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Backstage Affair

Title: Backstage Affair
Author: Erica DeQuaya
Published in 2003 by Liquid Silver Books
Genre: Contemporary
ISBN: 1-931761-75-4

Playwright Genera McCanton is in New York City getting her latest play produced. Fresh from Chicago, she is worn out, tired, and unhappy at the latest batch of male actor’s auditioning for a role in her play. The casting for the role of Lloyd in "A Song For Stephanie" seems a dismal situation with no solution in sight. While Genera suggests an actor from Chicago, her director and best friend Stephen, prefers a New Yorker. As their frustrations over their joint project rises, the two are ready to butt heads. That is until the play's number one financial backer, Judith Aldin-Paige, Suggests that her brother Edward audition for the role. It is very clear to Genera right from the start that Edward has everything required for the role. Still despite his obvious acting talents, Genera doesn't like the idea of the snobby Judith interfering. Upset with Edward for literally having the role served to him on a golden platter, Genera wants nothing to do with the thoroughly enigmatic man.

When Genera was 17 she learned a hard lesson in life and love. Because of this she is hesitant in giving her heart to another actor. She ignores the fiery attraction between her and Edward. Giving him hard looks and cold shoulders. Yet, it is at night that her erotic fantasies about Edward come to entangle her in it‘s seductive web. Dreams so achingly real, that she derives pleasure from each and every fervent encounter. As Genera fights to protect the integrity of her play, she has to once again erect barriers to keep anyone from stealing her work. Genera doesn't know if Edward's suggestive criticisms are just that, or something more devious. Her best friend Stephen sees her attraction to Edward, and believes him to be genuine. Telling Genera he is nothing like Johnny Mercer or her sister Kit. Still, Genera knows that she has some tough decisions to make. With Edwards sexy charms on display day after day on the stage, it won't be an easy one.

Edward Aldin is a success in his own right. Having built himself up thanks to his sisters ex, he is finally having the opportunity to show what he's got. A former model and a commercial actor, Edward knows that the stage is where he wants to be. Proving his talents to playwright Genera McCanton seems a tough thing for him to do. For some reason she doesn't think him worthy enough of the role. True, his sister did buy the role especially for him as a birthday present. In fact, she bought the whole darn play. But that doesn't make him guilty of anything. He auditioned fair and square for the role, and his talents spoke for themselves. The one thing he didn't count on was his more than obvious attraction to Genera. Having lost his Fiancé in the attack on the World Trade Center the year prior, she is the first woman he has ever had feelings for since.

Confused as to the why of his feelings for Genera, Edward pours himself into the role of Lloyd. He makes suggestions to Genera as to how certain scenes in the play should be reworked. For his efforts, he finds the road between them an ever widening gap. Not understanding her reasons for pushing him away. He turns to his frequent dreams of Genera as an outlet. More than once Edward finds himself awakening to powerful releases in which Genera is the cause. He needs to exorcise her from his blood and so he makes a move to get to know her better. Bridging the distance between them isn‘t easy, as it seems Genera is always weary of him. Between being accused of not working to get the role of Lloyd, and of wanting to steal her work Edward is at an impasse as to how to get Genera to respond the way he needs her to. The way his body demands that she does.

As Genera and Edward find themselves on a common ground, they begin to drift closer. But first, the two must lay past demons to rest. They seek the strength of each other to triumph over tragedies befallen long ago, and to end their loneliness. As their fantasies intertwine as if dreamt by one, they realize the depth of emotions involved. It is then the two come together in a union so explosive it scorches their very souls. Afraid of their newly discovered passions Genera and Edward are tentative to dare dream for more. As Judith sees their ensuing closeness, she works hard at tearing the couple apart. After all, it was she alone who brought Edward back from the darkness. Can Genera and Edward overcome the final obstacles barring their chance at a love so desperately needed? Will Edward finally break free of bonds he feels debts are owed to? Can Genera trust the one man who has the power to let her heart believe? Erica DeQuaya has written a winner that sent chills down my spine, and allowed my heart to soar.

I found BACKSTAGE AFFAIR to be a gem of priceless quality. Being a native New Yorker, I was surprised at the depth of emotion that went into the portrayal of such a majestic city. Genera and Edward are two characters who need healing and each other, in order for them to progress back into the land of the living. Erica DeQuaya gives us that and a story so passionately moving that one cannot help but fall in love with it. I was surprised that the erotica enhanced the story to such a fevered pitch, that I found myself just hungering for a sequel of sorts. Maybe one that includes the charismatic Stephen. The fantasies alone was enough to speed up my pulse and heat my blood. The references to 9/11 were on point and poignant in their appeal, but in no way, shape or form overly done as to exploit what happened on that never forgotten day. A beautifully written and heart wrenching tale that opens the eyes to love and the places it can be found. There is beauty after tragedy and Erica DeQuaya gives it to us gloriously in BACKSTAGE AFFAIR. I recommend this book to everyone who loves their romances real, blazingly hot, and heart wrenching enough, as to leaves tears in it‘s wake. Published by Liquid Silver Books and available as of 2003, BACKSTAGE AFFAIR has taken center stage, and deserves a grand encore!

Happy reading,

Joann Ruffen

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