British lord Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his own fault for pushing Aiden away. Then someone tries to set him up and take away his family business. Facing arrest by US authorities on charges of money laundering and with no money to return to London, Cam decides to run. But with no money and no place to stay, it’s not exactly the Hollywood thriller he’d imagined.
When Cam hears Galen Rusk play in a lonely subway station, he’s intrigued. But his assumptions about Galen are all wrong, and their unusual relationship isn’t exactly what Cam bargained for. Add to that the nightmares that dog him nightly, and Cam’s world is shaken to its core. Cam figures he had it coming to him, that it’s all penance due on a life lived without honesty. He just never figured he might not be able to survive it.
Note: Blue Notes Series novels are standalone stories, and can be read in any order.
He reached the edge of the forest a few minutes later. His father had promised to build him a tree house, like in Winnie the Pooh, but he’d died before they’d had a chance to plan it. He’d asked his mother, but she’d told him he was too old for tree houses. He’d picked out the perfect spot for it too—a huge oak that grew on the edge of one of the fields where the horses often grazed.
He whistled and ran faster until he reached the pond with the ancient boathouse. He tossed his shoes into the grass and dangled his feet in the water. He didn’t notice the dark cloud overhead until everything around him grew black.
Cam shot up in bed, panting. A dream. It was just a dream. He looked around the room and tried to remember where he was. Slowly, it came back to him. Sleeping in the subway. The FBI. The music. Galen.
He dry-scrubbed his face, then took a few more deep breaths. He hadn’t had a nightmare since he was a kid. He slipped out of bed and padded to the bathroom, relieved himself, then splashed a bit of cool water on his cheeks. The face that greeted him in the mirror looked tired. Older than usual, even. The dark circles under his eyes always looked ten times worse against his pale skin. The bruise on his cheek had blossomed purple. He touched it gingerly and winced. At least the muggers hadn’t broken anything.
He stood, just looking at himself, for nearly ten minutes. Days before, he’d been assessing himself in the mirror to make sure his hair was just right. Now he barely noticed the tousled mess. He didn’t recognize himself in the reflection. Or maybe he just didn’t want to see himself looking back. No deep thoughts accompanied this strange, surreal appraisal. Through the haze of sleep and with the slightly edgy memory of the dream still lingering, he saw every line, every imperfection magnified. The small scar on his right cheek from when he’d fallen from a horse jumping far beyond his abilities. The lines at the corners of his mouth and eyes. The tiny birthmark by his nose.
The sensation of something pressing against his leg brought him back to himself. The dog, trying to get his attention. Cam looked down, shook his head, then walked back to bed. Once under the covers, he closed his eyes and tried to fall asleep. But it was nearly light outside when he finally drifted off.
Purchase from Dreamspinner Press
Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.
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