EXCERPT & NEW RELEASE: Bare by Sarah Robinson
Reed Scott is the hottest actor in LA…
Being a Hollywood heartthrob has its perks, and I’ve damn sure enjoyed every one of them, both on and off the silver screen. The tabloids loved every second of exploiting my privacy, chronicling my mistakes in ink for the whole world to see. Accepting the lead role in a romantic dance film was guaranteed to make me a box office hit and help me rewrite my image, until the choreographer hired to train me turned out to be the only woman I’d ever loved and lost.
As beautiful and enticing as ever, Tegan walks in and reminds me of the worst mistake I’ve ever made. She should hate me, and now she has the power to destroy everything I am.
Tegan Reynolds is picking up the pieces…
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…never going to happen. I fell in love with Reed Scott once and it nearly killed me—literally. The last thing I want to do now is teach him how to dance, but I need this job and there’s no way I’m letting him take yet another thing away from me.
Reed is in my world now, and this time we’re dancing by my rules.
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Am I cursed? Teagan stared at herself in the mirror of her small apartment bathroom. She felt cursed. Reed-Scott-freaking-cursed.
Life certainly hadn't handed her the easiest go, and now, just when she'd thought things were finally turning around because she'd landed a fantastic job as a film choreographer, fate was still proving it had other plans for her. This job was supposed to be her big break—well, break-ish. Sure, it wasn’t what she'd wanted out of her life, but her dreams were no longer an option.
And this job? Most people would kill for it. So, she was choosing to be grateful.
She had to choose to be grateful a lot, actually. If she didn't, then life would have gotten the better of her years ago. Teagan glanced down at her legs, tracing a finger across the long scar that stretched from her knee to her hip. She tried to hide it under leggings and skirts, but it wasn’t always possible.
When she'd almost died in a car accident at the age of twenty-one, she'd thought she'd never walk again. Hell, the doctors had told her exactly that. And dancing? That was an impossibility.
The years and years she'd spent training to become a professional dancer had all been wiped away in less time than it took for that car to slam hers into a ditch. Despite the doctor's predictions that her wheelchair would become a permanent fixture, though, she'd proved them all wrong. She'd spent years learning to walk, and then dance, again. Sure, she'd probably never have the agility to become the famous dancer she'd always dreamed of being, but she could at least teach. And with that, she'd found a way to keep doing what she loved…even if it was not exactly what she loved.
So, she chose to be grateful.
But seeing Reed Scott again? The man who made her believe in everlasting, soul-deep, earth shattering love and then left her standing alone at the altar on their wedding day? The man who had left her just to star in a movie that would make him famous?
She was not grateful for that—or for him—one bit.
Teagan finished putting on the last touches of her makeup then changed into a new pair of leggings and a leotard. Glancing one last time in the mirror, she fluffed out her wavy brown hair nervously. As much as she might hate him, she found herself wanting to look her best for him anyway. Make him eat his heart out. Make him regret ever leaving her like that in the first place.
She swallowed, trying to push away her frustration. That didn’t seem possible right now, though. Sighing, Teagan grabbed her car keys off the small table by her front door and gave one last glance around the small Los Angeles apartment she called home. Benson, her incredibly fat tabby cat, was lounging on the windowsill, lazily yawning and watching her. "Bye, Benson. Be good."
He didn't even blink at her. He'd probably still be lying in that exact same spot when she came home later.
Teagan blew him a kiss then headed out, locking her front door carefully behind her. Within a few minutes, she was behind the wheel of her car and heading toward the studio. It was still dark outside, but she didn't mind one bit. She enjoyed early mornings when the world was quiet and the roads were clearer. Driving was still something that made her a little tense after her car accident, and traffic in Los Angeles was always horrendous. But, at five o’clock in the morning, it was a lot more manageable and didn't make her feel so…terrified.
Luckily, her commute was short and she arrived on set twenty minutes later. She headed straight to the studio where she'd told Reed to meet her, but he wasn't there yet, which she'd expected since she was a bit early. Placing her dance bag on the shelf to one side of the studio, she pulled out her heel dancer shoes with a cute buckle T-strap over the top of her foot and put them on. She pulled on a loose fitting, light sweater over her leotard for some coverage, since it reached almost to the bottom of her ass.
Next, she began to shimmy out of her leggings, since she was able to work a lot better in her leotard without restriction to her legs. She got down to her knees before she realized that being bare legged would reveal the scar on her leg. Quickly, she slid them back up her legs.
Teagan whirled around, looking for the person who'd just broken the silence around her.
Reed Scott. Of course.
"You scared the crap out of me," she told him, grateful that he hadn’t been able to see her scar from where he was standing for the brief moment her leggings had been down.
