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Rock Hard by Kat Austen

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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.

   My music was an extension of my soul—the tone of it a reflection of my mood. But the heart of it was him. It always had been, and I guessed it always would be.
    I was playing to a sold-out audience at one of the large theaters in Los Angeles, but at the last minute, I had changed my line-up of songs for the night. Instead of the softer fare of nocturnes and lullabies I’d planned on, I’d exchanged Chopin’s and Mozart’s most eloquent pieces for Tchaikovsky’s and Beethoven’s most heartbreaking composures. I couldn’t play light songs when my heart felt heavy. I couldn’t give the audience beautiful pieces when my world felt forlorn.
   I couldn’t play his song to an audience who wouldn’t understand.
   The last few haunting chords of Medtner’s “Night Wind Sonata” were echoing through the auditorium when I felt the hairs on the back of my neck rise. Chills spilled down my spine, puddling in my feet as I focused on hitting the last notes.
   The crowd’s applause exploded through the room as the final note reverberated around me. Usually I slid from the bench a few moments later, took a bow, and whisked off the stage. Tonight I felt glued to the bench, my fingers stuck to the keys.
   That strange sensation abated just enough so that I could move again, though just barely. Pulling my shaking hands off of the keys, I forced myself to rise from the bench. The audience was still applauding, starting to rise to their feet as I attempted the same.
   I’d been playing to crowds since I was six—I’d been performing to sold-out crowds around the country for the past few years—but never had I felt like this before. Trying to collect myself as I moved to the front of the stage, I concentrated on holding my composure when I’d never felt less composed. Shaking hands, wobbly legs, pit in my stomach, shivers down my spine . . . I’d experienced this kind of sensation before, but never in this kind of context.    
   I’d felt it the first time I looked at him and he looked back. The first time he’d reached for my hand and tied his fingers through mine. The first time he’d kissed me, that time after piano practice. I’d felt it a million other times, but I’d only felt it with him.
   As I took my bow—the pitch of the applause increasing as I did so—I just noticed a figure drifting out of one of the rows and moving up the aisle toward the back of the theatre. It was a man’s frame moving in an achingly familiar way.
   By the time I’d lifted out of my bow to see the crowd again, he was gone. A conjuring of my imagination. The ghost that followed me wherever I went.
   As I left the stage, I reminded myself he was gone.

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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.




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