Marrying Olivia Chapter 2 Preview

Marrying Olivia Chapter 2 Preview

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Do you think anyone would notice if I started fangirling on stage? Yeah, it probably wouldn’t go over too well. But Lewis Davies was staring at me like I’d fed him my grandmother’s county fair award-winning sweet tea.

I’d adored The Brightside forever. I’d been in high school when they’d hit it big. I’d fallen in love with their music. Then my mother surprised me with tickets to their Savannah show. She had never told me how she got them, but I didn’t care. I nearly lost my mind with excitement.

Seeing them live changed everything for me.

I’d wanted to make music ever since I could remember thanks to my granddaddy. Nearly every memory I had of him involved a guitar. He’d made it look so easy and seeing my fascination, he made it his mission to teach me.

Only it wasn’t easy in the slightest.

My impulsive nature nearly outdid my drive to learn, but thankfully, my grandaddy was a stubborn man. Because of him, I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage years fiddling with guitar chords and filling notebooks with snippets of lyrics.

Then I’d seen The Brightside live and something clicked.

Hope seeped beneath my skin and refused to let up.

They were only two years older than me, and they’d not only made incredible music, they’d broken out.

They were from a small Welsh town on the other side of the ocean. If they could make a real career out of music and hit it big in another country, then surely this small town South Carolina girl had a reason to hope. That concert lit a fire in me, a burning determination to chase my own musical dreams no matter the odds.

It hadn’t been easy. I moved to Nashville, wrote every free moment, played every showcase, worked every shift I could as a waitress to support myself and keep myself flexible for the moment my big break came. I poured my heart and soul into every note, every lyric, hoping someone would hear the truth in my words.

And it would come. I knew it in my bones.

I just didn’t think it would take ten years, or come directly from Lily Tyler, The Brightside’s lead singer. When that unknown number flashed up on my phone, I almost didn’t answer. It was right in the middle of a busy shift, but I’d spent so long waiting for that call that I’d scrambled into the kitchen and answered while the cook shouted at me.

He shouted some more when I quit on the spot and walked out. I didn’t even bother taking off my apron.

She’d given me a month to prepare, but nothing was going to stop me from living this dream of mine as soon as possible.

To anyone else, the speed at which I’d packed up my Nashville apartment, found a replacement for my roommate, and moved all my stuff back to Jasmine Bay would be depressing. They’d think it meant I hadn’t lived, but I saw it differently.

To me, it meant I’d achieved my goals. I’d been ready to leave on a dime when the moment came, and I did. I’d been prepared.

But this? I wasn’t prepared for this.

To be playing my second open mic in Los Angeles within a week and find myself staring at my teenage crush. For that guy, a super successful musician, to be watching me like I’d blown his mind… how was I supposed to react to that? My teenage self was screaming inside.

I’d braced myself for meeting him tomorrow. I’d given myself the pep talks, reminded myself not to stare at him like a lovesick teenager. I’d practised my introduction in the mirror, trying to strike the right balance between professional and friendly.

With my heart racing and my mind spinning, I knew none of it had worked.

The crowd cheered and applauded when I finished the set. The melody still hummed through my bones as I stepped off the stage and packed up my acoustic guitar. Exhilaration buzzed inside of me. I was drunk on the euphoric rush that always came with playing to an engaged audience, but it didn’t have a chance in hell of drowning out the nerves. My belly did somersaults worthy of an Olympic gymnastics team.

Should I walk up to him? Or should I sneak out and pretend I haven’t seen him?

I winced at the last idea. If I wasn’t allowed to be a lovesick teenager, I definitely couldn’t pull any of that high school bullshit.

This was the start of my music career, and he was part of the reason I had it. The least I could do was say hello. I owed him that much, even if the thought made my palms sweat and my mouth go dry.

I weaved my way through knots of people, exchanging grateful smiles and the occasional high-five. All the while, those damn nerves twisted in my gut and threatened to choke me.

It was nothing. Just saying hi to a normal guy I’ve never had a crush on and whose band wasn’t responsible for my entire career.

