Title: One More Moment
Author: Samantha Chase
Series: Band on the Run #3
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 335
Date of Publication: September 4, 2018
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Julian Grayson is taking a break
...from his cheating fiancée
...from his band
...from his life in the spotlight
Charlotte Clark is devoted to her work
...to save the world
...to help the homeless
...to get a broken man back on his feet
When Charlotte Clark offers to pay for Julian Grayson's coffee, the world-famous drummer assumes she wants something from him. But Charlotte has no idea who he is, and Julian can't resist keeping up the charade—being incognito is a novelty and a relief. He'll have to tell her...eventually. But as Charlotte cheerfully undertakes to transform his life, Julian realizes there's something about her that gives him what he hasn't felt in years: hope.
Shaughnessy Brothers: Band on the Run Series:
One More Kiss (Book 1)
One More Promise (Book 2)
One More Moment (Book 3)
Why is it that Julian Grayson refuses to except Charlotte Clark’s offer to pay for a cup of coffee? That is what Charlotte is wondering. She tells him that she doesn’t want anything from him, maybe he can just pay it forward. But with Julian‘s experience nothing is as simple as that. He is sure that she has an ulterior motive.
In all actuality, she does. Charlotte is a social worker dedicated to helping people find work and to get on their feet. When she sees Julian she erroneously assumes that he is down and out and the very least she can do is to pay for his coffee when he apparently doesn’t have any money. She offers Julian her business card and tells him of an upcoming opportunity.
What Charlotte doesn’t know is that Julian is staying under the radar as he has become disenchanted in his career as a drummer in a very successful band. He is taking time off because he has suffered a humiliating betrayal from a cheating girlfriend and spending time in a different location. Julian feels very strongly that his career as a musician is over because of the ruination of his relationship. Though not sure why, he takes Charlotte up on her offer for work one afternoon.
The question is, how long will Julian allow Charlotte to believe that he is in a bad financial strait? Meanwhile, Charlotte is confused by her attraction to Julian. She has always been able to maintain professional attitude with everyone that she has assisted in her years in her career. But Julian draws her in a way difficult for her to ignore.
One More Moment is the third book in the Band on the Run series. I have not had the opportunity to read the prior two books but I was very drawn to all the characters in the story. The dynamic was made quite clear so this book does well as a standalone.
I loved the motivations of the characters. Charlotte is the ideal heroine. She is loving, kind, and unselfish in every way. Julian is broken, and is genuinely a good man. His reasons for wanting to step away from his band are clear, but their love and concern for him opens the door for his future. Between his bandmates and the tender relationship that blossoms between him and Charlotte, the future before the two of them is lit with a bright light.
Samantha Chase has penned a tender, engaging love story. The conflict between Charlotte and Julian was very good convincing, yet offered wonderful hope. I also enjoyed the clean sensuality of their relationship. It is great to read stories that are not exceptionally explicit.
Many thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Just then he stood and took her hand in his and—holy crap.
His hand was huge and warm and it completely wrapped around hers. Charlotte knew she wasn’t a particularly petite woman, but this man certainly made her feel that way.
“Um…” she stammered and tried to pull her hand gently from his. “Maybe I’ll see you later today.”
Julian didn’t release her right away and when he did, her fingers grazed his palm; his skin was rough. She had to wonder what it was he used to do for a living.
Liar. You’re curious how that rough skin would feel on other parts of your body.
He didn’t respond other than to say, “It was nice meeting you, Charlotte,” and then he turned and walked down toward the beach. Part of her wanted to follow him and see where he went. He certainly wasn’t dressed for the beach—not that there was a required wardrobe or anything—but she was still curious about what his story was.
Walking over to a trash can, she tossed her cup and bag and walked closer to the steps leading down to the sand to watch him for a little longer. He was heading down toward the more residential side of the beach. She looked down and sighed at the sight of the houses. They were magnificent but frivolous, she thought. All that money could go to so many other things—things that would help the less fortunate.
Then again, wouldn’t she love to wake up to the sound of the waves every day if she could? The answer was a very enthusiastic “Hell yes!” So really, who was she to judge? For all she knew, the owners of those houses donated to charity and did volunteer work in their spare time. Just because she couldn’t personally afford to live in that kind of luxury didn’t mean she should begrudge those who could.
