Addison Covington is the reigning Ice Queen of television. Until her producer husband falls in love with her on-screen daughter and a well-placed punch on national television casts her as the wicked ex-wife. Fired and disgraced, she escapes to Covington Falls, the idyllic Southern town where she found comfort in a time of turmoil as a teenager.
Life is constantly on the brink of chaos for widower Ethan Thomas. Being a single father is one challenge. As a high school principle he also has to deal with hundreds of students and their interfering parents. Now, he’s short one drama teacher and if he doesn’t find a replacement to direct the spring musical he’s going to have a riot on his hands. His childhood neighbor, Addison Covington, could be an answer to prayer. Or one more complication he can’t afford.
Before Addison can say “Casting Call” she's drafted to direct the high school musical. Soon she’d dealing with some off-key caterwauling, a bitter stepson showing up on her doorstep, and the boy-next-door turned sexiest high school principal she's ever met. One thing Addison and Ethan agree on is that there’s no room in their lives for romance. He’s got too much at stake, and she needs to reclaim her former glory in Hollywood. In the end, these two lost souls will choreograph a happy ending with the help of Grace, Love and a Curtain Call.
A Covington Falls Chronicles Romance
By: Kristin Wallace
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( Addison and Ethan have their first argument over Addison’s skills at manipulation.)
“You’d better watch yourself, Mr. Thomas,” Addison said, clenching her fists. “I have a tendency toward violence, you know.”
“Isn’t that how you got into this mess in the first place?”
She jerked, almost as if he’d struck her. “No, actually. I got into this mess because my husband stopped loving me,” she said, her voice hollow and without any emotion whatsoever.
The light had gone out in her eyes. Because of him. Ethan sucked in a breath, shame slamming into him like a sucker punch to the gut. “Addison, I—”
“Let’s just go,” she said, holding up a hand. “Like you said, there’s a whole cast waiting for me, probably wondering if there’s even going to be a show. Unless you don’t want me to go back at all? It’s not too late to tell them I’ve changed my mind about being involved in this insane endeavor.”
Ethan started to say something else, to explain why he’d lashed out, but he hardly knew why himself. Instead, he shook his head. “I still want you—”
They both froze.
He swallowed. “To direct the play, I mean.”
They climbed into the car, and the silence was deafening. Addison kept her face angled away for him. Ethan couldn’t help wondering when he’d become such a colossal jerk. Addison might have her own reasons for directing the play, but so far she’d done everything possible to help the kids. She’d made a surprising — and gutsy — casting choice. She seemed to be turning into a champion of Michelle Cerillo, a girl who lived on the fringes of high school society. Even though he’d had his own misgivings, he had to admit Addison might be right regarding Michelle. Being in the play could do wonders for the girl’s confidence.
He needed to apologize.
When they came to a stop in the school parking lot, Addison turned to him. “My husband wasn’t just satisfied with tearing our marriage apart,” she said, her voice husky with emotion. “He took the thing I loved most away from me, too. He shattered my career and my identity. Now, I want my life back. Can you blame me?”
There she was. A glimpse of Alice Jones underneath all the polish. The unvarnished version of the girl she’d once been. Only she’d lost a lot more than a marriage and career over the years.
“No, I can’t blame you,” he said. “Believe me, I’ve wished the same thing a million times in the last two years. My life was torn apart, and it’ll never be what it was. Yours won’t either, and the sooner you accept it, the better off you’ll be.”
She searched his face. “Have you truly accepted your life?”
When he wasn’t contemplating taking a long drive off a short pier? Ethan let out a dry chuckle. “Some days.”
“So, you don’t live what you preach?”
“I try to put my life in God’s hand and trust He has a plan. I don’t know why my wife died, but I do know I’m not the One in control.”
“Well, I’m not sure I have that same faith.”
Addison opened the door, and he reached over before she could run away. “I’m sorry about what I said.”
She shrugged him off. “Trust me, far worse things have been said about me lately.”
Ethan didn’t like being linked to the vultures who had tormented her. “And I joined their ranks? I’m such a jerk.”
“You’re not a jerk. You’re concerned about the kids.” She stepped down to the ground. “See you around, I guess.”
She paused before shutting the door. “What?”
“If I ever come across your husband, I’d be tempted to do more than break his nose.”
The look she sent him was almost comical. As if she might be wondering if he had multiple personalities. Not a stupid thing to wonder right now.
Then she swiped a hand through her hair as a bubble of laughter emerged. “You’ve got to stop doing that.”
“Being all heroic and adorable and I’ll slay the dragon for ye, me lady.” She slammed the door and headed for the school.
Ethan was so stunned he couldn’t move for a moment. What was she saying? Did she see him as some sort of knight-in-shining-armor? A heroic and adorable knight? Which meant she did feel the same pull of attraction he’d been fighting since they’d first met.
He scrambled out of the truck after her. “Wait. I’m heroic and adorable?”
Addison didn’t turn around but kept marching toward the building.
“How adorable?” he called after her. “Am I just a little adorable or completely adorable?”
By now they’d reached the front door. She glanced over her shoulder. “You’re an administrator. Go administrate something.”
She did. Addison Covington wanted him, too. He suddenly felt like he could go out and kill the dragon for the fair maiden. He grinned down at her.
She rolled her eyes and walked away.
“You’re pretty heroic and adorable, too.”
Growing up Kristin devoured books like bags of Dove Dark Chocolate. Everything from Nancy Drew & Encyclopedia Brown to C.S. Lewis and the Sweet Valley High series. Later she discovered romance novels. It’s no surprise then that Kristin would one day try her hand at writing them. She writes inspirational romance and women’s fiction filled with love, laughter and a leap of faith. In May 2013, Kristin sold her first novel, MARRY ME, to Astraea Press. Publication date to come!
When she’s not writing her next novel, Kristin works as an advertising copywriter. She also enjoys singing in her church choir and playing flute in a community orchestra.
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First, I need to say if you visit any of the other stops on this tour, make sure to read all of the excerpts. The author has kindly given each of us a particular excerpt. No repeats! You can find the tour schedule by clicking the tour banner at the top of the page. :-)
Lights, camera, action! This book starts out in a unique way and I almost thought I was reading a paranormal book. lol!
Addison is an actress. A highly skilled, highly paid Hollywood star on a hugely popular show called House of Fashion. Sounds good right? Not so much. :-(
Her husband (a jerkwad), who is also producer of the show, has decided to leave her for her on screen daughter. A vile woman who is a little less than half her age. When the vile creature says something extremely insensitive to her, she forgets herself and punches her. Her husband then decides to fire her.
She is now losing her husband, her job, her sanity, and if that wasn't enough, somehow, she is portrayed as the villain instead of the victim.
She decides to escape her reality for awhile and visit her Aunt who is laid up recovering from a broken hip.
While visiting, she is offered a chance to save the day and direct the high school's musical when the teacher who usually does it has to back out. It has nothing to do with the handsome man that is the principal. ;-)
All I can say is bravo! Acting Up is a great read. You will find faith wound all through this book. In addition, there was doubt, anger, minor violence (a punch to the nose!) great characters, snotty teens, not so snotty teens, adorable little boys, widowers, a Hollywood star, plenty of emotion, romance, and drama mostly all in a small town setting.
I urge you to read it! I thought it was truly endearing.
I received an ecopy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion. I liked it a lot. Now I want to read the first book, Marry Me. Of course, I'll keep an eye out for new books about the Covington Falls characters as well.
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