Title: The Real You
Series: The Only You
Author: RM Alexander
Release Date: September 21, 2015
With a painful divorce behind her, Paige Reed doesn’t need much convincing to have a little fun. The filming of the latest Grey Richards film on location in Detroit seems like the perfect distraction. After all, no one would pass up an opportunity to come face to face with the hottest star in Hollywood.
Meeting the A-list actor is surreal, but Paige finds his brother, Kellen, far more captivating. A chance run in with Kellen brings an expected friendship and even more unpredictable romance. When the time comes for his inevitable return to LA, Kellen asks her join him in California. Paige quits her job for the fresh chance at love. But boarding the plane brings more changes than she’d ever thought possible.
Kellen is surrounded by a life of privilege and fame. With a rich family and famous brother, it’s not always easy to see who wears a mask. Then he meets the what-you-see-is-what-you-get-Paige. He doesn’t know how, Kellen just knows he wants to be with her. But wealth and fame have dark consequences for Kellen’s family, and keeping Paige safe from the people out to ruin the Richards won’t be as easy as he expects.
With everything stacked against them, can Paige and Kellen learn to love one another for who they really are?
Paige sat on a simple stool in front of the breakfast bar and stared hard at the official document. After months of waiting, the finality felt…foreign. She waved the paper and flipped it over once, then twice.
It was real.
Paige scanned a small living room inside the two-bedroom apartment she moved into six months earlier. She never fought for most of the belongings she shared with her husband. Possessions meant far less than dignity. Unwanted memories attached to beds and couches held no attraction for her. Only the fresh and new dressed the space she called home-a small, plain loveseat, television with stand, a coffee table. The minimal furnishings were enough for Paige.
She looked back to the document. Ten years of marriage, over. Just like that. Only not really ‘just like that’. The tally spanned years of battles and pain and tears followed by months going back and forth with attorneys while enduring angry phone calls in the middle of the night. The marriage culminated to a single moment in front of a judge.
All of it ended with two simple questions and a final decree.
She looked across the room and out the glass balcony door to a drizzling southeastern Michigan afternoon. She tousled espresso strands of hair, braided a few strands together, unbraided them, tousled the hair once more. Thoughts stalled, her heart numb. The hurt she’d felt for so long was gone. Wasn’t there supposed to be something in its place?
With trembling fingers, Paige picked up the phone and dialed the one person who would understand.
Her sister answered on the first ring. “How’d it go?”
“It’s official, Lil.” Her gaze fell on the paper. “I’m divorced.”
A long, careful pause. “How’s it feel?”
Paige chuckled. “I wasn’t sure. Not until you asked. But, actually, it feels pretty darn good. Like the weight of the world is off my shoulders.”
“Then why the crackling voice?”
She drew in a steadying breath and reread the legal jargon overstating a simple notion. The absolution of marriage between Paige Timmerman and Drew Timmerman. The absolution. Paige rested both elbows on the counter and closed her eyes. “It’s…strange.” She laughed. “I think I’m exhausted.”
“You know what you need? A break. Something wild and crazy and fun.”
“I’m thirty-six years old, I don’t know wild and crazy anymore.” She sat up and traced a circle on the counter with one finger. “Not altogether familiar with fun these days either.”
“That’s exactly what I’m talking about. You need fun. No stress, a little silliness, all with a fantastic sister.”
“And who would that be?”
Lil laughed in her melodic tone. “Very funny. I heard the filming for that new Grey Richards movie is happening in Detroit. Let’s go down there, see if we can get a glimpse of Mr. Richards.”
Paige’s face crinkled as she folded the paper and shoved it into the black plastic tray at the end of the counter in between other papers. Bills, so many of them, all hers now. A reliable job was more than capable of taking care of them, but the pile resisted the new addition and signaled yet another clue to her single status. She swiveled away from them. “What? Like teenage groupies?”
“Why not? You can’t tell me Grey Richards isn’t as sexy as they come.”
“No, I can’t say that. But still…we’re closing in on middle-age and you want to go hang around a movie set? Grey Richards wouldn’t notice us if we were the only women in the room.”
Lillian snorted. “Ouch, that’s harsh. And you underestimate us. We may be nearing the age of cougar-ism, but we’re still pretty hot. Come on, what do you say? Live a little.”
“This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of.”
“And it’s a total waste of time.”
“When will Grey Richards be in town?”
RM Alexander was born in Illinois. Since she moved to Johnsburg, Illinois outside of McHenry at the age of one, she has always considered that her hometown. Growing up, she moved several times before settling in Portage, Michigan. It was there she graduated and met her husband. A few years afterwards, they married, moved to Plainwell, MI and had two children.
Her early jobs included customer service, daycare teacher, conversion analyst for a major OTC pharmaceutical company and travel agent. But after her daughters were born, focus changed from working outside the home and servicing clients to raising the children.
Reading was an important part of growing up. RM’s parents read to her every night, and she learned early to develop a love for books. That, combined with a healthy imagination, was the perfect mix for RM. At the age of ten, she picked up a pen and paper and wrote out her first novel. “It was awful,” she says now. “I had so much to learn.” But it birthed the lifelong passion for writing.
Though the first twenty years of writing were spent as an on again, off again hobby, RM always felt drawn back to it. Finally, when her oldest daughter was born, something clicked inside. “I just knew, and I don’t know why that was the moment, I was supposed to be writing.”
Her first published novel, Matter of Choice, was released in January of 2014. She writes both clean contemporary romantic suspense and clean romantic paranormal thrillers.
When she’s not writing, she enjoys time with her husband and daughters in Michigan. She loves to travel, especially to Walt Disney World, and is addicted to Ghiradelli chocolates.