I scanned the room, rising up on my tiptoes to try and see over the shoulders of people much taller than me. The longer I looked, the more disappointment pinched my insides. It settled like a lead weight in my belly, dragging down the corners of my hopeful smile.

Maybe he’d left.

He didn’t owe me anything. I was just another opening act, a blip on his radar. Nothing special.

The host announced the next act. I’d get a drink and enjoy the rest of the night. Or, you know, drown my sorrows in a whiskey or three and chalk it up to another crazy LA experience.

I glanced over my shoulder, giving the room one final scan. When I still couldn’t spot him, I bit my lip. Disappointment dug deeper and I silently chastised myself for being so ridiculous.

Sighing, I turned back to the bar and slammed into a hard surface. It grunted and hands gripped my shoulders as I stepped back, blinking at the Super Mario image filling my vision.

“Maybe you should work out less,” I muttered. I rubbed my head, expecting a bump, but that would be ridiculous. I’d run into a person, not a wall.

“You alright?”

I froze. I couldn’t tear my eyes from what I now realised was a band t-shirt with ‘Hey Mario’ on it. If there ever was a moment when the ground needed to swallow someone, now was it.

Slowly, I dragged my gaze up his buff chest, over his stubbled jaw until his hazel eyes captured mine. They were even more mesmerising in person, flecks of gold catching the dim bar light.

He smiled and it creased his eyes, somehow making him hotter. That smile could’ve powered a small country. It certainly sent my heart rate skyrocketing and my brain short-circuiting.

Photos really didn’t do him justice.

The thought should have worried me, but all I could do was stare at him, my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth and my mind running off down a road it had no business going. One where we weren’t in a crowded bar, neither of us wore a stitch of clothing and I didn’t need to feel guilty for getting lost in his eyes. Where I could trace the lines of his tattoos with my fingertips, explore the planes of his body with my hands and lips...

“I’m Lewis Davies.”

“I know.”

I stared at him, dawning horror burning up my neck.

Way to make a stellar first impression.

He smirked. “And I know who you are.” He ducked his head, his eyes glittering with amusement. “But I figured you’d appreciate me not being the big-headed asshole that assumes his reputation precedes him.”

Despite the flush of embarrassment, I laughed. “Yeah, you might be right about that.”

He glanced briefly at the stage and then those captivating eyes landed back on me, stealing my breath all over again.

“You were incredible up there.”

“Thank you.”

“That last song gave me goosebumps.”

I fought the urge to pinch myself to check if this whole thing was nothing more than a dream.

“That means the world coming from you.”

I just about swallowed my tongue as the words fell from my lips. What in the world was I thinking? Might as well have asked him to sign my bra while I was at it.

“From a member of The Brightside, I mean.”

He nodded. “I didn’t...” he blushed and my insides squealed at the sight of it. He cleared his throat and tried again. “I come here whenever I’m in LA. I didn’t expect to find you, in case you thought—”

“That you were checking up on your investment?” My brows quirked and he laughed, the sound surprisingly nervous. It humanised him somehow.

“Yeah, that.” He turned, beckoning to the bartender at the nearby bar. “Would you fancy joining me for a drink?”

I opened my mouth to say yes — what else? — but then I spotted two of his bandmates at a table in the corner, watching us with amused grins.

“What about your bandmates?”

“Ignore them.” He shifted a step and blocked my view. “They’re big boys. They can look after themselves.”

“And I can’t?”

“No— I didn’t mean— Ah fuck.” He dragged a hand through his hair and laughed. “Do over?”

I couldn’t say a do over would make me forget that even he wasn’t immune to making an ass of himself. But I wasn’t about to torture the poor man. Not when he looked so adorably flustered.

“A do over sounds perfect,” I said with a smile and held out my hand. “I’m Olivia Monroe, but my friends call me Liv.”

His shoulders relaxed and his lips curled. “It’s nice to meet you, Olivia. I’m Lewis Davies, bassist for The Brightside. My friends call me Lewis, but I’m pretty sure I’d let you call me anything you want.” He bit his lip and eyed me with a question in his eyes.

Oh lord, is that a flirty look? It is, isn’t it? That little quirk of his lips, the mischief dancing in his eyes... Yep, definitely flirting.

