By: Christina Routon | Other books by Christina Routon
Published By: Creative Life Publishing
Published: Aug 01, 2012
ISBN # CRTLFP0000001
Published By: Creative Life Publishing
Published: Aug 01, 2012
ISBN # CRTLFP0000001
Word Count: 44,000
Available in: Epub, HTML, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket (.mobi), Palm DOC/iSolo, Adobe Acrobat, Rocket
DescriptionNashville Star meets Working Girl
Down-and-out country singer Trace Harper parties like there's no tomorrow. When his manager dies, the party's over. Trace discovers he's not just broke, he's $15,000 in debt.
Lisa Jenkins worked with Trace's dead manager and offers him a project that could revive his career - and put $100,000 in his pocket. But there's a catch - Trace must sign a morals clause for the length of the project.
With nothing to lose, Trace takes Lisa on as his new manager and discovers life away from the party isn't all bad.
But Lisa isn't exactly who he thinks she is, and when Trace's ex-wife shows up with proof of Lisa's deceit, Trace has to decide if he can trust her with his career - and his heart.
Reader Rating: Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating: Not rated
Excerpt:Awful was not the word for the set Trace Harper performed. Horrible, depressing, deplorable, unpleasant, ugly -- these words were closer to the truth.
It was obvious Trace was drunk. Not tipsy, not buzzed, but high-as-a-kite drunk. He went through the set, forgetting words to songs he'd made famous only a few years before. He stumbled over the stage, laughing at his mistakes. When it came to his final ballad, the most famous of his career, he butchered the chorus that everyone else in the bar knew so well. No one seemed to mind, especially the women in the audience, in particular a bleached blonde in a halter top that barely covered her large breasts. She was standing below the stage, staring up at Trace as if he were a god to be worshipped -- and he seemed pretty happy to accept whatever worship came his way.
Lisa watched him for a few minutes as fans greeted him, asking for pictures and autographs. He seemed to be having the time of his life, and either didn't realize -- or didn't care -- that his performance sucked. He was much different than the man she'd met at the office some years ago when he'd come in for a meeting with Charlie. She'd been new to the agency and to Nashville. Seeing celebrities around town and at work had fascinated her and there were a few times she'd embarrassed herself when speaking to them. It also didn't help that she'd had a huge crush on Trace Harper when he'd first come on the country music scene fifteen years earlier. But that was then, and this was now, and she wasn't a wide-eyed-twenty-something-girl with stars in her eyes anymore.
Well, may as well get this over with. She made her way to the stage as the crowd around him thinned out, ignoring the blonde begging Trace for a picture.
"Sure, honey." Trace flicked his black hat back on his head and put his arm around the woman. "Hey, you." He pointed at Lisa. "Come take our picture, sweetie pie."
"I am not your sweetie pie, Mr. Harper." Lisa said.
"Well, tonight you are, so take our picture."
"Here," the blonde said, her voice high and squeaky. She handed Lisa her cell phone and cuddled closer to Trace, squeezing him around the waist and laying her head on his shoulder. Trace held up his beer and put his arm around the blonde's shoulders. Sighing, Lisa held up the cell phone.
"If I take this picture, can I speak with you for five minutes, Mr. Harper?"
"What is it with the Mr. Harper crap? Sure, whatever, five minutes. Take the picture so I will never forget meeting the most beautiful woman in the world."
"Oh," the blonde cooed, looking up at him and smiling. Lisa hit the button on the phone and took the photo.
"Take another one, just in case."
"In case of what?" Lisa asked.
"Just in case."
"Last one," Lisa said, and pushed the button just as the woman placed her palms on Trace's cheeks and pulled his mouth to hers. The camera caught the kiss, exactly as Lisa assumed the woman wanted.
"Thank you so much," the blonde said to Trace before taking her phone and heading back to friends, all similarly clad in various tank tops, halter tops, jeans and mini-skirts, at a nearby table.
"Now, what would you like to talk about, sweetie pie?" Trace ambled over to her, waving off a few people that were asking for autographs. "Hold on, folks. I promised this lady five minutes."
With groans and sighs the crowd dispersed, but didn't go very far. Lisa did not understand how people still wanted photos and autographs after his terrible performance, but there they stood, waiting for him to finish talking.
"Mr. Harper, I work for Cahill-Waters Talent Agency. I've been trying to get in touch with you."
"Yeah, Charlie's company. Yeah, sorry, I've had some issues with my cell phone recently. Wait." Trace flicked his hat back on his head again and came closer, his brown eyes focusing on her face, then down her body.
"Do I pass?" She crossed her arms over her chest, tapping her booted foot on the wooden floor.
"I know you from somewhere." He scanned her again and Lisa felt as if she were being inspected from her blonde hair framing her face, down her skinny blue v-neck t-shirt and flared leg jeans to the cowboy boots peeking from the hem. "You were at Charlie's funeral. The blonde in the black dress and boots, with the redhead."
"That's right, I was there." It unnerved her to think of Trace seeing her at the funeral, seeing her now, and even remembering what she'd been wearing that day.
He leaned in closer and she had to uncross her arms to keep him from bumping them. He bent just a little and whispered in her ear.
"I loved that dress on you. I enjoy curves on a woman, and you got 'em in just the right places." He reached down, placing his hands on her hips.
She pushed him away. "Mr. Harper, I am here as a professional. I need to speak to you regarding your representation with Cahill-Waters."
He laughed, taking a step back. "Okay, not interested. I get it. What about my representation? You guys are just going to keep doing whatever you're doing, right?"
Before she could answer, the crowd wanting his autograph had grown and were pushing closer them. A sea of bodies, primarily female, separated them and Lisa was forced to step back to the wall to keep from being crushed.
"Hey, sweetie pie, I'll call you," she thought she heard Trace call out over the noise, then he was gone, trapped in a frenzy of female fans.
Lisa headed back to their table and found Tanya snuggled in the lap of the dark haired man she'd danced with earlier. "Well, I tried."
"You didn't get to talk to him? Oh, this is Doug, by the way." Tanya smiled down at the man and ran a finger over his cheek.
"Hi, Doug. Lisa. I did, but I wasn't able to tell him everything. He hit on me."
"Really?" Tanya looked up at Lisa in surprise.
"Yes, really. Now, can we go? I want to get home and get some sleep." Lisa grabbed her purse and jacket from her chair and slung them over her arm.
"Okay. Bye, Doug." Tanya kissed the man then slid off his lap, taking her purse from the back of the chair as she stood. "I had fun. You got my number?"
"I sure do," Doug said, and winked at the cute redhead. "I'll be calling you later."
"You better." Tanya waved at him before following Lisa out of the bar.
"Looks like you found a friend." Lisa unlocked her sedan and they climbed in, buckling their seat belts.
"Yeah, I did. Too bad you didn't get to speak to Trace. Well, except to get hit on."
"Yeah, too bad." Lisa started the car, but didn't back up right away. She remembered the sound of his voice near her ear, the tickle of his five o'clock shadow on her cheek as he leaned close to her, his warm breath on her neck, the feel of his hands on her hips, and shivered.
"What's wrong?" Tanya asked, noticing her shake.
"Nothing," Lisa said. "Trace is a jerk, that's all. I'm not going to keep trying to call him. I'm going to send the letter to his agent. I have better things to do."
She put the car in reverse and backed out of the lot, heading for home, determined to put Trace Harper out of her mind once and for all.