It’s always a treat when I get to interview my favorite authors. It’s a double treat when I get to sit down with one of their characters!!! Today I’m talking to Lacey Reed, star of my author friend Charlotte O’Shay‘s newest book A MODEL ENGAGEMENT. Lacey is much much more than just a pretty face, as you’ll see in our interview. Sit back and enjoy!
Lacey Reed jumps at the chance for independence with a career in the big city. But her naivety and ambition blind her to the lure of a blackmailer.
With her savings gone she has nowhere to turn when she literally runs into financier Connor Devlin.
Though dazzled by Lacey Connor sees the desperation she tries to hide. He hires her as his fake fiancée. Now Lacey has a job and he has a bandage for a family crisis.
When the blackmailer ups the ante, Lacey resolves to face him down— no matter what the consequences.
Does that mean Lacey will lose the only man who’s ever seen who she truly is?
Let’s chat with Lacey…..
Q: Well we can dispense with some preliminaries because I recognize you. You’re Lacey Lee, the runway model for Miranda’s Moments. Didn’t Vogue call you ‘the eyes that launched the fantasies of a generation’?
A: (Blushes, rolls those cornflower eyes) Yep, that’s me.
Q: Well, your eyes are even more striking in person. Even that impressive sapphire on your engagement finger doesn’t quite have the same intensity. Who’s the lucky man?
A: Well, I’m not engaged. Not for real. I’m employed as a companion and Connor, my fiancé, I mean my employer, knew his mama who has a severe generative vision problem, wouldn’t accept outside help. So I’m just pretending to … (mutters) always pretending.
Q: Something doesn’t add up here. Why would a model pulling down the kind of income models earn have to take a job as a companion?
A: (Deep sigh) Yeah, it’s a great question. In a nutshell, I need the money. (fidgets, crosses then uncrosses legs) It’s complicated. I only just told my best friend Sabrina. (whispers) I’m being blackmailed.
Q: (shouts) What???
A: (presses lips together then) That was Sabrina’s reaction too. I’ve been living with this secret for months and I finally decided enough is enough and I’m going to get this guy that’s doing this to me. Get him arrested and hopefully put away for what he did to me.
Q: Did to you? Oh honey, what’s he blackmailing you for?
A: (Looks down, then raises head to look straight into Q’s eyes) He gave me a date rape drug and then he filmed me doing… I don’t know what, I was so zonked out I just remember not being able to move and, and… (clears throat) I don’t know what’s on the video. I’ve only seen a couple of seconds of it. But if the film is put online it won’t just affect me. I mean (shrugs) I have sort of a wild reputation in the media but the video might hurt my dad’s career. So I’ve been paying him off.
Q: Your dad’s career?
A: My father is Lucius Reed, the admiral. He’s up for a post in the new administration. He’s career navy. This appointment will be the pinnacle for him and he deserves it. I can’t let my mistakes cause him to lose out on the opportunity of a lifetime.
Q: Who would do such a thing?
A: (voice firms) I knew I should have canceled this interview. Listen, one way or another this will all be out in the open soon. Either he (voice drops) releases the video or I can get him arrested. Either way, you’ll know then. But I can’t take the chance of telling anyone who he is right now…
Q: I understand. And Connor, your fiancé?
A: (Firmly) My employer. He got more than he bargained for. He felt sorry for me I think when he saw how empty my apartment was—I’ve been selling all my stuff. He basically offered me a job on the spot. He loves his mama enough to pretend to have a fiancée just to save her pride. He’s a good son. And I’m a terrible daughter.
Q: From where I’m sitting you’re a pretty good daughter trying to protect your dad.
A: (Shrugs) I got myself into this mess and somehow I will get out of it. I’m not my father’s daughter for nothing.
Q: But Connor?
A: (shakes her head) He’s this big bear of a guy. His entire family, this giant, noisy clan (laughs) all think the world of him. They look up to him for everything.
Q: And you? You and Connor?
A: We get along so well, we have fun. And not only, you know, in the bedroom. But there can’t be a ‘me and Connor’. When all is said and done, if and when this sex video is posted, I won’t drag him, his mama or his family into my drama. They don’t deserve it. I’ll remove myself from their lives. (raises a knuckle to wipe under eyes)
Q: But what if…?
A: (glances at phone) Oh wow, is that the time? I’ve got to go.
(Stands, puts sunglasses on, nods) Such a pleasure to meet you, Miz Jaeger. (walks out the door)
In that moment, she relived just why she needed a job so damn bad. In that moment, all she could remember were the targeted emails, the strategic telephone calls and the persuasive texts she’d received from Barry as he set out to reel her in like the very gullible fish she was.
It all came back like a rush of filthy sewage.
How he’d drawn her in. Discovered her desire to reap the most financial benefit from her career before retiring. Then, in a seemingly normal progression, he set up a meeting at his office. Designed for shoptalk so that they could discuss photographic details of her breakout exclusive ad campaign for Mon Secret.
His home office as it turned out, complete with multiple couches and a closet full of evening wear and fur, props for the shoot. Lacey had developed a veneer of sophistication during her four plus years in the business. Or so she’d thought. But Barry’s lavish living and working space wowed her. She cringed as she remembered telling him how eager she was to start.
Lacey relived it all in that split second and Connor, who’d done nothing more than offer her his jacket and then a ride home was suddenly a stand in for the monster who had taken her piece of mind along with practically every red cent she possessed.
Charlotte O’Shay was born into a big family and married into another big family.
The drama! The noise! The inspiration!
Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in law. After four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters. She lives on the far westside only 3 subway stops from where she grew up.
When Charlotte isn’t reading or writing steamy contemporaries featuring heroines in crisis and swoony heroes with issues, she’s on the hunt for that perfect pair of sunglasses.
She LOVES to hear from readers.
You can find Charlotte here:
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