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Pre-order my new romantic suspense for a FANTASTIC discount

 

My new romantic suspense novel is released February 24 – but if you pre-order now, you can grab a copy for only $0.99.

From February 24 it will be $3.99.

Lying in Shadows (Event Horizon #1)

lyinginshadows

 

Marianne needs to find who’s leaking secrets from her company, before they lose another major contract. What she doesn’t need is an affair with her married boss. Even worse, to fall in love with him.

She discovers the security leak is more than a case of commercial espionage: someone is lying in the shadows, playing games with them. Now more than her heart and career are at stake – her life is on the line.

Pre-order for only $0.99

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Take a lot of care with reading Ms Grey’s books, you will not only find intrigue and twists galore, but crossovers through her series ~ Ahmazing Book Faerie

Excerpt

Chapter one

The gossip mag called to Marianne as clearly as if it had a megaphone attached. She’d stuffed it into her tote bag before she boarded the plane, and tried hard to ignore it during the flight, but now, with more than an hour until they landed at Heathrow and all her work documents tidied away, there was no excuse.

She glanced at her new colleague next to her. Rico looked focused on his spreadsheet. Fuck it. She wanted to see what dirt the press was spreading now.

She retrieved the glossy magazine and feasted her eyes on the cover picture first. AJ, also known as Rock God. Her one-time lover. The stock photo was a good one. His eyes were clear, and his lips curved in the start of a smile. He looked fit and confident and beyond sexy—the polar opposite of how he was a year ago, when they last met.

He occupied the center spread, in a multitude of images, and Marianne took her time examining them. She winced at the largest picture—AJ, clinging to a lamppost, the soft amber light glinting off a bottle of Grey Goose vodka in his hand. His hair was longer than she’d seen before, and thick fuzz covered his face. He was a mess.

The paragraph underneath had nothing new to say.

The delicious AJ was seen staggering out of Barney’s club in the early hours. Looks like his latest dry spell has foundered. This is the first time he’s seen in public since his little brother, Event Horizon bass player Sam, died of an overdose last year. Rumour has it AJ’s bought a mansion in darkest Wales, to hide away in. The remaining members of the band have been pressing him to tour again, but he’s not interested.

It was Sam’s anniversary today. Memories of his funeral threatened to overwhelm Marianne, but she pushed past them. Losing Sam was bad enough, but for him to die the way she expected AJ to go was grossly unfair. Watching AJ ride the rollercoaster of addiction was terrifying, and without Sam to curb his excesses, she feared the worst. How long would it be, before she received that news too? Her stomach cramped at the idea.

She’d made a new life. No longer the tagalong groupie from next door, she had a career and responsibilities. She was a different person, on the outside at least. Inside was a different matter. AJ was her first and only true love. Yeah… and it worked out so well.

Most days she didn’t think about him, but today it was impossible not to. She closed the magazine and returned it to her tote, but the images she’d seen continued to taunt her. AJ on stage with the band. AJ on his first album cover, the one that propelled the young rock band to stardom in a matter of months. AJ with an arm wrapped around Sam’s shoulders, carefree grins on both their faces. And then a blurry copy of the headline that announced Sam’s overdose.

Marianne needed a distraction. Burying herself in work seemed like the best option. As soon as they landed, they were heading for the TM-Tech offices in Canary Wharf, where she’d host the kickoff meeting for this super-secret project. It was the biggest piece of work she’d been asked to manage, and that alone should be exciting.

Leaning back in her seat, she gazed at Rico’s spreadsheet. He clicked the mouse in a series of cells, flicked to another page, and then repeated the action.

“Find anything yet?” She spoke softly. Even though they were in Business Class and had space around their seats, she never knew who might be listening.

“Nope.” He blew out a frustrated breath, pushed wire-rimmed spectacles up his nose, and continued clicking between pages.

Rico had been hired a few days earlier, as a forensic accountant, and assigned to her team for this job. His appointment rankled at first; Marianne preferred to select her own team. But Rico came with excellent references and had worked for Thaddeus Merrill, the chairman, before.

She and Rico would be working closely for the next three months. It wouldn’t hurt to be friendly. “So, Rico. I don’t know much about you. Are you married? Girlfriend? Significant Other?”

