Title: Chasing Kade
Series: Thrill of the Chase #1
Author: Anna Paige
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 17, 2017
There's no such thing as too much fun…
Incredibly, immeasurably, categorically false.
Try: It's all fun and games until someone ends up in the tabloids.
Kade Edenfield was rock royalty. If every rock god in history gathered for dinner, his seat would be at the head of the table. He was that good. His band was elevated to a level few ever reached, and he was having the time of his life.
Until one misstep too many landed him on the front page of every gossip rag around the globe, and the band's label decided to saddle them with a PR priss whose sole mission in life was to suck the fun right out of his.
He wanted her gone.
Until he realized he just plain wanted her.
Aubrey Taylor didn’t ask to be assigned to babysit a band full of troublemakers, but she wasn’t given a choice. Wanted or not, she intended to fix the mess they’d made. She’d do it quickly, efficiently, and then she’d get the hell out of there. Unfortunately, after meeting their openly hostile singer—the one with the notoriously menacing stare—it was clear she was in over her head. When Kade made a point to challenge her at every turn, unafraid of using intimidation to get her to back down, she found herself in even deeper trouble.
While she ‘officially’ resented and feared him, their power struggle secretly turned her on.
She desperately wanted to win their little standoff, but what was she supposed to do when she realized she wanted him even more?
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I took her small, soft hand into my much larger one and gave it a firm shake. "Call me Kade," I told her in an almost friendly tone. Her astronomical hotness level didn’t cancel out my feelings about her being there. "With two Mr. Edenfield's and twins to boot, it's hard enough to tell us apart. No need to make it harder."
She nodded and looked down to where I still held her hand in mine, her eyes skimming the tattoos that snaked up my exposed forearm. I let her look her fill, taking the opportunity to do the same. She was a head shorter than me, though most women were; her eyes were definitely gray but I was willing to bet they would look blue under the right circumstances. Her perfume was subtle, crisp with a hint of musk. I had to fight not to lean in and smell her.
Her eyes suddenly flashed to mine, as if she knew I was close to doing just that, and she tugged her hand away, stepping back. "James says I'll be sharing a bus with you and your brother, is that all right?"
"James?" I chuckled at her formality. "I don't think I've ever heard anyone call him that."
"It's his name, isn't it?" She frowned, tossing a glance over at Jimmy like she thought maybe she'd been calling him the wrong name.
"Yeah, everyone just calls him Jimmy, that's all."
Her mouth formed a perfect 'o' and I had the disturbing urge to reach up and sweep my thumb across her lips.
"Does it bother him to be called James?" She sounded worried. "I just assumed…"
I put a hand out and lightly touched her shoulder, trying to calm the panicked look in her eyes. I was only partially motivated by my almost uncontrollable need to have my hands on her. "Relax, polite police. You're gonna pop a blood vessel. It's not as serious as all that. We're just really informal. You'll get used to it." I looked her up and down, assessing her outfit. "Trust me, in no time we will have you in ripped jeans and concert tees." I smiled.
Why was I smiling at her? And why couldn’t I seem to stop?
She shook her head, frowning. "I don't think my boss…"
I glanced around the parking lot. "Is your boss here?"
"Well, no…" She hedged, looking intrigued.
"Then who cares? Besides, if you're going to travel with us and be at all of our events, wearing formal looking stuff like that," I motioned the length of her body, "will make you stick out."
She did that shoulder squaring thing again, trying to slip back into her uptight niche where she felt safe. "I'm not here to party with the band or fall into the groupie crowd, Kade. I'm here to pull your collective asses out of the fire."
The way my name rolled off her lips made my dick spring to life.
Not good. At. All.
And the no-nonsense persona she was working so hard to maintain was making her even hotter than she already was.
"Now, back to the issue of my lodging," she began, "is it agreeable that I stay on the bus with you and your brother?"
I had to bite my cheek to keep from laughing, she was hilariously uptight. I'd work on that, though. "Yes, Aubrey, it's agreeable. Or would you prefer to be called Miss Taylor?"
"And why would you assume it's not Mrs.?" She bit back at my snarky tone.
I glanced at her left hand and shrugged. "No ring, and what husband in his right mind would leave his wife all alone with five bed-hopping, bar-brawling, trouble-making rock stars?"
"I'm happy to hear that you're aware of your shortcomings."
