by Erica DeQuaya

September 2003
ISBN: 1-931761-75-4
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Genera McCanton has tried all of her life to make it to Broadway. Not as an actress, but as a playwright. She's gotten closer when Judith Aldin-Paige purchases the rights for her off-Broadway theater. Genera is thrilled with the arrangement. Finally, she is seeing her dream realized. Until Judith tells them that she wants her younger brother, Edward to play the lead role. Genera's defense shields come up when she realizes that Judith purchased the play to give her brother a chance to act on stage. She had let herself be used once. She isn't about to take this type of imidation quietly.

Edward Aldin has been living the good life. He is a successful cover model, making lots of money and engaged to a wonderful woman. Then on one Tuesday morning in September, his entire world collapses. The woman he loves is killed in the World Trade Center attacks. He just wants to die. Judith gives him a chance at his dream. Does he have enough strength to deal with her interference and Genera's hostility to grab something he has always wanted? How does he fight the intense attraction between the prickly playwright and him? Maybe his heart is healing from the loss.

Genera reluctantly allows Edward to play the lead. She has another secret that she can't tell. Will that secret stop her from accepting the love that Edward offers her? Will her need for success help her overcome her hatred of New York City, and her hurt caused by Edward and Judith?

To watch Edward move from grief towards healing is hard to see. But the reader is given the feeling that even though he has a lot more healing to do, the worst is over. Genera needs to heal as well. With Edward's help and her own strength, she starts to overcome the pain. The story isn't resolved as neatly as most readers would like, but you are given the idea that with time, Genera and Edward's love will be able to stand any kind of test. Even though Genera's insistance on judging Edward by past experiences tends to get tiresome after a while, her ability in the end to accept him for who he is redeems her.

Backstage Affair has hot sex and emotional connections between the main characters. It's a story about healing and the different ways we overcome our grief.

Reviewed in October 2003 by Jenni.

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