Three years after her ex-boyfriend left her to pursue his Hollywood dream, barista Riley Eames’ life is still on hold, hindered by questions only he can answer. So when he asks to meet her for a booty call while he’s in town, she reluctantly agrees, only to find herself stuck in the hotel elevator with rising British star, Ashe Hunter.
He’s gorgeous, charming, and before the night is over, smitten.
But a Hollywood romance may not be enough to get Riley’s life moving again, not when the answers to the questions she’s been seeking are finally revealed, leading her to question everything that is true in her life – like moving on…
and falling in love.
"So you are famous," Riley said. "Does it bother you that some people don't recognize you?"
He shook his head. "No, and in fact, I prefer they didn't. That way, I get to eat my noodles in peace and not worry about somebody taking unflattering pictures of me as I eat. Hopefully not with a noodle hanging from my mouth."
"I'm sorry," Riley said.
"It's not your fault that some people can't help themselves."
Riley took a deep breath. The conversation seemed to drag his mood down. The smile was completely gone. "So, do you like it? Acting?"
"I do, yes," he replied, the smile returning to his face. "I've been doing it now for the past ten years or so."
Three giggling teenagers walked past them, and Riley thought they were about to line up in front of him and ask for autographs. But the teenagers were more engrossed in what was on their phones than the people around them and had settled themselves at the next table.
"Is this the part where I'm supposed to ask you what shows you've been on?" Riley asked.
He chuckled. "This is the part where you get to ask me whatever you want."
Riley took a deep breath and thought for a moment. What would she ask, she wondered? She wondered if it bruised his ego, meeting someone who had no idea who he was. Perhaps Gareth felt the same way when someone didn't recognize him. Back then, no one did.
"People usually answer questions more truthfully when they're under pressure," Riley said. "So now it's rapid-fire question time. I'll take the first answer that comes to mind. Ready?"
Ashe frowned as if he didn't understand what she meant. But Riley didn't want to give him time to think. He could improvise if he had to, lie if necessary.
"Morning person or night person?"
"Night person," he replied, a smile forming on his lips.
"Are you funny?"
"Do you consider yourself serious then?"
"Unfortunately, yes. In fact, tonight, someone just called me an old fart."
"If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be?"
"Pepe La Pew."
"If one song were to describe your life, what would it be?"
"I Don't Want to Miss A Thing."
"Aerosmith! That's my favorite band! And did you know that they're playing in Atlantic City—"
"Next question or it's my turn," Ashe warned, arching an eyebrow.
"What do you like best about your job?"
"Being someone I'm not—for a time."
"What don't you like about your job?"
"That you're only as good as your last movie."
"When did you last get laid—No! I mean, when was the last time you lied? Lied! Lied, not laid!"
Ashe chuckled, then forced himself to be serious. "Just before I got into that elevator with you."
"Was that an answer to the first question or the second?"
* * *
Previously the Loving Ashe Trilogy