USA Today Bestselling Author
He’s a playboy rock star living the rock and roll dream…
Until a very real baby scare threatens to bring it all crashing down.
Dash Kingston has learned his lesson and knows his hard-partying lifestyle needs to change. To clean up his playboy image, he needs a fake girlfriend.
There’s just one problem: the perfect woman for the job is a gorgeous blonde who once aroused not just his body but his emotions, sending him running. And leaving her to wake up alone.
For the band’s sake, Cassidy Forrester agrees to play the girlfriend role, but she’s not going to fall for Dash’s charm or sex appeal ever again.
Except this Dash Kingston swears he’s a changed man, and he’s out to win Cassidy over – for good. But only a fool would make the same mistake twice, and Cassidy refuses to let their spark burn her a second time.
Dash Kingston, rock star, musician, song writer is waiting for the results of a paternity test and his band’s manager thinks it’s a perfect time for a party. NOT.
With so much on his mind he sneaks from his house to his brother’s just down the road for some peace. Unfortunately, the rest of the band follows him, leaving Cassidy alone to wrangle the groupies and the entourage. His future sister-in-law Sasha will have none of that and goes to collect her from the fray. Cassidy’s their new drummer Axel’s sister and the group’s personal assistant for now, until her new position with Harrison Dare’s production company begins.
No one knows about Cassidy and Dash’s one night. Dash proved he could be a real jerk by leaving while she slept. All because he couldn’t handle the feelings he suddenly had.
With the paternity suit behind him, an interviewer goes after the band with off limits questions leading Naomi, the band’s PR person to suggest that Dare needs a down to earth, steady girlfriend. The person she’s eying for that job is Cassidy. Axel is not a fan of the idea, but Cassidy seems willing to at least discuss it.
Instead of discussing it in front of everyone, Dash orders the car to stop and takes Cassidy for ice cream to figure it out.
This is a favorite scene.
Needing a minute, she picked up a menu and looked through the choices. “Are you eating lunch first and then dessert?” she asked him.
“Nope. Pure decadence for me.” His eyes twinkled with amusement at his deliberate choice of words. “But feel free to order food first.”
“Decadence sounds perfect.” She shook her head at herself for getting into sensual word games with the man. “I mean, you’re right. A time like this calls for ice cream.”
“Glad we’re on the same page.”
A waitress stopped at their table. “Hi, folks. Are you ready to order or do you need … more … time?” Her voice trailed off and her eyes grew wide as she obviously recognized Dash.
“Cass?” Dash asked, calling her by the shortened name he’d used that night.
She swallowed hard. “I’m ready to order.”
The waitress had pulled herself together, obviously instructed to behave around celebrity guests. She politely waited.
Cassidy’s choice was easy. “I’ll have the Forbidden Broadway Sundae.”
Chocolate blackout cake, vanilla ice cream, and hot fudge topped with whipped cream. Her stomach rumbled with delight at the thought. That thought of the treat bolstered her nerves when deciding what to do about Naomi’s proposition.
“I’ll have the same thing.” He winked at Cassidy and she frowned.
“What are you up to?” She narrowed her gaze at him. “The word play, the winking. You won’t get anywhere trying to charm me into being your pretend girlfriend, you know.”
What she’d come to think of as his fake smile slipped. “It’s a habit.”
“Well, break it when I’m around. If I’m even going to consider this ludicrous plan, I want to be around someone real. Not a rock star with a massive ego he wants to project to the world.”
He nodded and she was shocked he hadn’t reared back at her insult.
“You know that’s one of the things I like about you,” he said.
“You don’t take my bullshit.” He shrugged. “The only other people who treat me like a regular guy are my family. It’s refreshing.”
“Glad I can surprise you. Now tell me. Are you seriously considering this plan?” Because to her surprise, she was considering saying yes. Axel had always been there for her, and if acting the part would help not just Dash but the group as a whole, she’d do it.
Dash blew out a long breath, picked up a spoon, and twirled it around. “I hate either of us being pushed into a situation we don’t want.”
“Wow. Tell me how you really feel.” She swallowed over the sudden lump in her throat. “You don’t want to be my boyfriend, real, fake, or otherwise. Got it.”
