Cover Story by Rachel LaceyCover Story by Rachel Lacey is a steamy tale of Hollywood fame and subterfuge.

Natalie Keane is an A-list actress and one of Hollywood’s top leading ladies who has paid a steep price for fame. Eight years ago she was stalked and the ensuing media frenzy nearly broke her. When a new threat arises, Natalie agrees to the extra security, with a twist. She wants to control the narrative so it doesn’t turn into a tabloid spectacle, especially during awards season.

Taylor Vaughn, bodyguard to the stars, hates that an injury has kept her sidelined and is threatening the very job she loves. When an opportunity arises to work for Natalie Keane, Taylor jumps at the chance – even before knowing all of the details of the assignment.

From the moment they meet, it’s apparent to Natalie that this ruse could work and that Taylor, the bodyguard, will be perfect to masquerade as her new girlfriend. This is the perfect cover story but as circumstances push the two women closer, the lines between fantasy and reality start to blur.


Jenna: Cover Story isn’t the usual Rachel Lacey fare, and I love that she pushed her boundaries and penned this tale. There are suspenseful elements throughout but they don’t overshadow the fact that this is a story that focuses on healing from past trauma and learning to feel safe in a world where nothing is guaranteed. Natalie’s nightmare and the subsequent trauma are handled with so much care and I felt, so deeply for her.

Mildred: Sure, this is a very steamy, sexy fauxmance, but it’s more about dealing with old traumas that have a way of taking over your life and refusing to stop making you miserable. Nevertheless, I didn’t find this book super angsty. Natalie struggles with constant fear and trust issues, and Taylor struggles with trust issues and physical issues that threaten her career. Much as I love a fauxmance, it was interesting to see this twist on the trope to make the fake romance part of the healing process instead of the main issue. It helped that neither of the women found a quick and easy solution and part of their healing was using the fauxmance as an aid to recovery. I like how they begin the fauxmance with a lot of mutual respect.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

Jenna: Natalie’s spent the better part of eight years trying to overcome being stalked. While the media and her fans think she’s over it, her closest friends know that she continues to struggle with the after-effects. She takes her security very seriously which is why she wants to hire another bodyguard to play the public role of her girlfriend. This way, she’ll get the extra protection she desires while not allowing the media to focus on the negative effects of the stalking. Natalie is well aware Taylor Vaughn was Eden Sands’s bodyguard for over five years and knows she’s the perfect person for the dual assignment. I felt the chemistry between them from the first moment and was right there for their preliminarily awkward interactions as they navigated their new reality, together.

Mildred: The early awkwardness was adorable. Poor Taylor, who has just enough experience with celebrity bodyguarding to know the routine but not how it feels to be under the spotlight. I liked how the author didn’t try to do too much. Instead of trying to make the fauxmance equal to the emotional trauma storyline, she went ahead and used the fauxmance as one of their tools for discovery. Their attraction is hot from the beginning, and neither of them fights it all too much. The payoff was, ahem, a lot of fun.

Jenna: I agree that their awkwardness was adorable and the payoff was most definitely…fun. I appreciated  Taylor’s calm steadiness and found it’s exactly what Natalie needs to feel safe. She’s able to climb over the walls that Natalie has built around herself to see the wounded woman beneath. Their conversations as they get to know one another are surprisingly deep and meaningful and give way for them to easily become something more. I love Natalie’s character arc because the woman beneath the superstar facade is compassionate, witty, and braver than she gives herself credit for.

Mildred: I was surprised that more time wasn’t given to the idea of Natalie being terrified all the time but continuing to go on with her life and career. In my book, that’s true bravery and I loved how it was portrayed. Taylor aids in her growth and is the perfect woman for her, but Natalie does grow a lot through her efforts and bravery. I wish the author had hit this note a little harder but was glad to see it. Any of us who grew up strong and sporty can sympathize with Taylor’s issues with her health. There’s little worse than having to make huge lifestyle changes due to an injury that is just too much to completely surmount. This, of all the aspects of Taylor’s character, was the one that made me care about her the most.