With her eyes still down on the sand and watching Julian in her peripheral vision, she gasped when he stopped and turned around and seemed to look right at her. It wasn’t really possible to tell from this distance, but she could almost swear he was smirking—as if he knew she’d still be standing there watching him. While it would have been easy to pretend she hadn’t seen him and turn and walk away, she couldn’t make herself move.
And when he started walking back toward her, she knew she definitely couldn’t walk away. Had he changed his mind about the bus fare? Did he have a question about accepting her help in finding work?
When he came off the last step, they were about ten feet apart. Julian looked at her with amusement—she knew it!—and said, “I thought you said you had to go?”
“I…I do,” she said nervously. “But I was just enjoying the view.”
He quirked a dark brow at her and she realized how that sounded—especially since she had been watching him.
“I mean… I was just about to leave when I saw you heading back this way. Did you need something?”
Stepping closer, he said, “I guess I wanted to know more about what you do.”
Relief washed over her. He wanted her help. He trusted her.
She’d only said she had to leave earlier because she didn’t want to push or overwhelm him. There were still many hours until she had to leave for work.
“What would you like to know?”
With the serious look she was coming to associate with him, he considered her for a moment. “Would you like to walk on the beach while we talk?”
Ooo…walking with her toes in the sand was her second-favorite thing to do, after listening to the sound of the waves. Not wanting to sound too giddy, she shrugged. “Sure. That sounds fine.” This was just like one of her interviews, except it was the first time she was conducting one while doing one of her favorite things.
It felt odd and yet…right.
Julian motioned toward the steps and they climbed down. At the bottom, Charlotte slipped off her sandals and stepped into the sand.
Her hand almost flew over her mouth when she realized she’d made the sound. How professional of it was her to be making noises like that?
Beside her, Julian smirked. “Like the feel of the sand between your toes, huh?”
Laughing softly, she said, “Guilty.”
They began to walk and Julian spoke first. “So, how does one become a vocational rehabilitation counselor?”
Okay, that wasn’t what she expected, but she was more than willing to talk to him about it if it meant he was going to trust her.
“I started out as a social worker,” she began. “Actually, I went to school to be a psychologist and ended up in social work. So many of the people I met had the same issues—their lives would just seem better or would get better if they had a job. Now, there are employment agencies out there and that’s all fine and well, but it’s not always as simple as ‘You’re hired,’ you know?”
“I just have a passion for this sort of thing. When I was growing up, my father got laid off and it took him years to find work. We struggled and had to go on public assistance, and I watched my once-confident father transform into this meek and almost pitiful person. His self-esteem was gone, and he went from making a decent living and supporting his family to doing menial labor and feeling ashamed. I don’t want to see that happen to someone. There should never be any shame or guilt for working to support your family. Every job is an honest job.”
“Well, that’s not entirely true,” he argued lightly. “There are some pretty shady job choices out there.”
“True, but I’d like to think that with the right support network in place, people have the opportunity to avoid having to make those choices.”
They strolled at a leisurely pace, and Charlotte knew she had to wait Julian out. If he was going to share anything about himself, it would be when he was ready. She went for idle conversation—the weather, the number of people on the beach, that sort of thing. As they got closer to a cluster of houses, she couldn’t help but sigh.
“Something wrong?” he asked.
She shook her head. “Not really. It’s just…” She motioned to the houses. “Look at them. I mean, I can only imagine the cost to live in someplace as magnificent as that—and these aren’t even the really exclusive ones.”
“You know, the ones with private beaches that cost probably ten million dollars and you’re not allowed to look at them because you’re not rich enough,” she said with a laugh.
Beside her, Julian laughed too. “Somehow I don’t think it’s quite like that.”
“Probably not, but you know what I mean. It doesn’t seem possible that people actually live like that.” She paused before adding, “Why do they get the best views of the beach when us mere mortals can’t?”
When Julian didn’t respond, she figured he probably felt the same way too, but it wasn’t something that was of any real concern to him.
“So, what about you?” she finally asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.
“What about me?” he asked slowly, quietly.
“What is it you used to do before you found yourself between jobs?”
They kept walking, but Julian looked straight ahead without uttering a word. Okay, message received; he wasn’t ready to talk about it yet.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary romance, Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan's Return in November 2011.
Although she waited until she was in her 40s to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.
With almost fifty titles currently to her name, she has no plans to slow down. You won't find her books with the erotica or paranormal titles, all of her works are pure contemporary romances.
When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.