Chapter Reveal: Cadence (Ruby Riot) by Lisa Swallow

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Today is my stop during the tour for Cadence (Ruby Riot) by Lisa Swallow. I will help reveal the first chapter today, so scroll down for the excerpt.

Cadence.Ebook.AmazonTitle: Cadence
Author: Lisa Swallow
Series: (Ruby Riot)
Genres: Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Tegan Hughes joins Blue Phoenix and Ruby Riot on tour, and drummer Bryn isnโ€™t the only one who notices his little sister isnโ€™t a kid anymore.

Jax Lewis is the guitarist for Ruby Riot and the band are rising to success. Heโ€™s hot property and loving every minute of his new found fame. Now, heโ€™s on tour supporting Blue Phoenix and living his rock star life to the full. Until Tegan walks into his world and puts the brakes on.

Tegan Hughes is taking a year out and has her sights set on touring Europe with her big brotherโ€™s band. Blue Phoenix drummer, Bryn isnโ€™t happy when his sister arrives unannounced at his hotel in Lisbon, but Tegan isnโ€™t the type of person to take no as an answer.

With her big brother breathing down their necks, Jax and Tegan attempt to keep a handle on their growing attraction but that proves harder than they thought. Jax is used to getting whoever and whatever he wants and after kissing Tegan once, he knows one thingโ€ฆhe wants more.

But Tegan isnโ€™t rock star girlfriend material. She has ambitions of her own and refuses to let anything stand in the way of her plans. And when Jax and Teganโ€™s relationship becomes public knowledge life becomes a hell of a lot more complicated.

Ruby Riot is a spin-off from the Blue Phoenix books but the two series can be read separately. All the Ruby Riot books are standalone.

