The Allure of the Rock Star
How many of you had crushes on a rock star when you were younger? How many still do today? Okay, my hand is firmly up. I had a massive crush on Jon Bon Jovi as a teenager and now, at almost 41 yrs of age, that hasn’t changed. There is something very sexy and appealing about a musician, especially one that looks like and is as talented as Jon. I think it has something to do with the knowledge they can serenade you until you’re a puddle of desire. Add to that the smoldering sensuality of the natural rhythm that oozes from them when they sing and words that make your heart beat and your soul ache and you’ve got yourself one mighty powerful walking, talking, singing sexy man.
Jon Bon Jovi (and my crush on him) had a lot to do with the creation of Nick Blackthorne, the rock star hero of Love’s Rhythm (my April 17 release). Nick first appeared in Tropical Sin, a broken bad boy of music who was looking for something to help him hear the music in his soul again. He was cheeky and smolderingly sexy and yet at the same time vulnerable and wounded. The music had left his soul and he was empty. I played a lot of Bon Jovi while writing Tropical Sin and even more when I started writing Love’s Rhythm. Added to the playlist this time was Queen, Robbie Williams and Train. I think we are all moved by music and when that music comes from someone who has a killer smile and a naughty gleam in their eye, our pulses go into overdrive and our fantasies can go a little wild, regardless of how old you are. The allure of a rock star is a carnal one that speaks to us through the music they create…and the way they make love to a mic when they are on stage. How many times have you wished that mic was your lips, hmm? J
So tell me, who was your first rock star crush, your favourite song to get…romantic…to or your favourite song lyrics?
His music moves the world. Can his love move her heart?
Nick Blackthorne knows all about words of love. They’re the reason he’s the world’s biggest rock star. The irony? He turned his back on love a long time ago, lured away by the trappings of fame.
An invitation to a friend’s wedding is a stark reminder of how meaningless his life has become. When he enters that church, there’s only one woman he wants on his arm—the one he walked out on a lifetime ago. But first he has to find her, even if all she accepts from him is an apology.
Kindergarten teacher Lauren Robbins once had what every woman on the planet desires. Nick. Their passion was explosive, their romance the stuff of songs…and it took fifteen years to get over him. Then out of the blue Nick turns up at her door, and all those years denying her ache for him are shattered with a single, smoldering kiss.
But molten passion can’t hide the secret she’s kept for all these years. Because it’s not just her heart on the line anymore…and not just her life that’ll be rocked by the revelation.
Remember your first crush on a rock star? Now add smoldering sex, a raw and undeniable passion, soul-shattering orgasms. And secrets…
The gruff, deep voice sinking directly into his ears through his headphones made him blink. He lifted his stare from the wedding invitation in his hand to find his record producer looking at him through the studio’s glass petition. “Sorry, Walt,” he spoke into the mic hanging from the ceiling. “Guess I was wool-gathering.”
Walter Winchester, uber-record producer and soulless mercenary from Hell, gave him a steady look. “Still trying to decide who you’re going to take to that wedding? You could take my daughter.”
Nick rolled his eyes, shoving the invitation into his jeans’ hip pocket. “Your daughter’s my agent, Walt, and married.”
Walter curled his lip. “Yeah, to a gardener.”
Nick laughed. “To a world-famous gardener with a client list you’d kill for. I think it’s time you accept the fact that your daughter’s not a chip off the old block, and unlike you, actually has a heart.”
Walter snorted. “Unlike us both, Blackthorne, although I have to admit you’ve been a bit soppy since that weekend you spent on that island, thank fucking God. Otherwise I’d be thinking you’d never record another fucking album again.” He narrowed his eyes. “What exactly went on at that resort? Whatever it was, there’s been sweet fuck-all mention of it in the press.”
Nick’s heart thumped hard against his breastbone, hard enough he had to wonder if the sound technician sitting beside Walter registered it. As always, the memory of his time at Bandicoot Cove Island Resort made his pulse quicken and his heart fill with warmth. If it wasn’t for that weekend, and his time spent with Mack and Aidan there, he never would have found the music in his soul again.
