Aylin Ashton always had a voracious heart and is fiercely loyal to the ones she loves. At twenty-one, she wants more than the celebrity lifestyle her family is known for—she wants an identity of her own with friends who care about who she is and not her last name.
Most of all, Aylin wants the love story her parents have. In a world full of divorce, and a society that has made it hard for her to be “normal”, she is not sure if true love can be her reality.
She finds herself struggling to grow romantically and keeps hitting a dead-end with men. From the egotistical pop-rocker Rad Trick to hipster music critic Mike, Aylin is not particularly gaga for either of them, and can’t help to pine for too-old-for-her, Colin Houlihan, who happens to be her father’s tour manager.
The impetuous Aylin can’t help but make passes at the flirty, always doting on her Colin, and when he actually admits an attraction to her, the two are on dangerous ground.
The experience leaves Aylin wounded, but ultimately sends her on a journey to find out who she is and what she really wants, and maybe to the special someone she had hoped for.
*”Spotlight” is the 6th book in the “Dream Catchers” Series and is from the perspective of photographer Haley Foster and rock star Jordan Walsh’s daughter, Aylin.*
Colin walked into the foyer where we were standing and looked at us both skeptically. His bags were by the door.
“Hey, are you leaving?”
His tie was undone and hanging open. I decided there was nothing sexier, even if he was gay or closed off or whatever people thought he was.
“Yeah, heading back to the city. Beat the traffic in the morning.”
“But you didn’t come with a car,” I said confused.
“A taxi will do,” he smiled; it was a sad smile.
I wondered where his sadness came from. Maybe the bartender shot him down. Colin always appeared chipper. He was kind of like me in that way. For some reason, this wedding has brought out a sour side in both of us. I’m sure alcohol was not a good combination with the feelings I’ve been having.
“Do you mind if I go with you? We can take my car,” I suggested.
I felt Mandi’s eyes dart over to me. She was either surprised or impressed after the conversation we had. She probably thought I was making my move. Yeah, right. The only moves I had was smiling stupidly at Colin while he thought I was an adorable little sister he never had, or wanted.
If no road trip was to be had, I might as well get a few hours alone with Colin in my favorite vehicle. Gay or not, I liked being around Colin even if we are simply friends—our only possibility. Whether he was straight or open to dating or even attracted to me in the least bit, nothing would happen between us regardless. I did not want to give myself that kind of false hope. Still, I felt good when I was around Colin. He made me smile, and laugh, and my insides always fluttered in his presence.
“Are you sure you want to leave early?”
“Yeah, I’m beat and drunk,” I smiled, feeling myself wobble.
“Are you sure you’re okay with me driving your car?”
“I trust you,” I said.
“Do you want to tell your parents you’re leaving?”
I could tell he was cautious, and I understood why. Taking his client’s drunk daughter home sounded a little sketchy.
“I’ll text them.”
Colin looked at me with a raised eyebrow.
“I don’t want a lecture or answer a whole lot of questions right now.”
He nodded, “Fine.”
“I can tell them for you,” Mandi offered.
“Thanks. It was so great to actually meet you!” I said, hugging her.
Bex came out of the bathroom and smiled over at me before heading back outside. He was incredibly hot and he knew it. I am sure he loved the female reaction to him, which were generally squeals, grins, and fumbling words.
“Shoot me an email next week,” Mandi said, pulling out of the hug. “We’re looking for interns at Bash Magazine if you’re interested.”
“Thanks,” I smiled.
I had never thought much about journalism, though I did enjoy writing. I journaled often, wrote poems, as well as short stories.
Colin and I walked toward the door and I stumbled into him. He laughed and motioned upstairs.
“Don’t you need to get your stuff?”
“Oh, right,” I giggled and headed upstairs. “I’ll be down in just a minute.”
I was still feeling quite drunk as I packed up my things. Colin waited downstairs for me. I remembered the sauna and hot tub upstairs and wondered if Colin had ever seen it.
“Colin!” I yelled down to him.
He practically leaped up the stairs.
“Did you ever see the top floor of the cabin?”
“No,” he shook his head.
“Come on,” I said, motioning him to follow me.
We walked upstairs and the space was like a rustic spa.
“Wow,” Colin said.
“I know, right?” I flipped the switch to the hot tub on and the bubble jets started going. “Want to go in?” I asked, mischievously.
He looked at me horrified as I began unbuckling my shoes.
I knew what he was thinking. I may have been drunk, but I wasn’t crazy to strip in front of Colin Houlihan—my dad’s too-old-for-me manager while my parents were two floors below us. Though, I really wanted to see Colin’s reaction. I knew he would never fall for such a Lolita play, though. I would seriously be making it awkward between us. Besides, even intoxicated, I wasn’t that brazen.
I hiked my dress up and stepped into the hot tub. I looked at Colin and laughed.
“I’m not skinny dipping, relax.”
I sat down on the side of tub, allowing the steamy water to surround my legs.
“You’ve lost it,” Colin laughed, finally.
“It feels so good,” I said, tilting my head back and closing my eyes.
The tension in my body was melting away. I opened my eyes and I saw Colin’s head quickly turn.
“Are you coming in?”
“Oh bugger,” he shook his head and took his shoes off.
Colin continued to remove his socks before rolling his pants up. He stepped into the hot tub and sat down next to me. His now wet legs were covered in faint golden-blond hairs.
“This is pretty awesome,” he smiled down at me, his eyes quickly averting away from my breasts, which felt like they were practically up to my chin at this point between the cut of the fabric and the way I was sitting.
“I’m so mad I got drunk,” I sighed, knowing if I was already feeling stupid, tomorrow will be worse.
Colin snickered, “We all make mistakes.”
“I wanted to take that road trip I told you I’ve been dreaming of.”
“Take it tomorrow,” he shrugged.
“I won’t have the nerve tomorrow. Mom and Dad will tell me they’ll go with me or make me feel guilty for not wanting to spend time with them while they’re in town.”
Colin stared at me silently.
“That sounds terrible,” I said putting my hands over my face, probably causing my make-up to run since they were wet. “I just—I feel like I don’t know how to live my own life without making other people happy, you know?”
Colin smiled at me and nodded, “I do know. Have you ever talked to your parents about this?”
I shrugged, “I don’t want to hurt them.”
Colin nodded understandingly.
“I like talking to you,” I blurted. “You don’t make me feel guilty and you just listen.”
He looked at me for a moment, “I like talking to you too, Aylin.”
He got up and stepped out of the hot tub.
“We should get going.”
He offered me his hand and helped me out. I stumbled and bumped into him. He grabbed onto me, steadying me.
“Sorry,” I mumbled, staring up into his eyes.
He wiped the make-up from underneath my damp eyes and gave a small smile.
“You’re cute, even when you’re drunk.”
Cute. Right, I probably looked like a raccoon. Cute is what you call a puppy or a baby, not someone you want to kiss—which is all I wanted from Colin at that moment. To be kissed by a man; not some punk like Rad who didn’t give a damn who I was, as long as I was giving him what he needed.
Other Books in the Series
Sandy Lo’s personal story is inspiring. She started, StarShine Magazine, an online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. Recently, she has been seeing some tremendous momentum in book sales on Kindle. She has been included on the “50 Writers You Should Be Reading” list by The Authors Show, and recently, both “Dream Catchers” and “Breaking The Moon” reached the Top 100 Best Selling Coming of Age novels in Amazon’s Kindle Store. What makes this even more unique, is that Sandy relocated from NY to Nashville in order to write “The Watch Dog,” which is set in a fictional town outside of Music City. She has true dedication to her craft!
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Amazon gift card and all 6 ebooks.