NY Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
He’s a rock star wanted by millions.
She’s a wife willing to fight for their love.
Rock star Dash Kingston is finishing the last leg of his band’s U.S. tour. Exhausted and ready to be home, he can’t wait to see his girl. Time zones, show times, and the demands of his career have made married life harder than expected. Even knowing the rock star life wouldn’t make their relationship easy.
Cassidy Kingston thought she was ready to handle being married to a man idolized by women everywhere. She believes in their love even though the separations when the band is on tour can be torture. But the paparazzi and media don’t make their time apart easier and the gossip headlines hit her harder than they should. She trusts her husband even if she misses him like crazy.
When rumors surface that Dash is seeing someone, what’s a girl to do? Surprise her husband and remind him of what he’s been missing. Except you know what they say about the best laid plans.
Cassidy knows not to listen to the gossip channels or read those papers. She knew when she married Dash Kingston there would always be someone out there twisting the truth into something unrecognizable.
This tour however had been harder, they are both having problems connecting. Opposite coast time differences, schedules, even just sleeping has interfered with them having a conversation more than hello and goodbye.
It’s a surprise for Cassidy when her brother, Axle the group’s drummer, manages a quick trip home. She enjoys a meal with him before he has to leave again, reassuring her that Dash is missing her just as much as she misses him.
He does some finagling with his agent and flies home on the family jet after the weekend’s concerts. Unfortunately, fate has something else in mind.
This is a favorite scene.
She should be finishing up soon, so I’ll drive you to the apartment and you can surprise her when she gets home.” Dash had a house in the Hamptons before he married Cassidy and, after, they’d purchased an apartment in the city for her convenience when K-Talent took over office space there, as well.
“Okay, perfect. That’ll give me a few hours to set the scene for when she gets home. I’ll order in dinner and flowers, get the table set, light some candles …” He nodded in approval of his own plan. “I can give her the ultimate surprise.”
Xander chuckled. “Dash Kingston, one-time playboy, is a romantic. Who knew?”
If his brother wasn’t driving, Dash would be tempted to slap him in the head. Instead, he folded his arms and leaned back against the seat, allowing his body to feel the exhaustion from all the sets and the five-hour trip.
* * *
MURPHY’S LAW, CASSIDY thought, as she dragged her weary body into the elevator of the New York City apartment she and Dash owned. If it could go wrong on set today, it had. From the broken air conditioner, to not enough extras showing up for a crowd scene, to one of their primary co-stars showing up drunk, the day had been an exercise in patience.
They’d had to sober up the actor with coffee and water and shoot scenes out of order until he looked and sounded ready to tape. Even so, when his time had come, he’d needed too many takes to nail his scenes. No air-conditioning in the summer meant she’d sweat like crazy until the repairman had finally fixed the issue and the stars of the movie had not been happy with the increasing temperature. Cassidy wasn’t sure how she felt about being a producer.
She’d started as a creative director at K-Talent. The first year had been a learning experience but she’d soaked up the information. On the company’s one year anniversary, Sasha and Xander had offered her a position as head of Film and Television, making her Sasha’s right hand. They’d always worked closely together, so the job was perfect for her. She’d also been able to pick projects and run them by Sasha. This past year, she’d moved into production and the truth was, Cassidy missed her former role.
She’d hoped to be home by six for a change. Instead, she stepped out of the elevator a short time after 9:00 p.m. on the penthouse floor. If anyone had told her when she and Sasha were sharing a small place in Los Angeles, one day, she’d be married to a rock star, living in the lap of luxury, and a producer in a film production company—she’d have laughed and called them crazy.
Yet, here she was, ready to walk into the luxurious apartment she and Dash had decorated together, alone, while her husband was clear across the country.
Despite the tour, everything in their lives should have been perfect. She was confused as to why it wasn’t. From the time they’d gotten together, he’d been true to his word. He and the guys had cut back on the amount of time the band traveled. Twice in almost four years wasn’t much to ask and the first time the band went on the road, she and Dash had talked often. They’d FaceTimed, and phone sex had been fun and constant.
