"Do you miss your music?" I knew I was treading in dangerous territory, but I
wanted to know.
"I can't play or sing," he answered huskily. "I tried. The music isn't inside me
anymore. I told you that I'm empty."
"It's not gone," I answered carefully. "It's just taking a break right now."
There was no way he could lose the talent he'd had. Xander had just lost the
desire to play and sing. In a conversation with Julian, he'd told me that there
was no physical reason Xander couldn't perform anymore. He was just . . .
blocked when it came to his music.
Xander laughed, that humorless sound that I'd come to dislike. "God, you're
forever the optimist. I've tried. There's nothing I can do to bring it back."
"I have a reason to be optimistic," I replied. "I was a huge fan."
He turned his head to look at me, studying me for a moment before he asked,
"Were you, or are you just humoring me?"
"Why would I do that? I have no reason to lie to you about loving your music,
and I don't exactly make a habit out of humoring you. I was a fan. Quiz
me. I know every song you ever recorded."
He raised a brow skeptically as he recited without actually singing the lyrics:
I'll never go back.
I have to move forward.
My new life is ready to get on track.
I recognized the lyrics immediately. It was one of my favorites.
"‘Destroyed,'" I said, naming the song. "From the CD of the same name, 2011."
He looked startled as he rattled off some more lyrics, and I named the song and
year without even thinking about it.
"Damn, girl. You were a fan," Xander admitted.
"Actually, I still am. Your music never died, Xander. Your songs got me through
some of my darkest days. Your music still exists, and it still touches lives."
He didn't answer as he turned his head to look out at the water. Finally, he
ventured, "Maybe it does. The old stuff is still there. It still sells. Why did
you have dark days? Did somebody break your heart?"
I was silent, unable to tell him about my own private tragedies. I shrugged. "It
was a long time ago. But your music did help."
He nodded. "Good. Glad it helped somebody."
It was one small step, but my heart started to race as I took a deep breath.
Everything wouldn't be accomplished in one day, but little by little, I was
hoping he'd regain some of what he lost. I reached into my beach bag
and pulled out my phone. Scrolling through the artists, I picked a CD I liked,
although I didn't play Xander's music. I didn't think he was quite ready to deal
with that yet.
As the sound blasted from my phone, I put it down on the blanket and started to
pull my cover-up over my head. It was pink and lightweight, little more than a
very long T-shirt.
"Oh, no. Hell, no," Xander growled as he picked up my phone. "That band sucks."
I snorted. "They're good. Leave it."
"I swear they don't know more than two chords." He scrolled through the music on
I reached for the phone. "Give it back."
"I'm changing it. The lead singer beats the hell out of his wife, and the
drummer is a head case."
We wrestled playfully for control of my phone until I literally tackled him to
the ground, then swiped for my cell. "I like their music."
"I hate their personalities," he countered, holding the phone out of my reach
with one long arm.
"Xander," I warned as I straddled him.
Neither one of us was serious, or at least I hoped he wasn't. It was a teasing
disagreement, and it felt so good I hated to see it end.
My hair was loose, and I had to flip it off my face as I stretched harder to
regain control of my cell, the music still blasting from the device.
"Jesus, Sam. You're so beautiful."
I stopped abruptly as I looked down at his face. He was watching me now, his
eyes caressing every inch of me that was visible to him.
"Xander . . ." What could I say? That I didn't want him to touch me? It wouldn't
be true. I still wanted him.
Former rock star Xander Sinclair may be out of rehab, but he's not out of the
woods. Still haunted by his parents' murders, he has secluded himself in his
Amesport mansion and dodges any attempted contact from his two brothers.
Struggling not to fall into relapse, he believes he's battling his demons alone.
That is, until Samantha arrives to work as his live-in housekeeper. Effortlessly
charming and cheerful and wickedly sexy, she challenges Xander to abandon his
isolation. The two embark on a fiery relationship—one that could change them
Just when Xander is on the verge of reclaiming his life, he discovers that
Samantha has been hiding things from him…things that could shatter the fragile
future they've begun to build together. For Xander, escaping the past is no
longer an option. It's time to face it—even when some secrets seem too heavy for
the heart to bear.
[Montlake Romance, On Sale: November 7, 2017, Trade
Size / Kindle, ISBN: 9781477808894 / ]
J.S. Scott is a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of erotic
romance. She's an avid reader of all types of books and literature. Writing what
she loves to read, J.S. Scott writes both contemporary erotic romance stories
and paranormal romance erotics. They almost always feature an Alpha Male and
have a happily ever after because she just can't seem to write them any other
way! She lives with her husband in the picturesque Colorado Rockies.