Band manager James Brandon never expected to find the elusive satisfaction he’d been chasing, let alone stumble upon it in some sleezy Hollywood meat market. Yet the girl’s quiet pride spoke to him from across the bar, louder than a shout. Troubled, hungry and homeless, she’d placed her trust in him. But after losing the grip on his dark desires that one fateful night, James has spent the last four years atoning for letting her down.
This time I’ll finally crack him.
Rock band drummer Lita Regina has had enough of James’s guilt. She wants the explosive man she met that night in Hollywood. The man who held nothing back and took no prisoners—save Lita. And she’ll stop at nothing to revive him. Even if it means throwing herself into peril at every turn, just to get a reaction from her stoic manager. But when Lita takes her quest one step too far, James disappears from her life, thinking his absence will keep her safe.
Now it’s up to Lita to bring James back…and ignite an inferno of passion in the process.
Reader Advisory: ROUGH RHYTHM contains fantasies of nonconsensual sex, acted upon by consenting characters. Readers with sensitivity to portrayals of nonconsensual sex should be advised.
James has needs. Needs that he is ashamed of. He and Lita meet on a night when he wants to give in to those needs. Lita is homeless and needs a place to go. She goes to a bar to find a guy to go home with and that is when she meets James. They go to his hotel, spend the night together and before she knows it she is in a band and James is the manager. It is quite clear from the moment they meet that they have a connection.
Despite the fact that they may want a repeat of their night together, that never happens. They never even talk about that night. James makes sure their relationship is strictly business, but Lita is not having it. She's constantly putting herself in positions that require James to bail her out and after four years of playing rescuer, he's done. James leaving is the breaking point for Lita and she makes it her mission to bring him back. For the band and for herself.
We got a little taste of James and Lita in the previous book and I knew there was a story there. But holy crap, I wasn't expecting this story! I loved Lita. She was so kick ass and when she made up her mind that James was going to be hers, I knew that she would make it happen. Unfortunately for her, James is a difficult man and he doesn't make it easy. Thanks to events from his past, he truly believed that he wasn't good enough for Lita. Those were the moments in the book where my heart broke not only for James, but also for Lita. She loved him and wanted to make a life with him, but the man was so darn stubborn.
This book is intense. And please pay attention to the disclaimer. It's there for a reason. But this book is also SUPER hot and like most of Tessa's books, you will need to either take a cold shower or change your panties. Or maybe both.
“You came along at an unfortunate time, Lita.” His head gave a tight jerk, jaw clenching. “I haven’t been feeling like myself.”
“Really.” She set the donut down, her stomach executing a series of flips. Nervous ones, but not the type that made her want to run. Not the type she’d experienced before. These were hotter, fuller, curious. “How do you feel…instead?”
“I have hunger.” His dark gaze swung up, gluing her to the plush, leather seat. “I don’t know if it can be fed like yours.”
What was going on here? Lita felt almost hypnotized, lured in by his rasping, cultured voice. She recognized interest and arousal in men, had it directed at her often, but this? This was utter famishment. He reminded her of a vampire who’d been in hiding from the sun, unable to hunt. And now a deer lay before him, vital and tempting, life flowing through its veins. She was the deer.
Man. How crazy were her thoughts right now? The lack of food must have gone to her head. After the trouble she’d just escaped, she shouldn’t care what went on under another man’s surface. Shouldn’t allow this odd, instantaneous attachment to take hold.
The fuller her stomach became, though, the more her thoughts cleared. The more of James she saw. His interest in her, as he watched her mouth chew, was almost as thick as the leash around his neck, keeping him in place. If the lights in the room weren’t so dim, she could probably make it out. Strain bracketed his masculine mouth and he appeared to be swallowing golf balls down the column of his powerful throat. One…after…another.
“How did you get so hungry?” James asked, his tone suggesting he was reclining back onto a bed of nails.
Lita rejected the outside ugliness from entering the room. “I could ask you the same thing.” Her legs were steady as she stood and rounded the table, compelled by some force she couldn’t deny. Maybe it was his clear attempt to restrain himself, to fight the attraction so obvious between them. She stopped beside James, but he stayed still as stone. “I’m full. What happens now?”
His eyelids drooped, fist mashing against his forehead. “Go.”
That single, tortured word caught her in the chest. God, he was holding back so much. What would happen when it roared out?
Why was she trembling with the need to find out?
There was danger lurking beneath this man’s surface. Also known as the last thing a homeless girl wanting to turn her luck around needed.
Too bad danger was the only thing that had ever made her feel alive.
Lita walked past James to the lamp and flipped off the gentle light, before returning to his tense figure, sliding between his outstretched legs…and opening the robe. “Feed yourself.”
The air crackled as James stood slowly, so slowly, rising to his full height. When Lita glimpsed his changed expression, she realized that—at her invitation—a change had snapped through him like a cracking whip, despite the way he rose without hurry. The vampire’s dirt nap had officially ended and the invisible leash was no more. Power rippled over his beautiful body as it pressed close, a hand finding her hip inside the robe, squeezing, his mouth sliding against her ear.
His breath went choppy after issuing a single unexpected command.
ABOUT TESSA BAILEY
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention. She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.