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Body Heat

Cover of Body Heat

Body Heat

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Nikki Jamison didn't know being a playwright in New York would end up like this. After a few financial and creative flops, she's determined to put her Broadway dreams behind her. Recalling a friend's story about an empty villa in St. Lucia, Nikki decides that it's the perfect place to recover--in luxury! But when the home owner shows up unexpectedly, Nikki's little white lie leads to an out-of-control marital charade.

Hylan Dawson is married. Only problem is he doesn't know it. When Hylan takes off for his vacation home, his plan is to get a little R & R...maybe indulge in a summer fling. But as soon as he arrives on the island, the locals begin congratulating him on his recent nuptials. Hylan feels for his sexy wife, even if she is an impostor. Are the "newlyweds" falling into a bed of sizzling summer seduction--or marching toward a lifetime of wedded bliss?


Nikki Jamison didn't know being a playwright in New York would end up like this. After a few financial and creative flops, she's determined to put her Broadway dreams behind her. Recalling a friend's story about an empty villa in St. Lucia, Nikki decides that it's the perfect place to recover--in luxury! But when the home owner shows up unexpectedly, Nikki's little white lie leads to an out-of-control marital charade.

Hylan Dawson is married. Only problem is he doesn't know it. When Hylan takes off for his vacation home, his plan is to get a little R & R...maybe indulge in a summer fling. But as soon as he arrives on the island, the locals begin congratulating him on his recent nuptials. Hylan feels for his sexy wife, even if she is an impostor. Are the "newlyweds" falling into a bed of sizzling summer seduction--or marching toward a lifetime of wedded bliss?
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    "Places, everyone. Places!" Nicole Jamison shouted and clapped her hands to make sure she grabbed her small cast and crew's attention. "Five minutes 'til show time." Judging by the looks on their faces they were just as nervous about their opening night performance as she was. It was the good kind of nervous jitters--at least that's what she kept telling herself every five seconds.

    Nicole smiled although every muscle in her stomach was now successfully tied into knots. This was it, the culmination of all of the blood, sweat and tears she'd put into her work for the past five years. Her first Broadway play!

    Well, more like off-off-off-Broadway--but hell, it still counted. A year ago things were different. Her script, Hot Comb and Hair Grease, was all the buzz.

    She and her agent enjoyed the highs and lows of a bidding war over the script. Investors were all lined up to launch Nikki's once dead-in-the-water career into the stratosphere.

    No more ramen noodles for dinner.

    No more battling mice and roaches for apartment space.

    Most importantly--no more asking her parents for money.

    Nikki, however, had underestimated her lifelong run of bad luck. In one fell swoop the bottom dropped out of the economy. Producers rescinded their offers, investors vanished into thin air and then her agent-slash-best friend flat out stopped returning her calls. The only things left were the ramen noodles, the mice and her parents' constant looks of disappointment and their checkbook.

    What followed was a month long marathon of The Oprah Winfrey Show: 20th Anniversary Collection DVD. At first it was sad--no, it was still sad--but what emerged was a new attitude. Nikki, with Oprah's help, convinced herself that she didn't have to just accept this reality kick in the teeth. She could pick herself up, dust herself off and go about the business of turning this whole thing around. That's when the brilliant idea to produce the play herself emerged.

    No. It was more like an epiphany--or as Oprah would say, an aha! moment--replete with a choir of angels singing in her head. And the more she thought about it, the more it made perfect sense. Everyone had loved the story once, right? So they would love it again.

    All she needed was a good word-of-mouth campaign and she would be right back on top.

    Problem solved.

    Well, not quite. She also needed some money.

    So Nikki emptied her savings account, which was enough to perhaps buy a pair of Payless shoes. Next, she convinced her parents to invest a good chunk of their retirement money in the production. It wasn't easy. Her father laughed for about three weeks and then when he realized that she was serious, he started treating her like she had the plague.

    Typical.

    Nikki then focused on her soft-hearted mother like a laser beam...and got a check from her. Okay, so it wasn't a very big check, but it was enough to lease a low-rent, rat-infested theater and buy a few costumes at the Salvation Army. The actors were the only thing that didn't cost money. In New York, out-of-work actors were a dime a dozen and they were willing to perform for the bare minimum: coffee.

    Nikki pulled back the stage curtain and stole a quick peek at the front row. Her mom, beautiful in a cream-colored linen dress--usually reserved for Sunday morning church service--beamed with pride while her humorless father sat ramrod straight in a pair of basic brown khakis and a sky-blue open collar dress shirt. If he was excited about his daughter's opening night, it certainly didn't show.

    Too many times her father had...

About the Author-
  • National bestselling author Adrianne Byrd has been featured in many publications, including Today's Black Woman, Upscale, and Heart and Soul. She has also won local awards for screenwriting. For the future, she looks forward to continuing to create characters that make people smile, laugh, and fall in love. She currently calls Georgia home.

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Adrianne Byrd
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