When love’s song takes over, you’re forced to find the beat.
Ryan Evans is the very definition of heartbreaker. Women line up so he can rock their worlds.
I’m determined to resist Ryan’s charms. Who cares if he has striking blue eyes, and a voice that lights me up. Our beats are thoroughly out of sync. I am definitely, one hundred per cent, never again waking up to a stupid thank you note, for a night that probably shouldn’t have happened, with a guy who’s already on a plane out of here.
Heartbreak has been my dance partner for years, but I’m done. Love is a complication I no longer want. Especially from a rock star.
But there’s something about Ryan. Maybe it’s his charming determination to get past my defences. He creeps into my heart… and my bed, until I’m so wound up in him, there’s only one way it can possibly end…
Chasing Alys is a slow burn steamy rock star romance. It is the first book following Rhiannon and the first in the True Platinum Series. If you enjoy obsessed cinnamon roll heroes, take no-nonsense heroines and hook ups gone wrong, you’ll love Chasing Alys.
Published: September 28, 2021
Publisher: C Bevan Publishing
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-9196091-0-2 / 978-1-6685912-2-2
“I’m sorry about that.” He gestured back to the club. “That doesn’t normally happen. I don’t understand why it did tonight.” He dragged a hand through his hair, frustration darkening his eyes.
I shrugged, magicking up an air of nonchalance from somewhere. “You’re an up-and-coming rock star. It was going to happen someday.”
“I know, but not here. We don’t have a following in Cardiff.”
My eyes flicked back to the club. I could still hear the music; the bass vibrated down the street. They were lucky this was a commercial zone. The complaints would have been constant.
“Looks like you just got one.”
My words didn’t ease the tension in his face. I didn’t know how to do that or why I felt the need to comfort him.
“I’ll be better prepared from now on,” he said, his tone dripping with desperation.
Despite the situation, my lips twitched. “What are you going to do? Wear a disguise?”
His nod was swift. “If it’ll help, absolutely.”
“I appreciate the suggestion, but maybe this was just a sign that it wouldn’t work out anyway.” I took a step back, towards the waiting taxi. “It was a fun couple of days, Ryan,” I said, trying to inject some light into his sad expression.
The truth in those words took me by surprise. I had had fun with him, even if our interactions were brief. I’d miss his easy smile and the way he seemed to draw me to him like a magnet.
Wordlessly, he stepped around me and opened the taxi door. With a grateful smile, I slid in and buckled up.
Fun or not, I couldn’t give in. At this point, it felt like I needed to prove that I could be happy without a man messing with my head. Breaking a promise to myself for a guy who had women tracking his every movement would be foolish.
I was giving the driver my address when Ryan knocked on my window. He gestured for me to roll it down and I hit the button, frowning.
Ryan leaned forward until his head was level with mine. Something had eased in him and he had that determination shining in his eyes again. My stomach dropped at the sight. In that second, my wishes to be a mind reader came true. I knew what he was going to say before he uttered the words.
“There’s something important here and I’m not giving up yet.”
- The first moment Alys claps eyes with Ryan. It felt like an electric moment to me. Even though it’s a romance novel and you know how the resistance is coming it’s still a ‘this could go either way,’ hold your breath situation.
- I loved adding Ryan’s playlist. He tries many methods to sway Alys but for me this was such a musician thing. When words fail, music succeeded. It definitely does when I write. Sometimes it just takes the right song to get unstuck or spark a new idea. This was Ryan’s way of shifting gears with his love language.
- The moment Ryan gives Alys a nickname. It blindsided her but it was something special that softened her in a way gifts and words couldn’t. I also love that she’s resistant but secretly loves it.
- The banter between Alys and her work colleagues. I’m going to have to focus more on Nick and Gemma in a future series because the pair of them were so much fun to write. They just got Alys, wound her up and sympathised when needed. Their scenes for me were my ultimate homage to my TV career. The right team makes all the stress and the long hours’ worth it – sometimes it even makes it fun.
- Alys and Ryan dancing. Dance is important to Alys and her taking the time to show Ryan beginner steps is huge for someone who needs the complexity of a dance to stay focused. The fact he enjoyed it enough to do it again and again might have sealed either future too. What? Dancing men are hard to come by. If you find one, grab him and run.
Chapter Seventeen Deleted Scene
My editor thought that Ryan had given Alys too many gifts, so we decided to cut the following scene, but I love Alys’s interactions with her colleagues too much to let it disappear into the ether.
