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  Rock hard, play hard...love harder

Internationally known wild child James Kelly is a filthy rich rock star, devilishly handsome, with silicone beauties aplenty to grace both his arm and his bed. He has it all - or does he? What he wants most is a real woman to tell him no once in a while...and thanks to his inheritied precognition, he knows her when he meets her. But the vision of his future is shrouded in darkness and shadows...

Tarot reader Lisbeth Vargo works at the local renaissance faire. She's still stinging from her last bad relationship when he best friend marries James Kelly's brother. After being paired up in the wedding party, sparks fly between James and Lisbeth. Even her tarot cards tell her he's the one, but is the interest of a "bad boy" something she can take seriously?

Sometimes falling in love takes a leap of faith. Occasionally it needs a push off the cliff. James is more than happy to give Lisbeth that needed shove, but will his love save her...or get her killed?

~ an excerpt~
James fell back on the plush hotel bed and sighed deeply. For a long time he drifted lost in thought, absently fingering the Celtic touchstone suspended on a leather thong around his throat. He untied it and held it tightly in his hand, running his fingers over the smooth surface. Within moments, he had turned the bedside light on and was digging around in his suitcase.

"Where'd you get off to," he muttered, going through pocket after pocket of the oversized bag. He finally found the worn linen pouch hiding near the bottom and grunted in triumph. Taking his prize over to the table, he opened it up to pull out a cigarette lighter, an old white candle stub and a wooden holder. He held up the homemade candle and peered closely at it, still able to smell the fragrant oil Grandmother had rubbed on it. "No - dressed, Ian called it," James corrected himself, lowering his voice to mimic Ian's slightly deeper one, "and not to be used for romancing women in your room." Smiling at the memory of his brother's stern warning, he took a deep breath and lit the blackened wick, setting it in the holder. .

He sat back in the chair and took several deep breaths, staring fixedly into the flame. He remembered his grandmother's implicit instructions - light the candle, ask the question, snuff - never blow - the flame and let the rising smoke carry the question to the wind.

Clearing his throat, he began to speak in a hushed whisper. "I want to find someone of my own, someone who will love me for me, not just because of who I am. Who is she? Where is she? What should I be looking for? How much longer am I going to have to wait for her?"

I'm gonna need a bigger candle, he thought with a wry smile. "Okay, last question. How will I know her when I see her?" When no mysterious voice issued forth from the flame - and James half expected there would be one - he sat a few more minutes thinking about what he had asked for, then licked his fingertips and deftly pinched the flame between thumb and forefinger.

The rising smoke from the candle drifted towards the open balcony door and was gone within seconds. When he was certain all the smoke was out, he slid the door closed, then lay back on the bed. Sleep eluded him for nearly an hour before he gave up and reached for the TV remote.

"Wonder how I'm going to know her when I see her," he mused "Maybe there'll be a clue or something. Trumpets…trumpets would be good." He turned on the TV and began surfing through the channels.

He landed on a public broadcast channel concert featuring five men singing Celtic music. The group moved from one familiar song into the next. James gave a low whistle of approval. "Man, they're tight. Good harmonies," he said, singing along with the traditional Raggle Taggle Gypsy.

That was the last song before the commercial break so James moved on, his eyelids beginning to droop. His next stop was a classic movie channel. He watched as Charles Laughton's Quasimodo tried valiantly to save the beautiful Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. "Sanctuary," he murmured in sympathy.

Another commercial and he began surfing again, landing on an infomercial for a Sounds of the 70's CD package. When the image of Cher singing Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves filled his screen, he watched only a moment before clicking the TV off and tossing the remote on the nightstand.

He yawned wide and shrugged. "I'll have to keep my eyes open," he said. Pulling the spread and sheet up over him, he had one last fleeting thought before sleep finally claimed him. If Ian found someone maybe there's hope for me yet.
  Copyright © Shannon MacLeod 2011-16