He blinked, drawing her attention to those long, fringed lashes any woman would kill to have. “Dammit, that’s not how I meant it.” He leaned closer so only she could hear.
Unfortunately for her, the scent of his cologne was potent and arousing, and she squirmed in her seat. This man was the whole package, and it wasn’t fair to the average people walking the earth.
“At first I thought Naomi was nuts, but the more I think about it, I realize she has a point. Which is why she’s paid the big bucks to come up with solutions when one of us gets into shit. And let’s face it. I’ve gotten myself into a pretty deep hole. One I want to get out of.”
He looked around and slid his arm behind her as he spoke. “I’m tired of the life I’ve been living. I don’t want to wake up hungover or, worse, still drunk. I hate the groupies and don’t want strange women pawing me. I want to focus on my music, my family, and my future.”
She studied him up close, stunned by his admission. “Dash Kingston wants a normal life?”
“As close to normal as I can get knowing I have to be on the road at times. But yeah. Why is that so surprising?” He hadn’t moved, and his warm breath fanned her ear as he spoke, making it difficult for her to concentrate.
“Because you’re you? A rock star who can’t stand to be in the same room the morning after with a woman you slept with the night before? Does that sound normal to you?” She was obviously still hurt. So sue her. She was human.
“I’m sorry for that and I will make it up to you.” He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear that must have fallen from her ponytail, causing a ripple of awareness to cascade through her. “Despite me being a complete asshole, I’m still asking if you’ll do this for me. Be my girlfriend.”
Between his nearness, his masculine, sexy scent, and the warmth of his body, her nipples grew tight, as if they were saying yes even as every other part of her body screamed no. Don’t be an idiot. She was too susceptible to this man’s charms, which meant he’d hurt her again. She just knew it.
But she understood why the charade was necessary, and if she could remember it was pretend, she’d be fine. Her brother had just joined the band, and if they could get past this rocky period, he’d have another chance at a career with a massively successful band. They’d always looked out for one another, and despite his wariness about her being Dash’s so-called girlfriend, she was an adult who made her own decisions.
“There are some ground rules you have to agree to before I say yes,” she said.
She sat up straighter in her chair. “One, no cheating. I don’t care that we’re fake,” she said, whispering the word. “The world will think it’s real, and I refuse to be made a fool of.”
“Agreed,” he said too easily.
She narrowed her gaze. “That means celibacy, in case you aren’t thinking things through,” she whispered.
He angled even closer. “I’ve been celibate since our night together. Next rule?”
What. The. Fuck?
With his thumb, he pushed her chin upward, closing her mouth, which she hadn’t realized she’d opened in surprise. Now wasn’t the time to dissect that statement or even decide if she believed him.
She attempted to unscramble her brain and get to her next rule. “When we break up, I get to be the one who dumps you. Again, I won’t be humiliated.”
“Deal.” Again, no hesitation.
Before she could try and come up with another rule to cover her ass, the waitress arrived with their sundaes. “Here you go.”
Dash straightened and waited while she placed their desserts in front of them. The huge metal bowl contained way too many scoops of vanilla ice cream on top of the chocolate blackout cake and so much whipped cream she’d be digging to get to the cake.
“Wow.” She picked up the cherry on top and popped it into her mouth, closed her lips, and pulled at the stem. “Mmm.” She closed her eyes for a brief moment because she loved cherries, and when she opened them, a heavy-lidded Dash was staring back at her, desire in his gaze.
Desire she recognized, having seen that look on his face once before, which led to her final rule. “I know we have to do PDA, but we are not sleeping together again.”
An amused smile lifted his lips. “Unless you change your mind and give me permission.”
Arrogant man. And wasn’t that part of his appeal? “I won’t,” she insisted.
Ignoring him, she took the long spoon and dug into the decadent dessert, shoving a huge scoop into her mouth because she didn’t want to discuss this subject anymore.
Carly Phillips. Just One Spark (Kindle Locations 376-436). CP Publishing.
Of course, there are going to be many ups and downs with this. Some caused by that road manager who just can’t seem to stay out of things. There are some things meant to stay private and that gets totally violated.
I love the way this plays out. Cassidy and Dare are truly meant for each other. They just have to figure out how to make it work.
5 Contented Purrs for Carly!
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Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.
Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.