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Spotlight: Color Me Crazy by Carol Pavliska

About the Book

Never fall for a rockstar…

Julian Wheaton views the world through a kaleidoscope of synesthesia, seeing the colors of every sound he hears. His life as an iconic rock guitarist was a stressful psychedelic trip that nearly destroyed him. Now he’s abandoned the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle for the peaceful sanctity of his recording studio, but when fiery Cleo Compton comes to work for him, she brings chaos with her.

Cleo Compton has had her flings with rockstars—and it’s left her wary and bruised. Julian may have those sexy bedroom eyes and drool-worthy tattoos, but Cleo is determined to keep things strictly professional—until Julian turns out to be every dream she’s ever chased. When he risks it all to hit the road with a band again, Cleo fears he’ll return as the one thing she can no longer abide—a rockstar.


“Oh. Well, you looked better last night,” she said. “Of course, you know what they say. The girls all get prettier at closing time.”

Was she really insinuating that last night’s advances— and she had made advances—were the result of dim lighting? And worse, was she really quoting a Mickey Gilley song? The slow burn of irritation spread through him. The woman literally made him see red.                    

He didn’t usually respond so foolishly to what might only be good-natured ribbing, but he was inexplicably rattled, as if he were a monkey in a cage that had been given a good jiggle.

Wanting to get rid of the smirk tugging at the left corner of Cleo’s upper lip, Julian gave her a quick and intentional once-over. “That’s most de nitely true,” he replied. “At closing time, guys make overtures they often regret the next morning.”

The hint of a smirk disappeared, and the other eyebrow rose to match the rst. Then they both dived down to form a vicious scowl. She looked like a teakettle just before it whistled. Slamming the door behind her, she said, “At closing time, some people become desperate gropers.” Her eyes dusted over him. “And yet somehow they manage to appear even more pathetic the next morning by showing up stubbly and wearing a girl’s shirt.

“This is not a girl’s shirt. This is my Sex Pistols shirt.”   

“Well, the cap sleeves look cute on you.” She smiled sweetly.

What the hell were cap sleeves? Unable to resist, he glanced at his shoulders. The sleeves did look a bit funny.

“Told you so, Juli,” Addie said, with the singsong smugness she’d used throughout their childhood. Perfect timing with the fucking nickname. Because cap sleeves were not quite emasculating enough.           

“Juli. Good grief, that’s it,” Cleo said. “Sorry. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember your name. I just knew it was something effeminate.”         

“It’s Julian Wheaton, and there’s nothing effeminate about me,” he growled, standing taller and trying to look... manly as possible in a girl’s shirt.         

The redhead glanced at his sleeves and cleared her throat. The corner of Addie’s mouth curled up, causing a dimple to appear out of nowhere.              

This situation was annoying as hell and hadn’t gone at all according to his plan, which had been to whip off his sunglasses and cook Lava Locks with a smoldering stare, even though nobody wearing a stained T-shirt and some sort of horrible men’s trunks deserved one. In no part of his plan was he supposed to be wearing women’s clothing while suffering the scrutiny of an unimpressed, pint-size bundle of bravado.           

He lifted his eyes toward hers and did what he did best: a perfected sexy glance, followed by a boyish gaze through the lashes. Her full bottom lip jutted out in annoyance, which pleased him immensely. He looked lower, in order to make the obligatory pause at the breasts. Okay, more than a pause. White T-shirt. No bra. Very nice.

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About Carol Pavliska

Carol Pavliska began her writing career as a family humor columnist and blogger, a pursuit she abandoned when her children grew old enough to realize they were being exploited. To save them from further embarrassment, she turned to writing fiction. Her debut novel is a steamy contemporary romance so, unfortunately, the children are still embarrassed.

Carol and her husband, both diehard Red Hot Chili Peppers fans, raise their vegan brood of mortified offspring on a cattle ranch in south Texas. No lie.

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