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Still, every time he enters a room, my pulse races.
How long can I pretend our relationship is strictly professional?
Our first encounter is nothing like I imagined.
He’s broody, rude, merciless, and seems to hate my guts.
Not only does he walks out on me, but he gives me attitude I don’t deserve.
Being almost ten years older than me doesn’t give him an excuse to be arrogant.
Luckily for me, I’m here for the job. And the experience.
Not to fall in love.
I should resign from my nanny position and leave the man who has a rock instead of a heart behind.
But a little voice in my head tells me that with me in his corner, maybe he can get back at the top where he belongs.
Rising Star is book two in the Lonesome Heart duet. It's part of the Carter Hills Band universe. Must be read after Fallen Legend.
“As the party raged outside and the guys ran the grill, I retreated inside, making sure nobody missed anything. Devon came to me.
“I was wondering where you went. How are you doing?” she asked, bringing her drink to her mouth. “Is everything all right?”
I pasted a smile on my lips. “Sure. I just felt like escaping the madness for a few minutes.”
She leaned against the countertop next to me, her eyes following my line of sight through the window.
“Have you talked about it?” she asked after a beat.
“About what?” I asked, not understanding the path of our conversation.
“Those feelings you two have for each other.”
I coughed behind my fist and sipped on my drink, trying hard to look unaffected. “Not sure what you’re talking about.”
With her eyes still trained outside, she continued, “It’s easy to see, Maddie. Only fools wouldn’t be able to grasp the intensity of your chemistry.”
As if he sensed my attention on him, Sam’s eyes found mine through the glass, and he aimed that irresistible smile in my direction—the one I couldn’t resist—and waved.
A lone tear leaked from my eye, and I wiped it off. “It doesn’t matter. We won’t be doing anything about it.” I shrugged.
“Why not?” Devon asked, her gaze now locked on me.
“Because. The girls. The tour. The risks. The complications. Nothing plays in our favor. We’ll wait until after the tour and see. Anyway, I’m on his payroll. I’m just an employee, so it would be weird.”
Devon gripped my upper arms and turned me so we faced each other. “You’re not. You’re the woman who stands beside him as he tries to give his dreams another shot. You’re the woman his kids are head over heels in love with. And he is too, in case you were wondering. Sam can’t stop talking about you when you’re not around. Maddie this. Maddie that. He adores you. You changed him. For the better.”
“It’s the music.”
“Nah. It is, in part, but it’s mainly due to you. You put his heart back in his chest.”
“Does Riley know?”
She shook her head. “I think he suspects something but has never said anything about it. He’s so focused on this tour that I’m not sure he grasps any other stuff outside of it right now.”
“Please don’t tell him, okay? I’m not ready for the truth to be revealed. Like I said, the tour is the priority. And the girls. Nothing should come between any of these.”
“I’ll never tell a soul. But promise me that when it gets too much and you need to vent, you’ll come to me, okay? I’m having my first tour bus experience too. So, we’ll have each other to lean on. I wasn’t sure at first when Riley proposed we join you guys for a few months, but I think the change of air will do us all some good. Life has been intense since we met. We both need a breather in our daily lives. And I can work remotely, so why not?”
She squeezed my arm one last time before leaving me alone with our shared confessions. Seconds later, Emily walked in.
“There you are,” my sister said. “That man of yours told me I’d find you here.”
I pressed a hand over her mouth. “Shhh, Ems. He’s not my man.”
She burst out laughing. “Yeah, right. That’s why he’s not making conversation with anyone, too busy stalking you from his spot in the backyard. When Becks and I arrived, he made a joke about where my sexy baby sister was, and Sam almost jumped him. Told him to grant you the respect you deserve.”
“See, I’m sure you two are banging. I’m just surprised you said nothing about it.”
Warmth pooled in my cheeks at the way she studied my reaction. “We are not. It’s complicated. We’ll go on tour and discuss whatever this is afterward if there are still feelings involved. The timing sucks.”
I downed most of my drink in a gulp. First Devon, now my sister.
“So, there are feelings involved?” she asked in her big-sister-knows-it-all tone.
“I didn’t mean feelings, I meant attraction. Lots of it. It’s distracting.”
“Distracting. Nice choice of word.” She smirked, and the urge to rip it off her face tickled my fingertips.
I offered her a pointed look instead. “Fine. I have feelings. Happy now? Nothing says he mirrored them, though.” I sighed. “It was supposed to be a short-term crush, not a full-blown-scorching-head-over-heels firework.”
“Ha, I knew it.” Her smirk vanished.
Our eyes drifted to Sam through the window. As if he could tell I was staring, his eyes found mine, and we both froze, transported into a world where no one else mattered but us.
“See,” my sister whispered. “It’s not just you. He’s infatuated with you too. What’s meant to be will be. Don’t overthink it. Just see where it takes you.”
I bowed my head and sighed. “That’s the plan.”
“Maddie, one thing, though. Whatever goes down between you two, just make sure you’re not pushing your own dreams away in the process, okay?”
“I’m not. I’m exactly where I wanna be. This tour, the chance to go on a new adventure, has my blood pumping. That’s what makes me feel alive.”
“After that. If you two are together. How will you fit your lifestyle with being a mother? Because no matter what you tell yourself, that’s ultimately what you’ll become. A mama to those kids. Are you ready for what it implies?”
“That’s the part that scares me the least, Ems. We are already bound. I love them so much. But you’re right. After the tour, I don’t wanna work a nine-to-five job or get a permanent teaching position. Or be someone else’s trophy wife. I guess we’ll see how the next six months go, and I’ll reevaluate my career choices from there. Lots of things can happen in half a year. I’m confident it will turn out okay.”
