Lights, Camera, Lies.
Kerry Pickering has a problem. As a publicist for Hollywood bad boy Jericho Knox, it’s Kerry’s job to keep Jericho in the news. So far, Jericho’s partying and public escapades have made it easy. But Jericho has a secret, and when that secret is revealed in the most spectacularly disastrous way, it’s up to Kerry to spin it.
The team decides the best course of action is to make the public fall in love—with Jericho’s secret committed relationship. The one that doesn’t exist. Yet.
The team wants someone they can trust. Someone in the inner circle. That someone is Kerry. But what will happen when Kerry realizes that for him, the romance is no longer pretend? Can Jericho love him back, or is he just playing a role?
MJ’s Favorite Things in Cali
I’ve set a few of my books in California by now, and I’ve been there and driven through many times, so I thought it would be fun to do a quick list of some of my favorite things about California!
Now, there’s no surprise to anyone who knows me, that I love Washington but our southern (almost) neighbor has some great characteristics too. Here are a couple of them!
The Redwoods — has to be the most majestic place I’ve ever been. Trees bigger than houses, the quiet, and the bits of sun floating through the high branches. It’s incredible!
Monterey/Carmel — I think if had to pick somewhere to live other than Washington Monterey and the neighboring Carmel would be on my list. They’re small coastal towns but so beautiful! It’s just nice to walk around and take in the sights.
Miles of beaches — I’m a beach girl and although Washington has lots of ocean beaches as well they’re hours from the Seattle area. I do envy the Californians for that!
Fruit — We definitely benefit from California’s fruits up here in Washington. The best peaches I’ve ever eaten in my life (and I’ve had lots of peaches from basically everywhere haha) are from a farm in Brentwood of all places. I didn’t even know there were farms there. Must be hidden between celeb houses and spas haha.
Amazing burritos — The indie Mexican food scene isn’t lacking up in Washington either, but there’s something about the way they taste with the saltwater in the air in San Diego. It’s a must every time I visit!
One of my main characters, Jericho, lives in an outrageous Southern California bachelor pad. Kerry, the other main character, has always lived in rather modest houses and apartments. He’s awed when he first gets to Jericho’s house… even if things are rather strained between them.
Here’s a tiny bit from when Kerry first moves into Jericho’s house temporarily….
The first thing Kerry did in his new room was put away his clothes. He’d never liked a mess, and it seemed disrespectful somehow to leave a mess in someone else’s home. Then he didn’t quite know what to do. He decided he’d make himself at least a little bit familiar with the place. As far as he knew, Jericho was still sulking out by the pool, so Kerry had a run of the house. The lights were all on, and they seemed to make the whole interior glow. The main part of the house was one huge room—kitchen with hanging copper pots that he doubted Jericho ever used, a thick island, then an enormous living room area, a dining room off to the side, and the fireplace that rose two stories up to the ceiling. The stairway to the second story, where Jericho’s suite was, circled up, wrought iron and intricate. Above them was a landing and apparently the rest of the areas that were off-limits. At least according to his surly new roommate. He knew if he went down the stairs by the kitchen, he’d find a basement gym and pool hall. Supposedly a movie room as well, which must have gotten use because there wasn’t a television to be found in the main area.
The living room was pretty self-explanatory, mostly art and expensive-looking leather furniture, but Kerry decided he’d get acquainted with the kitchen. He was going to have to get some groceries, which hopefully would be pretty easy. He wasn’t Jericho- status by any means; he’d just had his “face” plastered on a bunch of tabloids that most people didn’t read. He could go to the store. It’d be fine. Right. He was a little hungry, though. The nerves had hit him earlier, and he hadn’t had much of anything to eat. So he decided to make himself something. Thing was, the food wasn’t his. And he felt awkward.
Shit. I have to talk to him.
He went out to the pool, where he found Jericho with his feet dipped in.
“Hey, um, I was going to make some scrambled eggs. Do you want any?”
“Is it cool if I use your kitchen?”
Jericho rolled his eyes. “No, you have to make them on the barbecue outside.” “Just checking.”
“Whatever. I think I’m going to go out.”
“You probably shouldn’t do that.” It was weird being part of the PR stunt and knowing exactly how to run one at the same time.
“I shouldn’t do what? Go have some fun?”
“No. Having fun was exactly what got us here in the first place, Jericho.”
“Don’t be condescending like that. You know, I never even fucking asked. Are you gay?”
Kerry cleared his throat. Well, that’s awkward. “Yeah. Of course. I mean… how did you think they were going to explain us if I was straight?”
“I don’t know. I tried not to think about it. Or you.”
Nice. Jericho hadn’t been nearly so bad when they’d been outside in the courtyard earlier. Kerry figured he was in for a long, long summer.
“Okay. Well, I’m going to go make eggs. Then I think I’m going to do some work on my computer. Please don’t go out.”
After the chill of Jericho’s reception outside, the kitchen was refreshingly silent. And empty. Jericho didn’t seem to feel any inclination to come inside, so Kerry gathered his ingredients—eggs, a bit of cheddar, butter, chives—and then got to making dinner. After he cooked, he realized his stomach was a bit upset, maybe from being hungry, maybe from being stuck in the most luxurious place he’d ever been and hating every second of it. Who knew? He washed the pan when he was done and took the bowl with his eggs and a fork, plus a bottle of cranberry juice that he’d found, and padded back to his bedroom. Maybe he’d watch a few episodes of something on Netflix. He was nearly permanently behind on every show. He had to go to work the next day, and they were going to do their first date in the afternoon, which, ugh.
Kerry slid into his bed. It was too soft, too comfortable. He almost missed his lumpy, weird mattress from home. He flicked open his laptop and put in the Wi-Fi password Jericho had written on a card of info that he’d left on the bed. TV was perfect—the more mindless the better. He decided to take a leaf out of Jericho’s book and try not to think about it. He’d survive this. He had to.
And that’s all for now! Thank you for having me stop by ❤️
Review by Claire Potterton
More MJ O’Shea magic.
I’ve yet to meet a book by this author that I didn’t like, and this one is no exception. MJ O’Shea’s characters and storylines draw you in and keep you there til the very end.
I adored Kerry from the word go….sweet natured, happy, confident, full of life; so, so appealing!
Jericho? Ugh, I really didn’t like him in the beginning. Arrogant, full of himself and just downright rude! But, all of it, an armour he used to protect himself from those who were only interested in what he could give them. It took quite some time for me to warm up to him, but his feelings for Kerry were the catalyst for that.
This book is very emotional at times with a good helping of angst keeping you engrossed in the story, but the romance between Kerry and Jericho is beautiful. It has a rather untraditional beginning and a slow build, but it is sweet and sexy and so loving when they allow their true feelings to show. It is an engrossing, emotional love story with romance and heat; beautifully written, as all this lady’s books are; a real page-turner.
Meet M.J. O’Shea
Hi everyone! I’m M.J. O’Shea🙂 I grew up, and still live, in sunny Washington state and while I love to visit other places, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. I spent my childhood writing stories. Sometime in my early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those were about me, my friends, and our favorite movie and pop stars. Hopefully, I’ve come a long way since then.
When I’m not writing, I love to play the piano, dance, cook, paint pictures, and of course read! I have two little dogs who sit with me when I write. Sometimes they comes up with ideas for me too…when they’re not busy napping.