Series: Sixth Street Bands #2
As the bassist for the band Caged, the last three years have been one, long non-stop party. Sure, I’ve had some regrets. Everyone does. But getting trapped in a relationship isn’t one of them. I know good and well what happens when the attraction fades. I’ve seen it first hand. Love is a zero sum game, so why play? As long as I'm upfront about my feelings, no one gets hurt. Besides, I'm never in one place long enough to worry about tomorrow.
That is, until the band decided to take an extended hiatus in our hometown. That’s when I met Melody Sullivan. She’s the full-package. Whip smart and beautiful, with enough determination to take on anything life has in store. And the best part? Melody shares my philosophy on the fleeting nature of attraction. She doesn’t buy into the whole “happily ever after” crap anymore than I do. We’re perfect for each other. For now. And now is all I want.
With the expectations off the table, I can let my guard down and enjoy her company until the spark dies. And we both know it will. In a week, or a month. But until then, we’ll just keep having fun. The good kind, with lots of sex and no strings attached. And when it’s time to move on, we will. No drawn out goodbyes and no remorse.
That’s the plan, at least.
“Autumn’s gone baby, but you still remain. Under my skin, tumbling ‘round my brain.
Leaves have fallen, and the writing’s on the wall. You’re not coming back, but I’m lost in fall.”
A fast food joint probably isn’t where you’d expect to meet a rock star, nor is the crabby cashier likely the person to become the love of your life. While defying statistics and probability might go against Christian Sears and Melody Sullivan’s nature, it’s certainly in their fate.
I really enjoyed the unconventional way these two met and then got to know each other. So often romance novellas lack the building of the romance, but that’s certainly not the case here. Not only could I feel Christian and Mel’s drawl to each other, I could discern the various moments when they were becoming something much more to each than they were looking for.
“I wondered if she smelled the same in summer, or if sunshine emanated from her pores. It was then I realized I really wanted to find out.”
There was definitely more than meets the eye to Christian than just being a rock star. He was a deeper guy. I adored the “nerdy” side to him and the way Mel was it for him even when he didn’t entirely realize it yet.
“I’d grown to believe she was my air. The fact I couldn’t breathe without her proved the hypothesis.”
And Mel, a student researcher, was a smart and strong female character, even when she perceived herself as flawed. Both characters were well developed, and I look forward to seeing more of them in future books as well as how things progress with the band.
This is the second story in the Sixth Street Bands series although it can easily be read as a standalone. Like the previous one, Gone for You, it’s also told entirely from the hero’s point a view and, like Cameron, Christian is an adorable book boyfriend. A lot of that might have to do with the fact that the stories favor a sweet and sexy romantic tale rather than sex, drugs, and rock and roll. The main focus is on the couples rather than the rock lifestyle, and there are plenty of steamy encounters. 💏
“‘I’m not worried about you touching you. That’s my job, angel. I’ll always take care of you.’”
Pinning Mel to the cinder block wall in her tiny living room, I kissed her deeply, my fingers creeping under the hem of her blouse. She sighed, the back of her head bumping against the concrete as I palmed her breast.
“Fuck…sorry.” My hand disappeared into her blond locks, searching for a lump. “Are you all right?”
The girl had me so revved up I was ready to take her right here, inches from her front door.
Resting her palm against my chest, she laughed softly. “No permanent damage. I’ve got a hard head.”
Mel was hardheaded, all right. And smart. Not to mention sexy as hell.
Slipping out of my arms, she headed for the kitchen before I could devour her mouth again. I bit my lip when she ducked her head into the fridge, wiggling her ass as she poked around.
“Would you like something to drink? I’ve got water and…” She walked back with two bottles of Dasani. “Water.”
Twisting the cap off the bottle, I looked around the tiny apartment. Mel’s place was as bare bones as it got. Campus housing with concrete walls and worn carpet. Her entire kitchen would fit in the guest bathroom at my house.
Sinking onto the arm of the recliner, Mel snagged her lip between her teeth. “I’ve never had a one-nighter,” she admitted, like it was a bad thing. “So you’re going to have to tell me how this goes.”
Shifting my gaze to the large calendar on the wall in her dining room, I glanced over the neat stack of books on the table below. The girl was organized—OCD style—which was refreshing. But the fact that she was already planning for my imminent departure unnerved me.
Closing the gap between us, I twirled a lock of her hair around my finger.
“It goes the way it goes, angel. The only thing set in stone is your breakfast. Eggs, right?”
She looked up, the sparkle in her eyes faint at best. “I’m not expecting you to be here in the morning, Christian. We both know what this is. I’ve heard all the rumors. I’m not naïve, you know?”
