I’m endlessly fascinated by the hidden depths people are able to call upon when their life hits rock bottom. Beth Carlisle, my heroine in Famously Engaged, is at home alone after attending her mother’s funeral and hosting the wake. Her BFF, her ex-husband, wants to comfort her but she doesn’t feel that it’s right to lean on him a week ahead of his next wedding, especially when his bride-to-be has been called away on business.
Jake Olsen, front man of multi-award winning UK rock band Five Awesome Emperors, adds to this dire mix of circumstances… and how! Now Beth has a famous fiancé on her doorstep – never mind that they’ve never met – and he insists on moving in ahead of tomorrow’s promised media frenzy. His plan is to monopolise Beth’s time so that she won’t indulge in an affair with her ex-husband, the man his half sister is about to marry, but his timing couldn’t be worse and his perceptions are way off the mark.
Here’s a snippet:
“Tell me, Jake, how famous do you have to be before you stop caring about anyone except yourself? I didn’t ask for you to come here on one of the worst days of my life. I haven’t leaked your private details to the media or trapped you in a public engagement or accused you of adultery or insulted your clothing choices or checked you out and then passed because you weren’t up to my usual standard.”
In the space of a heartbeat he braced his hands atop the counter on either side of her hips, his jaw tight as he leaned his head down to her eye level. “That’s not what happened.”
“Sure it is. You said you could have anything you wanted and then you walked away.”
“And now”—she swallowed, unsure if she wanted to quantify her current needs—“now, when all I want is for someone vaguely human to hold my freaking hand for five minutes while I fall asleep, you won’t do it. You’re so famous that you’re willing to soak up the ambience of my home while I cry myself to sleep in the next room.”
His mouth met hers almost before she’d finished speaking. It was a kiss unlike any she’d ever had, so achingly gentle that she felt her lips trembling beneath his. She held her breath and locked her knees. Jake’s fingertips played over her temples before drifting through her hair in a barely-there caress, the backs of his hands circling her ears. She gasped at the spear of heat that arrowed though her when his thumbs and forefingers closed over her lobes and tugged in a gentle rhythm.
“Ssh,” he said against her lips. “Relax for me.”
I hope you’ll enjoy watching Jake and Beth cope with things that are beyond their experience. I believe that most of us can shine in the right situation – it’s what we do in the wrong situation that says the most about us.