Smile Number Seven

by Melissa Price

Age is just a number—right?

That’s not her first thought when four-time Oscar winning actress Katarina Verralta meets the younger Julia Dearling. Caught in a monsoon, the movie star exits the dark desolate interstate in search of someplace to eat and stay for the night.

Julia Dearling, owner of the Starlight Diner, is stranded in her desert parking lot with a bygone battery and the memory of her newly dead relationship. When Katarina pulls in, neither of them guess that their life is about to turn upside-down and inside-out.

In a town as big as a noodle, Desert Bluff has no motels. So Julia serves dinner to Katarina at the diner and then offers up her sculpting studio as a place for Katarina to stay.

Drawn together in the night, their intoxicating romance begins. But when age is front and center and fame is at stake, the closeted movie star must face her reckoning.

Smile Number Seven promises that second chance every true love deserves.





In stock

Genre Romance
Length 300 pages
Publication Date April 11, 2019
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781642470383e
Editor Medora MacDougall
Cover Designer Judith Fellows



"Most people admit to having an ultimate screen idol—that one movie star they consider to be drool-worthy. But could anyone ever imagine meeting and falling in love with that person in real life? Isn’t that what the Freebie-5 list is for? For the fantasy of having the opportunity?

A simple writing exercise years ago had me wondering what would happen if a young unknown woman met her much older movie idol by chance and then sparks flew.

Fast forward to a few years ago when Bella Books had a call for submissions for their Happily Ever After anthology. I dusted off those seminal characters who had never left me, and I crafted the short story titled, The Desert Diner.

Once I’d finished writing it however, I realized that a much deeper journey was about to begin. One in which the older, closeted, Oscar-winning Katarina Verralta would have to face a self-reckoning if she was to ever attain what had always eluded her—true love.

Several years Katarina’s junior, Julia Dearling takes the leap of faith with her because what could possibly go wrong? Right?

The plot for Smile Number Seven was born.

Together, Katarina and Julia told me their story as they navigated the chasms of age, culture, and lifestyle. They didn’t disappoint.

In their world, the myriad differences ultimately became meaningless in the face of a once-in-a-lifetime love.

By the end of Smile Number Seven, they had delivered and sealed their unique brand of happily ever after.

But what I hadn’t realized until the end of Smile Number Seven were two very important things: 1.) An entire universe can grow from a seed, and 2.) After all the years that Julia and Katarina had inhabited the same story file, they must have gotten to know each other really well."

—Melissa Price


Pin’s Reviews - A great Hollywood romance novel that goes straight on my re-read list. The book was practically a page-turner with very good pacing…Fifty chapters and 95,000 words led from a fateful encounter in a California desert through a beautiful clandestine 26 years age gap love story with a few twists and turns towards a very satisfying ending. Add to that some drama, a plausible main conflict, grand romantic gestures, an entourage of secondary characters, great dialogue, a nice dose of humor... and you have an awesome read which I could easily recommend to all romance fans.

Les Reveur
The story is told from both Katrina and Juliette’s point of view, which in this case I think was very important to do, especially with the ups and downs from both sides. The pace was perfect and gave enough at the end that I felt the characters got their happy ever after.

This book has a few great tropes but my favourite is the age-gap romance. It really added a lovely extra element to the story. I loved Julia’s character best. She was so loving and forthright. The idea of this beautiful creature being hidden in the closet was just damn sad, but don’t you worry, she holds her own.

Customer Reviews

1 review for Smile Number Seven – eBook

  1. nuts4122

    What a fun read! Loved the age difference between the ladies since my own relationship has that kind of age gap. I have all of Melissa Price’s books. I wait for the new ones….don’t hesitate, get your copy!

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