Their one night stand wasn't supposed to end this way…
Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins' ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the devastatingly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben's the only man who's ever made her feel out of control with desire? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn't looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.
Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She's his best friend's little sister, and no matter how hot the chemistry between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he's not going to go there. But when Ben has a moment of weakness in Sin City, he learns that what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible...but will it lead to a true connection of the heart?
"While retaining her mischievous signature style, Scott brings a tenderness and honesty that is truly delightful."Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott is a longtime fan of erotic love stories, rock n' roll, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia she reads, writes and never wastes time surfing the internet.
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By Kylie Scott
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2015 Kylie Scott
All rights reserved.
FOUR MONTHS AGO
Good girls don't fall for rock stars. It just isn't done.
"Oh god." My sister, the aforementioned Pumpkin, giggled.
I just gaped. It seemed to be my go-to look of the day.
Lord knows, I'd been wearing it ever since letting myself into Anne's apartment this morning. Because I lived on campus, we'd starting doing brunch every Sunday morning since moving to Portland a few years back. It was our sisterly thing. But instead of standing ready to serve the bacon and eggs this morning, I'd found, Anne was fast asleep on top of a tattooed stud on the sofa. Both of them mostly clothed, thank god.
But, wow, what a revelation. I mean, I didn't even know Anne dated. I'd thought me dragging her along to the occasional party on campus was the sum total of her social life.
"C'mon, woman," said Mal, her brand-spanking-new boyfriend. "We can't be late to practice or Davie'll get his panties in a wad. You have no idea what drama queens guitarists can be. I swear, last week he threw a total hissy fit just 'cause he broke a string. Started screaming and throwing shit at people. True story."
"That is not a true story," admonished Anne, shaking her head. "David is a perfectly nice guy. Stop trying to scare Lizzy."
"No-o-o." Mal gave her big innocent puppy eyes, even going so far as to bat his eyelashes. "You think I would lie to Lizzy, my sweet little future sister-in-law?"
Anne just shook her head. "Are we going in or what?"
"Can't believe you doubted me, Pumpkin."
We followed the manic blond drummer into a big old building down by the river. As good a place for a loud rock band to practice as any. The only neighbors were industrial buildings, abandoned for the weekend. Inside wasn't any warmer, but at least we were out of the bone-chilling October wind. I stuffed my hands into the pockets of my gray woolen coat, nervous now that we were actually about to meet them. My sole interactions with the rich and famous started this morning with Mal. If the rest of the band was anything like him, I'd never keep up.
"As if anyone could doubt me. That hurt bad," he said. "Apologize."
Mal smacked a noisy kiss on her cheek. "You're forgiven. Later."
Stretching his fingers and rotating his wrists, the man bounded off toward the stage assembled at one end. Instruments, amps, and other sound gear covered it and the surrounding area, with roadies and sound techs busy amid it all.
It was fascinating, this, him, and my whole damn morning. Mal and Anne seemed so in tune with each other. Perhaps Anne and I had been a touch too hasty in our dismissal of romantic love and affection. So it hadn't worked out for our parents. Hell, those two had pretty much made a mockery of commitment and marriage. Mal and Anne might yet make a far better case study.
"He's borderline insane by the way," I said quietly. "So manic."
"Yeah. Isn't he great?" She grinned.
I nodded, because anyone who could make her smile so bright clearly must be. The light of hope in her eyes, the happiness, it was beautiful.
And the man in question? None other than Malcolm Ericson, drummer for worldwide renowned rock group Stage Dive, had somehow shacked up with my sister. My quiet, calm, color-within-the-lines-or-else sister. Anne was being vague about the details, but the facts remained the same. Her new boyfriend stunned me stupid. Perhaps someone had slipped something into my coffee back on campus. It would certainly explain all of the crazy.
"Can't believe you told him about me crushing on him when I was a kid." Ever so gently, Anne elbowed me in the side.
I grunted in pain.
"Thanks for that," she said.
"You're welcome. What else are sisters for?"
We wandered toward the couple of women sitting on storage boxes at the back of the hall. So cool, getting to see the band practice. Anne had truly been the psycho fan, plastering her bedroom wall with posters of Stage Dive. Mostly of Mal, making today's dating revelation all the more holy hell. But if anyone deserved some amazing, mind-blowing good to come their way, it was my sister. I couldn't begin to tell you how much she'd given up to get us this far.
