Backstage with Her Ex (Harlequin Kiss Series #35)

Backstage with Her Ex (Harlequin Kiss Series #35)

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by Louisa George

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Her ex…the VIP! 

Hiding out in the gents' toilets backstage is not the way Sasha imagined bumping into her significant ex. Especially when that ex is notoriously damaged, famously wild rock god Nate Munro! She has a massive favor to ask him, but one glimpse of his sinfully dark eyes and all she can think about is that he's seen her


Her ex…the VIP! 

Hiding out in the gents' toilets backstage is not the way Sasha imagined bumping into her significant ex. Especially when that ex is notoriously damaged, famously wild rock god Nate Munro! She has a massive favor to ask him, but one glimpse of his sinfully dark eyes and all she can think about is that he's seen her naked! 

Nate's used to women doing anything to get his attention, but he never pictured bubbly schoolteacher Sasha as the groupie type—she's far too sweet! But when the paparazzi get a hint of their reunion, it's scandal all the way. Now the question on everyone's lips is this: In this showdown between the girl next door and rock-and-roll royalty, who's going to come out on top?

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Hiding out in the gents' toilets backstage at the London Arena was not one of Sasha Sweet's personal highs. VIP toilets they might have been but, gold taps be damned, she wanted to go home. I'll kill you, Cassie.

Bad enough she'd let herself be harangued into this ridiculous exercise, but ducking into the men's room in a moment of rare claustrophobic panic? All kinds of embarrassing.

A whoosh of air and a wall of encroaching noise announced the arrival of someone else in the room. Thank God she'd found an empty cubicle.

She checked the state of the wall before she slumped against it. Grateful to be in an empty cubicle? In the men's room? Could my life get any worse?

She held her breath to listen, knowing if she was discovered in here, flouting all security rules, she'd never achieve what she'd set out to do. And the dreams of fourteen kids would literally go down the pan, along with her professional reputation.

Plan A should have worked just fine: approach someone in authority, ask politely, make an appointment. Not hide out like a weird stalker. In a cubicle. While thousands of fans charged the backstage corridors wanting a piece of the notoriously damaged, famously over-sexed rock deity, Nate Munro.

Where was Plan B when she needed it?

A deep American accent bounced off the tiled walls. 'Quick, Nate. In here. Give us five minutes 'til they've been herded out. There's a car on its way to pick you up out the back.'

No. Sasha's shoulders crept towards her jaw, tightening the muscles around her neck like a noose. Not Nate. Not here. Not in this bathroom.

'What happened to Security? They're crazy out there.' Sure enough, it was Nate's voice now, much deeper, richer than she remembered, but unmistakably his. Tinged with his working-class roots and a smattering of amusement, but refined by maturity and years of stateside living.

The American voice responded with an air of glee, 'Crazy for you. They love you. The world loves you, Nate. You are gold.'

True enough. Aeons ago in Sasha's smitten seventeen-year-old eyes being with him had felt as if she'd been sprinkled with gold dust. Nathan Munro. Her eyes fluttered closed at the storm of innocent memories. A young singer desperate to be heard. Night after night of listening to his songs, songs he'd written about her.

He'd scaled the heights against the odds. She'd watched his life spiral out of control, as Chesterton had turned its back on him. And she'd been as scathing as the rest.

But now… Wild boy turned out-of-control rock star. Sold out across the globe on his five continents Hall of Fame tour, catapulted to the top of the charts with his husky sultry songs and edgy dark style. The devil with a god's voice.

And powerful too. What he wanted he got and to hell with the consequences.

So what the heck she thought she'd achieve by asking him for help now, she didn't know. But Sasha inhaled, renewing her resolve. It had been for ever ago. Ten years. He'd probably forgotten about her, about them. Or hated her, still.

No matter. She would find a way to ask him for help, and make good on that promise to her kids—that was what was important, not their past history. But she couldn't face him here, after all this time, not in a loo. Even she wouldn't be able to take herself seriously surrounded by pipe work and the cloying smell of pine.

No, she was a music professional and she had standards. She'd find another way: phone his agent, bribe him into submission. Beg. Something.

So just leave. Please.

The American spoke again. 'You want me to find you someone for tonight? There're plenty of women out there. Your usual? Blonde? Tall? Big—'

'Sure. Whatever.'

'I'll get the guys onto it.' The crackle of a walkie-talkie split the room.

'But only for an hour or so. I've got a date later and I don't want to be late.' Nate's voice was laced with irritation.

What? Sasha's shoulders hiked to her ears again. He was planning a one-nighter and a date? Well, the man had stamina. And no morals.

And that was none of her business.

She'd got over him a long time ago. Hard not to with his colourful love life splashed front page most days of the week. Supermodels, actresses, singers hung off his arm at every opportunity. She just hoped he wasn't planning on entertaining in here; she had things to do.

