*ARC REVIEW* ~ Taken by the Desert Sheikh (boxed set), Mel Teshco, Cathleen Ross and Christina Phillips

#erotic #romance #kidnap #desertsheikh #arrangedmarriage

Blurb

Three Sheikh brothers, three virgin brides…
The Grand Vizier has a plan to save Qutum…
To prevent a war…three royal brothers must wed

My Review ~ 5 stars

Politics and passion unite in this series of hot romantic reads

I loved this collection of contemporary reads featuring three sexy alpha sheikhs and their reluctant brides. The brothers may have had a western education but the blood and passion of their desert ancestors runs hot in their veins and heats up the pages! Each couple have their own unique journey and differences to settle before their respective HEA is assured as they navigate the complex politics and customs of the brothers’ homeland and the challenges of arranged marriages. I had a lot of fun reading the collection and recommend it to readers who enjoy tales of alpha men and strong females!

Stolen by the Sheikh by Cathleen Ross

London interior designer, Lilly Jones has the perfect job. When she lands an account to do up a mansion in Kensington and an old fort in Qutum, she can’t believe her luck. What she doesn’t know is that she is the piece of the puzzle that will prevent a war. When the commanding and sexy Sheikh Jamal El-Amin pays her bridal price, Lilly refuses to believe it means they are married, but it is legal in Qutum. Lilly must decide to escape or stay.

My Review

Designer Lily is thrilled when she secures a commission to redesign the luxury London home and Qutum fort. However, she feels betrayed when she realises that her client is non other than Sheikh Jamal El-Amin and it has all been an elaborate ruse to trap her into a marriage she does not want. Despite her attraction to him she does not take kindly to being deceived. She resolves to escape, not wanting to remain a prisoner in a country that does not recognise women’s freedoms. Why has she been chosen as his bride? When secrets from her family’s past come to light she may have to reconsider her stance. Will she stay or go? It’s a sexy and entertaining fast paced romance which I lapped up.

Lilly and Jamal are well suited. Lilly is a modern and spirited young woman and Jamal committed to modernising his country’s social agenda. Politics dictates that he seeks Lilly out to marry, putting him in  a situation that goes against his values. However, once he sees Lilly he knows she is perfect for him and he want her like no other woman before, yet he has a battle royal on his hands to convince her to stay!

The Sheikh’s Rebel by Mel Teshco

As the daughter of an indulgent sheikh, Amber Al-Fayed has had everything her heart desires, including a western education. But her perfect life is shattered when insurgents try to overthrow her country, killing Amber’s mother in a mortar attack and forcing Amber and her father into battle. Now Amber will do anything she can to reclaim control…even if that means marrying Zafar El-Amin, a wealthy and formidable neighboring sheikh. Except Zafar isn’t quite as separated from the conflict as she believes.

This is another romantic and passionate read. I loved Amber, the heroine, who is one strong and sassy lady committed to protecting her homeland, so much so that she has been living the life of  soldier to help combat the insurgents who killed her mother. Betrayed by one of her advisors she is stunned to find herself in the hands of Zafar El-Amin, sheikh of a neighbouring country. Rather than dishonour her as she fears, Zafar offers her marriage, which he says will help protect her homeland. Amber will do anything to secure peace for her country and as she finds herself wildly attracted to Zafar she believes the liaison will not prove to be much of a hardship.

However, when evidence comes to light that Zafar is more involved with the insurgents than he led her to believe, she feels betrayed. What future can they have when trust has been compromised? Zafar who is used to being in control finds he has one very angry bride on his hands and their future looks bleak. Another read where I was rooting for the couple’s HEA.

The Sheikh’s Reluctant Princess by Christina Phillips

He claimed her body, but can he capture her heart?

The last thing Tariq El-Amin wants to do is marry, but duty is everything and his country requires an heir. A political marriage is all he expects–until he hunts down his unwilling bride and duty becomes pleasure. But he soon discovers Princess Sofia has no intention of being a meek and obedient wife, and Tariq must make a tough choice if he wants to win the heart of his reluctant princess.

Sparks certainly fly between Tariq-El-Amin and Princess Sofia. They get off to far from a stellar start. Sofia is an independent young woman and has her future mapped out and it certainly does not include a husband, especially one from a country where women’s rights fall far behind those in the West and where her sole purpose is to be little more than a brood mare for her aristocratic husband. I enjoyed the growing relationship between the couple, as they navigate their differences and there are some super hot passionate scenes!

