Rock Band #2
June 7, 2016
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Superstar guitarist Ramsey’s reputation as a bad-boy rocker is exceeded only by his dedication to his music. He’s worked hard for the success of his hit metal band Toxsin, and he intends to enjoy it—completely. When a jilted groupie gets back at him for a one-night stand with an intimate—and completely inappropriate—tattoo, he needs it fixed, and fast. Sparks fly between Ramsey and his new tattoo artist, and Ramsey finds himself hoping for more than new ink.
UNTIL SHE MADE HIM WANT MORE
When a high-profile tattoo job lands Jewel an invite on Toxsin’s latest tour, she can’t say no. It’ll be great exposure, after all. What she’s really worried about is ruining the gig by hooking up with the first guy to completely rock her world. She knows she should resist—Ramsey’s not the kind to stick around for a morning after. But the way he makes her feel—as an artist and a woman—could be worth any risk.
“Pissed off your girlfriend?” she asked pointedly.
“She wasn’t really a girlfriend.”
Jewel clicked her tongue and looked back at the cheery blossoms. “By the look of that, she disagreed with you on the topic. She must have taken you to Spike Collar.”
Taz was typing into his cell phone as she spoke. “Makes sense. You surfaced right around where that tattoo parlor is on the map.”
“Just don’t go back there,” Jewel warned as she went behind the counter and pulled a blank sheet of paper in front of her.
“Why not?” the blond asked. “I’ve got half a mind to have my lawyer pay them a visit.”
Jewel didn’t look up from what she was drawing. “Won’t do you any good. They never touch a client without a release of liability signed and sealed, with video footage to back it up. Whoever was gunning for you did her homework. The gals at Spike Collar don’t like guys, and they really don’t like any males who try to charm them.” Jewel cast a look at Ramsey. “You are exactly the sort they hate. Bet they popped a bottle of champagne the second you cleared the doorway with that little gem.”
Taz made a low sound under his breath.
But Ramsey was watching her. She felt his attention tightening, focusing on the motion of her pen as she inked a design on the paper. He’d sent a shiver down her spine before, but now he was warming her insides, melting her core slowly with the absolute devotion he was giving her. She looked up, locking gazes with him.
Her insides churned.
And her toes curled.
She’d never felt so connected to another soul. It was his doing, and she realized that his arrogance was something he’d earned.
That fact slapped her across the face and sent her into a full meltdown. He was the sort who could captivate.
Which was a damned dangerous place to go.
It wasn’t like she had any personal experience with it. Still, she felt like she was on pins and needles. The sheer level of sensitivity the guy was able to elicit from her was off the scale. It was fascinating to say the least.
As well as a really bad place to go when he looked like he could afford to hire her.
She looked back at her work, forcing herself to focus on the art and get a grip on herself before he knocked her flat. Sweat popped out on her forehead, but her hands responded perfectly. Art was like a living force inside her. A place she could take refuge in as well as being a gift she might share. She let it consume her, the drawing coming to life beneath the strokes of her pen. It was a little like giving birth: first she had to let it grow and form before it was ready to breathe.
“That is smokin’ hot,” Taz said as he leaned on the counter to peer at her work.
“You’re good,” the blond said in a tone full of awe.
Ramsey reserved judgment until she’d shaded in the last few areas on her sketch. When she lifted her pen, he swept it up and studied the drawing. It was a metal dragon crawling down his abdomen toward his cock. Its front claws would be where the cherry blossoms were, and its tail would wrap around his lean hip and onto his lower back. It wasn’t a reptilian dragon. It was a steel one, a merging of metal and mythical creature.
His eyes narrowed as he studied it, seeing more than just the black lines. He was seeing the attitude she’d tried to capture and portray. His expression gave her a hint of the man inside him. She got the impression he spent a lot of time covering up that man with his didn’t-give-a-rat’s-ass attitude.
But she saw it.
His attention shifted to her, their gazes locking over the edge of the paper. For a moment, she caught a flicker of understanding in his eyes. Just a moment of awareness, a few seconds when he admitted to himself that she saw him.
