*Graphics courtesy of Elle Woods PR
Only 3 more sleeps until The Has-Been and the Hot Mistake goes LIVE!! You can pre-order today and it'll show up like magic on your Kindle on 10/29. But if you're still on the fence about whether or not to read this one, here's a little peek at Chapter 1:
So, how flexible is AA on the whole ‘make amends’ thing?
It was the first question Cane Addison asked when he made it to that part of the 12-step program.
He was dedicated to his sobriety and all, but shit, he’d fucked over a lot of people while he was drunk, and he wasn’t especially interested in ever seeing some of them again.
The first few had been easy. Of course his mother forgave him for all the years when he’d ignored her calls and skipped family events because he hadn’t wanted her to see how dependent he was on alcohol just to function.
His sister was still pissed that he’d puked in the church during her wedding ceremony and had later passed out…on the wedding cake…at the reception. But ultimately (with the help of a huge reimbursement check), she’d forgiven him, too.
All the assistants he’d fired over the years for—rightfully—pointing out the damage he was doing to his health and career were sympathetic and understanding about it, too.
But now, two years later, all the low-hanging fruit was off his ‘to make amends with’ list, and he was faced with the possibility of trying to talk to someone who might actively hate him. And the worst part? The guy had good reason to hate him.
With a sigh of the damned, Cane rang the doorbell of his former bandmate’s palatial Montana home and tried to ignore the nervous butterflies pinging around his gut.
You know what would make this moment easier? Vodka.
Cane had gotten good at ignoring the little devil on his shoulder that whispered shit like that in his ear. But on days like today, it was a smidge harder than usual.
Just when he’d almost convinced himself to turn tail and flee like a giant coward, the door swung open and Cane was caught in the questioning gaze of a tiny blonde woman.
He opened his mouth to say something—he really wasn’t sure what because this whole thing had not been very well planned—but was cut off when her eyes widened comically and she blurted, “Holy fuckballs! You’re Cane Addison.”
He wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or horrified that she’d recognized him. Instances like this could go either way. Because she either remembered him as Cane Addison, guitar virtuoso who helped rocket Maelstrom songs up the Billboard charts over fifteen years ago…or she remembered Cane Addison, the hot mess rock star cliché who ruined more live shows than any other band member because he was too damn drunk to play a single chord.
Cane gave her a nod and what he hoped was a friendly smile. Although, given his current state of nervousness, it might’ve looked more like a pained grimace. He held out his hand. “Yes, ma’am. I’m Cane Addison. And you are—?”
She blinked up at him for a few seconds before muttering, “Shit. Yeah, sorry.” Then she took his hand, gave it a firm shake, and said, “I’m Kendall. Kendall Hale. Nice to meet you.”
Hale. This was Jackson’s wife, the PR rep who’d helped him get his career back on track. “Nice to meet you, Kendall. Is Jackson here by any chance?”
That’s when she flipped into business mode. He could see it in her eyes as she leveled him with a hard, assessing gaze. “Look, I’m going to be really honest with you,” she said. “Since Jackson won the Oscar for best original score last year, people have come out of the woodwork trying to pitch passion projects to him and beg for startup funds or charitable donations. So, if you’re here to do that, then no, I’m not letting you in to see him. Not today. If that’s what you need, I’ll put you in contact with his manager, and he’ll decide whether or not you get a meeting.”
Wow. Blunt, rude, and entirely warranted. Part of him was jealous. When in his life had anyone ever stood up for him and protected him from all the bullshit that came with being famous?
Never. The answer was never.
Cane shoved a hand through his hair, which was probably already a disaster since he’d been nervously running his hands through it since he’d left LA. “I understand where you’re coming from,” he told her. “But these days, I don’t have any passion projects or businesses or charities that I need him to attach his name to. I’m a studio musician, and I love my work.”
It was true, too. Most people thought it was a downgrade to go from lead guitarist of the number-one rock band in the world to being a six-string for hire, but Cane thought it was the other way around. He got to play guitar all day, set his own hours and prices, take whatever gigs he wanted, and refuse the rest. It was the perfect job for a has-been rocker such as himself.
“And I have plenty of money,” he added. “I’m not here for a handout.”
That was true, too. Fortunately, the whole time he’d been making millions with Maelstrom, he’d handed control of his finances over to an honest accountant who’d made smart investments. Cane could afford to do as much or as little work as he wanted and still be able to live comfortably for the rest of his life.
Kendall eyed him in a way that made him think she could see right through his skin and bones into his soul, before letting out a sigh and saying, “I’m sorry. That was rude. It’s just…you have no idea how many fame whores approach Jackson every day and want to use him. It makes me stabby, you know?”
He could imagine. Getting your face all over TV and winning an Oscar had to draw that kind of people out of the woodwork. “I understand. I can assure you, though, I have zero interest in ever being famous again.”
He shuddered at the thought. The cameras flashing in his face all the time, stalkers showing up at his house, not even being able to go to the grocery store without getting mobbed…it wasn’t fun. Cane didn’t miss it.
Kendall gave him a sunny smile and made a sweeping motion with her hand as she stepped aside. “Well, then, in that case, come on in, Cane Addison. I’ll get Jackson for you. I’m sure he’s going to be happy to see you.”
I wouldn’t be so sure of that, honey. Not at all.
Like it so far? You can pre-order right here. :)
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