BACKSTAGE BENEFITS by LaQuette (on-sale Nov.30, Harlequin Desire): When show business leads to secret pleasures, how can they resist in this Devereaux Inc. novel by LaQuette.Their daytime partnership sets the night on fire. Who said they can’t have it all? Lyric Smith didn’t become the nation’s most successful lifestyle guru by losing focus. Yet Josiah Manning, daytime television’s hottest—and sexiest—young Black producer makes her do just that. Publicly, Josiah wants Lyric to star in a new talk show. Privately, he’s headlining her sexiest fantasies. But when their explosive chemistry leads to complications instead of contracts, will Lyric find the ultimate partner to help her crush her rivals…or exit stage left alone?
About LaQuette:An activist for DEIA in the romance industry, LaQuette writes bold stories featuring multicultural characters. Her writing style brings intellect to the drama. She crafts emotionally epic tales that are deeply pigmented by reality’s paintbrush. This Brooklyn native’s novels are a unique mix of savvy, sarcastic, brazen, & unapologetically sexy characters who are confident in their right to appear on the page. Find her at LaQuette.com & at LaQuette@LaQuette.com.
Excerpt, BACKSTAGE BENEFITS by LaQuette
“Are you okay?”
She seemed slightly dazed, and he couldn’t tell if it was because his hand was still lingering on her arm. He was a perfect stranger, and just because he was boys with her play cousin Jeremiah didn’t mean he had a right to touch her or barge his way all up in her mix.
He dragged his hand away. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to overstep.”
Josiah let his hungry gaze slide down her body, then brought it back up to meet hers. “If this is a hot mess,
then I don’t think the world is ready for when you get glammed up. You’re breathtaking.”
She nodded, smiling playfully as her laughter filled the cozy space between them. “You are a charmer, aren’t you? I bet all the Hollywood starlets fall at your feet when you pay them those kinds of compliments.”
He lifted a brow and pursed his lips. “You’d be wrong. I don’t pay compliments easily. And trust me, there’s no one in Hollywood that looks like you, so no, I’m not usually this charming.”
He could see the brown of her cheeks burn into a deep mauve as she blushed. “Then thank you,” she responded. “And on that flattering note, I’m gonna call a car and head home.”
“Call a car?” His question stopped her mid-turn. “You didn’t come in your own?”
“No, my cousin Amara and I had business earlier, and I hitched a ride with her. But as the family lawyer, there’s no way she can leave now.”
“Then let me take you home.”
Her cute smile as she dipped her gaze and blushed again tore down all his defenses. As a producer, he was around beautiful women all the time. But none of them disarmed him the way Lyric did.
“Is ‘take me home’ just an offer of transportation or a euphemism for sleeping with me?”
Pump your brakes, man.
He wasn’t thinking with his head at the moment, so he simply said, “Whichever you want it to be.”
He braced himself for the slap he knew he deserved. But it never came. Instead, she stepped closer to him, filling his senses with the light fragrance of citrus and coconut she wore.
“Take me home, and I’ll use the duration of the trip to decide.”
Well, I’ll be damned.