Yet although the couple are most definitely compatible in the bedroom Tariq’s behaviour  in his homeland is far from Sofia’s liking and the couple have a lot of soul searching and compromising to do if their relationship is to last. Can Tariq change his ways or will he lose his new bride? Their romance is far from plain sailing and I definitely enjoyed their journey as Sofia chafes at the controls Tariq puts on her and Tariq seeks to both accommodate her and protect her from harm, whilst ensuring that his people love and respect her as much as he does.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that an ARC of this book was given to me for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Connect with the Authors

Mel:        Facebook    Twitter

Christina: Facebook    Twitter

Cathleen: Facebook   Twitter 

Purchase Links

Amazon      Amazon UK

 

*ARC REVIEW* ~ Death and Beauty, by Samantha MacLeod

#norse #mythology #erotic #romance

Blurb

Desperate to get back to his privileged role as Óðinn’s favorite son, Baldr strikes a bargain with Hel, the terrifying half living and half skeletal queen of the realm of the dead. He offers her the only thing he’s got: knowledge from the living world. Hel gives him three days. If he can teach her something new, she will return him to the realms of the living.

But the icy Hel seems completely impervious to Baldr’s charms. What’s worse, she already knows everything. By the end of the third day, Baldr realizes he’s only got one chance left to impress her.

Returning to his former life looks like it’s going to depend on Baldr the Beautiful seducing the most formidable woman in the Nine Realms.

My Review ~ 5 stars

Seductive and Spellbinding

Do yourself a favour and grab hold of this new release from Samantha MacLeod now! It’s a beautifully written erotic novella which presents the reader with a highly original twist on one of my favourite tropes – Beauty and the Beast, this time delving deep into Norse mythology.

Baldr the Beautiful awakes to find himself in the realm of the dead and is desperate to return to his life to help keep the peace. He sets out to petition Queen Hel with this in mind. However, the queen is not so easily persuaded and sets him the task of teaching her something new about the living word before she will grant him his wish.

Hel has a terrifying appearance, half flesh and half skeletal and this contrasts with Baldr the Beautiful’s own good looks, good looks that he has used to charm his way out of many a situation, yet which appear to of little use in his current predicament. As Hel and Baldr are thrown together we are treated to a series of enlightening scenes as we learn more about their characters. I loved the verbal sparing and the growing sexual tension between them as Baldr strives to meet Queen Hel’s task.

Hel is more knowledgeable and accomplished than Baldr could ever have imagined and bests him at every turn. Indeed, she is like no other woman he has met before and he quickly realises that it is not just her appearance that sets her apart – there is a lot more to this complex woman that he ever envisaged. When it is obvious that he has no knowledge to impart that she cannot already know about he embarks on the one thing that may just work – the seduction of Hel, which has unforeseen consequences for them both…

This original tale is one hot erotic read (there are plenty of scorching scenes) and Hel and Baldr are just perfect for each other.

Recommended for lovers of erotic romance, especially those who enjoy stories which involve inventive twists on mythology.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that an ARC of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Amazon UK      Amazon US

Connect with the Author

https://sammacleod.wordpress.com/about-me/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012016893561

 

*ARC REVIEW* ~ A Dragon’s Treasure, by Beverly Ovalle

#erotic #paranormal #dragons #shifter #romance

Blurb

Kai has been hunting for his mate for a very long time. Drawn to a singular place on earth, filled with treasures, he still seeks the greatest treasure of them all. His mate. Fleeing danger, Connie runs into the arms of destiny, but she has plans already, and a Dragon mate is not on the agenda. Kai has waited centuries for Connie, and he will claim his mate. Patience may not be a Dragon’s virtue, but he always gets his treasure. Sparks fly in this humorous erotic tale of mating and mayhem.

My Review ~ 5 stars

Fun and frolics in this sizzling dragon shifter read

A Dragon’s Treasure is a humorous and smoking hot read as Dragon shifter Kai attempts to persuade his reluctant mate to reconcile herself to the fact that she is his. He has been waiting centuries for her and now she has walked into his life he is not going to be put off by this small spitfire of a woman who calls herself Connie! He has plans a plenty for her and he will not be thwarted. I loved Kai’s visceral reaction on finally finding his mate and also how his friends wolf shifters Breccan and Maxwell in particular have fun at his expense as they can see that he is faced with a reluctant mate!

