Star by Jan Irving
I think there’s a certain magic that is always around but is celebrated most strongly during the holidays. It’s like we give ourselves permission to be extra romantic, extra into the fantastic, extra…well, really at core ourselves.
It’s the space where we are our wisest and kindest and most non judgemental. We aren’t worried about what anyone thinks of us—we’re just having fun.
That’s where magic comes from.
It’s the place where I believe in angels so it was fun to write about one!
When an angel takes over his boss’s body after a freak accident, Matthew’s cracked heart opens, but will he lose his once in a lifetime chance at love before the holidays are over?
Matthew Cromby figures it will be just another lousy holiday to get through, especially when mouthing off costs him his job. The bitter ex-con never counts on lightning striking his former boss Star Hollister during a freak LA storm that forces an angel to take over Star’s body.
Lost and vulnerable, Star relies on Matthew’s street smarts to keep him safe. Moreover, since he’s been watching over Matthew all his life, he yearns to heal him. But Star can’t stay in a human body without diminishing himself so unless they find a miracle they will be parted forever.
Matthew Cromby mopped the entryway of the office building that had taken him on six months ago. It wasn’t his dream job—night janitorial services—since once upon a time he’d dreamed of going to college, but he didn’t let himself think about the things he’d once wanted, the wrong turn his life had taken. He had a job, and it wasn’t easy for an ex-con to get work.
At eleven sharp, the golden boy himself walked by, no briefcase, probably headed to his private suite upstairs. His silken brown hair was windblown and right then Matthew flashed to a fantasy that it was tangled from the touch of his hands. Yeah, right. One thing he’d learned—Star Hollister was as coldly unattainable as he was beautiful. And he didn’t see someone like Matthew.
“It’s wet, see?” Matthew warned him while the deep, burning ember in his gut made him want to see the big man fall on his ass. For some reason Star brought it home to Matthew that he’d once dreamed of being an explorer—an archeologist or an astronomer, walking in different worlds. Maybe if he’d done something with his life, someone like Star would see him. Instead, he was lucky to have a job cleaning the floors, the johns, the hallways that led him nowhere.
“What?” Star Hollister had a faraway look in his eyes, his gaze passing over Matthew.
Matthew tried to swallow his resentment. “The floor. Wet. Slip on your ass. Get it?”
“Do you think that’s a good way to speak to the CEO?” It was said quietly, and now Star was finally looking Matthew in the eye. “And you can’t smoke in this building!” He sounded appalled, as if Matthew was polluting the entire building with one cig.
Matthew wasn’t impressed. “It’s after hours. Haven’t seen anyone.”
“It’s my building!” Star snatched the cigarette from Matthew’s mouth then stood there with it, looking stupid. “Uh…”
Star’s eyes saucered at Matthew’s rudeness. “What did you say to me?”
He certainly had the big man’s attention now, and part of him rode it like a hot wind, knowing that he’d fall and burn, but not before Star acknowledged him. After months of watching him walk by, disinterested, Matthew needed to make an impression on the man he both disliked…and burned for.
“You can’t fire me if I quit!” Matthew growled. Shit. He hadn’t meant to go that far—he needed this job. Why was his mouth always acting for him, swinging punches before his head caught up?
“I’m not going to fire you. I just don’t want you smoking in my elegant foyer, is that clear?”
“It’ll be more elegant if you get out of my way so I can finish mopping it.” Matthew shoved some of his blond hair out of his eyes, wishing stupidly that they were friends, that Star stopped and chatted with him sometimes like in his daydreams.
He was such an idiot and now he was totally overreacting, blowing it.
“Have a nice day. Sir.” Matthew turned his back on Star and went back to the janitor deal. Few more hours and he’d be in his crappy apartment, lying on his bed. And maybe he’d think about those dark, startled eyes, the tangled brown hair tumbling over his forehead, and Star’s height, which he secretly found sexy, though he knew his fantasies made Star out to be nicer than he was.
Star’s cell phone went off and he answered it, no doubt already forgetting Matthew. “Yeah… Hey. I’m sorry—I meant to call about him. How is Antony doing? Did you get the test results back? Uh-huh. Look, I want to know what’s wrong with him… No, I don’t believe that! He’s just lazy. He needs to focus, and let me make it clear that he’s your problem—I have a company to run!” A long pause. “Fine, but I have plans this weekend, so just send him back to boarding school, okay? Yeah, that’s the way I want it, and I’ll thank you not to lecture me about being a parent! Antony is very well provided for. I know—I sign the fucking checks.” Star ended the call, breathing hard.
And Matthew burst out, “You selfish prick!”
“What?” Star strode toward Matthew and…slipped and fell on his hot, muscled ass.
Matthew smirked, watching as the big man kept sliding and couldn’t regain his feet so that he hit the wet floor again with a very satisfying smack, almost as if Matthew himself had delivered it.
And wasn’t that a thought?
You can find a copy of Star here: https://www.totallybound.com/star
And in the spirit of giving I’ll be offering one copy to a reader, so please leave your email if you leave a comment. xx