The Baxter Chronicles, Book 2
The movie star meets his match…
Welcome to Hollywood, baby! Perhaps you’ve heard of me. I play Baxter, the adventure-seeking, crime-fighting hero, adored by fans around the world. Nice gig, right? My job has its perks for sure—private jets, a chauffeur, and the best tables at the fanciest restaurants in town. It’s nuts!
Downside—it’s hard to know who you can trust.
But I trust Lorenzo. He’s funny, sweet, and very real.
Look, I’m not in the market for anything serious. Between my greedy brother and the old man who claims we’re related, I’m a little wary, but I could use a friend.
And a sexy distraction.
What is happening here? Major movie star, Pierce Allen wants me.
I don’t get it. I’m too fabulous and he’s too famous.
No, wait. He wants something from me, like my help and maybe my body. This should be a no-brainer. However, closing the last chapter on a long-term relationship has left me feeling a little fragile, and the last thing I need is to risk another broken heart.
But I’m too intrigued to walk away. I can play the part of Pierce’s “right-hand man” and keep things light and friendly. No problem.
I’m way too smart to fall for a movie star.
Baxter’s Right-Hand Man is a MM, bisexual romance featuring a sexy, slightly egotistical movie star and the adorable diva who brings him back to reality.
My schedule was too free for my own good at the moment. Daily stints in my home gym and the occasional trips to the studio to hassle Seb and his secretary in between script readings weren’t enough distractions to fill up a day.
So lunch? No problemo.
Just me and Mr. Gowan and…
I grinned when Lorenzo opened the front door. “Nice to see you again.”
“I can’t say the same,” he singsonged, rounding on me with gritted teeth when he pulled me into the foyer. “What are you up to?”
“Nothing at all. I come in peace.” I held my hands up in surrender.
“Bullshit. You got your good Samaritan story last week. You already need another one?” He planted his hip and struck a fierce pose. “Uh-oh. Have you been naughty again?”
My cock twitched on cue. Of course it did. I was kind of a sick fuck, and though he wasn’t my usual type, he was seriously sexy.
I gave him a cool once-over followed by a quirky lopsided smile. “Always.”
A spark lit his eyes before he dampened it. He paused to scan the semi-circular driveway, hooking his thumb over his shoulder meaningfully as he closed the door behind him.
“Where’s your entourage?”
“It’s just me today,” I replied, unzipping my leather jacket. “Raul will wait in his car.”
Lorenzo cocked his head curiously. “His car? Is there another car out there?”
“Yeah, he parked on the street. He’ll keep tabs on the house while I’m here.”
“Oh, right. Famous person,” he grumbled sarcastically.
“So…you’re here. In my apartment.”
“I guess I am.”
“This is weird,” Lorenzo mumbled under his breath.
“Do you want me to leave?”
He shook his head as he gathered some ingredients and set them on the counter. “Don’t be silly. I invited you.”
“Actually, I invited myself when you bragged about this soup.”
Lorenzo chuckled. “That’s true.”
“Can I help?”
“Do you know how to make a salad?”
I cracked my knuckles and made a production of rolling up my sleeves. “Dude. I am hands down the world’s best salad maker. Ever.”
Lorenzo raised a brow. “Here you go…lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, pepitas, avocado. Do you like those ingredients? Wait, before I attempt to feed you, are there any allergies I should know about? I don’t want to accidentally poison you and end up on the news.”
“Everything sounds good, and no allergies,” I declared, picking up the cucumber and smacking it on my palm.
“No playing with the cucumber, sicko. Here’s a bowl. Knock yourself out.”
I studied the lettuce and frowned. Tear or cut? Cut…probably. I reached for the knife he’d left on the cutting board and tried to decide where to start chopping—middle or end?
“Am I supposed to wash this first?”
“I did that already. But you do need to wash your hands.”
Right. I obeyed and spent more time than necessary drying them methodically as I peeked over his shoulder to watch him stir meatballs into broth.
“Smells good,” I commented.
Lorenzo quirked his lips in amusement. “You don’t know how to make a salad, do you?”
“Uh…I just haven’t done it in a while and the last time I did, I opened a bag and called it a day.”
“You can’t fail at this. Just chop everything and throw it into the bowl.” He squeezed my elbow and winked. “I believe in you, Pierce.”
I released a beleaguered sigh. “All right. Here goes nothin’.”
“So…did you happen to see the photo of us with the hunky firefighters on social media?” he asked as if to break an impending silence.
“No. Is it good?”
“Of you? Yes. I’m not sure how I got in the shot. Or how I ended up being called your assistant,” he huffed with mock annoyance.
My grin split my face in half. “Really? You work for me now? I like the sound of that.”
Lorenzo rolled his eyes. “I bet. My friends were freaking out. Don’t worry. I assured them it was the product of a weird confluence of coincidence.”
I let out a low whistle. “Confluence of coincidence. I’m gonna have to look that up. Um…I hate to ask, but do your friends know I’m here?”
He laughed. “No fucking way. First of all, I wasn’t sure you’d show up. Second, they wouldn’t believe me, and third…no offense, but…you’re not my type.”
I gasped and gestured behind me. “I’m gonna need help pulling that dagger from my back. What’s wrong with me?”
“Nothing at all. Your straight quotient is a tad high, though.”
I snorted. “I’m not straight.”
“No, but you probably like classic rock and have a thing for fast cars.”
“Well, yeah. So?”
I snickered. “By nice you mean…yuck. Right?”
“Don’t be so defensive. To each his own.” Lo smiled and pointed at the mess of lettuce in front of me. “Cut that a little finer.”
“Bossy, bossy,” I grumbled without heat, loving the melodic sound of his laughter.
We worked quietly, side by side, but it wasn’t a soothing form of silence. Not for me anyway. The air crackled with unspoken questions. What was I thinking? Why do I have butterflies? That sort of thing.
Seriously, I was a little dizzy, and my stomach felt wonky. There was nothing wrong with me, other than having a bad case of the stupids. It took a beat for me to recognize the signs for what they were.
I had a fucking crush on this guy.
That was so…weird.
Enter the Giveaway
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About the Author
Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, 2018-2019, 2020-2021 Rainbow Awards. She loves wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.
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