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Braving Lily: An Opposites Attract Rock Star Romance (EBOOK)

Braving Lily: An Opposites Attract Rock Star Romance (EBOOK)

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What happens when the limelight isn't all it was meant to be?


Lily

It's like the entire world is rushing ahead and I just want to stop the ride, I want to get off.

I need a rest. A break. An easy half-hour with someone who doesn't have stars in their eyes and money on their mind.

So, I sold a date in a charity auction, and when the recipient doesn't even bother to turn up, I question whether normal men are worth the effort. Turns out the rock star variety aren't.

But it irks me. Men don't stand me up – nobody does. I'm Lily Tyler, goddamnit.

What I know of this man is enough to pique my interest, and I'm not going to take no for an answer now. I'm having this date, one way or another.

Rhys

A setup, with a rockstar, organised by my mother. That's not what I'm looking for.

Some self-entitled little girl looking for a doe-eyed boy to worship her, I think not.

It's safe to say, after my marriage crumbled before my eyes, that I'm not interested in opening myself up to any kind of heartbreak again, ever.

But when I find myself backed into a corner, when she's asking for nothing more than a coffee, can I say no?

Will Lily manage to strong-arm her way into this date? Will Rhys get more than he bargained for if she does?

-----

Braving Lily is a steamy rock star romance. It's the fifth book in the True Platinum series. Can be read as a standalone.

If you love strong and sassy rock stars falling for the heartbroken boy next door, then Braving Lily is for you.

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TROPES

✓ A female rock star
✓ A nerdy, wounded British app developer
✓ A second chance at love
✓ Opposites attract
✓ And an unlikely meet cute

