When her parents’ rock band The Pack performs at Zach’s bar, Mandy discovers her True Mate, Joe Blackwolf, the band’s lead singer and guitarist. All she has to do now is convince Joe that she told a little white lie to make her mom happy, her father that rock musicians aren’t all alike, and her new mate’s family that rockers aren’t all that different from classical musicians.
Joe Blackwolf is celebrating his fortieth birthday. And what he wishes for when he blows out the candles is to find his True Mate. He succeeds when he meets Mandy Goldwolf. Problem is…he thinks she belongs to someone else. Finding out the truth leaves him free to explore every inch of her smokin’ hot curves, but now Joe and Mandy are neck deep in overbearing relatives and everyone is in for a Rockin’ Little Christmas.
Note: This book was previously published elsewhere but has been revised and updated.
Formerly titled: Cupid Rocks.
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An Excerpt From: Rockin’ Little Christmas
Copyright © FRANCESCA HAWLEY, 2013, 2016
All Rights Reserved, Francesca Hawley Romance
Mandy slipped back to her seat just as the house lights went down and the band returned to the stage. She pulled her skirt down and pressed it against her legs. Where the hell had her panties gone? She searched the office twice, but no underwear. It felt bizarre to sit here bare under her skirt. She shifted on the chair, fighting the blush in her cheeks. Finally, she forced herself to look up at the band members to find Joe grinning at her. He rubbed the pocket of his jacket and winked.
Oh God. Now she remembered. He’d peeled her panties off and put them in his pocket. She looked back up at him and he looked happy and carefree as he started playing the first song of the second set.
As the music continued, she relaxed and returned to her camera work. She loved listening to the band play and she always had. They had a good mix of covers and original songs so that it was never a hardship to attend a concert. Whenever her parents came to town, they asked her to do band portraits and take concert shots for their website.
She couldn’t stop watching Joe, distracted by how he moved. The timbre of his voice. He was incredible. For the first time in years, she could actually imagine climbing on stage just so she could sing with him. Duets. Solos. Whatever. With him at her side, she was sure the crippling stage fright would ease. Her throat would open and she’d be able to let her voice fill the place. Mandy shook her head slightly and forced herself to get back to work, even though Joe continued to tease her during each and every song.
Thank God her parents and the Whitewolfs were oblivious to the flirtation. None of them seemed to even notice Joe seducing her from the stage. She licked her lips as he threw himself into a guitar solo. He was so amazing that she wanted him…again.
Why hadn’t she told him the truth while she had the chance? She had to get to him the minute the set was over. If she didn’t explain to him and he found out from her parents…oh there would be hell to pay. Hell for both of them.
As the set headed for the conclusion, Zach joined her at her table. Joe frowned, his eyes narrowing. Zach grinned and lifted a glass to Joe. Damn, this could turn ugly quick. She liked both of these guys for different reasons, but she knew Joe was special. God, why hadn’t she told him the truth? What had she done?
“Okay, this is our last song of the second set and we wanted to dedicate it to someone special.” Carly grinned at her from the stage. Mandy had a really bad feeling about this. “Our daughter, Mandy is in the audience tonight. She has a new Mate and we wanted to sing this for them so they can dance. Come on you two!”
Mandy wanted to throw up as a spotlight hit her and Zach. Her eyes flew to Joe and he looked as sick as she did. He hadn’t known. He knew they were doing this but he hadn’t known who Mandy was until just now. Oh…God. She fought the desire to burst into tears. She shook her head.
“Oh, sweetie. I know you’re shy, but we want you to celebrate. Everyone give Mandy and Zach a round of applause.”
Mandy looked at Zach. His face was white as a sheet and he appeared to be in serious danger of fainting as the clapping and cheering erupted around them. Could this get any worse? No, she couldn’t do this. She wouldn’t. She looked back at Joe, and the sick look was gone. In its place was a painful combination of rage, betrayal and disgust.
People grabbed her and pushed her at Zach then the music started. She asked how it could get worse. She quickly found out as Joe played the opening bars of Wonderful Tonight. Talk about ruining one of her favorite songs.
Zach clutched her, forcing a strained smile to his face. Mandy couldn’t do anything but stare at Joe, wincing as he stepped up to the mike. His voice quavered on the first words. He cleared his throat and continued on. He stared at his guitar as he sang. She blinked away tears. This wasn’t supposed to happen. It wasn’t fair.
Throughout the rest of the song, he wouldn’t look at her. Carly and Eddie beamed happily, like this had been a great idea. The song seemed to last forever, the spotlight glaring on her and Zach as they fought to pretend their way through the song. When Joe sang the last words and played the last notes, Mandy wiped away tears. Friends dragged Zach from her side as she watched Joe set down his guitar abruptly. He jumped down from the stage and came straight for her. His mouth was stern and his eyes were cold. He looked into her eyes for a timeless minute then pushed fabric into her hands.
“These are yours. I don’t want them,” he growled.
He turned and headed for the side doors. She looked down at her hand and realized he’d given her back her panties. No. This was not happening. She chased him, catching his arm.
“Joe! Let me explain. Please…”
“What’s to explain? You cheated on your Mate, Mandy. Cheated. I don’t tolerate lying, cheating females anywhere near me. Go back to your Mate. Maybe he’ll forgive you, but I can’t.”
“It’s not like that. It’s not.”
“That’s what they all say.”
“Mandy, sweetie. Did you like the surprise? Wasn’t Joe great?” Carly clutched his arm, completely missing the tension between her and Joe. Her mother had never been too socially perceptive.
Mandy looked up at Joe. “Yeah, he was,” she murmured.
He shook his head and tore himself away from Carly. “I gotta go outside for a bit. I’ll be back.”
Mandy watched him walk away.