By- Ashlynne Laynne
Genre- Rocker Romance/Contemporary
Publisher: Q-Rotic Press
Passion. Love. Music.
A man struggling to gain his independence…
Every aspect of Austin MacKenzie’s life is governed by a generations-old code instituted by his Scottish forefathers. But rather than be groomed to take over the family empire, he struggles to free himself from the bonds of an arranged marriage to a woman within Scottsdale’s societal circles.
A woman simply struggling to survive…
Raised by a drug-addicted mother in one of the roughest parts of Phoenix, Liz Carlisle just wants a way out. A nursing student, she’s determined to make a difference and reach her ultimate goal of becoming a pediatric nurse.
With music as a common ground…
After a chance encounter at a band audition, Austin and Liz discover that they share a love of music. Despite their differences, an attraction forms that will alter their lives forever and rip their worlds
Austin’s gaze immediately sought Liz out when he entered. “I’d say we caught a break today. The panel has agreed to let us audition tomorrow morning at ten. For now, there’s a car waiting to take us anywhere you need to go.”
Austin was cute and no doubt charming—so were most serial killers—and she was sure that he could talk a woman right out of her panties. While her creep radar wasn’t flashing, he was still a stranger and should be treated as such.
Liz contemplated the dangers of going off with a man she knew absolutely nothing about. “I don’t know about that,” she finally said. “I don’t even know you. You could be rapists or murderers.”
“Are you serious?” He broke into a batch of amused mirth. “Well, let’s see…everyone at this audition has seen us together, so if you were to disappear, we would be their prime suspects. We have a set in the morning for the panel. If we don’t show up, I’m sure they’d call the cops.” He handed her his phone. “If you’re that worried, call your mum from my phone. That way, she’ll have my name and number.”
His assurances went a long way to ease Liz’s fears, but she wasn’t completely convinced. Grabbing her own phone out of her jeans pocket, she motioned him over to where she sat on the couch. When he sat beside her, she pointed the phone straight ahead, adjusting the angle until both their faces were in the frame. After several passes, she got the perfect shot. They took several group photos that she forwarded to Chaz and Sarah. Then friending Austin on each platform, she immediately placed the picture on all of her social media accounts, tagging him and both her friends.
“Does that make you feel better?” His expression dubious, he watched her with all the wonder of a scientist observing a rare species in its natural habitat. “That’s a nice pic by the way. I’ll have to use it on my profile.” He gave her a teasing smirk as he commandeered her waist, helping her off the faux leather couch. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to carry you out. I asked, but no one could tell me if there were any wheelchairs at the facility. The medic is already gone.”
Liz was in no way clumsy. She’d danced ballet, tap and jazz, hip-hop and taken belly dancing lessons in her nineteen years. Still, something about their close proximity wiped away her sure-footed confidence, leaving behind legs that were uncooperative, jellied stumps.
Like one of Sarah’s novel heroines, she swooned, her body unable to resist the tempting offer.
The resonance of his accent speaking her name stirred something inside her. No one had ever said her name with such inflection or intensity.
“Are you okay? Maybe our first stop should be the hospital.”
“No. I’m fine—just felt a little woozy.” She breathed a deep breath of air, glancing at both her friends.
Both Sarah and Chaz stood silent, blue and brown eyes glazed while wandering over the unlikely scene playing in front of them.
“Well,” Austin said, lifting her into his arms. “I wouldn’t feel right just dropping you off someplace and not knowing if you’re okay. You’ll stay with me tonight—in my room at The Drayton.”
A heavy sigh sounded from the corner of the room occupying her friends, and Liz was not surprised when she glimpsed Sarah beaming fondly at the both of them.
“Oh no,” Liz protested. “I couldn’t inconvenience you like that. Besides, I already have a room.”
“No inconvenience and not up for discussion. I’m devoting my life to practicing medicine. What kind of physician would I be if I just abandoned patients in need?” His sarcastic expression questioned her just as loudly as his lips. Austin carried her through the long corridor, lined with gawking onlookers, with relative ease. His strong arms provided a sturdy cradle that cushioned her from their judgments and assuming stares.
Liz could only imagine what they thought of her. Surely, they’d labeled her some weak-minded airhead lacking the physical capacity to walk on her own. But she was no damsel in distress, contrary to what her current predicament alluded. She worked grueling twelve-hour shifts on the weekends and studied during the week to reach her goal of becoming a state-board certified RN. All while single-handedly running a household and caring for an ailing mother.
Not feats for the faint at heart.
As a young girl, she’d preferred climbing trees and playing football with the neighborhood boys. Something about Austin spoke to the part of her that was fiercely feminine, even though she’d never been one for dolls and dresses, or grown up with the pretense of wanting a Knight in Shining Armor to rescue her on his white horse.
I can rescue my damned self was a simple mantra she’d repeated for most of her life. She’d witnessed people falling in and out of the throes of love and suffering the consequences of that choice. It wasn’t something she had need for, or even wanted. Liz didn’t believe in fairytale endings or a prince waiting to kiss her into a happily ever after.
Lying prone in Austin’s arms might just be proof that chivalry was, indeed, still alive.
About the Author-
Ashlynne Laynne is the author of contemporary romance and the award-winning erotic paranormal romance succession, The Progeny Series, as well as an accomplished songwriter and poet. She’s an avid horror movie fan, admitted vamp groupie, and lover of all things Celtic. A hopeless romantic, she’s always had a thing for the fanged ones and hot guys in kilts.
Ashlynne writes on the edge and combines erotica and romance in sensual tales that always feature heroes with heart. A flexitarian, Ashlynne enjoys cooking vegetarian recipes that support a healthier lifestyle. In her spare time, she likes to read, watch crime shows, and spend time with her family. Ashlynne juggles the hats of wife, mother, full time employee and part-time writer, hoping to write exclusively in the future.
Ms. Laynne is an advocate of autism research and is always looking for projects to benefit the cause. She lives in the southern United States with her husband and son.
Progency Series on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/The-Progeny-Series-129418917161599/timeline/
Alterity Series on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/The-Alterity-Series-282658091825055/timeline/
Ascher and Shauna’s Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/Ascher-Shauna-from-The-Progeny-Series-250561054996999/timeline/