Book Description: Ashleigh Brown, the author of the popular Nightwalkers series, lives a quiet life free of the limelight. She keeps her real identity secret by writing under the pen name, Victoria Allure. She soon finds herself in a bind when she’s kidnapped by a group of vampires seeking Victoria. She agrees to meet their Master, who’s a huge fan of her books. But instead of meeting him, she accidentally crosses paths with her rock star crush. He is the sexy muse behind Nightwalkers and the man she based the hero in the series upon. She would do anything to meet him but little does she know her crush has a secret.
Excerpt from Blood Kisses: “An Unlikely Fan”
“You’re staying on our floor?” Caleb sent her a perfect smile, and Ashleigh tried not to stare at him.
Ashleigh mustered a smile, but it was awkward and came out crooked. Her nervousness was clear in her voice, her hands fidgeting with the thick strap of her purse. “I don’t think so.”
“What floor are you staying on, then?” Caleb started walking with her, dark makeup around his baby blue eyes, which intensified them and directed all focus on his face there.
His hair was a raven black, most of it swept toward the middle of his head, the small Mohawk forming a high peak near his forehead. He was gorgeous, and his devilish grin made millions of girls swoon.
Ashleigh was such a big fan of his good looks and music that she based one of the main characters in the Nightwalkers’ series on him. Seeing him in the flesh turned her into a babbling idiot.
“Thirty-nine, I think.” Ashleigh glanced back toward the way they came and again at Caleb. She knew her face was bright red, but Caleb didn’t notice.
“I guess not, then.” Caleb’s smile faded as he looked at his phone and typed a quick message, but it returned when his gaze reconnected with hers. But he forced it. He stopped near the entrance of the hotel, still texting.
The other people in his group started for the exit, and Ashleigh began to panic because her time with him ran out. “Yeah, I just want to say that I’m a really huge fan—like a super fan, I guess—and it is so cool to meet you in person. Like a dream.”
“Thanks.” Caleb laughed as he scanned the faces of his other band members. “I’m always happy to meet my fans.” His mind was caught up in his text conversation.
Ashleigh bit her lip as she opened her purse and searched through it for a piece of paper and a pen. “Can I have your autograph?”
“Sure.” Caleb held out his hand but didn’t look up from his phone.
She didn’t have any scrap paper, so she pulled a homemade book from her purse. A nervous laugh escaped her lips as she bent back the cover. She opened it to the final page, which was blank. The rest of the book was littered with notes.
It was a manuscript she printed out to read over for errors before she sent it to Hannah. The title—Blood Kisses—stuck out in bold, black print. A thin-lined marker was inside, marking a page near the end.
She had other pieces of paper, but having his autograph on this book would make it extra special because of his role in helping her create her Master Vampire, Lord Drake.
“Here. Can you sign this?” Ashleigh’s lips filled with a large grin that looked painful to produce. She pulled out the black marker and bent back the cover even more before handing it over to Caleb. “Thank you so much.”
“You’re welcome. Thanks for supporting my music.” He scribbled his name on an open page, his tanned fingers squishing the pages together as Ashleigh watched him with intensity. He handed it back to her and forced a smile.
“This means so much to me, thank you.” She held the book open as she admired his signature.
“No problem.” He glimpsed the cover and the name Victoria Allure near the bottom. “Hey.” He held out his hand, motioning for her to give the book back to him. “You want my bandmates to sign it, too?” He motioned them over.
“I’d love that!” Ashleigh nodded. “Thank you so much!”
“Of course.” He handed the book and pen to his bandmates, both signing it and giving it back to Caleb. He read the title aloud. “Nightwalkers? I love this series. I’ve never seen this one before, though. Is it fan fiction?”
“No. It’s Victoria’s new book.” Ashleigh returned his smile with a nervous one of her own, staring at the book as she held out her hand for him to give it back.
“How new?” Caleb opened the cover and looked at notes Ashleigh jotted on the inside cover. She noted future changes in different color inks throughout the manuscript, and her handwriting was sloppy. It embarrassed her to let him see it in such a state.
“How’d you get this? This isn’t the book releasing next month. And did they change the title? I thought it was called Love Bites?” Caleb continued to flip through the pages. Interested, his eyes widened as he skimmed a few passages.
“No, this is a rough draft of Blood Kisses. I just printed it out so I could read it better.” She swallowed hard, her breath quick as she kept her focus on the cover rather than meeting with the eyes of her idol. She stumbled to get out her words.
“Rough draft?” Caleb looked confused, but it didn’t dampen his mood. “So, this is the unedited version?”
“Um—” Ashleigh tried to think of the words. “Yeah. I’m proofing it before I send it back to the publisher.”
“You get to proof her books?”
“Sometimes, yeah.” She gave a sideways smile, her answer leaving her lips before she could take it back. That was such a lame response. She should’ve just said she was Victoria Allure. Damn it.
“Ah, wow. Cool. Can I have it?” Caleb’s face filled with an excited smile as he looked up at her, his hand gripping the tattered cover.
Struck, she couldn’t speak. All she could do was stare at him.
“You can just print off another one to read, right?”
“Well…I…” She reached for it, and her words were stressed. Though she would give him anything, she couldn’t give him this—at least not before she updated her version on her laptop.
Letting out a small laugh, Caleb sent a sexy smile Ashleigh’s way. “I can pay you for it, too. How much you want for it?” He took out his wallet, his slender fingers parting the leather.
Ashleigh wanted to just scream, “Yes! Caleb likes my books!”, and give it to him, but she needed the notes inside. “I can’t. I didn’t finish it, yet.” There was a stressed expression on her face as she held her hand out to him to give it back.
“Can I borrow it then?” He glanced at the security guards with him that motioned for him to hurry up.
“Well…” Fidgeting with the strap of her purse, Ashleigh looked at the cover, her gaze settling on the sticker of a cartoon cat she put on it. “I guess…” She fumbled with her words, Ashleigh having to swallow hard before continuing. “Borrowing it is okay, as long as you give it back.”
“You’re welcome.” She smiled, her face burning.
“So, are you staying with her?” Caleb’s gaze narrowed, seriousness in his voice. “I heard she’s—”
“We gotta go.” Kris yanked on Caleb’s arm.
Caleb waved goodbye to her with the hand that held the book.
As he left, Ashleigh tried to catch up with him but was stopped by his security. Desperate, she yelled in his direction, “I am Victoria! And don’t forget to return it! Room number three-eighty-eight!”
Caleb spun, his smile fading, and a hint of fear reflected in his eyes as he walked backward so he could see her. His guards ushered him out the door. When he turned around, a small frown set into his features, his hand on the book tightening and denting the cover.