The blond woman smiled in greeting as we got closer, but the curvy brunette just kept playing with her cell.
"Hello, fellow Stage Dive groupies and hanger-onners. How is your Sunday morning?" the blonde asked.
"Good," said Anne. "How are you feeling, Mrs. Ferris?"
"I am feeling very, very married, thank you for asking. How are you and Mal doing?"
"Ah, good. All good." Anne joined them, sitting on one of the boxes. "This is my sister, Lizzy. She goes to school at PSU. Lizzy this is Ev, David's wife, and Lena, Jimmy's ..."
"Assistant. Hi." Lena gave me a small smile and chin tip.
"Hi." I waved.
"Nice to meet you," said Ev. "Anne, quickly before they start playing. Tell me the story of you and Malcolm. I still haven't heard how you got together, exactly. But Lauren mentioned he basically invaded your apartment."
Back at her apartment, I'd overheard an odd argument between her and Mal. Something about them having an "agreement." When I questioned her she'd basically told me to butt out, in her own sweet way. I could only take her word that all was well, and try not to worry. Still, the question and Anne's reaction to it interested me greatly. I ever so subtly shuffled a little closer.
The whites of Anne's eyes flashed. "Ah, well, we met at your place the other night and hit it off."
"That's it?" asked Ev.
"Yes, that's pretty much it." Anne's smile wavered only slightly. "What is this, Ev, a grilling?"
"Yes, this is a grilling. Give me more information, please?"
"He's really great and yes, he kind of moved himself in with me. But I love having him there. He's wonderful, you know?"
So they weren't going to get any more out of her than I had. No big surprise. Anne tended to be tight lipped, a private person.
The girls kept on talking.
Up on the stage only the band members now remained, the rest moving off to the side to play with various bits of equipment. They stood gathered around Mal and his drum kit, deep in conversation. So this must be the band. Jeans and T-shirts seemed to be the goto, scruffy cool hairdos and lots of tats. One of them stood a good half a head taller than the rest, and the rest were not tiny. This guy must be a giant. And it'll sound crazy, but there was just something about the way he stood, the solidity of him. Mountains had never seemed so strong and imposing. Big boots several feet apart and a hand wrapped high around the neck of his bass guitar as if he might swing it club style at any moment to subdue some stray bear. The thick width of his shoulders and the ink on his muscular arms made my fingers itch with the need to explore. It couldn't have been healthy, but I'm pretty damn sure my heart skipped a beat. Every inch of me vibrated with some sort of hyper, crazy sexual tension courtesy of his presence. Never before had just the sight of a man made me go so gaga.
I couldn't look away.
The band meeting broke apart and he took several steps backward. Someone counted them in and boom! The first deep, heavy notes of his bass guitar slammed into me, rattling my bones. It left no corner of me unaffected. The song he played was like a spell, sinking deep, taking me over. My belief in love or lust or whatever this feeling was suddenly became assured. The sense of connection seemed so real. I hadn't had many definites in my life. But him, us, whatever this was, it was one. It had to be.
Finally, he turned in my direction, his gaze on his instrument, a short beard hiding half his face. Wonder if he'd be willing to shave it? He wore a faded red tee and dark blue jeans, as per the band uniform. As he played he'd rock back and forth on his heels, nodding or smiling every now and then at the singer, guitarist, or whoever.
And I'm certain each and every one of them performed like the prime specimens of rock 'n' roll musicianship that they were. None of them mattered, though. Just him.
Of course, I knew who he was. Ben Nicholson, the bass player for Stage Dive. But his presence in music videos or Anne's extensive collection of posters had never affected me like this. To be here, seeing him in the flesh, was a different experience altogether. My blood ran hot and my mind emptied. My body, though—it was as if it went on red alert, tuned in to every little move he made.
The man was magic. He made me feel.
Maybe love, marriage, and commitment weren't all some archaic social construct designed to give our young the best chance of survival. Maybe there was more to it. I don't know. Whatever this emotion was, however, I wanted him more than I'd ever wanted anything.
