When I started to write the Hot Under Her Collar series, I wanted to show clergy women falling in love through some of my favorite classic romance tropes, and so I bring you Not Another Rock Star. It's about a young woman who loves God, her church, and rock stars. The rock star in question is as troubled as they come, and music binds them together.
(I'm thinking about the amnesia trope next. What do you think?)
Here's a quote from one of my favorite advanced reviews of Not Another Rock Star:
"This book captivated me from the start — the idea of a rock star playing the organ in an Episcopal church for the female priest was intriguing. It only got better from there...The story may seem familiar but it is not. The author makes it her own with characters who are unique, full of life and certainly not the stereotypes one expects…The book is full of a great supporting cast and while the dominant storyline is great and is in the spotlight, the minor storylines are just as good and will leave you with the feels, too. Worth the read." – 5 stars, Cathy, Goodreads reviewer
My author pal Emma Barry tweeted me this screen shot last week:
Which inspired this graphic:
And here's a little excerpt from the moment our heroine realizes a rock star is playing her pipe organ:
All at once, a glorious sound filled the church, music far bolder and richer than Peggy’s perfectly adequate playing. She was an expert choral director, but this guy knew how to coax every bit of sound out of the instrument’s eleven thousand pipes.
The people in the pews stood, almost in sync, as if responding to the rhythm of the music. In front of her, the choir began singing the first verse of the opening hymn. Goosebumps rose up on her neck and arms within the stiff sleeves of her alb.
Something was happening—something new and out of her control—but she wouldn’t let anyone see that. Suze smiled, like inviting Mr. Scruff to play had been her bright idea.
Buoyed on the tide of the music, she floated down the center aisle and into her presider’s chair. When the hymn came to its end, she sighed, almost regretting it was over. Then the bedraggled savant at the organ glanced at her in expectation.
Oh, right. Her line. She opened her mouth to begin the acclamation.
He shoved his sunglasses up on his head.
She had to clench her teeth to keep her jaw from falling open. There, at her organ, in all his bad-boy glory, sat Rush Perez, America’s most swoon-worthy rock star.
Dark circles smudged his eyes and his cheeks were gaunt. Had Peggy stolen him right from rehab? The celebrity mag Suze had been reading last time she got a pedicure had reported that Perez, lead singer and keyboard player of the rock band Stentorian Hush, had checked himself into LA’s finest luxury detox center.
His thin, exhausted appearance made the story plausible. Still, even half-starved, those sharp-edged cheek bones were gorgeous. His dark, thick eyebrows angled up in a question. What’s the hold-up?
She stood straighter and turned to face her congregation. More words of advice from her mother—Never seem flustered. Take the time you need to keep your cool. She was in charge here, she had a job to do, and it wasn’t to ogle reprobate musical geniuses.
She stretched her mouth into a wide smile and began. “Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
“And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen.” The congregation’s response sounded strained, as if they’d been so moved by his music that they had a collective lump in their throat.
She proceeded to fumble the first line of the prayer, her mind leaping yet again to the surprise appearance of rock music’s hottest hit maker.
He played the organ? And not a jazzy electric one like Herbie Hancock, but an eleven thousand pipe monstrosity in a gothic revival style church. If that news got out, it could seriously hurt his bad-boy cred.
Suze intoned the prayer without paying the words a single iota of attention. Halfway through ignoring the first scripture reading, the truth hit her hard—she’d given away all her power to Perez by letting him distract her. She had to get her head in the game.
Besides, she’d learned a long time ago what could happen if she let a sexy musician distract her from what really mattered, and she wouldn’t make that mistake again.