My daughter’s obsession with the Bret Michael’s reality dating show on MTV at first made me chuckle. We live in central Pennsylvania, and Bret Michaels grew up in a town about 20 minutes from us. Then I realized what a fun concept a reality dating show would make for a romance novel! Combining my love of music with romance – what could be more perfect?
An imperfect hero, for one. I love slightly flawed characters who find redemption in stories. Jet Trently is just such a hero. Committed to his craft, but afraid to release his new songs, and looking for love in all the wrong places – on his reality dating show, Rock Bottom. I had such fun creating the female contestants for this fictional show! They’re an eclectic bunch, with a few surprises tucked up their frilly sleeves.
The heroine, Billie Prescott, is committed to being a hard-nosed journalist, and has long ago sworn off rock stars. Despite her best efforts, she can’t resist Jet’s charms (he has so many!). Of course the show’s contestants take an instant dislike to her - women can sense competition like that, lol. Billie dubs them The Bimbo Brigade, among other nicknames, and doesn’t take them seriously. Until one night… well, I won’t give that away. You’ll have to read it for yourself! *grins*
Billie’s a woman true to my heart. I fell in love with Paul McCartney when I was about six (yes, he just broke my heart for the third time when he announced his engagement!). The late Sixties and Seventies provided the soundtrack for my youth, and hearing that music always takes me back. Besides books, the only thing I can’t resist buying is CD’s. From all types of rock to country to those indefinable songs that resonate with me on a deep level, I love music and can’t imagine life without it. If I lived on a desert island, I couldn’t pick only five albums to bring along. I’d have to recruit a carrier pigeon to bring me new CDs, or hook up a satellite radio to listen to the new releases!
Jet’s my fantasy rock hero – handsome, intelligent, creative, hard on the outside but once you get past that defensive barrier, he’s fiercely loyal and loving. When he sings, women toss their panties onstage, he’s so inspiring, lol.
For rocker Jet Trently, success means playing the same platinum-selling hits over and over. Philly rock journalist Billie Prescott thrives on covering the latest releases. When her editor sends her to Malibu to cover Jet’s reality dating show, Rock Bottom, her blog’s success keeps her trapped there. Her life’s at Rock Bottom too, until she hears Jet’s new songs. They touch her heart as his music did when she was 15. When Jet touches her heart as well, will the reality show ruin the real thing?
Here’s the trailer:
The cottage appeared tiny from the outside, but actually had two stories if the bedroom loft counted. A boomerang-shaped overstuffed sofa dominated the main floor, and cabinets topped with bookshelves lined either wall. In a small nook sat a ceramic-topped iron bistro table and two chairs.
As cozy as a beach getaway.
She swung her carry-on bag atop the tufted ottoman. Turning to retrieve her suitcases, she stopped short.
Jet leaned against the doorway. If his presence had been palpable in the house, he overwhelmed this small space.
His lopsided smile appeared almost shy. “Need any help settling in?”
The personal touch. If he hoped to make it literal, he could forget it. Despite her resolve, she found him overwhelmingly distracting. She had trouble recalling what she’d planned to do.
Glancing around, she thought she’d be pretty pathetic if she claimed to need help.
“Nope, I think I can find everything.”
Stepping inside, he closed the door and moved toward her slowly. Purposefully.
Her pulse quickening, she tensed, but couldn’t find her voice to ask what he wanted.
He touched the cabinet. “There’s a small fridge under here. I’ll have Cindy stock it for you.”
Nodding, she tucked her hair behind her ear. “Great. Thanks.” She felt sure he must hear her heart pounding. And think her an idiot. “It’s an adorable little place. You’re saving the magazine a bundle by letting me stay here.”
When he moved closer, his crystal blue eyes felt like a laser piercing her own.
To clear her head, she turned away. “It’s situated perfectly too. Right next to the house.” Could she possibly sound any more brainless?
She sensed him directly behind her. His soft tone made her muscles go fluid. Her eyes drifted shut, imagining his famous voice singing to her alone.
“If you look out your bedroom window, you can see into mine. Right over there.” His arm lifted beside her and pointed.
His warmth penetrated her skin. He smelled like ocean and musk. An impulse struck her to guide his arm around her, fit herself against him. Fill her senses with him.
Snapping to reality, she fumed at his flirting, but made her voice sweet as honey. “Oh, over there? I appreciate you telling me.” Smiling, she turned. “I’ll be sure to keep my curtains closed.”
Tensing, he straightened, and his nostrils flared.
Her muscles drew taut in response. You shouldn’t have made him mad--not the first day.
But his eyes crinkled at the corners, and he cocked his jaw and nodded. “Billie Prescott.” He said her name with a kind of wonder.
Not quite knowing what to make of it, she gave a giddy laugh. And wanted to die. “Jet Trently. We finally meet.” As though she’d been waiting. Or it had been prearranged. By whom? The universe?
To recover her composure, she went to her bag and pulled out her laptop. “Any internet connection in here?”
He flopped onto the sofa and extended his arms across the back. “Wireless, pretty much from everywhere.” With a kind of amused curiosity, he watched her. “We need to talk.”
Her mind blanked. The way he spoke sounded so intimate, as if he wanted to discuss their relationship. His gaze seared into her, and she had trouble remembering they had no relationship. “About what?”
His mouth curled into a smile. “The show. Don’t you want to interview me?”
She felt her face flush. He played a cat and mouse game. And he’d trapped her already.
Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com, on Facebook, Goodreads and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.
Cate loves to hear from readers! Email her at: cate.masters AT gmail.com