The Idea of You by Darcy Burke

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THE IDEA OF YOU
Ribbon Ridge #4
Darcy Burke
Releasing November 17th, 2015
Avon Books

 

Evan Archer has always preferred peace and solitude to the loud antics of his large, hard-to-navigate family. But when Archer Enterprises needs a new creative director, Evan jumps at the chance to claim the job he’s always wanted. Moving home is easier than he expected, but Evan isn’t prepared for the stunning A-list celebrity hiding out in his family’s garage apartment.

Following a major tabloid scandal, movie
star Alaina Pierce escapes to Ribbon Ridge. She’s immediately drawn to the
quiet, picturesque town and the incredibly sexy—if a little quirky—Evan. He may
be built like a Greek god, but he’s honest and straightforward… so different
from the Hollywood types she normally dates.
Their attraction is undeniable, but Alaina
can’t elude the paparazzi forever, and Evan has no interest in being in the
limelight. When the secret she’s been keeping is exposed, the idea of Evan—of
real love and a family like the Archers—could vanish in an instant.
 
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Darcy Burke is the USA Today
bestselling author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional
contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a
happily-ever-after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved
him, with exceedingly poor illustrations.
 
A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the
edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious
kids-who each seem to have inherited the writing gene in some form-and two
Bengal cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled
in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps
having to start over. Her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at
the Gorge.
 
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“How were you moderately famous? Wait, I remember. That reality show with the sextuplets.”

He flicked her a quick glance. “You watched it?” The show had ended almost fifteen years ago, but Evan remembered it the way one never forgot the most unpleasant moments of one’s life.

“No, sorry. Sean told me about it.”

Evan noted the cookie sheet on the stovetop. It bore slender blackened strips. “Is that bacon?”

She groaned. “Yes. I read somewhere that you could broil bacon in the oven, that it was less messy than cooking it in a pan on the stove.”

“But you burned it.” Hence the smoke. “Did you forget about it?”

“Yes, actually. My assistant called, and I went into the bedroom to talk to her. Next thing I knew, the alarm was going off and smoke was clogging the apartment. Please apologize to your mother for me. I’m surprised you’re the only one who came running.”

Evan didn’t know for sure, but he suspected his parents were out. They’d been going on a lot of date nights lately. It helped them keep their minds off the one-year anniversary of his brother Alex’s suicide a couple of weeks ago. “I was coming back from a walk.”

More or less. Actually, he was getting pretty good at the lying thing, now that he thought about it.

“In the dark?”

He heard the surprise in her question. That was one inflection he could usually discern. Plus, even he knew walking in the near-dark in February was perhaps . . . odd. He shrugged. “It’s not totally dark yet.”

“Oh, okay.” Was that sarcasm? He couldn’t be sure. He also couldn’t care less.

Intellectually, he registered that her being here was extraordinary—something he probably ought to have picked up on when he’d first come into the apartment. She was a world-famous actress, someone he’d seen in countless movies and whose talent he admired. “Why are you staying here?”

“I’m, uh, hiding out.”

“Why?”

“Just stupid famous-person stuff. The paparazzi were annoying me.”

He’d hated the fame that had come along with their reality show. Everyone in Ribbon Ridge knew who they were, which he supposed was to be expected even without a show, given the size of the town. However, it was one thing to be acquainted with people and another for them to think they knew you on an intimate level, as if you were friends. He imagined it might be like that times a hundred for Alaina. “That has to be hard. Your life really isn’t your own. When we did the show, people were always talking to me like they knew me, like I was their buddy.”

She cocked her head to the side. “You totally get it. That’s . . . weird. I mean, cool, but weird. Most people don’t remotely understand.”

“But you signed up for that, right?” He hadn’t. His parents had agreed to put them all on the show when an old family friend had pitched the idea. After the third season, they’d pulled the plug because of Evan’s discomfort—something no one knew. Hmm, apparently he could keep secrets, too. Good to know.

 
 
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