Famous in a Small Town
by Kylie Scott
What chance does a small-town girl have with a world-famous rock star?
Two years after his wife’s death, rock star Garrett Hayes hasn’t moved on. But he has moved out of L.A. Where better to escape his past than a small town in the northern California mountains? If only he could get the townsfolk of Wildwood to leave him the hell alone.
Ani Bennet returned to her hometown for some much-needed serenity. The last thing she needs is a grumpy, too hot for his own good, rich and famous rock star living next door—and rent-free in her brain.
She set her fangirl tendencies aside and deleted his photo from her cell when they became neighbors. But when Garrett asks for help, she can’t say no. The problem is, spending time together is making those fangirl feelings resurface—and bringing them to a whole new level.
What chance does a small-town girl have with a world-famous rock star? It’s time for Ani to set her fears aside and find out.
Rock out today!
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My new neighbor arrived at midnight on a Thursday. First came the moving truck, followed by a Jeep Wrangler. Mrs. Cooper, the former owner of the house, passed a while back. A damn shame. The woman was not only nice, but she made biscuits like you wouldn’t believe. For years the grand old Victorian house sat empty at the end of the cul-de-sac. Not unusual for a small town. Few people wanted to move to the middle of nowhere in Northern California, no matter how picturesque it might be. While the place had been sold not long after listing, there’d been no sighting of the new owner until now.
“What the heck?” I mumbled to myself, standing at the window.
Who moved in the middle of the night? It seemed covert and suspicious. Like something a criminal or government agent would do. Although, maybe they just traveled far and this happened to be the time they arrived. But most people would stay at a hotel and wait for daylight to do this sort of thing. Surely.
The only things ever happening at midnight in Wildwood were: 1. Harry, the town drunk, performing Bob Dylan classics in the middle of Main Street. 2. Me, an insomniac, wandering aimlessly around my house. That was it. Everyone else in the whole wide world—or our corner of it—was fast asleep.
Half hidden behind a curtain, I watched the truck being unloaded. A full moon shone down through the pine trees as the moving men hauled stuff inside. The first guy, the one who drove the Jeep, went straight into the house. He was tall and wore a ball cap. That was about all I could see. Maybe he was setting the place up for his wife and family. Maybe he had a boyfriend. He couldn’t possibly be single, heterosexual, under sixty, and emotionally mature. My luck just wasn’t that good. Not that I intended to date again in this lifetime.
Whoever he was and whatever he was doing, it would all be known in due course. Such was the joy of small-town life.
Once the furniture was moved inside, things got a little dull. There’s not much you can tell about a person from their boxes.
I took the opportunity to once again check the locks on all my windows and doors. After that, I made a cup of chamomile tea. Neither of these things helped me sleep, but the rituals were soothing. Mom always said I had a busy mind. I didn’t necessarily think about anything useful, I just thought a lot. At night, I tended to think about books, bad memories, and ex-boyfriends. The last two were often one and the same.
As a child, I was the daydreamer who got busted humming in class when everyone else was concentrating. (Like anybody actually needed algebra. If you can work out the discount at a sale, you’re good to go. Then again, this attitude might explain why my life had gone approximately nowhere.)
I returned to the window just in time to see my mystery man reappear. The new neighbor strode out to the Jeep and opened up the back. When he once more headed toward the house, the ball cap was gone and his short hair was on display. In each hand he carried a guitar case.
I perked up. Musicians were cool. Unless he owned electric guitars and believed in turning the volume up to eleven. That could get old fast.
As he got closer to the house, the porchlight hit him and…huh. Something about his profile tugged at a memory.
Guess he felt my gaze, because he turned toward my place. And whoa. His lips were a thin line, his jaw set to cranky, and none of it mattered—the man was beautiful. Though he really was strangely familiar.
Meanwhile, with only a lamp on behind me, I couldn’t have been more than an outline. A shadowy person lurking in the dark. Great. Nothing like being spied on to make you feel welcome in your new neighborhood. So much better than a casserole or cookies.
Wait! I knew where I recognized him from. Only it couldn’t be, because that would be crazy. Absolutely fucking wild. Yet there he stood.
“Holy shit,” I whispered.
My new neighbor was a goddamn rock star.
I adored grumpy, moody Garrett. He’s had a difficult couple of years after the death of his wife and he’s still wallowing in his grief. Ani is trying to work through a bit of trauma of her own but moving back to her small, hometown provides her some comfort. At least, until things are turned upside down when her new neighbor moves in.
I think readers are going to be in one of two camps – either they are going to enjoy it as a feel good ride or they are going to like it but feel like it needs something more. Scott’s writing is smooth, with characters who are likable, occasionally quirky, and always enjoyable. The unlikely friendship that develops between Ani and Garrett is entertaining but the subsequent romance may develop a little too quickly for some. I do wish that Garrett’s grief and Ani’s issues had been explored a little more. There’s a lot there and I feel like it would have provided even more depth to the story. However, if you look at it as a more light-hearted, fun-filled love story it makes for an excellent read.
Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, 2014 & 2018, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.
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