COVER & EXCERPT REVEAL
SPOTLIGHT by Eden Finley
Release Date: July 16, 2020
Cover Design: Cate Ashwood
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
When I quit the biggest boy band on the planet, I was supposed to get my life back.
It’s not that I wanted to leave the spotlight. I felt like I had to for my daughter. Her picture shouldn’t be splashed all over the tabloids.
I thought I could do this parenting thing on my own, but it’s obvious I need help. I just didn’t expect to find it in the form of a gorgeous guy I meet by chance.
I can put my attraction aside for my daughter’s sake. I’ve put my whole life on hold for her.
If only he wasn’t so tempting.
Working as a nanny is my backup to my backup plan. My first plan is fame, but something always holds me back.
When I randomly run into Ryder Kennedy and end up becoming his daughter’s nanny, I figure it’ll be a short-term thing.
But then Ryder finds out I can sing. He wasn’t ready to give up music, and now he’s found a new way to have it: through me. He wants to produce my demo and make me a star.
He says I was born to be in the spotlight, but I think I was born to run from it.
It doesn’t help that each day I’m with him and his daughter, the deeper I fall into fantasies of being part of their family. And not just as the nanny.
There are … no … words.
With just a guitar and his voice, Lyric connects me to the song, to the words, and to his soul.
I’m professional enough to focus on my job and drown out the twanging in the guitar and amplify his rasp to get the perfect sound while trying not to get lost in it all, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tiny bit distracted by him.
I’m distracted by the golden hair around his face, falling loose out of his man bun.
And now I have a vision of him releasing his hair tie and shaking his head in slow motion while piercing me with his hazel eyes.
Through the glass, he smirks at me as if he can read my mind. Shit, I hope he can’t see what’s going on in here right now.
It takes me a second to realize the song is over.
I fumble to end the recording and give him a thumbs-up.
“How was that?” he asks.
How was it?
I don’t think there are enough words to describe what he’s done to me with this one song.
I clear my throat. “Come hear it for yourself.” I beckon him into the audio room.
He hangs up the headphones and puts the guitar back on the wall with the others and comes to take his seat once again.
Watching him walk into the booth like a scared little deer caught in headlights was kind of cute, but now I can’t tear my gaze away from him as he walks out all confident. If he was anyone else besides Kaylee’s nanny, I’d probably crawl into his lap and offer myself up as a snack.
But he is Kaylee’s nanny, so I won’t do that. Think about it, sure, but I can’t actually do it.
Stop staring at his lap, Ryder.
“Ready?” I ask.
“Yes. No. Maybe?”
I smile and don’t give him the option. I hit the playback button.
I’ve produced for a few newbs the label has sent me over the past few months, and one thing I’ve noticed is the first time an artist hears the roughest take they’ll ever have, they’re usually too excited about having a proper recording to really analyze the technical aspects, but as I watch Lyric listen to his voice, to the guitar, and to Hozier’s words, I can tell all those nitpicky things are running through his mind.
“It’s a bit rough there,” he says when he hears a part where he goes a tad off-key.
“No one ever uses their first take. We’ll redo it all. But how does it sound? How does it feel?”
“It feels … unbelievable.”
We go back to listening, and at the bridge, something in his face changes. He’s no longer scrutinizing every detail, and he’s finally hearing what I’ve heard ever since I walked in on him singing that stupid Frozensong.
He locks eyes with me as if he can sense me watching him.
“You’re amazing,” I say.
“You are,” he replies. “You made me sound good.”
Oh shit, did I just move closer? “A good producer doesn’t take over. They amplify what’s already there.”
His eyes are so expressive, holding gratitude and a humbleness that the vultures in this industry would take advantage of if Lyric didn’t have the inner strength he does.
“I see you for who you’re trying to be, and I admire it. We need to get record labels to see you the way I do.”
Well, maybe not the exact same way.
Wait, did he just move closer? “Why?”
I’m confused. “Why what?”
“Why do you see me differently?” he whispers.
The song drowns out, fading into nothing, and all I can hear is my heartbeat pounding in my ears.
I don’t think anyone has made me this nervous and full of want at the same time. No one, in all my years as a closeted artist, has ever been so wrong yet so irresistible.
We may not agree on some things … or a lot of things, actually, but there’s no denying I love the way Lyric is always honest with me. He’s not afraid to give me his opinion, and he doesn’t tiptoe around me just because I’m Ryder Kennedy.
My whole recording career was about that, and even now, while I’m producing, people tell me they trust me and my judgment because of who I am and what I’ve accomplished.
Lyric doesn’t buy into that shit.
He’s unapologetically him, and it’s the biggest turn-on I’ve ever experienced.
I don’t know which of us moves first, but the next thing I know, we’re leaning into each other, so close I can feel his breath on my skin.
“Ryder? You haven’t answered me.”
I don’t think I can. “We should probably, uh, do another take.”
Obvious diversion is obvious.
“We should,” he croaks.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
She doesn't take anything too seriously and lives to create an escape from real life for her readers. The ideas always begin with a wackadoodle premise, and she does her best to turn them into romances with heart.
With a short attention span that rivals her son's, she writes multiple different pairings: MM, MMF, and MF.
She's also an Australian girl and apologises for her Australianisms that sometimes don't make sense to anyone else.
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