Hidden Hollywood

By: Kylie Gilmore

Happy Endings Book Club Series, Book 1

She’s on top…

When superstar actress Claire Jordan researched her role for the Fierce trilogy movies, she never expected the bond she feels with the author and her romance book club aka The Happy Endings Book Club. Soon Claire finds herself confessing her secret longing for a regular guy—no more egocentric wealthy players—and the book club is all too ready to help. In disguise as a regular girl, she’s all set for a date with book-club-approved Josh Campbell.

He’s on top…

Billionaire tech CEO Jake Campbell is weary of gold-digging women, especially the glamorous superficial types. So when his identical twin, Josh, calls in a favor, asking Jake to step in as him on a date, Jake figures one of Josh’s cute girl-next-door types might be just what he needs. One night of passion with the sweet girl next door leaves Jake wanting more, except she seems to have vanished.

Sometimes a Happy Ending is just the beginning.

Chapter One

Claire Jordan went by a lot of names—hottest actress under thirty, sexiest woman alive, Duck Lips (that was her brother)—but she’d yet to be called, um, slut. At least, not to her face.

She stifled a laugh as she sat in the circle of seven women gathered in the private executive lounge of the luxury hotel in New York City that was her temporary home. The twentysomething women had formed a singles book club, but after months of no men joining them, they were now debating a more fitting name. Mad (short for Madison) Campbell, a petite badass with short purple dyed hair, had suggested “SLUTS,” and a spirited debate over the pros and cons ensued.

Claire didn’t comment, she was a temporary member, but she sure as hell enjoyed the show. And it distracted the leader of the book club, Hailey Adams, from her mission to get Claire out on a date. The woman, an ambitious wedding planner/matchmaker with a heart of gold, was appalled at Claire’s year-long break from men. Claire had good reason, plus the rumors that the onscreen chemistry between her and her costar had carried over to real life were crucial to the buzz for her movie. She’d sunk everything she had into producing the Fierce trilogy movies. She couldn’t afford a huge marketing campaign on top of that. The temporary pleasure of a date would never be worth the risk of losing all that free press or, worse, dealing with bad press before the release next year. So what if the ache of loneliness sometimes made it hard to breathe? That was the price she paid to live her dream.

Mad straightened out of her usual slouch and lifted her chin. “What’s wrong with Super Lovers of Underrated Terrific Stories?”

Hailey tossed her long strawberry blonde hair over one shoulder and barked, “For the last time, we are not calling ourselves SLUTS!”

A sly expression crossed Mad’s face as she tapped her finger against her lips. Her black T-shirt, ripped down the center in a small V, read Try Me. What Claire wouldn’t give to be more like Mad—enjoying not giving a fuck. Claire always had to be protective of her image. Something she’d learned the hard way on more than one occasion. Now she didn’t let anyone close enough to damage her rep or her heart.

“We need something with good energy,” another woman said. “We’re a romance book club. Something with love.”

The other women agreed and chatted quietly to each other about the possibilities. Claire remained silent. It was late September and she’d only be filming Fierce Longing, based on the bestselling novel by book club member Julia Marino, for two more months. Then she’d be onto the next project. Life of an actor. It was rare for the friendships forged on location to continue. Sure, she’d see some of the crew on the next movie she produced, if they were available, but for the most part the people in her life changed with each film.

Mad smiled widely, leaning forward in her enthusiasm, revealing a small hawk tattoo above her heart. “Superb Lovers in Triumphant Stories.”

Hailey went nearly apoplectic in her seat, her pale skin flushing, before she caught Mad’s smug expression. Then she composed herself enough to say, “Sure, Mad. We’d love to be called SLITS.”

Mad went for the kill. “Complete Lovers In Te—”

“No!” Hailey shouted, leaping from her seat. She looked around, seeming surprised to find herself standing.

“Mad, you devil,” Claire said with a grin.

Mad snickered.

Hailey nodded once at Claire and regained her composure, returning to her seat and smoothing the front of her blue dress. Hailey was the only one dressed up. Claire wore her casual outfit—a black silk blouse with black jeans and bright orange Gucci pumps. Even in her downtime, she still had to look photo ready just in case. Her new friends hadn’t even asked for a selfie with her, something she was sure was Hailey’s doing. Hailey had made it possible for Claire to attend Julia’s wedding three months ago in Clover Park, Connecticut, with impressive discretion from the security detail to the gentle handling of guests, who were not permitted to share images or stories of Claire. Amazing really, considering there were a hundred guests and not one of them signed a nondisclosure. Of course, the paparazzi had hovered nearby the mansion where the wedding and reception were held, but not one picture or story on Claire from inside the mansion had appeared anywhere. That was the power of Hailey. Keeping Claire’s privacy within a small book club was a stroll in the park after that. Besides, Claire already trusted Julia because they were equally invested in the Fierce trilogy. The other women had grown on her quickly over the past month with their warmth and good humor, and none of them had breathed a word about Claire.

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