Thanks, Sophie, for hosting the Dissonance cover reveal! There’s nothing quite as fun as showing off a brand-spanking-new book cover. Even better when it does a perfect job of capturing the feeling of the story. Dissonance, the latest installment in the Blue Notes Series from Dreamspinner Press, may be one of the angstiest of all the Blue Notes books. It’s a story of betrayal, heartbreak, and rising above your past to find hope in the future.
British noble Cam Sherrington puts on a good show, pretending he isn’t still grieving the end of his relationship with opera singer Aiden Lind. Of course, Cam has nothing to complain about, since he singlehandedly destroyed that relationship by cheating on Aiden again and again. Nobody likes a cheater, especially the cheater himself. Cam doesn’t know why he cheats, but he knows he’s a worthless piece of garbage. And it’s not as though anyone disagrees with him, either, if his mother and uncle are any indication.
Then Aiden calls to let him know he’s marrying his partner, attorney Sam Ryan. On Cam’s thirtieth birthday. And that’s just the beginning…. Before Cam can figure out what hit him, the rest of his life is in a shambles. Then the dreams start. Dark, frightening dreams. But if they’re only dreams, why do they seem so real?
Trumpet player Galen Rusk plays for tips in the 42nd Street Station in Manhattan, and he’s noticed Cam. When Cam stops to listen to Galen’s music, Galen takes a chance and tries to talk to him. But Galen’s music remains the only connection between them until Cam ends up sleeping on a cold subway bench. Then it’s Galen’s turn to pay forward the shoulder someone gave him ten years before.
Dissonance deals with some dark themes, but the message of the story is an upbeat one about learning to love yourself and finding your inner strength. By the end of writing the story, Cam totally won me over. I hope he’ll win you over too!
You can pre-order Dissonance on the Dreamspinner Press website now. And while you’re at it, be sure to enterthe pre-release contest I’m running. You could win a cool Blue Notes Series swag bag filled with paperback books of the first 5 novels in the series (or e-book copies if you live outside the US).
And now, I’ll leave you with the blurb and an excerpt from Dissonance. I hope you enjoy it! –Shira
British lord Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his own fault for pushing Aiden away. Then someone tries to set him up and take away his family business. Facing arrest by US authorities on charges of money laundering and with no money to return to London, Cam decides to run. But with no money and no place to stay, it’s not exactly the Hollywood thriller he’d imagined.
When Cam hears Galen Rusk play in a lonely subway station, he’s intrigued. But his assumptions about Galen are all wrong, and their unusual relationship isn’t exactly what Cam bargained for. Add to that the nightmares that dog him nightly, and Cam’s world is shaken to its core. Cam figures he had it coming to him, that it’s all penance due on a life lived without honesty. He just never figured he might not be able to survive it.
Cam cursed his love for Aiden as he wobbled down the concrete steps to the 42nd Street subway station. Riley had looked at him as if he were mad when he’d told her he was headed home. “Did I do something wrong?” she asked with the same pouty expression she wore on the rare occasion when her father refused to buy her something.”Nothing,” he said as he’d reached for the doorknob. “I’m done. That’s all.” “At least let me call my driver to take—”
He’d refused. Seriously, did she think he wasn’t capable of taking a fucking subway after a few drinks at a party? It wasn’t even midnight.
He rubbed an eye with the heel of his hand. The damn telephone conversation replayed in his mind and grated on his nerves like Muzak at a cheap restaurant. He’d tried not to sound eager. Tried to sound nonchalant. He’d gotten good at that over the years. And then the brutal words had come. They’d seared his heart and left him dizzy. “Listen, Cam…. I need to tell you something. I don’t want you to hear it from the press…. Sam asked me to marry him, and I said yes.”
He needed to walk. He needed to clear his head. He needed to shout to the heavens and hit something.
Why in hell had he bothered to look at the phone? Easy: he’d prayed it was Aiden calling to tell him he wanted him back.
You’re a fucking loser, Cameron! Nobody wants you!
A memory stirred. Someone holding him. Ruffling his hair. Someone other than his father. Someone had wanted him. Cared for him.
Where the hell had that come from? He brushed it off and descended the steps to the Lexington Avenue train.
It was bad enough that Aiden thought he’d tried to sabotage his career. He did everything to make sure Aiden didn’t think he wasn’t interested anymore. He’d gone to the after-party following Aiden’s Met debut—of course he’d gone, his company had helped bankroll the production of Don Giovanni—and Aiden had been MIA. So he’d decided Aiden didn’t need to know he’d been there at all.
And then the phone call. Aiden hadn’t beaten around the proverbial bush. He’d said it. Honestly. Simply. Just the way Cam would have expected Aiden to say it. And suddenly Cam didn’t care if he fucked that hot little Broadway-bound arse. He no longer cared about the party or its hallowed attendees. He no longer cared about anything except the gaping, jagged hole the conversation had left in his heart. And now, fucking New York pigeons were setting up camp in the hole. Shitting in it.
He walked from the Lexington Avenue train toward to the S train platform. The achingly mournful sound of a trumpet echoed off the dirty tile walls. He hadn’t really noticed them before. The intricate mosaic artwork had probably taken weeks to complete. Decades before, it had probably been stunning, but now it was covered in a film of grayish-black soot and some of the tiles were missing.
How fitting. He looked around for the source of the music, noting the powerful smell of urine. Away from the turnstiles, a mound of blankets and a refuse-filled shopping cart occupied the far corner of the station. He guessed there was a human being under there, although he was hardly going to look. Beyond the automatic ticketing machines, he could just make out the form of a man holding a trumpet. The same man he’d seen playing at lunch. Maybe he lived in the subway. Cam had heard stories of actors and musicians unable to get work in New York living on the street.
“Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone….”
Cam walked across the empty space between the train platforms, his feet making soft tapping sounds against the concrete. He paused for a moment to watch the trumpet player standing with his back to the wall. He stared into whatever space musicians liked to stare into—that ethereal place they went when they were so focused on the music that the world around them disappeared. A dusty blond curl fell from the shaggy mop of hair onto the trumpeter’s face as he finished another phrase. “… and she’s always gone too long any time she goes away.”
Cam drew a long breath. It was perfect. The angst of it all. The music. The echo of his steps. The blast of cool air as he neared the train tunnels. Fucking perfect.
The musician noticed him standing there. The man’s eyes were a beautiful hazel, almost green. Why hadn’t he noticed before?
What do you care? The man’s an unemployed musician.
The guy looked at him and his eyes widened almost imperceptibly, as they had the last time Cam had seen him. Did he recognize Cam? God knew there were enough articles written about him. Esquire, Elle, Cigars Magazine, blah, blah, blah. Glamour’s “Most Eligible Bachelor” from 2008. As if!
The trumpet player finished the song, then stopped for a moment and rested the trumpet against his hip. His lips were swollen and pink from playing. For a split second, Cam imagined tasting them. Then he noticed the torn jeans and white T-shirt with a faded Señor Frog’s logo and the words “I got wasted in Cancun” written below it.
Oh, for God’s sake, Cameron! He’s a loser with a capital L!
Well, that made two of them, didn’t it? Even if the guy could play pretty damn well—very well, judging by the little Cam had heard—they were both in a stinking, empty subway station on a Friday night at midnight. Poor sod.
“Another request?” A smile danced on the man’s kissable lips.