'So you're not going to the afterparty?' the American asked. 'Twelve months of non-stop touring and you're going on a date instead of getting loose? She must be special.'

'I'll come along to the party later.'

'So who is it this time? Not Cara again? She's trouble, you know. Two stints in rehab. Possession. You've got to steer clear from girls like that.'

'But she did my sales a heap of good. She was good value.'

'Nice thinking, Nate. Point well made. Keep your options open. A pretty lady on your arm keeps the rest of your fans hopeful. But remember, don't do anything stupid—stay away from the two cardinal sins: drugs and marriage. Drugs bring their own problems, pal, but cosy is the kiss of death to your career.'

'I had a lucky escape with that fiasco of an engagement. I'm never going there again.'

Sasha's frown deepened. Did she detect a tinge of boredom in his voice? Something not right in Nate's opulent successful world? And since when was marriage part of the axis of evil?

He'd clearly changed beyond anything she remembered. The Nathan she'd known at first had been sweet and kind and hadn't thought of women as good value. But then, she'd witnessed the beginning of that change: the way he'd morphed from sweet teenager to brooding, angry young man.

Seemed that downward trajectory hadn't stopped.

Suddenly the shrill blare of a text message made her jump.

Shoot! No. No! She clamped a hand to her mouth. Had she said that out loud?

Fumbling into her bag, she fell against the wall, dropped her phone and then watched in silent Slow… Motion… Horror. It bounced and slithered across the tiles, under the cubicle door, and out to the other side.

Crouching down, she watched, mortified, as her bright sparkly purple cell finally came to a stop next to a pair of battered black biker boots.

So yes, it seemed her life could get much worse.

Silence reverberated around the room for two long seconds, save for the hard thump of her heart against her ribs. And the shuffle of heavy feet.

'What have we got here?' The American voice deepened as a hand reached for her phone. He read the message out. '"Target located? Is he still to die for? What about that ass?"' He laughed. 'Hey, Nate, either you've cornered the gay military market, or we have ourselves a desperate female admirer.'


A loud hammering on the cubicle door rocked into Sasha's body as a rash seeped through her skin, burning bright and hot. 'Hey. You. This is VIP access only…and the men's room. Get out here now before I call the cops.'

No, thanks. Standing in front of an assembly hall full of disenchanted teens was less terrifying than coming face to face with an ex like Nate.

If he remembered the way things had ended between them he definitely wouldn't want to answer her cry for help, but she had to try. She couldn't face the kids on Monday and say she hadn't asked him. In reality, this could be her only chance and it wasn't as if she had any sentimental feelings for him—time had certainly filled that well. Finding her courage again, she inhaled. Maybe asking him in a loo wouldn't be so…degrading.

So be a grown-up. Steadying herself, Sasha pulled back the lock. Sometimes, being a grown-up sucked.

Before she could speak the door slammed open and a blur of dark suit brushed against her, jamming her arm behind her back and her cheek against the wall. He patted her hands, her pockets and legs. The voice in her ear was hard and unforgiving. 'There you go, darling. Take it easy.'

'Let go of me. Let go now. Or I call the cops. Harassment. Assault.'

'She's clean.'

'Of course I'm clean. What is this?' 'Can't be too careful, ma'am. We meet all sorts of weirdoes in this business.'

'And that's just the people who work in it, right?' Shoving out of the bear's hold, she straightened her clothes then turned, slamming body-to-body with Nate.

His jaw tensed, and his stare deepened as he took her in, recognition clearly filtering through his brain as he swept his glance up and down her body.

In response she froze, unable to take her eyes from him. Sure, she'd seen the pictures, had some old grainy ones of her own, she'd even stolen quick glances at the rock magazines' centre spreads, heck she'd just watched him perform two hours of perfect harmonies and slow sexy dance moves in the final concert of his tour. But nothing had prepared her for the real thing up close.

He seemed taller, definitely broader, not the teenager she'd once fallen in love with. He was one hundred per cent man. All sex, with his wavy chocolate-coloured hair dipping lazily to one side. She remembered the soft just-washed feel of it, the faint scent of apples.

Her gaze ran across his face, past those famous soft-caramel eyes, the refined cheeks peppered with his trademark stubble, the perfect curve of his lips.

But she couldn't stop there. After all, he'd always been a feast to her senses. She imagined the ruffled feel of his shirt, and the hard muscle underneath. His smell of leather and man. Remembered the long legs for ever encased in black denim, rough against her juvenile skin. The arrogant stance that told the world he didn't give a damn, when she knew he'd cared deeply. Deeply enough to be hurt by the rejection, to leave town altogether and never look back.

And yes, thank you, Cassie, his ass was still to die for.

He stared right back at her, stepping back, palm up in a question. 'Sasha? Sasha Sweet?'

