Book & Author Details:
Play Your Heart Out by Crystal Kaswell
(Sinful Serenade #4)
Publication date: May 24th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
He parties like a rockstar.
She’s there to make sure no one finds out…
Jess James has her eye on the prize. She is finding the money to pay for law school. Period. She is starting a new life on her own. Period. And she’s absolutely staying in Los Angeles, three thousand miles away from the people who expect her to lie for them. It doesn’t matter how lonely she gets on her own, how exhausted she is from working overtime as a cocktail waitress, or how deep the knife wound in her back cuts. She is going to be a lawyer, whatever it takes.
Only she doesn’t have what it takes. She can barely afford to pay her rent.
Sinful Serenade bassist Pete Steele has enough to pay Jess’s rent and buy her a small island in the Caribbean. The famous, talented rock star has everything… except the one thing his manager wants. Pete rose to fame as a devoted boyfriend. Doesn’t matter that his ex slept with his best friend, he needs to stop screwing his way through Los Angeles to keep his reputation clean. Pete works hard, and parties harder… and the sweet, blond waitress is exactly the girl he needs on his arm if he wants to keep the record company happy.
Their arrangement is simple: he pays her tuition, she plays his girlfriend. They’ll lie to the world, but not to each other. Especially not when they’re alone, in his bed, him figuring out exactly which buttons to push to get her moaning his name.
Jess is good at keeping up appearances. She can play the enigmatic rock star’s girlfriend. But Pete shouldn’t play games with a girl who’s been broken before…
For twenty minutes, I soak in the warmth of the sun, the soft breeze on my arms, the sharp aroma of fresh cut grass.
There are footsteps. Someone sits next to me. I don’t need to look up to know it’s Pete. I can feel his presence in the way my shoulders relax.
Even when he frustrates me, he makes me feel like I can float.
His fingers brush the back of my hand. “You excited?”
I take a long look around the quad, memorizing the shape of the tall trees, the red brick of the main building. “This is the next three years of my life.”
He moves closer. Until our shoulders are touching.
Still, I keep my eyes on the school. Looking at him is too risky. I might mount him right here on the grass.
He drags his fingertips over my forearm. Damn musicians and their masterful hands. I’m already flushed and wanting.
“Any chance you’re taking up entertainment law? Like you a lot more than our current lawyer,” he teases.
“No. It pays well but it doesn’t interest me.”
“Atticus Finch doesn’t argue royalty percentages.”
My stomach flutters. He remembers what I said about To Kill a Mockingbird. “Am I that obvious, wanting to be a defense attorney?”
“You want to get murderers off. Cold. Exactly what I expect from you,” he teases.
Finally, I look at him. Damn, the affection in his deep brown eyes takes my breath away. How can he have his guard down so quickly when it was up so high last night?
I run my fingertips over his chin. I can’t help it. He’s beautiful.
I make my voice as confident as I can. “Only person I want to get off is you.”
His lips curl into a smile. “Only if I get you off first.”
My cheeks flush. I want to. But I can’t deal with him closing off again. “You bailed yesterday.”
He says nothing.
Okay. That’s not the best sign. I study his expression for a clue to his intentions, but the only thing I can place is confusion.
“Why did you do that?” I ask.
“I was thinking.”
He moves closer. His eyes fix on mine. “You haven’t told me why you want to be a defense attorney.”
“I guess it started before To Kill a Mockingbird. My friend, Kathryn—”
“The one who sleeps around?”
I laugh. “That one. We’ve been friends since kindergarten. She got bullied a lot. One day, I think it was third grade, a few of the popular kids ganged up on her and starting a fight. When the teachers broke it up, the popular kids all said Kathryn started it. Nobody listened to her. They barely gave her a chance to defend herself. It wasn’t fair. Everyone deserves a defense.”
“What about your ex?”
“It’s not a crime, being a cheater or an asshole.”
His brow knits. “But if it was?”
“I guess he’d deserve a defense. I always let him get his way, never challenged him. But I didn’t offer much of myself. I didn’t make an effort to get to know him. I didn’t love him the way Tom loves Willow. Or, uh, what was it, Drew and Kara?”
“It was nothing like that. Not even close.” I swallow hard. “Reasonable doubt is the cornerstone of our justice system.” I sound like a textbook. I continue anyway. “The police can’t just know what happened. They have to prove it. They need enough facts to convince twelve jurors.”
He finds the tie holding together my French braid and pulls it out. “You’re beaming.”
“Yeah.” He runs his fingers through my hair, undoing my braid. “Never thought a woman talking about the law could be so fucking sexy.”
“Why did you run off last night?”
His eyes turn down. “Kept thinking that you’re gonna back out of this.”
“I won’t. I swear.”
He stares back with disbelief. “Can I get that in writing?”
There’s all this vulnerability in his eyes. I want to wipe it away.
I nod. “Sure. You have a pen?”
He pulls a permanent marker from the front pocket of his skinny jeans and hands it to me.
“Hmm, where to write? No paper.” I drag my fingers over the V of his v-neck. “This will have to do.” I pull his t-shirt down and write my promise on his chest.
I won’t back out of this. – Jess James
He looks down with a smile then takes the marker back. One hand goes to my shoulder, holding me in place. With the other, he scribbles on my chest.
“What’s it say?” I ask.
He pulls back to admire his work. His lips curl into a smile. “I’ll make you come every day.”
“It does not.”
He nods, pulls out his cell, and uses his camera to prove it.
There it is, in black marker on my chest:
I’ll make you come every day. – Pete Steele
Crystal Kaswell writes steamy new adult and erotic romance books. She loves when flawed characters fall head over heels for each other. Especially if they fall into bed first. She loves police procedurals, tea, and The Hunger Games series. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.