As for Connie she is on the run from a dangerous situation, escaping to her childhood friend Ellen and hoping to lie low for a while. She has her life pretty much planned out and it did not include falling for a hottie like Kai, let alone an uber controlling Dragon shifter – she is wary of the intensity of the feelings he invokes, not to mention the danger she is in from her predicament. However, you know what they say about the best made plans of mice and men…

Kai and Connie get off to a bad start and sparks fly between them as Kai tries to reign in his dominant side which does not go down with the strong willed and feisty Connie! I enjoyed  the fact that despite her instant attraction to Kai she is no pushover and loved witnessing their mating dance and their verbal sparring. There are a host of sizzling scenes and Kai is one lusty dragon! Kai will succeed in making Connie his for life and he will do all in his power to protect her from the danger she is in.

Fans of erotic romance will love this read especially if they like their heroines to get down and dirty with some hot blooded shifter types (and they don’t come much hotter than dragon shifters)!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that an ARC of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BeverlyOvalleAuthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ovalleba

Website: http://ovalleba.wix.com/beverly-ovalle

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6982787.Beverly_Ovalle

 

 

 

*ARC Review* ~ Ruined by Power (Empire of Angels #2), by Zoey Ellis

#erotic #paranormal #angel #romance #urbanfantasy

Adult/18+ read

Book Blurb

Not all habits can be broken…

Powerful, half-angel Thea faces the scrutiny of the Angel Realm and is beginning to realize that angels are nothing like how they are depicted in the human world. She is intrigued to hear information about her family and pursues the history that has been hidden to her for so long. As Thea tries to get the answers she needs, her trust in Cam is shaken when truths about him are revealed.

Power angel Cam is concerned when he realizes the Angel Realm has plans for Thea he wasn’t made aware of. He fights to keep her close and protect her from all the changes she faces. However when the pressures on their relationship bear down, he teeters on the edge of a darkness that could cause her to walk away from him forever.

Ruined by Power is the second book in the Empire of Angels series, a paranormal alpha angel romance series. If you’re a fan of alpha heroes, powerful heroines, paranormal worlds and falling in love, start with the first book, Claimed By Power.

About the end: This book is a continuation of Cam and Thea’s story and there is cliff-hanger at the end.

Sexual scenes and strong language included. Not suitable for readers under 18.

Empire of Angels series

Claimed By Power
Ruined By Power
Awakened By Power (August 7th)

My Review ~ 5 stars

Addictive, emotional and sexy

Just wow! Ruined by Power, the second book in the Empire of Angels series, is one hell of an addictive and sexy read. The tempestuous relationship between Power Angel Cam and half angel Thea continues apace in a spellbinding read with action taking pace in the Angel Realm and the human world.

In the previous book Claimed by Power (click on title for review), Cam was reluctantly sent on a mission to train the Nephilim Thea, who was previously unaware of both her heritage and her powers. Although both try to resist the pull between them Cam realises that Thea is his natural mate and he takes Thea to the Angel Realm determined to make her his. However, in this read we witness how Cam’s superiors have other plans for Thea and seem to know a lot more about her parentage than what they are willing to reveal…

A combination of internal politics and their respective duties conspire to keep the couple apart until they partner on a mission of great personal interest to Thea, one which forces her to confront painful issues from her past. It is an emotional time for Thea and my heart went out for her: she is trying to come to terms with her new life in the Angel Realm; the loss of her life in the human world; finding out about her family and the challenges of her relationship with Cam. When she discovers that Cam has not been entirely truthful about his own past her confidence in him is lost and she begins to question her trust in him. Cam is such a damaged alpha male, unused to dealing with the emotions of humans, and despite some of his actions I found it impossible not to love him.

I enjoyed how Thea’s character grew in maturity in this instalment in the face the major upheavals in her life. Can she trust Cam? Can she trust those in charge of the Angel Realm? When Cam is sent on a dangerous mission he begins to descend into darkness, a darkness that Thea is not sure she can cope with. Nevertheless I was rooting for Cam too as his determination to make Tea his is thwarted at every turn.

The plot is full of action, suspense and scorching scenes of passion between the couple (this book is most definitely an adult read). I enjoyed finding out more about the Angel Realm and its role in protecting and supporting the human world and combatting demon kind. The author does an excellent job of world building and also introducing the reader to a number of secondary characters, some of whom play a key role in the story. I was particularly interested in Zak and Asteroth and would be very interested to learn their stories too.

