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Authors: Susan Scott Shelley

Love Notes (Rocked by Love #1)

BOOK: Love Notes (Rocked by Love #1)
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LOVE NOTES

 

 

SUSAN SCOTT
SHELLEY

 

Copyright © 2016
Susan Scott Shelley

ISBN-13:
978-1-9444220-02-0

 

 

[email protected]

http://www.susanscottshelley.com

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For years, The
Fury's lead guitarist, Zander Rostov, has been living a rock star's
dream - sold out shows, platinum albums, and legions of fans. But lately,
his band is constantly fighting, he's exhausted and frustrated, and he can't
shake the feeling that he should be doing something
more
with his
life. With eight more weeks of touring, he needs to figure out how to deal
with the constant tension. He needs a distraction, and finds it in the
form of the band's curvy new tour manager.

 

Jayne Warren is
looking for a distraction. After losing her beloved dog to cancer, she needs a
way to channel her grief and rebuild her empty bank account. When she's
asked to help out her friend's band as tour manager, it seems to be a perfect
solution, until she meets the band. She hadn't planned on the sizzling
chemistry and instant connection with Zander. Getting involved isn't a
smart idea, especially when she seems to bring out the worst in one of his
band mates. She's dealt with high-tension bands before, but never like this,
and never
at
her.

 

If she stays, she
could be responsible for breaking up one of rock's biggest bands, but if she
leaves, walking away from Zander would break her heart.

 

 

This
book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are
products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.

Any
resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely
coincidental.

This ebook is
licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or
given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each person or use proper retail
channels to lend a copy. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or
it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your
own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

All
rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof
in any form whatsoever.

DEDICATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Jacqueline
Jayne.

Here's to
friendship!

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

Home.

Finally.

Zander Rostov drove
through the gates of his estate and coasted up the long drive, relieved to be
surrounded by the hush of his own paradise. The exhaustion of the last few
months on tour weighed heavy on his bones. Too much time cooped up with his
band, too much in-fighting, and too many late nights and early rises left him
itching for solitude and hours of sound sleep.

Beside him, his English
Bulldog snored. What a life—eat, sleep, play, repeat. Lucky dog. But for the
next two weeks, he'd have a taste of it, too. Two weeks to breathe before the
chaos began all over again. A small piece of freedom, enough to tease him
before being thrown back into six weeks of shows and travel. After ten years of
near-constant recording and touring, he needed a break. A long break—from the
band, from the grind, and from the lingering frustration he hadn't been able to
shake for months.

When he parked the car,
Shredder roused with a pitiful grumble, his overbite pushing his bottom lip
into a pout.

"We're home,
buddy." Zander rubbed the dog's brown and white wrinkled head. He took his
pet on the road with him as often as he could. Seven-years-old and content to
laze around, his bulldog made the perfect travel companion. He opened the
passenger door and Shredder bounded off across the lawn, protected by the
eight-foot-high walls surrounding the Spanish Mission-style home, his
just-private-enough retreat from the world.

A breeze rustled the palm
trees. The beginning of April in Santa Monica was warmer than the end of March
in New York City had been. The east coast tour had ended in the city that never
sleeps and then eight hours later, he'd parted ways with his band mates who
never seemed to get along anymore. The break wasn't really a break, with the
few press events and the party for the fans lined up.

Stretching, he breathed
in deep and fought down the urge to throw the bags back in the car, grab the
dog, and just take off. Years of saying yes to everything had drained him dry
but he couldn't disappoint the fans.
The success of
the tour and the new album were more important than his need to recharge, even
if the last few months had been the most difficult of the band's career.

He left the dog in the
garden and entered the house. Cool air and silence greeted him. He set down his
guitar case in the living room, then dropped his luggage on the floor outside
the laundry room. He'd unpack before his housekeeper arrived. Settling the dog
with food and water came first. Man's best friend deserved a reward after hours
of travel. The next part of the tour would be easier—all in California, and
several local shows. When he needed to be away for a few days, his housekeeper
would watch Shredder or the dog would stay with his parents.

The ping of an email
alert made him reach for his phone. The sender—Oliver Somers from Excite
Records—could wait long enough for him to have a cold one. He let Shredder in,
then cracked open the beer and downed half the contents. Oliver's email started
off with the usual pseudo-friendly nonsense, then listed the upcoming tour
dates. At the very end, the son-of-a-bitch had tacked on an additional two
weeks' worth of shows.