The music went on and on, and I stood staring, lost.
* * *
Hours later they finally stopped playing. Roadies flooded the stage, relieving the guys of their instruments, slapping them on the back and chatting. Everyone knew their jobs to perfection and it was fascinating to watch. Soon the four men approached us, looking thoroughly bedraggled. Sweat dripped off their hair, running down their tired but smiling faces. My walking male fantasy had an energy drink attached to his lips, the liquid in the bottle disappearing at lightning speed as he chugged it down. The closer he got and the more I saw, the more my body wanted. The way his T-shirt clung to him, dark from perspiration, made me start panting. The salty scent of sweat coming from his body got me sky-high. I'd sincerely love to explore what else he enjoyed doing that involved getting overheated.
Hells yes, sign me up for some of that.
Up this close, I could see the start of little lines beside his dark eyes. So he was a bit older than me. He couldn't be more than thirty or so, surely, and what was ten years between soul mates? And yes, I knew I was getting a bit overexcited. I just couldn't help it; the way he made me feel didn't come in halves. There could be no moderation.
I didn't tune in to the talk, just him. The rest of the world could disappear for good. I'd happily stand and stare at Ben Nicholson for hours. Days. Weeks.
One of those big hands ran over his short hair and I swear my sex wept in gratitude at the sight. I was out of control. If he fondled his beard I might faint.
"I'm starving," he said, his deep voice in every way a perfect, wonderful thing. "We finding somewhere to eat and drink?"
Dark eyes turned my way, looking down, noticing me for the first time. Oh lord, it was like an epiphany, being held in his gaze. It was starlight and moonbeams and all that fantastical ridiculous stuff I'd spent the last seven years mocking care of my parent's example. This man's existence gave it all back to me—hope, love, things like that. He made me a true believer once more.
Then he gave me a slow looking over. I stood still, grinning, waiting, and inviting his perusal. Fair was fair, I'd been ogling him for hours. And while I might not be putting any supermodels out of a job anytime soon (average height, not much up front, but curvy in the back—just like my sister), he'd be hard pressed to find a girl who could beat me for open and eager enthusiasm. I might only come up to his shoulder, but god damn would I make bending down worth his while.
Slowly, a smile curved his lips, making my heart jump with glee. The man reduced me to the state of a starstruck teenager. Yes to anything and everything that might possibly cross his mind.
"Well, okay then," he said.
"Don't you have to get back to school, Liz?" someone asked. Anne. Right. Whatever.
Man, he was divine. Maybe god existed after all. There might be a few more topics besides love that I'd need to reassess. What a day of revelations.
"No, I'm fine."
"I thought you had an assignment to do?" My sister's voice tightened in a way which normally sent red sirens screaming through me. But try as she might, I would not be swayed.
"Lizzy," she grated out.
"Ladies, ladies," said Mal. "We got a problem here?"
There were no problems anywhere. Not so long as Ben's gaze stayed fixed on me, making my world turn round. My smile grew shaky as our lustful staring contest continued.
Then the man smirked playfully and butterflies went berserk in my belly. Damn him, I would not look away. I could and would win.
But suddenly there was a distinct disturbance in the happy. Some woman was wound around Mal, giggling and cooing and carrying on. And the problem was, that woman was not my sister. Instead, Anne stood watching the scene with her face pale and her mouth set in a grim, resigned line.
All thoughts of Ben faded from my mind like I was waking from a dream. Sisterly duties called to me loud and proud.
"Hey, Mal," I said, trying for happy-go-lucky and probably failing miserably. "Should we invite Anne's friend Reece along to eat? He often does stuff with us on Sundays."
Reece was her boss and sometime crush. At least until Mal had come along. I most certainly wasn't above using petty jealousy to further the cause.
Anne's brows drew tight. "I think Reece said he'd be busy."
I gave her my best guileless look. "No. Really? Why don't you give him a call and check, Anne?"
"Fuck no, Lizzy. I mean, I don't think there'll be room." The moron rock star looked around, finally noticing the assorted embarrassed faces (his friends') and the outright murderous face (mine) of those assembled.
The ho batted her eyelashes at him. "Is something wrong?"
"It's cool," said Anne. "Why don't you go for a drink with your friend and catch up?"
