HOUSE OF ARCHER SERIES, BOOK 4
A rock band. A reality show. A marriage on the rocks.
In the span of four months, Lily Montgomery has gone from touring with her best friend to marrying him. It feels like someone has stomped on the gas pedal that is her life. Right now she is more than ready to pump the brakes.
But that’s not how it works in the world of show business. Her new husband is off filming and recording more often than he is at home. He sees more of his beautiful co-star than his own wife. Lily is finding it harder and harder to distinguish between performing and reality, adding more stress to a marriage that the tabloids already wager won’t last the year.
Thank God for Jada Morgan.
Lily’s new assistant quickly becomes indispensable, covering The Void’s social media while Lily pursues her own writing. When Lily learns that Jada is temporarily rooming with Void guitarist, Xander Phillips, she isn’t concerned. Xander has hard-and-fast rules when it comes to relationships with women. The only way he’ll break Jada’s heart is if he breaks all of his rules.
Even with Jada’s support, Lily struggles to adjust to her new life. From her own personal stalker and ongoing family drama to the constant bombardment from the media, she’s quickly reaching her breaking point. She’s about to learn if marrying a rock star will result in a beautiful finale…or in absolute disaster.
There was broke, and then there was busted-ass, livin’-out-ya-car, can’t-even-afford-Ramen broke. Jada Morgan had crossed that line more than a month ago. To say she was desperate to change her circumstances was like saying Snoop Dogg liked to smoke a little weed.
She sat in her car in front of Archer and Lily’s Beverly Hills home and took a couple of deep, calming breaths. Envy coated her stomach as she examined the spectacular ranch-style house with its large curving driveway, expansive windows, and lush landscaping. What would it be like to live here? To come home to a place like this and spend every night with the man of her dreams like Lily did?
As natural as such a feeling might be, she pushed it aside. It wouldn’t help her right now.
“Okay, Jada,” she said to her reflection in the vanity mirror of her driver’s side sun visor. “You got this. You’re fierce. You’re a fighter. You won’t walk out of this meeting without a paying job.”
She continued to stare at her reflection for a full minute after her pep talk. She sought even a hint of the urgency she felt. When she was confident she was the only one who would know her innermost thoughts, she nodded to herself and got out of the car.
She had parked in front of one of Archer and Lily’s four garages. There were already four other vehicles parked there. Having worked with The Void on a handful of social media shadowing opportunities over the past couple months, Jada knew the blue Camry hybrid belonged to the band’s sound specialist, Sage Strickland. Sage had likely brought his best friend, Void drummer Noelle Fox, along with him. The two seemed to travel together most of the time. The black Lexus sedan parked next to the Camry belonged to the band’s rhythm guitarist, Xander Phillips. If Jada had to guess, she’d say the new silver Honda CR-V still bearing the car dealer’s packaging details taped to the inside of the rear window belonged to the expectant parents, Keith and Sydney Connors. It looked like the vehicle had been driven right to the house from the lot.
The last vehicle, a burgundy Audi, belonged to Christopher Donahue, The Void’s manager. Seeing it made Jada break out into a stress sweat.
Spotting the security cameras tracking her progress, she did her best to remain cool and collected as she approached the massive front door and pressed the doorbell. She heard a faint, pleasant chime resonate inside the house. Less than a minute later, an attractive older woman answered the door.
“Hello,” the woman said warmly. “You must be Jada. Everyone is waiting for you in the parlor.”
Jada tried not to gape over the word “parlor.” She’d never been anywhere nice enough to have an actual parlor.
You got this, she told herself, plastering a smile on her face. “Great, thanks,” she said.
“Right this way.”
Jada’s eyes weren’t quite their normal size as she followed the woman through the open foyer. They passed a spacious dining area on the left that looked like it could easily seat twelve guests. To the right was a library with floor-to-ceiling bookcases and an inviting window seat overlooking a side garden with a water feature. Ahead of them, she spotted the edge of a gleaming kitchen bathed in natural light let in by sweeping panels of windows and glass doors leading to a pool and outdoor entertaining area. They turned down a hallway before entering the kitchen, at which point she heard several voices and a round of laughter. They must be nearing the parlor.
Her heart started pounding hard enough she felt it in her ears. She tried to be subtle as she wiped her damp palms on the skirt of the summer dress she had chosen to wear for this meeting. Lily had called only an hour ago and asked if Jada could meet her and the band at her home. Jada had known there was only one reason they’d want to meet with her: to discuss her future with the band.
When she initially won the Single Spotlight contest for her work promoting the “Not Mine” release back in July, the opportunity had been meant as a chance to shadow Lily in her role as the band’s social media manager for one day. During a meeting with Jada shortly after winning the contest, Lily had decided she wanted to explore more of Jada’s talent with photography. She reasoned it would