Heart of Fame, Book 8
Author: Lexxie Couper
Date of Publication: October 28th 2014
Rhythm is in his genes. She is in his heart.
Caitlin Reynolds doesn’t care if the rock star lookalike trying to get into her bar is who he says he is. Sticking to the rules is a big reason the Chaos Room is the hottest velvet rope in Sydney.
Okay, so he’s freaking hot, but she’s been ignoring her hormones since her fiancé left her to go be a doctor in Somalia and then went missing.
After a shattered knee ended his promising soccer career, it seemed only natural for Josh Blackthorne to follow in his father’s rock-god footsteps. Now he’s a megastar, lusted after by women—and men—the world over. But he’s been in lust with Caitlin since he saw her picture years ago.
When Caitlin realizes Josh is who he says he is, she’s the first to make it right. But no matter how badly his seduction makes her want to melt into his arms, there’s a ghost hanging over their heads. A ghost who turns out to be not so legally dead after all…
Warning: Contains a rock star who’s livin’ the dream and livin’ it large, a self-made businesswoman with a weakness for a cheeky smile, and a red-hot battle of tormented wills. May stimulate a desire to throw your panties onto the nearest stage.
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/HeartOfFame
He found her place with ease. There was no building security, nor locked doors to deal with. Just a flight of stairs leading to the sixth floor and a long corridor leading to a door painted in cheery orange, with an equally cheery flame-pink metal 7C screwed onto the wood just above the spy hole.
He studied the door, noting the fake dog door big enough for a Chihuahua drawn in what looked like magic marker at the bottom. The whole thing was overtly happy and it stirred up the nerves in his stomach some more. Along with something else.
How hard was it for Caitlin to approach that cheery door every day knowing the life she’d planned on the other side had been stolen from her?
Much like the life you’d planned as a professional soccer player for Australia over six years ago? How often do you find yourself looking at the scar on your knee and thinking about the hours you spent running around the field?
His stomach churned again. His chest squeezed tight.
Swallowing at the sudden lump in his throat, he balled his fist, raised it to his shoulder and knocked on Caitlin’s door.
Three sharp raps of his knuckles on cheery-orange wood.
A few seconds passed. Long enough for Josh to wonder if she wasn’t home. And then, just as he was about to knock again, the door swung open to reveal Caitlin Reynolds in all her morning beauty, and Josh forgot how to breathe.
Goddamn it, why did he have to look like that?
Breath caught in her throat, Caitlin stared at the famous man on the other side of her threshold. He was barely recognizable.
Last night, he’d been the ultimate rock star, dressed all in black and oozing smug, potently sexual energy.
This morning, standing in her open door with the muted-down lights of the corridor casting him in a warm golden hue, his jeans faded and blue, his plain T-shirt white and snug, he looked like a normal albeit nervous guy.
It messed completely with Caitlin’s head.
If she’d thought her body reacted with overwhelming, adulterous zeal to rock-star Josh Blackthorne, she didn’t know the words to describe the way she felt looking at this Josh Blackthorne.
She stared at him, the unsettling throb in her sex making her want to whimper…or throw herself at him and do stuff.
“You look incredible.” Josh’s compliment—uttered on a reverent breath—shattered the silence between them.
Caitlin blinked, heat flooding her cheeks. She ducked her head, unable to meet his gaze any longer. It would be no good for him to see in her eyes the way he made her feel. No good at all. “Thank you.”
She flicked a look over her clothes—a simple pair of denim cut-off shorts complete with frayed edges and a black Guns N’ Roses tank top. “I wasn’t expecting you.”
Or I would have changed? Into a hessian bag? Or something even more evocative?
His chuckle raised her focus to his face again. “I told you I was coming.”
She arched an eyebrow. “I didn’t think you would, given I told you kissing and flirting were off-limits.”
He gave her a boyish grin. She wished he hadn’t. It made that place between her thighs that never lied constrict. “I think I can control myself. Besides, you’re not that adorable.”
Despite herself, Caitlin laughed. “Thanks. I think.”