Holy shit, Lewis Davies was flirting with me.

It was surreal, exhilarating, and absolutely terrifying all at once. He was even more gorgeous in person, all tousled hair and scruffy jawline and eyes that could make a girl forget her own name. And those lips... I could write a whole album about those lips alone.

Say something. Anything. Before he thinks you’re having a stroke or something.

“Yes, you can call me Liv,” I managed to say, my voice coming out breathier than I intended.

“Thank you.” His warm hand engulfed mine, his slightly calloused fingertips dragging across my skin, sending a tingle up my arm. His eyes sparkled with mischief and something else I couldn’t quite place. Something that made my belly clench and my thighs press together.

“Well then, Liv,” he said, his voice low and inviting. “How about that drink?”

I nodded, not trusting myself to speak again. He guided me towards the bar, his hand resting lightly on the small of my back. The simple touch sent my heart racing and my barely under control thoughts spiralling to forbidden places. Him pressing me up against the bar, his body flush against mine as his lips claimed my neck. His hands, those talented musician’s hands, skimming under my shirt, tracing the curve of my waist, the dip of my spine. Me hooking a leg over his hip, drawing him closer, feeling the evidence of his desire hot and hard against me. Imagined his fingers dipping into the waistband of my jeans, teasing, exploring, making me gasp and arch and beg for more.

Heat burned my skin when I shook it off. Lewis stared at me, an amused but intrigued glint in his eyes. I ignored it and focused on the bar and the array of bottles that promised to cure me of these nerves.

As we approached, the bartender set two drinks down in front of us.

“To serendipitous meetings.” Lewis clinked his glass against mine.

I eyed the amber liquid, a silly part of me wondering if it was fate that he knew I liked whiskey. I took a sip, the smooth whiskey warming my throat. It burned going down, but in the best way. Like the first touch of a lover’s hand.

“Do you make a habit of buying drinks for unsuspecting opening acts?”

He laughed, the sound rich and genuine. “Only the incredibly talented ones who nearly knock me on my ass.”

I ducked my head, my cheeks heating. “Flattery will get you everywhere, Mr Davies.”

“Please, call me Lewis. Mr Davies makes me feel like I’m in trouble.”

“Aren’t you? Are you supposed to be fraternising with the newbie?” I teased, emboldened by the whiskey and his easy charm.

“If this is trouble, I’ll gladly take the punishment.” His gaze raked over me appreciatively, setting my skin on fire. “How did you get from South Carolina to opening for us? Where did Lily find you?”

“That’s two questions.” I took a sip of my whiskey, the liquid courage warming my veins. “Where do you want me to start?”

“The beginning,” he said without so much as a beat of hesitation. “I have this overwhelming desire to know everything about you.”

I blushed again. I had to get a grip on my reactions to him and fast.

“It all started with a dream and a beat-up guitar.”

The same guitar my granddaddy taught me on, the one with the scratch on the body from when I’d dropped it trying to master my first G chord.

He chuckled, nodding in understanding. “The best things always do.”

I told him about my granddaddy and his stubborn as an ass attitude, how he held me to my fleeting wish to learn and wouldn’t let me stop. Not even when my fingertips were raw and bleeding, when I wanted to throw that guitar out the window and never look at it again.

That is until he died not long after I turned fourteen. Grief nearly drove me to put the guitar down for good, but with my mother’s unwavering encouragement I pushed through. She’d sit with me for hours, listening to me stumble through chords, never once complaining about the noise.

I didn’t tell him about The Brightside’s part in my journey.

“I moved to Nashville as soon as I graduated high school.” The memories flooded back. My mother crying buckets as she helped me load my stuff into the beat up truck my granddad left me. The truck I sold as soon as I got to Nashville to help with rent. “Figured if I was going to make it, that was the place to be.”

“I’ve spent my share of time in Music City. Played some of my first U.S. gigs in those honky-tonks on Broadway. It’s a special place.” His expression softened, a look of understanding shining in his gaze. Those hazel eyes seemed to see straight through me, to the heart of my hopes and aspirations. Like he knew, bone-deep, the hunger that drove me, the need to pour my soul out in lyrics and melodies.