I pulled away out of sheer reflex. All night long we were just Christian and Mel. My celebrity was barely mentioned. Hell, she didn’t even pump me for information about the band.
After a moment, I eased onto the chair.
“Really?” I slid her onto my lap. “What have you heard about me? I’m dying to know.”
Staring at the bottle in her hand, her fingernail skated over the label. “The usual. Oversexed rocker. Never in one place more than a night.”
Tucking a finger under her chin, I tilted her face until our gazes met.
“I’ve been in Austin for months, so you shouldn’t believe everything you hear.”
Her expression indicated she saw through my halfhearted attempt to address the rumors. I may have been in the same city, but that didn’t mean I was in the same bed. A Google search would turn up dozens of pictures to prove the point.
Mel slipped her arms around my neck. “I’m just letting you know that I get it. Guys like you don’t date—they fuck.” She fought to keep her smile. “And breakfast isn’t usually part of the deal.”
I tightened my grip on her waist, my thumb skimming the smooth skin above the waistband of her jeans. Conversations like this weren’t usually unnecessary. The chicks I hung out with knew the score. Hell, they were fine with it. No truths exchanged beyond the basics: hotel or tour bus, and where should the cab drop you off when we’re finished.
But Mel wasn’t like that. She spent her time in libraries, not waiting behind rope lines hoping to get my attention.
Taking her hand, I blew out a breath. “I’ve been on the road for four years. It’s a little hard to plan breakfast when you don’t know what city you’ll be come morning. But I can’t blame it all on my lifestyle. From a strictly biological standpoint, you know, attraction fades as soon as the hormone rush is over. Pheromones and all that.” Chancing a peek at her face, I found her nodding in agreement, her green eyes glued to mine. I smiled, tracing a finger over the curve of her jaw. “I’m not saying I’m opposed to a repeat performance. I just don’t believe in making promises I can’t keep.”
Realization slammed me in the chest as she mulled over my declaration. Despite the passionate kiss at the door, Mel wasn’t a sure thing. She could ask me to leave. Hell, she might.
I held my breath as she shoved to her feet.
Propping a hand on her hip, she studied me for a long moment. “But you will be making me breakfast…is that what I’m hearing?”
Not quite a question, but a statement of fact. And one I’d gladly agree to if it meant a night in her bed.
“You can bet on it, angel.”
I stood with the intention of capturing her mouth.
Instead, Mel entwined our fingers and said, “Cool. I think I’ll take you to bed now.”
As the guitarist for the rock band Caged, I know the rules: no relationships. No complications. Leave ‘em willing when you go, but always go. Besides, it’s not like I’m ever in one place for more than a few days at a time. As the next hottest thing out of Austin, the band and me are riding the wave, and the music is all that matters.
Lily Tennison has “complication” written across her beautiful face. But I can’t get involved. The timing’s all wrong. But she’s under my skin, and I can’t resist her troubled eyes and sweet smile. And I do have a little time to kill. Not much, just a few days in Dallas.
So I’ll scratch the itch and move on, like I always do.
As a writer you would think that would be a simple question…but it’s not. I spend so much time living in my characters heads, listening to their voices, that sometimes I forget about my own.
I guess I should start with the basics: the backstory. I was born and raised in California. At this point, I’m usually asked what it was like to grow up near the beach, but sadly, I don’t know. I grew up in the “other” part of California. Perfect for an aspiring writer, if you ask me. You learn a lot about keeping yourself busy when the nearest house is a mile away…and it belongs to your grandparents.
I spent all my time with my nose in a book, living vicariously through the characters, until I wrote a book of my own. I was ten at the time. It was a scintillating piece that cast the family pet as the protagonist.
By the time I went to high school, I moved on to romance. Why? Because I met my very own prince charming. I wrote love poems in my journal about the green-eyed boy who stole my heart. He promised, the way all storybook heroes do, to sweep me away and take me on a grand adventure. And he did.
We picked up and moved to the Lone Star State and began the story of us. The best stories begin without a road map or a compass. Veering off course makes the journey so much more interesting.
True to form, just when I thought my life was set, we started the next adventure. I traded in my cowboy boots and followed my green-eyed boy to Las Vegas. My home will always be in Texas, but my heart is anywhere that he is. Our beautiful daughter made the journey with us. Our son stayed in Texas, to write his own story.
Somehow, in the midst of the chaos that is our life, I find time to write. Writing is what I love. I might stray from romance every now and then if that is what moves me…but I always come back. Some of the stories don’t seem romantic at all. They are gritty stories about flawed characters that find each other and hold on tight. Those are the stories that speak to me. Because that’s life. I believe that every story should have a happy ending—even the difficult ones.
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