READ A SAMPLE

CHAPTER ONE
Lily
The hour ticked by fast, and a sinking feeling settled in the pit of my stomach. I rubbed my eyes, tired and ever so slightly off-put. Who knew offering an hour of my time for a good cause would bring so much unnecessary stress into my life?
“What do you want to do now, Ms Tyler?”
Noel glanced back at me from the front seat of the SUV, his dark gaze ever watchful, and his posture straight and alert. Sitting didn’t rob him of his imposing presence, yet so many of my stalkers had made the mistake of misjudging him. His hulking, broad-shouldered frame should have been warning enough.
“I’m not sure yet.” I fished out my phone.
A complete stranger shouldn’t have been able to push me off my axis. Especially not without meeting me.
Yet Rhys Jones had done just that.
If I couldn’t trust ordinary people not to mess with me, where did that leave me?
But then, the only men you’ve dated have been fame-hungry assholes.
Truth.
Something I couldn’t avoid no matter how hard I tried. If I ran across one more, I’d have to start wondering what about me as a person drew them like flies to rubbish.
No one stood me up. Ever.
When the realisation hit, when I applied the words to the hour-late date, it rocked me to my core. It didn’t help that my cousin and all his friends had been present to witness a failing someone couldn’t logically blame me for.
Yet the foreign feelings of rejection and shame took hold of my heart and squeezed it until I had to wonder if the ache would ever go away.
I’d tried twice now to fulfil the commitment. Surely, no one would expect me to keep rescheduling a date.
Or you could try one more time.
Sighing, I hit dial on a number I’d used far too frequently. The phone barely rang before the upbeat voice of an older woman spoke.
“Lily, how wonderful to hear from you so soon.” Her deep Welsh accent filled my ear, her voice clear as a bell, each word carefully enunciated and rolling off her tongue with a certain lyrical quality. “How was the date? Was Rhys well-behaved?”
Well behaved?
How old is this guy?
I bit my lip, her hope momentarily giving me pause.
“He didn't turn up.”
I should have worded it differently, but with the burn of rejection seeping into my bones, I didn't have the energy to make it sound pretty.
She gasped. “That can't be.”
I rolled my eyes. Unless he made himself invisible, there was no other explanation.
“He didn't contact you to say he couldn't make it this time?”
I didn't have his number. In the beginning, it had seemed simpler, and Noel had argued that sharing my personal number with too many strangers wouldn't end well.
“He didn't.” Annoyance pinched her voice. “I'm so sorry, Lily. I don't know what happened.”
“It's okay, Mrs Jones.” It wasn't, though I'd never admit that to her. She'd tried. I could hardly hold her accountable for her adult son. “But this is the second time. We tried, right?”
Silence on the line, and Noel's brows rose. I shook my head before turning my body more towards the tinted window.
“I hope that doesn’t mean you’re giving up.”
“I’m not sure what else I’m meant to do if he doesn’t want to make use of the date.”
“You're not getting out of this, Lily.” Her voice hardened. “I paid for a date. He’s getting a date.”
I paused, shocked by her sudden change in tone. She’d always been cheery and pleasant, but this? I frowned at the phone.
“If you won’t fulfil your end of the deal, I’m not above rescinding my donation.”
“When you put it like that,” I ground my teeth, “I can’t really say no.”
“Correct answer.” She sounded so pleased with herself. “Give me five minutes, Lily. I promise I’ll get this sorted out.”
I held back my exasperated sigh. Just tell her no.
“Okay, five minutes.”
We hung up, and Noel shook his head at me.
“You're too bloody giving, Ms Tyler,” he said, his voice hard. He turned around, muttering to himself about manipulative people.
Tell me something I don't know, Noel.
* * *
The car raced across Cardiff, the traffic unsurprisingly heavy for a Saturday. Even with the horns blaring and the constant stopping, none of it really registered.
For the second time in my life, a man consumed my every thought. Only this time, I didn’t even know what he looked like.
Why the hell did I let her talk me into this?
My fingers drummed against the door handle, impatient for the fiasco to end, but the closer we got, the more unfamiliar nerves danced beneath the surface.
Nervous. Me?
I’d forgotten the meaning of the word over ten years ago. Perform for a stadium full of hundreds of thousands of screaming fans and you become mostly immune.
But here I was, letting anticipation consume me.
Foolishly hoping this mystery man might have at least one redeeming quality to justify the whole mess.
When I broke up with Shaun, excitement for all the possibilities had filled me. We’d gotten together as teenagers. Everything either of us knew about romance and love, we learnt from each other or films. I wanted the zing of attraction every book and romantic comedy shouted about.
Two years later, and all I had to show for it was a smattering of tabloid rumours and multiple men on my publicist’s shit list. Bitterness festered inside of me, destroying my faith in humanity one date at a time.