The read ends on a major cliff hanger, which I did not see coming, and it is fortunate that the next book is due for release in August as I am impatient to find out what happens next!

Recommended for fans of paranormal romance and urban fantasy, especially where readers enjoy damaged alpha heroes and strong heroines.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that an ARC of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of  fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon US Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

Goodreads

Author Links

Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/jf02o78

Twitter: http://bit.ly/oe934ujr7

Website: http://www.zoeyellis.com

*ARC REVIEW* ~ Echo in the Wind (Donet Trilogy #2), by Regan Walker

#historical #romance #georgian

Blurb     

“Walker sweeps you away to a time and place you’ll NEVER want to leave!”  ~ NY Times Bestselling author Danelle Harmon 

England and France 1784

Cast out by his noble father for marrying the woman he loved, Jean Donet took to the sea, becoming a smuggler, delivering French brandy and tea to the south coast of England. When his young wife died, he nearly lost his sanity. In time, he became a pirate and then a privateer, vowing to never again risk his heart.

As Donet’s wealth grew, so grew his fame as a daring ship’s captain, the terror of the English Channel in the American War. When his father and older brother die in a carriage accident in France, Jean becomes the Comte de Saintonge, a title he never wanted.

Lady Joanna West cares little for London Society, which considers her its darling. Marriage in the ton is either dull or disastrous. She wants no part of it. To help the poor in Sussex, she joins in their smuggling. Now she is the master of the beach, risking her reputation and her life. One night off the coast of Bognor, Joanna encounters the menacing captain of a smuggling ship, never realizing he is the mysterious Comte de Saintonge.

Can Donet resist the English vixen who entices him as no other woman? Will Lady Joanna risk all for an uncertain chance at love in the arms of the dashing Jean Donet?

My Review ~ 5 stars

Adventure, Intrigue and Romance

Echo in the Wind, the second book in Regan Walker’s Donet Trilogy, is a beautifully crafted tale, containing adventure, intrigue and a romance between a young English aristocrat and a French noble, unexpectedly brought together by smuggling. The novel, which transports the reader from the south coast of England to London, the English Channel, the Channel Islands, and beyond to France, is a captivating and fast paced read, sure to be a hit with readers of historical romance. I am familiar with Regan Walker’s work and if you want an entertaining and heartfelt read that is strong on historical authenticity, you need look no further!

I loved the character of Lady Joanna West, an independent and  stubborn young lady who balks at the very idea of making a marriage with one of the nobles amongst the English ton. Her commitment to helping the poor on her estate is admirable, even if her methods – engaging in smuggling, are more than a little risky. Joanna’s clandestine activities with the smugglers catches the eye of Jean Donet, the former pirate and privateer who we met in the former book in the series To Tame the Wind (click on the title for the review). Although Jean is now the Comte de Saintonge, after his brother and father were killed in an accident, his real love is the sea and he enjoys the excitement and the challenge of championing free trade through his smuggling activities.

Their romance and the ensuing plot sweeps the reader away with its intensity. Donet falls hard for Joanna, the first woman he has had any feelings before since the death of his wife many years before. At first he struggles with his emotions, afraid to love again, lest he loses that which he holds most dear. Joanna in turn is drawn to the debonair Frenchman, so different to the men of the English aristocracy, yet is often confused by his actions and demeanour towards her.

Could she ever be anything more than a pleasant diversion as he remains devoted to the memory of his beloved first wife? There is also the age difference between the couple. Also how can they possibly have a future when he is firmly rooted in France and she in England?  Moreover will her smuggling activities lead to her downfall? The couple have an emotional journey to make and my heart ached for them. Circumstances draw the couple ever closer and they are put in a position where they are both fighting a losing battle to deny their feelings for one another. As the Revenue and Customs net closes in on Joanna’s illegal activities and danger waits in the wings for Jean in France, both must learn to take a chance on love before their future can be secured.

Regan Walker’s attention to historical detail and her inclusion of real historical figures in the narrative – in this novel we see Pitt, Wilberforce, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette amongst others, adds considerable depth to her novels and puts her amongst the very best of authors within the genre. Although the romance between Joanna and Jean is very much central to the plot, here is also reference to the economic and social issues of the day both within England and France. I like that her characters do not exist in a vacuum and the wider issues and personalities of the day are explored as it makes for a far more satisfying read. The descriptions of life aboard ship and on the waves is also very realistic and it is clear that the author has carried out meticulous research.