My sister pulled me into her arms. “Now I’ll have to serve Sam Stevens my big-sister I’m-watching-ya and don’t-mess-with-my-little-sister warnings. I’m already excited.” She rubbed her hands together, mischief flashing in her eyes. “You think Mika and Justine will one day be as close as we are? That their tragedy will bring them closer? Like it did to us?”
“Yep. They already are.” I paused to drink a glass of water and cool down my conflicted emotions because the mere thought or talk about Sam got me unnerved.
“Have you told him? About our past?”
I shook my head. “Not yet. I opened up to Jacob. It was the first time I trusted someone enough to be honest about everything. And it didn’t prevent him from walking away. Next time I’ll tell someone I love about my history, I’ll make sure we’re meant to have a long-lasting relationship. I learned my lesson. It hurts too much when someone I care about breaks my heart.”
“Love. You deserve it. Never settle for anything less.”
I’m sooo in love with Sam and Maddie and the girls. This was truly a beautiful and touching book. The depth of their trauma and relationship, the realism and depth of the characters, I couldn’t stop rooting for them and the hae even though events towards the end scared me for a moment. Reading Emmanuelle Snow is like reading Nicholas Spark with more spice. It breaks you and fix you all at once. Can’t wait to read SnowBound now.
This is book 2 in Sam and Maddie's story, and let me tell you, the anxiousness to get on to this book after finishing the last one, Fallen Legend, did not leave me disappointed. We dropped right back into this angsty tense situation between Sam and Maddie and you get to watch the ebb and flow between them as they fight the draw between them and the urges that they are struggling to control. The tour dates are nearing and everyone is preparing for the transition and despite their better judgement Sam asks that Maddie move in full time, to prepare for the eventual move on to the tour bus.
The tension continues to grow between Sam and Maddie but in all the best ways- until it snaps. Sam can no longer be the little dutch boy with his finger in the dam. He lets it flow and it's magic. Watching Maddie get closer to his girls solidifies his feelings for her. Unfortunately, one week before they are scheduled to leave on tour, life shows everyone how unpredictable it can be and it leaves Sam scrambling to make some important decisions. Their lives will be changed for ever, and he has to choose between what his heart wants and what his head knows is the right thing to do.
There was literally a point in this book, where I was looking at how much more I had to read in this story and deciding that things were going too well. I stopped and put the book down and was like, I do not have it in me right now to watch you two go through what we both know is coming. I had to call my book bestie Sara, who turned me onto this author and ask, Is she a masochist, does she believe in HEA's? Because I am so invested right now that if things aren't a princess perfect HEA I don't know how I can continue reading. I need to live in my bubble of ignorance. She reassured me that all will be well, and my heart will survive but I should have a box of tissues and maybe some chocolate nearby. She was right. So if you're in it for the HEA, we got you boo!
Maddie and Sam's story moved me to tears several times in this book. We finally learn a bit more about Maddie's story and we see her struggle hard and them try to navigate these difficult waters together. I was about to get full on MAD when Jacob reappeared, but I think it was a necessary catalyst for Maddie at the stage of healing she was in.
As a mother I was loving the daddy side of Sam and seeing how Maddie loved his girls unconditionally melted his heart and mine. I know that is not everyone's cup of tea, so if you don't like kids, don't read it...it's not for you.
I think I found a new favorite author to read through her back list. Because now I need to know everyone else's stories too! Emmanuelle Snow pulls at your heartstrings in the best ways. She writes complex characters with complex emotions and relatable stories. Which is crazy because this is a celebrity romance.... It's just so well done.
Formerly Legend and Country (Carter Hills Band 7), now part 2 of the Lonesome Heart Duet.
I absolutely adore Emmanuelle Snow - all of her books (I’ve read all 7 Carter Hills Band series now), and her as a person. She’s just so incredible! A brilliant author (amazing!), and such a kind and beautiful person.
Legend and Country - WOW! This one has so much depth, so many layers and emotions … so much going on here. It really needs all 580 pages for you to experience everything and heal along with the characters.
Sam, musician extraordinaire (nickname “Legend”, formerly friend of the Carter Hills Band, and who we know from previous books, a tiny bit), left the country music scene when his wife left him and his two very young daughters because being a wife and mom just wasn’t for her, leaving behind three broken people.
Fast forward two years, and Riley (manager), who we know and love from the previous books, tries to bring Sam back from the depths of depression and barely surviving, by getting him to think about getting back into music and touring again, with a nanny he’s heard of. Enter Madison… who changed everything, even though she’s had a hard life, and things continue being extremely difficult with twists that no one could have ever predicted (because every Emmanuelle Snow book has to have extreme circumstances that bring out all the tears, even for this non-emotional reader, and that’s just life)!!
It’s absolutely incredible, heart-wrenching, a tearjerker (get your tissues, chocolate and wine ready!), and you won’t want to put it down so make sure you have a really long block of time free. One of her absolute best, and one of the very best books around, and probably of this whole year (yeah, I know it’s only January)!
I received an advance review copy from the author, and this is my honest feedback.
Sam »the legend« Stevens has had his entire world destroyed when his (ex) wife walks out and leaves him to raise their 2 girls.
He's closed off and is doing all it takes to make sure his daughters are taken care of. But now the opportunity of a lifetime is presented to him and he wants to take it. Enters Maddie who’s a young girl, who's had a rough childhood and when she's presented the opportunity to work for Sam and help take care of the girls, she's all in. These two have a lot to workout in order to make their relationship work and I'm here for it.
Emmanuelle has a way of writing characters that are very relatable. I was so immersed in their story. I cried, laughed, got nervous, worried, and sad. All the emotions. Their story was absolutely beautiful. I can honestly say there is not one story or couple I love more than the other because they each have such strong and amazing stories in their own ways.
Emmanuelle writes such strong woman.