*Releases November 5th 2015*

CadenceTeaser2.v2 on tour

Chapter One

LISBON, PORTUGAL

TEGAN

Bryn forgets that I travelled across Asia on my own, and chooses to ignore the lesson he learned when we were growing up: my big brother doesn’t tell me what to do. In fact, anybody who tries will discover the slender girl who looks younger than her twenty years, and gets far more attention from men than sheโ€™d like, isn’t a delicate pushover but a force of nature they can’t control.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not rude – unless you’re rude to me – I just know what I want and aim high. ‘No’ isn’t an answer; it’s a challenge.
Which is why my sour-faced brother is standing in the doorway of his hotel room, arms crossed. My big brother, the rock star, in his uniform of scruffy t-shirt and black jeans, a canvas of ink covering his muscled arms. Unimpressed deep-brown eyes regard me from beneath his curled fringe. This is the mountain-sized guy people at school were scared of, but they never knew heโ€™d go home and have tea parties with his kid sister and her dolls.
Seven years older than me, Bryn left town when I was ten, launched into the stratosphere with Blue Phoenix. On the day he left, Bryn promised my teary, snotty-faced self that one day I could join him and tour with the band.
Guess what day it is today?
โ€œWhat the actual fuck, Tegan?โ€ growls Bryn. โ€œWhere did you come from?โ€
I flash him a smile. โ€œLondon.โ€
โ€œYeah, I know where you live, but why the hell are you here?โ€ His heavy brow tugs lower.
โ€œBecause this is where the taxi brought me from the airport,โ€ I say breezily. โ€œNice that you’re kicking the tour off in Portugal, I haven’t seen much of Europe yet.โ€
Bryn composes himself, steps back, and opens the door wider. โ€œGet in here.โ€
โ€œSure! Grab my bag then.โ€ I indicate my well-travelled rucksack, tiptoe to plant a kiss on his stubbled cheek, and head inside the air-conditioned room.
A muttering Bryn follows me into his suite. My last travels involved backpacker hostels: bunk beds in shoebox-sized rooms and grotty, shared bathroom facilities of a basic nature. Bryn’s accommodation is a hotel suite the size of the small flat I share with Phoebe. Well, technically I crashed on her sofa several weeks ago and haven’t moved on.
I perch on the blue couch, sinking into the plush cushions and continue to smile sweetly as Bryn half-throws my rucksack across the room.
โ€œSo, you forgot to buy my plane ticket and book my room, didn’t you?โ€ I ask.
โ€œI told you it wasn’t a good idea for you to tour with us.โ€
โ€œYeah, but you never gave a reason.โ€
โ€œApart from I don’t want my baby sister on a Blue Phoenix tour!โ€
โ€œDon’t be ridiculous, I’m not a kid.โ€ I shift and remove my phone from the back pocket of my jeans and check for messages. โ€œPlus, you guys are tame these days.โ€
Bryn continues to hover by the closed door. โ€œYeah we are, but there’s plenty around who aren’t. Some of the tour crew don’t do this for the pay; they do it for the perks.โ€
I screw my nose up. โ€œI haven’t come here to be the perks. Iโ€™ll pull my weight. Give me something to do to help out with the tour, and Iโ€™ll do it.โ€
โ€œLike what, Tegan?โ€
โ€œI donโ€™t knowโ€ฆ anything. Find me something Blue Phoenix needs help with, or ask if Ruby Riot needs a bodyguard. Lots of girls want their hands on Jax. Dylan had better watch his king of the rock stars crown.โ€
Dylan, the lead singer of Blue Phoenix and the man who topped numerous โ€˜Worldโ€™s Sexiest menโ€™ lists over the past few years recently married. Now the worldโ€™s scrutiny has shifted elsewhere โ€“ to the Ruby Riot guitarist, Jax Lewis.
โ€œWhat?โ€ Bryn misses my teasing tone. โ€œJax? You want to get close to Ruby Riot, don’t you?โ€
Seriously? Seven years a rock star and Bryn thinks everything is about sex.
โ€œI was joking! Do I look like I could hold a horde of salivating girls off the pretty-boy rock star?โ€
Bryn continues to regard me with suspicion and I sigh. โ€œIs there anything to drink?โ€ I ask, and before he can give his indignant response, I add, โ€œWater. I’m tired after the trip. I’m not a big drinker.โ€
โ€œThat’s one good thing…โ€ Bryn disappears and returns with a litre bottle of water, which he throws at me and I deftly catch.
โ€œI’m not interested in who you all are, I just want the experience of doing this. I’ll stick to the background, okay?โ€
Bryn chews a nail and studies me. โ€œNo. I don’t like you around this scene.โ€
โ€œI promise I won’t tell Mum what naughty things you get up to.โ€
โ€œVery funny, Tegan. Listen, we’ve mellowed, but this isn’t the environment for a girl.โ€
My mouth falls open; Bryn doesn’t usually talk down to women. โ€œI’d like to hear you say that to Ruby Riot’s lead singer! She’d have your balls for that.โ€
โ€œRuby’s different.โ€
โ€œWhy? She’s not much older than me!โ€
โ€œLots of reasons. Tegan, you can’t tour with us.โ€
โ€œI’m here, aren’t I? Tough.โ€ I put my feet on the nearby low table and drink the water, waiting for Bryn’s next move.
โ€œJesus!โ€ Bryn drags his phone from his pocket and hits the screen. Watching me with a tired look, he barks at the unfortunate person who answers. โ€œWho’s tour managing? I need their help.โ€
Bryn walks into the nearby bedroom, continuing his conversation and I shuffle down into the cushions. Best he sorts this soon. I yawn, ignoring my growling stomach and fight against posting a Twitter update about my arrival.
A couple of minutes later, Bryn reappears, crosses toward me, and grabs my arm. โ€œRight. You. Downstairs.โ€
I drag my arm away. โ€œI’m not leaving!โ€
โ€œYeah, not tonight. Come on.โ€ He pulls open the door and heads out.
โ€œOr tomorrow!โ€ I call after him as I follow. The heavy door slams shut behind me. โ€œYou promised!โ€
My voice echoes along the quiet corridor as Bryn strides along the carpeted floor to the elevators.
As I reach him, the elevator door slides open and we step into the confined space. โ€œDoes Mum know you came here?โ€ he asks.
โ€œKind of.โ€
โ€œKind of?โ€
The doors close and I rest against the wall as Bryn hits the button. โ€œI told Mum I was travelling again. She’s cool with what I do as long as I’m back for uni in September.โ€ I pause. โ€œYou should take a leaf out of her book and notice that I’ve grown up.โ€
โ€œI’d noticed,โ€ says Bryn as the elevator moves down, lurching my stomach. โ€œAnd that is the problem.โ€

