By: Jacquie Underdown
A new adult story about what happens when you meet the perfect guy at the worst possible time.

Anthea has loved him since her earliest memory, but she has no idea who he is, or if he even exists. But her heart belongs to him, and no one else can ever take his place. That is until she stumbles into Lucas, lead singer of Perennial. He is sexy as hell, passionate, and, most importantly, knows the answers to questions that Anthea has always had.

Lucas knows he is different from other guys — but Anthea is different to other girls. He is drawn to her, craves her, needs her. He also has secrets. Secrets that will tear Anthea apart. He needs to share them, but to share them could end their relationship, and Lucas isn’t willing to take that risk. But secrets have a way of coming out, and Lucas can’t stay forever.

Theirs is a passion that is meant to last forever, but time isn’t always quite so linear…


Much thanks to Kate Cuthbert for your continued belief and guidance, along with all the fabulous staff at Escape Publishing and Harlequin. And a very special thanks to my husband for supporting me completely, so that I may do what I love. One day, I’ll pay it forward.

For Brad and my boys

Chapter 1


I stared at the god on the stage, guitar in his hand, darkest brown hair falling around his ears and neck. A coil tightened in my stomach and speared tension lower. I crossed one leg in front of the other and clenched — both pleasure and aching pain.

He was as sexy as fuck. No, even sexier than that. Christ, just looking upon that tall, muscled frame, decked out in black ripped jeans and a black t-shirt, made my blood warm and ebb to those pleasure-seeking parts of my body.

His voice was low and husky, perfectly in tune. The song he sang told of heartache and love lost, and, as he hit a higher melody, each note sluiced down my body like rain, soaking me in his pain. My heart heaved, goose bumps pimpled my flesh; tears ached in the back of my throat and danced in my eyes.

His lyrics spoke of the hollowness that has scorched my insides since I was a little girl. A hollowness, which has had me endlessly seeking something I could never quite place. His entire manner, the rise and fall of the melody, the slow slide of his fingers over the strings of his guitar, seemed to simulate all of that. Maybe that’s why his words felt so personal, as though I wasn’t just a pair of eyes in a room full of hundreds of others, but, instead, the only person in an audience of one. And his story was like salve for my soul because it implied that someone else understood.

I closed my eyes and let his song caress me until the last chord was strummed, the last note was sung and the final beat was drummed. I again peered up at him and the room fell to silence — not one murmur, not one cheer, when his eyes met mine and we watched each other.

My body buzzed and heat rushed to my cheeks. Those eyes, vividly green, almost luminescent, penetrated me. They occupied a space inside of me, knowing my bones, veins and blood before my skin and imperfections. My lips parted on a rushed inhale. Yearning for more than a mere look from across a crowded room, my flesh tingled with need. It was as though my body thrummed with a thieved memory. Memory ignited by those wandering green eyes pursuing every part of me, every secret and nook, every void and slope. I had never craved someone more than I did in that moment. My bones ached, my heart trembled and my flesh was burning to ashes.

This sexy stranger had set me on fire with a single glance and I knew I would never be the same again. Ever.

Then the spell broke as the drummer counted in the next song with four quick cracks of his drumsticks in the air, and the singer broke his gaze. All noise came streaming back with a beastly roar. My knees quaked, hands shook.

My God. What the fuck just happened?

Brendt grabbed me from behind, his strong arms sliding around my middle. He laughed in my ear, a rough tumble of sound, so male, so Brendt. ‘Anthea? Did you not hear me?’ he asked.

‘You said something?’ I yelled over my shoulder, loud enough to be heard above the din, but still not willing to turn away from the singer.

Brendt lifted me into his arms and slung me over his shoulder. I giggled and shrieked as he carried me through the thick throng of heated bodies. The scent of sweat and sweetly stale alcohol stirred in our wake. ‘We’re heading to another bar,’ he said, his shoulders shaking with laughter. He slapped my arse, hard enough for me to feel it through my jeans, and said, ‘Now stop squirming or I’ll drop you.’

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