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The Break-Up Album
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1721335293 (ISBN13: 9781721335299)
A sexy standalone novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blakely
Read the book RT Book Reviews gave 4.5 stars: “It’s impossible not to fall utterly in love with the humor and passion between her tempting, talented hero and remarkably resilient heroine. New readers and longtime fans: Don’t miss this newest success.”
They say all’s fair in love and music…
I say life would be a lot fairer if I wasn’t so wildly attracted to the man I’m spending all my days with, who’s decidedly off-limits.
But then again, I can’t technically complain—I have a Grammy, a hit album, and a job most people would be envious of—I’m a rock star. What I haven’t had in years is a hot date. The dating drought isn’t because I’m a single mom. It’s because I have a little itty-bitty issue with trust because of how my marriage imploded.
Matthew is determined to break down my walls, and it sure doesn’t hurt that he’s British, witty, and far too tempting. He’s also the toughest music journalist out there, and he’s interviewing me for an in-depth article. The trouble is, I want to get in-depth with him, and the more time we spend together, the more tempted we both are to cross lines that shouldn’t be crossed.
|Books by Author:|
Beat Magazine, August 14
The Essential Break-Up Album for the Modern Age
By Matthew Harrigan
I’ve heard enough music to know that the best songs and albums come from broken hearts. Maybe there just isn’t anything to say when you’re swooning, falling, floating, chasing. Maybe when you’re deliciously, deliriously happy, nobody wants to hear about it. But if your heart’s been stomped on, your emotions shattered, your feelings maddeningly unrequited, then you stand a much better chance of writing an opus.
If anyone disagrees, I’ll just say “Layla.” And then for emphasis, I’ll give you Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks.” And once more just to prove my point, I’ll mention Adele’s “Someone Like You” for this generation and Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My Tears” for days gone by.
If you still doubt me, may I now present Jane Black’s newest album, Crushed? It is the essential break-up album for the modern age.
There’s more to Matthew Harrigan’s review of my fourth album, but I’ve memorized it all by now. I memorized it the very day it came out. It was the first review I read for Crushed, while standing on the corner of Thirty-Fourth Street and Lexington Avenue on a hot August morning. I’d raced down the street to buy a copy as garbage men clanged and newsstands opened. I didn’t care about the sun beating down. I didn’t smell the garbage being hoisted into the nearby trucks. All I could feel was the rush, the thrill, the absolute, unadulterated bliss of being anointed a success by the music industry’s most powerful magazine, whose reviews run on the home page of iTunes, and are cited on Spotify and Google Music—basically, everywhere that matters.
Finally, it had come, after years of clutching the faint remnants of the hope that I would be a rock singer, for a living, for real. I’d come so close to giving in, giving up, moving on, because I just wasn’t making it at all. Then I was kicked to the curb by my husband, the father of my child, the love of my freaking life. Who would have thought—it never occurred to me at the time, at a mere twenty-eight—that I’d wind up writing the essential break-up album for the modern age?
Now it’s late afternoon on a certain Sunday in February and our car, a ridiculously long and lush limousine—who rides in things like this for real? I never have—inches closer to the Los Angeles Staples Center, home to the Grammy Awards. I peer out the tinted window, my stomach doing a double-triple flip as I spy the sheer degree of star wattage posing along the red carpet in their metallic dresses and stylish suits. Pop superstars like Bruno Mars and P!nk, as well as Beyoncé and Jay-Z, mingle alongside legends like Bono and Eddie Vedder, and then somewhere in the distance, I can just make out the unmistakable silhouette of Madonna. I am going to be in the vicinity, same building, same stage as Madonna. I am actually going to perform in front of the most successful female recording artist of all time. Because I’ve been nominated. Nominated. I must be living someone else’s life because I—a barely-holding-on little indie singer who’s never had so much as even a hit single, let alone hit album, let alone Grammy invite—have only watched the Grammys on TV.
I shake my head, then click open my purse so I can feel just for a second the wrinkled page that I ripped from Beat magazine that day in August. I’ve kept the review in my pocket like an amulet for the last six months, in a bag, inside my wallet. It goes with me everywhere as a good-luck charm. I touch the well-worn page to remind myself that somehow this is actually real, that those words were really written, that I am here and not in some mirage. Then I tuck it safely back inside my pewter-colored clutch purse that’s about the size of a passport stamp.
I smile, a crazy big grin at my older sister, Natalie, then at my younger brother, Owen, next to her, and at my son, Ethan. My six-year-old is head to toe in black tie, his blue-gray eyes ablaze with excitement, his sandy-brown hair, as usual, a veritable mop. The Beatles had nothing on my boy; his hair is thicker than a Siberian husky’s in winter.
“We’re almost here, kids. Grammy Awards start in one hour,” Owen announces as he taps his watch with one hand while the car shuffles closer to the red carpet where the driver will drop us off.
I shake my head, barely able to speak because there’s a part of me that won’t accept that my life in this instant isn’t an optical illusion. That I will open my eyes and find myself back on the couch in my Murray Hill apartment watching the annual fete from far, far away. But I’m still here in this car, snapping my purse open and shut, distracting myself with the clicking sound from the fleet of supersize nerves camping out in my body.