Blurb: Read Between the Lines of this debut novel and savour shameless shades of sexy
Woking, Surrey – Ballsy reporter Kate Cleaver doesn’t wait for things to happen. A modern woman with a voracious sexual appetite she takes life – and men – by the balls – and makes things happen! Sassy Kate wants to leave cat shows and council meetings behind her and hit the glamour of national journalism – but not before she gets her hands one particular exclusive: the delicious but elusive Chief Reporter, Aidan Tindall.
Reading Between the Lines is a rollercoaster of sexual freedom and angst-ridden rejection, office flings plus desire and ambition and 2am gin soaked confessions.
Former Mirror features writer turned stay-at-home mum of two Jo Merrett’s first book takes her early days as a journalist and spins them into an erotic chick lit, where ambition and sex rule. Acting on an idea that had pole-danced around her head for a decade, 44-year-old Jo finally got creative after watching Fifty Shades at the cinema.
She said: “I was halfway through watching the first film and thought, ‘I can write erotic fiction, what am I waiting for? I started writing it that afternoon! Reading Between the Lines is a book every woman who is in or has been in her 20s can identify with. Kate’s ambitious and confident but isn’t immune to the hurdles life throws at her. You will laugh, cry and cringe – maybe all at the same time!”
Today here at Hayley Reviews I am sharing with you an extract from Between the Lines thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group….
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! You idiot, Kate.
I swing the car into a space, grab my bag, and run as fast as humanly possible in four-inch heels. I hate Mondays. Thank God that Boots is only downstairs from the office. I leg it to the make-up section, grab the red tube of Maybelline and take it to the till. How the hell have I managed to leave the house without mascara on?
After waking up yesterday morning with the mother of all hangovers, the result of spending Saturday night at a London cocktail bar, followed by a third session of very nice sex with Mark (the second was on Saturday morning, in case you were wondering), I’d gone to bed at 8pm last night and had a full eleven hours in bed, so I couldn’t blame lack of sleep for this colossal oversight.
In the two and a half years I’ve worked at the paper, I have never turned up without a full face of make-up. Not wearing mascara is the worst. My eyes are a decent blue and they’re quite a nice almond shape, but without mascara they’re nothing.
I’ll never forget asking my mum when I was sixteen if she thought I was pretty and she answered: “You’re not typically beautiful, but there’s something quite attractive about you when you’re made up.” And she’s absolutely right. No man has ever told me I’m beautiful in my whole life.
In my late teens, I spent the night with a lad I’d had a huge crush on for ages. As the sun came up, I was wearing just his half unbuttoned, oversized denim shirt. I asked him what he liked about me, to pay me a compliment, if you will. Such was my gauche inexperience around men.
After studying my face for a couple of seconds, then in panic looking me up and down, he said finally: “Um, your legs are nice. Long, like.”
So, I may not be a beauty, but with make-up I look pretty damn good, which is exactly why I need an emergency stop in the ladies before I even step foot in the newsroom. I didn’t forget because I’m tired. I forgot because I’m distracted and shitting myself. Painting my lashes, I notice my hand’s trembling and my heart’s beating a tattoo in my chest.
Breathe Kate, breathe.
After my little chat with Gemma on Friday night and two days of rather satisfying sex, I’ve decided to knock this Aidan obsession on the head one way or another by talking to him at lunchtime, and the notion is scaring me witless. But when I set my mind to something…
Lashes up to par, I step out of the loo and into the office the dowdy receptionist is already at her desk, watering her spider plant.
“Morning, Jenny,” I smile woodenly, and out of courtesy.
About 19, she was one of those girls who dresses like her mother and looks down her nose at women like me: women who know what they want and will do anything to get it. I turn the corner to my desk, snatching up today’s Sun and head for the staff room. I need coffee.
“Morning Kate, those fêtes go alright?” Pete’s on my case nice and early, keep smiling.
“Yes, all done.” I say brightly, “We got a load of great pics and you’ll have copy before lunch.”
Pete runs a hand through his thinning hair and leans smugly back in his chair before continuing:
“Clive tells me you were a bit worse for wear Saturday afternoon. Threw up in the bushes round the back of Frederick Furnivall Primary School?”
“I did no such thing,” I deny indignantly, tossing my fringe out of my eyes. Bloody sneak.
Clive Reed has been chief photographer on the paper for the best part of thirty- five years and loves lording it over the younger members of staff, despite being one of the laziest people I know. Trust him to drop me in it. “I had a bit of a headache and felt a little dizzy so I nipped around the back of the beer tent to sit down in the shade for a few minutes,” I lie. “I think it was the heat.” “It was a beautiful weekend,” drones Pete, “I got a bit of golf in, and the wife and I drove down to Barton-on-Sea for a walk along the coast. Lovely views of the island from there…”
Nodding and feigning interest, I edge away a centimetre at a time. Pete’s phone rings and I take my chance to scoot off, dumping my bag on my desk en route to the small kitchenette.
I flick the kettle on and dig my ‘Shopping’s My Drug’ mug out from the pile of freshly washed crockery. Anna’s already there and she’s just made herself a cuppa, judging by the used teabag and dirty teaspoon sitting in a puddle on the work surface. I raise my eyebrow, pointedly eyeballing the mess but Anna doesn’t even notice, so I give up, flopping down on a grubby orange plastic chair. She grins at me, sipping her tea.
“How was Fête-gate?”
Queue an eye roll.
“Same shit, different day. I can’t believe I ever enjoyed it.” A year ago I was lapping it up, getting out in the local area, proudly introducing myself as the Chertsey and Weybridge reporter. Now I’m feeling thoroughly disillusioned. I just want something a bit more challenging out of the job.
Anna wanders back into the newsroom and I flick absent- mindedly through e Mail glancing at the headlines.
I’d felt rough as a butcher’s dog by the time I got to the third fête on Saturday afternoon. A night of drinking, lack of sleep and passionate sex, followed by brilliant 27°C sunshine and a eld full of screaming kids was more than I could handle. I’d needed to scoot into the bushes and throw up the iced latte that had been swimming around my stomach since late morning.
Three pints of water, a bacon sandwich and a nap later, I felt a hundred times better and headed into London for another night of partying with Gemma, Mark and some city friends.
We’d enjoyed a fabulous evening. After some great tapas at Salt Yard on Goodge Street, we headed to a trendy little basement bar, the London Cocktail Club. I hammered the margaritas all night before catching the last train home and fucking Mark until the sun came up.
Thoroughly spent, I slept the sleep of the dead. It was gone noon before I surfaced from bed. Even then it took two Alka Seltzer, a generous squeeze of milk thistle, a hot shower, a full English and a bag of mini Dime bars before I felt vaguely human. When I’d woken up, I had the bed to myself; Mark had clearly headed off home. He hadn’t drunk as much as me. Not judging by the rock hard erection he’d displayed so spectacularly when we went to bed, and the fact he’d climbed behind the wheel of his camper van to head down the M4 before I was even awake.
Spooning instant coffee into my mug and pouring hot water on top, I add a splash of cold water and leave the staff room.
Sitting with his back towards me, Aidan’s square shoulders hunch over his desk and stop me dead in my tracks. My stomach lurches. I feel sick as my pulse begins to race and adrenaline oods my body.
Considering I see him five days a week, I should be used to this by now, but every time is like the first. A crazy thrill rushes through my veins and I feel light-headed.
Today though, knowing what I’m going to do later, I feel like turning tail and running as fast as I can in the other direction. Instead, I force one foot in front of the other and concentrate on steadying my breathing.
If the extract excited you enough to want to order this exciting debut then here it is.