Fuck!

He crushed the can in his
fist. Beer sloshed over his hand and splashed the kitchen floor. Shredder
trotted over and licked at the puddle.

"Damn it, no."
He grabbed the dog's collar and tugged him away.

Two weeks… The burn of
anger singed his muscles. He slammed his fist onto the counter, then hurled the
can into the sink. Metal clattered and Shredder whimpered and hid under the
table.

Fuming, he
wiped the spill and then sat on the floor, staring at the dog. He needed to
hold it together. He rubbed his palms over his face and forced his muscles to
relax. Calling for the dog, he reached for his phone.

He'd left his sister an
hour ago and Irisa hadn't said a word about more tour dates. As band manager,
the discussion of more tour dates should have come from her. Which meant Oliver
had once again overstepped his authority. His muscles tightened again. With the
dog curled onto his legs, he dialed Irisa's number.

It rang several times
before her voice came on the line. "What's up? You should be
sleeping."

"Check your email.
Excite added a few more venues to the tour."

"What?" Her
voice hardened. "Oliver knows that's supposed to be cleared with me
first."

"I'm not happy about
it either. We're fucking exhausted and they go and add in five more shows to
the end of the tour, with maybe more to come. We'll be working through the
whole summer at this rate."

"I'll make it clear
that he can't add on any more. I'll start looking at hotels." She sounded
as worn out as he felt. He knew she didn't like Oliver any more than he did.
The jerk had used her to get his job—something Zander couldn't forget.

He rubbed Shredder's
head. "I can help."

"I'll handle it.
Don't worry. Get some sleep. I'll call you when I've figured it out."

Sleep was out of the
question. He hurled dirty clothes into the washer, then reached for the only
thing that ever settled him—his guitar. Time didn't exist when he played.
Nothing existed except the music. He heard about it often enough from his
sister, so he set his phone on the table, where he'd be sure to see her call.

He didn't know how long
he'd been playing when the phone's ringing jarred him out of his relaxed mood.
He saw texts from his band mates, probably ticked off about the added dates.
Ignoring them, he answered his sister's call.

"Travel and hotels
are all set. Listen, I've hired my friend Jayne to help me out during the tour.
I've told you about her, she's a tour manager, and really, after how you guys
have been, I need someone to keep me sane."

His sister did so much
for them, allowing them to focus on the music and the fans. "Hey, if you
want to bring someone along, that's fine. Whatever you need."

"She wants to meet
you all first before she'll take the job. I know you're tired, but please? A
quick meeting this afternoon. Four o'clock, at the coffee shop by your
house."

"Fine. Did you call
the guys?"

"Yes, they'll be
there."

"Then I'll see you
at four." He clicked off.

Hmmm. Jayne Warren.

He'd never met Jayne, but
from pictures he'd seen at his sister's place and from all Irisa had said about
her friend, he felt like he knew her already. Jayne Warren, a gorgeous blonde
with eyes nearly the same shade of blue as his favorite guitar.

When he walked into the
coffee shop a few hours later, his band mates Luke, Landry, and Brendan, sat at
a table in the back of the nearly empty room.

Luke raised his brow.
"You live the closest but you're the last one here."

He shrugged. "So?
I'm here now."

"We only got here a
few minutes ago anyway, Thompson." Landry shook his head at Luke, then
sipped his coffee.

"Whatever. I don't
understand why we had to meet this girl today. This could've waited a few
days."

"Maybe it couldn't
have waited. Where else did you need to be? My sister said it'll be quick, so
it'll be quick. Calm the hell down." Zander turned at the sound of the
door opening.

Irisa walked in, followed
by Jayne. She was far more beautiful than the pictures he'd seen.

The classic oval face,
high cheekbones with a hint of color, wide ocean-blue eyes fringed by thick
lashes, sculpted brows, and full lips, petal pink and perfect for kissing. She
was taller than his sister. A quick estimate suggested the top of her head
would reach right under his chin if he held her close. She glided toward
them—long limbs, delicate curves, and the graceful moves of a dancer. Rather
than the platinum blonde hair she'd had in the photos, strawberry blonde locks
tumbled over her shoulders in thick waves. His hands itched to sink in and test
the weight.

Her gaze met his.
Something within him clicked, shifted, then settled.

With the sexy bombshell
along for the ride, maybe he'd survive the tour after all.

