Solid Gold Bachelor
As the small town of Hillsborough, New Jersey prepares to welcome rock-star and former resident Shane Fox, accountant Carly Mitchell steels herself to face Shane. He was someone she loved long ago and buried deep in her heart after he left. Now, he is coming home.
Shane Fox, leader of super-star group the Rangers, contracted a benefit concert for Hillsborough’s Victims of Abuse Center for a specific reason—Carly. He needs to bury his demons and explain why he left. First, he must rebuild her trust.
Carly and Shane’s fragile truce is shattered when a fanatic groupie announces he is the father of her child. When the fan is found dead after the concert, the paparazzi goes wild. Will the past repeat itself as number-one suspect Shane goes on the run to clear his name, or will the truth behind his decade-ago disappearance surface in time to save Carly from the real killer?
Bobby walked to Carly and threw an arm around her shoulders. “Man, you look great!”
His touch sent a shiver down her spine. “Thank you.” Her words had bite, and she was instantly annoyed they did. She and Bobby may not have been close, but he wasn’t the one who hurt her. She looked over his shoulder. “Is Shane here?”
Bobby shrugged. “Somewhere. The Rangers are gonna do a quick rehearsal as soon as the rest of the band gets here.”
“When do you think that might be?” Carly asked, forcing her voice not to quaver.
Activity near the drummer’s platform caught Bobby’s attention. “Hey, no. That’s not how Troy likes the snare set. Let me do it.” Giving Carly a quick wink, he stepped around her. “Gotta go. Stay in touch. Got a lotta years to catch.”
“Sure,” she said dully, relieved he didn’t linger to talk. She had no intention of walking down memory lane and smack into a tangled web of the feelings she was having for Shane. Whatever was on Bobby’s mind wasn’t nearly as important as getting out of the school as fast as she could. She absolutely had no desire to be around when Shane made his grand entrance.
She started toward the stage stairs when a dark premonition suddenly held her still. Her body tightened. She could sense Shane’s closeness. He was already here. She felt unstrung, loose at the ends, and knew if she came face to face with him now, she would crumple before his eyes. Carly sprinted for the stairs leading down the stage.
The house lights were low from the spotlight tests, so the hall was dim. While walking toward the exit, she noticed someone in the last row on the opposite side of the auditorium. Slowing her steps, she watched the figure rise from the seat and ease toward the aisle.
She didn’t have to see Shane in gray shadows. She knew the man was him. One step, and he was in the aisle. Three more long strides, and he stood in front of her.
Carly had one cold lucid sensation of panic before everything inside her stopped dead. All the years of loneliness and confusion welded together and became a great weight in the center of her chest. As her senses slowly came back, they were totally saturated with memory. “Shane.” The hoarse whisper coming from her throat sounded like someone else’s voice. Stunned by seeing him again, she could not find the words to say anything more.
“Hello, Carly.” A muscle twitched along his jawline. “How are you?”
“I’m fine.” Her heartbeat quickened. She struggled to stay composed but could not stop her body from reacting. To disguise her trembling she took a small step backward.
Shane reached out to steady her.
She waved him off.
“It’s been a long time. Too long a time,” he said.
Drawing a shaky breath, she shook off a building tremor that began when their gazes locked. She had nearly forgotten how quickly he could encourage every nerve in her body to tune into him. The sensation stretched her tight like a rubber band waiting for release. She wanted to stop looking at him, but she couldn’t. She wanted him to go away until she could pull herself together and face him as she had planned, but she knew he wouldn’t leave.
She was staring like one of his adoring fans—wide-eyed, open-mouthed, speechless—but she couldn’t help herself. Like in one of her dreams, Shane stood barely a breath away, looking incredible. No, he was beyond that. He was exquisite. He had gone from a determined rebel with rough edges to a handsome man of polish and success. She dragged her gaze from his eyes and focused on the wall.