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The Princess and the Porn Star
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The Princess and the Porn Star
By: Lauren Gallagher
Type: eBook
Genre: Contemporary, Red Hots!!!
Artist: Angela Waters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 05-07-2013
Length: Novel
ISBN: 978-1-61921-590-0
$5.50

 
She’s got the moves. He’s got the heat. Will their hearts catch the rhythm?

Rachel Taylor’s manager has to be kidding. A porn star dancing beside her in her next music video? She didn’t claw her way back from near obscurity in the pop music world only to become a laughingstock all over again.

Yet the moment she meets Lee, a.k.a. the infamous Buck Harder, their chemistry sizzles. There’s much more to the man behind the stage name than the obvious attributes that make him so successful, and soon she’s fantasizing about sharing more than just a stage.

In only a few steps, they find a perfect, dance-floor groove hot enough to melt the camera lens. But when the video’s release blows up in their faces, her record label exercises an obscure but ironclad clause—stay away from each other. Or else.

Meeting in secret seems the most delicious solution. But they can’t hide this kind of heat for long…and when the paparazzi sniff them out, she realizes choosing to stay with the man she’s fallen for could cause her to fall off the pop music map—permanently.
Product Warnings
Let’s just say there’s a reason Buck Harder went into his line of work, and it ain’t his pretty smile. Wink wink.

Copyright © 2012 Lauren Gallagher
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

“A porn star?” I stared at my manager in disbelief. “Are you kidding me?”

Leaning against the off-white wall of the cramped space that served as my dressing room, Rich shook his head. “Not kidding.”

I pinched the bridge of my nose and forced a breath out through clenched teeth. “Look, dancing with some guy is one thing”—I dropped my hand and looked at him again—“but this is a bit over the top, don’t you think?”

Shrugging, Rich said, “Well, it’s not your decision. This is what the label wants.”

“How does this make any sense, though?” I threw up my hand. “The company that spent how long spelling out my morality clause so I know in no uncertain terms they can drop me if I step even a little out of line and tarnish their image, and now they’re bringing a porn star into my damned video?”

Rich shouldered himself off the wall. “Rachel. Hon.” He adopted that condescending tone that had always made my teeth grind. “The idea is that you’re breaking out of your squeaky-clean image from your early career.” The smile was as condescending as his voice. “Olivia Taylor has grown up.”

I glared at him. “Grown up and, what? Joined a whorehouse?”

Rich laughed. “It’s not like you’re going to be in a porno with him. They’re just bringing him in because he’ll be unexpected and he’s got sex appeal. He’s risqué and forbidden, so the video will have that quality.”

“Are you suggesting I don’t have sex appeal?”

“Of course you do,” he said with a dismissive gesture. “But not the way a porn star does. I should also add that for a porn star, he’s quite popular with females in the demographic we’re targeting.”

I folded my arms across my chest. “Since when are porn stars popular with women?”

He chuckled. “Since Buck Harder showed up on the scene, apparently.”

A snort that was equal parts derisive and amused came from behind me and reminded me that Quinn, my assistant, was still in the room. He followed it with a muffled, “Sorry…”

I didn’t look at him, though. To Rich, I said, “Buck. Harder.” I raised both eyebrows. “You’re serious.”

“Yes.” Rich tilted his head a little, making the fluorescent glare on his bald head shift toward what was left of his hairline. “I don’t know what you’re so upset about. You aren’t going to be doing anything but dancing with him.”

“Then why a porn star?” I asked.

He shrugged again. “What we’re trying to present is the image of a woman who’s taken control. You’re a powerful vixen, and you’re not ashamed of your sexuality.”

“I’m not ashamed of my breasts, either,” I grumbled, “but I’d prefer to keep them in my clothes if that’s all right with Risen Star.”

Rich just laughed. “Well, the decision has been made. Besides, you know what they say. There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

I narrowed my eyes. “Says the man who’s never been dropped from a record label for misbehaving in the headlines.”

