The small-town ambiance of Santa Catalina Island, California, is shaken when revenge stalks one of its newest residents.
Jake Cavanaugh loved Avalon almost as much as he missed his seat on the board of directors of Cavanaugh Industries. But he knew that a few months of manual labor in the company's most prestigious hotel would prove to be one his better decisions.
For Starr North, supermodel, Catalina represented as much of an escape from the tabloids as it did hope for a new life. But when she left ex-fiance`, Brian Versacci standing at the altar, she never expected his need for vengeance to haunt her every move.
"Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
The bride looked at the handsome man at her side then turned to the priest. With a weak smile, she took a deep breath to control the butterflies in her stomach and replied.
"No. I don't think so."
A collective gasp resounded from the gathered throng of friends and family. A microsecond of silence filled the church before the air erupted. Clamoring voices of correspondents from nearly every major news and tabloid publication in the free world echoed through the sanctuary. Determined not to let her audiences shock and disbelief alter the course she'd set for the rest of her life, the bride raised the delicate lace veil covering her face and let it fall back over her shoulders.
Beside her, impeccable in his Giorgio Armani tuxedo, Brian Versacci's face blanched. He stammered, barely audible over the rising volume of voices.
"W-what are you doing?"
Ignoring him, she turned away and started back down the aisle, retracing the steps shed taken only moments before.
As she passed the front pew, her mother's manicured hand snaked toward her. The bride sidestepped out of reach and kept going. Her head held high and confidence in her eyes, she paid no attention to the flash of strobe lights and the whir of the cameras. Without a single faltering step, she walked on, her heart pounding like a bass drum in her chest.
When she reached the back of the church, she saw a tall man with dark eyes and breathed a deep sigh of relief. He returned her glance and nodded.
"Let's go, Rose," he said. He snapped his fingers once.
Instantly, a highly trained team of ex-Secret Service agents surrounded the bride, forming an impenetrable wall between her and the advancing mob. As the huge double doors closed, the man took her arm and led her down the stairs.
The agents held the doors firm, effectively imprisoning the horde of news-hungry reporters inside the church for the precious few seconds the bride needed to jump into a waiting limousine and complete her escape.
She left it all behind. The photo shoots and exotic locations. The starvation diets and demented designers. The paparazzi and their invasive battle plans. She leaned back against the plush seat and sighed.
Starr North, a.k.a. "The Northern Starr", International Supermodel, walked into St. Patrick's Cathedral to be married.
Starla Rose Norton walked out. Free.