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Daring Ceri: A Second Chance Rock Star Romance (PAPERBACK)

Daring Ceri: A Second Chance Rock Star Romance (PAPERBACK)

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The spotlights stole her heart once. Now they're stealing her future — and she's not leaving without a fight.

Alex

Who knew a drunken ceremony in Fiji could be legally binding? Not me, but I'm not complaining.

I couldn't figure out how to make her give me a second chance, how to prove I've changed from the jerk who dumped her years ago. Now I have my chance to show her the man I've become — and this time, the finale will be just the start.

Ceri

I'm engaged. I've moved on. Yet destiny drops the man who broke my heart back into my life with no warning.

Now the rock god who ditched me for fame is blackmailing me into a three-month tour that will wreck everything I've worked for.

I know better. Some days, I hate him. But despite our history, his rhythm still calls to me.

I won't be another conquest. If he thinks I'll surrender to the same fantasy that ruined me before, he's wrong. But refusing him could mean losing it all.

Daring Ceri is a steamy second chance rock star romance following two childhood sweethearts and an eight-year-old accidental marriage.

For readers who love forced proximity, second chance love, and the kind of romance that never fades.

 

 

PAPERBACK - Book 6 in the True Platinum Series, by Morgana Bevan.

 

 

 

 Paperback 366 pages
 Dimensions 13.97 x 2.34 x 21.59 cm
 ISBN 978-1919609188
 Publication date 25 September 2023
 Publisher C Bevan Publishing
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CHAPTER ONE
Ceri
I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, twisting my diamond engagement ring around my finger while I waited my turn at the registry office.
Once I got the marriage licence sorted, I could enjoy my rare free afternoon. What I’d do with it, I had no clue. An endless line of options piled up inside my head.
A new dance film had just released that Richard refused to watch with me. I didn’t really like the idea of going to the cinema alone, but at least I’d get to see it.
And I’d almost definitely leave with the deep-seated urge to dance. Then I could stop by the dance studio after.
When I finally reached the clerk, her fingers flew over the keys in a flurry as she double-checked the records on her outdated monitor. Seconds after she started her fingers froze and something inside of me twisted.
Something’s wrong.
Her brows pinched together, and her lips puckered, twisting that knife of concern deeper. When her eyes lifted to meet mine, I tensed.
“Ms Daniels, there seems to be a problem.” She turned the monitor to face me and pointed at a blurry licence. “According to this, you’re already married.”
My heart stopped.
Married? That was impossible. Someone must have made a mistake.
But then my eyes narrowed on the signatures, my own, and a sickeningly familiar name next to it.
“I can give you papers to file the divorce, but as you’ll understand, I can’t issue a marriage licence until this one is dissolved.”
I vaguely remembered ending up in Fiji with Alex one summer, getting stupidly drunk. But I didn’t know we were married, let alone that it would be legally binding.
We must have been, I don’t know, twenty-one? Eight years had passed at least since I’d last laid eyes on the man.
How could Alex do this to me? And what would happen to my life now that I was legally bound to him?
What would Richard say?
I sat in my car, staring blankly at the steering wheel.
I couldn’t tell Richard. Not if I wanted a chance of maintaining the life I’d painstakingly built. He’d lose his shit.
No, I needed to handle this.
With trembling hands, I pulled out my phone and searched for Alex on social media, something I hadn’t done in years. It used to be a daily habit. Until Fiji, come to think of it. After I got back, I decided to stop torturing myself, keeping track of him and all the models he was pictured with.
A video of him in a familiar bar loaded, posing in a familiar hallway plastered in rock magazine covers, pointing at one with his band.
The timestamp marked the post an hour old.
Of course a millionaire musician would be hanging out in a bar in Cathays on a Saturday afternoon. Only us people like me had to work.
Why was he even in Cardiff? He’d lived in LA for eleven years, pretty much ever since we broke up. He left for the headlining tour and never came back, unless it was to talk me into some whistle-stop holiday that I’d never been able to make myself refuse.
