Irishman Brogan Byrne is at the pinnacle of 1974 rock-music success. Handsome, charismatic, with a three-octave voice, you’d think he had it all. But Byrne sinks to new depths of depravity with women, liquor, and drugs.
Carly Montgomery is an ambitious record executive offered an opportunity to be manager for the last leg of Byrne's tour. Though she’s detached and tough as nails, Carly’s cool facade comes under attack. Somehow Byrne manages to slip by her frosty defenses.
Brogan, for his part, is broken inside. A past memory weighs on his soul, affecting his actions. Is Carly the one woman to help him forget his guilt and heal his heart of rock?
Dear God, but the man was stunning. Having him lean against her seared her skin. She couldn’t stop touching him. One hand tunneled through his silky two-tone hair, and the other stroked his bare chest. Did he sigh, or had she? She should be raging with indignant anger; instead she consoled Byrne like a lost little boy. She would feed him a bowl of damned chicken broth. All that was missing was the bedtime story. She had told him the truth. He was a mess, and worse than she’d first thought. What dramas were next—paternity suits? How surprising he didn’t have a couple already. Every male rock star did, and considering how careless he seemed to be sex-wise, it could only be a matter of time.
Her heart hitched behind her ribs. He had come so close to dying. Yes, her original thoughts might have been cold and calculating as she thought of the headlines and of Mr. Winwood’s reaction. Deep down, however, her emotions were more complicated and muddled. Holding him like this sparked a protective feeling she hadn’t even known she possessed. Where had it come from? She wasn’t this compassionate toward people, hadn’t been since her childhood. Her cool demeanor came in handy for business purposes. A protection, she supposed. She’d built a solid wall, one her heart and emotions stayed firmly hidden behind. So how in hell had Byrne slipped through? She had to admit, in the physical sense he was everything she could ever want in a man. Her interest had been sparked since she’d seen him naked, facedown on a bed.
Carly continued to caress his chest. Byrne’s body was muscled, tight, sculpted, and irresistible. Don’t get her started on his voice. She’d read his file. He had an amazing three-octave range, each note sounding crystal clear and pure. He could have sung opera, his talent very obvious to anyone. At first, Mr. Winwood wanted him to go glam rock, much like Bowie did with his Ziggy Stardust persona, but Byrne had refused. After much discussion, he had agreed to dye his hair as Mr. Winwood suggested. Carly had heard Byrne remained adamant that would be the only concession he would give on the glam question. Probably because his vocal range and depth were often compared to Bowie’s, or maybe wearing glitter eye shadow and sequined jumpsuits didn’t appeal to him.
Carly had re-listened to his debut record, Within the Flames, not long ago. The heights to which his voice soared gave her goose bumps and sent thrilling shivers down her spine. He was killing her softly with his song. She smiled at her own music pun. If Byrne’s singing voice hadn’t been mesmerizing enough, when he spoke, she swore hot liquid gushed from the deepest parts of her. She took a deep breath. Byrne exuded a spicy aroma that went beyond the generic hotel soap Gio had used on him. No way. She would not allow this egotistical rock monster under her skin, no matter how much he appealed to her Truth be told, she didn’t want to be involved with a man who hung on the precipice of sobriety. She had witnessed enough of that growing up, with her own father’s struggles to stay sober. Her dad wasn’t a mean drunk, or abusive in a physical or verbal sense. He would withdraw. The coldness became a part of life and a part of herself. She didn’t want Byrne clawing past her frosty defenses.
No damned way.