If it weren’t for Mack and Aidan, who knew what state he’d be in now?
He started at Walter’s sharp voice, his focus returning to the control room on the other side of the glass partition. The record producer studied him, charcoal-grey eyes narrow, his stare drilling. Nick’s bodyguard now stood beside Walter, a worried expression on his face. Over the years in his service, Aslin Rhodes had evolved from a detached yes-man with muscle to a loyal and honest friend. At times Nick teased him with the title Uncle Aslin, a term the ex-special forces commando pretended to scoff at. Aslin was only two years older than Nick, after all. Today he looked very much the concerned family member—if a somewhat large and menacing one—his black eyebrows drawing together over eyes both sharp and inescapable. He leant forward and activated the communication channel between the control room and recording space where Nick now stood.
“What’s up, Nick? Need me to get you anything?” Aslin’s voice rumbled, an almost flat timbre Nick thought sounded like distant thunder. Or artillery detonating—quite fitting for an SAS officer, really.
Nick shook his head, offering both Aslin and Walter a wide smile. “Nah, I’m okay. Just trying to remember the words to the next track.”
Walter punched the comm. “Well, hurry the fuck up and remember them. For fuck’s sake, Nicky, it’s only a reworked version of ‘Night Whispers’. Surely you can remember the words to the first fucking platinum record you ever wrote?”
Nick blinked. Every muscle in his body coiled. Grew tight. “‘Night Whispers’?”
The song’s title felt like dust on his tongue. He frowned at Walter. “Who said anything about a re-release of ‘Night Whispers’? I thought the next song was ‘Clouds of Pain’? I didn’t agree to recording ‘Night—’”
“Surprise. I thought it’d be a nice touch,” Walter spoke over him, his teeth flashing behind his lips, his eyes hard as ice and twice as cold. “It’s been fifteen years since your first album, Nicky. Since your first international success.”
Nick’s gut clenched. He swallowed, staring at his record producer. Walter Winchester stared back, his expression set. The man didn’t top Australia’s Most Infamous list for nothing—Walter knew “Night Whispers” would make a truckload of dollars with a re-release, especially after Nick’s two years of self-imposed recording and performing silence. The predatory, hungry gleam in Walter’s eyes almost made Nick laugh. Almost.
If it wasn’t for the song Walter wanted him to sing now.
“Nick?” Aslin’s soft British accent danced over his ears. “Want me to clear the room?”
Nick’s blood pounded in his throat. Words caressed his senses. Lyrics teased him…
And I want to beg but I can’t find the words.
And I want to cry but I can’t find the tears.
“Shut the fuck up, Rhodes,” Walter snapped, his voice a snarl in Nick’s headphones. “Nicky doesn’t want anything except to sing the fucking song. Right, Nicky?”
Nick closed his eyes, an image of a woman lying on his bed, her hair a golden-red fan around her head as tears like diamonds rested on her cheeks, filling his mind.
And all that’s left is the shadow of your heart and the ghost of your smile.
“The song that started it all.” Walter chuckled, the sound cold. Triumphant.
And the whispers in the night.
“Thought you’d like to commemorate your new album with a re-release of your first global number one.”
And the whispers in the night.
Nick drew a deep breath.
“Night Whispers” was the song he’d written for Lauren. The song that gave him his first simultaneous US, UK and Australian chart topper. The song that said what he’d been too stupid to say when he needed to say it: I choose you.
His first international number one.
The words from the wedding invitation came back to him. Plus one.
He couldn’t ignore the significance of that number. His first number one record was written about a woman who had been his number one everything—friend, love, sexual partner—and now, here he was, being invited to bring a plus one to Mack and Aidan’s wedding and the only one he could think about was the one he’d sung about all those years ago, the woman who’d whispered in the night how much she’d loved him, the one he’d stupidly let go…
He opened his eyes and looked at Walter standing on the other side of the glass. The producer’s capped white teeth glinted at him like those of a shark about to devour its next meal, steel-grey eyes just as threatening.
“I’ve gotta go.”
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