Highly recommended to readers of historical romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com

http://www.facebook.com/regan.walker.104

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6450403.Regan_Walker

 

 

~*Release Blitz for Rex by Saskia Walker*~ includes excerpt

New from award-winning author Saskia Walker: Rex (A Stepbrother Romance) #eroticromance  @saskiawalker #billionaire #stepbrother

18+/adult read

Blurb:

Rex Carruthers can have any woman he wants, but he wants only one – his stepsister, Carmen Shelby. Their desire was once forbidden, and Rex walked away from his heritage as a result. Now, the reading of a will brings them back together, and Rex has something Carmen wants – his birthright, the stately home, Burlington Manor. 

Carmen Shelby is haunted by her desire for her stepbrother, Rex – a dangerous, masterful player, the man who broke her heart. Then Rex makes an outrageous suggestion – he will give her the Burlington Manor Estate, in exchange for the affair they were denied.    Carmen must risk her fragile heart and explore a new, submissive sexuality with Rex, a natural Dom. She quickly discovers Rex may be her true master, but can he control the powerful family secrets that both drew them together – and threaten to tear them apart. 

Buy links:

Amazon UK:  Amazon US:   Amazon AU:   Amazon CA:

Coming soon in print.

HERE’S AN EXCERPT

Carmen’s attitude triggered something dark in Rex. Something that was hungry and demanding to be fed. “Crawl to me,” he commanded.

Carmen’s head dropped back as if she’d been physically slapped. The urge to push her some more roared in on him, taking charge. He strode to the chair where his clothes lay abandoned from the night before. Swiping up his jeans, he fished into the pocket. He tossed the key chain out across the floor, holding on to the end of the long chain.

“Get down on your hands and knees and crawl over here for it.”

When the key landed on the Persian rug, she stared down at it. Rex jerked on the chain. The key flipped over on the floor between them, like bait. Like a lure.

“Show me what you want, what you came here for,” he said.

Carmen shook her head. “I want to know exactly what you wanted when you stepped through the door. The truth.”

She stared up at him. “I can’t do this.”

“You can, because you want the Manor, and you agreed to do whatever I said to get it.”

Would she use the safe word? Would this push her humiliation trigger just that bit too far? He didn’t care, as long as it got the truth out of her. He had to know. “Why are you here? What did you want? Just the property?”

“Yes.” She dropped onto her hands and knees. Her voice was weak, forced.

“It’s a fair exchange, that’s what you said.”

The light outlined her body, drawing his eye to her curves. She moved suddenly, jerking forward and crawling toward the key, but she was in turmoil. He could sense it. He could see it. The sight of her that way made him painfully hard and yet his sense of frustration only grew. He wanted to understand this woman more than anything in the world. When she got to it, her hand wrapped around the key, but she stayed there, shifting uneasily. The light from the window fell across her naked form, delineating the arch of her waist and the curve of her hip. Her soft skin glowed in the morning light. In contrast, her face was shadowed by her hair as it fell forward, and she looked up at him like a wild creature, her eyes blazing.

“Tell me why,” he demanded, and he held tight to his end of the key chain. Her body rippled, her back arching. Her head swung to one side. She whimpered. Taking a deep breath she moved again, gathering the chain up in her hand as she went. “Just the house?” he asked. “That’s all you wanted? You were that mercenary?”

She froze, then sat back on her heels. Her breathing was labored. She was battling inner demons. He pressed her further. “Why is this so hard for you to talk about?”

“Because I’m scared.” She stared up at him, and her eyes looked wild.

Rex swallowed. “Why are you scared?”

Her eyes flashed shut. “Because I wanted you.” Her voice was scarcely above a whisper “I didn’t realize how much, at first, but I came here because I’ve always wanted you.”

Rex’s chest felt tight and restricted. He let go of the key chain, throwing it down on the floor, and clicked his fingers. “Then come to my side.”

She moved fast, kneeling at his feet, her arms wrapping around his thighs. The key and its chain lay abandoned on the floor. Rex stared down at it, assuring himself of what had occurred. She clung to him, and he felt damp tears against his skin.

“Please don’t tease me about it.” Rex let his head drop back, relief barreling through him. Grateful, and empowered, he stroked her head possessively, admitting to himself that a month would never be enough. Never enough.