****

Bryn ushers me to a quiet cafe area close to the lobby, the space filled with empty metal tables surrounded by high-backed upholstered chairs. I sit and pull some cash from my back pocket then grab a menu. โ€œIโ€™m starving.โ€
โ€œI’ll buy you something. What do you want?โ€
โ€œNo, it’s okay. I can pay my own way.โ€ I offer a Euro note. โ€œJust a sandwich. Any kind is fine.โ€
He ignores the money and heads off, returning a few moments later with Turkish bread wrapped in paper and a china cup of coffee.
โ€œThanks, Bryn.โ€
He sighs. โ€œNo problem. I’ll sort you a room once Tina comes down here to do whatever she needs to.โ€
โ€œCool, thanks.โ€ I unwrap the sandwich and take a huge bite, savouring the freshness of the cheese and ham. The meal on the plane over here wasn’t enough to fill a child.
I watch him leave, grateful he’s not expecting me to sleep on his sofa, and pull out my phone to post the update Iโ€™ve itched to. Since I mentioned โ€“ all right, announced – that I was in the privileged position of spending six weeks on tour with Blue Phoenix and Ruby Riot, my daily blog hits have quadrupled. Not to mention my Instagram and Twitter followers. My travel blog suddenly became a whole lot more interesting since I replaced pictures of Thai beaches with rock stars.
After posting a quick update, I sip my latte, deciding these surroundings are definitely better than my friend’s floor in London.
Bryn returns and thrusts a keycard at me. โ€œRoom. Go. I’ll bring your bag in a few. I need to sort something out.โ€
โ€œIt had better not been a plane ticket home,โ€ I retort.
Bryn scowls again. What the hell is he behaving like this for? For the last four years, I’ve spoken to him about this; and after three years of nagging, he said when I was eighteen I could come on tour. Blue Phoenix didn’t tour the year I turned eighteen; then the tour last year was cut short amongst all the Blue Phoenix dramas, so I headed overseas while I waited, embarking on a mini-tour of my own. Bryn evidently thought I’d continue to do my own thing and forget about the tour. Wrong. Who’d miss a chance of touring with the world’s biggest rock band?
Blowing Bryn a kiss, which he responds to with a shake of his head, I walk back to the elevator. When I check the number on the keycard, I groan. The same floor as Bryn. I bet he’s booked me in next to him so he can make sure Iโ€™m not ravished by the roadies.
I giggle at the image of Bryn following me around and protecting my honour. He probably still thinks I’m a virgin. Right, how many twenty-year-old virgins has he come across in the last few years? Not many, I’ll bet. Not that I’m Miss Sexually Liberated, I had a serious boyfriend at school, and since him, one other guy. Both times the relationship was loving and exclusive, but our lives went in different directions. The backpacking culture saw a lot of bed hopping but that’s not for me.
I step back into the quiet corridor of Bryn’s floor. The setting sun shines through the floor to ceiling window at the opposite end of the long hallway, filtering light across the carpet and creating dazzling rays. From this height, Iโ€™ll have an awesome view of the city to add to my collection.
โ€œHey!โ€
I look over my shoulder at the owner of the voice. My eyes take a moment to focus after staring at the sunlight, until I see a blond guy striding down the hallway. From his swagger, I don’t have to wait for him to approach before I realise who this is.
The guy halts short of me and eyes the colour of sapphire switch from anger to interest as he checks me out. I arch a ‘yeah?’ eyebrow at him and take in the face and physique of the unmistakable Jax Lewis.
This guy’s on the edge between man and boy, his tall frame filled out with hard muscles beneath the t-shirt – I’ve seen the pictures – but he still holds the wiry frame of a teen. The effect he’s having on me is one hundred percent man though, my insides donโ€™t normally disintegrate into molten heat when I look at a guy.
Jaxโ€™s blond fringe dips into his eyes as he rubs a finger along his full lips. Is he as lost at what to say to me as I am to him? Surely not. Guys as hot as this are never lost for words. Oh yeah, h-o-t and he knows it because he soon switches to a slow, seductive smile. I’m too busy checking out the way his jeans fit his long legs and picturing myself running my nails across his firm abs to respond to that.
Sorry, big brother but this is going to be tricky.
โ€œHow did you find your way up here?โ€ he asks with his oh-so-English accent that melts the hearts and panties of American fans.
โ€œThe elevator. I decided the stairs would take too long.โ€
โ€œYou know what I mean! How did you know we were staying here?โ€
His eyes distract me, a captivating, intense blue, and I return his scrutiny despite the unwanted pulse hike he’s causing.
โ€œWho’s we? You’re not Blue Phoenix.โ€
โ€œNo. Clearly. Is that who you’re looking for? You don’t look like a Phoenix groupie.โ€
I choke a laugh. โ€œOh? What do I look like?โ€
โ€œI have a number of responses to that,โ€ he says in a low voice.
โ€œYeah, I bet you have a list somewhere.โ€
Jax grazes his teeth against his lip as he looks at mine. โ€œThey always work on girls who know who I am.โ€
I laugh. Loudly. Judging by his surprised look, he wasn’t expecting my reaction. โ€œBecause you’re Jax Lewis? Hey, I’ve met bigger stars than you.โ€
โ€œOh. Right, professional groupie then?โ€ He drops his friendliness and stares at my tits instead.
โ€œNot really, so don’t get any ideas.โ€
โ€œWhy hang around on the floor of the hotel two big rock bands are staying in then?โ€
โ€œTwo big rock bands?โ€ I snigger. โ€œOne and a half. Don’t get ahead of yourself, now.โ€
I bite my lip against saying more; I’ve poked a sore spot because his stance stiffens.
โ€œFine. I suggest you leave before I call security.โ€
โ€œMm-hmm.โ€ I check the numbered sign on the wall, locating the direction I need to walk to reach my room. As I head off, Jax appears next to me.
โ€œWhere are you going?โ€
โ€œMy room.โ€ I wave the keycard at him.
โ€œHang on. Are you with the PR team? I haven’t met you, I don’t recognise you.โ€
โ€œAnd you always remember a pretty face, huh?โ€
โ€œIf I’d seen you before, Iโ€™d remember. Seriously.โ€ He flashes a smile that does nothing to soothe the attraction to him I’m trying to quell, all sensual mouth and sharpening cheekbones. Damn. Something like this was not on my agenda. Something like him.
โ€œMaybe you’ll recognise me next time we meet,โ€ I reply and swipe my keycard.
โ€œYouโ€™re with the tour people? You’re not a groupie?โ€
โ€œNot exactly and no.โ€
โ€œWho are you then?โ€
Opening the room door with my shoulder, I point down the hallway to where Bryn has appeared from the elevator. โ€œAsk him.โ€

