by Brooklyn Ann
After having one of the worst experiences a young teenager could endure at the hands of cruel musicians, Christine Mayne's rock star brother Quinn tried to lock her away from the world. She had to fight to live her life, go to college, get her master's and enter her PhD program. Now, she's determined to complete her research on group dynamics by touring with Bleeding Vengeance, even it means deceiving her brother and lying to the band's fabulous lead singer, Cliff Tracey.
Cliff Tracey hates being manipulated, lied to and deceived. He'd know, having gone through a string of exes who had done just that. When he thinks he's found a kindred spirit, and a beautiful babe to boot, imagine his surprise - and disappointment - when he learns she played him so she can tour with his band to complete her PhD. When he finds out why, he knows he's in double trouble because Quinn Mayne will kill anyone who touches his sister, and Cliff Tracey has all sorts of plans for Christine Mayne that involves more than either of them ever expected.
Weaving his way through the backstage crowd, pausing to sign autographs along the way, he embarked on his search for the raven-haired beauty.
Luck shone upon him. There she was, off in a corner by the stage left exit. Alone.
She looked up at him and smiled with an intriguing combination of shyness and curiosity. Oh, man. Those green eyes.
He gathered his formidable charm and grinned as he approached. “Hey, are you the new girl Kat and Kin hired?”
She nodded with a slight frown and extended her hand. Fuck. He remembered Kat telling him to quit calling women girls.
“Cliff Tracey.” He gave her a long, slow smile, and was gratified to see her blush. Good, now he was back on the right track.
His fingers curled around hers. Damn, her skin was soft. No calluses, so she likely wasn’t a musician.
A light laugh tumbled from her lips. “I know. I really enjoyed your performance tonight. Your voice is incredible, and that solo during ‘Sorrow’s Harvest’ gave me chills. In fact, I’d wanted to talk to you.”
“Oh?” He kept his tone light and teasing to hide his excitement. She’d admired his performance. That was usually the first thing chicks said before the flirting began. Maybe he’d mistaken what he’d thought was lack of interest earlier. “About my solo?”
“No, though I’ll admit your talent does blow my mind.” She took a deep breath as if gathering her composure for some big announcement. “Aside from writing for Metalness, I’m working on my doctorate in occupational psychology and could use your help for my dissertation.”
Cliff blinked. “Oh. Uh…I only got as far as my associate’s, so I don’t know how much good I’d be. What’s the topic of your paper?”
“I’m studying the effects of group dynamics within metal bands under high stress conditions.” Her clinical tone was comical even as it was disappointing, what with her seeming lack of response to him.
“You want to study me?” he joked. In return, he could study her.
“The whole band, really,” she replied. “But I figured, since you’re the lead singer, I’d have to ask you. You see, my goal is to be able to travel on the road with a band and document my observations. I was hoping I could tag along, not only for the rest of this Metalfeed tour, but also your regular tour that starts next week.”
Cliff puffed up, happy that for once someone had acknowledged him as the leader of the band instead of Klement. Then: “Did you talk to Kat about it?” Since Christine worked for Kat, maybe the guitarist had suggested it.
Christine nodded. “She said she’d love to have me, but that she doesn’t have the seniority in the band to make that kind of call.”
Well, I’d love to have you, Cliff wanted to say, but he didn’t want to overplay his hand. “Let me think about it….”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Formerly an auto-mechanic, Brooklyn Ann thrives on writing Romance featuring unconventional heroines and heroes who adore them. After writing historical paranormal romances and urban fantasies, she now explores the chaotic realm of heavy metal music— a difficult world to find love in.
Brooklyn Ann lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with her son, her cat, and a 1980 Datsun 210.
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My review: 5-stars
I think this is my favorite Bleeding Vengeance story. Christine's past is tragic and her brother has made it worse. I loved how she was striving to become independent, even though she used some subterfuge to get there. Cliff was a surprise for me, considering his reputation and actions in the other books, and I enjoyed seeing this side of him. I was a little emotional as this story unfolded with happy tears at the end. I highly recommend this book and series.
Link to my Q&A with Brooklyn Ann: