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By Anna Depalo. No-nonsense heiress Summer Elliott had a five-year plan…and nailing a coveted interview with bad-boy rock star Zeke Woodlow was part of it. Sleeping with Zeke was not.

Now Summer had a lot of explaining to do—to Zeke, to her sister, to her family. She needed this interview. Her career depended on it. Her plan depended on it. And, as far as she could see, all that stood in her way were a few burly security guards, her lack of a backstage pass and close to twenty thousand shrieking Zeke Woodlow fans.

Summer looked at Zeke on stage. Even from her seat twelve rows back, his charisma was palpable. His blue jeans and black T-shirt outlined a lean and muscular physique.

He wore his dark-brown hair longish, touching the collar of his shirt, and tousled, emphasizing his bad-boy image. It was his gorgeous face, however, that really got his fans going. Summer itched to capture that arresting face with her camera. Just then Zeke seemed to look right at her, and Summer held her breath. The connection lasted just an instant, but she felt his intensity down to the tips of her toes.

Madison Square Garden. Host to political conventions, site for countless sporting events and witness to history. Summer had all the vital information on Zeke. Her paternal grandfather, Patrick Elliott, believed even relatives had to work their way up within the family publishing empire. An interview with Zeke Woodlow would be just right for The Buzz, which was locked in a fierce battle not only with its closest rival in format, Entertainment Weekly, but also with other Elliott magazines.

Patrick Elliott had declared that the head of whichever magazine in the family empire was the most profitable by the end of the year would become the new CEO of EPH—Elliott Publication Holdings—when he stepped down.

Now, clutching her notepad and pen, she shifted from one foot to the other. Her toes in her chunky-heeled boots had been stepped on more times than she could count. Her pinstriped pants were perfect for the office but were too warm and out of place among a sea of jeans. Her turtleneck felt similarly tight and hot in the heat generated by thousands of swaying, dancing, jiggling bodies.

But she hoped if she got close to Zeke himself, she could convince him to talk to her. When Zeke finished the song he was singing, the crowd went wild. He joked with the audience, his sexy voice filling the arena and dancing across her skin like an intimate caress. All right! Zeke motioned to the band behind him, then slung the strap of an electric guitar over his shoulder. The music struck up, and Zeke started crooning one of his biggest hits, a ballad called Beautiful in My Arms.

As he sang about making love beneath waving palm trees, with the humid night air pressing around, Summer felt herself being seduced right along with the rest of the crowd, lulled into a magical moment. Only when the song faded away was the spell broken, and, even then, it took a few seconds before she shook herself and told herself to stop being ridiculous. Thirty minutes later, when the concert had ended and the crowd was making for the exits, she pushed through the throng, intent on getting backstage.

Unfortunately, her progress was halted by a tall and tough-looking security guard. The guard peered down at her, his eyes catching on her ring for an instant, his arms folded. You and a few thousand other people. But Mr. Hefty-and-Imperturbable had already started shaking his head. No pass, no access. She wanted to say, Can we talk about this? But since she doubted that would work, she fished in her handbag for a business card.

She held one up. Hefty just glanced from the business card to her, not bothering to take the card from her. Like I said, only authorized persons are permitted backstage.

Turning on her heel, she marched away with her head held high. At school, Ms. Donaldson would have been proud. She was tired, hungry and wanted to go home. She started fishing around in her purse for a breath mint—anything edible, frankly—until a commotion caused her to look up and notice that Zeke had emerged.

Unfortunately, he was surrounded by handlers and security personnel. Despite that, she ran forward, knowing she had only a few moments before he ducked into the limousine that had pulled up. Just then, the space around Zeke became frenetic. Paparazzi flashbulbs went off, and some girls started screaming and jumping up and down.

She took an involuntary step back as the police officer—one of several near the limo, she now noticed—blocked her way. She felt like wailing in frustration. As if on cue, a raindrop hit her cheek, then another.

She looked up, grimaced and then made a beeline for the taxi stand on Seventh Avenue. Twenty-five minutes later, she reached the Upper West Side townhouse owned by her grandparents and used by them as a secondary residence.

When she got to the top floor, where she and Scarlet had living quarters, her sister padded out of her room to greet her. Scarlet was known as flamboyant and wild and crazy, while she was thought of as sensible and methodical. Horribly, she responded, plopping down on the couch and unzipping her boots.

She wiggled her toes in relief. The guy has better security than the pope and the president combined. She summarized the events of the evening for Scarlet, then shrugged. It was a crazy plan to begin with, but now I need another career-making scheme. Any ideas? Scarlet asked disbelievingly. Not just like that, she said, snapping her fingers right back.

Scar, hello? Scarlet rested her hands on her hips. Right, and I suppose it would help if I borrowed a few things from your closet, she said dryly. She often sketched designs and sometimes made her own clothes, and Summer admired her for it, though her own taste in clothes was more sedate. Upload Sign In Join. Home Books Romance. Create a List. Download to App. Ratings: Rating: 4. Length: pages 2 hours.

Description No-nonsense heiress Summer Elliott had a five-year plan…and nailing a coveted interview with bad-boy rock star Zeke Woodlow was part of it. Related Categories. Eleven One She needed this interview. She only expelled a breath when he looked away. No doubt about it. Not that he was her type, of course. She looked down at the round, two-carat, brilliant-cut diamond engagement ring on her hand. Not at all. As she was again jostled by fans, she bit back a sigh of impatience and looked around.

The audience hooted and hollered in response. The crowd roared. You see— But Mr. She should have been prepared for this. The guard merely quirked a brow. Step back, he ordered. Four hours, twenty-seven minutes and twenty-plus songs.

And now, finally, defeat. Forget it. Start your free 30 days.


Cause for Scandal

By Anna Depalo. No-nonsense heiress Summer Elliott had a five-year plan…and nailing a coveted interview with bad-boy rock star Zeke Woodlow was part of it. Sleeping with Zeke was not. Now Summer had a lot of explaining to do—to Zeke, to her sister, to her family.



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