He gave her a sideways glance and pushed at his spectacles again. “Uh… no.”

Teasing him could be fun. “Is that no to the wife, girlfriend, or significant other?”

“None of them. Too busy, I guess.” He was cute in a geeky way, all floppy dark hair and big brown eyes. The girls at TM-Tech would be falling over themselves to catch him. Not Marianne though. She never mixed business with pleasure.

She was looking forward to this project for a number of reasons. Not only the huge responsibility, but also because being in London again would be good. She hadn’t worked in the U.K. for years, or spent much time recently on British soil, but some things were hard to forget. English fish and chips, and a decent roast beef Sunday lunch were top of her list. Catching up with her family? Not so much.

Then, there was Marcus. If she ever considered breaking her rule about getting involved with a co-worker, Marcus would be her downfall. Especially since he was now her boss.

Two hours later, Marianne gazed up at the gleaming tower block that would be her workplace for the next few months. The sun hung low in the sky, typical for late October, and she tugged her coat a little tighter. After working in Houston for so long, she’d forgotten how cold it could be in London. She bit back a yawn. She’d also forgotten how exhausting transatlantic travel could be.

Rico glanced at her, as he shouldered a leather messenger bag. “We could always reschedule the kickoff for tomorrow morning.”

He looked disgustingly bright-eyed, more as if he slept on the flight, though he’d been working the whole time. “No need.” She was brisk. “We’re here, and with time to spare. Let’s go find Marcus.”

 

Pre-order for only $0.99

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Get the first two books in Sofia Grey’s Talisman series for only $.99 each

If you like dark ‘n’ angsty paranormal romantic suspense, you’ll LOVE the Talisman series.
Book #1, OBSESSION, is available for $0.99, but for a short time, you can also grab book #2 at a discount. You can read them as standalones, but they are best as a series.

~ Book #2, CRAVING, is available for $0.99 until 2 February ~

A silhouette of a man sitting on his bike holding on to his woman.

 

A deal with a demon, a biker psychic and the girl who might just be his salvation… if the demon doesn’t get to her first.

02-cravingAmazon: http://amzn.to/2dsJbvq

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2e58yDB

Nook: http://bit.ly/2ebvGyS

IBooks:  https://itun.es/nz/wkxabb.l

 

“A paranormal read that will scare you as much as it intrigues you” ~Cocktails & Books ~

Here’s an excerpt from CRAVING

I’d convinced myself Dante was just a means to an end, and then he smiled at me, his hard, uncompromising face lighting up for just a second. With his sharp cheekbones and proud chin, he looked almost beautiful, and my stomach turned cartwheels. His eyes glittered like diamonds, pale silver that appeared luminous in the badly lit room. I felt as though he was looking inside my head. He’d looked at each of us in turn, and while mentally kicking myself from here to London and back, I’d longed for his gaze to fall back on me.

Arrogant fuckwit. If he didn’t come up with the goods tonight, I’d tell Tristan it wasn’t working—see if he could get someone else. Even as I contemplated the impossibility of finding another medium at such short notice, I realized something had changed. I recognized the music instantly. Glen Miller’s Moonlight Serenade. Surely Melissa wasn’t listening to it outside? When the temperature dropped, I felt an icy trickle down my spine. Like an idiot, I held tighter on both sides, Dante and Tristan. Dante’s hand was warm against mine, his palm slightly calloused. The hand of a man who worked for a living. Tristan’s in comparison was smooth and cool.

Dante was speaking, but I didn’t pay any attention. There, flickering in the doorway, like a hologram on a bubble gum card, stood a man in uniform. A Royal Air Force uniform. Oh. My. God. I’d help to set up the room—there was no hidden projection unit, just our own equipment. I hoped to God it all worked. I could see the airman clearly. He was transparent in places, yet parts of him looked solid. I shivered, my breath hanging in front of my face. How could it be so cold, so quickly?

BUY Obsession: Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

BUY Craving: Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

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Perfect Rebound is now available (a contemp novella from Sofia Grey)

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If you read and enjoyed PERFECT STRANGER, this one is for you. It wraps up the budding relationship between Cade and Jenny  🙂

 

PERFECT REBOUND

 

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Cade’s been in love with Jenny for years. She’s recovering from an abusive marriage, and is scared of falling for the wrong guy again.

