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My Sexy Rival (Stars In Their Eyes Duet Book 2)
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To do list: Don’t let the fetching American woman charm her way into my heart.
Definitely don’t give in to spending the night with her as we plot and plan a way into the event of the century.
And absolutely don’t fall in love.
Trouble is–from her smarts to her sass to her wicked, witty mouth–Jess is everything I ought to avoid. But resisting my sexy rival is going to be oh so hard.
*MY SEXY RIVAL is book 2 of a 2-book duet!*
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The noise from the Cessna rattled the sky as the dark blue jet hit air at the far end of the runway. Being a guy, it was nearly impossible for me to tear my eyes away from the plane as it began soaring. When I was younger, I had once imagined I’d be a fighter pilot because that is one of the most badass professions a guy can be. For now, I had to focus on turning my under-the-table part-time private eye gig into a full-time-working-visa job.
I forced myself to look away from the plane as it stole through the crystal blue sky.
“This baby looks good to go,” James said, patting the side of the silver helicopter on the tarmac of the Santa Monica airport.
“Yes, sir. I’ll be all ready for Saturday,” the chopper pilot said, giving James a crisp salute. “And I will be sure to keep a good distance so as not to disturb the festivities.”
“Excellent,” James said, and I noticed he was personable with the pilot. Maybe it was just family he saved his douche-y side for. He clapped the pilot he’d hired on the back. The helicopter was part of the security plans for Saturday, circling above Ojai Ranch as the eye in the sky. The pilot’s job was also to blend in, which meant make very little noise while somehow circling above the grounds for the whole event. A fine line to toe, and since James was a thorough fellow, he’d wanted to stop by the Santa Monica airport for a triple check.
“Your turn. I’ve got three minutes, kid,” he said, crooking his finger at me to follow him across the tarmac, his bald spot gleaming in the sun like a bull’s-eye. “Tell me everything you’ve learned so far.” Too busy for even a phone call, he’d told me to meet him here to give him the update on the case he’d assigned me—I called it Days of Our Lenses, An Inside Tale of the Paparazzo Secrets. Well, that’s what I called it in my head. When speaking to my uncle, I simply gave him the specific details his client had asked for, and made a mental note to procure a fabulous thank you gift for Jess, since her insider information was the reason I still had this part-time job.
“And hookups?” he asked. “Those are usually just a tip from someone in the know?”
I nodded as the cool air of the terminal whooshed past us. James walked purposefully, taking long strides across the industrial carpet on his way to his car in the parking lot.
“Yes. That seems to be the case,” I said, careful not to reveal details of who we’d staked out last night. Besides, James had never asked for those particulars—he just needed to know the how and why.
“What about gym shots?”
“I’ll get more info on those,” I said as he reached the gate to the lot.
“Yeah, you do that. Because I need more,” he said, tapping his finger against my shoulder in a patronizing manner.
I drew a deep, fueling breath. “Thank you, James. I’d love to keep doing this if this is helpful to you. Do you think you’d be able to bring me on for a full-time position and sponsor my visa?”
God, I sounded like a fucking beggar and I hated it. But I had no choice. I’d been moonlighting for him for three months now and I was dying to know if he was seriously considering me for a job or was dangling me along.
He lowered his shades and peered at me over the top of the tinted frames, only half his eyes visible. “Get me more details and we’ll see then and only then. I’ve got this wedding on my mind and I can’t think beyond that to your little employment situation.”
He opened his car door and took off.
I flipped him the bird once his car was out of sight.
As I tracked down my bike, a small round of guilt went rat-a-tat-tat against my chest, like a mobster’s gun in an old-school crime flick. Yes, Jess was on the guest list, and sure, James had never expressly forbade photographers. But even though he was a dick, I was sneaking her into the wedding.
Except sneaking her in was the price I had to pay to get the goods that he wanted.
The goods that just might keep me in the country.
As I gunned the engine and drove to see Jess, I wondered if staying in the United States was worth all this effort.
* * *
* * *
I ducked behind the fern, and a tumble of questions scurried through my head, as I registered who I was looking at — Keats, his older brother, and the other guy. I recognized the other guy from my flash cards.
The embattled teen actor who’d decked a hotel clerk. The bleached blond with the broody brown eyes. Jenner “I Want a Room With a View on my Planet” Davies.