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About the author:
Barbara C. Doyle grew up in a small town in Upstate New York, surrounded by a passion for writing, pizza, and cats.
Her journey started at the young age of fourteen, and grew as she pursued a degree in English and Journalism throughout college. She believes that the written word is best used as a mode to escape into a different reality, thus the birth of her novels.
Her other passions include binge-watching Netflix, reading, and hanging out with her cat.
What inspired you to write your book?
My father used to write my mother poetry for as long as I can remember. (He still does on her birthday and their anniversary!) I used to try writing poetry as well, but it wasn't my calling. So I shifted to short stories, then novellas, and eventually novels. This book was inspired by my obsession with rockstars. I love reading rockstar romances, but I hadn't read a book where it was two singers against each other. So I figured why not write one? Country against rock; two opposites forced together.
Here is a short sample from the book:
We may not be a fairytale ending,
But we’re a story they’ll never forget
The familiar lyrics are nothing more than a bitch slap to the face, and every radio station in the country knows it. Every DJ felt the need to play the love song ever since the big news broke of the split between country music stars Ashton King and Rhys Alden.
“A tragic love loss” is what they deemed it.
… tragic, as if Rhys died. When really, he’s probably at his mansion in Nashville sticking his dick in some new groupie that can’t get enough of those baby blue eyes and soulful voice.
Six years down the drain. That’s the true tragedy. Who spends six years together with a promise of forever just to undo it all right after getting engaged? We’re definitely a story nobody will forget, least of all me.
The DJ of the night announces the story for the thirteenth time after the song ends, as if America hasn’t heard it yet since it came out this morning over every media source known to man.
Rhys Alden and Ashton King No More.
Cheating Scandal: Who Cheated on Who?
Rhys Secretly in Love with Another Woman.
Ashton King Cracks Under Pressure.
It’s almost funny how the press is spinning the rumors. There are articles circulating that blame either party, not that it matters. Fans are always going to pick sides. And since Rhys “made” me the singer I am today, most of the people sympathize with him.
All because he made a name for himself before I stepped into the scene. It’s pathetic how everybody feels the need to assume I would have never made it if I didn’t start dating him when I was young and stupid.
I stare at the bartender who can’t be much older than me. I’d say twenty-eight to my twenty-one, somebody who probably came to LA hoping to make a name for himself somehow. Actor. Model. Singer. He’s got the looks to be any of those, and the lustful eyes he’s giving me will probably get him there if he meets the right people.
However, my sour mood and lack of fucks with most humans today means I am not that person for him.
He leans forward. “You okay, sweetheart?”
Slowly, I meet his eyes. “I’m not your sweetheart.”
A knowing grin creeps on his face. “From what I hear, you’re not anybody else’s either.”
Gripping the shot glass in my hand, I remind myself that doing physical harm to somebody will not look good in the press. Although the idea of throwing this at his face is tempting.
Taking a deep breath, I loosen my grip on the glass and sit up straighter. Before I can form my calculated response, his attention is caught by something behind me.
“Well, shit,” he breathes. I see the familiar starstruck expression on his face as he gapes at whoever came in.
Given that Lava is the newest hot spot in LA, it attracts a lot of well-known people. It also tends to draw the press, but at least there’s enough other stars to distract them in the crowd when they do decide to flock.
I’m vaguely aware of a presence next to me, body heat warming up my already overheated skin. I’m overdressed for a club, wearing leather leggings and black mesh top with my favorite pair of beige-colored, embellished cowboy boots that my grandma bought me years ago.
Inclining my head to see who joined me at the bar, I know why Bartender Boy is suddenly struck speechless.
Dylan Hilton, bass guitarist of the band Relentless, is leaning against the bar, taut body angled toward me with a predatory smile on his clean-shaven face. His hair isn’t as long as it used to be, but still longer than most guys in the scene like to wear it. It makes him look unkempt and care-free, and from the headlines he makes with half-naked women on either side of his arm, and half-empty bottles of vodka in his hands, that’s exactly what he’s going for.
Relentless played at the Staples Center last night, creating a lot of buzz since their arrival the day before. Their music isn’t bad, and on a good day I sing along to their songs during my morning run, but I won’t give his ego the stroke I know it doesn’t need.
“Hey,” he greets, his lips going into a crooked grin as he scopes me out from where I’m perched on my stool.
His hand runs along his sharp jawline as his eyes roam over my body, the tight sleeves of his heather grey T-shirt bunching up around his ripped biceps.
He may be an asshole, but that doesn’t cloud my attraction toward him. The clothes he wears show off his fit body, barely masking the form of chiseled abs and hard planes that I know are hiding under his shirt. He’s done plenty of photoshoots that show them off, even flashing the paparazzi his body more times than not.