With Cade about to move halfway around the world for his job, time is running out to show Jenny he’s more than her best friend.

He’d be the perfect rebound, if only she’d take a chance on him.

 

Available for $0.99 from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

EXCERPT

 

Jenny was so far out of my league, she could have been in a different time zone.

She was blonde, bubbly, and gorgeous, while I was a geek. Her idea of a good night out included friends and drinks, while mine was more likely to involve pixels or lines of code.

And yet, we hit it off. She was so damned kind, with a heart the size of Kansas. Or Texas. Whichever was larger.

I stared at the phone in my hand and forced myself to think about the call I just took. Best career opportunity ever. The chance to work for a respected previous boss, on his dream team. Promotion to Lead Developer. Pay raise, of course, an exciting project, and a trip Down Under—six to eight months in New Zealand, visa organized for me and all expenses paid.

What was stopping me from calling right back and saying yes?

Jenny.

Could I bear to be away from her for so long?

We weren’t a couple, much as I loved the idea, and though Jen had started divorce proceedings, it might be years before she was free of her shit of a husband. We were the best of friends, who not only worked together but also shared a house. Anything more was as unlikely as flying to the moon. On my motorbike.

There was every chance Jen would relish the idea of having the house to herself. I wouldn’t know until I talked to her, and that had to be soon. Alan wanted a decision quickly.

My head whirling, I walked back to my desk and found Jen bent over, writing a sticky note for me. I paused and watched, drinking in the sight of her luscious arse, the tight skirt clinging to her thighs. Jen had the figure of a 1950’s pin-up model, with curves that screamed to be touched and blonde hair that bounced as though she was taking part in a shampoo commercial. She was fucking gorgeous.

Slow down, Cade. It was only six months since she left Rob. It was too soon for me to make a move on her.

Close up portrait of a young attractive romantic couple hugging and kissing, laying down on a white bed, having sex and being loving with each other. Love and relationships lifestyle, interior bedroom.

FREE ebook – Wolf at the Door (Snowdonia Wolves #1)

 

For the next 5 days, you can grab a FREE ecopy of Wolf at the Door, the first in my steamy, shifter romance series.

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wolf_at_the_door_cover_for_kindleLove can heal all wounds…

Pop star Lillian Hart is determined never to trust another man. She has no idea that the wolf at her door is anything other than a wounded dog, much less the Alpha of the Snowdonia Wolf pack. There’s something about the wild creature that pulls at her. Then a man with her wolf’s eyes starts to invade her dreams, and reality and fantasy merge in a way that has her hoping, against all odds, for dreams to come true.

Lillian may have sworn off men, but Jake’s not just any man, he’s a shifter, and he’s about to shift Lillian’s world to make room for him. He vows to claim her as his Mate, and when Jake makes a vow, he keeps it. But Lillian wants to take it slow and Jake is not about to waste any time.

In this battle of wills, both discover giving in and trusting their hearts can heal even the deepest of hurts.

Dreaming of ponies and a control tower…

My spooky encounter with RAF Davidstow Moor, in Cornwall

~ Spooky October #1 ~

 

I dreamed of being inside an empty building. It was small inside, constructed entirely of concrete, and had a sad, abandoned feeling. I kicked my way through dried grass and leaves on the floor, walked up narrow concrete stairs and found myself in a long, thin room with one side open. It overlooked a flat plain of grass, with a road cutting straight through it. It reminded me of a 1960’s construction concrete multi-storey carpark, but I had no other frame of reference for it then. To add to the strangeness of the dream, there were wild ponies gathered around the entrance.

 

The dream stayed with me, as they sometimes do, but it was lots of years later while on holiday in Cornwall, that I actually found the building. We were exploring one day and stumbled onto a disused World War 2 airfield – RAF Davidstow Moor. And there was an abandoned control tower. I didn’t recognise it at first – remember, I dreamed about being inside – but I knew I had to get closer, to find a way in. Hubby thought I was crazy, but short of locking the car doors and driving away at high speed, he couldn’t stop me.