He wouldn’t make it easy — nothing ever was with him — but the timing… that had to mean something.
Still, no matter how serendipitous his being in Cardiff right when I needed him was, some part of me would always be the naive, lovesick seventeen-year-old he left.
And that lovesick girl had a major problem. She couldn’t see him for the wolf he was.
It would be far too easy to let him sweet talk me, to fall into old habits. I needed to be prepared to push all of the good memories away, to push him away, and take what I wanted for once. No way in hell would I let him stand in my way when I was so close to getting everything I wanted, the life I deserved.
I took a deep breath and steeled myself for what I had to do. I put the car in gear and headed towards the pub.
* * *
By the time I got across Cardiff, there were no free tables, and the line at the bar stood three people deep. The football crowd had well and truly turned out for the weekend game.
Not that any of it mattered. I wouldn’t find The Brightside out in the open. No, they were far too recognisable now.
I pushed through the crowd, trying to be as gentle and polite as I could, but my patience ran out when five minutes ticked by and I’d barely cleared half the room. A chorus of grumbling followed me as I picked up my pace and liberally used my elbows, but I made it to the hallway tucked in beside the bar.
For a second, I could breathe again, but my relief died before it could fully form. Two guys in suits blocked my path, arms crossed in a way that brooked no argument.
That’s new.
The one on the left was a hulking ginger, his beard doing little to hide the smirk tugging at the corners of his mouth as he eyed me. His companion was taller still, with dark hair and eyes that skimmed over me with bored indifference. Something about his gaze suggested he judged everyone by appearances alone, and mine had already been found wanting.
I stifled a groan. At least the ginger seemed to find this whole affair entertaining. His companion looked ready to toss me out with the rubbish.
Anger simmered in my veins, fuelling my resolve. However long it had been, their guards were no match for my determination to take back control of my life. I would see Alex if I had to move heaven and earth and all the overstuffed suits that came with them.
“Bathrooms are to the right,” the ginger one said, his Scottish brogue tinged with amusement.
My brow furrowed as he gestured towards the main bar before crossing his arms again. Granted, I hadn’t looked at myself in the mirror since leaving the house this morning, but surely anyone with even a lick of sense could see the anger hardening my expression.
Instead, he stood there smirking like I was the best entertainment he’d seen all day.
Tell him where to stick his condescending smile and get on with it.
As appealing as the idea seemed, I didn’t do that any more. I had a handle on my temper now.
“I’m here to see Alex,” I said.
The Scot gave me a once over, his brows climbing. “Hate to break it to you, love, but you’re not his type.”
I bit back a biting retort. “Just tell him Ceri’s here to see him.”
The Scot chuckled. “Sorry, sweetheart. Mr Thomas doesn’t take unscheduled visitors. His manager would have my head if I let just anyone back there.”
“Mr Thomas?” I tried not to snort at the ridiculousness of it but it was hard. “I’m not just anyone. We’re... old friends.” I kept my tone indignant but calm. For now.
He eyed me doubtfully. “Even if that were true, Alex has particular tastes in women. And you don’t fit the bill.” His gaze tracked down my body again. “For one, you’re far too leggy.”
My hands clenched into fists. “You have no idea what you’re talking about. Tell Alex that Ceri needs to speak with him. Now.”
He smirked. “I doubt he’d care. I suggest you run along before you cause a scene.”
I stepped closer, meeting his glare with one of my own. “The only one causing a scene here is you. Tell Alex I’m here or I’ll—”
“You’ll what?” he scoffed. “Stamp your foot some more? I’ve dealt with groupies far more intimidating than you, sweetheart.”
Groupies. He thought I…
Rage boiled up inside me at his arrogance and the insinuation that I would ever throw myself at a musician because of their fame. Apparently I couldn’t even get rid of the one I had.
“Maybe if you were better at your job, you’d know I’m not some obsessed fan. I’m his bloody wife!”