Author bio and links:

Saskia Walker is a USA Today Bestseller and award-winning author. Her short stories and novellas have appeared in over one hundred international anthologies and several international magazines, including Cosmo, Penthouse, and Bust. After writing shorts for several years Saskia moved into novel-length projects.

Fascinated with seduction, Saskia loves to explore how and why we get from saying “hello” to sharing our most intimate selves in moments of extreme passion. Her novels Double Dare and Rampant both won Passionate Plume awards and her writing has twice been nominated for a RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. She has lots more stories in the pipeline! Saskia lives in the north of England on the edge of the Yorkshire moors, with her real life hero, Mark, and a house full of felines.

Sign up for Saskia’s newsletter to hear about her latest releases

or keep in touch using the following links:  Website  Facebook  Twitter

Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

**Release Blitz for Abi’s Neighbour by Jenny Kane (includes extract)**

Out Now—Abi’s Neighbour by Jenny Kane (@jennykaneauthor) #romance #cornwall

 

Set in the picturesque Sennen Cove, Cornwall, Abi’s Neighbour is the sequel to the bestselling Cornish romance, Abi’s House. It’s time to catch up with Abi, Max, Beth, Jacob, Stan, and Sadie the Labrador- and meet some unexpected new faces…

Blurb

Abi Carter has finally found happiness. Living in her perfect tin miner’s cottage, she has good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, Max. Life is good. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door.

Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. Obnoxious and stuck-up, Cassandra hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, it looks like she has her sights set on Max.

But Cassandra has problems of her own. Not only is her wealthy married lawyer putting off joining her in their Cornish love nest, but now someone seems intent on sabotaging her business.

Will Cassandra mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are they destined never to get along?

Complete with sun, sea and a gorgeous Cornwall setting, Abi’s Neighbour is the PERFECT summer escape.

Abi’s Neighbour can be read as a standalone novel, or as a follow up to Abi’s House.

Available in eBook and print from Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/abisneighbour

Extract

The untidy, clipboard-wielding woman started talking as soon as she climbed out of her Mini. ‘Hello, my name’s Maggie, and I’m from –’

Cassandra cut impatiently across the formalities. ‘Sennen Agents, obviously. It’s written across your car.’

‘Oh, yes. So it is.’ Maggie paused, ‘Anyway, I’m sorry I’m late, I got stuck behind a tractor down the lane.’ She jingled a key ring in front of her. ‘I have your keys, Miss Pinkerton.’

‘No, you don’t.’ ‘I don’t?’ The estate agent frowned, looking away from the woman that stood before her in expensive couture with crossed arms and a far from happy expression. Flicking through the papers on her clipboard, Maggie said, ‘I was instructed by a Mr Justin Smythe that you would be accepting the keys on his behalf?’

‘I meant, no, my name is not Miss Pinkerton. It is Ms Henley-Pinkerton.’

‘Oh. I see.’ Maggie refrained from further comment as she clutched the keys a little tighter.

Determined to make sure the situation was clearly understood, Cassandra pulled her jacket on, turning herself back into the sharp-suited businesswoman she was. ‘In addition to your error regarding my name, there appears to have been a further mistake.’

‘There has?’

‘Mr Smythe has not purchased this property. He has merely rented it, with an additional agreement to sublet it as a holiday home. I am here for two months to make the place suitable.’ Cassandra ran a disdainful eye over the beautiful exterior stonework. ‘It would seem that my work is going to be well and truly cut out.’

‘This is a much sought-after street, Ms HenleyPinkerton. And this particular property is in excellent period condition.’ Feeling defensive on behalf of the old miner’s cottage, Maggie bit her tongue and flicked through her paperwork faster. Extracting a copy of the bill of sale, she passed it to the slim, angular blonde. ‘I think the misunderstanding must be yours. Mr Smythe has purchased number two Miners Row outright. It was a cash sale.’

Snatching the papers from Maggie’s fingers, Cassandra’s shoulders tensed into painful knots. Why hadn’t Justin told her he’d done this? She was convinced she was right. And anyway, he’d never deliberately make her appear foolish in front of a country bumpkin estate agent…  Yet as Cassandra scanned the document before her, she could see there’d been no mistake. Closing her eyes, she counted to ten, before opening them again to regard the badly dressed woman before her, who was once again holding out the offending set of keys.  Failing to take them, Cassandra gestured towards the little house.