“It wasn’t easy, making a go of it. I worked at just about every bar and restaurant in town, trying to make ends meet while I chased my dream.”

“I know that grind all too well. The late nights, the endless hustle...” He groaned. “We did it while in school. Didn’t make us all that popular with our teachers, but I’m sure they’ve changed their tune by now.”

“I have a long list of ex-bosses.” My smile slipped and my voice quieted, the words almost getting lost beneath the new artist performing on stage. “I can’t tell you how many open mics I played, hoping for my big break. Sometimes to a packed house, sometimes to an audience of one very drunk, very uninterested patron.” I shuddered at the memory. The stale smell of spilled beer, the drunken heckles, the soul-crushing indifference. It was enough to make anyone question their life choices.

“But you kept at it,” he said, his tone laced with admiration.

I shrugged, a small smile tugging at my lips. “Giving up wasn’t an option. Music... it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. All I’ve ever needed to do.”

“I can relate.”

We stared at each other, silence stretching between us as we — or at least I — got lost in each other’s eyes. My fingers itched to touch him, to find out if his facial hair would tickle like I imagined or whether it would be soft.

I caught myself leaning forward and slammed back into my chair, my pulse racing. “So...” I glanced away and cleared my throat while that annoying burn of embarrassment coloured my skin.

Don’t do it. You’ll give yourself away.

But curiosity got the better of me.

“What about you? How did The Brightside go from playing small town Welsh pubs to headlining world tours?”

A wistful smile danced on his lips, his eyes taking on a faraway look. “Similar story, different accent. It wasn’t a straight shot to success, that’s for sure.” He tapped the bar, keeping time with the singer crooning a love song on the stage behind me. “I started playing in pubs when I was a kid, barely strong enough to lift a bass, let alone tall enough to reach the mic. But I knew, from that first rush of performing, that I’d found my calling.”

“And the rest is history?”

“Hardly. They say we were an overnight success.” He laughed, the sound warm and rich. “We played every dive bar, every festival, every birthday party that would have us. Slept in the van more nights than I can count, lived off petrol station sandwiches and the kindness of strangers.” He shot me an amused look, but the edges were frayed. He seemed to brace himself before continuing, “But every step, every struggle... it was all worth it, to be able to do what I love, to share my music with the world.”

I probably imagined it or it was nothing more than the play of the stage lights, but I could have sworn something haunted flashed in his eyes. “But you made it in the end. You broke through.”

He nodded. “That we did.” His hand found mine on the bar, his rough, guitar-string calloused fingers lacing with my own. Sparks danced across my skin and an ache bloomed low in my belly. I squeezed my knees together, a futile attempt to ease the growing throb of desire, but the intensity in his gaze stole my breath and made me forget why I needed to fight it. “But something tells me the best part of our journey is just beginning.”


“Yeah,” he said, his voice low and intimate. “I have a feeling this tour, meeting you... it’s the start of something special.” His thumb traced maddening circles on my wrist.

My heart thundered, my skin tingling with anticipation it had no right to feel. I let the way he looked at me sink in, the way his hand felt in mine... it was electric. Magnetic. Like standing on the edge of a cliff, exhilarated and terrified and so, so alive.

“I think you might be right,” I managed, my voice hushed.

His thumb continued its torturous dance on my wrist, sending shivers cascading down my spine. “It’s like... like we were meant to find each other.” His eyes widened and for a second horror flooded his expression. “That’s not a line. I don’t… I’ve never said that to anyone before.”

Butterflies took flight in my belly. “Why would I believe a good-looking Grammy winner with legions of adoring fans hasn’t hit on a woman before?”

For the second time tonight, I wished the hardwood floor would open up and swallow me whole. He stared at me, a slow smirk unfurling on his face.

He leaned forward, invading my personal space until I was drowning in the earthy, spicy scent of him mingled with a hint of whiskey, until I couldn’t mistake the naked hunger in his eyes. “You think I’m good-looking?”

