The scene takes place in Jessica Harper’s Stage and Dance shop in a small town in Yorkshire. Her partner has told her a man with the surname Drummond is asking for her in the shop.
The man’s gaze travelled the full length of her body, and Jess glanced down at her short peach skirt and her silky cream top, wishing it wasn’t quite so low-cut and didn’t reveal the upper curves of her cleavage. She looked up again and found his shrewd eyes studying her.
“Yes, you’re definitely twins, but your hair’s longer, and you’re slimmer than Lora.
Her natural cordiality cooled at his blatant appraisal of her figure. “I don’t like being inspected, Mr. Drummond.”
“Why not?” Eyebrows raised, he appeared completely unabashed. “You’re a beautiful woman. Why not be proud of that? Your sister certainly is.”
“Lora and I are two very different people, and I don’t take kindly to a stranger assessing me on some ten point scale.”
“How many points did you give me?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“How many points?” he repeated. “When you were inspecting me from the back of the shop? You must have stood there for a good two minutes.” Wry amusement flashed across his face. “I saw your reflection in the shop window,” he added by way of explanation.
“Oh!” A fire of embarrassment heated her cheeks. “I—er—”
“Don’t apologise and I won’t either.”
His disarming smile caused an odd flutter somewhere inside her, but she reverted to the formal approach. “Obviously I don’t need to introduce myself, and I assume you’re Kyle Drummond.”
“You’re right. Where the hell is your sister?”
The abrupt demand threw her off balance again. “Wh-what do you mean?”
“Lora—where is she? I’ve spent the last three days trying to track her down, and the whole of today trying to find you.” He made it sound as if it was all her fault.
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Would you explain please?”
Kyle Drummond fixed her with an intense stare. “Don’t cover for her, Ms. Harper. If your sister thinks she can play silly little games with me, she’d better think again, and so had you.”
His Leading Lady is currently in my publisher’s Summer Sale at 99cents/99 pence on Amazon.
Jess Harper’s life is turned upside down when her twin sister disappears a week before rehearsals are due to start for a new West End musical in which Lora has the lead role. Jess decides to impersonate her in order to save her career, despite her initial dislike of Kyle Drummond, the determined and arrogant director. The last thing she expects is the irresistible magnetism that draws them together, but there’s also evidence Kyle had been dating Lora.
Is Jess simply a substitute, in real life as well as in the show? And what will happen when Lora eventually returns?