Home > A Righteous Man

A Righteous Man
Author: Jay Crownover

Salinger Dolan.

 

You know his name.

You’ve seen his face.

You’ve spent money on the endless amount of useless crap he endorses.

Of course, you’ve heard the stories.

You know the ones…

The one that claimed he was hard to work with and totally unprofessional on set.

The one where he got caught doing drugs on the set of the most popular, family-friendly show in America.

The one where he ruined the reputation—and career—of America’s sweetheart.

There’s more truth to those stories than his fans want to believe because Salinger is the kind of thoughtless, careless, dangerous Hollywood bad boy the paparazzi and fame-hungry starlets can’t get enough of.

Eventually, the shine of his flashy lifestyle started to fade, and Salinger realized the only thing he’s famous for nowadays is his bad behavior and well-documented struggle with addiction.

The former golden boy is beyond tarnished, and the only person who can help him get his glow back is the one woman who wants absolutely nothing to do with him.

 

Maren Copeland.

 

You might recall her name.

It’s possible you vaguely remember her face.

You’re probably wondering where she went. After all, you’ve heard the stories…

The one where she exposed Salinger Dolan’s drug use all those years ago.

The one that said she tried to ruin his career because she was envious of his popularity.

The one about how she went from being everyone’s favorite to a pariah overnight.

Maren Copeland is now known as the comeback queen. After years of hard work and purposely avoiding entanglements with problematic heartthrobs like her first co-star, she’s on track to revitalize her career and rearrange her priorities after a very messy and very public divorce.

For the first time in both her professional and personal life, she’s the one calling all the shots.

Unfortunately, the path to get her where she wants to be leads directly to none other than Salinger Dolan.

He’s the one and the only person she swore she would never work with again.

Once upon a time, he cost her everything. He’s back to make amends and promised to give her anything she wants if she’ll just give him a chance to prove he’s grown up.

She doesn’t trust him.

She knows she’d be a fool to believe he’s changed.

After all, what are the odds that a spoiled, entitled brat like Salinger Dolan could become a righteous man?

 

 

Dedicated to those of us who are definitely old enough to know better about most things. And to those of us who are young enough at heart not to care.

 

 

Helloooooo....

I feel like it has been FOREVER since I got to sit down and write a little blurb for one of my books.

Everything in 2020 has been harder, longer, more arduous than normal. For me, that meant both reading and writing. I couldn’t find my flow with anything this year.

Usually, by winter, I’ve released anywhere from three to five books through self-publishing and traditional methods. That is the pace I’ve always been comfortable with, but in 2020, when I tell you it was a true struggle to get one book done and published, I really, really mean it.

I had a plan to write this super gothic, emotionally intense romance centered around revenge gone very wrong, but I could never find my footing.

Then one day, I was watching the movie Murder by Numbers starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Gosling, and I remembered the rumor that they were dating during filming. They have great chemistry in the movie, and I found myself intrigued, partly because of their age difference, but more so by the fact that it’s always an older man with a younger woman in romance, and rarely an older woman with a younger man.

Same thing with Kate Beckinsale and her trail of younger man friends. She’s one of the most beautiful women in the world and is drawn to these young, tattooed dudes, which you know I approve of. (Full disclosure: I heart Pete Davidson’s weird, quirky self, so I was rooting for him to hold onto her longer than he did.)

I knew what I wanted to write out of the blue, and it wasn’t something deep and dark or full of angst.

I wanted to write a slick, sexy contemporary that would be a great escape not only for me, but for my readers.

I wanted to write something fun and flirty.

Something that would make readers feel good.

The shift was magical, and for the first time in a rough few months, I felt like myself again.

I may go back to the revenge-gone-wrong because I tend to favor the things I have to work the hardest for, just like most of my characters do. I appreciate all the challenges I have to face on this miraculous journey.

And just a little aside because I keep seeing it pop up in both reviews and reader conversations: this story is set pre-COVID but keeps pace with reality.

When I was writing, it was super weird to have big events on the page and scenes set in restaurants and bars since that hasn’t been our reality for so long. Especially since most of this book takes place in California. But the story does move us into modern times, very briefly, so I tried to be respectful of that without going overboard.

I hope this book helps you escape the same way it helped me. I hope you can breathe a little easier for a few hours while reading it.

Also, a huge shout out to my awesome reader group, The Crowd, who encouraged me to follow my muse when I asked for feedback on switching stories mid-creative stream. I wouldn’t have jumped into this without your support.

Stay safe out there, folks.

 

Xoxo,

Jay

 

 

Maren - Ten years ago

 

“WHAT DO YOU mean they're going in a different direction?”

I stared at my agent like he’d suddenly started speaking a foreign language. In the five years since I’d signed with him and his agency, he’d taken on not only the role of agent, but also one as a surrogate father. He’d discovered me when I was a no-name-nineteen-year-old, fresh off the plane from rural New Mexico. I dropped out of college and decided to chase my dreams in big bad Hollywood, expecting nothing, but hoping for the best. The man seated across from me was a huge part of making those dreams come true. I trusted him with my career and my best interests but, at the moment, he was giving me the kind of news that felt like it might preface the end of the world with little sympathy. The expression on his face was stony and cold, far from his usual smile and encouraging words that he typically lavished upon me during our meetings.

“Since your contract is coming up for renegotiation, they’ve decided to write you off the show.” He said the words bluntly and narrowed his eyes in what appeared to be anger. “Everyone from the top down has agreed there is no more room for your character to grow. You’re dragging the show down, Maren. The ratings have been on a steady decline for the last six months. Advertisers have noticed the change.”

I put a hand to my chest where my heart was pounding furiously. I swallowed hard, trying to keep the rising panic at bay. “But I’ve been the main character for four years.” I honestly carried the entire show, but now didn’t seem like the time to point that out to him. “How can they let me go just like that?”

It felt like a betrayal. I was about to lose everything I’d been so fortunate to have handed to me as an untried and unknown actress all those years ago. I’d worked hard, constantly put my best foot forward, and became synonymous with the character I played. She was a bit naïve, slightly simple, and totally kindhearted. She was constantly in the middle of the villain’s evil machinations and often ended up the punching bag of the plotline. I had the same innocent, pushover image. I was the girl-next-door for most of America. I was their daughter. Their forever little sister. Their forever best friend. It didn’t make any sense that the world was suddenly sick of me.

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