• Books
  • Tattered Angel by Layla Dorine

Tattered Angel by Layla Dorine

0.0 (0)
174 0 2 0 0 0
Tattered Angel
Tattered Angel

Book Info

Book Series
Road to Rocktoberfest
About the Author
LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.

Layla got hooked on writing as a child and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

Publication Date
October 14, 2020
Available Formats
Print and ebook
Content Warning
language, some sexual situations
“Fuuuuuucccccckkkkk,” Zakk exhaled softly, echoing exactly what Riley was thinking as they watched Dez perform. Damn near everything about it differed from the ones to come before him. He’d showed up with his guitar tuned and a no-nonsense attitude. No joking around, no small talk, no attempts at establishing a rapport, no hesitation whatsoever. He gave his name and singing range, plugged in and got right to it.

He didn’t play one of the tried and true classics. Nor did he try to show off with an original song. He played one of their lesser known pieces, and he played it like he was onstage in front of fifteen thousand people, giving them all the passion and attitude they deserved.

Not one single time did he fumble a chord or changeover, nor did he attempt to mimic Wade’s delivery. He made it his own. Hell, he owned the god damned thing, something Riley could appreciate. What it also said was that either Dez was intimately familiar with their music and had played it before, or he’d spent the time since Riley had run into him preparing to audition.

Not interested, huh?

Seemed like Dez had been way more interested than he’d wanted to let on. He’d file that tidbit away for later, right alongside the information he’d dug up on Dez’s previous stints as a member of a band. Saint’s Seduction had been easy enough to confirm. They’d cut him loose when their original singer had felt up to the task of coming back after the accident that had nearly killed him.

What Riley hadn’t known until he’d put in a phone call to their drummer, was that they’d contacted Dez and begged him to come back only to have him slam the door in their faces at every turn. Riley got it, he did, getting let go when you were giving your all would suck, no doubt about it. But the band had clearly been caught in an unenviable position. How do you tell the guy who nearly got killed on the road with you that he can’t have his spot back after well over a year of painful rehab, ‘cause you’d decided to stick with the replacement to his replacement.

Yeah, that would’ve gone over like a ton of bricks. Not that the alternative had gone any better. What was that Dez had said in the dish room, about being bitter and pissed off? He’d come by it honestly enough, at least to Riley’s way of thinking after learning what happened with Carrion. Now that is bullshit.

After three days of playing phone tag, he’d finally gotten hold of the ex-bassist, who explained that the band had imploded, in part because of the ego of the guy they’d replaced Dez with. Now that had sounded pretty damned familiar.

Fuckin’ Wade

So, the way it was explained was that the founding members of the band had been thrilled with Dez’s playing, his easy-going nature and his love of all things music. What they hadn’t been enthused about was his newness to the industry. He was an unknown, had barely been playing the club scenes a year when they’d happened on him. Shy, he’d struggled to find his comfort zone in front of a crowd. He’d lacked self-confidence, something that had been painfully obvious in the few interviews he’d given, and he’d been hesitant about putting forth any of his own ideas or original music. When the opportunity arose for them to land a well known and vastly popular singer, they’d jumped all over that. Cutting Dez loose with barely a thank you, while ushering in more problems than they ever could have predicted. It had destroyed their band, ruined their friendships, and remained something they regretted to this day.

As well they should.

At least now he had a clearer picture on why Dez had been so testy. Now all Riley and the rest of the band had to do was figure out how to get him over it so they could move forward with what Riley was certain would be a remarkable collaboration.

As Dez brought the song to a close, Riley couldn’t help but admire the look of pure joy radiating from him as his fingers waltzed along the strings. Eyes closed, head thrown back, it was like Dez was trying to play down the moon. Riley could picture him bathed in lights out in the desert, an ocean of people mesmerized, like Riley as the final note echoed through the room.

When Dez opened his eyes, there was a dazed, faraway look in them that spoke volumes of just where his playing came from. A soul deep shimmer that made Riley think of someone not of this world.

“You sir…,” Damien began, coming up out of his seat in his haste to approach Dez, crimson lace cuff dangling a little as he offered his hand. “Are phenomenal.”

Shrugging, Dez shook his hand before carefully tucking his guitar back in its case, looking everywhere but at the three of them once he was done.

“How long did it take you to learn that song?” Zakk asked. The way he was poised on the edge of his seat spoke volumes for how eager he was to hear the answer.

Another shrug. “Couple days.”

“Why choose that one?” Riley asked.

“It spoke to me. I liked the vibe, I liked the flow, and I appreciated what I could do with it.”

“Yeah well, I appreciated what you did with it too,” Damien replied. “I think we all did. You’re exactly who we’ve been looking for.”

Zakk slid the flyer across the table, forcing Dez to come a few steps closer so he could see what it was. “We’ve got a little less more than a week to send in an audition tape. What I want to know is if you’re capable of learning three more of our songs by then?”

Riley watched Dez’s face as he picked up the flyer and used it like a shield between him and the rest of the band. “So, what happens if you get in?”

“We head out to the desert and play the shit outta Rocktoberfest man,” Zakk replied, grinning like a madman.


Deep lines appeared in the middle of Zakk’s forehead as his frown turned into a scowl. Damien glanced between Dez and Riley, clearly confused as well.

“Like I tried to explain back at the restaurant, we are looking for a new singer, like on the permanent.”

Dez snorted and slid his guitar case strap onto his shoulder. “Nothing’s permanent.”

“Yeah, okay, you wanna get technical, fine. Nothings ever a sure bet. Could get fried by a downed power line on the way to get a gallon of milk,” Riley remarked. “No one’s ever promised another day. What we can promise is that when we say we are looking for a new singer, we are not planning on it being a temporary thing.”

Another snort, and for the first time those gray-green eyes locked with Riley’s. “I’ve heard that too.”

“I know. But you showed up anyway. So, either you want to fill the slot, or you came here just to be a douche and turn it down when we offered it to you.”
Since the moment he picked up his first guitar, Dez Conway dreamed of being a Rockstar. A multi-talented musician with the ability to play the electric violin, electric cello and even the bass, he’d be an asset to any group of musicians, if only the bands who’d hired him over the years had truly thought that way. Instead, he’s singing for the dishes in an upscale restaurant, bitter, pissed off and unwilling to entertain the offer to replace the front man of the world-famous Deviant Angels. After all, why the hell would they be any different than the guys who’d kicked him to the curb in the past? Only…they’re not the Deviant Angels. Their longtime front man took the name with him when he left, along with their hopes of getting back on the road again and playing the music they love. Of course, a talented musician like Dez could change all that for them, if they can convince him that this time, his dreams of rock stardom, and love, can actually come true. 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account?