Really saw him.
It didn’t last long. In fact, she found herself questioning if it had really been there, when his gaze hardened and sealed her out of that place he was determined to keep private.
“You recognize me,” he said.
It wasn’t a question, but she felt inclined to answer anyway. “It isn’t hard to peg you for a metal-head when you’re wearing nothing but leather and have a stud bar through your nipple.”
“I’m a metal god,” he said.
“Right,” she countered, feeling a rise of heat in her cheeks. “I’m good at what I do.”
“You are,” the blond interrupted. He was studying her portfolio. “So why are you working the graveyard shift?”
“I wanted to work at the best shop in town. That left me to choose between Spike Collar and here,” Jewel said without hesitation.
“But you’re not a lesbian,” Ramsey finished for her. “Bet that was a bit of a problem with getting hired over at Spike Collar.”
“Definite ripple in the pond,” she confirmed. “Not on my side, mind you. They just don’t like straight girls. Shame really, they know how to do tats.”
“So do you.” Ramsey was thumbing through the pictures of her work. He had that businessman expression.
“Who are you?” she gave in and asked. All three men looked up at her. “I mean, since it sounded like you were trying to impress me.”
“Impressing you will involve more than my name,” her client said.
His lips curved, and his expression became sensual. He flattened his hand on the counter between them and leaned toward her. In one flat second, it felt like her breath caught in her lungs. She was hyperaware of him, fighting not to take a step back. There was a flicker of approval in his dark eyes as she managed to stand her ground.
“Count on that fact.” Her voice had turned raspy, but his arrogance was rubbing her pride raw. “I do tats. Only tat’s for pay. So if you’ve got a problem understanding boundaries, the door is behind you. There’s another place up a couple of blocks that opens in a few hours.”
Taz reached over and shoved Ramsey. “I told you not to piss her off.” He shook his smart phone in the air between them. “She’s the best in the nearest three cities—checked her out.” He turned to look at her. “Your references rock. Why are you working in this dump?”
“Because my boss might be a prick, but he’s also got twenty-five years’ experience, and references to top mine. I want to learn from the best, and there are a few things you can’t learn from anyone but a master.”
Taz nodded. “True, even if some masters are egomaniacs.”
“You didn’t answer me.” Jewel aimed her inquiry at Ramsey. “Who are you?”
“Ramsey, Taz, and I’m Syon,” the blond answered. “We’re members of a band called Toxsin.”
She bit back the snide, Yeah, right, that tried to escape her lips.
A message from the author...
That word brings a ripple of anticipation to everyone who has been longing for warm weather, sandals, beaches, carnivals, and so much more. Rock Steady is the perfect summer time read. It’s hot, it’s edgy, it’s got bad boys—hey, what would summer nights be without a little misbehavior? And the one thing I really wanted Rock Steady to have was a lack of people shooting at people.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to write a hard suspense plot but sometimes, you want to read a good, hot, romance without all the life and death struggle. All the edge, all the heat, but with a focus on the personal issues that come with having to make a relationship work beyond the physical attraction.
Rock Steady will take you back onto the road with Toxsin. Now for anyone who thinks Rock Stars have it all easy, take a look at Rock Steady and you’ll get a little taste of the dedication it takes to be a mega super star. Personally, I have a deep respect for those who can apply their talent to the concert stage. It’s a hard job, one that requires team work to accomplish a show that is mind blowing for the ticket holders. A fabulous voice isn’t the only requirement.
For those who picked up Rock Me Two Times, you going to get the chance to see Ramsey, god that he is, meet his match. It was a blast to write this book and I’m eager to present it to all of you.
Dawn Ryder is the erotic romance pen name of a bestselling author of historical romances. She has been publishing her stories for over eight years to a growing and appreciative audience. She is commercially published in mass market and trade paper, and digi-first published with trade paper releases. She is hugely committed to her career as an author, as well as to other authors and to her readership. She resides in Southern California.