ROCKERS OF STEEL #1
by MJ Fields
*** From USA Today Bestselling author MJ Fields***
From bedroom performances to center stage, Memphis Black’s dreams have come true.
Together with his band mates—Finn, River, and Billy B—he takes some time for fun in the sun in Miami while gathering inspiration to finish their first full-length album. Some down time before hitting the road to tour the country, spreading their kind of rock like an STD.
Tallia Priest, a preacher’s daughter grew up next door to Madison Black, her polar opposite and very best friend. Tallia has harbored a crush on Madison’s older brother Memphis for a lifetime.
A boy like him would never notice a girl like her, yet he did … once.
After a tough freshman year of college, Madison invites Tallia to join her in Miami for a much needed break. Madison fails to mention they will be staying with ‘Steel Total Destruction.’
When Tallia arrives, there is no way for a stunned Memphis to miss the transformation of the once awkward, innocent girl next door.
Forbidden desires must be hidden, lines cannot be blurred, and no one can ever know.
Will the heat in Miami tempt them even further? Will buried secrets destroy lives? Can a broken heart ever be mended?
It’s all fun and games until someone gets rocked.
Saturday morning, we walk into Forever Four, our label’s headquarters, for an impromptu meeting. None of us are feeling it. The whole way over, Finn and River were trying to figure out what the hell is going on.
As soon as the door opens and I hear Xavier Steel’s voice booming from the conference lounge, and I know what is up. But fuck if I’m gonna let them know that I know.
“He sounds pissed, man.” River’s eyebrows are sky high. “His wife is probably not giving it up since I’m sure she is just waiting to tell him she’s in love with me. She’s going to leave his ass for mine. Of course, I’d try to talk her out of it. Out of respect and shit.”
I chuckle. “You’d cream yourself if she ever gave you the time of day.” Taelyn Steel is hot, red-haired, tall, thin, and totally in love with her husband, exactly like he is with her. We just allow River this little, indulgent fantasy. It’s not hurting a damn thing… and it pisses X-man off, which is always funny.
“I would have brought her on board, let her feel my beat.” River cringes. “But she has a kid now.”
Whatever. Fucker loves that woman. I know damn well he would hit it and try to keep it. “They’re kids,” Nick is saying. It sounds like he’s trying to calm the X-man down.
“That’s just stupid shit, Nick!” X sounds pissed, more pissed than I have ever heard him and I’ve heard him pissed. “Between you and Rico, neither of you thought I should know? How many thousands were spent on these fucking shirts and hats and—”
“Slow the fuck down, X. One damn question at a time.” Nick’s laugh is awkwardly placed. “First, you are the one who said the name needed more.”
“More, yes. But this shit?” “Rico’s design is sick, man.” Nick’s tone is calm now. “And you got my text and said ‘sounds good,’ so your stamp of approval is on this shit, too. No time to change it. This starts tomorrow if they agree.”
“They’d better fucking agree. They’d better also realize that the way this company works is shit gets paid back before the royalties start getting doled out. Assuming they get a huge cut, they just completely fucked us all with this stunt.”
“I disagree.” I walk in, wearing my business face.
“What the hell is he talking about?” River follows me in and grabs one of the T-shirts off the table. “This is sick.” He holds it up against himself as Finn and I sit, turning our attention to River like he’s working the center pole at a strip club. He takes the black tee with the grey, crackled circle enclosing the different shades of reds and oranges spelling out our band’s name as he dry humps the air and rubs it down his front.
“Sick is right!” Xavier doesn’t look or sound impressed. “You tell me, River, how well do you think you’re gonna do at the after parties with the ladies sporting one of those T-shirts?”
“I always do well with the ladies.” River drops the shirt and plops down next to Finn. “Are you high?” Xavier scowls at him.
“Just a few hits this morning.” He shrugs. “Just pot, though. Not the other stuff.”
This is good considering River was shooting up when Xavier found him and then he had a coke habit for a while after that.
Exasperated, Xavier throws his hands up. “Nick, we aren’t ready for this shit in three days.” He points at the three of us. “You guys want this about as much as anyone wants”—he holds up the shirt—“a fucking STD.”
“People love rock, X.” River picks up the shirt again and looks at it, paying attention to the details for the first time, and his smile disappears.
“That shit’s not funny, Memphis.”
“So, there we have it.” X scowls. “The fucking ‘normal’ one is behind the name?” Finn pushes his sleeves up, exposing the ink that covers his arms before he folds his arms over his chest. “All three of us decided on it. It’s actually quite genius.”
“Nothing funny about a goddamned STD,” River growls, adjusting himself under the table.
“River obviously had no idea.” Xavier looks between Finn and me, like he’s trying to decide which one of us is gonna be sent to stand in the corner. “River knew,” Finn says. “He was just too fucked up to—”
“Bullshit,” River sputters. “I haven’t smoked in three days… until this morning.” Xavier is now pacing and sputtering under his breath. “We promote safe sex,” I speak up, trying to put a spin on it.
“Yeah, that’ll go over like River at an NA meeting,” Xavier huffs.
“I should take offense to that,” River says, clearly not offended. “And I would if the last one I attended didn’t go so, so horribly wrong.”
