Tuesday, May 21, 2013

COOKING UP TROUBLE by Michelle Levigne

COOKING UP TROUBLE by  Michelle Levigne 

Tabor Heights Year Two

Audrey lives for cooking and acting. When the Randolphs experiment with dinner theater, they turn to her to head the kitchen.

Steve returns to Tabor Heights to get to know his new sister, Max. Creating a dinner theater fascinates him, and soon so does Audrey.

As Max and Tony's wedding draws near, so do paparazzi spies. After all, Max is the daughter of celebrities. When Audrey discovers a spy in her kitchen, she spins lies to protect her friends, but finds she needs protection when she is cast opposite Steve in Romeo and Juliet -- and the media speculates she's auditioning to join the celebrity family. Steve becomes her defender and partner in thwarting the paparazzi. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," is more than true for them, but past difficulties and shameful secrets may be building a wall too thick for even friendship to endure.



"Who is this incredibly creative lady?" Carlo said, after they had laughed together and made wagers on which of their most-loathed gossip papers would release the false story first.

"Actually... She's my Juliet." Steve held his breath, and counted to eight.

"Come again?"

"I got cast as Romeo, and Audrey is Juliet."

"Oh ho." Carlo's chuckle rolled over him, warm and rich, with a touch of something that made Steve writhe a little. "Be careful to keep reality separate from the fantasy you'll create."


"Tell me about her. Your mother and I have the right to know the truth about the girl we'll find out you're engaged to by the end of the run."

Steve groaned. He hadn't considered that aspect of getting up on the stage again. Working behind the scenes for eight years now, he had been able to forget what happened the last time he had a leading lady. The sad part was that the girl was so new to the limelight -- winner of a talent search competition -- she actually believed some of the stories she read, pairing her with Steve. For a short while. Fortunately, her awakening came painlessly. When one gossip sheet gave a fictitious biography for her, she realized nothing could be believed just because it was in print.

"Well... okay, she's a baker. I think I heard Max say she went to culinary school. And she's doing pastry for the wedding. She's going to be part of some experiment Joel wants to do with dinner theater..." He groaned again, silently, as he realized he didn't know much else about Audrey, other than where she lived, Max liked her, and she was a loyal member of the cast at Homespun Theater.

"Well, then, I suggest you get to know her better," Carlo said, when Steve related this. "Your leading lady holds your life in her hands, as you hold hers."


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