Rough Rhythm

(A Made in Jersey Novella)

by Tessa Bailey

God help the woman I take home tonight.

Band manager James Brandon never expected to find the elusive satisfaction he’d been chasing, let alone stumble upon it in some sleezy Hollywood meat market. Yet the girl’s quiet pride spoke to him from across the bar, louder than a shout. Troubled, hungry and homeless, she’d placed her trust in him. But after losing the grip on his dark desires that one fateful night, James has spent the last four years atoning for letting her down.

This time I’ll finally crack him.

Rock band drummer Lita Regina has had enough of James’s guilt. She wants the explosive man she met that night in Hollywood. The man who held nothing back and took no prisoners—save Lita. And she’ll stop at nothing to revive him. Even if it means throwing herself into peril at every turn, just to get a reaction from her stoic manager. But when Lita takes her quest one step too far, James disappears from her life, thinking his absence will keep her safe.

Now it’s up to Lita to bring James back…and ignite an inferno of passion in the process.

Reader Advisory: ROUGH RHYTHM contains fantasies of nonconsensual sex, acted upon by consenting characters. Readers with sensitivity to portrayals of nonconsensual sex should be advised.

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An Exclusive Interview With Tessa Bailey:

~ with Jillian Stein of Read Love Blog

Oh, how I just LOVED this story! How did you choose James and Lita for this novella?

With the introduction of the band in CRASHED OUT, I kind of indulged this need to write a female musician (Lita), which I’ve always wanted to do. I associate a kind of wildness and a need to BEAT something with the drums, so Lita needed an inner struggle. Once I created her character, James followed, as her total counterpoint. As soon as they were on the page together as secondary characters, I almost had to pause writing CRASHED OUT to continue their story, but somehow I was patient—and they were worth the wait!

If you could dream cast James and Lita, who would you choose?

Oh man. I would LOVE a darker-haired Melissa Benoist from Supergirl. She has great vulnerability, which Lita also has in spades, despite being rough around the edges. For my hero, James, I would like, freaking adore Eric Bana with some silver around his temples. Yes for days.

You are known as the Queen of Dirty Talk (and I wholeheartedly agree!). Have you ever written a scene you thought either didn’t live up to your reputation or one that may have been too risqué?

LOL! *adjusts phallus-shaped crown* Yes, to the latter. In this book (Rough Rhythm) actually. There is a scene in a motel room where James and Lita are finally indulging his impulses, which are very aggressive. There is some role-playing and the things he says to Lita are filthier than what I normally write for my heroes. He’s finally “letting it all out” and writing that scene was freeing, in a way.

You have some new series coming out and I am so excited to read them all! How do you come up with your series ideas?

They never stop coming! It’s finding the time to write them all that is the hard part. For me, it’s usually a scene that paints itself in my head among a group of main characters and it fans out from there, into a full series. The MADE IN JERSEY series, which centers around a factory town in New Jersey, stems from an intense love of My Cousin Vinny and Marissa Tomei. I just wanted to write something gritty within the factory, greased-up setting.

Can you give us a hint as to what you’re working on now?

I am working on two series simultaneously right now. The MADE IN JERSEY series and ROMANCING THE CLARKSONS, which is a series about a group of estranged siblings driving cross-country together, each of them falling in love at a different stop along the way, while also growing as a family. It’s a series that’s really close to my heart and I’m enjoying every second.

Ok, so for 2016 I am going to be playing Mad Libs with the 1,001 Dark Nights authors for a bit of fun! Here is Tessa’s Mad Libs titled “Family Vacation”:

A vacation is when you take a trip to some bumpy place with your massive family. Usually you go to some place that is near a rabbit or up on a couch. A good vacation place is one where you can ride remote controls or play croquet or go hunting for chinchillas. I like to spend my time cycling or masturbating. When parents go on a vacation, they spend their time eating three cacti a day, and fathers play golf, and mothers sit around snoring. Last summer, my little brother fell in a rainbow and got poison fern all over his calf. My family is going to go to Kalamazoo, and I will practice swimming. Parents need vacations more than kids because parents are always very blurry and because they have to work 44 hours every day all year making enough cigarettes to pay for the vacation.


tessa_newsTessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention. She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

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