A familiar voice spoke from behind him. “Wife?”
I peered around the bodyguard to see Alex standing there, completely stunned.
He looked the picture of a successful rock star — if your image included a man over six foot three, wearing ripped skinny jeans and band shirts that he’d almost certainly owned since we were in school.
When we first got together, he was the typical skinny musician. Over the years, his lanky body had filled out. I wasn’t delusional, I knew the bastard would be just as hot as when we’d parted, but couldn’t time have made him a little less attractive to me?
The guard whirled around, his confused gaze darting between Alex and me. “Have you been holding out on me, pal?”
Alex’s brow furrowed, his eyes never leaving my face. “I haven’t the faintest idea what she’s on about either, Brodie.”
I bristled at the way he spoke, as if I weren’t there, but held my tongue. After so long, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from him.
The picture of a man who’d just rolled out of bed after a good fuck.
“You’re saying you two aren’t…?” Brodie gestured between us, struggling for words and tearing my attention away from ogling Alex’s body.
“No!” Alex insisted.
“Say it with a little more conviction.” Brodie snorted. “Well this is one for the books. How’d you manage to misplace an entire wife?”
“I didn’t misplace anyone!” His eyes collided with mine, searching for answers. “It’s a joke, isn’t it, Cez?” He ran an agitated hand through blond hair longer now than it used to be but still unruly as ever. “Getting back at me after all these years?”
Indignation flooded in, quick and hot. As if I had nothing better to do these past eight years than plot revenge. Please.
“According to the records I saw today, we’ve been legally married for eight years,” I said, my voice perfectly level and not brimming with a need to strangle him.
Alex stared at me, slack-jawed. “How... how is that even possible?”
Brodie chuckled. “I was just taking the mickey about forgetting a wife. How’d you really manage that?”
Alex threw up his hands in frustration. “I didn’t manage anything! I don’t know what she’s on about.” His expression turned pleading. “Please. Be serious.” He stepped around Brodie, grabbed my hand and tugged me into the hallway.
“Hey!” Brodie protested.
Alex cut the bodyguard a hard look and his mouth slammed shut. Then he focused all of that attention back on me. My treacherous body loved the feel of those intense eyes fixed on me and only me.
“We’re not married.”
My simmering anger reignited in an instant. Maybe I needed to take more meditation classes because this shit was not holding. I unfolded the paper I’d tucked into my pocket at the registry office and slammed it against his chest.
“Then explain this.”
His bewildered expression melted away as he read the photocopied marriage certificate.
“Fiji?” He glanced up, his blue eyes fixed on me with an odd, calculating light. A slow grin spread across his face.
What the hell was he thinking?
“Well, what do you know, Twinkle Toes? I always said you couldn’t get rid of me that easy.”
His casual declaration and use of my old nickname set my teeth on edge. Brodie peered over his shoulder, brows climbing as he read. “You’ve kept me in the dark all this time, you sly dog.” He shook his head, chuckling. “No wonder you’ve been so tight-lipped about your love life.”
Alex glanced at him in disbelief. “Don’t look at me, I’m as shocked as you are! But can’t fight the facts, apparently.” His gaze swung back to me, grin unwavering and that disconcertingly calculating look in his eye. “Or fate, seems like.”
I folded my arms, pulse racing. This could not be happening. “There’s nothing about this that’s fate, Alex. I have a life now...”
I needed this divorce.
Why was he smiling like that?
“It was just a local ceremony. There wasn’t even an officiant.” I bit back the edge of panic but only just. Alex noticed; he always noticed. “We can’t actually be married!”
Alex quirked a brow. “Says right here we are.” He pointed at our signatures on the certificate. “And after so long, I doubt an annulment would do the trick. We’re well and truly stuck with one another now, Twinkle Toes.”

Tropes

✓ A surprise marriage
✓ and a second chance at love
✓ for a playboy rockstar
✓ and an ex-dancer
✓ forced proximity on tour
✓ tour bus antics and smexy times
✓ and best of all, he’s all in from the start!

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