My heart slammed against my ribs, my mouth going dry. How was I supposed to answer that? The truth was obvious — he was the most gorgeous man I’d ever laid eyes on. But admitting that felt dangerous.

“I mean...” I stammered, my cheeks catching fire. “Doesn’t every woman?”

He didn’t let me off the hook. Instead, he leaned even closer, his nose almost brushing mine. I could count the flecks of gold in his mesmerising eyes, could feel the heat radiating off his body, and practically taste the whiskey on his breath.

“I’m not asking about every woman,” he murmured, his breath ghosting over my lips. “I’m asking about you, Liv. Do you find me attractive?”

There was no hiding from the intensity of his stare, from the raw, undeniable hunger simmering between us. With alcohol buzzing in my veins and his proximity clouding my judgement, I threw caution to the wind.

“Yes,” I breathed, the confession escaping on a sigh. “I find you incredibly attractive, Lewis.”

Something wild and reckless flared in his eyes.

“Good.” His gaze dropped to my mouth, his tongue darting out to wet his lips. “Now what are we going to do about it?”

My pulse kicked into overdrive, my skin suddenly too tight, too hot. This was dangerous territory. The rational part of my brain screamed at me to back off, to put some distance between us before I did something I couldn’t take back. But the part of me that had been drawn to him from the moment I saw him, the part that craved his touch, his attention... that part was rapidly winning out.

“Lewis...” I started, my voice shaky. “We’re going to be working together. Closely. For the next six months. Maybe we shouldn’t...”

“Shouldn’t what?” he challenged, his hand coming up to tuck a strand of hair behind my ear. His fingers lingered, tracing the delicate shell, sending a shiver racing down my neck. “Shouldn’t act on this connection between us? Shouldn’t explore whatever this is?”

I swallowed hard, my resolve crumbling under the heat of his gaze. “It’s risky. If things didn’t work out...” If I let myself fall and he didn’t catch me...

“Who says they won’t?” He cupped my cheek, his thumb caressing my cheekbone, leaving a trail of sparks in its wake. “I know we just met. I know we’re about to go on this wild, intense journey together. But what I feel... it’s real. It’s powerful. And I don’t want to ignore it.”

His eyes bored into mine, dark with promise and sincerity. Every cell in my body was screaming at me to lean in, to close the distance and kiss him like I’d been dreaming of doing for half my life.

“I’m not suggesting we elope. I’m just asking for a chance. One night, to see where this leads.”

He leaned in closer, his lips a whisper from mine. “Here’s what I propose. We have one more drink. We talk, we laugh, we enjoy each other’s company. And then we walk out of here together, catch a cab to my hotel... and let the night take us where it will. No pressure, no expectations. Just you and me, exploring this fire between us. What do you say?” His voice was rough, gravelly with restrained desire, his eyes molten pools I wanted to drown in.

My mouth went dry. It was a tempting offer, the promise of a night with him, no strings attached. A chance to indulge the fantasies I’d harboured for so long, without worrying about the consequences.

“What about the tour? What about tomorrow?”

“We’ll figure it out,” he assured me. “One day at a time. But I don’t want to look back and wonder what if. I don’t want to regret not taking this chance, not seeing where this could go.” He brushed his thumb over my lower lip, his touch searing, branding me with possibilities.

His words struck a chord. How many times had I held myself back, let fear dictate my choices? How many opportunities had I let slip by, too afraid of the risks to reach for what I wanted?

Not this time. Not with him.

“Okay,” I whispered, my voice steady with newfound resolve. “Let’s do it. One more drink. And then... let’s see where the night takes us.”

Read Chapter 3


Series: True Platinum #7

Genre: Rock Star Romance

Release Date: May 23, 2024

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Morgana Bevan British celebrity romance author

Meet Morgana

Morgana Bevan is a sucker for a rock star romance, particularly if it involves a soul-destroying breakup or strangers waking up in Vegas. She’s a contemporary romance author based in Wales. When Morgana’s not writing steamy celebrity romances with gorgeous British rock stars and movie stars, she’s travelling the world, searching for inspiration.

She enjoys travelling, attending gigs, and trying out the extreme activities she forces on her characters