One of Carrie’s knees turned in self-consciously. Her skirt flared across the arch of her hip. Those curves in sequins backlit on the West Edge stage… Oz stopped himself, but the image wouldn’t leave his mind. What could a spotlight reveal about her that wasn’t already written across the candid features of her face?
As a young man of less than twenty, he’d loved flirting with cocktail waitresses, minxy regulars, any woman really, even the older ones with pockmarked faces and long, sad tales of broken hearts. But it’d been at least a year since he had considered taking a woman. He was no giggly, bunny-boffing sap. Not anymore. This sudden attraction to Carrie Cooper must be an extension of the music he saw inside of her.
Someone—a cheeky patron, perhaps—had stuck a red carnation in her hair, but it hung limp over her ear. He took the flower out, and her hair fell forward over her eyes. He hooked the wayward piece behind her ear again, and she smiled.
“I still owe you lunch,” he said.
“You mean I owe you coffee,” she said.
“Forget the coffee,” he said. “Give me a song, and we’ll be even.”
“A song?” she said. She fingered the hem of her skirt. “I’m just a choirgirl.”
“Not just a choirgirl,” he said. Her soft gasp brushed his thumb as he ran it across her red lips. “Not sure this shade suits a choirgirl,” he said.
Carrie put her hand on top of his and held it to her cheek. Closing her eyes, she sang.
Title: Notes of Temptation
Author: Rebecca Halsey
Genre: Historical Romance
Hollywood Jazz, Book 1
When Carrie Cooper leaves her small gold-mining town to seek her fortune, it’s not until she arrives in L.A. that she learns her college certificate is a fraud. The only work available is in a less-than-respectable speakeasy.
The job comes with the opportunity to take the stage with Oz Dean, the club’s captivating bandleader. But rivals out for her blood along with her place in the spotlight lurk behind the curtain.
Oz Dean has the rare ability to “see” music as brilliant colors, but nothing has ever dazzled him like Carrie’s pure, choirgirl voice. With a mob debt hanging over his head like a guillotine, he organizes a revue that will launch them all to stardom. Unfortunately, his bold move attracts exactly the kind of criminal attention he’d like to avoid.
Mired in Hollywood’s underbelly, caught off-guard by their growing attraction, Carrie and Oz are forced to consider the cost of success. Or their one chance to make beautiful music together could be their last.
Unquenchably curious, Rebecca Halsey travels around the country looking for souvenirs and experiences to include in her fiction. For Notes of Temptation she curated mementos from a voodoo museum in New Orleans, a ghost town in Arizona, and the beach at Santa Monica.
She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Georgia. When not writing, she works in cybersecurity and enjoys running, cooking, and painting portraits. She resides in Maryland with her husband and three children, all of whom tolerate her immersion into jazz music and black-and-white movies.
Notes of Temptation is her debut novel.
Author Website: http://www.rebeccahalsey.com/
Samhain site – https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5725/notes-of-temptation