The closer we got, the harder my heart pounded. I should have refused.
The SUV slowed to a halt in a suburban area, and I inhaled a nervous breath. Trees lined the street, and small lawns stretched between the houses and the quiet residential road.
“We’re here, Ms Tyler.” He glanced back at me over his wide shoulder, dark eyes creased with concern he’d never voice.
I could see the questions flitting across his face, could feel them echoing inside me.
What the hell am I doing?
Lily Tyler did not chase men.
She took her time choosing from the ones who threw themselves at her feet. She did not corner the man who stood her up…
I don’t get stood up in the first place.
I nodded and glanced out the window at the small, semi-detached house. A driveway stretched down the side of the red-brick facade. Small shrubs lined it, giving a neat edge to the property.
Kind of cute, in a cookie cutter sort of way. The fact it wasn’t a terrace house surprised me. Every house I’d encountered since leaving South Wales had been an old-school terraced house from the mining age, unless it was a council estate my parents forbade me from visiting.
There were no lights on, but then the sun still shone. No car in the drive either, but the garage door stood closed.
Mrs Jones promised he would be home. Yet as I gazed at the quiet house, I couldn't help but suspect she’d been wrong.
I reached for the door handle, my fingers wrapping around it. My hand tensed but I didn’t push the door open.
Are you actually going to do this?
I released the door and covered my face, massaging my temples as if an answer would come in the silence. Or the quiet thrum of indignation would melt away.
Neither happened.
Despite what his mother claimed, I had a hard time believing he hadn’t stood me up. I couldn’t shake the need to understand.
Why did he do it?
He knew who I was. Did that mean he did it consciously, and if so, why?
“Fuck,” I groaned into my hands.
Then I bit the bullet and threw the door open. I slid out of the SUV fast, my eyes narrowing on the navy blue door at the end of the path.
The door slammed behind me and as I raced up the path, my heels clattering loudly against the concrete. I noted a second slam. One glance over my shoulder confirmed Noel had exited the car and leaned against his door, arms crossed, watching me and the surrounding area with his usual tension.
The sight eased a little of the anxiety inside of me. Even if the guy turned out to be a psycho, my trusty bodyguard would be close enough to save me.
I tapped my fist against the door, applying more force than was strictly necessary. Tension coursed through me, pulling my shoulders back and locking my muscles while the moments ticked by and no one moved inside the house.
See? Not in.
The thought didn’t relax me. It only made the questions blare louder. If he wasn’t in, then his mother had lied to me. Did that mean she’d lied to me before?
I had two weeks before rehearsals for the biggest tour of my life started. Traipsing around Cardiff hunting for a man who knowingly or unknowingly fucked with me shouldn’t have been on the cards.
Yet I couldn’t make myself walk back down the path and leave.
“Can I help you?” A man called, dragging my attention away from the solid, unmoving door. His deep Welsh accent stroked my nerve endings in ways they hadn’t experienced in years. Not since Shaun.
I turned towards him, chiding myself for missing the car pulling in. Noel leaned against our car, his gaze fixed on the man but his lips pressed firmly together. The bastard could have warned me.
“Are you Rhys Jones?” I asked, my voice strong and confident and not vibrating with the confusing mix of annoyance and anxiety filling me.
He eyed me as he made his way to the front door.
“Yes? Do I know you?”
Piercing blue eyes snared me, burning through my nerves and momentarily making me forget why I should bristle at his question.
For a second, I lost control of my eyes. I scanned his body, his athletic build, clad in jeans and a tight black t-shirt, and swept-back brown hair. Dark stubble covered his jaw making me wonder what it would feel like against my cheek and… other places.
He cleared his throat and sense rushed back. My cheeks burned, yet another unfamiliar feeling.
Do I know you!
“You stood me up a few hours ago.”
“Oh. You’re…”
“Lily Tyler, yes.”
He continued to stare at me with no visible reaction to my name at all. No guilt, no sheepish glance at the floor, not even a glimmer of indignation at my appearance in front of his house.
“Five-time Grammy-winning lead singer of The Brightside?” The words tripped off my tongue harshly, immediately followed by a stab of shame.
Rhys shook his head, turning the dagger of guilt in my chest.
“That’s not going to work on me,” he said, tone bored. He brushed past me.
I spun on my heel, brows drawing tight. “What isn’t?”
“The affronted pop star act.” He slotted the key into the lock and glanced at me. “I don’t care who you are, how many awards you have or how many fans you’ve got.”
“Is that why you stood me up?” I asked, my voice hard.
I shook my head as he threw open his front door. A bitter laugh escaped me. “I think I get it. I’m famous and, therefore, it’s perfectly fine to be an ass?”
