Welcome to my First Kiss Friday Blog! Today’s guess is Karen Michelle Nutt who has an excerpt from her time travel novel Two Worlds Collided. Be sure to read to the end to grab some free audiobook files while they’re available. Happy reading, my lovelies!
His eyes were closed as he became one with the music. “She should spread her wings and soar.” His deep timber seemed to lure her closer. “Free, so free. She lifts my spirits. She’s like a butterfly, free and graceful.” He sang the chorus, “I want to see her fly. Fly higher and higher. Come fly with me. Come fly with me…” The song slowly came to an end with the last notes played on the keyboard.
This was a song he’d written for his solo album that never would be officially released, but a decade later it had been leaked through the media. Someone had found a raw recording of it and loaded it to the Internet.
He turned in his seat and found her. “Come sit by me,” he said and scooted over on the bench. He reached for his cigarette, burning in the ashtray. His glass had vodka in it, his beverage of choice tonight, not water. She didn’t have to taste it to know. It had been documented on one of the many biographies broadcasted on TV.
She sat next to him; his body warm against hers. She liked the way he felt, maybe a little too much. It was one thing to be infatuated with the legend, but quite another thing to be up close and personal with the man. She liked him. Really liked this broken soul. He was funny and though he pretended to be crude at times, she understood the reasons why. It was a shield to keep people at arm’s length, to keep them from seeing the turmoil roaring inside of him.
“I hope you weren’t bored out of your wits.” He regarded her curiously as he puffed on the cigarette.
“I enjoyed every minute. Thank you.”
“For what?” He balanced the cigarette between his lips and leaned his elbow on the flat plane of the keyboard, while with his other hand his fingers lightly caressed the keys with a slow melody.
“For allowing me to be here tonight.”
His fingers went for the cigarette once more and with one final puff, he put it out in the ashtray. “I should probably be thanking you.” He gave her a brief smile then changed the subject, leaving her to wonder what he meant. “Do you play?” He gestured toward the keyboard.
“What? The keyboard?”
“No.” She half chuckled. “Well, I do know how to play chopsticks. I’m quite good at it if I do say so myself.”
He sat up straight then. “Give it a whirl, Darlin’.”
“I couldn’t,” she said and shook her head.
“Sure you can. We’ll play the duet and I’ll join in when you’re ready.” He kept gesturing toward the keyboard with his adorable, lopsided grin plastered to his face and she finally gave in.
She started out slow then gained confidence as Bellamy’s sure fingers joined in. She hadn’t had so much fun in a long time. She dated of course, but she hadn’t felt a connection with anyone, and the relationships never lasted. It was as if their frequencies were off and they never managed to be in sync. Not that being with Bellamy tonight constituted as a date.
She met Bellamy’s gaze and laughed again when the little ditty came to an end.
“My word,” he said. “You are amazing.”
“I did warn you.”
“So you did.” His gaze caressed her, and he scooted closer, so close their lips were only inches apart. She wanted him to kiss her. God, she really, really wanted him to, but then his gaze left hers and she felt as though he’d severed the connection, they’d been sharing all evening, leaving her feeling slightly off-kilter. “It’s late,” he said, his voice seemed off, deeper, raspier. “You should go to bed,” he told her and for some reason he wouldn’t look at her.
“You should also. It’s been a long day for you.”
Though the rehearsal had gone on all night, food was brought in and placed on a banquet table so the crew could help themselves. She watched Bellamy. He drank heavily, smoked like he couldn’t remember the last time he had a cigarette, but he picked at his food. Munched on nuts and grapes, but as for a full meal, he left his plate virtually untouched.
She stared at his profile. Strong jaw, nice straight nose, and she wondered how he managed not to have it broken with so many fistfights he found himself in. However, his eyes were the telltale sign she was looking for. He was tired, the tender flesh darker than the rest of his complexion.
“When was the last time you slept?” she asked, curious to know. He couldn’t have slept last night, not much anyway with the condition she’d found him in this morning.
