Meet Hawke & Quinlan in SWEET ACHE - the newest Rock Star stand-alone in the Driven Series by K. Bromberg!
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The New York Times bestselling author of Slow Burn turns up the heat when a sexy bet turns into so much more....
Hawkin Play, the bad boy rock star with a good guy heart, has lived a lifetime of cleaning up after his twin brother’s mistakes. Hunter’s most recent screwup could land Hawke in jail and risk the band’s future. Hawke agrees to guest lecture at a local college to stay in the judge’s good graces—and a bet with his bandmate to seduce his sexy teaching assistant is icing on the cake.
Quinlan Westin is harder to bed than Hawke imagined. She knows his type and is determined to avoid the rocker at all costs—even if their attraction runs deeper than simple lust.
Just as Hawke might finally be winning over the girl, his brother has other plans. When Hunter realizes his twin finally has a weakness, he’ll stop at nothing to take advantage....
“Now you guys need to get going so you have time for Quin to give you the complete rundown,” Professor Stevens says.
Of course she has no idea the double entendre she’s just given Hawkin about me giving him a complete rundown, but I know Hawke catches it. I manage to resist the urge to stomp my feet in frustration and storm out of her office like a toddler. Instead I give her a tight smile before turning and walking out of the office and then the department.
I stand there in the sunshine, waiting for him to get his ass in gear and quit wasting my time. When I finally hear the door open I just start walking and the sound of his boots is the only inclination that he’s following.
“I’ve got longer legs than you Trixie,” he chides from a few feet back. “But feel free to keep swinging your hips like that, and I’ll stay right here behind you and enjoy the show.”
I bristle at the comment. At the moment there’s no authority to be respectful of, no damage that can’t be undone.
“A show?” The pitch of my voice escalates as I whirl around to face him—sunglasses on, hair disheveled, and I wish I hadn’t turned around because damn, he’s just that devastatingly fine. I’m quiet for a beat as we both appraise each other from behind darkened lenses. His dark hair, tanned skin, and cocky smirk pulls at those parts of me I don’t want to be pulled. “You want to talk about a show.” I grit the words out, trying to push my physical attraction to him from my mind. “Let’s talk about your little performance for Dr. Stevens.”
“I know. I’m good, huh? Sorry but a man’s got to do what he’s got to do . . . Besides, I wasn’t done with you yet.”
My mouth falls lax and I’m momentarily flabbergasted. “Done with me yet?” I sputter the words when I’ve recovered my wits at his arrogance run amuck . . . But I can’t deny the little flutter in my belly at his comment. There’s just something about him aside from the whole I’m a rock-star thing, that makes me desire him in a way I can’t put into words.
“Yep.” He says casually as he unwraps a Starburst and pops it into his mouth. And I hate that I’m fascinated with watching his mouth suck on the sweet candy. Luckily he speaks so I can distract myself from the captivating sight. “I’m pretty sure you have a usefulness . . . I’m just trying to figure out what that is.” He licks his lips. “Well, besides the obvious, that is . . .” Smirk is handily in place and I hate that ache starting to simmer in my core.
“Why don’t you go suck a—”
“Relax,” he says, angling his head to the side and emitting a laugh as he steps closer to me. “I’m just teasing you. You’re so damn easy to rile up and so hard to resist. Plus you’re even hotter when you’re pissed. I like it.” He shrugs an apology, hands shoved deep in the pockets of his jeans with a sheepish grin that softens all those hard edges and makes me sigh with the contrast of characteristics. He holds a red Starburst out to me as a peace offering. “C’mon, you know you want to be the star to my burst.”
We’ve stopped, my hands are on my hips, and the sun is falls around us as hewaits for me to react to his innocent little comment. Deep down I know I’m screwed. I feel an urge to smile but immediately realign my defenses. The contradiction he presents, the smooth with the rough, is the one thing that I always fall for when it comes to men.
And I’m not going to fall for Hawkin Play.
Well, shit. Guess there’s not going to be any calm before the next storm. I look at my brother and sigh.
I hit the road, drive for what feels like hours. I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m looking to find, but as long as I keep moving, my past can’t catch up to me.
At least it’s a good idea in theory because I can’t outrun this shit. The stuff I want to and the stuff I don’t want to.
I end up the one place I used to go to be alone, to think, and as I stare at the Hollywood sign from my seat on the grass at the Griffith Park Observatory, I love the feeling that I’m this little person in this big world. The idea comforts me some. The notion that on the grand scale of things my problems are minute. Someone out there has it way worse.
