TAKE THAT RIDE
by Meg Benjamin
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
They’ve only got a week. They need to make it count.
Coy Blackburn is an up-and-coming country singer, but right now he feels more like he’s down-and-going. He’s at the end of a long tour, and his band is dragging. A week-long gig at the Faro tavern in Konigsburg, Texas, may get them back on their feet or it may be a disaster. For Coy, it feels like it could go either way.
Lexi Markham is living life on auto-pilot at the moment. As the main driver at her family’s tour business, she spends her days taking tourists around the Texas wineries and trying to get over her breakup with her lying fiancé. Now her sister has booked her to drive a country band around town, and she’s definitely not feeling it.
When Coy and Lexi meet, sparks fly—and not it a good way. Still, trust the power of music (and a back country cloudburst) to overcome a few bumps in the road. But can they even think about the future when they’ve only got a few days together?
Lexi propped herself against the doorway watching the band slide into the complete number. After a moment, Deirdre stepped up behind her. Lexi didn’t recognize the music the band was playing, but it must be one of their regulars, given the easy way they seemed to be moving through the verse. As if they felt comfortable with what they were doing. After they’d played a few minutes that were strictly instrumental, Coy stepped to the microphone and began to sing.
The words weren’t familiar, but she found herself listening closely. Something about a couple that had broken up but still had feelings for each other. The man in the song missed the way they’d been together, even though he didn’t exactly miss the woman herself. It was a complicated kind of lyric, a lot more complex than she might have expected.
Lexi wasn’t sure if she’d heard Coy sing before or not. The last time she’d heard them rehearse, she hadn’t paid much attention. She was fairly certain now she’d never really heard him sing. His voice was deep and resonant, but not exactly a bass. More like baritone. Something about the way Coy sang those complicated lyrics began to reach deep into her senses. He wasn’t really living the song, but he made her feel as if the feelings he described weren’t totally unfamiliar. As if he knew how to make her feel them, too.
A shiver traveled up her backbone, and her arms seemed to tingle. She checked to see if she had gooseflesh.
A Word With the Author
Music and Love
My hero in Take That Ride, my newest Konigsburg, TX, book, is a touring musician. I’m a real Americana music fan, and I loved the chance to write about my favorite musical genre seen through the eyes of someone who plays it. Coy Blackburn, my hero, is based in Nashville and is very aware of the country music industry where he’s trying to succeed. But he’s running on fumes at this point in his tour. He’s exhausted and losing patience with his band and with himself. He needs a recharge, but he’s got a week-long gig to get through at a Konigsburg tavern.
It figures that music is what gets him out of his slump. When my heroine, Lexi Markham, brings him to her place so he can have some pizza after his first night’s performance, he discovers her late mother’s collection of seventies country and folk rock albums and he’s hooked. The two listen to music together and slowly discover they’ve got a lot in common along with a serious attraction. And listening to music leads to more, naturally.
Emmylou was singing “Making Believe” in that beautiful crystal voice, and all he wanted to do was pull Lexi a little closer. He hadn’t felt this uncertain of himself since he’d been in high school. And high school was not a stage of his life he wanted to revisit. Then stop acting like a freakin’ high school freshman. He turned his head slowly and kissed her cheek. Lexi looked up at him, almost nose to nose, and then she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his.
It didn’t start out as much of a kiss, but then suddenly, it became a lot more. Her lips opened, and then he was tasting her, sweetness and heat wound together. He brought his hands to her sides, sliding down to her hips and moving tentatively against her body. His own body was galloping ahead, ready for the next stage, and the next, and the next.
But his brain counseled caution, even as the heat swirled around him. And his brain had a point. Rolling around on the lady’s living room carpet while a record played in the background didn’t strike him as a particularly classy thing to do. In fact, it still sounded a lot like high school.
After a moment, he pulled away to look at her. She gazed up at him with eyes that were somewhere between green and brown. At the moment, they were also a bit dazed. He reached out to brush her gold-brown hair away from her forehead. “You taste like hot honey,” he said, which was one of the dumbest lines he’d ever come up with. It was true, but that didn’t make it any less dumb.
Her lips spread in a grin, and he was tempted to taste her again. “Is that good?” she asked.
“It’s more than good. It’s delicious.” He leaned in again, this time wrapping his arms around her, feeling the softness of her breasts pressing against his chest. He’d lost track of what Emmylou was singing, but he didn’t think she’d mind.
Music and love. It’s a natural combination. One that not only helps Coy get back on his musical feet, but also helps woo the woman who may be more than just a quick fling on the road. All it takes is the right song—and a little chemistry.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of romance. Meg’s Konigsburg series is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Salt Box and Brewing Love trilogies are set in the Colorado Rockies (all are available from Entangled Publishing and from Meg’s indie line). Her new cozy mystery series, Luscious Delights from Wild Rose Press, concerns a jam-making sleuth based in the mythical small town of Shavano, Colorado. Along with contemporary romance, Meg is also the author of the paranormal Ramos Family trilogy from Berkley InterMix and the Folk trilogy from Soul Mate. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers, the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers, and the Award of Excellence from Colorado Romance Writers.
Meg Benjamin will award a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner.
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