First loves don’t last. Especially one as unlikely and turbulent as Elodie and Caspian’s.
It’s been years since she’s seen the rough rebel she fell in love with as a teen. She’s put him behind her and moved on. That’s the story she tries to sell her friends and family, but deep down, she knows it’s a lie. She hasn’t moved on from Caspian Cruz and she probably never will, but she has to finally give up hope they’ll ever reunite.
Or does she?
When her friends drag her to a sold-out rock concert, she comes face to face with the lead singer . . . who just so happens to be the boy she fell for all those years ago.
She never thought she’d see him again. She never realized he’d made it in the music world. And she never expected him to confess that he’s been waiting for her as long as she’s been waiting for him.
What will happen when their worlds collide again? A repeat of the past or a second chance to get things right?
ROCK HARD is a short and sexy read, chock-full of excessive sweetness and heaps of filthy talking. Not for the faint or square of heart.
“Men suck. It’s official. If a girl like you can’t keep a guy, there is literally no hope for me.” My friend, Sydney, shook her head and took a drink of her margarita.
“Just to confirm, you know for sure that he was cheating on you?” Our friend Jessie twisted on the stool to look at me straight on.
Exhaling, I pulled my phone from my clutch and scrolled through a few messages until I found the one I’d been sent a few days ago from a number I didn’t recognize. I refused to look at the picture, but I made sure Jessie and Sydney got a good look.
Jessie’s eyes narrowed. “Two-timing, sorry bastard.”
Sydney winced like the image was grotesque. “Dude, if that’s what he looks like beneath that fancy composer’s tuxedo, let that violin-playing hussy have his pasty, blubbery ass.”
“He’s all hers,” I said, tucking my phone back away.
“Hans was crazy about you though. I don’t get it. Why the sudden change of heart?” Jessie pulled the olive from her martini and popped it into her mouth.
“Oh, please, it didn’t have anything to do with his heart. He was thinking with his dick when he fell into bed with Tits McGee there,” Sydney chimed in, which worked for me. I wasn’t eager to hash out my most recent failed relationship with anyone, my two good friends included.
Hans and I had been dating on and off for a couple of years. He was the conductor for the world-renowned Los Angeles symphony, twenty years my senior, and had a golden reputation in the upper circle. My parents had been thrilled when they found out I was seeing Hans Vandenberg, visions of musical-prodigy offspring dancing through their heads.
No doubt they’d been devastated when I told them we’d split. They probably would blame me for ruining it even if I showed them the photo I’d been sent of him asleep and naked in bed with some other woman. They always seemed to prefer the ones who treated me like crap over the only one who’d ever treated me the way a person who claimed to love someone should.
“I bet you’re relieved you didn’t let him finally wear you down, right, Elodie?” Sydney had to nudge me to bring me back to the present. “Way to hold out on a guy for two years. You made his true colors come through.”
“His true colors being pasty with a splattering of really unattractive body hair,” Jessie muttered.
“Truthfully, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner. Hans and I were never good together. He or I should have called things off months ago.” I shrugged like that was that, because it was.
Other than looking good on paper, Hans and I had never made sense. I’d never once looked at him and felt my stomach drop, and I knew all he’d seen when he looked at me was a young girl he was hoping to add to his rumored lengthy list of bed mates.
That was part of the reason I’d held out for so long—I didn’t want be one of a hundred others, or even one of a few. I wanted to be the one of one. The one he’d waited for. I wanted to be someone’s The One.
“Okay, so I’ve got a brilliant plan for Operation Over Hans VanPastyAss.” Sydney tipped back what was left of her drink, lifting her finger at the bartender. “We’re going to get good and mildly drunk, then we’re going to go see My Mortal Affliction from the front row, baby”—Sydney pulled a trio of tickets from her purse, fanning them in my face—“we’re going to get on our knees and worship that god of a lead singer of theirs, probably flash him a few dozen times, then we’re going to make out with some really fine specimens before we allow our heads to hit the pillow tonight.”
My eyebrows came together as I studied the concert tickets. I’d agreed to meet my friends for a drink after my earlier performance, but I hadn’t planned on anything else after this. As it was, I was already checking the time, hardly able to wait to crawl into my bed and put an end to this day.
From the friends’ texts I’d had to field who were just finding out about Hans’s and my split, to avoiding my parents’ incessant calls encouraging me to work things out, to the concert where I’d felt haunted by a ghost during the last few minutes, I was ready to put this day to bed.
“I’ve got early practice tomorrow,” I said.
Jessie lifted her finger at me. “You’ve always got early practice. That’s no longer an excuse to dodge life.”
I blinked, offended. “I’m not dodging life.”
“Correction, you dodge the fun parts of life.”
My mouth fell open a little as I looked at Sydney to back me up, but all she did was lift her hands and keep her lips sealed. I wanted to defend myself, but they were right. Other than the endless hours I spent playing piano, my life wasn’t very exciting. Outside of these two dragging me out for the occasional good time, my social calendar was pathetic.
I had no idea who this My Mortal Addiction was, what kind of music they played, or if I’d even like it, but having my friends call me out stirred something inside me. They were right. I’d spent enough time waiting for my life to really get started. Enough time feeling like an empty shell.
“Well?” I finished the last of my wine and slid off of my stool. “Ready when you are.”
Kat Austen is the secret pen name of a New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author. Kat writes short and steamy reads that leave hearts (and other parts) satisfied.