And no one expects a rock star to be here so with my hat pulled low on my head, I’m able to disappear.
I stare down below to the city where as a little boy, scared and traumatized, I wondered how all of the dreams inside my head could ever see the light of day when I felt like I had the responsibility of the world on my small shoulders. But I did. And I made it.
So why do I feel like I’m still not enough? For my brother? To make my mother better? For Quinlan to even want me beyond the killer sex we have? For the fans who scream and sing my lyrics like they live them when they have no fucking clue the meaning behind the words?
I scrub my hands over my face, needing a drink, craving an ice cream cone, and wanting the feeling of Quinlan’s arms wrapped around me as she silently sits there and just is with me.
My mind veers to Hunter. I push the guilt away, hold on to my gut check rationalization that he deserved it, and realize that’s the trouble I’m having here. Going with my gut versus going with the bullshit promises I’ve lived by forever.
My stomach churns and my head feels like Gizmo’s banging the hell out of it with his sticks. I shove up off the grass, needing to get the fuck out of here, my heart and head in conflict and for the first time in forever I dare to think what could happen if my heart finally won for once.
I keep my eyes fixed on the freeway in front of me as I let the comment resonate, knowing it’s truth despite the constant tumult that burdens me. A part of me sags in relief at her observation, knowing that someone else sees the cracks in my resolve while the other part of me begins to question again.
And the scary thing about questions are they usually result in a revolution of some sort. I’m just not sure if I can withstand an overhaul of principles without it resulting in casualties.
“Am I the reason he’s like this Q? How did this person I’ve been with since conception . . . how can we experience the same tragedy but be so completely different? Did I try too hard, protect him too much, throw him to the wolves when I shouldn’t have and end up proving I’m just like Dad?” I speak the questions floating around in my mind aloud, throw them out there even though I know there’s no way in hell she has the answers.
She does nothing more than reach over and lace her fingers with mine, staying silent, but her unconditional support is deafening. Except even with someone beside you, the quiet has a way of smothering you when you’re left alone with just your thoughts. And of course mine turns to where we are headed right now.
I walk toward him, the sight of him slightly unkempt with a carefree smile he hasn’t possessed for days calls to my libido on so many levels it’s ridiculous. He brings a shot of something to his mouth and I don’t even give a second thought to what it is because I know I’ll taste it on my lips momentarily.
He hums deep in his throat when I step up into his body and there is something so inherently sexy about the sound—knowing that I caused that reaction—that together with the feel of his firm body against mine lets me know there will be no interruptions this time.
He looks at me, eyes darkening and one hand sliding beneath my shirt a beat before our lips meet in a hungry, no-holds-barred kiss. His empty bottle clatters on the counter behind him so that his other hand can join in the temptation. I lose myself in the taste of the tequila on his tongue, and the hypnotizing feeling of his hands on my body.
The music thumps hard around us, the noise buzzes, and the faint scent of cigarette smoke wafts in from outside but it’s as if none of it hits me because I’m consumed by everything about him: his taste, his cologne, the groan I can’t hear but can feel against our connected chests, the heat of his body. I don’t care who’s watching because it’s almost as if the overwhelming emotions that he’s experienced all week long are manifesting themselves into our mutual desperation.
“Upstairs. Now,” he murmurs against my lips, and I’ve never heard more perfect words. He grasps the bottle of tequila behind him in one hand and my hand in the other without saying anything further and walks with purpose through the crowd. I can’t see his face but he must have a determined look on it because not one person stops him to talk when that’s been the norm for the evening thus far. At the bottom of the stairs, I catch the eyes of the three wannabe women and just smirk. Call me bitchy, but I can’t help it, I’m with the one they were hoping to land tonight.
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author K. Bromberg is that reserved woman sitting in the corner who has you all fooled about the wild child inside of her—the one she lets out every time her fingertips touch the computer keyboard.
K. lives in Southern California with her husband and three children. When she needs a break from the daily chaos of her life, you can most likely find her on the treadmill or with Kindle in hand, devouring the pages of a good, saucy book.
On a whim, K. Bromberg decided to try her hand at this writing thing. Her debut novels, Driven, Fueled, and Crashed of The Driven Trilogy were well received and went on to become multi-platform bestsellers as well as landing on the New York Times and USA Today lists. Her other works include a short story, UnRaveled, and a companion piece to The Driven Trilogy titled Raced. She is currently working on three stand alone Driven novels, Slow Burn, Sweet Ache, and Hard Beat. She also plans to release a novel addressing the 10 year gap at the ending of Crashed in late fall 2015