#2 Heaven Beside You





He’s her rock n’roll fantasy, but could he ever be more?

Cassandra Geoffrey runs In The Pines Campground six months of the year and spends the other six alone on the West Virginia mountain. She isn’t completely happy with situation, but she loves her wacky, close knit hometown and the man of her dreams doesn’t seem to be appearing.

Until he does.

Jason Callisto is the lead guitarist from Touchstone. Two years ago his supermodel girlfriend dumped him in People – in a side bar. Since then he’s been impossible to live with. So much so that his manager exiles him the West Virginia before he breaks up the band on the eve of the Grammys.

Cass sees Jason as the adventure of a lifetime. Jason sees Cass as an ego boost.

Can they accept the risk to reach for more?


Jason was under siege in the canned goods aisle. Nobody at the register, nobody in the office, nobody in the deli. Mr. Henderson hadn’t noticed yet, but he might be sleeping in the warehouse. Jason’s eyes lit up when she rounded the chip display. “Cassandra Bella,” he called.

Cass almost stopped and looked behind her. He couldn’t be talking to her. “How’s it going?” she asked, hoping to pass off the heat on her cheeks as cold.

“Mr. Callisto said you made him dinner last night, but you’re leaving him on his own for the rest of his stay.” Cori Gwynn pouted her too-pink-to-be-natural lips. “I said I’d come cook for him.” Her voice dropped to a sultry tone that left nothing to the imagination.

“And I told her she’d have him poisoned before the weekend.” Kady Stern smirked.

“Oh, Mr. Callisto, you don’t want that kind.” Angela Costi picked up one of the cans in Jason’s basket and put it back on the shelf. “It takes milk. You want this kind. This you just put in the pan and heat up. You do have a pan, don’t you?”

Jason turned to Cass. “Do I have a pan?”

Cass sighed. She should have known better than to let an eligible man walk into Henderson’s Grocery unescorted on a Wednesday, let alone one as wildly eligible as Jason. “I can loan you one. Kady, Cori, if Duke catches you out here there’s going to be trouble.” Mr. Henderson’s first name felt awkward, but had the desired effect when they both paled. “Angela, why don’t you go back to the deli and slice up a pound of ham, a pound of turkey, and a loaf of Italian bread for Mr. Callisto?”

“Oh, that’s a good idea, Cass. I’ll get some potato salad and broccoli salad too. Would you like that, Mr. Callisto? It’ll keep to the end of the week at least.”

Jason managed a smile. “Great.” He hadn’t moved from his defensive position against the cream soups.

“Oh, and some cheese. We have some nice cheese.” Angela hurried away.

“It was like a scene from The Birds. All of a sudden they were everywhere,” Jason whispered. He sidled out to the middle of the aisle, peeking around the corner.

“Sorry, I forgot about them. Do you really plan to eat canned soup for two weeks?” The errands should have been enough time out of Jason’s gravity,but her heart rate said differently.

He shrugged. “I haven’t gotten to the frozen stuff yet. I’m really not very good at this. I eat out a lot.”

She met his gaze. Familiar heat spread through her. His face softened. He shifted his grip on the basket so it hung at his side. The view changed and Cass couldn’t understand why until she realized she was leaning forward. The pulse in his throat throbbed inches from her face. Her body matched his beat. His eyes grew darker, inviting. He licked his lips. Her stomach tightened in anticipation.


Jason and Cass leaped apart. Jason’s basket banged against the shelf behind him, knocking a can of peas on the floor. Cass reached back to steady herself, nearly pulling down half the soup display. She got her feet under her and tried not to look like she’d been caught shoplifting as she turned to meet the voice.

“What are you doing down the mountain already? Didn’t we stock you up well enough?” Duke Henderson bellowed from the far end of the aisle.

Previously published as The Rock Star’s Retreat


“Reminds me of Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I found The Rock Star’s Retreat to be an engrossing read and I’ll give it a 5.” ~Night Owl Reviews


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