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I knew the minute I stepped inside. The dream flooded back in vivid detail and I made my way upstairs to what was actually the viewing gallery, overlooking what had been the runway. Everything was as I’d dreamed it. To say it sent shivers down my spine was an understatement. The only thing missing was the ponies. Really? Ponies in a control tower. Laughing to myself at the absurdity of the morning, I went back downstairs and out to the sunshine, walking around the other side of the tower… and stopping dead when I saw the dozen or so wild ponies sheltering there from the wind.

 

davidstow-moor

 

Images copyright of Flickr Hive Mind http://flickrhivemind.net/Tags/davidstow/Timeline

 

I finally wrote this fantastic setting into one of my dark paranormal romances, CRAVING (currently on offer for $0.99). Although it’s part of the Talisman series, it can be read as a standalone.

 

CRAVING (Talisman #2)

02-craving

 

A deal with a demon, a biker psychic and the girl who might just be his salvation… if the demon doesn’t get to her first.

Dante isn’t your typical medium. With his leather jacket, tattoos and piercings, he looks more at home on his motorbike than he does holding a séance and Katherine has no intention of getting involved with him. He’s the complete opposite of the kind of man she wants and represents everything she’s tried to leave behind, but she needs a medium and he’s the best one around.

Dante’s never allowed himself to get close to anyone for fear of putting them in danger. His craving for Katherine is about to bring his worst nightmares to life.

 

Excerpt

Even as I contemplated the impossibility of finding another medium at such short notice, I realized something had changed. I recognized the music instantly. Glen Miller’s Moonlight Serenade. Surely Melissa wasn’t listening to it outside? When the temperature dropped, I felt an icy trickle down my spine. Like an idiot, I held tighter on both sides, Dante and Tristan. Dante’s hand was warm against mine, his palm slightly calloused. The hand of a man who worked for a living. Tristan’s in comparison was smooth and cool.

Dante was speaking, but I didn’t pay any attention. There, flickering in the doorway, like a hologram on a bubble gum card, stood a man in uniform. A Royal Air Force uniform. Oh. My. God. I’d help to set up the room—there was no hidden projection unit, just our own equipment. I hoped to God it all worked. I could see the airman clearly. He was transparent in places, yet parts of him looked solid. I shivered, my breath hanging in front of my face. How could it be so cold, so quickly? I tightened my grip on Dante, excitement coursing through me, the breath catching in my throat.

Tristan stared, his mouth open. Dante’s girl looked mildly interested. Lucy and Chaz, the remaining members of our party gazed with wide eyes, leaning fractionally closer together.

“I thank you for joining us. Please tell us your name.” Dante’s voice, a calming presence, broke through the fear gripping me.

The image shimmered as he took a step closer, tugging off his cap and twisting it in his hands. He frowned, his bushy eyebrows almost meeting in the middle. “I can’t find Emma. Where’s Emma?” His voice was clear and well-spoken, just a hint of a Scottish burr in his accent.

Anticipation bubbled. This was real, tangible proof of the paranormal. Not just a disembodied voice, but a walking and talking apparition. I could never have hoped for such a fantastic success—and in our first session.

Dante spoke, his voice calm and reassuring. “I’m sorry, Emma’s not here. Could you please tell us your name?”

“Sergeant Jackson. Six-one-two Squadron.” He sounded distracted, his eyes darting left and right. He didn’t seem to see us. “Emma said she’d be here for the dance. I know I’m late. Please don’t tell me she’s already left?” His features were blurred: short dark hair, a pale face and dark eyes. I squinted, but he stayed resolutely fuzzy.

“Where are you from, Sergeant Jackson?”

Rubbing the back of his neck, the airman’s mouth twisted. “I need to find her.” Our eyes met. I blinked, turning away, unable to face any more of his pain.

The lamps flickered—I looked back up, but he was gone. Snuffed out as though a light had been turned off. At the same instant, the temperature surged, rose back to normal, and the music stopped. I sucked in an excited breath. Gazing round the table, I looked at Dante and felt a ripple of uncertainty. His head was bowed, shoulders strained, and he was panting—his lungs whistling with each ragged breath. With the damp circles of perspiration on his back, he looked as though he’d run a marathon.

 

~

Buy Links

Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

 

banana

Sasha’s Ultimate Hangover Remedy

Another book-inspired recipe.

In A HANDFUL OF WOLF, Sasha makes his hangover remedy for Megan. It consists of a bacon sandwich and a smoothie. Here’s how he makes it.

