Does it count as cruel and unusual punishment if you’re forced to be a movie extra with your enemy?
You’re So Extra, an all-new enemies-to-lovers, forced-proximity, romantic comedy with a hint of suspense and the first standalone book in the Finding You Series from USA Today bestselling author Angela Casella is now available!
Does it count as cruel and unusual punishment if you’re forced to be a mavie extra with your enemy?
I figured being a movie extra would be a harmless distraction—a way for me to forget that my life is imploding and I’m the one who pulled the trigger. But it turns out ninety percent of being an extra is sitting around, so I have nothing to do but dwell.
Worse, I have to spend every last minute on set with a woman who’s connected to the incident that sent my life off course. I’m determined to help her, thereby evening the scales of justice imbalanced by my parents, but Delia Evans is so sunshiney and naïve and…
And, to my utter astonishment, I find myself wanting more of her.
It seemed like fate when I got hired to be in this movie. My high school crush is the lead actor, and judging by the number of times my mother has accused me of being dramatic, I’m a natural actress.
Only it turns out my former crush is a jerk, being an extra is shockingly boring, and I’m paired with a man whose last name ensures he’s my enemy. Lucas Burke is gorgeous, but even if he weren’t a Burke, I could never fall for such a conceited know-it-all.
Or at least that’s what I think until accidents start happening on set…
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She abruptly pulls her legs out of the slats and turns toward me, cross-legged. I do the same. “Lucas, I haven’t asked you how much money is in your bank account. I don’t want to know, honestly. So why the sudden interest in mine?”
Because I want to know you’re taken care of.
Because I care about you, and this is the only way I know how to show it.
Because I can’t help myself.
“I’m good at this sort of thing,”I say defensively. “Business. I thought maybe I could help you with a business plan.”
“Are you trying to help, or are you hoping you can make my jobs into something that feels more acceptable?”
It hits me with alarm that her eyes are shiny. I’ve fucked this up and said it all wrong.
“It’s not that,” I say, reaching for her but not forcing it on her. It’s a soul-deep relief when she lets me put my hand on her knee. “I don’t want to change you or for you do to anything other than what you do. I do want to punch whoever the hell made you feel unimpressive.”
“Even if one of the people who did it was my mother?”
“I wouldn’t even hit my mother. And I trust her so much that I’m hiring a private investigator to keep an eye on her and my father.”
I’m meeting with him tomorrow morning. I made the appointment right after leaving set. I felt weird doing it, like I was being some kind of alarmist, but he didn’t seem thrown or particularly surprised. Then again, Shane says the guy’s in his sixties or maybe seventies and has been doing this since he retired from the police force. He’s seen decades’ worth of the shit people do to each other. I’m guessing nothing would faze him.
“Really?” Delia seems alarmed, and I don’t want that, so I take her hand, trace the lines on her palm.
“Nothing to worry about. It’s a precaution. But this guy comes highly recommended. We were talking about your mother, though. I can throw a pretty good word punch. You tell me where and when, and I’ll be all over it.”
“Okay,” she says, softly, but her eyes are still shining with tears.
“I didn’t mean it like that, Delia. I swear. But my background is in business. Business plans are what I do. I’m going to make one for my business with Leonard. I helped Drew and Danny make one for launching their game. I—”
She leans in and kisses me, and I feel like a real piece of shit when I notice her lips are wet from fallen tears.
When she pulls back, she says, “I’m sorry.”
“You’re sorry?” I blurt, shocked. “I’m the one who’s sorry. I didn’t want to ruin everything. Tonight has been…This is the best night I can remember having in a long, long time.”
Maybe ever, but I don’t want to scare her. Thinking that, I’m scaring myself. But it’s a fear that’s edged with hope.
“You didn’t ruin anything. You’re right. It’s just…” She tucks hair behind her ear. “Nat was the one who was good at that sort of thing. We were supposed to do this together, and I wouldn’t be such a hot mess if she was part of the business. Mira tries to help, but it’s hard to accept help from her because she’s the one who’s always had it all together. My mother already thinks I’m worthless.”
Her words stab into me. Because here again is the butterfly effect of being an asshole, of taking what you want without caring about other people. My parents did that, and other people are still hurting because of it. Delia is hurting because of it.
I didn’t realize I was hanging my head until I feel her fingers under my chin, lifting it up. “You didn’t take her away from me, Lucas.”
“No, but I can’t bring her back for you either.”
That’s the only thing that would make me feel better, I think. If I could rewind time. If I could walk into that closed-door meeting they must have held and told them there was no way in hell I was letting them build that building where they built it, knowing what they knew.
It feels so good to imagine it—to see and feel it down to the smell of ink in the air—but like most wonderful things, it’s impossible. Completely out of reach.
Except she’s not out of reach.
I draw her to me and kiss her, hard, because I have something to prove to myself—she’s here, she’s with you, she wants to be with you—and she kisses me back just as fiercely. The last thing I want is for her to leave. I’d like to stay out here, on this deck of the house I rescued from the grave, forever. To fool time so this moment can last and last, so this force building between us can never be broken. But the last of the light is gone. I’m supposed to meet Doris the day after tomorrow, and something tells me her seal of disapproval would be as good as a death sentence, so I pull back. Delia pushes forward to get one last kiss, making me smile, and then I get to my feet and help her up to hers.
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