Elliott, Carrie: Cover Me
Title: Cover Me
Author: Carrie Elliott
Release date: June 23rd, 2014
Derek Bast, always has the final say. In business and in his personal life, things are done his way, or not at all. So when a scathing review of his new band is published in The Scene and has his record producer second guessing his artistic choices, his band mate trying to call the shots, and Bast’s manager convinced he’s impossible to work with, it’s time to hunt down the source of his problems: Bess Halprin, reviewer for The Scene, the girl next door growing up, and his ex-best friend since senior year when she decided to hate him for no reason.
The last person Bess Halprin wants to see standing in the lobby of The Scene is Derek Bast. Unfortunately, she can’t deny that the last nine years look damn good on him. She expected to hate him. She didn’t expect the way he can still tug at her emotions, or the way his kiss—and his hands—set her on fire. Bess should’ve kept her distance, because Bast was right when he guessed her review was written for revenge. The problem is, to this day he has no idea what he did—how he screwed her over their senior year. The bigger problem? She’s giving him the opportunity to do it again, because she never could resist him.
When circumstances bring them both home to Santa Cruz, Bast earns his way into the heart of the girl next door, but when they return to L.A. and real life rushes in, will he be able to keep her this time or are the mistakes in their past destined to be repeated?
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When the hell did Bess get so feisty? I thought I had her there for a minute. She was so close to giving in. Jesus, with any other woman, I’d already be in a room upstairs, naked and sweaty.
That wasn’t something I’d ever wanted before with Bess, so it was a strange thought. There was the one time we kissed and it was as much a shock to me as it was to her. I didn’t even remember who initiated it, but both of us agreed it wasn’t something that should happen again, so that couldn’t be what she was pissed about.
Why had we agreed it shouldn’t happen again?
Oh, right, because she wasn’t whoever she was now. This Bess was a temptress, intentional or not. Her hair was silky soft, her scent somewhere on the side of floral, but with hints of vanilla that made me want to lick her like an ice cream cone. And those freaking glasses. My God, I wanted to fuck her in her thigh highs, red heels and black-rimmed glasses.
I downed half my Jameson to settle down. The point of this meeting was to get her to retract her review, not to get her out of her skirt. She’d already shot down my attempt at that anyway.
I hadn’t planned on the word vomit that came out about the day she left for college or Christmas Eve. It pissed me off, though. No matter what happened between us, no matter that we didn’t talk all senior year, she was leaving—going away—and I figured whatever went wrong between us would be put aside to say goodbye. Apparently, she’d ridded herself of me long before then.
Too bad for her, I was back and not going anywhere until I had answers and a retraction of the review she admitted had a personal slant to it.
I slammed back the rest of my drink, heard her heels clicking on the tile floor toward me, spun around and stood up.
“Ready?” she asked.
“For dinner. I’m starving.”
She heaved a sigh and gave me an exaggerated blink. “It’s been nice catching up. Good luck to you, Derek.” Then she turned and headed for the lobby.
“Where do you want to eat?” I asked, not letting her off the hook. I glanced down at my jeans and t-shirt. “I’m not really dressed for anything too fancy, but I remember you love a good burger.”
She stopped and faced me, let her eyes wander over my face, then down to my chest, my waist, my legs. When she looked back up her expression was odd, almost sorrowful. “What?” I asked.
Bess shook her head slightly. “I don’t want to regret this.”
Her words were heavy with meaning. I wasn’t sure I was ready for that much meaning. “It’s only dinner.”
She reached up and put a hand on my shoulder. “It’s never only anything with you.”
I wasn’t sure she meant that in a good way or a bad way. Maybe she didn’t know either. “Burgers then?”
Bess let her shoulders relax and her mouth shift into a smile. “Burgers.”
She turned and strode toward the doors. “Forgiveness?” I asked.
“Not on the menu,” she said, flinging the words over her shoulder.
“Maybe not tonight…” I said.
“Maybe not ever.” She smiled at the doorman as we passed.
Carrie Elliott is the author of the rock star romance, Cover Me and its follow-up, the short story Listen To Me (available free to newsletter subscribers after July 23: http://eepurl.com/SYvZD). She lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids, is forever remodeling and undergoing a DIY projects, loves to read and hates to cook. Coffee and dark chocolate are her writing fuel and she’s stocking up! Look for more hot guys and feisty women to come!