshift ice pack. I rushed back, ignoring his persistent gaze. “Let me take a look, but keep your nose pinched.” I removed the bloodstained towel. His nose was red and swollen. “Does it feel like it’s broken?”
“Don’t know. I’ve never had a broken nose.” He probed with his fingers and winced. “It hurts, but I think not.”
“Great. Let go.”
He released his hold.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Not the slightest trickle of blood, and his nose wasn’t any more crooked than on a normal day. “The bleeding’s stopped already.” I handed him the ice pack. “If the swelling doesn’t go down, though, Vincent’ll freak.”
“Get the scones.”
The ice pack muffled his voice. I turned my ear toward him and leaned in. “What?”
“The scones.” He nodded toward the oven. “They’ll burn.”
I slid out the tray and set it on the far end of the counter to cool before wetting another towel in the sink. Wringing the cotton damp, I marched back to Cardwell. “You look like something out of a horror movie.”
He set the ice pack on the counter and sat without moving.
With gentle swipes, I wiped away the blood. “That’s better. Keep on the ice pack.” I tossed the bloody towel into the sink. “Probably not the best idea, but do you want a cup of coffee?”
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