Celebrity and Infidelity, by Sharon Kendrick

by Sharon Kendrick, author

of A Scandal, a Secret, a Baby (Harlequin Presents, March 2013)

kendrick02202013Celebrities have the lives we think we want.  That’s why we pore over pictures of them.   Look at them –  frolicking on a Caribbean beach when we’re stuck in the middle of grim winter and tedious routine!  There they are again – wearing slinky designer gowns which make our fingers creep to our fleshy midriffs and wish we had a little more willpower.  We drool over diamonds big as dimes when two of the world’s biggest stars confirm the rumours and tell us they’re getting wed.

And isn’t there a little bit of Schadenfreude in us all – when the “perfect” celebrity marriage hits the skids as it so often does?  Don’t we feel just a little bit smug?  We may not have the Hollywood home, the entourage or the wealth, we console ourselves – but at least we’ve got contentment.

Yet the human heart is the same, whether it’s covered in silk or polyester.  Celebrities have the same emotions and feelings as you and me – they just have to play them out in front of a big and hungry arena.

That fascinates me.

Does it fascinate you?

Think of all the agonies of going through a break-up and then multiply them.  Imagine hordes of predatory women and their delight in discovering that one of the world’s most eligible bachelors is free again….

This is the story of what happened to Dante and Justina.

She’s one of the most famous women in the world – a member of The Lollipops – the biggest girl-band of all time.  She’s hungry and ambitious – mostly because she’s known real poverty and hardship.  She’s seen women regarded as disposable assets – shoved aside once their beauty fades – and she’s determined never to let that happen to her.

Dante is a drop-dead gorgeous Tuscan aristocrat.  Whatever it is that women want – Dante has it.  And then some.  He’s proud, arrogant and fiercely traditional – and he falls in love with a woman who doesn’t match his idea of what a woman should be.

But love conquers all.

Or does it?

When Dante asks Justina to marry him, she’s ecstatic.  She loves him just as much as he loves her.  She wants to spend the rest of her life with him.

But Dante sees himself as number one.  He can’t tolerate the demands of her successful career.  He wants Justina all to himself – and so he delivers an ultimatum.

Your career or me.

This is the story of what happened when Justina made her choice.  About the repercussions of that choice, which would haunt them both for years…..

Would you have done what Justina did?

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Comments ( 28 )
  1. Susan Stephens
    February 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    You have made me hungry to read more. Your love of Tuscany and hot men, along with that lush use of language and imagery… Tell me the other members of the group are going to get their own stories!!!

  2. Sharon Kendrick
    February 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Susan – it’s funny you should say that, but yes the other members of the group have their own stories!
    BACK IN THE HEADLINES was the first Lollipop book and the third has just been accepted. I have a title but am waiting for confirmation – let’s just say it’s about a ve-ry sexy Greek!
    Oh, and all the books can be read as stand-alones.
    Thanks for dropping by. xx

  3. Tabitha Bilinski
    February 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Just what does Justina decide? Gosh Sharon you’ve got me all a quivered already. Got to read it now. Dante sounds as hot as … well an inferno!
    Tabi xXx

  4. Abby Green
    February 20, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Ooh I want to dive right in and read all about Devilish Dante. Can’t wait to see how they find their way back to their HEA..
    XX Abby

  5. Heidi Rice
    February 20, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Sound brilliant Sharon… I hope she chose her career and then made him suffer!! And if she didn’t, I’ll be expecting a really good grovel form him at the end… Can’t wait to read it now and find out.

  6. Caitlin Crews
    February 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    “Yet the human heart is the same, whether it’s covered in silk or polyester.”–I love this line, and I couldn’t agree more, Sharon!

    How many are in this series? I have the first, this one is on the way–but should I wait to read them all together? Decisions, decisions…

  7. Hélène
    February 20, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Hi Sharon,
    You got m’y attention all right.
    I cant wait to read what Justine did! And hey, I’ll tell you all about it In Tuscany !!

  8. India Grey
    February 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Oh, there’s so much to get stuck into here… I’m in love with the premise for the story already, and that’s without meeting Dante! Glamour and conflict and passion in spades – nice work, Ms K!

  9. Victoria Parker
    February 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    “Celebrities have the same emotions and feelings as you and me – they just have to play them out in front of a big and hungry arena.”

    …where more often than not they are devoured.

    I wholeheartedly agree – it’s a fascinating world – one I love writing about too. All that emotion ripe for plucking.

    As for Dante & Justina…

    Well, here’s the thing – I KNOW what she did! But there’ll be no spoilers here.

    Sharon, I adored these two characters. From the very beginning. The sex, sizzle and spark needs to come with a warning ‘MAY NEED TO FAN ONESELF in the presence of this Yummy Tuscan’. They are definitely my fave Lollipop couple so far.

