Adam wasn’t looking for love when it fell in his lap. He doesn’t want it.
When Adam landed an internship with the makeup artist for the stars, he thought he was on the verge of having all his dreams come true. There was no way he could foresee the nightmare the position would become. By one month in, he wonders if he hasn’t made the biggest mistake of his life. That is, until he meets Kano Aramante, the founder of the largest fashion magazine in the world.
Kano doesn’t let people in. He learned long ago his position invites users and ladder climbers into his life. Not to mention, Today’s Beauty is his whole world. He doesn’t have time for lovers or friends. Meeting Adam reminds him what it’s like to have passion and drive for something just out of reach. He sees so much of himself in Adam, but giving Adam the opportunity of a lifetime turns out to be Kano’s biggest mistake.
Adam doesn’t mean to fall in love with Kano. The man is too much to resist. His giving nature and powerful presence draw Adam in against his better judgment. They click. But Adam doesn’t want to be seen as the man who slept his way to the top. He’s worked too hard to have his dreams belittled. It seems no matter how hard they fight to be closer, the gap between Kano and Adam widens. Sometimes, there is no middle ground, and love isn’t always enough to conquer all.
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A solid month of interning for the world’s most famous makeup artist for the stars had taught Adam one thing. This was hell. Hands down. There was no other person on Earth as horrible as Rylan Santos. He’d stripped Adam of every ounce of style, until he was a pasty version of himself—clay for the man’s molding. They worked somewhere different almost every day under the most extreme circumstances. Sometimes their small team of five had to get up to fifty models ready to go in under half an hour. They worked runway shows and magazine shoots. Morning shows and award shows. He’d never dreamed he’d meet so many famous people for three minutes at a time and hate so many people in even less. For three weeks now, he’d listened to the importance of today’s event. It seemed Today’s Beauty was a once-a-year and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Team Rylan. Its holiday edition shot in October to ensure all photos were ready to go by December first. Every model had to be perfect and several of the magazine’s key staff members were involved as well. Since it only came around once a year, and Rylan’s interns were on a yearly rotation, this would be Adam’s one and only time to shine. Or so he’d been told about a million times.
For Adam, the shoot was like every other one before it. He’d start one model before being pulled to work another. He didn’t think he’d completed an entire face in the month he’d been interning for Rylan. The man was brutal. He hated everything Adam did and made sure to tell him. Adam had learned to take it with a grain of salt, since it seemed everyone he worked with hated every little thing about every little thing in the whole world. No need to take it personally. The only difference between this shoot and every other one Adam had worked on in the past was the magazine itself. He’d grown up reading and loving Today’s Beauty. It was the leading magazine in the world and for good reason—it was the best. They gave the best tips and Adam could credit some of their articles with a few of the tricks he used. He was beyond excited to work with them. Each time the elevator doors opened, bringing with it a new wave of faces, Adam’s gaze swung that way, excited to see who he’d spot next.
He’d already seen two pop stars, a super model who looked every bit as good at fifty as she had at twenty, three major actresses, and a guy who’d become famous for being the first out and proud rugby player. Adam had never been more torn between getting to make these people look their best, and getting thrown out on his ass for begging for autographs. The elevator dinged, alerting him of new arrivals and snagging Adam’s attention. This time, only two men stepped out. One was large—like basketball player tall and body builder thick. His gaze swept the room as if searching for any threat and ready to kill it. He was intense. Since Adam didn’t recognize him, he focused on the second man. Even from feet away, he couldn’t miss the man’s light-gray eyes—like steel. Adam had never seen the man before, but he screamed power. He was tall too, but not as tall as the first guy. Plus, this man had lean muscle—like a runner. He carried himself like a man who knew his worth and expected everyone else should know it as well. Indeed, people scrambled to clear a spot for him and see to his every need.
The man’s gaze flickered Adam’s way and lingered. Heat rushed to Adam’s cheeks as he realized he’d been caught staring. He tore his gaze away and focused on Chrissy. He was almost finished with her cheekbones, and if he made it that far, she’d be the first model Rylan had let him complete without complaint. It felt a lot like a win to Adam. No matter how hard he tried, Adam kept focusing on the man in the expensive suit. He felt like they’d met somewhere before, even though he knew for a fact they’d never met. The man was familiar in some way Adam couldn’t pinpoint. Their gazes met and held once more. This time, Adam didn’t blush, but he did look away. There was no time in his life for making eyes across the room, especially with someone out of his league. He needed to get on with things within reach.
Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with several companies. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.
*2015 Readers' Favorite Award Winner
*Winner of 2, 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards
*2015 Passionate Plume Award Finalist
*2013 Readers' Favorite Award Winner
*2013 Reviewers' Choice Award Winner
*2012 ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance
*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath
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