About The Critic:
Convey a message
Andrea Jordan dreams of acting on Broadway, and she is at the cusp of achieving success. All her sacrifices start to pay off when she lands a role that will catapult her to stardom.
Express our thoughts
Award-winning theater critic Bentley Chambers possesses the power to make or break a career. Theatergoers consider his reviews to be gospel, and actors cringe at the thought of him in the audience. His words possess power.
A heart’s not made of stone
More than one actor has been sent packing after Bentley’s bad reviews, and Andrea could be next. She won’t stand by and let him shatter her dreams, but she never thought giving him a piece of her mind would also mean giving him a piece of her heart.
Will Andrea discover on her own the passion Bentley claims she lacks, or will he be the one to draw it out of her?
Words… choose them wisely.
***STAND ALONE NOVEL*** INTENDED FOR MATURE READERS***
Knowing my words would destroy her gutted me. Seeing her in that diner was the last thing I’d expected. When her eyes met mine, I knew I couldn’t stay. How would she react to my review? I was just doing my job, but that meant putting in writing that she wasn’t good at hers. It wasn’t even that she hadn’t been good—she had been—just not as good as she could’ve been. Hopefully, she’d take it as constructive criticism and strive to do better. It had just been a preview performance, so in essence, my review could help her. Yeah, I’ll go with that.
When the waitress came to take my order, I made a lame excuse about why I had to leave. I hurried outside, fighting the urge to go meet the woman who had haunted my dreams for years. Instead, I hailed a cab, grabbed my cell phone from my backpack, and called my brother.
He answered after just one ring. “Hey, bro, what’s up? Everything okay?” Brett’s voice was muffled by the sound of people in the background.
“Hey, man, are you still at work?”
“Yeah, I need to get out of here though. It’s not my night to close, but the ladies are in rare form.” He let out a chuckle, making me smile.
Brett was a ladies’ man, and he co-owned the hottest club in the city. He still worked as a bartender, so he never had a lack of pretty women tossing themselves at him. He had enough issues with women though, and I prayed he didn’t add more to his plate—or bed. His last conquest was claiming to be pregnant with his child, so to say Brett’s been on edge would be an understatement. I should be the one making him feel better, but right now, I didn’t know how.
“You’re still coming here this week, right?” I knew my voice wouldn’t reassure him that everything was okay, but I didn’t want him to worry either.
“I can get there early in the day, so we can go to lunch. Unless you need me sooner? I can talk to Alex and take time off.” He sounded concerned.
The thought of him hopping on a train ran through my mind. But it was late. He should sleep for a change. We both kept shitty hours, and getting together at night never worked out.
“No, I don’t want you to do that. It can wait.” I was the big brother, and I needed to handle this on my own.
“Hold on.” I heard movement and Brett greeting people, then it went quiet. “Okay, what’s the deal? I’m in the office now, so talk.”
I knew he wouldn’t let it lie. I took a deep breath. “Remember a few years ago, I told you about an actress that I couldn’t get out of my head?” My chest constricted just thinking about her and the day I told Brett I’d fallen for a stranger.
“The one you had awesome sex with?” Brett let out a boisterous laugh.
“No, I’ve never had sex with Andrea.” Just the thought of that made my heart palpitate.
From the confusion in his voice, I knew he didn’t have a clue whom I was referring to. “Yeah, my first review I ever did. Andrea Jordan was the actress—”
“Oh, yeah! I remember that. You told me you had to take a cold shower after just looking at her picture.”
About Joanne Schwehm:
Author of Unexpected Chance, My Chance (The Chance Series), Ryker and The Critic.
Joanne was born and raised in Rochester, NY and currently resides near our Nation's Capital with her husband and two sons. Romance is one of Joanne's favorite things and thankfully, she is surrounded by it. Joanne firmly believes when that unexpected chance comes, take it. Don't let it pass you by - you never know what you could be missing.
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