G I V E A W A Y E N D E D
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I’ve made a few mistakes over the last decade, but the one I regret most was letting Olivia
Carter go. When I see her again, the past crashes over me, reminding of everything I ever
wanted and gave up when I let our dreams separate us.
Managing Balefire into the world’s biggest rock band came at a personal cost—walking
away from my only love. When fate brings her back into my life, I’m determined not to screw up
again. After Balefire hires her studio to produce their next music video, I have a second chance
to rewrite our song—if I can convince her I’m a changed man.
Ten years ago, Garrett Phillips chose to go with “his boys” and leave me in the dust of a
ratty old tour bus. Now I’m working my ass off to make a name for myself as a Hollywood music
video director. Unfortunately, my fledgling studio is bleeding money, and my only hope of saving
it is to make a video with the biggest rock band on the planet. Too bad that means working with
the man who tore my heart out of my chest when he chose his rock ’n’ roll dream over me.
He says he’s grown up. He says we can make things work. But can I truly trust that this time
he will stay for me?
EXCERPTS 1 TO 7:
Garrett’s nostrils flared, and he shifted on his stool. His eyes remained locked on mine as he slid his headphones from his head and set them aside. Cursing the tiny tremor in my hands, I removed my headphones and set them somewhere on the control board beside me.
My name on his lips rasped over me like calloused hands over my skin. Involuntary shivers rippled through me, and I clamped my thighs even tighter together.
I stopped whatever he wanted to say next with my finger pressed to his full lips. For a long moment, neither of us moved. Then he reached up and smoothed his fingers up my palm and higher along the length of my fingers. His eyes dipped to our hands. Though we barely touched, sensations like electric currents sparked every nerve, beginning in my hand and arcing up my arm to trip my heart nearly into arrhythmia. My breath caught as he slid his fingers through mine, up and down, up and down, before he twined our hands together with a gentle squeeze. I closed my eyes and worked to find some air.
Olivia’s expression as she blinked at me banished all thoughts of the band, the movie, and the song. So much rode on the success of this video, but in this moment, all I could think about was the way golden rings surrounded her pupils, the hitch in her breathing, the soft parting of her lips.
Reaching out, he pried my hand from my body, tugging it toward him. It was only as he massaged it that I noticed how cramped I was. “Making this video with you is a gift.”
My brows furrowed even as the tension ebbed from my hand at his gentle touch.
“It gives a us a chance to remember what we had.” His attention strayed to our joined hands. “We have a chance to reconnect, maybe think about what we could have now.”
All I could think about was how close those fingers were to my thigh and how much I’d loved it when he’d used them to play rhythms over my bare skin. With my attention not where it belonged, no doubt I would have driven right past the diner if not for the timely placement of a red light.
The diner was quiet with only a few occupied tables. We found one beside the windows looking out onto the street and perused our menus.
“What are you gonna have?” we said simultaneously.
“Waffles.” Again at the same time.
Our eyes met and held and smiles broke over our faces.
From the second I heard his voice on the phone the day we set this project in motion, Garrett Phillips was dangerous. This moment proved exactly how dangerous. Another forkful of stupidly good chocolate waffle appeared in front of my mouth, and helpless to deny him, I accepted it, sealing my fate.
“You know what this is, Olivia.” His voice was low, commanding.
“It’s never going to work,” I countered.
“You don’t know that. And you can’t find out if you don’t take a chance.” His gaze flicked to my lips and back to my eyes. “Give me a chance, O. Give us a chance. Please.”
A valet stood outside my driver’s side window, waiting for me to exit the car. Gripping the steering wheel tight, I closed my eyes, my body and mind in a tug-o-war over my next move.
Garrett kissed my jaw again and let his pinky ghost over my center, and that was it. I unbuckled my seatbelt and when he sat up to unbuckle his, I reached into the back seat for my bag. Once again, he clasped my hand in his as he led me into the hotel—and back to the past—or possibly the future.
“So this isn’t you sweet talking me?”
“Not even a little bit. This is me being happy for the chance to spend time with you again. This is me wanting you.”
Tam DeRudder Jackson’s love of all things Celtic led her to write the Talisman Series.
Steeped in Celtic mythology, these steamy, fated mates, paranormal romance adventures are
set in the mountains of Tam’s native Montana and the Highlands of Scotland. Rogue, the most
recent book in the series, was named a best romance of 2022 by the Independent Book
An avid fan of rock music, Tam never misses a chance to see a live show, especially if it’s
Shinedown, one of her favorite bands. Her love of rock music inspired her contemporary rock
star Balefire Series, a sexy fun ride following the lives and loves of the members of a fictional
mega-band. Readers of this series consistently give the books five-star reviews.
Tam earned her BA in English from Montana State University and her M.Ed. in literacy from
Lesley University. After a short teaching stint in Bath, England, she settled in the wilds of
Wyoming where she taught adolescents all about the Celts and a bit about writing before she
stepped out of the classroom to pursue her writing career full time.
When she’s not writing, you can find her working her way through her mountainous TBR
piles, alpine skiing, or traveling to some new place on her ever-expanding bucket list. To stay up
to date on her adventures, connect with Tam on her website http://www.tamderudderjackson where
you can subscribe to her newsletter.