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The Duet (SIGNED PAPERBACK)

The Duet (SIGNED PAPERBACK)

An iconic queer rock star. Her eager support act. 

A duet that will change their lives forever.

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Book specifications

Pages : 262
ISBN : 9789464339161
Weight : 286g
Dimensions : 127 x 17 x 203mm

Full description

She should have kissed her…

The Lady Kings and their singer, Lana Lynch, have been out of the limelight since Lana’s partner’s sudden death ten years ago. They’re ready for an epic comeback tour, but have to take a young and hip support band with them.

Cleo Palmer and The Other Women are over the moon when they get booked to support their lifelong idols and share the stage with the iconic Lady Kings—especially queer legend Lana Lynch.

But when Lana invites her to sing a sensual duet together every night, Cleo gets way more than she bargained for.

Lana and Cleo’s on-stage chemistry is off the charts, but the differences in their age and life experience, not to mention some dramatic band politics, prove difficult to overcome.

Can Lana and Cleo find their way to each other once the spotlights are switched off?

Best-selling lesbian fiction author Harper Bliss brings you an age-gap rock star romance about what happens when the passion of a performance turns into something real…

Themes and tropes

  • Age gap
  • Rock stars
  • Dealing with loss
  • BlissVerse

Chapter One Look Inside

Chapter 1

Lana

To do any of this without Joan by my side is like doing it with a limb cut off, or worse, a torn vocal cord. I only feel like half a person. Like the better part of me is still missing. Our new single is called “The Better Part of Me” for a reason.

“I’m so stoked,” Billie says. “Let’s do this.”

The Lady Kings recruited Billie as Joan’s replacement almost a year ago. I should be used to her by now. I am in some ways, but in many others, she will never be Joan. The best guitarist to ever walk this earth, in my ultra-biased opinion, with the nimblest of fingers—and I should know.

What distance remains between Billie and me will soon be obliterated by the tour we’re about to embark on. A two-month cross-country journey will do that to you. All boundaries are about to be shattered. But first, we’re checking out our support band, The Other Women, and the show they’ll be opening with every night. They’d better bring it. I haven’t come to watch a rehearsal. The Lady Kings are here to experience a proper performance.

Our tour manager, Andy, greets us at the entrance of the Hollywood Bowl. The first concert of The Lady Kings reunion tour—if you want to call it that—will be a home game. I can’t even remember how many times we’ve played this venue. For The Other Women, I think it might be the first. I try to remember my first time on this particular stage, but it’s too long ago. Too many years have passed and too many things have happened since. Like our guitarist dying.

Most of the crew are here. Some have been with us for decades; some I will get better acquainted with soon enough.

We’ve only settled into our seats when there is movement on the stage. They don’t want to keep us waiting. Good. My expectations are high and low at the same time. I wouldn’t have picked The Other Women as our opening act myself, but according to everyone at our record company, it makes perfect sense. Truth be told, I don’t even know why we need an opening act at all. We’re The Lady Kings, for crying out loud. When I come on, the crowd goes from cold to hot in a split second. I’ve always known how to light up an audience. It’s what I do. It’s what I’m good at. But times change and The Lady Kings haven’t toured for over ten years.

So, here we are. Poised for The Other Women. We’re not coming into this cold. We’ve watched their clips on YouTube. We’ve had their songs on repeat on Spotify. We’ve pored over their pictures and bios.

Roy, our manager since we started out in the early nineties, said, “Fact is, you may need them more than they need you.”

“We’ll see about that,” Deb, our drummer, replied.

“I’m feeling my age.” Sam, our bass player, is looking at the stage as The Other Women take their places. “How old are these kids again?”

“Twenty-something,” Billie says. “With an enormous fan base.”

“Evening,” the lead singer says into the mic, only to be met with an ear-piercing wave of reverb. She steps back and waits until she gets a thumbs-up from one of the sound techs. “Let’s try that again.” If she’s intimidated by having all current members of The Lady Kings and their entourage staring at her from the front row of an otherwise empty Hollywood Bowl, she hides it well. “It’s an honor to play for such rock royalty tonight. Thank you for taking us on tour with you. We promise not to let you down.”

“Polite as well,” Sam mumbles in my ear. “I didn’t know they still made young people like that.”

“Certainly politer than we were at their age,” Deb says.

I let them talk and keep my gaze trained on Cleo Palmer, lead singer of The Other Women. We look nothing alike, yet she reminds me of myself many moons ago, when The Lady Kings took the music world by storm. When audiences couldn’t get enough of us. When security guards had to form a human shield around us after every show so we could get from the stage door onto the tour bus without being grabbed by delirious fans. Long bygone days.

Our fans have aged with us and, so I’ve been told, these days, meet and greets with the band are official add-ons when you buy a ticket for the show. I’ll be curious to see how that goes once the tour starts.

“You may know this first song,” Cleo says. “It’s called ‘Like No One Else.’”

“No fucking way,” Sam says.

“The nerve of these kids,” Deb adds.

“They reel you in with their seemingly polite ways,” Billie says.

I have to laugh at their brazenness. “Like No One Else” is only The Lady Kings’ most iconic song. Our biggest hit. And our support act are starting their set with a cover version. I’m not sure whether to be flattered or offended.

“This better be good,” someone from the crew shouts.

The Other Women respond by playing the first chords of our song.

“Are they even all women?” I hear someone say behind me. “That bass player doesn’t look like a woman to me. Come to think of it, that drummer…”

A female voice shushes them—even when you’re in an all-female band, the men around you still need to be told to shut up sometimes.

I barely notice the bassist or the drummer, or The Other Women’s guitarist, who lays down a mean riff Joan would have approved of. My eyes are glued exactly where they’re supposed to be. I’m getting confirmation of what I’ve known since I was introduced to The Other Women. Cleo Palmer was born for the stage. I couldn’t look away if I wanted to. Her presence, the way she uses her voice, how her body writhes against the microphone stand, the dramatically held high note at the end of the chorus. It’s all there and it commands all my attention.

There’s no denying it. Cleo Palmer is a star. Maybe Roy was right. Maybe we’re the lucky ones getting to tour with them and not the other way around.

By the time the song ends, they’ve already won over every person in tonight’s small audience.

“Fuck. They’re good,” Billie says.

“They are,” I confirm, as an idea sprouts in my head. If we’re going to be touring with The Other Women, with someone like Cleo Palmer, we might as well make good use of them.

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D
Diane Gray
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I love the Duet! I now have 2 books signed by my favorite author!! Both are my favorites! Harper seems to be able to catch the raw emotion of the struggles we all have in life and the triumphs when we overcome an emotional or physical Trama. I am amazed each time I read one of her books!! <3

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