‘Perhaps you would show me around, after I’ve made a call to Mr Smythe?’ Maggie, already feeling sorry for this unpleasant woman’s future neighbours, took unprofessional pleasure in saying, ‘Good luck with that call. The phone signal here is unpredictable to say the least.’

It had taken a ten-minute walk towards Sennen village to get a decent reception on her mobile phone, and then, when she’d been able to connect the call, Justin’s line was engaged. When she’d finally got through, she was more than ready to explode. ‘Justin! How could you have done this to me without a word? You’ve made me look a total idiot.’

Clearly thrilled that he’d managed to buy the terrace for a knock-down price – which, he’d claimed, was a far more economic use of their funds, an investment that would make them a fortune to enjoy in their retirement – he’d sounded so excited about what it meant for their future together that Cassandra had found it hard to remain cross. Assuring her that the situation remained the same, and that she was still only expected to stay in Cornwall while he secured his new position and got the wheels of the divorce in motion, Justin told Cassandra he loved her and would be with her very soon.

Returning to the terrace reassured, if lacking some of her earlier dignity, Cassandra swallowed back all the words she’d have liked to say as she opened the door and the gloom of the dark and narrow hallway enveloped her. She was sure that awful Maggie woman had been laughing at her. The agent had taken clear pleasure in telling her that if she hadn’t stormed off so quickly she’d have found out that the phone reception was excellent if you sat on the bench in the back garden.

Vowing to never drink champagne in any form ever again, as it clearly caused her to agree to things far too readily, Cassandra saw the next two months stretching out before her like a lifetime.  Letting out some of the tension which had been simmering inside her since she’d first seen the for sale sign, she picked up a stone and threw it at the back fence, hard. Maggie had gone, leaving her reluctant client sitting on an old weathered bench in the narrow rectangular plot at the back of the house.

Playing her phone through her fingers, Cassandra saw that there was enough reception to make calls if she sat in this spot – but only in this spot. One step in either direction killed the signal dead, which was probably why the previous owners had placed a bench here. And probably why they left this Godforsaken place!  The Internet simply didn’t exist here. When she’d swallowed her pride and asked Maggie about the strength of the local broadband coverage, the agent had actually had the audacity to laugh, before informing Cassandra with obvious satisfaction that people came to Sennen for their holidays to leave the world of emails and work behind them.

Breathing slowly, she pulled her shoulders back, pushed her long, perfectly straight blonde hair behind her ears, and took a pen and paper out of her bag. It looked as if she was going to have to tackle this, old school.

First she would make a list of what she considered necessary to make the house habitable for holidaymakers, then she would locate the nearest library or internet café so she could source decorators and builders to get the work underway. The sooner she got everything done, and herself back to hustle and bustle of London, the better.

Deciding there was no way she could sleep in this house, which Maggie had proudly described as ‘comfortable’, ‘sought-after’, and ‘ready to be made absolutely perfect’, Cassandra hooked her handbag onto her shoulder and headed back into the whitewashed stone house. Shivering in the chill of the hallway, despite the heat of the June day, she jumped in the silence when the doorbell rang just as she bent to pick up her overnight bag. For a second she froze. It had been years since she’d heard a doorbell ring. In her block of flats back home she buzzed people in via an intercom, and anyway, people never just dropped by. She hoped it wasn’t that dreadful Maggie back with some other piece of unwanted advice.

It wasn’t Maggie. It was a petite woman in paint spattered clothes, with a large shaggy dog at her side. Cassandra’s unwanted visitor wore a wide smile and held a bunch of flowers in one hand and some bedding in the other.  ‘Hello. My name’s Abi, I live next door. Welcome to Miners Row. I hope you’ll be very happy here.’

Bio

Jenny Kane is the author of the full length romance novels Another Glass of Champagne (Accent Press, 2015), Abi’s House (Accent Press, 2015), the contemporary romance/medieval crime time slip novel Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best selling contemporary romance novel Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and its novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds (Accent, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle (Accent, 2015).

Jenny’s sixth full length romance novel, Abi’s Neighbour, will be published in May 2017.

Keep your eye on Jenny’s blog at www.jennykane.co.uk for more details.

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JennyKaneAuthor

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JennyKaneRomance

Jenny also writes erotica as Kay Jaybee and historical crime as Jennifer Ash.

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services