The Show Must Go On (MF)
[BookStrand Contemporary Romance]
Allyson Parker, the stereotypical shy librarian, finds an outlet for her wilder side by performing in community theater. There she can become someone else, someone infinitely more interesting and confident. Partnered in her first romantic lead with newcomer Matt Dauer, she begins to hope that life can imitate art. But can she overcome her bashfulness and self-doubts, cultivated by years of frequent relocations, in order to keep his interest?
Matt moved to Washington, D.C. from Chicago to escape a cheating, diva ex-girlfriend, but he's now also far from his parents and two brothers. His greatest desire is to create a new family as close-knit as the one he left behind. He must return to that past, though, when his ex is involved in a serious car accident and he is called on to help. Will his benevolent act mean the end of his blossoming relationship with Allyson?
"Like my heroine, I moved many times as a child, and sometimes had difficulty fitting in with my peers. Also like Allyson, I enjoyed pretending to be someone else in community theater productions, and managed to make off-stage friends through the activity. Since it features so many of my own experiences, this is truly a book of my heart." ~Kim~
A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
4.5 STARS: "The Show Must Go On by Kim Sheard is a story of one woman’s search for the one man who understands her, of finding the man perfect for her. I enjoyed reading about these characters and of following the struggle between trust and security for Allyson after Matt’s past comes back to haunt them in the form of his ex girlfriend. But these two struggle to come to terms not only with the issue of trust but also their different ideas of political matters. Ms. Sheard has created a wonderful cast of characters that draw the reader into its pages and then delivers a tale of how Matt and Allyson strive to overcome whatever difficulties life throws at them. This is certainly a book any reader of the romance genre should read." -- Sheryl, Single Titles ReviewsYou NEED to Read: "This is another very lovely read by Ms. Sheard! Allyson is a sweet young woman who is a well rounded performer with talent to sing, act and dance. Because of her background Allyson does not have confidence that she can attract a nice fellow and doesn't think she can ever have a committed relationship or family of her own. Matt is a handsome and very talented newcomer to the area. He believes in commitment and family. He is also a great, patient friend. Allyson and Matt are partnered for the leads in the newest production at the community theater. The story follows their relationship as they practice together and Matt tries to draw Allyson out and show her that he is sincerely interested in her and that he would be consistent and faithful. Things are progressing nicely until a miscommunication causes Allyson to feel betrayed and abandoned. The production show must go on but what will happen to their personal relationship? The world of small theater presented by the author is very realistic and interesting. The characters are nicely developed and the rapport and emotion between Allyson and Matt is natural and sweet. The writing flows well making this a very easy and enjoyable read. This is the second story I have read by Ms. Sheard and both books are fine, easy romances. I recommend this book and this author if you want a nice, comfortable, sweet read." -- MarthaE, You Gotta Read Reviews
The last scene of Act One involved only Allyson and Matt’s characters. They had blocked the scene late one evening just before breaking for the night, but hadn’t had the chance to rehearse it beyond that. The script called for Victoria and James to share their first tentative kiss just before the blackout and intermission. Peter had explained that it would be one of those moments often seen in movies, where the two characters stare at each other for an uncomfortably long period and then draw in agonizingly slowly for the kiss. Allyson and Matt had heard the description, but they hadn’t acted it yet.
Allyson was nervous about it.
She tried hard to just think about the words she said and what they meant. Plus, as much as possible with a script in her hand, she maintained the eye contact Ginny and Clark demonstrated.
“What is it that you want?” was Matt’s final line, then she and Matt stood, three feet apart, gazing into each other’s eyes.
Most of Allyson’s brain forgot that she was playing a part as she looked at him. His blue eyes fixed on hers, and she couldn’t have torn her gaze away if she’d tried.
He took a step toward her, and her heart fluttered with joy.
She took her own step, bringing her close enough now to see the yellow flecks in his irises. They circled his pupils like fire, and when he took another step, she fancied she could feel the flame.
One more step and she forgot to breathe, thinking only of his eyes and of his scent and of the hand that reached out to touch her own.
As their fingers laced, he bent his head down. Her neck stretched back, allowing her to maintain the gaze that linked them tighter than their hands until she felt his breath on her face. Then she focused on his plump, pink lips, which inched closer and closer to her own.
The instant before their lips touched, she closed her eyes, prepared to savor it. And savor she did. At first, their meeting was feather light and sweet, and she relished the soft teasing. But it quickly grew more intense, their mouths pressing hard into each other as if to become one. Warmth radiated from their joining down her back to pour into her arms and legs.
She’d never experienced such delight and such yearning need at the same time. She relaxed into it, hearing a thud that momentarily puzzled her until she realized she’d dropped her script onto the stage. That and the catcalls and whistles from their cast mates in the seats brought her back to her senses. With her cheeks burning, she pulled away from Matt. His face looked red, too, and she thought she saw reluctance in his eyes. She blinked, trying to get her bearings.
“Curtain,” Peter called, joining the two of them on the stage. “End Act One. Take a break, everybody.” The cast in the audience scattered.
Peter cleared his throat and told his leads in a low voice, “Um, guys, that was not tentative. It looked great, but save it for Act Two, okay?” He cleared his throat again. “And those private times.” His eyes sparkled as he ambled away.