 

 

Jayne's pulse fluttered
as she held Zander's gaze. If she hadn't been heading his way, his warm hazel
eyes alone would have pulled her toward him. When Irisa had asked her to come
along for the California leg of the tour, and promised her double her usual
salary, she hadn't thought about how attractive Zander was, or how her body
responded on the rare occasions he took over lead vocals on a song. She hadn't
thought past how the money would go a long way toward fixing her bank account,
or how working might be just the thing to help her regroup after Pepper's death.
She missed her dog more than anything.

Now was not the time to
dwell on that. She followed Irisa's path and came to a stop in front of one of
rock's biggest bands. After spending years backstage and seeing rock stars at
their best and worst, not much fazed her. But her heartbeat wouldn't calm.

Zander stood next to the
table. Up close, his eyes were more brown than green. A shadow of stubble
highlighted his square jaw and chiseled cheekbones, and led to thick brown
hair, short at the sides and back, just a bit longer on top, and messy enough
for her to want to smooth the strands. His slightly crooked nose and muscular
build behind worn jeans and a snug gray t-shirt suggested a boxer rather than a
musician. Maybe the comparison wasn't quite so far-fetched. Both boxers and
musicians were talented with their hands. Her gaze dropped to his wide palms
and long fingers. A shiver zinged up her spine. Imaging his hands on her was
too easy.

"Let me introduce
you, then we'll grab some coffee." Irisa touched her shoulder. "Guys,
this is Jayne Warren."

Dragging her gaze from
Zander, Jayne smiled at the other men. "Hello."

"This is Landry, our
bassist." Irisa pointed to the guitarist with a shock of espresso-colored
hair. Known to be the most stoic of the group, he nodded at her.

"Brendan, our
drummer." Sporting a beard and shaggy brown hair, the drummer was famous
for his light gray eyes and easy sense of humor. He offered her an easy smile.

"Luke, our lead
singer." With the brooding good looks millions of women adored, he didn't
react at all.

"And my brother
Zander, lead guitar." His brow quirked and his gaze roamed her face,
settling for just a second too long on her lips. When she licked them, his eyes
jumped back to hers.

"It's nice to meet
all of you. I've been a fan for years."

"She's worked with
Glitter Breeze, Bald Cracker, and Metro Danger." Irisa ticked the names
off on her hand. "And I'm so happy to have her with us."

"I'm looking forward
to working with you guys."

Luke stood, looming over
her. "Look, sweetheart. This isn't going to be like handling one of those
little bands. We're The Fury."

Blinking, she stared at
him while her mind worked on what to say. Her stomach felt like someone had
punched her. After Irisa's pleading that she come on board, she didn't think
she'd have to prove her merit, and she hadn't expected Luke's hostility.

"Whoa, hold up
there." Zander shifted closer, putting himself between her and the singer.

Irisa shot Luke a glare.
"She's good. I wouldn't have hired her if I didn't think she could handle
it. Believe me, I need my job to be less stressful, not more."

The image of her much
smaller friend lecturing a man nearly a foot taller than her would have been
comical, if the situation hadn't been so awkward. Irisa's support helped, but
the rest of the bands she'd worked with, those on the same level as The Fury,
would help more. Lifting her chin, Jayne looked him in the eye. "I've also
worked with The Never Theory, Toxic Stand, and Vendetta. Feel free to contact
them."

Zander moved into her
space, blocking her view of his grumbling band mate. He extended his hand.
"Welcome aboard."

"Really?" Her
palm slid across his. A sizzle shot along her arm when the calloused pads of
his fingers brushed her skin.

"Really." His
fingers closed around her hand and his eyes sparked with heat. Then he sent a
glare at Luke and his hold tightened a fraction more.

His scent—the leather
jacket and some type of musky cologne made her head spin. She inhaled slow and
deep to quiet her fluttering heartbeat. His hand still held hers. Swallowing
hard, she loosened her hold.

His lips formed a half
smile and he slowly released her hand. The glittering in his eyes held a
promise of hot kisses and wild nights. Her pulse thrummed in her ears.

Dangerous.

Absolutely dangerous.

And she couldn't get
involved. Clients were firmly in the off-limits category.

"Come on, let's put
in our order." Irisa bumped her elbow. "Or, do you know what you
want? I'll get it."

She glanced from Luke to
Zander. They stood, squaring off with nearly identical intimidating
expressions. Tension thickened the air. "I'll, ah, come with you."

BOOK: Love Notes (Rocked by Love #1)
3.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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