This tour was different because they had no time for each other and that wasn’t the life she’d signed up for. If she was going to be married, she wanted a husband she felt connected to. The physical miles apart she could handle, but she hadn’t been prepared for the emotional distance she felt now.
She let herself inside and smelled something delicious. The lights were on in the kitchen and dim flickering shadowed the wall in the dining room visible through the kitchen pass-through. She wasn’t worried because a burglar didn’t make dinner or light candles, and her stomach did a flip at the possibilities waiting for her.
She strode into the main area of the apartment and there was her husband lying down on the couch, eyes closed, obviously out cold. She took in the dining room table that had been set with their dishes, not paper plates, silverware and water goblets. A bottle of wine chilled in an honest-to-goodness wine bucket he must have borrowed from a restaurant, and she’d bet the ice inside had melted. Like the candles had burned halfway down.
Her heart dropped at the sight. She wished he’d called instead of surprising her but even if she’d known he was here, there was no way she could have left the set.
She stepped over to the sofa and looked down at his sleeping form, taking in the features she adored. His dark lashes lay dark against his skin and she saw the deep circles beneath his eyes, telling her how hard he’d been working and the late nights the band had been keeping. But that had been true of the last tour, so what had changed?
Her. The answer slammed into her and her chest squeezed tight. She worked longer hours. She didn’t have time to take his calls. Yes, he was extra busy, too. But her life had gotten much busier, to the point where she hadn’t been able to fly out for a visit as she had a couple of years ago.
She sat down beside him, her hip nudging against his, making room for herself, and his eyes fluttered open. “Cass.” He pushed himself to a sitting position.
“Hey, stranger.” She smiled softly. “I am so sorry I’m home so late. I had no idea you’d be here.”
He treated her to his dimpled grin. “I wanted to surprise you. Xander let me know you were hung up at work, but I hoped you’d get here in time to enjoy some of this.” He gestured to the romantic atmosphere he’d set for them.
She sighed, letting her disappointment show. “Isn’t this just like the way things have been going for us?” Tears filled her eyes, taking her by surprise.
“I’m sorry, too. Our opening act is being sexually harassed by her manager and she won’t let us report it. Not until the tour is over. It’s complicated with the guys, especially Jagger, but I’ve been around overtime to make sure she’s never alone. But I swear, Cass, no matter what the tabloids say—”
She placed her finger over his lips. “I know. If you had to tell me, that would mean I didn’t trust you, and I do.” No matter how she’d felt when she heard CGC’s reporting and seen the photos, in her heart, she knew he’d have a legitimate reason.
He took her hand and pulled her on top of him, letting her position herself before he took her mouth with his. The moment his lips touched hers, everything turned right in her world. He kissed her for a long time, his tongue sliding against hers, his teeth nipping, his lips gliding, never coming up for air until she broke the kiss.
“I just need to breathe,” she said, laughing. Reaching out, she wiped his damp lips with her finger.
“Breathing’s overrated.” He threaded his fingers through her hair and tugged on the long strands. “Are you hungry? The food I ordered in is cold, but we can heat it up again.”
She shook her head. “I grabbed a sandwich from craft services. What about you?”
A sheepish look crossed his face and his cheeks flushed. “I got hungry and ate.”
She shook her head and groaned. “I don’t blame you,” she said, touching her forehead to his. Without warning, she yawned, the day that had started at 5:00 a.m., catching up with her.
Dash reached around and slapped her ass, causing her to squeal. “Okay, up you go. Let’s go to bed.”
Carly Phillips. Just Another Spark (Kindle Locations 195-241). CP Publishing. Kindle Edition.
It truly wasn’t either of their faults that they are exhausted and only manage to sleep.
As the tour ends and that one really big problem gets handled, Cass tries a surprise of her own.
I love this couple. They are both strong and so totally in love with each other.
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.