About the Book
Emily Watts just wants a weekend break from the workaholic hours she’s taken on to keep her business—a popular fashion-snark website—up and running. What she gets is overnight celebrity and a career-killing media scandal.
While taking time out to attend a concert in support of friend Jesse Cinder, a struggling musician, Emily meets Cory Sampson, the lead singer of a chart-topping rock band. When she agrees to a date with Cory, making entertainment headlines is the last thing she expects. Even so, it’s a minor surprise by comparison to her discovery that in the music world, media notoriety trumps all. Tabloid allegations erupt when Cory and fame-hungry Jesse use Emily for personal gain, and her tarnished image spells disaster—personally and professionally. To save the website and writing career she’s made her life and dream, Emily must go from being a pawn in the Hollywood headline game to becoming the media mastermind.
“Are you looking for another date?” Jesse’s voice came from behind her.
She brushed aside a lock of her hair and turned around to look at him. “Nah, I was going to give you about thirty more seconds. After that, you might have been history.”
This is going to be trouble, she thought, taking him in, and she had little doubt that he knew it too. Dressed in a black button-down shirt, casually distressed jeans, and black leather boots, his dark hair perfectly in place, he exuded confidence and charm.
“I would have been crushed if someone had stolen you away.” He flashed her the easy grin that always made her smile and reached for her hand. Together, they walked the few steps over to where the hostess stood, near the restaurant’s entrance.
They were seated at a quiet corner table, given a cozy feel by the glow of white tea lights. Emily always looked forward to having dinner here with Jesse during the few times a year he made it out to L.A. She knew she was silly to think of it as their place, but sitting across from him at the table, studying his face in the flickering candlelight, she liked the idea that any outside observer might think they were a couple enjoying a romantic dinner for two.
“So what do you think?” he asked her, scanning the dinner menu he held in his hands.
“Hmm?” She blinked and tried to pull her thoughts into the present moment. “About what?”
“Dinner.” He looked up at her and grinned. “Or you could just keep staring at me like that. It’s kind of hot.”
She flushed. “I wasn’t staring at you. I was just…” She paused for a moment, searching for a word. “Thinking,” she finished.
He raised his eyebrows. “I’d do a lot of things to hear those thoughts.”
Same old Jesse, she thought. He probably practiced being seductive even while talking in his sleep.
“Hey now,” she protested. “I’m a girl, if you’ve forgotten. I’m sure my thoughts are pretty much never what you think they are.”
“Well, that’s a shame,” he said, the slightest hint of a smirk appearing on his lips. “So what were they, then?”
She ignored his question and picked up her menu. “Are you up for sushi rolls tonight?” she asked, positioning the menu to conceal her face.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Which ones do you feel like?”
“Definitely the salmon roll. I’ve been craving it since the last time I was here.”
“Isn’t salmon an aphrodisiac?” he asked. She lowered her menu to look at him. He raised his eyebrows again.
I was definitely right about tonight being trouble, she thought, suspecting she would have to phrase her answer carefully. “Since when do you even know what that word means?” she teased, hoping to steer the conversation in another direction before it got out of hand, as conversations with Jesse often did.
“I can see you’re impressed,” he said. She detected a note of mischief in his voice. “Do you know what other word I know?”
“Can’t even begin to guess, but go ahead, Webster’s.” She did her best to sound disinterested, but she steeled herself for what was coming.
“Sure you do. Use it in a sentence.” She set her menu down on the table.
“Your hair smells amazing. The scent is almost as powerful as pheromones.” A look of triumph spread across his face.
She felt her mouth twitch and coughed to cover up a laugh. “I’d bet my dinner that Cole taught you that one to help you pick up girls.”
Cole Brooklyn was the lead singer of Ashes of Brooklyn and Jesse’s best friend. He was also Jesse’s wingman when it came to hitting on women, as Emily had witnessed on a few occasions.
“Why? I can’t be pretty and smart?” Jesse countered, a little too loudly. A middle-aged woman seated at the table next to them looked over and giggled.
“You said it, not me,” she replied, ignoring their audience.
She shook her head, but she was smiling. “Have you ever heard the term ‘guitarded?’”
He put a hand over his heart, his face contorted into a pained expression as if she’d wounded him. “You have so much animosity toward musicians, Em. Or is that being directed to all guys in general?”
“Would it make you feel better if it was?” she asked, raising her wine glass to her lips.
He studied her for a moment, then a look of realization settled across his face. “You’re not getting any, are you?”
She was thankful that she hadn’t yet begun swallowing her sip of wine. It gave her time to compose her thoughts and let the drops of liquid slide down her throat without choking on them.
“Getting any what?” Leave it to Jesse to bring this up.
“As if you’re twelve.” His expression reminded Emily of a tiger waiting to pounce. From experience she knew he probably was, since his favorite pastime seemed to be interrogating her about her love life. For some reason she was never prepared with witty answers.
“No really. That’s quite the question there, Mr. Cinder. Getting any what?” Her hazel eyes shone with a defiant look that dared him to put what he was thinking into words.
“Affection.” He kept his eyes fixed on her.
“Define affection,” she challenged, feeling the heat rising in her cheeks.
“Hmm. You’re blushing quite madly, Miss Em.”
“I’m not blushing!” she said. “I’m just warm. The candles are throwing heat over here.”
He didn’t even try to conceal his smirk. “Uh-huh. Tea lights are definitely a raging inferno. Let’s see if I can take a guess here.”
“Jesse.” She could see that the woman at the next table was watching them again.
“Sounds like this is a touchy subject,” he said. “Three months, then?”
“I’m not answering this.”
Jennifer Farwell has been writing since the day she picked up a navy blue Crayola as a toddler and began scribbling on her parents’ freshly painted white walls. She’s the author of SEVEN WEEKS TO FOREVER and ROCK STAR’S GIRL. When not writing novels, she can often be found at a Kundalini yoga class, cheering on the L.A. Kings during hockey season, or curled up with a good book. Her love of storytelling led to completing a Bachelor of Journalism degree and a Master of Arts degree in English, both from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She grew up in Thunder Bay, Canada, and now lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Pico.
Find the Book!