Saturday, June 07, 2014



Cover Me

 Carrie Elliott

Release Date: 
June 23, 2014



Derek Bast, always has the final say. In business

and in his personal life, things are done his way, or not at all. So when a scathing

review of his new band is published in The Scene and has his record producer

second guessing his artistic choices, his band mate trying to call the shots, and Bast’s

manager convinced he’s impossible to work with, it’s time to hunt down the source

of his problems: Bess Halprin, reviewer for The Scene, the girl next door growing

up, and his ex-best friend since senior year when she decided to hate him for no


The last person Bess Halprin wants to see standing

in the lobby of The Scene is Derek Bast. Unfortunately, she can’t deny that the last

nine years look damn good on him. She expected to hate him. She didn’t expect the

way he can still tug at her emotions, or the way his kiss—and his hands—set her on

fire. Bess should’ve kept her distance, because Bast was right when he guessed her

review was written for revenge. The problem is, to this day he has no idea what he

did—how he screwed her over their senior year. The bigger problem? She’s giving

him the opportunity to do it again, because she never could resist him.

When circumstances bring them both home to Santa

Cruz, Bast earns his way into the heart of the girl next door, but when they return to

L.A. and real life rushes in, will he be able to keep her this time or are the mistakes in

their past destined to be repeated?


“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” I threw The

Scene down onto the marble table in front of my band manager, Kurt Detrick. “She’s

hated me since high school. That’s what this shit review is about. Revenge.”

Kurt sat back in his chair and crossed his arms.

“I don’t know, D. I mean, it is a shit review, but every time I’ve dealt

with Bess Halprin she’s been nothing but professional. I’m not sure she’d risk the

reputation of her magazine for revenge.”

“Whatever the case,” Joe Schmidt, my record

producer said, his voice echoing from the conference phone in the middle of

the table, “she makes some good points. We need to rethink the tracks we have

recorded, maybe ditch them altogether and find something else.”

“Good points? Ditch them?” </ em>Was he fucking insane? I snatched the magazine off the table and read, “Unholy

Union is a quintessential band name for the mind-numbing melding of indie-to-
corporate singer/song-writer, Derek Bast, and teen pop sensation, Adrian. In no

known universe should the music of these two collide.”

I whacked Adrian on the arm with The Scene—

Adrian who used no last name, like Prince or Madonna. “Hey. Pretty boy. You got

anything you want to add to this conversation?”

Adrian shook his head, his hair whipping around his

face. “Nah. Not really.”

I clenched my teeth. My jaw twitched. “Joe. We’ll call

you back.” I reached over and jabbed the off button on the phone.

Kurt flew forward. “What the--”

“Kurt.” My chest constricted, tight as stone. My

nostrils flared with the effort to inhale, exhale and not rip someone’s face off. “Fuck

you.” I pointed to Adrian. “And fuck you.” I pushed away from the table and stood so

fast, my chair fell over. “Since I’m the only one who gives a shit about Joe trashing

the tracks we recorded, I’ll go fix this.” I gave them a mock bow. “You’re both fucking


I couldn’t say I remembered the drive across town.

There were flashes from the paparazzi when my tires squealed out of the parking

garage, but then I was lost in a blind rage until pulling up in front of the ugly glass

building where The Scene’s offices were located.

A scruffy guy in filthy clothes sat on the ground

beside a palm tree. This wasn’t the best part of L.A. if there even was such a thing.

“Hey. Do me a favor.” I pulled a hundred dollar bill out of my pocket and held it out

to him. He scrambled to his feet. “Don’t let anyone near my car.” He nodded, shoving

the cash in his pocket.

The reception area was bright and modern with

purple furniture, Wi-Fi stations and flavored coffee set up on a cart with a striped

awning, like we were outside. It reminded me of Willy Wonka’s factory.

“Can I help you?” A blond with big blue eyes looked

up from behind the rounded desk. “Oh! Derek Bast.” Her throat rippled as she

swallowed hard. It put an image in my mind that made me look away.

“I need to see Bess Halprin.”

“I’m not sure she’s in the office. Did you have

an appointment?” She clicked on her computer screen, quickly searching Bess’s


“No. It’s urgent. Do you know where she is?”</ span>

“Behind you,” said a deep female voice that clawed

its way up my back.

I turned to see Bess standing a few feet from me.

The realization hit that after all the years we spent living beside each other growing

up in Santa Cruz, that this was the first time I’d seen her in about nine years, since

high school.

This Bess Halprin wasn’t the skinny girl with baggy

jeans and glasses who used to knock on my door every Friday after school to try

and get me to go to her youth group roller skating party with her. She didn’t even

look like the girl who was voted most likely to become first female President of The

United States in high school. This girl—woman—was someone I didn’t know.</ span>

Bess Halprin grew up.

And filled in.

“Stop starting at my boobs, Bast.” She tugged the

strap of her black leather bag up higher on her shoulder.


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