“Delivery for Alys Morgan,” called a woman from the kitchen area that connected us to the office next door.
“Right here,” Nick said, pointing at me from his crouched position on the floor at my side.
He was sorting his camera gear into manageable travel cases. I did not envy him having to country hop with two cameras and lights. That was a level of stress drama freed me from.
The delivery woman placed a large paper bag on my desk and disappeared with nothing more than a smile.
“I didn’t hear you order lunch,” Gemma murmured, her focus fixed entirely on the spreadsheet filling her screen. She was squinting at it and rubbing her forehead, the universal sign that the figures weren’t adding up.
“That’s because she didn’t.” Nick shuffled towards me sniffing at the bag. “Smells like Indian.” He reached up for the card and I batted his hand away.
“Don’t you have kit to organise?” I glanced at the clock. “You’re leaving for the airport in two hours. Chop chop.”
Laughing, he settled back on his hunches. “I’m going nowhere until you tell us who this mystery man sending you gifts is.”
That snagged Gemma’s attention, she swung towards us in her swivel chair with her hands clasped together. “Yes, dear Alys, do share.”
I pressed my lips together to contain my amusement. “You two are something else. Can I eat in peace please?”
Detaching the note, I slid it under my notebook. I thought I was inconspicuous with the manoeuvre. Gemma’s stare told me I’d failed.
“The quicker you share, the quicker we get back to work.” Gemma shrugged and Nick agreed.
I sank back in my chair with resignation. “It’s just this guy I met at a gig.”
Nick gestured for me to continue. “Vague won’t get me back to sorting microphones.”
Groaning, I continued. “He’s in a band. I didn’t see them play until later, but they’re pretty good.”
“Have I heard of them?” Gemma asked, swinging back to her workstation. Her fingers hovered over the keyboard, ready to type out a search.
“I don’t know. They’re called Rhiannon.”
Nick shook his head next to me. “Never heard of them.”
“Me either, but…” Gemma’s eyes widened as the search loaded. “I went to school with him. What the hell?” Gemma was pointing at James’s moody face in the Rhiannon line up.
“Is it him?” Nick asked and Gemma’s gaze swung back to me.
“No, it’s him.” I pointed to Ryan.
“Damn, Morgan. You’ve got an eye for man candy.” Nick muttered, eliciting an over-the-top snort from Gemma and a chuckle from the Head of Production across the room.
We all froze. He couldn’t have heard us. We were practically whispering. My eyes flicked to him and my face immediately started burning at the sight of his grinning face.
I sank down in my chair and covered my face. Oh, the mortification.
Gemma tapped my arm in solidarity and mercifully the pair of them went back to work. I dished up the small Indian lunch platter Ryan had sent me and dug in.
Best. Meal. Ever.
And it came with samosas. I was in heaven.
It was a full thirty minutes before I dared look at the note.
A little birdie said you didn’t eat lunch yesterday. Thought I’d help out today just in case. Indian’s your favourite right? – love Ryan x
I’d bet my dance shoes the birdie was Emily. Considering I got Indian out of the deal, I couldn’t find the energy to be mad about it.
My phone buzzed on the desk. Gemma glanced at me briefly as I scrambled to find it. I’d gained a lot of paper today and it was buried under them, somewhere.
Unearthing it, I sat back and opened Ryan’s text with a small smile pulling at the edges of my lips.
“Oh, to be dating a rock star,” Gemma muttered beneath her breath. My glance was sharp, but she just smiled, her nod towards my phone telling me to get on with it.
Ryan: Did you get my present, Red?
Ryan: Yeah, it’s my new favourite colour. I love your hair. X
Ryan: You don’t like it?
Ryan: I need to call you something.
Alys: How about Alys?
Ryan: Nah. I like Red. I’m sticking with it.
A nickname. Not even Emily had given me a nickname. My heart swelled and my eyes inexplicably began to burn.
Ryan: The food?
Alys: It was delicious. Thank you.
Ryan: Good. Glad my absence isn’t making you starve yourself.
I rolled my eyes.
Alys: Was that the cocky rock star talking?
Ryan: Yes. Sorry. Can’t take him anywhere.
Ryan: What did you think of the lyrics?
Ryan: *eye-roll emoji* Turn the note over.
I flipped the paper and sure enough there was a verse of lyrics scrawled elegantly across the small page.