"I thought we were gonna do something." And Mal might be beyond pretty, but he sure as hell wasn't the smartest drumstick.
"Yeah, but ..."
"I'm sorry, you are?" the ho asked in her high girly voice.
Ev cleared her throat and announced in a no-nonsense manner, "Ainslie, this is Mal's new girlfriend, Anne. Anne, this is Ainslie."
"Girlfriend?" Ainslie laughed, and I pretty much definitely really now did want to kill her. Slowly. Painfully. You get the gist.
"I was just saying hi to a friend," said Mal, carrying on with the male obliviousness. "What's the big deal?"
"There isn't one. It's fine."
"Yeah, there obviously is or you wouldn't be looking at me like that."
"You need to not talk to me in that tone of voice," Anne bit out. "Especially not in front of other people. Go out with your friend, have a nice time. We can discuss this later."
"We can, huh?"
His mouth curled into a farce of a smile. "Fuck it."
Everyone kind of looked at everyone else, but Anne just stood there. Her fingers clenched and unclenched at her sides, same as mine. God damn it, this couldn't be happening, not to Anne, not now. Just for once let the world play fair.
Soon enough the angry crashing of drums filled the hall, however. It was over. Let the animal pound on his skins.
It seemed no one had anything more to say.
"Crap, I forgot!" Rather dramatically, Ev grabbed at her head. "We women all have to go meet Lauren. Girls' night out."
Her husband, the guitarist, just gave her a blank look. "You do?"
"Yep. We're starting early."
Anything to get Anne out of this god-awful situation with some of her pride intact sounded good to me. I ignored any inner conflict. Yes, the thought of giving up my chance with Ben hurt. I'm pretty sure my heart and vagina would never forgive me. But Anne looked devastated, her hands trembling. I grabbed her arm and towed her toward the door. A muscle-bound dude done out in all black, who just had to be security, met us beside a shiny new Escalade. We all bundled in with minimal small talk. Everything inside was leather. Seriously, the car was one sweet ride. Not sweet enough to get the sour out of my mouth over Mal's defection, however.
Excerpted from Deep by Kylie Scott. Copyright © 2015 Kylie Scott. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great end to the stage dive story. Lizzy and ben were wonderful. Loved the ups and downs. Mal of course is still king!
Great series...Ben's story was good but Mal's my favorite character...
It was good I just wish it could have been a little longer.
Wow what a great read...love liz and ben...hope the stage dive series will continue with updates on the whole band
Love all the Stage Dive books. Well written and great story lines.
All of these books are so good, like all the other books in the series I read it in one night. Once you pick it up you will not be abel to put it down!!! I am so sad that this is the end of the series, I hope she comes up with more to the story or something to keep going with this! Love, love them
Once again Kylie Scott creates an amazing story with the fourth book of the Stage Dive series! I like how we get a glimpse into the happenings of the other band members while learning all about Ben and Lizzy. I love all the laugh out loud moments in this book. Deep was an amazing story to round out a fantastic series!
This series has been 5 stars across the board for me. If you liked the others, rest assured Deep is more of the same great writing. I got so into the story. I laughed and cried along with the characters. It's not just about the main couple. All my favorite people fulfilled their parts. Each of the guys plays a role in the band. Not just an instrument, but a piece of the puzzle that makes them work. Dave's the sensitive poet, Mal's the loudmouth clown, and Jimmy's the brooding bastard. But Ben, he just goes on with the work, doing his thing. Oh how I heart these men, and that is a perfect description of them. It's easy to fall for book boyfriends. In this series, you fall just as hard for the ladies. The whole group even side characters makes for a remarkable family atmosphere. I just want to be a part of it so badly. Deep is about the base player Ben finding his love connection. Ben is super tall and big with a beard. He's the last single Stage Dive member. Each man had different issues along the way in the area of romance. Ben's problem is that he's happy where he is in life. He's not in the business to be flashy. Being rich and famous aren't his goals. He's not a bad guy. He's not super wild. He's just living his dream, giving his all to music. Music is first in his life so he never plans to get serious with a woman. Liz is a goner the moment she sees Ben. He just 'does it' for her. She can't get him out of her head so she pursues him. Liz does get her piece of Ben with added complications, but will it is a good thing or a bad thing? I recommend this book to everyone, and it's a definite must to any Stage Dive fan.
