Monday, January 5, 2015

'Heaven Beside You (Drawn to the Rhythm #2)' by Christa Maurice


He’s her rock n’roll fantasy, but could he ever be more?

Half the year, Cassandra Geoffrey runs In The Pines Campground, and spends the other half alone on a West Virginia mountain. She’s not completely happy with the situation, but she loves her wacky, close-knit hometown. Besides, the man of her dreams isn’t likely to appear anytime soon—until Jason Callisto, lead guitarist for Touchstone, her ultimate fantasy crush, shows up. At her campground. It’s gotta be fate.

After being dumped by his supermodel girlfriend, Jason has been impossible to live with. Now he’s been exiled by his manager to West Virginia, before he breaks up the band on the eve of the Grammys. Clearly, Jason is Cass’s adventure of a lifetime. To him, she’s just an ego boost….Or is she? With so much at stake, can they take a risk and reach for more?

Read an excerpt:
A chainsaw roared outside. Jason lunged out of bed. He hopped into jeans and a sweater as he crossed the bedroom headed for the living room window. He hadn’t slept well. Visions of Cassandra kept invading his dreams until he was too hot even without the fire. She stood at the foot of the tree she’d been looking at yesterday in her parka, hacking at the base. He grabbed his coat, pulling it on as he rushed outside.

Snow dropped on her as she worked, but she didn’t pay any attention. She’d tied back her hair and put on a pair of plastic work goggles. They made her seem very cute and small, like a child playing with her father’s tools. After a few minutes, the tree cracked with a sound like a gunshot and fell along the road, blocking it.

Without shutting off the saw, she worked her way up the trunk, cutting it into foot long pieces. By the time she stopped and turned off the motor, she had only the top section. When the thunderous sound faded, Jason clapped.

She didn’t react.

Jason stopped, wondering if she was ignoring him, but then she took off her goggles and pulled out earplugs. Smart woman. He clapped again.

Cass spun around, alarmed. Her face glowed pink. “Did I bother you?” she asked.

“No, I just have a thing for chicks with chainsaws.” Jason grinned. He didn’t yet, but if they looked like Cass, he could develop one pretty fast.

She blushed a deeper red. Coils of bright hair stuck to her forehead.

He wanted to brush it back and keep going until his fingers tangled in those skeins of fire. “I’m done with the loud part.” She propped the chainsaw against her shoulder. “I’ll clear the road.”

“Do you want some help?” He came down off the porch.

“No.” She stepped backward. “I can get it.” Setting the chainsaw on one of the logs, she started hacking off smaller branches with an ax and tossing them onto the sled behind her without looking.

Jason looked around. She was slipping away. He couldn’t stand another night watching her dark window, wondering. He couldn’t even stand the rest of the morning wondering. But all he had to work with was snow. What could he do with snow?

He scooped up a handful, packed it, and threw the snowball at her back. It landed with a satisfying smack in the middle of her parka.

One eyebrow raised, she looked at him over her shoulder. Before he could see what she’d done, she’d scooped up some snow and thrown a snowball in one graceful motion. It landed in the middle of his chest. Then she lobbed a second one at his shoulder, laughing and diving for cover.

Howling outrage, he tossed another one, hit the tree she’d ducked behind. He pulled his coat closed, which made the snow stuck to his sweater melt faster. The cold water did nothing to cool him off. The sound of her laughter goaded him. Another snowball thudded on his chest as he ran for where she was hiding. He tackled her, but she swung their bodies around so when he landed, she sat astride him. Her left hand had fallen onto the middle of his chest while her right dug into the snow.

The laughter died on her lips, and her legs tightened around his hips. Jason bit back a groan. She licked her lips, leaving them slightly parted. Her damp lips hovered above him, just out of reach. He felt helpless, waiting for her to choose him. Then she traced his jaw, and her fingers should have been cold against his skin, but her touch made him warmer. He trembled.

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Born in Northeast Ohio, I have lived on four different continents (including both sides of Asia) and traveled extensively. I have met sheikhs, magnates, high ranking politicians and the guy who did the original production paintings for Raiders Of the Lost Ark, but I’m pretty sure the only celebrity who would make me completely tongue tied would be Randolph Mantooth of Emergency!

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