Do you remember the shift in the air when I found you? / Fire on your face and silence in the hall / ‘Cause I remember the look in your eye that day / Words flow and vision shifts until there’s only you.
“What does it say?” Gemma asked, leaning towards me.
I must have gasped because even Nick had stopped arranging the kit.
He couldn’t mean what I thought he meant. He’d seen me on set months ago. Why would that moment make someone fall for a complete stranger?
I picked my phone back up and decided to play ignorant.
Alys: Pretty. What’s it about?
Ryan: You already know.
Alys: Maybe. Still want to hear it from you.
Ryan: Shy doesn’t suit you.
Ryan: Fine. Day on set when you defended the girl. Told you it stuck with me.
I retyped my reply three times before I settled on making him fill in the gaps. I could make myself outright ask if the lyrics were literal.
Alys: What exactly are you trying to say?
Ryan: You inspire me.
Alys: In the musical sense?
Ryan: Interesting differentiation. What did you think I meant?
I breathed out a sigh of relief. Or I told myself it was relief.
1 – She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancing – Bryan Adams
2 – Love Walked In – Thunder
3 – Inside of You – The Maine
4 – Keep Holding On – Avril Lavigne
5 – Take My Pain Away – Anarbor
6 – Little Lies – Fleetwood Mac
7 – Queen of Hearts – We the Kings
8 – Rhiannon – Stevie Nicks
9 – Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
10 – Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar
11 – Walk Me Home – P!nk
12 – Without You – Parachute
13 – Small Town – John Cougar
14 – Boomerang – Ward Thomas
15 – Jump – Van Halen
16 – The Best Is yet to Come – Kids in Glass Houses
17 – Brave – Sara Bareilles
18 – Run – Matt Nathanson
19 – Contender – Lacey
20 – Can’t Shake You – Gloriana
21 – Amazing – Matt Cardle
22 – Gold Rush – Taylor Swift
23 – Thnks Fr Th Mmrs – Fall Out Boy
24 – Afterglow – All Time Low
25 – Life Is a Highway – Tom Cochrane
26 – Despacito – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee
27 – Rock You Like A Hurricane – Scorpions
28 – This Kiss – Faith Hill
29 – Beautiful Way – You Me At Six
30 – Stand By You – Rachel Platten
31 – If You Could See Me Now – The Script
32 – Contagious – Boys Like Girls
33 – Beats to Your Rhythm – The Shires
34 – What If I Never Get Over You – Lady Antebellum
35 – Some You Loved – Lewis Capaldi
36 – Listen to Your Heart – Roxette
37 – Life After You – Daughtry
38 – Boxes – Goo Goo Dolls
She’s Welsh and a drama production coordinator who loves her loves the crazy that comes with it. The only thing she loves more is dance – the more complex the steps the better.
She has the worst luck with men and is absolutely done. And yet she’s the Queen of Ryan Evans heart.
Alys, here to answer some questions.
❓Among your friends, what are you best known for?
My take no shit attitude.
❓What do you like to do in your free time?
Visit farmers markets with Emily. Dance. Sometimes I go to the gym but I wouldn’t call that a spare time activity. It’s not fun sweating like swing dance. If I’m going out then it’s a cocktail bar or pub setting. Not a club fan. I’d rather be able to have a conversation.
❓Would you like to be famous?
No! I’ve seen it go wrong too many times. I’ve seen actors barricade themselves in their trailers, worn out from having to be constantly one. The fans sprawled out on the pavement outside studios for hours on ended, the press watching their every move. It would feel like a fish bowl, a very big fish bowl but still a cage with spectators.
❓Where have you traveled?
Easier to answer where I haven’t travelled. Been all over the UK, USA, NZ, OZ and Europe between backpacking and my parents book tours.
❓Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Night Owl. Yet I chose a job that requires me on set by 0600, sometimes much much earlier.
❓What music artist do you never get tired of?
Brightside. They’re Alt Rock but still pop-y and mainstream. Lead singer, Lily Tyler, is a bit of a political activist and I love it, she’s an inspiration.
❓What fad did you never really understand?
Alien eggs. What were kids meant to do with them? Other than make a huge mess.
❓What’s your favorite piece of furniture you’ve ever owned?
I don’t own any. Hello, I’m 26. Renter!
❓What are you most grateful for?
A best friend who can see through my fronts most of the time.