Bacon Sarnie a la Sasha

bacon sarnie

Ingredients (serves 2)

A little olive, rapeseed or sunflower oil

6–8 rashers of streaky bacon

Butter for spreading

4 slices of toasted brown bread

1 large, ripe avocado

1 or 2 ripe tomatoes

Freshly ground black pepper

 Method

1 Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a scant trickle of oil. Add the bacon and cook for a few minutes on each side, until crispy. Drain on crumpled kitchen paper.

2 Roughly mash the avocado flesh, and add a shake of pepper.

3 Slice the tomato thinly

4 Assemble the sandwich: spread the avocado on the toast, top with slices of tomato, rashers of bacon, and final slice of toast.

Enjoy!

 

Banana & Peanut Butter Smoothie

peanut butter smoothie1/2 cup low-fat plain or vanilla yogurt.

1 medium banana, quartered.

2 tablespoons (smooth) peanut butter.

1 1/2 tablespoons honey.

1/2 cup milk.

Blend together until smooth. Enjoy!

 

It’s official!

P.S. It’s not only Sasha who believes in the hangover-healing properties of the bacon sandwich. A group of students from Newcastle University conducted an official study into it: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/5118283/Bacon-sandwich-really-does-cure-a-hangover.html

 

Excerpt from A HANDFUL OF WOLF

Megan hesitated and then fiddled with her hair. “I didn’t feel like eating.”

“Give me ten minutes and I’ll whip up my patented hangover remedy for you.” He knew his way round the contents of the fridge and larder. He was confident he could feed her. “If it doesn’t work you can claim a forfeit.”

Amusement sparked in her eyes. “And what would that be? A kiss? You’re totally transparent, Sasha.”

He held the roses to his chest and adopted a wounded look. “That’s harsh. I was thinking you could ask me anything, and I’d answer. Anything at all.”

“The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”

“Sure you’re not a lawyer?” He could tell her bad mood was lifting and knew he had to capitalize on it. “It’s a deal.”

Fifteen minutes later, Megan sat at the heavy scrubbed pine table in the kitchen, sipping a banana smoothie, while Sasha fried bacon and assembled a club sandwich with sliced tomato and avocado on toasted wholegrain bread. Thankfully they hadn’t been disturbed and he had her entire attention.

“This smoothie is divine. What did you put in it?”

He flashed her a smile over his shoulder. “Banana, yoghurt, honey and milk. And a spoonful of peanut butter. The bananas and yoghurt will settle your stomach while the peanut butter adds protein.” He fished the last piece of crispy bacon from the pan, switched off the hob and assembled the sandwiches, one each. “Bacon sarnie a la Sasha. The perfect hangover cure.”

Her smile warmed his heart. “I have to ask. You’ve had a lot of hangovers, if you’ve had time to perfect a remedy?”

“I spent six years at uni. Bachelor’s degree took four years, then another two for my Masters. I had my own stool at the student bar.”

“That’s a lot of bacon sandwiches.” She took a cautious bite, then a bigger one and made a thumbs up sign. “This is really good. Thank you.”

He attacked his own food, but derived more pleasure from watching his Mate eating. She had crumbs dusted over her chin and he longed to kiss them away. Slow down, Sasha. She needs time to trust you again.

* * *  * *

A HANDFUL OF WOLF – available from Amazon

A_Handful_of_Wolf_Cover_for_KindleSasha’s not a looking-to-the-future kind of guy, but he’s made an exception with his plans to travel and meet lots of pretty girls. Too bad his Pack Alpha, fate, and reality have other ideas about his trip abroad. He’s pretty sure he didn’t sign on to be a diplomat for the Snowdonia Wolf Pack. Or to find a Mate. Especially not a human Mate.

Megan knows better than to let a sweet-talking charmer get under her skin, but Sasha’s sexy playfulness is making her forget all her rules. Except one: she’s not willing to risk her heart by falling in love. The gorgeous boy from Wales can only be a fling, especially since her over-protective brothers hate him on sight.

In the midst of a wolf uprising, a hesitant Mate, and Megan’s complicated family ties, Sasha learns that sometimes impulsiveness is dangerous and even lethal. Can he show Megan why they belong together before it all comes crashing down around him and he loses his Mate forever?

