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Once, they shared one soul. Can hope heal years of despair and broken dreams? 

Music is all I know. It saved me as a kid. It brings me fame and fortune now. But what am I, the famous Gage Rodin, doing at night when I’m on the road and can’t sleep Googling her. Tess Hades, the girl who still haunts my dreams and my lyrics.

She arrived like a quiet storm, a wild thing with eyes guarded to the world. But she let me into the deep end of her beautifully broken soul. When we were together, life was simple. When my life got complicated, she did what she thought was the right thing. She let me go.

While she’s been out saving the wild creatures of the world, my muse has fed on the memory of our life together. But now everything in my world is shifting again, and not in a good way. I’m not certain I have the strength to bear another devastating loss, so I find myself reaching for something as rare and elusive as the perfect song lyric.

The one woman who never gave up hope…


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: My One Despair

Claudia Burgoa

An emotional new second chance romance is available now from Claudia Burgoa, and I have a sneak peek for you.

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Excerpt

I strode toward the bartender whose deep, dark green eyes were on me. They were as green as forest pools or springtime ferns. The kind of green that signals hope and new life.

He was gorgeous. Messy, dirty blond hair, sun-kissed skin, scruff on his chiseled jaw.

“What can I get you?” His voice was intense, deep and sexy.

How about you, to go?

“Dirty martini,” I requested.

I jolted as someone grabbed my elbow and pulled me back. I lost my footing and before I could fall, the other guy by the bar caught me.

“What’s your problem?” The bartender had already jumped the bar and pushed Bruce.

“Tess,” he called me trying to appease me, but the bartender shielded me with his tall and strong body. “We need you to come over and listen to our set.”

“Don’t you ever touch me,” I snapped, pushing my shoulders back and glaring at him.

“Fine, but you won’t even hear us from there.”

“Not far enough,” I mumbled and tapped my ears twice. “They work perfectly.”

I made a scissor motion with my fingers. “Run along to your people.”

“You’re such a bitch,” he complained. “I swear, this better be worth it.”

“Thank you,” I turned to the guy who broke my fall. Then, I looked at the bartender, he was standing a little too close to me. I could smell a hint of sandalwood and lime on him. But it was his expression that grabbed my complete attention. He glared at Bruce, his nostrils flared, and his face was red.

“It’s okay,” I said, touching his muscular arm. A surge of electricity zapped my entire body when we touched. His eyes found mine and the intensity of his gaze left me breathless.

“He shouldn’t have touched you like that.” His voice boomed inside my chest, my entire body vibrated.

Whatever it was that he brought out in me wasn’t good, I didn’t like it. Lust, attraction, desire. I’d never felt those thing toward anyone before.

“I had it under control,” I said casually, moving my hand away from his arm and breaking our connection.

“He seems like the kind of guy who won’t take no for an answer.”

I snorted. “There was a rumor around school about him,” I agreed with him. “Though, I wouldn’t know. We didn’t hang out back then—or even now, really.”

“Why are you hanging out with them then?”

“Obviously, I wasn’t thinking,” I controlled my volume. He wasn’t my enemy. Still, it wasn’t any of his fucking business. “I guess because dating Dwight back in high school was a big deal.”

I bit my lip, stopped myself from saying more. “Anyway, can I get a drink?”

“A dirty martini?” he asked and stared at me for a bit. The anger in his eyes had disappeared. There was some humor in those mesmerizing green eyes. “Nah, that’s not your type of drink.”

“You know my type of drink?”

He walked around to the other side of the bar, leaned in closer to me and spoke. “I could try to guess.”

“Guess my drink?” I said unable to come up with any original words because the intensity of his eyes hypnotized me. “I just want a dirty martini.”

“Dirty martini isn’t you.” His warm breath caressed my neck, it made me shiver.

Suddenly, I wanted to feel the warmth of his hands all over my body, for that electrical current we created to charge my entire being. I wanted to listen to that spellbinding voice of his all night long.

However, the enchantment broke as soon as Dwight’s band began to play. My ears were about to explode. Dwight needed a few voice lessons, some talent and maybe try a different way to break into the music business. Using me wasn’t cool.

I tuned out the noise and turned back to the bartender who was by then a few inches away from me. Good, I was there to have fun and not to fall in love with some sexy guy who made my heart race a mile a minute.

“Is that your hidden talent?” I asked him, trying to regulate my pulse.

“What are you talking about?” He arched an eyebrow.

“Guessing what your patrons like to drink.” I rolled my eyes. “Ha, I dare you. Serve me, noble sir.”

There was no way he could know what I liked. I didn’t even know whether I liked vodka, tequila, or just cider. Dirty martinis sounded sophisticated enough that no one questioned my age. He smirked and pulled out a tumbler, poured Coke in it and then some red liquor.

“Here, this should be perfect for you. It’s on the house.”

“This is cherry Coke,” I protested, setting the glass down. “What happened to my dirty martini?”

“It’s called Roy Rogers, not cherry Coke,” he corrected me.

“I wanted a martini.” I raised my voice even though I was sure he could barely hear me.

“It’ll be waiting for you,” he said with a cocky smile. “When you turn twenty-one.”

“I’m twenty-two,” I claimed appalled.

“ID,” he requested.

“Your guy at the entrance already checked it.” I avoided his gaze and began looking for the exit.

That night turned out to be the worst night of my“fun summer.” What was next, calling Dad because I needed him to bail me out for underage drinking. I swallowed the fear and didn’t let the bartender see me shaking. He had no idea of the media storm that would happen if Kaden Hades’ daughter were arrested.

“Look, sweetheart, I don’t serve alcohol to minors. I don’t care if the waitress didn’t check your friends, but I check everyone.”

I handed him my fake ID. He looked at me, then studied it. I turned to the guy next to me and said, “can you believe this?”

“If you’ll excuse my brother, he can be a little anal,” the guy said.

My attention focused on him for a second. They looked a lot alike, deep green eyes, a straight, strong nose. The bartender’s lips were fuller, his voice deeper. And unlike the guy next to me, he made my heart flail around wildly.

“Come on, Gage, give her a break,” he said mockingly.

“Look at her,” he continued. “She seems like a nice girl. How old are you? Eighteen, nineteen?”

“Twenty-two,” I insisted.

“What is Tessa short for?” Gage asked.

“It’s Tess, not Tessa. It’s short for Contessa,” I snarled. “My mother has issues. She swears we’re royalty.”

“So, it’s not short for Alyson?”

Fuck,I mouthed.

He pushed the glass toward me. “Would you like a bendy straw, sweetheart?”

“Thank you, kind sir, you were the highlight of my night.” I pulled out a twenty from my purse, left it on the counter and waved at him. Then, I called a cab and went home.

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