Touring with Beggar’s Choice. Sharing a bus with four of the hottest men in the music business. Most women’s dream – one woman’s nightmare!
Three years ago Nell’s world came crashing down around her and she removed herself from an industry that had taken everything from her. Circumstances however dictate that she take the job of backing singer to Beggar’s Choice while they tour Europe. She adopts the motto of get in and get it done, but she never expects to fall for Sid Hudson, the enigmatic guitarist, and a man with more baggage than an airport conveyer belt!
Eighteen months ago Sid Hudson suffered a much publicized overdose. Now he’s clean and sober for the first time in years, and focused on living a different life. He can’t help noticing the beautiful singer touring with them, but after his last toxic girlfriend, the last thing that he needs is to fall into another relationship.
She doesn’t want to fall in love with a rock star. He doesn’t want to fall in love at all. Sometimes it’s the choices that we don’t make that are the best ones.
This is Book Two in the Beggar’s Choice series but it can be read as a standalone.
“Help you love?”
I turn to see a wooden table on which is leaning the unmistakably fine figure of Bram O’Connell the bass guitarist of Beggar’s Choice. His backside is resting on the table and his fingers are beating time on the wood to some tune in his head. He unleashes the power of his famous smile on me, all dimples and white teeth in his tanned face and I blink slightly.
“I’m here for the auditions,” I say slowly.
“Ah now love that might be a problem,” he says and I hear a snort come from the other side of him. Moving sideways a step I can now see that there’s someone else sitting at the table. Another step and I see the unmistakable form of Sid Hudson. He’s kicking back on his chair with his long legs propped up on the table. He’s looking at something on his phone, and he obviously doesn’t pay attention to smoking laws because he has a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and a stream of smoke coming out of his nose. I cough slightly and wave my hand in front of my face and without looking at me he smirks and blows out another stream of smoke, his lips almost pouting. Prick! Remembering Bram I take off my cross expression and paste an ingratiating smile back onto my face.
“I know I’m a bit late.” I begin, taking off my coat so they can’t immediately throw me out.
“A bit?” comes Sid’s deep, rough voice. “Auditions finished an hour ago sweetheart. If you can’t make these on time how the hell are you going to be on stage on time?”
Ignoring him steadfastly I turn back to the more approachable figure of his bandmate. “I’m so sorry,” I continue as if his friend hadn’t spoken, and Bram smirks. “The bus was late and I’ve run for a mile to get here.”
“Should have moved a bit quicker then,” comes the muttered voice again.
“I’m sorry,” I say curtly. “I can’t hear what you’re saying through that cigarette.” Picking up my dropped smile I paste it back on again and turn back to Bram who is starting to look very entertained. “As I was saying I’m sorry I’m late but I’m here now. Could I possibly sing for you very quickly?”
“Instruments have been packed away now,” Sid offers happily and still he hasn’t looked at me, focusing instead on his bloody phone and tapping away with one long finger. The man is seriously starting to fuck me off.
“I don’t need instruments. I’ll just sing if that’s okay?” I offer to Bram.
“Can’t hurt,” he says, turning to his bandmate. “What do you think Sid?”
“Whatever,” comes the careless reply and I feel my face flush with rage. A few years ago people were paying to hear me sing and now I can’t give it away.
“Fine,” I say snappily, throwing my coat over a chair and rolling my sleeves up. I tap my foot to get my beat and then point a finger at Sid. “This one’s especially for you Mr Hudson,” I say and launch into the opening verse of Lily Allen’s ‘It’s Not Fair’. By the time I get to the chorus and I’m singing about him being no good in bed Bram is openly laughing and looking at Sid who has at least put his phone down and there’s a slight smile playing on his mouth. Then I throw myself into the song and really let go, and suddenly the atmosphere changes and both men focus. Bram straightens up and Sid slowly lowers his feet to the ground and sits forward, his attention now solely on me. I look at him clear of smoke for the first time and blink because he’s even more beautiful in person than his photos let on. His hair is collar length, shiny and a dark conker brown, and it frames a face with high, flat cheekbones and full lips. He’s rocking rough stubble which is almost a beard, his skin is a lovely olive colour and he stares back at me his gaze considering. I come to the end singing the final line about all he does is take and the room falls into silence, broken only by the sound of clapping from the roadie behind me. I turn round and curtsy, mockingly holding out the skirt of my dress and the man laughs. “Bravo!” he shouts, kissing his fingers to his mouth. I smile feeling that old familiar rush that comes when you please people with your voice. In the old days it would have been thousands of people cheering, but now I’ll settle for one portly roadie. I turn back to the two men and find Bram smiling widely.
He claps his hands together. “That was fucking brilliant. You can certainly sing love. What do you think Sid?” and he turns to his friend who is staring at me unblinkingly.
“I know you from somewhere,” he says slowly, his eyes a deep piercing blue which remind me of the colour of the Cerulean Blue crayon from my Crayola box when I was a kid. My heart sinks. I don’t need this now.
“I don’t think so,” I say quickly. “We’ve never been introduced. I’m sure you’d have remembered me.”
Bram laughs but Sid still stares at me and I fidget uncomfortably.