Lyrical Interludes Book 2
by Claire Davon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Ally Wilson should have been a slam dunk for VP until transplanted marketing executive Dirk Roberts takes what’s rightfully hers. A dubious reputation dogs Dirk, and her boss wants her to keep an eye on him. One look from Dirk’s searing sensual gaze and her world shifts.
Dirk never intended to be in Los Angeles, but a shattered reputation forced him to take desperate measures. He wants to repair his name and get out of the sprawling city. Ally’s haunting curves and undeniable appeal won’t change that, much as he yearns for her.
Their coming together is inevitable, as is the waiting disaster if their relationship becomes known. Can two damaged souls find happiness—or will their pasts destroy them?
Roscoe’s House of Chicken N’ Waffles was a restaurant on Gower Street in the heart of Hollywood, just north of Sunset. The needle on top of the Capitol Records building could be glimpsed through buildings in the distance. The Sunset Gower studios with their art deco lettering were just down the street. The Hollywood Hills loomed behind them, if a person faced north.
The restaurant itself had a simple, brown-painted front and a sign with a picture of a dancing chicken overhead. Haphazard graffiti marred some of the storefronts, and trash bounced along the edges of the street. Muted winter sunshine cast a golden glow across the streets and buildings.
Roscoe’s boasted down-home Southern fare, consisting of fried chicken with sides such as grits, macaroni and cheese, as well as their famous waffles. The restaurant was crowded at lunchtime with an eclectic mix of clientele, from tourists to local businesspeople.
The restaurant was a study in two separate parts. One was the original side, and one was a larger addition. The older side was cozy with a raised step after they entered. Plain brown tables and wooden chairs with curving open backs were wedged close.
The table that Dirk and Ally sat at was next to a wall with slanted, dark wood paneling. Artwork and photos were strewn across the walls.
Dirk had to adjust his legs so they were splayed out on either side of Ally when they were seated. He was like an adult on a kid-sized bike.
The smell of fried chicken mixed with less identifiable odors permeated the air. “It’s probably not authentic,” she said, “but I hope you like it.” It shouldn’t matter, yet it did. Damn it.
He rewarded her with a smile that sent a bolt of sensation through her spine.
“I am sure I will. Thank you. Fried chicken and grits are just what a Southern boy needs to feel at home.”
He opened his mouth to say something to her, then went so still he could have been carved of stone. Following his gaze, she saw a man a few years older than Dirk, with the same slightly weathered skin of outdoor living. A brown Stetson was on his head, with jeans and a denim shirt completing the outfit. The glare he was giving Dirk was so malevolent she shivered. He was standing with a group by a curio cabinet studded with Roscoe’s souvenirs at the front of the restaurant. One of the people she recognized as Ryder Bingham, an artist whose album had recently been certified platinum.
She turned back to Dirk. His lips had flattened to a thin line, and harsh grooves cut next to his eyes and down his face before they disappeared under the goatee.
“Heard you landed at Shatter Sound,” the shorter man said, his arms folded and his face in profile to Ally. He was a short man, maybe her height at best, with thick brown hair shot with gray and a close-cropped beard. He also had a drawl that was different somehow than Dirk’s but clearly Southern. “Should have done the smart thing and stayed away.” The dim light from the window touched his shoulders, matching the sliver that landed across Dirk’s chest.
“You should know, Marlon,” Dirk said, his voice cold, body rigid, his hands clasping and unclasping on the table. “I never did learn my lessons easy.” He focused on her. “Marlon works at Earthy Cry Records. Marlon, Alanna Wilson.”
“Ma’am.” Marlon lifted his hat. “You’re at his new the label. Watch this boy like a hawk, or he’ll take you too.”
Claire can’t remember a time when writing wasn’t part of her life. Growing up, she used to write stories with her friends. As a teenager she started out reading fantasy and science fiction, but her diet quickly changed to romance and happily-ever-after’s. A native of Massachusetts and cold weather, she left all that behind to move to the sun and fun of California, but has always lived no more than twenty miles from the ocean.
In college she studied acting with a minor in creative writing. In hindsight she should have flipped course studies. Before she was published, she sold books on eBay and discovered some of her favorite authors by sampling the goods, which was the perfect solution. Claire has many book-irons in the fire, most notably her urban fantasy series, The Elementals’ Challenge series, but writes contemporary and shifter romances as well as.
While she’s not a movie mogul or actor, she does work in the film industry with her office firmly situated in the 90210 district of Hollywood. Prone to break out into song, she is quick on feet and just as quick with snappy dialogue. In addition to writing she does animal rescue, reads, and goes to movies. She loves to hear from fans, so feel free to drop her a line.
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