Jenna: Natalie’s dogs Luna and Orion are adorably entertaining as is Cassie the kitten. Taylor’s parents are lovely and their relationship with her is an important element in her life.

Mildred: Oh gosh, yeah, Natalie’s pets were a fantastic addition to the book. The dogs rank high on the dorky cuteness spectrum and Cassie the spitfire kitten putting the rambunctious boxers in their place was great, but my favorite was her introduction to Taylor. Badass bodyguard, indeed.

Heads Up

PTSD due to traumatic events is a focus of this book.

The Conclusion

Jenna: Cover Story is a beautiful romance set amongst the bright lights and glamour of Hollywood. Natalie Keane spent the last eight years feeling unsafe, plagued by nightmares and triggers so when Taylor Vaughn applied for the bodyguard job, Natalie knew that she was perfect for the perfect person to play both bodyguard and faux girlfriend. Taylor’s unflappability allows Natalie to feel safe for the first time in years and as the two grow closer, their underlying chemistry bubbles to the surface. Cover Story’s sweet moments paired with suspense and tension made it extremely difficult for me to put down. I fell in love with Natalie and Taylor’s story as it will stay with me for a long time.

Mildred: This is a fauxmance that uses the trope to spin a deeper story of overcoming trauma and learning to walk a new path in life. Natalie and Taylor are a great couple who have each gone through so much, and respect and care for each other from the beginning of the book enough to be there for each other no matter what it costs them. The story is super romantic, and when it heats up, it’s scorching. A reader may be overcome by pet cuteness.

Excerpt from Cover Story by Rachel Lacey

Then Taylor was on her way outside. She opened a glass door and stepped onto the patio. It had flagstone flooring and was covered by a white pergola, which was wrapped with some kind of flowering vine that was not only beautiful but provided a nice floral scent in the air.

She’d only absorbed a quick impression of the space before two dogs were barreling toward her, one black, one brown. They both had short coats and adorably squishy faces. The brown dog stopped several feet from her, posture stiff as it determined whether she was friend or foe.

Protective. That was good, for Ms. Keane’s sake.

“It’s all right, Orion,” a voice called, and the brown dog turned his head. The black one was already circling Taylor, nubby tail wiggling furiously in greeting.

Natalie Keane stood from a chair that faced away from the house. She walked toward Taylor, wearing pale-pink skinny jeans and a black jacket. Her hair was down, hanging loosely over her shoulders. It was a rich chestnut brown, almost red where it caught the sunlight. Her face was heart shaped, with pale skin and a warm smile tugging at her lips.

Beautiful, in a word, but Taylor had met lots of gorgeous celebrities. Glossy appearances no longer impressed her. She was more interested in personality and values, the things that lay beneath the surface. Ms. Keane was calmer, perhaps, than Taylor had expected. Somehow, she’d thought the actress would be anxious, even high strung, given the circumstances, but this woman was the picture of poise.

“Natalie Keane.” She extended a hand as she approached, and so far, at least, she seemed friendly and approachable. Natalie’s brown eyes searched Taylor’s face, visibly sizing her up.

“Taylor Vaughn.” She took Ms. Keane’s hand and shook, holding her gaze evenly. Two could play this game, and Taylor was excellent at reading people. She had to be for this job. “It’s a pleasure, Ms. Keane.”

“Natalie, please. We’re not formal here.”

“Natalie it is,” Taylor affirmed.

Natalie was still studying her, perhaps deciding if Taylor was someone she could see herself holding hands with as she told the world they were dating. People’s eyes revealed so much—if they were tired or stressed or angry. Natalie’s revealed nothing. They were empty brown pools, carefully cloaked to conceal whatever she was thinking. It was impressive, actually, the level of control she had over her expression.

She certainly had Taylor’s attention now. Beauty was common in Hollywood, but this was unusual. Taylor was riveted to her gaze.

And then Natalie’s eyes widened, surprise transforming her features. “Wait, I know you!”

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-1662517402

Publisher: Montlake

Rachel Lacey Online


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