Tanner Hart, the All-American bad boy bass guitarist of Jaded Regret, has one motto— play women’s bodies like he does the strings of his guitar— hard, in tune, and giving it his all until the show is over. The only strings he wants attached to him are the ones he plays on the stage.
He has quite the reputation, even with his own band, and he likes it that way. It keeps the truth of who he really is locked deep inside. But there's so much more to him than anyone really knows…
Now that he’s successful, he can afford to find out what really happened to the only girl who’s ever held his heart. The only thing is…will he really want to know the truth?
When Mackenzie ‘Mac’ Shepard finds herself in a situation she’s been in too many times before, she expects to do what she’s always done— cover it up, accept the apologies, and move on. She knows trying to get out is futile. What she doesn’t expect is for the world famous Tanner Hart to burst into her life like a knight in sexy armor.
When their lives collide and hearts get involved, can Tanner keep his hartstrings from being tangled up in his past, or can he make a new kind of music... with his heart?
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“Mackenzie, meet Jaded Regret. Bex, Johnny, Beau, his wife—April—and Natalie, our manager and Beau’s sister.”
“Hi.” Mackenzie tucked a piece of hair behind her ear, a slight blush creeping up her cheeks. “Did I interrupt?”
Bex stood and walked over to Mac. “No. We’re here to see you. It’s nice to meet you, Mackenzie. Tanner speaks very highly of you. We’re glad you’re okay, and we want you to know that we’re all going to be here for you. A friend of Tanner’s is a friend of ours.”
Tears shimmered in Mac’s eyes and she nodded. “Thank you. You have no idea how much that means to me. I don’t have many friends, and certainly not any that would put their lives on the line to keep me safe.”
“No one’s life is on the line,” Johnny said. “Unless it’s your asshole boyfriend. We’ll put all our resources into taking this guy down, Mackenzie.”
Mackenzie’s gaze settled on us. “I have to say; it’s so surreal to be here with all of you. I’ve admired you for a long time. It was strange enough when I met Tanner, and then he wanted to be my friend. Now…all of you are here for me.”
Natalie finally spoke up. “You’re safe here. Tanner doesn’t open up to just anyone. Hell, we’ve known him for five years, and this whole thing has shocked all of us. You’re special, Mackenzie. It’s time for you to realize that.”
My heart swelled. It took a lot for Natalie to say that. While Mac and I were friends, I knew what Natalie wanted with me. It also reminded me that I closed myself off from them for a long time. While I wasn’t ready to give them my entire sordid history, sharing Mackenzie with them was the beginning of opening up.
“Are you thirsty? Hungry?” April asked Mac.
“Could I have some water?”
Idiot, I admonished myself. Why didn’t you see if she needed anything? “I’ll get it. Anyone else want anything?”
“I’ll help you.” Bex followed me to the kitchen, and I knew I was about to get the third degree.
I pulled water bottles and a few sodas out of the fridge. I could feel Bex staring at me. “Go ahead, Bex.”
“The reason why you came in here with me. Spill it.”
Bex grinned, taking a can of soda from me. She popped the top and took a long pull before setting it down on the counter. “I know you’re deep into this, and I don’t blame you for intervening. We’re all in this together now. But…” She paused. “I want you to be careful.”
“What do you mean? That asshole isn’t getting to her or me.”
She shook her head. “That’s not what I mean. With our security, I don’t think he’ll be an issue.”
“Then what do you mean?”
“She’s…vulnerable, Tan. She’s been through a hell of a lot, and now she’s under your roof.”
“Bex.” I took a drink of my water, giving myself a moment before responding. “I’m keeping her safe. I know she’s vulnerable. I also know it’s a moment-by-moment decision for her to stay here. I’m not dumb enough to think she’ll never think about going back to him, especially if he finds her and talks to her. I know all about guys like him.” I didn’t need to elaborate how I knew that.
“Okay. I see how you look at her, though, Tan. And if I see it…”
“How I look at her? What do you mean? You’ve been here for ten minutes—only five of those she’s been awake.”
“It only took me ten seconds.” She picked up her soda and guzzled it again. My mind reeled. What the hell was she talking about?
Previous Books in the Series
Previous Books in the Series
L.L. Collins loves spending her days in the Florida sun with her husband and two boys, reading, and writing. LL has been writing since she was old enough to write. Always a story in her head, she finally decided to let the characters out made her lifelong dream of becoming an author come true in the self-publishing world. She’s the author of the Living Again Series and the Twisted Series, plus a new standalone, Back to the Drawing Board. Visit LL on her website, www.llcollinsauthor.com and on all social media. Look for more of her emotionally charged novels soon!
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