Annie West on "Captive in the Spotlight"

by Annie West, author of Captive in the Spotlight (Harlequin Presents, March 2013)

I love this title because of the way it sums up some of the key elements in my current story. There’s a strong element of captivity threading through the book. Lucy is technically free to go where

she wants now she’s been released from prison (yes, prison!) but life isn’t so simple and the practicalities of leaving the past behind and getting on with her plans for the future throw up way too many problems.

One of those problems is Domenico Volpe: tall, dark, charismatic, powerful, sexy as hell and Lucy’s sworn enemy. The other is the press. Lucy walks out of prison to find herself confronted with a swarm of eager paparazzi dogging her every move, waiting for the next salacious tidbit in a saga of lust, betrayal and vengeance that will sell magazines world wide.

Lucy is caught – held captive by the media attention, by Domenico’s demands and by her confused reactions to the man she wants to ignore but can’t. For as he unwillingly lets her into his life she finds herself attracted to him all over again, despite the intervening years of pain and mistrust.

As for Domenico, falling for the woman he believes responsible for his brother’s death is untenable. What sort of man could do that? He’s caught between family loyalty and a growing realisation that Lucy isn’t the women he, and the world, had thought her. That beneath her veneer of unconcern is a woman still fighting the demons that threaten to consume her.

Determined to protect her, and his family, from press intrusion, he spirits her away to his private island off the Amalfi Coast of Italy. I think of Lucy’s story as a classic ‘out of the frying pan, into the fire’, and certainly the heat turns combustible when she and Domenico share his island hideaway. That’s when the fun really begins.

If you had to escape the paparazzi where would you choose to hide away? And who would you have as your companion?

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Comments ( 21 )
  1. Claire
    March 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Hi Annie,

    What an interesting synopsis! If I were being chased by paparazzi I would go away as far as possible. Maybe to Germany and hole myself up in one of the castles along the Rhein. With some good Rheingau Riesling, of course! Not sure who I’d take with me, but my fiance would probably be a bit peeved if I left him at home 😉

  2. michelle douglas
    March 4, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Oh, I can’t wait to read this one, Annie! There’s SO much for this pair to overcome.

    Hmm, if I needed to hide from the paparazzi…and money was no object…I think a suite at the luxurious Dorchester hotel in London could be just the thing. 😉

  3. Annie West
    March 5, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Hi Claire, I love the idea of holing up in a fabulous castle on the Rhine! The paparazzi would find it hard to follow you there. I suspect having your fiance with you would be a good idea – you don’t want to upset him!

  4. Annie West
    March 5, 2013 at 3:15 am

    Michelle, I’m glad you like the sound of Domenico and Lucy’s story. You’re so right about them having lots to overcome. That’s what made it such fun to write. I love the idea of a luxury suite at the Dorchester. I’m sure they’d be expert at keeping the press at bay.

  5. Anna Campbell
    March 5, 2013 at 4:08 am

    Annie, I loved, loved, loved this book. One of your best and that’s saying something. I love stories of forbidden love and this one’s a doozy! Congratulations on another great success!

  6. Annie West
    March 5, 2013 at 4:24 am

    Hi Anna, I’m so pleased you loved Domenico and Lucy’s story. I’m a soft touch for a story of forbidden love too – it adds a real piquancy to the story I feel. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. Vanessa Barneveld
    March 5, 2013 at 4:45 am

    Hi, Annie! Fabulous post. I *love* the premise of Captive in the Spotlight. Can’t wait to dive into my copy.

    It would be awfully inconvenient to be followed around by the paparazzi all day. While I love the idea of jetting off to the Amalfi Coast to escape, I’m wondering how easy it would be to hide in plain sight in Manhattan. Some low-key celebs are able to get around quite easily without being recognised! I spotted actress Liv Tyler walking her dog late one night, but I was halfway down the block before I realised it was her.