“You’re not misbehaving in the headlines.” He gave an exasperated sigh. “You’re just projecting a sexier, more mature image. That, and you’re clean now, which is what I think the label was more concerned about.” Before I could reply, he added, “Your music is better than it’s ever been, kid, and if this album sells, you’re golden. If this video ups those sales, then…” He trailed off with yet another shrug. “Why do you care what your dance partner does with the rest of his life?”

“Rich, my new contract specifically says Risen Star will drop me in a damned heartbeat if I bring in any bad press.”

He waved a hand. “That clause is just to cover their asses. You know that. They’re concerned about you going back to rehab or something. They’re not going to drop you unless you really screw up and make them look bad.”

“And yet they’re the ones putting me in a video with a fucking porn star.”

“Rachel. Sweetheart.” He put his hands on my shoulders and gave me that serious look that made me feel like a damned child. “You’re still on thin ice with the label, and they’re still not a hundred percent sure about bringing you back on board in the first place. You need to play their game and do things their way for a while, even if you don’t agree with or understand them.”

I sighed, and my shoulders sank beneath his hands. What could I say? Risen Star held all the cards, and until I proved myself a worthy risk, I didn’t have many options.

“It’s either do what they say,” Rich went on, “or go back to doing reality shows for washed-up celebrities. And even they aren’t all that interested in you anymore.”

“Ouch.”

His bushy eyebrows rose, and his forehead creased. “Am I wrong?”

Another sigh, this time made of pure defeat. “No. You’re not.”

“Good. Now get dressed.” He patted my shoulder. “Director wants you front and center in half an hour.”

“Okay,” was all I said.

“Trust me, hon. The marketing guys and the director know what they’re doing.”

“I hope so,” I said flatly.

He turned to go, and when the door closed behind him, I let out a breath and sank onto a folding chair.

“Jesus H.” Quinn gave a dramatic huff from the other chair where he’d been sitting quietly this whole time. Glaring at the door over his black-framed hipster glasses, he said, “That guy doesn’t just drink Risen Star’s Kool-Aid. He cuts that shit into lines and snorts it.” The second the words were out, Quinn clapped a hand over his mouth. “Shit, I’m sorry. That—”

“It’s okay. You’re probably right anyway.” I ran a hand through my hair and scowled. “Besides, what choice does he have?” I leaned back in the chair. “We all know he’s right.”

Quinn clicked his tongue. “He’s still a douche, and I don’t mean the anal kind that’s actually useful.”

“God. Quinn.” I wrinkled my nose and couldn’t help giggling as I covered my face with my hands. “Eww.”

He smothered a laugh. “That got a smile out of you. I regret nothing.”

I laughed again, this time halfheartedly. “I cannot believe they’re sticking me with a porn star.”

Immediately, I knew that was the wrong choice of words, but before I could come up with something else, Quinn deadpanned, “I wouldn’t mind someone sticking me with a porn star.”

“Of course you wouldn’t.” I shook my head. “This whole thing is just insane, though.”

“Well, Rich did make one good point.” Quinn’s tone had shifted to a gentle but serious one. “This guy they’re bringing has got to have some sex appeal, and we all know sex sells.”

“Yeah, I know it does. But this seems… I mean it sounds…” I leaned forward and rubbed my temples. “Do I sound like as much of a whiny spoiled brat to you as I do to myself?”

“Honey. Honey.” He got up, dragged his chair over to mine and sat beside me. Then his cool, perfectly manicured hand closed around mine. “Rachel, look at me.”

I did.

He took off his glasses and looked me in the eye. “This is your dream. It’s fallen apart once before, and you’re getting the second chance you didn’t think you’d ever get. You’ve grown up since the last time. You’ve learned so, so much. You’ve also crashed and burned, so you know exactly how much you have to lose.” He squeezed my hand. “You’re not being a spoiled brat, sweetie. You’re looking at things and questioning them because you don’t want your dream getting away from you again, whether it’s because you screwed up or because some douchewaffle comb-over corporate cocksucker did.”

I burst into giggles. “You are so eloquent, Quinn.”

He grinned. “But I’m right, yes?”

Nodding, I sighed. “Yeah, you are. I’m really trying to walk the line for these people, but I’m so scared it’s going to get yanked out from under me at any moment.”

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