“You know those T-shirt cannons they use at sporting events?” Xavier looks at me like I’m crazy, so I clarify. “I sent a message to a friend last night, and he’s building us a condom cannon—”
“Fucking genius.” Finn reaches out his fist for me to bump. “We just need to get some condoms with this logo on it, and we’re golden. Every bitch in the world is gonna want Steel Total Destruction, the only STD that makes their panties as wet as the Jersey Shore.” I smirk, feeling proud.
“The one that makes them scream out in pleasure,” River adds while typing a note in his phone. “The burn that doesn’t need medicated ointment.” Finn reaches out his fist again. This time he gets no bump.
“Nah, man.” Nick cringes. ”That’s just sick.”
Knowing Nick’s officially in, I smile to myself. Fucking perfect. Come on, X-man, I silently plead.
“If you fail, this is on you.” Xavier’s eyes narrow as they meet mine. I shrug.
“Ain’t gonna happen. You knew what we were when you handpicked us, so don’t start doubting us now.”
We all look up at the door when X’s wife Taelyn walks in, holding their baby. She looks up and pushes her long, auburn locks over her shoulder.
“Good morning!” She greets as she sways gently with the baby in her arms. Did I mention she’s hot? Yeah she is, and fucking smart, and I knew she would be on our side.
“Good morning, Taelyn.” River makes a beeline for her and the kid. “Hello, baby Patrick.” Taelyn smiles. “He’s sleeping.” “Perfect,” River says with a shit-eating smile. “Then may I hold him?”
“Taelyn,” Xavier growls, clearly annoyed.
“Xavier,” she mocks back at him, echoing his tone.
We all laugh except Xavier, of course. “You sober?” she asks River. We all know that’s her deal with him. He’s sober, or its hands off the kid. As much as River adores older women, he adores kids even more.
I can’t help noticing the way River looks at her, like she’s the damn Mona Lisa. I expect him to bullshit her, but he doesn’t. He has mad respect for her.
He shakes his head, looking guilty, and shrugs. “Maybe next time.”
Taelyn gives him a sad look. “Okay.”
She goes over to Xavier and hands their son over. She kisses the baby’s cheek, then his.
“So, STD, huh?” After seeing the T-shirt, her eyes immediately go to me. Xavier laughs at my shocked expression. “Seriously, Memphis, you’re like one of our kids.”
“Except for the fact that you would have been, like, two when you had him,” River interjects. “Hot, toddler loving.”
“You’d better watch it, drummer boy,” Xavier hisses while Taelyn nudges him with her elbow.
“I guess it could work.” She holds the shirt up to her chest, smirking. “If anyone can make a venereal disease sound cool, it’s the three of you.”
“Four,” I remind her. “Billy boy could rock an STD shirt like nobody’s business.”
“He could, right?” She laughs. “He’ll be back in a week, very excited.”
“Wait, about what?” I ask. “You’re opening up for the Brody Hines band’s Burning Souls reunion show, you stupid shit.” Xavier speaks in a stern, yet soft I-don’t-want-to-wake-the-baby, voice.
River looks like someone just slapped him. “You’re fucking joking, right?” “Nope.” Xavier smiles. “So, let me ask you a question.” “Shoot, man.” I try to look calm, but shit. Fuck, fuckity, fucking shit!
“You ready to spread ‘your kind of rock’ around like an infectious disease?” The look on his face tells me everything I need to know—X is finally on board.
My laugh is evil and deep. “Hell yes, we are. Hell. Fucking. Yes.”
I feel tingly all over. What a fucking rush this business is. What a motherfucking rush.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
A childhood friend and his sister's bestie, Tallia comes to stay with the band and her friend Madison during their well-deserved vacation between tours. Memphis is immediately taken back at the change in Tallia. She has grown into an amazingly beautiful woman - no longer the shy, awkward, kinky haired child he remembers.
Their love courtship is both funny and poignant. Bad rocker boy and preacher's daughter find themselves drawn to each other and expanding their childhood crushes into an adult relationship. Getting there is not only fun but also mind-blowing. Their conscience does not hold back murmuring what the correct path for their love affair should be. Secrets that keep them apart will be blown open and these two characters will have to grow up in a hurry and deal with their lives.
Note in passing - I had to look up what a Dolphin piercing is. This author never ceases to surprise!
USA Today bestselling author MJ FIELDS's love of writing was in full swing by age eight. Together with her cousins, she wrote a newsletter and sold it for ten cents to family members. She self-published her first New Adult romance in January 2013. Today she has completed six self-published series,The Love series, The Wrapped series, The Burning Souls series, The Men of Steel series, Ties of Steel series, and The Norfolk series. MJ is a hybrid author who publishes an Indie book almost every month, and is signed with a traditional publisher, Loveswept, Penguin Random House, for her co- written series The Caldwell Brothers. Hendrix is available now, Morrison will be released on December 22nd, 2015. There is always something in the works, and she has three, yes, three, new series coming out this summer, and fall. MJ was a former small business owner, who closed shop so she could write full time. MJ lives in central New York, surrounded by family and friends. Her house is full of pets, people, friends, and noise ninety percent of the time, and she would have it no other way.