    All I can say is, bring on the Greek…

  10. Sharon Kendrick
    February 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Tabi – you’re so right! Dante is indeed an inferno – and I look forward to your feedback on Justina’s decision when you’ve read the book…. 🙂

    February 20, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Yes, Abby – Devilish Dante he is – and he probably likes to sleep on satan sheets (geddit?!).
    Dive in – do! 🙂

  12. Sharon Kendrick
    February 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Caitlin – there are three Lollipops – the other story isn’t out until July (I think).
    I love the fact that no matter who we are or what we have – that under the skin we’re all just the same…. 🙂

    February 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Helene – I await your verdict in the lush green surroundings of the Tuscan mountains!

    India – thank you kindly! I’m looking forward immensely to reading your new book.


    February 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Heidi – I think the grovel factor in this book won’t disappoint you!

    And good luck with the RNA award next week, for which you’ve been shortlisted! 🙂

    February 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Victoria – thanks for resisting those spoilers! I’m delighted that you enjoyed Dante and Justina’s story so much.
    But wait until you meet Xenon…..


  16. Rachael Thomas
    February 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Dante sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to find out just what Justina decides to do – and what Dante thinks of it!

  17. Sharon Kendrick
    February 20, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Thanks, Rachael – and I look forward to hearing what you think of the story.

    Oh, and if anyone is interested in reading how I set up the *glamour* shot featured above – you can find out here:


  18. Marie Dry
    February 21, 2013 at 2:12 am

    I’ve been looking for a good harlequin to read and your blog settled me on the choice. Although if she decides to give up her career I will probably thump a few walls before the end. I hope it is available on kindle already.

    February 21, 2013 at 4:48 am

    Marie, I shall be holding my breath waiting for your feed-back on the state of your walls after reading it!

  20. Jennifer Hayward
    February 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Well you had me at drop-dead gorgeous Tuscan aristocrat… then you reeled me in with Dante. And then the ultimate decision – career or man! Done. Can’t wait to read Sharon and I definitely prefer this version of the photo! 🙂

  21. Sharon Kendrick
    February 21, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks, Jen! I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

    Oh, and forgot this 🙂 at end of reply to Marie!


  22. Melanie Milburne
    February 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Hi SHaron!

    Yay! Another super sexy hero from you.

    I agree with the others on living life in the spotlight. I think it’s harder for celebrities than we realise. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be hounded all the time for one of those stars without make up shots.
    Looking forward to book three!

  23. lidia
    February 21, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Sharon, I loved the book. I didn’t like what Dante did but did understand his actions. Also, technically speaking they were no longer together. That being said, he was remorseful, it took awhile for her to accept that and there was no doubt at the end that they truly loved each other and would have a HEA.

    I didn’t get that feeling from the second story. In that story, I never got the feeling that the H loved the h. He was frustrated because the h didn’t trust him. So what he do, ensured that she would have no reason to trust him.

    Life is full of ups and downs and unfortunately in his case I would be willing to bet that he couldn’t be counted on when the chips were down. His explanation left a lot to be desired.

    But Dante’s and Justina’s story is definitely one that I will re-read.

  24. Sharon Kendrick
    February 22, 2013 at 2:34 am

    Thanks so much, Melanie – he IS kinda sexy, isn’t he? 🙂

  25. Sharon Kendrick
    February 22, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Lidia (love that name) – thanks for dropping by. The second story I wrote some time ago and because it is a shorter form, it’s not quite so easy to delve really deep into the emotions. I HOPE they’re still happy! 🙂

    And what you said about Dante and Justina’s story really cheered me up – there’s no greater compliment than when a book gets marked for a re-read.

  26. Michela
    February 23, 2013 at 9:30 am

    As I said before, I’m very curious to read this book…I’m curious to see how their lives match!
    A star and an aristocrat…sounds intriguing.
    In Justina’s shoes… I would never accept a man who asks me to choose between me and my career – simply because when you have an excellent and prestigious job none can force you to leave it.
    Job is indipendence and when you make sacrifices to reach your goal you only have to be proud of yourself.
    I can love someone with all my heart but who loves me can’t ask this.
    Luckily, my boyfriend (a Captain) does my same job so he will never ask me to choose!
    But I know that life is a wide variety of shades.
    Sharon, I have a question: when you started to write this book or another one… you talked about a gambler… was he Dante?
    I remember I was interested in a gambler in one of your books…

  27. Sharon Kendrick
    February 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Michela, I hope it comes to Italy very soon! Has BACK IN THE HEADLINES been published there yet?

    I can’t remember a gambler – but have never actually written one before, and now you’ve given me an idea…. 🙂

  28. Michela
    February 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Sadly, no book of this trilogy has been published in Italy. Not yet. I remember a gambler very well, Sharon.. I also told you that I loved Dostoevskij’s book THE GAMBLER and I said this when I read about a new hero of yours which had this vice… OMG, what a mistery! Maybe you changed your mind while writing it… Or am I wrong?