Getting involved with each other may require them to have an actual conversation. Can these two introverts find their way to each other?

Getting involved with each other may require some actual conversation…

Caleb Winthrop was conversation-challenged. Especially when it came to the opposite sex.

I didn’t believe it at first when the guys told me Sophie was checking me out. A beautiful girl like her interested in the Mohawk-wearing lead guitarist for a rock band? It seemed far-fetched. But my band members kept pushing me toward her, so I gave in and made an attempt at talking to her, if only to shut them up.

Sophie Lockhart has had her heart broken before.

That’s why my attraction to Caleb was so insane. When one thought about honesty and faithfulness, Caleb Winthrop’s name is not what came to mind. Now, if the word was sexy or unbelievably hot, he would definitely be at the top of that list. But he was the ultimate bad boy…or at least he seemed to be. And that was not the type of guy I could trust with my heart. Even if it was, I’d never be able to work up the nerve to talk to him.

 Can these two introverts find their way to each other? Or will each crawl back into the comfort of their protective shell?


People had certain expectations of a guy with a Mohawk. Mohawk Guy was crazy and unpredictable. Outgoing. He was dirt-poor and had been raised on the streets. He was a heavy drinker and into drugs. He was scary. One shouldn’t hang around Mohawk Guy or they might end up in prison. This last one made me laugh. Yeah, I’d been in prison, all right. But it was for a crime I didn’t commit, in order to protect someone who, I discovered later, was not deserving of my protection. Yes, I had a Mohawk, and I fit none of these descriptions. I mean, it wasn’t like I hadn’t drank or gotten high, but it certainly wasn’t my thing.

But it was okay. I was good with people pegging me as that guy, because then they left me alone. I had a reputation I didn’t deserve, and I couldn’t have been happier about it. It meant I didn’t have to talk to people much. And talking to people was work for me. I don’t know what it was; I simply wasn’t born with that whole forming a coherent sentence thing. It doesn’t mean I’m not smart. I wasn’t top of my class or anything, but that was part of the smoke screen. Top of the class meant awards and recognition and, like, talking to people. So, even though I could have aced every single one of those stupid tests my high school teachers handed out, I made sure I didn’t. People think it’s hard for a guy with a Mohawk to go unnoticed. The opposite is true. It meant I could fade into the background. They already knew who I was. Or they thought they did.

“We’re going to take a quick break here, folks. So refresh your drinks and get ready for set number two, because we’ll be rockin’ it in just a few minutes.” Phoenix—who played rhythm guitar for our band, Insatiable Fire, and was our lead vocalist and the face of the band—stashed his guitar in its stand and came to me.

“Man. You’ve got a live one tonight,” he said in a low voice, his grin making the spotlights seem dim.

I stared at him, trying to make sense of his words. “What do you mean?”

Dakota, Phoenix’s brother and our bassist, joined us, and Levi, our drummer, disappeared somewhere with Remi Boyd. We were on Last Chance Beach—the home of all the band members, except for me—participating in a fundraiser carrying the name of Remi’s late husband. I’d never met the man, but by all accounts, he was a great guy, and now that I’d met Remi, I understood why my crew wanted to help her. It was a shame she was already claimed. Not that Levi had said it verbally, but it didn’t take an M.I.T. grad to see he had the hots for her. Not that I needed a girl. It had been my experience that girls meant trouble and heartbreak, and I wasn’t down for that.

“Oh, come on,” Phoenix continued. “Like you didn’t notice her…” he gestured over his shoulder, “eyeing you.”

I scanned the audience, noting nothing remarkable. “What are you talking about?”

“The brunette?” Dakota put in, using the same quiet but suggestive tone. “Ooh, la, la!”

“I know, right?” Phoenix returned. “He’s so not worthy of her.”

I was becoming annoyed. “What are you freaking talking about? No one is eyeing me.” The heat suddenly making me squirm was not from the lights or the exertion of playing lead guitar.

“Dude?” Dak balked. “I know you’re oblivious half the time, but you’re not that oblivious.”

My gaze raked the room, trying to locate the girl in question so I could dispel them of this asinine idea that someone was into me. “Who? I’m telling you, no one’s staring at me.”

Dak opened his stance a little bit. “The three girls who have been dancing in front of you all night.”

Sure, I’d noticed the trio of hotties. They were hard to miss.

Phoenix took a quick peek. “Isn’t that…?”

“It sure is,” Dakota answered, suddenly serious. It piqued my curiosity, but not enough for me to want to continue this uncomfortable conversation.

I busied myself with putting my guitar away. “You guys are crazy. If there are any girls checking someone out on stage it’s because they have a thing for musicians, that’s all.”

“Huh. How come she’s looking at you in particular, then?”


The Blackstone brothers, Phoenix and Dakota, the guys currently torturing me, were the ones all the girls were after. Sure, I’d ended up with a girl or two. But only after they’d been rejected by the brothers and Levi. I was a last resort.

Don’t listen to them. They’re full of shit.

But I couldn’t seem to help myself. My eyes slid in the direction of the three girls, who did appear to be watching us.

“Which one?” I mumbled, not able to keep the question in.

Release Date: August 25th | Find buy links at: Books2Read

Pre-order for only 99¢! | #Romance #Kindle

M.J. Schiller is a retired lunch lady/romance-romantic suspense writer. She enjoys writing novels whose characters include rock stars, desert princes, teachers, futuristic Knights, construction workers, cops, and a wide variety of others. In her mind, everybody has a romance. She is the mother of a twenty-eight-year-old and three twenty-six-year-olds. That’s right, triplets! So having recently taught four children to drive, she likes to escape from life on occasion by pretending to be a rock star at karaoke. However…you won’t be seeing her name on any record labels soon.