'Nathan—' She started to explain, but suddenly she was grabbed by the bear, who shouted into his walkie-talkie, 'Now. Now. The car's leaving. Go, Nate. You want this one too?'

This one? What was she? A toy? A groupie? 'Wait, no. You've got it wrong. I'm not—'

'No?' The minder grinned and shook his head. 'Had a change of heart, sweetheart? There's plenty more who'd take your place.'

Oh, merry hell. The bear really did think she was a groupie. Nate must have muttered something, or nodded, and she'd missed it before he disappeared into the melee outside.

But at that same moment two more security guards burst into the room, grabbed her by the waist and ran her out through the corridor in a blur of clamouring, screaming women tearing at her hair, her clothes. The chant of Nate, Nate, Nate, ringing in her ears.

'Nathan…Wait—' Her voice mingled with the rest, and got lost. Watching his leather-jacketed back disappear into a blacked-out limousine, she breathed out a hiss of irritation. That was that.

He was gone. And now no result for the school; she should have found her nerve and asked him.

Then she felt someone touch the back of her head and push her into the plush car seat opposite Nathan.

He slowly leaned back and grinned, almost oblivious to the two giggling peroxided semi-naked women who had draped themselves over him and now appeared to be cleaning out his ears—with their tongues. The door slammed closed.

And with a jerk the car eased towards the arena exit to the accompaniment of bright flash photography. On the way to who knew where, with the ex she dumped, an audience of twin pipe-cleaners on legs, and a whole lot of explaining to do.

Meet the Author


Having tried a variety of careers in retail, marketing and nursing Louisa is thrilled that her dream job of writing for Harlequin Mills and Boon means she gets to go to work in her pyjamas. Louisa lives in Auckland, New Zealand, with her husband, two sons and two male cats. When not writing or reading Louisa loves to spend time with her family, enjoys traveling, and adores eating great food. 

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Backstage with Her Ex 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
HarlequinJunkie_ More than 1 year ago
Backstage with Her Ex by Louisa George: Another amazing HQ KISS book. Lemme tell you about it! Sasha has an obligation to her students. She's the chorus teacher to a group of special needs kids and they want nothing more to be able to go to a competition in Manchester.But like everything that happens in their impoverished district - it's a challenge that Sasha hasn't been able to rise to yet. She's got an opportunity to ask a man from her past to help, but after the way they parted she's not sure he'll even want to talk to her. Nate's life is pretty good, even if it's not the wild ride the papers make it out to be. It's a lifetime away from where he grew up. Never good enough for anyone. His then-girlfriend, his brother, his mother... nobody. Now he's the name everyone has on their lips. Nate Munro - rockstar God, Playboy, and living the high-life. He's used to women hiding out, trying to get a minute alone with the bad-boy Nate. So when he finds out there's a woman in the men's room - waiting for him, he's not shocked. However, once she's out of the stall and being frisked by his bodyguard, he couldn't be more gobsmacked. Sasha Sweet. The girl that got away. No, that's not entirely correct - she's the girl that ran from Nate the minute there was trouble. Convicted him without a trial. Until he takes his last breath he'll never forget the look on her face - like he was the devil incarnate. The thing is, he doesn't think he'd do anything differently. He had his reasons then, and they're no less valid ten years later. Nate Munro. Sasha really had no choice but to try and talk to him. He has every right to hate her - she'd be shocked if he didn't. After talking about their future together she'd run away that fateful night. But what did he expect? Bloodied knuckles, police knocking at the door, conversations at full volume talking about how he'd put another kid in the ICU. She couldn't deal with more violence and pain, especially not from someone close to her. So she left. And he'd made a successful life without her. After their 'reunion' in the men's room and the back of his limo, she's quite sure he'll never contact her about helping her choir. It was a horrible idea really. The only card Sasha had to play was his brother Marshall. She thought Nate might soften towards the idea if he could help special needs kids just like his brother had been. A rotten play, but it didn't work anyway. Imagine her surprise when he shows up at the school that expelled him ten years ago to hear more about her plan. Oddly enough, Nate was surprised too. I just love the 'reunited high school sweethearts' thing, and this one was different enough to keep me enthralled the whole way through. Both Sasha and Nate had complicated backstories - and they brushed against each other like really coarse sandpaper. After they parted the first time, their lives couldn't have been any more different. Nate turned into a rich, successful player - and Sasha kind of retreated inside herself. I adored that they felt the sparks fly, but Sasha was strong enough to resist them for a while. When the guy wants to give in and the girl is determined not to - that's empowering. It gets even more so when she decides she's okay with what he offers her, which isn't much. But she's ready to find out what she missed all those years ago, even if it means letting someone get close enough to see her failings. Great story, amazing writing, wonderful characters - the whole package. I've already read it twice, and it'll be there on the shelf when I feel like picking it up again. Highly recommended!