The third book in Eva Scott’s bestselling Red Dust series features a classical musician, a bad boy rock star, and one hell of a road trip…
Iris jumped in fright when she looked up from Google Maps to see a dishevelled man standing by her car. She glanced around quickly to see if there was anyone else about but the place was deserted. Too early. She checked behind her to see the comforting lights of the office behind her with the bleary-eyed receptionist clearly visible. That was something at least.
‘Can I help you?’ she asked, glad the car was between them. She calculated she could make a run for reception before he could get to her.
‘Um, I was wondering if you could give me a lift.’ The guy shuffled from one foot to the other, looking as sheepish as hell, and cute too now she got a good look at him. She wasn’t one for long hair on a man although she’d make an exception in his case.
‘Right,’ She considered his request. He looked clean, maybe a little nervous. How can you tell if someone was an axe murderer or not? ‘Where are you going?’
‘I have no idea.’ He hit her with a grin, lighting up his face and sending her insides flip-flopping. His eyes – were they grey or blue? – sparkling in the pale morning light.
‘You don’t know where you’re going?’ She couldn’t help but grin back. ‘Do you know where you are?’
‘Kalgoorlie, right? I need to get out of here. I’m backpacking with the bus tour and, well, it’s a bit stifling. Thought it’d be for me and I was wrong.’ His smile turned rueful.
She turned to look at the nondescript bus parked behind them. The motel owner had told her a tour had booked out most of the place, probably backpackers going by this guy’s British accent. So, he wanted off the tour and to travel solo? Seemed reasonable enough. And he was cute, better than cute. Still, there was no universal law that said a serial killer couldn’t be cute.
‘Where are you going?’ He seemed to sense her wavering.
‘Melbourne,’ she replied before realising telling him where she was going might not be the smartest move.
His face lit up. ‘I’m going there too. How about we split the costs and the driving?’
She frowned and bit her lip. ‘I thought you said you didn’t know where you were going?’
‘Next. I don’t know where I’m going next but I want to be in Melbourne in two weeks wherever I end up in between.’ He gave her a dazzling smile and something leapt and spun inside her.
Tempting, very tempting. This trip was all about adventure and maybe a hot affair. Maybe this guy was both. Lord knows, the loneliness of the road ate away at her and she was only two days into her trip. At least at home she’d had her music buddies and her parents.
Her father’s face flashed across her mind. He’d totally disapprove of her picking up an English backpacker. He’d be livid when he realised she’d runaway, without his knowledge, without his permission. She’d played by the rulebook for twenty years, maybe it was time to throw it away and see what happened.
‘Come on,’ he cajoled, leaning on the car and piercing her with the most compelling eyes – yes, definitely more blue than grey up close – she had ever seen. ‘I swear I’m not a serial killer.’
Iris blushed. He’d read her mind. ‘What if I am?’ she countered, knowing any minute now she’d agree to take him. Like it was already a done deal from the moment she set eyes on him.
‘I think I’ll take my chances.’ There was that killer smile again. Iris’ body responded like an iron filing to a magnet. ‘What do you say?’
What could she say? There was no other response: ‘Okay, but I’m driving.’
Sheltered, coddled, gifted, Iris longs for something more than practice and performing. She wants to rebel, break the rules, have a hot affair, fall in love — to really live before happily committing to her classical music bubble. But her strict parents and her stricter schedule keep her confined to her gilded cage, even as she yearns desperately to be free.
Super star, successful, and sick of all of it, Kit just wants to stop. Stop the touring and the recording and the media and the bickering with his band mates. After two years on the road, he’s coming apart at the seams. He has to slow down, calm down, clear his head — to really think before recommitting to his rock star lifestyle. But his manager and the tour schedule keep him locked to his super star lifestyle, even as he rages against the confinement.
A chance encounter in a car park leads to a snap decision and an enormous risk: suddenly Kit and Iris are on an extraordinary road trip together across Australia, making their own choices, breaking all the rules. But reality is chasing them more quickly than they can know, and soon Kit and Iris will have to decide whether they are just running away — or running away together.
Coming 25 June.