Bellamy let out a sigh. “I haven’t slept for ages.”
She believed him. He still mourned his father’s death, he couldn’t kick his cocaine habit, not that she thought he even wanted to, and he drank hard liquor like it was the next best thing to water.
“You know sometimes when you talk to a friend, it helps,” she offered.
He gave her a sidelong glance. “Friends? Some call me friend, but it’s difficult to know who really is one.”
She rested a hand on his. “I want to be your friend if you’ll let me.”
He gave her a long searching look as if he were trying to judge for himself if he could trust her. “You really do, don’t you?” he said, his voice raw with emotion and a bit of surprise. Then he broke down and told her, “I killed my father.” His eyes held her prisoner, daring her to look away in disgust. “What do you think of that…friend?”
Evie didn’t move or say anything. She knew he hadn’t really killed his father, not with his hands, but he blamed himself for his father’s death all the same. She waited. If he had thought to scare her off, he was sorely mistaken.
He must have finally come to the conclusion she wasn’t going anywhere and continued, “I needed help. I was using, heavily,” he added, and she wondered how much more he’d been using, than what she’d witnessed already. She thought this morning he’d been a mess, but perhaps that was only a glimpse of how bad off he’d been in the past.
“I called my father, my strong sensible father. Mind you, he wasn’t a tall man, but he was a fierce Romanian-born man, who you would want on your side.” He glanced at her. “I don’t mean fierce in the sense he was abusive. I mean he was strong of mind and purpose. I called him because I couldn’t take the pressure anymore. The demand for the tours, the demand to write the next song better than the last, the demand to always be in tip-top form for all those fans… The media never lets up either.” He scrubbed his hand over his face. “All of it was sucking the life out of me, but then there was this freak accident to put another nail in my coffin.” He shook his head. “If you can believe it, I wasn’t even high or drunk when it happened. I was at a baseball game with– it doesn’t matter who I was with. A foul ball hit me in the head, knocked me out cold and I fell hard.” He touched the back of his head. “I can’t smell anything. I can’t taste anything. It’s like I’m shut off from the world.” A small frown slipped across his face. “Believe me, I know others have it so much worse off than I do. It’s not like I’m missing a leg or an arm. Right?” He paused as if looking for the right words. “You know something? I’d give up a limb for the chance to taste and smell again.”
She comprehended what he was saying, not because she understood what he was going through. She didn’t. No one could know without experiencing it for themselves. However, she did understand the concept. “Scents are all around us,” she said. “They can conjure a memory. They can comfort. They can arouse.” She nudged him and gained a semblance of a smile.
“I miss the smell of a woman. God, how I miss that the most.” Then he gave her a curious look that she didn’t quite understand, and it seemed he wasn’t willing to share it with her either and glanced away.
“So you called your father,” she encouraged him to talk.
“He lives…lived in Murrieta, it’s a long drive from there to Malibu.”
She knew Bellamy had a home in Malibu. The tabloids spoke of the wild parties he held there.
“He said he was coming to get me. I told him not to come. It was late. I should have never called him.” He closed his eyes. “He didn’t see the road construction sign. He missed it somehow and his car went over the side of the road, down a ravine. I told him not to come,” he repeated.
“He was your father. He loved you.”
Tears burned his eyes, but he blinked and turned away to hide them from her. “Yeah, look what loving me did to him. My mother can’t even look at me when I go home to visit. She blames me. I blame myself.”
She placed a hand on his shoulder. She wanted to hug him but didn’t know if she should. He turned toward her then, surprising her as he suddenly drew her close, his hands in her hair, his mouth hot and desperate on hers. She gripped his arms and kissed him too. He tasted of cigarettes, booze, and something more, something more primitive. God, what this man did to her senses and it proved difficult to ignore the hard hum of lust in her veins.
