Blog Tour: Down & Dirty by Rhenna Morgan
Title: Down & Dirty
Author: Rhenna Morgan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: March 11th, 2019
And tried like hell to keep the cocktail of rage, praise and outright fear mushrooming up in her chest from spewing all over the seemingly unfazed man next to her. She made it until Vic and his flat ass disappeared into the back office. By some miracle, her first words came out surprisingly restrained. “Tell me you’re a friend of Rex’s and not some stranger who not only just squarely stuck his nose right in the middle of my business, but knows enough details of my bookings to make me seriously uneasy.”
There was no hint to the smile he shot her this time, the sheer devilment behind the curve of his full lips potent enough to make the most hardened woman giggle like a little girl. “Don’t know anyone named Rex, lass, so we’re gonna have to go with door number two. Though, I wouldn’t let the fact that I knew how much you’d booked the gig for tweak you too much. Vic’s not the most creative guy. Every band that’s worth a damned gets the same deal.”
“And you know about bands and their going rates because…”
“Because I know music and I know bar owners.” He faced her fully and held out his hand. “Axel McKee.”
Damn, but the man’s voice was a weapon. Rich, deep, and made all the more intoxicating with the accent. But that was nothing compared to his presence. To the raw, masculine energy emanating off him and the startling focus behind his brilliant green eyes.
He kept his hand steady. Patiently waiting for her to take what he offered.
A crossroad moment.
How she knew it, she couldn’t say, but she felt it in her bones. Intuited the gravity of the situation the way prey recognized a predator had marked them as a target.
And yet, rather than run, she lifted her hand and pressed her palm against his.
Oh. Holy. Hell.
A shiver she didn’t have a prayer of containing moved through her and her breath hitched with all the subtlety of a woman who’d just felt a man’s lips on the back of her neck for the first time.
His fingers tightened around hers. A tangible testament that he’d felt and witnessed her response, which in itself should have mortified her. Instead the deepened connection resonated through her like a tether in the middle of straight-line wind.
“Lizzy Hemming.” The quaver in her response and the sexual rasp that went with it slapped her well-honed sense of self-preservation back into place, and she tugged her hand free with an awkward abruptness. “Though, you appear to already know that.”
“Everyone in this bar knows your name.”
“True, but not one of them saw fit to saunter over here and put my band’s income at risk.”
His smile really was a killer. Quick and loaded with mischief. “Vic’s an idiot, but he’s not that stupid. You covered a week’s worth of hourly wages for half of his staff on his cut of the door alone, and the way he’s trained his bartenders to short people on most of the drinks, you put him squarely in the black for the rest of the month. The last thing that’s gonna happen is you losing a booking.” He cocked his head the same way he had with Vic, only without the dangerous vibe behind his eyes. “Now, if you’re ready to stop playing gigs like this, that’s a whole different conversation.”
Every DEFCON alarm hardwired from past experience went off at once, blaring with enough decibels to nearly make her outwardly wince. As lead-ins went, it was a smooth one, but she’d learned the hard way what trusting smooth talkers earned you. Especially the hot ones. “How exactly is it you know Vic, but he doesn’t know you? And what do you mean, I know music?”
“I know Vic because—bad business man or not—he books good bands, and I make it my business to keep an eye out for good music in and around Texas. I know music because I love it. Have my whole life.”
“You make it your business why?”
His expression shifted. Narrowed with a shrewdness that made her feel as though he’d easily peeled away all her armor and studied the raw woman underneath. “You’re a guarded woman, Elizabeth. Why is that?”
“No one calls me Elizabeth. It doesn’t fit. Never has.”
One look. Ruthless determination behind his eyes and an uncompromising firmness to his lips. “It fits you perfectly. You’re just afraid to wear it.”
This is the first book by this author I have read and I was instantly put at ease. This author had a smooth writing style that I was able to enjoy and a way to suck you in and keep you turning the page. Axel and Lizzy's love story was one for the books. Now I need to go back and read the rest of this series.