If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Monday, September 15, 2014

Excerpt: A Seductive Melody by Crista McHugh / @crista_mchugh

Series & Title: The Kelly Brothers, Book 5: A Seductive Melody
Author: Crista McHugh
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Publisher: Crista McHugh
Release Date: September 15, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

She has the scoop of a lifetime, but only if she betrays his trust…

Ethan Kelly lost his best friend and bandmate to an overdose, but staying clean is proving harder than he thought it would be. His only safety net during his first weeks of sobriety is fellow recovering addict, Becca. As she guides him through the darkness, he begins to trust her not only with his secrets, but also his heart.

After years of trying to be the daughter her socialite parents wanted her to be (and failing miserably), Rebecca Shore finally has her life on track. Sure, she’s just an assistant at Moderne magazine when she’d rather be pursuing more serious journalism, but it’s a foot in the door. She’s just waiting for the scoop of a lifetime that will take her to the next level. But when she’s asked to help the reclusive and enigmatic rock star, her heart is torn between the career she’s always wanted and the man who bares his soul to her.

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Rebecca took his hand to lead him to a table, but the gentle touch managed to kick the air from his lungs. He’d lived so long in a world where most women begged permission to touch him that her complete indifference to his celebrity status shocked him. But then, maybe that was a good thing. If she didn’t know who he was, he might be able to let his guard down long enough to enjoy coffee with her.
He glanced around the room, but no one was staring at them or whispering to their friends while pointing at him. No flash of a paparazzo’s camera. No cringe-worthy fear that sharing dessert with Rebecca would be tomorrow’s headline on TMZ.
For the first time in years, he felt almost normal.
He placed his helmet in an empty chair and sat down across from her. As much as he wanted to relax, he couldn’t quite let his guard down. “Come here often?”
“Is it that obvious?”
“Just slightly.”
She laughed at his dry reply. “You’re really missing out on Gitta’s Sacher-torte. It was her grandmother’s recipe.”
“I haven’t been very hungry lately.”
She nodded, empathy flittering across her features. “Yeah, once you’ve had your guts turned inside out for a week, it takes a while for the appetite to come back.”
He leaned forward, elbows on the table, and lowered his voice. “I still have a hard time believing someone like you understands what I’m going through.”
Her quick reply caught him off guard. He backed away and gestured to her appearance. “Because…”
“Because I don’t look the part?”
Before he could answer, Gitta interrupted them by setting a plate of chocolate cake and two mugs on the table. Steam rose from his mug of black coffee, but a mound of cinnamon-sprinkled whipped cream covered her beverage. “What is that?”
She stirred some of the cream into her drink and licked the spoon. “Cinnamon hazelnut hot chocolate.”
“Someone’s going to have a sugar rush tonight.”
She flashed him a wicked grin before drinking a gulp of her hot chocolate. When she lowered her mug, a dot of whipped cream lay perched on the end of her nose.
Ethan tried to smother the laugh that rose from his throat, but it was no use. Instead, he let it out and reached for a napkin. “You have a little something on your nose.”
“Oh?” But instead of acting mortified and reaching for a mirror like he expected her to do, she laughed with him and wiped her nose with a napkin. “Got it?”
He nodded, once again surprised by her. Here was a refined young woman who wasn’t the least bit concerned with her appearance. Very different from the high-society girls he’d gone to high school with or the models and actresses he’d met through the years.
© 2014 Crista McHugh

Crista McHugh is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING author of fantasy and romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary. She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.