He pulled away if only to allow them to breathe and her gaze snared with his and her pulse flickered and leaped at what she witnessed in his eyes. He wanted her. He wanted her to say yes, but the doors to the ballroom opened with the light from the lobby pouring in. The hotel crew strolled inside with carts. Apparently, they were there to clean the room. Bellamy let her go without voicing his desires.
“I need to use the restroom,” Evie said, in order for her to take a well-needed break and rethink where this was going between her and Bellamy. She told her brother she had no intentions of being just another woman Bellamy bedded, but how did she rein in her feelings for him? She wanted to be with him. She was an adult and knew sleeping with him wouldn’t give her forever in his arms. The future was still so uncertain where Bellamy was concerned anyway. Could be for anyone, come to think of it. There were no guarantees. She could only be true to herself, live life to the fullest, and see what tomorrow brought her way.
Bellamy didn’t say anything as she rose and headed away, but she knew he watched her, heavy-lidded with desire. She’d be lying if she didn’t experience a little thrill inside of her in knowing he did.
What the hell was he doing? Bellamy scrubbed his face with his hands, inhaled deeply, and let it out again in a whoosh of frustration as he stared at Evie’s easy sway of her hips as she headed for the lady’s room. He reached for his glass and was disappointed to find it empty.
You can’t sleep with her, he reminded himself. It would be a big mistake. A huge mistake, and yet he couldn’t stop himself from imagining how he’d take off every stitch of her clothes and lay her down on his bed, naked and willing as he pinned her beneath is hard, aching body… “Shit.” He repositioned his pants.
The sound of giggles drew his attention toward the two hotel employees. Both women were eyeing him as if he were a delectable treat. Maybe he could stop himself from taking Evie upstairs and fucking her senseless if he sabotaged it. He hated to do it this way, but he was weak. What could he say? His body knew what it wanted, and it wanted Emerson Violet Reid in a very, very, bad way. Better Miss Book Marm thought him a dick tonight then in the morning after he had his way with her. Tonight, he’d let her walk away with her pride intact.
Two Worlds Collided by Karen Michelle Nutt
A fangirl nurse. An ill-fated rocker. When she steps back in time to save him, will their affections spell happily ever after? 2007. Evie Reid has dedicated her life to helping others heal. Aspiring to return to school and become a doctor, the full-time caregiver spends her few spare moments as president of a now-defunct rock band’s loyal fan club. But she never imagined her two passions would crash together with a single chance to travel ten years into the past and prevent the troubled lead singer’s shocking suicide.
1997. All Bellamy Lovel feels is cavernous loneliness. Still blaming himself for his father’s death years prior, the frontman masks his pain with the cocky flash and fly aloofness everybody expects. And the last thing he needs is some lame personal assistant to keep him on the clock, especially not the wacko that practically tackled him just for standing too close to a ledge. Thrust into the thankless position of keeping her idol out of trouble and on schedule, Evie struggles to hide her intentions and suppress her growing feelings. And surprised to find a woman who actually keeps it real, Bellamy can’t help making space amidst the darkness in his heart for her warm tenderness. Has tragedy already been written into their love story, or will their passion prevail as an all-time number-one hit?
Two Worlds Collided is the standalone first book in the exhilarating Rock Star Romance series. If you like fascinating personalities, touching compassion, and hilarious shenanigans, then you’ll adore Karen Michelle Nutt’s backstage ballad.
Buy Two Worlds Collided for a hopeful encore today!
Other Rock Star Romance books.
End of the Road (ghost story, mystery)
Heart and Soul (ghosts, reincarnation, mystery)
Available in print, eBook, and Audio formats
Two Worlds Collided Buy Links:
Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.
When she’s not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates pre-made book covers to order at Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”. You can also check out her published cover art designs at Victory Tales Press and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing.
Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.
Visit the author at her website: http://www.kmnbooks.com
Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”
Amazon Author Page:
You can grab your free audiobook while supplies last here: https://www.freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=karen+michelle+nutt