  8. Kandy Shepherd
    March 5, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Wow, Annie, CAPTIVE IN THE SPOTLIGHT sounds powerful and passionate. I can’t wait to read it!
    Everyone with a smartphone is a paparazzi these days so they would be very hard to escape! I guess it would depend on how recognisable one’s face is when choosing a place to hide out. I think I’d like to hole up in a beautiful palace hotel in India and wear a veil over my face when I went out.
    I remember a photo of Princess Diana surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of photographers all closing in on her–it must have been terrifying.

  9. Joanne Dannon
    March 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Annie – CITS sounds like a fab read!!!!!

    As wonderful as jetting away somewhere private – I agree with Vanessa and can see celebs hiding in a busy city – LA, Hong Kong, London!

    If I had to jet away, the Greek Islands or Italy’s south coast sounds like my place(s) to abscond to 😉

  10. Melanie Milburne
    March 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Annie,

    Can’t wait to read this one!

    As to hiding away… well I love a deserted beach and I just happen to have one I escape to regularly in Tasmania.

  11. Sharon Archer
    March 5, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Annie, Domenico and Lucy’s story sounds like a fabulous read! I’ve just put it on my must-buy list!

    I’d hate to be in the position of having to hide from the paparazzi and I feel enormous sympathy for the people who get hounded by them. It must be distressing if you genuinely want some privacy and as Kandy said, plain terrifying at times too.

    But having said that, this is a fantasy hideaway and there are some great places to hide in your comments. I know a great little farm stay in out back NSW which I think would be perfect. Very rustic, very basic but just the place to get back to nature and reflect on important things.

  12. Annie West
    March 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Vanessa, I hope you enjoy Captive and that you get a chance to dive into it soon.

    I like the idea of losing yourself in a big city. It makes more sense in many ways, doesn’t it, to hide yourself in plain sight. I’m grinning over your story. For some reason I was picturing you racing along chasing Liv Tyler and her dog. Maybe the dog was her bodyguard?

  13. Annie West
    March 5, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Kandy,

    That’s so true about everyone being paparazzi these days with the technology that’s so readily available. I’d hate to be newsworthy – I think I’d always feel I was on show. Love the idea of your Indian palace. Wouldn’t that be a terrific escape?

  14. Annie West
    March 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Hi Joanne, I’m so pleased you like the sound of Captive. It was a book that grabbed me from the first moment.

    Yes, please to a Greek island! Even now, with warm Australian sunshine streaming in the window beside me, I’m drawn to the idea of a sunny Greek island. Coincidentally I was just chatting with someone about Hong Kong. I imagine that would be perfect for losing yourself.

  15. Annie West
    March 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Melanie, I love some of the Tasmanian beaches. Despite the cool water temperatures they are some of the most beautiful I’ve seen. Your personal escape beach sounds magic.

  16. Annie West
    March 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Sharon, I hope you enjoy Lucy and Domenico’s story.

    What a great suggestion about the farm stay escape in New South Wales. You know, I could imagine a book with a hero/heroine needing privacy and leaving the big city for a country escape. What a terrific idea. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Abby Green
    March 5, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Oooh Annie, if I was escaping from the paparazzi I would hide away in a gorgeous sea villa in the Maldives with….one of your books of course!
    x Abby

  18. Kaelee
    March 5, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Hi Annie ~ Still haven’t got your book but it’s on my list. This sounds like a really great premise for a story.

    I’d probably take my husband and try to hide away at my cousin’s place on a lake in British Columbia. If money was not a factor, I’d head for a private island hotel that caters to privacy.

  19. Annie West
    March 5, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Abby, I’m honoured to think you’d be reading one of my stories while hiding out! I hear the Maldives are to die for. They’re on my bucket list.

  20. Annie West
    March 5, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Kaelee, well there’s time to snatch a copy of Captive off the shelf. Hope you enjoy it if you get it. I’ve never been to BC but it sounds utterly gorgeous. Yes, a private island would be lovely. Forget the expense (that’s what a Presents hero is like).

  21. Karen Davies
    March 7, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Hi Annie,this book was fabulous, one of your best, couldn’t put it down, utterly gorgeous.
    Oh, and some place to hide from the paps?
    A retreat house in Mid Wales I’ve stopped at, I would guarantee, they would never find you there!