****

JAX

The heavy door slams shut behind the girl and I stare as the smooth wood almost hits my face. Weird. I definitely haven’t seen this chick around since the tour entourage arrived yesterday and, as I have a thing for long hair, long legs, and a cute ass like hers, I’d remember this girl.
Bryn heads along the corridor toward me. โ€œHey, manโ€ he says gruffly as he passes.
โ€œWho’s the chick?โ€
Bryn halts and spins around. โ€œWhich chick? Where?โ€
โ€œYou didn’t see her? Jeez, man, you’d know if you had. Brown-haired girl, long legs, killer body.โ€ Bryn’s brow tugs down and I continue, โ€œI reckon I might be in with a chance, man, she gave me the look.โ€
โ€œโ€˜The lookโ€™?โ€
โ€œYou know, when it’s obvious in a chickโ€™s eyes she wants you naked.โ€
Bryn’s face hardens further by the moment, and I stop unsure why I’m getting a death stare. Jesus, if Bryn’s stressed like this before the tour kicks off properly, what the hell will he be like on a shit day?
โ€œDid she tell you her name?โ€ he asks.
โ€œNever had the chance, she walked away all coy and mysterious. The girl said you might know who she is.โ€
โ€œRight. Long brown hair, you said. Tall?โ€
โ€œYeah. And beautiful. Like a model.โ€
Bryn gives a short bark of a laugh. โ€œDon’t get too carried away. She’s attractive, but I wouldn’t go that far. Or is that a line you use on girls, Jax?โ€
My dumb brain finally switches into gear. โ€œYou know her.โ€
โ€œOh, yeah, I know her.โ€
Shit. I thought the girl meant Bryn knew who she was, not this. She’s Bryn’s chick. Why else would his tone harden and look darken? Oh, shit. The girl Iโ€™ve seen him with recently mustโ€™ve been traded in for a newer model. Nice one, Jax.
โ€œCrap. Sorry, man. Didn’t realise. I’ll back off and she probably wasn’t looking at me like that…โ€ I hold my hands up in apology; telling one of Blue Phoenix I’m intending to hit on his girl is not a great start to the tour. Brynโ€™s an easy-going guy, but his tense demeanour suggests there’s another side close to the surface. A side I havenโ€™t seen and don’t want to meet.
โ€œYeah, I suggest you keep your hands off,โ€ he says, voice low and loaded with warning.
โ€œI didn’t realise,โ€ I repeat. โ€œI’m sorry, honest.โ€ Perspiration builds across my back as I wait for his response.
Bryn glances along the hallway. โ€œWhere did she go?โ€
โ€œIn there.โ€ I indicate the door.
โ€œRight.โ€ Bryn strides away but passes the room the girl went into.
I continue to the elevator in a daze; the journey from my room to the bar took a very different turn to the one I expected when I walked into the hallway five minutes ago.
If the chick is with Bryn, she’s bad news because I didnโ€™t imagine her reaction to me. I may not have the same experience with women as the Blue Phoenix guys; but I know enough and that was an unmistakable and barely hidden connection. Bryn’s wrong. Sheโ€™s beautiful but in a larger than life, confident way that’s sexy as hell in a girl. Iโ€™d lay bets she knows what she wants and how to get it. Until the conversation with Bryn, I’d swear that was me.
Why do Blue Phoenix always take the girls I want?

CadenceTeaser.v3 challenge date

About the Author:
Lisa is an author of new adult romance and writes both paranormal and contemporary, often with a side of snark.

Lisa is originally from the UK but moved to Australia in 2001 and now lives in Perth in Western Australia with her husband, three children and dog.

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