Series: Rock Stars, Surf and Second Chances #3
Rock star legend, Ashland Keys should be on top of the world, but the blond blue-eyed SoCal surfer is disillusioned with fame, done with drugs, bored with the groupies and sick of all the fake f*ckery.
A rising star, Fanny Bay is nominated for best original song in the same category as the Dirt Dogs band, but the novel redhead with the corkscrew curls and the slight Canadian accent would prefer to chart a course with a different destination.
Hollywood is not for her.
He’s full of regrets, darkness and secrets.
She’s full of hope and light and has mysteries of her own.
He’s her reserved hero.
She’s his gypsy rose.
He’s water. She’s fire. Together, they don’t make sense.
But he’s what she’s always wanted, and she just might be everything he needs.
“Love is the most powerful compelling wave you’ve ever seen.” I needed to explain this to him in terms he could understand. “It’s knowing even as you take that wave that you’ll never completely master it. It’s using all the skill and life experience you have, but it’s also letting go because you know there’s no other choice for you and no better ride to bring you home to the perfect shore.” – Ash
Move over Karen and Ramon, Ash and Fanny are my new favorite couple of this series! I do love a slightly broken alpha man, and Ashland Keys is all of that in one heart-melting and swoony package. Fanny is free-spirited with a light that calls to him, but the first time they meet the timing couldn’t be more wrong. He is a rock god with an adoring fan base, but he is also poised to drop into a depression and spiral out of control as he awaits life changing news. She has been thrust into the spotlight courtesy of a hit song and her movie mogul stepfather’s influence, but it couldn’t be further from what she actually wants. She is stuck between a rock and a hard place as Ash gets a glimpse of what a nasty piece of work her stepdad can be, but once all the chips fall, they don’t end up seeing each other again.
Fast forward a few years and both their lives have changed dramatically. Ash received a health diagnosis that rocked his world and caused him to completely change his life. He has closed himself off emotionally and spends most of his time in his penthouse suite or office hiding from the world. His friends and bandmates jokingly call him Quasimodo, but they are not too far off in their teasing. He is in love with a person he cannot have, and when that is added to his health situation, he finds it easier to protect himself and those he loves by distancing himself as he takes caution to the extreme.
Fanny made some small steps in freeing herself from the influence of her stepfather, but when he becomes a threat to her soon-to-be 18 year old sister Hollie, she has to take drastic steps to remove Hollie from the danger after receiving a panicked phone call in the middle of the night. Now homeless and living minute-to-minute as she desperately tries to find a way to disappear to where he cannot find her, Fanny finds herself living in a hiding spot near Ocean Beach’s pier- and right under the nose of Ash, Karen and friends. After an assault leaves her battered and nearly unrecognizable, Ash finds Fanny and Hollie and comes to the rescue. There is something familiar about the woman he and his friends call Lakers girl but thanks to her injuries he doesn’t put two and two together right away. Fanny, who tells him her name is Frances, isn’t forthcoming with information either in an attempt to keep Hollie’s recognizable face off the radar, but once he makes the connection he is both stunned and conflicted. He knows he acted like a jerk all those years ago and he is thrilled to have a second chance to get to know her, but at the same time he believes she would be better off without him in her life thanks to the self-imposed limitations he places on all his relationships.
These two wounded hearts still feel that amazing pull to one another, but their circumstances may get in the way again. The connection flares even more brightly between them as they spend time in close proximity, but Fanny’s need to protect her sister at all costs is still her primary concern. Ash has closed off his feelings for so long that he doesn’t handle their interactions with any sort of finesse at all, and he mucks it up more often than not when it comes to telling her how he feels or why he is so hesitant to share parts of his life.
Fanny has the ability to see through his BS and straight into the heart of him, so when his walls go back up and he reverts to defensive mode she is not afraid to call him on it. He tries to only dole out little bits of himself to her, but she is unwilling to settle for less than every part of him and she lets him know it in no uncertain terms. Just when it seems like the stars may finally align for them, the media gets wind of her location and the frenzy surrounding Hollie’s disappearance lands on their doorstep.
Ash knows how to make some grand romantic gestures when the occasion calls for it, and his friends are only too happy to help as they finally see the man they knew and loved before his diagnosis re-emerging thanks to Fanny. Her free spirit and genuine goodness are exactly the counterpart that Ash needs to be his perfect match, and he is everything she ever hoped for and dreamed about. I loved taking the journey with these two characters and read this book in one sitting! Getting reacquainted with the rest of the Dirt Dogs crew was a nice trip down memory lane too, so now their bassist Diesel is the last man standing in the band. Based on his manwhore ways and current outlook on love, I cannot wait to see how hard he goes down when he meets his other half!
Michelle Mankin is the New York Times bestselling author of the Black Cat Records series of novels.
Rock Stars. Romance. Redemption.
Love Evolution, Love Revolution, and Love Resolution are a BRUTAL STRENGTH centered trilogy, combining the plot underpinnings of Shakespeare with the drama, excitement, and indisputable sexiness of the rock ‘n roll industry.
Things take a bit of an edgier, once upon a time turn with the TEMPEST series. These pierced, tatted, and troubled Seattle rockers are young and on the cusp of making it big, but with serious obstacles to overcome that may prevent them from ever getting there.
Rock stars, myths, and legends collide with paranormal romance in a totally mesmerizing way in the MAGIC series.
Catch the perfect wave with irresistible surfers in the ROCK STARS, SURF AND SECOND CHANCES series.
Romance and self-discovery, the FINDING ME series is a Tempest spin off with a more experienced but familiar cast of characters.
Exploring the sexual double standards for women, the ROCK F*CK CLUB series is a what-if the groupies called the shots instead of the rock stars.
When Michelle is not prowling the streets of her Texas town listening to her rock or NOLA funk music much too loud, she is putting her daydreams down on paper or traveling the world with her family and friends, sometimes for real, and sometimes just for pretend.
TEMPEST series (also available in audio):
The MAGIC series (also available in audio):
ROCK STARS, SURF AND SECOND CHANCES series
(also available in audio):
FINDING ME series (also available in audio):
ROCK F*CK CLUB series:
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