Yet, despite the pending attraction for him, I know better than to get involved with his type. Not to mention hooking up with somebody two seconds after a breakup would only stir rumors that I don’t need.
“Not interested,” I inform inadvertently, looking away. I roll my neck, letting my brown hair cascade around my face to shield him from staring, but I can still feel his heated eyes.
“Can I get you another drink?” he persists despite my lack of enthusiasm.
I sigh. “You can go away, pretty boy.”
The stool next to me moves, the legs scraping against the floor. He sits down, a little too close to me, and goes in for the kill.
“I’m just trying to be friendly,” he swears, although his low tone and hunter’s stance says anything but.
I glance at him through narrowed eyes, shaking my head. “You’re just like every other guy, you know that? You think because you’re attractive and part of some famous band you can get whatever you want. Let me tell you something, pretty boy. When a girl says she’s not interested, that’s when you walk away.”
His chocolate eyes dilate, golden rims doing nothing to lighten the darkening hues. “You think I’m attractive?”
Sigh. Of course that’s what he takes from the conversation. I count my breaths until I get to three, giving my anger a chance to simmer down before gracing him with a reply. “You’re as egotistical as they say,” I drone, crossing my arms on my chest. “Most times I ignore what the press prints because they love making assumptions about people. It’s best to hold off judgment until it can be made in person. But you? You’re arrogant and don’t know how to stop. For once, the press got it right. Good for them.”
Standing up, I brush my shirt flat, then grab my bag from the bar counter.
He shifts in his seat, hooded eyes scrutinizing my brazen remark. “Who the hell are you to assume I’m an arrogant asshole from one conversation?”
I’m about to reply when I stop myself, my eyes narrowing and head tilting to observe him.
He doesn’t know who I am. Interesting. Some people would probably be offended by that, but it gives me leverage. But if he thinks I’m just one of the easy screws he can pick up during his nightly escapades, he’s sadly mistaken.
Sharp jawline be damned, he won’t use me like he does everything else with a vagina.
I give him a sly smile. “I’m nobody you need to worry about. But if you really don’t know how you come off, you might want to start thinking about what you say and do. Nobody likes a pushy guy.”
His eyes narrow. “Some women do.”
I step forward. “Well not me.”
We’re gawking at each other like our lives depend on winning the stare-down.
He breaks first, his eyes roaming the length of me again now that he has the full view. It’s heated, judging, and his spends an extra long time on my legs, probably seeing how tight the leather is against my thighs. That always tends to get people’s attention.
“You look like a bipolar cowboy,” he states, eyes raking back up my body before landing on mine. “It’s like you can’t decide if you want to rock out to ACDC or sing along to Johnny Cash.”
My hands instantly go to my hips in defense mode. “What’s wrong with liking both?”
Scrunching his face, he asks, “You like country music?”
“I like a lot of music,” I ground out.
“But … country?”
“What’s wrong with country?” I snap, feeling my irritation grow to an all-time high. I can handle a lot, but the more it builds the harder it is to hold back.
“It’s depressing. Unless you’re into old trucks, beer, and wives leaving their husbands, then I guess it’s good.”
Is he for real? “As opposed to what? Rock songs are about sex and drugs. What’s so special about that?”
He shrugs, leaning his elbow on the bar. “It just sounds better.”
That’s it. “You know what else sounds better? Sticking my foot so far up your—”
“Whoa,” a new voice cuts in, putting an arm around Dylan’s shoulder. I’d recognize Ian Wells from anywhere. He’s the singer of their band, his appearance less demanding than Dylan’s, but still easy on the eyes.
“Don’t waste your time,” Dylan snips, shrugging Ian’s arm off him and standing up. His piercing eyes lock with mine. “This one’s ice cold.”
My lips twitch and fists clench tight at my sides. He obviously doesn’t get rejected often, and isn’t handling it very well.
“And you want people to believe you’re not an asshole?” I laugh at the ridiculous thought after his outburst.
He rolls his eyes. “Clearly you’ve got a few issues yourself, princess. Careful not to fall off that pedestal you’re sitting so high up on.”
Ian squeezes Dylan’s shoulder. “Dude, come on. Do you really want to talk to her like that? She’s—”
“Just leaving,” I cut him off, gripping my bag so tightly my knuckles are white.
The recognition in Ian’s eyes is mixed with the sympathy for his friend’s behavior, but I don’t let him tell Dylan who I am. It wouldn’t change how he acts anyway.
“Good riddance,” Dylan calls as I walk away from them.
The last thing I hear is the music thumping in the main club area as I walk outside, and I decide one thing.
Today can go to hell, just like Dylan Hilton.