"Sorry," he replied, clearly making an effort to look anywhere but at her. "I didn't know you'd be…uh, I mean, I wasn't expecting…"
She rolled her eyes. Actors were so dramatic. "I'm not getting naked, Reed. I was just, uh, putting on my leggings to dance."
"Sure. Right. Yeah." He was rambling, clutching the gym bag over his shoulder. "So, time to get started?"
"Yep. Put your stuff on the shelf and we'll get started," she instructed, doing her best to ignore the butterflies fluttering in her stomach at the very sight of him. Fuck, he looked even better than he'd looked the last time she'd seen him. Tall, broad shoulders, olive skin under thick
black hair with a scruffy beard she remembered was very soft. And those eyes…God, the way those light green eyes pierced through her.
He stood you up at the altar, she reminded herself. For a damn movie.
"Sure." He headed toward her and placed his bag on the shelf. "What are we practicing today?"
"It's a pretty short routine today, actually. It shouldn't take us too long." Though she doubted he'd be the quickest learner after his warning yesterday. "Ready?"
He turned around to look at her, his eyes trailing down her body in a way that made her heart pound faster and faster. Suddenly his gaze stopped, pausing on her legs.
Her heart pounded, terrified he could see through her thin leggings to the bump of her scar. But he said nothing, and his gaze kept traveling. She was safe.
Honestly, she was a little surprised he didn't already know about her accident. It hadn’t been a secret. Everyone in her life knew, and she'd certainly expected someone to pass along the message. Or for him to check in, even once.
She'd waited for him in the hospital, expecting him to come. Expecting him to apologize. Expecting him to beg her forgiveness, realize what an idiot he had been and take her back, care for her, return her to health with his love and affection.
That hadn't really worked out.
Finally, his eyes returned to his face, and his tongue slid across his bottom lip. “You look…damn, Teag. You look amazing.”
"Listen, Reed," she began, setting her jaw and sticking out her chin. "We work together. That's it. You don't get to look at me like that anymore."
Reed looked startled, taken aback at her abruptness. Then the saddest look she'd ever seen passed over his face. "You're right. I'm sorry."
"Let's get started." She moved to the center of the studio. "I'll show you today's sequence, and then we'll go through it step by step. Okay?"
He nodded, but said nothing.
Carefully, she posed herself in the center of the room with her toes pointed and her arms around her waist. In one slick move, she sidestepped and kicked one leg out to her left, flipping her hair with the motion. She then tucked her foot, her knee pointed out horizontally from her body and spun in a circle.
On her second spin around, she kicked up high, like an incredibly tall karate kick. When her foot touched back down on the ground, she lunged to the right and threw her arms out, tossing back her head with the motion. She curved her spine outwards, pulling her stomach in as she moved her arms in a circular motion toward herself.
She twirled then, spinning on the tips of her toes while keeping her eyes on one stationary spot so she didn't get dizzy. After her fourth spin, she shoved her arms down by her sides and lifted her chin. With that, she spun back in the direction she’d just come from and leaped multiple times across the room with her arms out and her fingers pointed.
Finally, she came down on one foot and spun in several circles before coming to a stop in front of Reed. "Annnnnd, that's it."
"Shit, that looked complicated as hell," he admitted. "Though you looked incredible doing it."
She ignored his compliment. Or, rather, she tried. Admittedly, her heart pounded a little harder. But, that was being ignored for now. "Let's go over the first step." She repeated the side steps and kicking her leg to the left. "Just like that. Let's see what you can do."
Reed followed in her footsteps, and honestly, it wasn't terrible. It wasn't great either. "Like that?"
"Close," she admitted. "Let's go through it again."
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Ben Lawson is making a comeback...
After a few tabloid headlines, they think they know me. They don't know a damn thing. As CEO of a movie production company, I'll show them who I really am when we hit it big at the box office. My ex thought her smear tactics would ruin me, but I'm unbreakable. Rising from the debris, I swore I'd never let a woman distract me like that again. But then, my leading actress walked on the set and changed everything. Seductive, sexy, and unapologetic, Aria Rose could break me. I wanted to help her, protect her...love her. Instead, I destroyed her. Aria Rose is baring it all....
I knew better. I knew not to trust another Hollywood heartthrob with a reputation like his. He was my boss and became my ruin. I should have stayed far away from him. Ben Lawson promised me the world. He even promised me his heart. But he destroyed everything--my heart, my career, us.
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Meet The Author: Sarah Robinson
Aside from being a Top 10 Barnes & Noble and Amazon Bestseller, Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in forensic and clinical psychology. She is newly married to a wonderful man who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiasts as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescues including everything from mammals to reptiles to marsupials, as well as volunteering and fostering for multiple animal shelters.
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