* * *  * *

Read the first chapter here: FREE Kindle preview

 

title only

~ Perfect Stranger – pre-order for only $0.99 ~

Like dark ‘n’ angsty romance?

If you like dark and angsty contemp romance, this one is for you. You can grab a copy at the pre-order discount price of $0.99 – it goes up to $3.99 on August 31.

 


aPS_FWhen one night just isn’t enough

Kate’s having the birthday from hell. A sadistic boss and rumors of a corporate takeover threatening her handpicked team are bad enough, but then her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. In a monsoon.

A one-night stand with the delicious Jordan Merrill is probably not her best idea, but it’s far more appealing than room service and pay-per-view. Like Cinderella, she runs away from the best night of her life, but instead of leaving a glass slipper, she drops her business card.

Like Prince Charming, Jordan isn’t satisfied with just one night, though he and Kate live hundreds of miles apart.

Kate’s worked hard to reach her senior management position, and she knows a long-distance relationship is impossible, even if she falls in love with Jordan. He wants to promise her a happily ever after, but is she ready to throw away her career for him?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

Excerpt:

What time was Kate likely to be finished for the day? I didn’t know what she did for a living or where she’d be. She hadn’t turned down my dinner invitation, so I guessed she must be staying another night at least. My stride faltered. I wasn’t sure which room she was in. We hadn’t exchanged phone numbers, but I could ask Reception to connect me to her room.

I glanced at my watch as I closed the bedroom door behind me. Nearly six. I’d try calling her now.

Or not. Reception informed me there was no Kate Archer staying in the hotel. I pushed. My company did host the current conference, and I didn’t want to break any privacy laws; I just wanted to know if she’d checked out or left a message for me.

Yes to checking out, and no to the message.

Fuck. She was gone.

I hung up and stared out of the window at the bright evening. My emotions were a jumbled mess. Why did she leave without saying anything? Had some emergency cropped up? Something that necessitated a departure so rapid, she didn’t have time to leave a two-line note? Thanks for the fuck. See you around.

Maybe I’d read her wrong.

It made no sense. We scorched the sheets last night with off-the-charts sex, and I’d swear she enjoyed it every bit as much as I did.

The evening ahead now felt bleak and empty. I sank onto the sofa and absently reached down to unfasten my shoes.

The business card was almost out of sight; I could have easily missed it, where it lay on the floor.

I stared at the small white card puzzled, and then smiled when I realized its significance.

Kate Archer, Operations Manager, ComCo.

 

 

 

new release

Cover reveal – PERFECT STRANGER, by Sofia Grey

 

Another GORGEOUS cover from the talented Sotia Lazu 🙂

Edits are going well, and it’s time to share this beautiful cover. I’m planning a release date in July, so watch this space for news.

 

aPS_F

Kate’s having the birthday from hell. A sadistic boss and rumors of a corporate takeover threatening her handpicked team are bad enough, but then her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. In a monsoon.

A one-night stand with the delicious Jordan Merrill is probably not her best idea, but it’s far more appealing than room service and pay-per-view. Like Cinderella, she runs away from the best night of her life, but instead of leaving a glass slipper, she drops her business card.

Like Prince Charming, Jordan isn’t satisfied with just one night, though he and Kate live hundreds of miles apart.

Kate’s worked hard to reach her senior management position, and she knows a long-distance relationship is impossible, even if she falls in love with Jordan. He wants to promise her a happily ever after, but is she ready to throw away her career for him?

~

This should be available for pre-order by the end of June. And to whet your appetite, here’s a little teaser 🙂

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

She was the hottest woman I’d ever seen. Was it the way her sheer top clung to the lacy bra underneath, putting every curve on show? Or how her dark eyes flashed fury when she noticed me staring?

“Yes?” she snapped. Code for what-the-fuck-d’you-think-you’re-doing?

I felt scorched from the blast. And intrigued. Her short, dark hair wasn’t just slicked back; it was wet. It dripped onto the blouse, making it transparent.

I dragged my gaze back to her face. The sharp cheekbones gave her a haughty appearance, and she looked out of place in the modern hotel lobby. I could imagine her as an Earl’s daughter, in a BBC period drama, elegant and unfazed by whatever had befallen her, as she ordered her servants around.

