Vital Rejects front guy Sebastian Tate never imagined his YouTube music video would go viral, sky-rocketing him to acting success in Hollywood. Okay, maybe he did. After all, he’s a cocky dude who knows he’s hot-as-hell, and it was only a matter of time before his stars aligned.
But life in Tinseltown is never what it seems.
Twenty-year-old Violet St. Lyons is a world-renowned violinist who's lost her mojo on stage. She hides away in a Hollywood mansion, trying to find her way through her twisted past in order to make her future.
He’s the life of the party with girls chasing him down for his autograph. She’s the introvert with a potty mouth who doesn’t even know who he is.
When they meet, stars collide, sparks fly, and clothes come off. Yet, giving his heart to a girl isn’t Sebastian’s plan; falling for a guy who craves attention isn’t Violet’s.
Welcome to Briarcrest Academy—Hollywood style—where sometimes the best things in life are VERY TWISTED THINGS.
From my back patio in the Hollywood Hills, I watched the girl next door with a pair of high-powered binoculars. She flicked on her porch lights, and a low whistle came out of me at the sexy red-as-sin robe she wore, its silky material flashing around her long legs as she moved around. Her hair was down, too.
This was new. Where were the usual yoga pants? The ponytail?
She looked as if she knew someone watched, but that was impossible since our outside lights were off. Even the light from the moon hit our house at such an angle that she shouldn’t be able to see us just by glancing over.
Usually she played her violin facing her rose garden, but this time she walked to the right side of her patio, which faced us. Weird. But she didn’t play. She just stood there without moving. Staring. I squirmed a little, trickles of unease going up my spine.
What was she doing?
Could she see me?
As if it were a fragile bird, she positioned the violin under her chin and began playing, arms bent and wrist poised, making the most exquisite sounds. And I don’t mean classical like Beethoven or Mozart. Fuck, no. I mean body-thrashing, blood-thumping music that had me rooted to the ground, like she’d slapped iron chains on me.
Dark and seductive notes rose up in the air, and I got jacked up, recognizing a Led Zeppelin song, only she’d ripped it guts out and twisted it into something electric. She pushed the bow hard, upping the tempo abruptly, her movements controlled yet wild. My pulse kicked up and my eyes lingered, taking in the slightly parted toned legs and the way her breasts bounced as she jerked her arms to manipulate the strings.
Her body arched forward in a curve, seeming as if she might break into a million pieces before she finished the piece or climaxed first. Then, her robe slipped off her right shoulder, exposing part of her breast. Creamy and full, it quivered, vibrating as she moved her arms. Her rosy nipple teased me, slipping in and out of the folds of the material. Erect from the cool mountain air and deliciously bitable, and I pictured my mouth there, sucking, my fingers plucking, strumming her like my guitar until she begged me to—
Stop, I told myself just as an appreciative groan came out. Whoever Violin Girl was, she didn’t deserve me lusting after her while she was pouring her heart out with music.
I zoomed in as far as the binoculars would go, watching her surrender to the music as she bent and swayed from side to side with her eyes closed, black lashes like fans on her cheeks. Every molecule in my body focused on her, hanging on to each note she pulled from her instrument.
She finished and kept her head bowed for the longest time, perhaps letting the emotion wash over her like it had me. Then, she bowed to the banana trees and gnomes in her garden, waving her hands in a flourish as she rose.
The entire event was surreal, yet poignant as fucking poetry.
I let out a deep breath I didn’t even realize I’d been holding.
Who plays "Stairway to Heaven" with a violin? She did.
She was music with skin. She was real and dark and twisted and I wanted to eat her up. I wanted to consume her and every single note she ripped from her violin.
Bam! She snapped her head up, her wide eyes open and lasering in on mine, making me stiff at the awareness that raced down my spine and went straight to my c*ck. Every hair on my body stood at attention.
Standing there in the moonlight, she untied her robe and spread apart the sides ever so slightly, her movements seeming almost hesitant as she’d had to work herself up. Unfamiliar jealousy hit me and I panned out and checked the rest of the patio, expecting to see a lover. Whoever it was, I wanted to rip him apart piece by piece.
My gaze searched her patio, the backyard, her upstairs balcony. Nothing. No one.
She flicked her dark hair back and stroked the lapels of the robe, her fingers lingering over the lacy material. Suddenly the evening smacked of something more than just music. Her arms moved back and forth across the front, opening the robe halfway and then closing it as if she couldn’t make up her mind.
My eyes went up, trying to read her face. Still as a statue, the only movement was her mouth as it trembled, her full upper lip resting against the pouty lower one.
Violin Girl was trapped in a cage of darkness.
She’d known loss—death or love or something.
It still didn’t stop me from holding my breath, silently begging her to bare herself to me. She’d already laid bare her music. I needed the rest of her.
She jerked the robe closed, making me groan in disappointment.
And then she did something completely crazy.
The lonely girl next door flipped me the bird.
© Ilsa Madden-Mills, NYT and USA Today bestselling author
She spends her days with two small kids, one neurotic cat, and one husband. She collects magnets and rarely cooks except to bake her own pretzels.
When she's not crafting a story, you can find her drinking too much Diet Coke, jamming out to Pink, or checking on her carefully maintained chocolate stash.
She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors.