Read Online Books/Novels:
Concerto (North Security #2)
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
Samantha Brooks stands onstage as the curtain rises. Her dreams are coming true. She doesn’t know her nightmare is coming too.
The spotlight lands on Samantha Brooks. Years of practice build to the opening night of a global tour. She plays her heart out, but there are darker forces underneath the stage.
There are eyes watching from the wings.
Liam North fights to keep her safe with every weapon he owns. She’s his greatest pride — and his greatest weakness. The danger comes from somewhere no one expected. Betrayal threatens to destroy everything he’s built. His business. His family. His life.
When the curtain falls, only one of them will be left standing.
|Books in Series:|
|Books by Author:|
“When I wished to sing of love, it turned to sorrow. And when I wished to sing of sorrow, it turned to love.” – Franz Schubert
The theater rises above the city, an old-world counterpoint to a modern melody. Rounded cobblestones curve the thin cardboard of my ballet flats. Water rushes with quiet urgency from a fountain.
“Should we go in?” Josh says, his tone laconic. “Or should we just stare at it more?”
I give him a pointed look. “Impatient, much?”
Okay, so I might be a little nervous. And I might have stood here, taking deep breaths, fortifying myself, for more than five minutes. This is my first major tour, which is enough to make any musician nervous. Even more than that, it’s my first performance after turning eighteen.
No one can call me a child prodigy anymore.
I’m no longer a child.
I lift my chin and step up to the heavy front doors. There must be more practical entrances around the sides, but I don’t want to go skulking around the building. The email inviting me to practice had been terse. You may arrive at 9 a.m. Mrs. Tabakov will meet you.
Josh knocks on the carved wooden doors, the sound reverberating in a way that makes me feel like we’re waking some long-slumbering dragon. A pause, long enough to make me glance at Josh.
“Last chance to turn back.”
“No way,” I say, even though my heart thumps in warning.
The door opens. I’m expecting Mrs. Tabakov to be a woman with grey hair and a stern mouth, someone who’s managed generations of performers and rules backstage with an iron fist. Instead the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen stands there in a glittering gold gown and bare feet, golden curls tumbling around her shoulders.
“Call me Candy. And you must be Samantha Brooks,” she says with a smile. “So lovely to meet you.”
Shyness makes my tongue heavy. “Are you Mrs. Tabakov?”
“That’s me. I’m the owner of the Grand.”
“Oh wow.” She’s so young to own such a historic building, but I know better than most how age has nothing to do with your achievements. “It’s such an honor to be able to play here.”
She looks at Josh in a frank, assessing way. “Is this your lover?”
I cough in surprise, my cheeks turning pink. “No, no, definitely not.”
“You had to say no three times?” Josh asks, extending his hand. “Joshua North. Personal security.”
“He’s like family to me,” I say, apologetic.
“That didn’t stop you with Liam,” he says under his breath, and I have to force myself to not kick him in the shin. Even though…he’s not wrong.
Liam North got custody of me when I was twelve. His guardianship ended two weeks ago, when I turned eighteen and left his home. I’m not empty-handed. I have the incredible Stradivarius violin he gave me for my birthday on one hand. And I have his brother, Joshua North, who’s going to be my bodyguard after a suspicious accident at home.
It’s impossible for me to define my relationship with Liam. Parental? Romantic? It was neither of those things—and both of them. We forged our own bond, as unique as it was temporary.
I have to find my own path now—one that begins here, at the Grand.
A man appears behind Candy, his expression severe. From the silver threading his temples, it’s clear he’s older than her. The hand he curves around her waist leaves no doubt as to his claim. “Ivan Tabakov,” he says, a layer of steel beneath his words as he stares down Josh. “I will arrange a meeting between you and our head of security. In the meantime, I can show you the important features.”
“Perfect,” Candy says, smiling up at him. “That way I can have some girl time with Samantha. It’s not every day I get to meet a world-famous violinist.”
Josh raises an eyebrow at me before following Ivan outside.
I’m relieved, though I don’t say that as I follow Candy into the theater. Josh has been in turns taunting and autocratic, like an annoying older brother. If we were both years younger, he would probably steal my dolls and I would paint glitter on his Legos. Instead we’ve resorted to exchanging insults over the room service cart while we try to stay out of sight of paparazzi.
The paparazzi don’t care about me. I’m not an interesting figure except in the world of classical music, but the headliner of the tour is a different story. Celebrity tenor Harry March loves the red carpet almost more than he loves music. He’s been seen with pop stars and actresses and heiresses.
We step into an open foyer with red carpet and two wide staircases curving to a balcony. The wall between them extends all the way to the ceiling, forty feet high. There’s a dark painting of a forest, the branches almost reaching out from the wall.