“So, breakfast at The Rocks Café? For no other reason than I can report in with your uncle when I get back to the States that you’re eating healthy?”
Caitlin narrowed her eyes at him. “Are you sure that’s your only agenda?”
He put his right hand to his chest—a chest, she couldn’t help but notice, far more muscular and broad than the black shirt he’d worn last night had revealed—and raised his left hand to beside his head. The universally acknowledged taking-an-oath pose. “Promise. That’s it.” His grin stretched wider. “Well, that and maybe to convince you to let me back into your club again, as well.”
She laughed. “In that case…” She held his stare for a moment, enjoying the way his lips curled as she made him wait for her answer. “Breakfast would be nice.”
He surprised her by scrunching up his face with enthusiastic victory and pumping the air with his fist. “Booyah!”
“If you do that in public—” she chuckled, “—I’ll kick you in the shins. Understand?”
Mock dourness fell over his face. “Understand. I’ll be boring and beige, just for you.”
Caitlin rolled her eyes. “Somehow, I doubt that’s possible. Just let me get my bag and shoes.”
And before he could respond, she closed the door on his grinning face.
Heart thumping with wild abandon in her throat, she stood motionless, her hand pressed flat to the door, her unfocussed stare locked on its solid surface.
This wasn’t wise. This was…wrong.
Why? Because you’re going to breakfast with a guy who obviously likes you?
Yeah, breakfast. Out in public. Where everyone could see. Where anyone with a smartphone could photograph her…and send those images to the media…post them online…
Guilt shot through her, melding with an unsettling frisson of something charged playing with her senses. As was the case last night, interacting with Josh Blackthorne made her feel…alive again, after so many months of feeling empty, hollow, dead. The thought of people witnessing that…capturing it…
Don’t go to breakfast. Tell him to go away.
Chest tight, throat tighter, she yanked open the door, fixed him with a level stare and said, “Would you like me to cook you breakfast instead?”
Josh’s eyebrows shot up his head. Caitlin’s heart slammed into her throat.
The blood rushed to her cheeks.
What the fuck was she doing? Where had that invitation come from?
For a heartbeat, Caitlin stood in utter terror of the path she’d put herself on. Of the temptation she’d opened herself up to.
Please say no. Please say no.
“I would love you to cook me breakfast,” Josh answered. “As long as I’m allowed to help. I make a mean toasted cheese and Vegemite sandwich.”
“I don’t like Vegemite,” she blurted out.
Josh recoiled in melodramatic horror. “What? Sacrilegious!”
She let out a nervous giggle, all too aware how adorable he looked.
He gave her a wide smile. “In that case, there’s no chance of us having a relationship, no matter what the media are chomping at the bit to say. I can’t be with someone who doesn’t like Vegemite.”
The severity of his tone, and the wicked light in his eyes made Caitlin laugh again. “The fact I’m engaged isn’t dissuasion enough?”
He pulled a face, mirth still dancing in his eyes. “Well, there is that as well.”
And just like that, Caitlin knew she could trust him. Knew he wasn’t going to make any kind of move on her.
Now, all she had to do was trust herself.
Stepping aside, she extended her hand back into her home and smiled at him. “Come in.”
The Heart of Fame Series
Lexxie Couper started writing when she was six and hasn’t stopped since. She’s not a deviant, but she does have a deviant’s imagination and a desire to entertain readers with her words. Add the two together and you get erotic romances that can make you laugh, cry, shake with fear or tremble with desire. Sometimes all at once.
When she’s not submerged in the worlds she creates, Lexxie’s life revolves around her family, a husband who thinks she’s insane, a indoor cat who likes to stalk shadows, and her daughters, who both utterly captured her heart and changed her life forever.
Having no idea how old she really is, Lexxie decided to go with 27 and has been that age for quite some time now. It’s the best of both worlds – old enough to act mature, young enough to be silly.
Lexxie lives by two simple rules – measure your success not by how much money you have, but by how often you laugh, and always try everything at least once. As a consequence, she’s laughed her way through many an eyebrow raising adventure.