Love the whole series
A great ending to the series! I can’t wait to re-read these books many times in the future. I’m giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars. I liked seeing Lizzie before, and I’m so glad she got her happily ever after. I liked Ben quite a bit too. This wasn’t my favorite book, but I enjoyed it a lot. As always, I loved seeing more of the couples that were already together before this book (hello to the rest of the Stage Dive family!). This plot was a little different given the huge life-changing situation Ben and Lizzie were going through. The book focused on that a lot, which it definitely should. I think the reason I didn’t like this one quite as much as some others was because the romance aspect was less present, in my opinion. And then Ben’s sister came back, and I never liked her, so yeah. The ending was perfection though! Ben will also go on my book boyfriend list. The whole band is there now haha. Don’t judge me, just go read about these sexy rock stars yourself! I highly recommend this series to romance lovers, musician lovers, and anyone looking for books with a happy ending. So good!
My least favorite of the series, only because I had trouble feeling the chemistry between Ben and Lizzy. Their texts seemed boring and they didn't really seem to connect the way the other characters did in the other novels. It was still an ok read, but didn't really leave me wanting for more at the end.
Good story, but I wish it was a bit longer. I'd also like to see a novella about Sam. He deserves a HEA, too.
Ben's story is different than his band mates, his place in the band a different one. His roots are shallow and he loves his freedom. There are no fast cars and huge mansions. He loves to jam with a friend, learn more instruments, and do as he pleases. Yes, that means a different women every night. No relationships. No commitments. Just his music and the few people he's allowed close to him. Living his dream. Yeah, he's attracted to Liz but she's off limits until he can't resist any longer. So this story plays out very differently. Ben tried resisting. That didn't work. He stayed away. That didn't work. He tried having her back once the pregnancy come to light. That didn't work. You get the pattern. He wants to do what's right but he wants to hold on to what his life was before. Of course, Lizzie has no choice in the changes she's facing. And the battle begins. I do like Liz. She stands up to him but she also can't seem to get over him. The desire to have him be a part of their child's life is strong but she's not going to take advantage of him. That's not who she is. She tries and she tries some more but it's not working. And here in is the problem. It's hard to watch her try so hard. It's hard to watch him refuse to recognize what's really going on with his feelings. It's a hard battle peppered with some sweet moments, some funny lines and some sexy times. And I did come to love Ben but it took the whole book for that to happen. I'm the kind of reader that wants to love my guy sooner. Ben is real. Liz is real. And they add a lot to the world that is Stage Dive. I have loved this series from beginning to end just some parts more than others. It's a great conclusion to the series and I'm happy to see the closer I wanted for Jimmy in this one. And I loved Bean. That one kept a few secrets till the end. I loved that and had actually hoped it was the truth. Gonna have to read to understand that comment. You'll want to read Ben and Liz's story if you've enjoyed this series and who couldn't enjoy this series! Seriously love rock band stories!
Loved this series.
Thoroughly enjoyed the series. Sad the series has come to an end or has it?
WOW! That was so much fun! I love the writing style of Kylie Scott. Lizzy Rollins is an amazing character. Her sense of humor was fantastic and she meshed so well with the reserved bass player of Stage Dive, Ben Nicholson. They set the sheets on fire! Sometimes your upbringing leads you to believe that love, commitment and relationships are not in the cards for you. Leave it to the determined Lizzy to not give up on the one man she had to have. The entire Stage Dive family is amazing! I can't wait to read more of this fantastic series. Received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed is my own.
I need more!
I have read all the books in this series and you can't put the books down. Sometimes in a series the characters get confusing that does not happen in Kylie s books. This can't be the end of the series we need to know more.
Love it want to read it over and over
Of course Mal is my favorite but I have to say Ben is my 2nd favorite. Can't believe its over. Loved all 4 books. Kylie, wish you would write one from the guys POV. Would love to hear all Mal's thoughts. So sad it's over. But what a fun ride it was. Thx:)
I have loved this whole series!!
I've read this book over and over and can't get enough!
Favorite out of the series!