Star Bright – Bright Young Things Read online Staci Hart

Categories Genre: Angst, Contemporary, Romance Tags Authors:
Total pages in book: 93
Estimated words: 89654 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 448(@200wpm)___ 359(@250wpm)___ 299(@300wpm)
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Read Online Books/Novels:

Star Bright - Bright Young Things

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Staci Hart

Language:
English
Book Information:

Bestselling author Staci Hart brings you a new series where secret society parties and the thrill of the unknown tempt fate.
Stella Spencer has one enemy—her secrets.
The world’s obsession with the Bright Young Things is real. Every lavish party thrown by the most exclusive group in New York is a spectacle, stalked not only by the media, but by the police commissioner, who’s declared war. He’s out to ruin everyone’s good time, starting with uncovering the mysterious benefactor leading the group, thus answering the question on everyone’s lips.
Who is Cecelia Beaton? And no one knows it’s Stella. If society finds out the truth, her plans will unravel. And with one smoldering look from a stranger, her carefully ordered world catches fire.
Levi Hunt has one plan—get the story.
His future at Vagabond magazine depends on his ability to do the one thing no one can: infiltrate the Bright Young Things. If he can find out who Cecelia Beaton is, he’ll earn enough notoriety to permanently secure his career.
His dreams are at his fingertips, so long as he doesn’t blow his cover. But one night with the brightest, most brilliant young thing of all, and he knows he’ll have to make a choice.
The job he loves or the woman of his dreams.
Secrets and lies. Love and laughter. And two people with something to hide and everything to gain.
Welcome to the party.
Books by Author:

Staci Hart



“There is to be a fancy dress party. How exciting it sounds. One’s heart thuds. It all sounds so different to any other party, though in reality it is much the same once the dressing up is done. Infinitely daring it seems.”

—Cecil Beaton

1

Cordially Invited

LEVI

“It smells like a urinal at the Port Authority back here.” My nose wrinkled up so tight, I wasn’t sure it’d ever be smooth again.

My footfalls—and those of my buddy Ash and the couple ahead of us—echoed off the towering brick walls on either side of us, a rhythm to match the muffled beat of a drum and a bass line coming from behind the iron door standing silently at the end of the alley.

Ash laughed, an untroubled sound. “Oh, come on, man. It’s no worse than any other alley in Manhattan.”

“This can’t be the location of the party. I swear to God, Ash—if I got all dressed up just to get mugged, I’m gonna beat the shit out of you.”

Again with that laugh, coupled with a flash of teeth that made it almost impossible not to smile back.

I somehow managed to resist.

He clapped me on the shoulder and snapped my suspenders like a dick. “Come on. Be a good sport.”

A derisive noise from somewhere in the back of my throat was my only answer.

“Listen. You wanted me to get you into one of these parties—”

“After you badgered me for months to come with you—”

He shot me a look. “Not on one of the nights I had Lily James on the hook—I’ve been waiting five years for her to be single. But I’m a good fucking friend, so I brought your ass instead. So live it up, bucko. Next time, you won’t be so lucky. So wear your suspenders and quit bitching, would you?”

I jerked my chin at the couple ahead of us as they approached the door. “They didn’t dress up in ’20s gear.” When the guy turned his head, I leaned toward Ash and said under my breath, “Wait—is that who I think it is?”

“You’d think he’d play along with the ’20s theme. He played the Gatsby, after all.”

Some commotion went on at the door, and Leo turned, blowing past us, mumbling swear words with his date trotting behind him, trying to keep up. Out of nowhere, he whirled around, jabbed a finger at the door, and yelled, “Bullshit!” His date plowed into him, and the two spun around before he righted them, snagged her hand, and stormed toward the mouth of the alley.

Ash’s sideways smile noted his pleasure at the sight. “Not even Leo gets in without a costume, golden ticket or not.”

At the mention, he reached into his inside coat pocket and extracted the invitation, printed on heavy black paper with gold foil deco detailing and our instructions:

The Bright Young Things

do cordially invite you

to ruckus and rebellion

by way of jazz and whiskey.

The brighter, the better, darling.

Password: The Tattler

The address, which wasn’t so much of an address as it was a general direction, was printed underneath, the words catching what little light shone in the dim alley, glinting like a promise.

It was typical of the Bright Young Things—vague, melodramatic, and undeniably intriguing. Since the recent turn into the modern ’20s, the enigmatic social group had taken over—first New Yorkers, followed quickly by gossip columns, and then the country as a whole. Copycat parties had swept the nation, but none were so extravagant as the trendsetters’. Presumably founded by a pack of anonymous socialites, the parties had become a topic of voracious interest. Where would they be? What spectacle would follow? And most importantly, who was Cecelia Beaton?

The name was a play on the illustrious Cecil Beaton, an icon in fashion photography and notorious member of the original Bright Young Things. The infamous, irreverent youths had overtaken London newspaper headlines through the late 1920s for all the same reasons as their namesake: they were wild, rebellious, and glamorous with exclusivity that was almost impossible to break into.

Cecelia Beaton signed her name to any contracts and invoices for parties, paid in cash, and generally flummoxed everyone regarding her real identity. If she even was a she. No one knew, and none of the fifty or so core Bright Young Things would talk. The mystery of it ate the general populace alive. So they wondered and watched and salivated in unison at the sight of celebrities’ Instagram posts from the parties and stalked Twitter for any sliver of gossip they could inhale. Two hundred invitations went out for every party, and not one single attendee would risk their coveted spot by leaking any important details leading up to an event. Just enough to whet the appetite of the public, amplifying the intrigue exponentially.

As far as I knew, I was the first reporter to actually make it into one.

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