As a best-selling novelist and songwriter, Camie has penned numerous accounts of the secret love she holds in her heart... Country-Music Superstar Kip Allen has changed from the shy, humble boy, to the epitome of "star"... Can the two rediscover each other after one night of his Home is where the Heart is Tour?
Camie's heart throbbed with excitement as she waited to be escorted to her seat. She'd won a front-row seat and backstage pass to the biggest concert of the year. Country Music superstar Kip Allen had come home!
Everyone raved about the homegrown country boy who had made it big—three albums in five years, all gold. Camie remembered the shy, humble guy with rusty-gold hair and sea-green eyes who came to life when he had a guitar in his hands.
Her mind wandered back to high-school days and the many times he could be found on the outdoor patio where students congregated during lunch and break times, strumming his guitar and crooning a song, with girls gathered around him like bees to a hive.
Now look; the little amphitheatre which usually hosted a live radio broadcast of French music and humor was packed wall-to-wall with people who’d watched Kip grow up, and then make it to the Big Time.
He’d been on the road for more than a year during his Home is Where the Heart is tour—even had his parents flown out to meet him at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but his final performance was here, in his hometown of Eunice, Louisiana on Valentines Day. Perfect ending to the tour, Camie mused, if home truly is where his heart is.
The lights dimmed. She sat mesmerized as he appeared on stage and began to croon one love song after another, mixing in a few boot-stomping hits—Words she knew intimately.
Too soon, the concert was over, and security officers rushed her backstage.
Waiting in the shadows apart from the throng of frenzied fans who were vying for autographs and pictures, she watched with concern as Kip raked his fingers through his hair. He heaved a tired sigh, insisted on no more autographs, and then headed for his dressing room.
Camie stepped forward, "Just one more autograph?"
Kip turned at her soft request. His eyes lit with recognition, and he gave her an unreserved smile. "Camie!" He enfolded her in a big hug. "What are you doing back here?"
A flush warmed her skin at the velvety-roughness of his voice. "I won the prize package from the radio station. You know: Front row seat, backstage pass, autographed C.D., etcetera, etcetera." Her heart raced at his nearness, her body trembled in his strong embrace. Feeling way too comfortable in his arms, she disentangled herself and took a step back.
He grinned. "Great. You look good."
Her heart skipped a beat. "So do you."
Electricity sizzled between them.
Even in high school.
Theirs had been a subtle romance, underscored by sensual currents that had hummed whenever their eyes met or they ventured into a conversation—both too shy to take the relationship further.
"What ever happened to us?" She wondered aloud, finding it difficult to speak past her heart hammering in her throat. "I still get all tongue-tied when you're near."
He smiled, that lazy, heart-stopping grin that drove females from age five to fifty into a frenzy.
"You do?" he queried, pulling her closer once more.
The husky softness of his voice sent delicious shivers down her spine, and she choked on a yes.
"Me too." He stroked her cheek.
Her senses swirled at the tender touch. She placed her hand over his and gazed into his sea-green eyes. Whether a moment, an eternity, or the simple span of a heartbeat passed, she wasn’t sure, but she relished the encounter.
He dropped his hand from her face and broke eye contact. "I don't know what happened. I wanted to roam, you wanted a home." He chuckled at the corny rhyme. "Sounds like the makings of a hit."
Camie shook her head. He was right; they’d dreamed different dreams, wanted different things, but somehow their destinies were entwined. Their lives paralleled each other more than he knew. "Want to go for a cup of coffee or a cold drink?"
He brought his attention back to her face, and once again, she was unable to pull her eyes away from his hypnotic gaze.
"I’d love to, but where? There's no place I can go and not be mobbed. You'd think that in my own hometown, I wouldn't be such a big deal."
Camie heard the tension and fatigue in his voice. "How about my place? I have a nice, quiet home in the country."
The look in his eyes warmed her all over, but Camie had news for him; the invitation was not a come-on. Ignoring the limousine surrounded by anxious fans, they dashed into the patrol car driven by her father.
"Hungry?" she asked, after her father saw them safely into her house.
"Starved." He took a step toward her, evidently no longer shy, but rather, confidently aware of his effect on women.
Once again, the look in his eyes left her breathless…