He stopped in the doorway, his shoulders stiff.
“No, that’s not —” Rhys spun around, his eyes wide and his cheeks burning with what I hoped was shame.
“It’s not what you did?” I crossed my arms and glared at him. “So you make it a habit to stand every woman up?”
“No, I—”
“Decided it was okay to do it to me because you didn’t arrange it yourself?”
“Can you give me a minute to think, woman? Jesus.” He growled, then dragged his hand through his hair. “I did not expect you to turn up on my doorstep,” he muttered, then stopped dead in his tracks and dropped his hand. “Do you have any idea how creepy this is? You might be okay with people camping out on your doorstep, but we normal people don’t expect to be ambushed in our homes.”
“Okay with people camping…” The number of times some asshole shrugged it off as a given of the job…
“You have some serious issues with fame, don’t you? Why the hell did you let your mother bid on a date with me if you hate famous people that much?”
“I didn’t know,” he forced through a clenched jaw.
“And that makes it perfectly okay for you to treat me like a blow-up doll?”
“I don’t think you’re a…” he struggled over the words.
His gaze tracked down my body in a way that should have made disgust coil inside of me. Instead, the burn of it made me hyper-aware of his proximity. At some point, he’d stepped towards me. Mere inches separated us now, and even in three-inch heeled boots, I had to tip my head back to stare into his stunning eyes.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
My mouth dried and the words on the tip of my tongue evaporated. His voice was heavy with sincerity, and I couldn’t bring myself to look away.
Then his expression hardened. “How did you find out where I lived?”
“Your mother.”
All the colour drained from his face. “My mother sent you here?”
Had he ever actually agreed to any of these dates?
I glanced up at Rhys, latching onto him like a lifeline. “I don't understand.”
Rhys sighed. “I tried to tell her not to.”
My lips pursed at his weak response. "So she decided it would be perfectly okay to waste my time and put me in danger?”
His brow furrowed. “How did my mother put you in danger?”
I hooked a thumb at my bodyguard. “He’s not for show.”
I’d only agreed to meet at The Hound because Rhiannon had a deal with the landlord to lock off the back room whenever they were in. Every exit had been covered. Noel had wasted a week preparing for it. All for nothing.
“Is that a gun?” Rhys swallowed hard when I nodded. He paled and went back to staring at stone-faced Noel. “Shit.”
Inside, I chuckled at his shock. Outside, I eyed him just as hard as my bodyguard, all pissed-off woman, sick of men (and their mothers) messing her around.
With a concerted effort, Rhys turned away from Noel and focused on me again. He dragged another hand through his hair and gripped the nape of his neck. Something softer had crept into his hazel eyes; it cut away the sharp edges, making him even more tempting and giving me pause.
“Okay, as much as I argued against it, my mother clearly didn’t think about the consequences.”
“That's one way of putting it,” I muttered.
“I'm sorry she dragged you into my mess.” Rhys winced. “That was a dick move.” He crossed the space between us and grabbed my hands in his. His touch felt warm against my cool skin. “My mother can be quite bullheaded,” he continued with a rueful smile.
He bit his lip and searched my face. Whatever he saw eased him. His shoulders relaxed and his expression hardened with determination.
“I’m not changing my mind on the date, but can I at least buy you a coffee to apologise?”
My turn to be indecisive.
Why are you here, if not to prove a point?
In two weeks, I’d be on a jet out of the country, prepared to spend two weeks straight in a rehearsal studio with my dancers, choreographing for the biggest and longest tour of my career. Setting myself up for attachments or more unexpected emotions would only make my job harder.
But then he flashed a smile and butterflies took flight in my stomach.
“Fine, one coffee, but Noel’s driving.”

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B
B.L.
The nerd and the rockstar

An overbearing mother leads to one of the funniest meet-cute I have ever read.
It is refreshing to see that a massive rockstar could react like a insecure 16 year's old teenage girl and that her man also had his own insecurities.
With the cutest little girl, a bench of new characters and a brooding bodyguard, this is a very good story and I can't wait for the next book.

J
Julia S
A lovely change to have a female rockstar

So lovely to read a rockstar romance with a female rockatar, the lovely Lily, lead singer with The Brightside.

Whiles trying to help her cousin Lily ends up auctioning a date with herself, only the date, Rhys, stands her up..... whi does that... she's a rockstar after all.

Continuing with the True Platinum Series, this is the first story featuring The Brightside, and its a definate hit... so worth the read.

I can't wait to read about the rest of the guys in the band, and I have to say, I have a slight crush on Lily's bodyguard, Noel......

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