Out-of-work violinist Erica Timberly decides enough is enough. She leaves her abusive boyfriend and flees the big city, but then her car breaks down in the middle of the night. Though wary of men, she accepts help from Dylan Haynes, a stranger driving by on the road, and soon recognizes him as the sexy former drummer of her favorite indie rock band. Maybe, just maybe, her run of bad luck is finally turning around.
Music teacher Dylan Haynes knows Erica is in trouble, and her black eye is only the first clue. The stubborn yet vulnerable woman needs a friend, but he’s determined to give her everything she deserves.
Will Erica listen to the music in her heart and trust Dylan, or will her past always threaten her future?
Erica leaned up and combed her fingers through her hair. “I’ve never made love outside before. It’s a surreal experience.”
“We can do it wherever you want. In an elevator, in an alley, in my car. I’m game anywhere and everywhere for as long as you want me.”
“I want you so much it hurts.”
Dylan thumbed her knuckles and hoped she meant that. “I don’t know how you feel about labels, but I haven’t had a girlfriend in years. I’ve just had flings, but I want more than that with you. I want us to be with each other and no one else. I want a relationship with you.”
Tears welled in her eyes. “I feel divided in two. A part of me thinks we’re moving too fast, but another part says to jump in with both feet. I want something real with you too. I don’t want to feel dirty after we fool around. Just make me happy. Will you do that, Dylan?”
Her soft, pain-filled words struck Dylan like a dagger in his gut, and he bit the insides of his cheeks to steady his features.
Her ex-boyfriend had probably called her names and degraded her after they would find release in each other’s body, and the bastard likely never cared if she reached climax at all.
“I understand, Erica. I promise to treat you with nothing but respect, and I will do my very best to make you happy. I swear you will always scream your head off in pleasure every time I touch you. I’m not the sort of man to get my jollies off and leave my girl hanging.”
Her lips twitched up in a grin. “That’s good to hear.”
“So are you my girl?”
“Yeah, I’m your girl.” Erica giggled and tapped her fingers on his chest. “How could I not be? You make a very compelling argument, but I will have to hold you to it. I’m definitely looking forward to screaming every time you touch me.”
“Let’s rest, and then we’ll play again. The night’s early, and I’ve only just begun.”
Sage: Tell us something quirky/offbeat about yourself.
Amber: I’m from North Carolina, USA and have lived there all my life, but most people think I’m from England or even France when they first meet me (and yes, I’ve been asked to speak French, which I don’t know). I have an accent which sounds proper and smooth; a far contrast to how most people sound in my area. I’ve been getting the “Where are you from?” question since I was in elementary school, and kids can be quite cruel. Luckily, I’ve never really been bothered by the questions and funny looks. In fact, I take sounding different as a matter of pride because I like standing out in a crowd.
Sage: How did you come up with the idea of this book?
Amber: I love small-town romances, especially ones with an edge and a little bit of danger weaved in. I’m not sure why, but right away I pictured a young woman running away from the big city to escape her abusive boyfriend. I mostly write romantic suspense, so this idea worked. My heroine, Erica, was in a bad relationship and finally found the courage to break free. Even though she found help, a new love, and a chance for a better future, the past was still looming over her. I think a lot of readers can sympathize with such a situation, especially those who have experienced abuse and neglect from someone claiming to love them. I also love stories about music and rock stars, but I don’t like the cheating and drugs that go along with the lifestyle. I haven’t published a story featuring a musician yet, so I figured I should get on the ball and do it. My hero, Dylan, has retired from the New York music scene, and he now teaches kids how to play instruments. He’s gotten his life back together after all the drama of being a semi-star, and he and Erica have an instant connection. This story is fun, uplifting, and hot. The characters are real and flawed. I really enjoyed writing it, and I hope readers will love it.
Sage: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
Amber: I love reading, scrapbooking, playing with my cats, and watching marathon-long TV shows with my hubby, Greg. I also like playing Resident Evil 4 on our old Game Cube.
Sage: What’s your favorite thing about this book?
Amber: The message—never giving up and doing what’s right for yourself, despite the obstacles in your way.
Sage: What is your next project?
Amber: I’m currently revising Arresting Jeremiah, the next installment in my romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx. The book follows Jim Borden, a hardnosed parole officer, and his obsession Calista Barlow as they stick their noses where they don’t belong and fall deep into the trouble with the criminal organization known as Onyx.
Sage: What impression do you make when a person first meets you?
Dylan: I like to think of myself as a normal guy, and I hope I portray that to the people I first meet. I used to perform in an indie rock band, but the band never made it big, so most people who aren’t involved in the New York music scene doesn’t recognize me. I’m grateful for that. I’ve moved back home to Willow Springs, Vermont, so I usually don’t meet clubbers and fans anymore.
Sage: What is your greatest fear?
Dylan: Losing Erica. She’s been through a tough time, and I love her like crazy. Her ex-boyfriend came around a while back and threatened to kill her—to kill us. God, I don’t even like thinking about that. If I lost her, I don’t know what I’d do.
Sage: What is your profession?
Dylan: I’m an ex-professional drummer, and now I’m a music teacher at my parents’ school, Haynes Music Academy. I love teaching kids how to play instruments, and I feel pride in their success. I’m also a volunteer fireman. After so many years of partying and having fun, I wanted to do something good and give back to the community where I’d come from. Being a fireman and EMT helped me accomplish that goal.
Sage: What skill do you have that you’re proud of? Why?
Dylan: I’m a helluva drummer, but I can play almost any instrument. Music has been my life since I was a little kid, and I can’t see my life without it.
Sage: Describe your ideal woman.
Dylan: Erica is perfect for me. She’s strong, beautiful, and stubborn, but vulnerable too. She’s an excellent violinist and loves music just as much as I do. After all the crap she’s been through, she’s still trusting and kind. She loves with her whole heart, and I’m damn glad she picked me.
Sage: What trait do you like most about the person you fell in love with?
Dylan: Erica’s strength and her ability to not let life get her down. She’s the type of woman to get back on that horse after falling off. I couldn’t be prouder of her.
About the Author: Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats. Amber lives in North Carolina with her husband and four demanding cats. Feel free to visit her at http://www.amberdaultonauthor.blogspot.com.
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