"Nothing about me is short, sweetheart." I quipped, giving her a slow wink.
Shit, I was flirting with her. What was the matter with me?
Her eyes flashed and she narrowed them on me as she looked up. "I didn't work this hard for this long to allow the likes of you to call me sweetheart, Mr. Edenfield. You are to address me only as Aubrey or Ms. Taylor, understand? I am not now, nor will I ever be, your damn sweetheart."
She spun on her heel and stalked off in the other direction, probably to gather her stuff.
She was self-righteous, uptight, judgmental, and too prissy for her own good.
God help me, everything about her turned me on.
Kade Edenfield was a violent man.
The whole world knew it, had heard the stories and seen the reports about the assault charge in Missouri last year.
He was huge, and short-tempered, and he didn't like me one damn bit.
Yeah, I was afraid of Kade Edenfield.
And if that wasn't problem enough, he also turned me on.
That menacing stare he was so known for? Yep, made my heart gallop like a racehorse.
The hard lines of his face, the steely set of his jaw, even the downward turn of his mouth when he argued with me today; it all made me hot. Embarrassingly hot. Unprofessionally hot. Pathetically hot.
He was a far cry from my usual type, my last serious relationship—several years ago—having been with a rather boring accountant with no discernible sense of humor. Now, I was panting after music's most notorious bad boy. I must have lost my damn mind, and if I wasn't careful to hide the attraction, I'd lose my job too. Not that I would ever do anything about it, but it was definitely a problem I hadn't anticipated when I was given the assignment. I assumed I'd dislike him, and maybe I did, to a degree. But not all of me was afraid of him, and that was what worried me most.
I turned back to the table, not wanting to look at Kade. "Are you aware of how many groups have formed strictly for the two of you?" I asked Kane, navigating away from the hoo-ha pic as quickly as possible and looking up the largest group I'd found. "This one is dedicated strictly to the pursuit of 'doubling down' with the Edenfield twins. It's scary how many thousands—thousands—of members are in this group. All looking to hook up with the two of you. I only found it because the recent pics of Kade have been photoshopped so many times by this group. They're using a mirror image of Kade, shifting it until it looks like both of you are there, then adding themselves to the pic so they appear to be sandwiched between the two of you. And some of them look startlingly real. That's how I discovered the group to begin with, I was half-convinced the pics were genuine when I first saw them."
My fingers flew over the keys, navigating the discussion boards. "They even have 'elite' and 'platinum' members who all swear they have hooked up with at least one of you—those are platinum—and sometimes both of you—that would be the highly-coveted elite status." I rolled my eyes, scrolling the list. It was suspiciously long, which made it even less believable than it already was.
Kane leaned over, eyeing the list. "I'd like to think I'd remember all of those."
"Yeah, but a few might be legit." This from Kade.
Kane and I both spun to look at him.
"The fuck, dude?" Kane cut his eyes to me. "That's on the 'need to know' list and she didn't need to know."
I sat there for a minute trying to school my expression so that they couldn't see the shock on my face. My mind was trying to formulate a response but I couldn't conjure a single appropriate reaction.
"Oh, I'm sure she already knows all of our dirty little secrets. How else can she be expected to fix us if she doesn't know exactly how fucked up we really are?" He glared at me. "Bet that's why she's so afraid. She's seen all the skeletons in the closet."
"She didn't know, dumbass. Look at her.” Kane sounded concerned enough that I was momentarily convinced he’d start snapping his fingers in my face to try and check my response. “She's… I don't know what to call it… stunned? Appalled?"
"Intrigued?" Kade hungrily dragged his gaze along my face and neck.
Anna Paige is the author of the Broken series; Broken Ground, Flawlessly Broken, and All the Broken Pieces, as well as the Thrill of the Chase series. The first TotC novel--Chasing Kade--is releasing in March.
She lives in a rural town in North Carolina where the only activity is the rhythmic color change of the solitary stoplight and a very real threat of being carried away by mosquitoes. The only alternative to terminal boredom is writing, making life interesting if only on the page.
Anna is happily married, with one amazing son and a pair of hilarious pets. When she’s not writing, she’s trying to make a dent in her TBR pile. Given that she’s constantly adding new titles to the list, the chances of her ever finishing are slim.
And she’s completely fine with that.
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