Good manners nudged me to ask if I could help, but before I wrestled my voice under control, she slapped the counter.

“I need to speak to your supervisor.” A quiver ran down her spine when she addressed the hotel receptionist, and I realized she was shivering. It was raining hard at the moment, but she looked as though someone had dumped a pail of water over her.

The girl behind the counter scuttled away, and the woman sagged. I shrugged out of my suit jacket and draped it over her shoulders. “You probably need this more than I do.”

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

StL_Promo_23-26 July

A foot on both sides

Rear view of woman looking at the sea during the sunset on the beach in front of camera

Eight years ago I moved halfway around the world with my family, from England to New Zealand. It’s been a good move, and I love my new home, but there are odd days when I’m hit with a blast of nostalgia. Not quite homesick, but something close.

We have a few new people at work, and one of them comes from close to my home town. New Zealand is such a melting pot of cultures, so many migrants from every part of the globe, that hearing a familiar accent instantly lifts my day 🙂

I could go back to the UK to visit, but it wouldn’t be the same. Like going on holiday to somewhere you went as a child, and finding it unrecognizable. I don’t want to shatter my memories. I do miss the shops though.

Maybe this is why so many of the characters in my books are also far from home?

Beetham Tower, the tallest building in Manchester and Hulme Arch bridge over Princess road.

Beetham Tower, the tallest building in Manchester and Hulme Arch bridge over Princess road.

 

In Seeing the Love, Natalie moved to New Zealand from France as a child. In this excerpt she is talking to Lucas, a colleague, on the phone:

Excerpt

Time to steer the faltering conversation down a safe track, before Natalie embarrassed herself any further. “So”—her composure was as fragile as spun sugar—“What do you have planned for this evening?”

She heard a rustling noise down the line, and then Lucas cleared his throat. “The usual. Gym. Walking Molly. Do you speak fluent French, then?”

The sudden question caught her off guard. “Yes. Why?”

He hesitated. “I was thinking of taking lessons. Maybe you could teach me a few phrases? You know, the useful ones.”

A fat salty tear trickled down Natalie’s cheek, and she scrubbed it away with her fingertips. French lessons? She’d get to listen to him speaking in the most beautiful language in the world. “You don’t want to know how to buy a feathered hat for your aunt?”

A muffled snort sounded in her ear. “Not much call for feathered hats,” he said. “More like ordering a beer. Buying food. Basic tourist stuff.”

“I could do that.” She took a moment to find a tissue in her bag and blow her nose. “Are you planning a trip?”

“Yes.” He was confident and smooth again. The anxious note had left his voice. “It’s something I’ve been thinking of for a while. Where did you live?”

“All over. Papa was an artist, and we moved around with his exhibitions. Maman was a book editor, so she could work anywhere.”

“Did you have a favorite place?”

Did she? Out of the jumbled impressions that she had of France, there was one that stood out. “Paris. We mostly lived in the country—Papa preferred to work outside—but we spent two months in Paris. I’d never been anywhere so exciting.” Memories flooded her brain, as though she’d opened 10950136_sa tap. The Louvre at night, all glass and angles. The gardens of the Tuileries. The River Seine, gliding along like a giant snake. “I was very much a country mouse going to the city for the first time.” She recalled peering through the massive store windows, gazing at the world through different eyes. “It was an adventure.”

“So how did you end up in New Zealand?”

“Maman was offered a great job here, so we came over to try it for a few years.” She remembered her trepidation at starting another new school. She’d developed an aloof shell, and it had stuck with her. She shrugged, and then realized Lucas wouldn’t be able to see her. “We liked it.”

They fell silent again, but this time it felt comfortable. Natalie took a quick breath. “I have to go now, but yes, I’ll teach you some phrases.” She smiled, knowing just where to start. “Bon soir, Lucas. Good evening.”

 

Seeing the Love

StL_F (2)

 

Lucas Wade is losing his sight. As the darkness threatens to swamp him, the one bright spot in his day comes in the form of Natalie Fontaine. She works in the sales office, hundreds of miles away, and she alone treats him like a regular guy. She has no idea about his disability, and he doesn’t plan on telling her about it.

But if Lucas can’t be honest with her, Natalie may never see the love he has to offer.

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