2019, august, ebook, extract, Uncategorized

First chapter first paragraph Tuesday intros

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros @ I’d Rather Be at the Beach. Weekly. Share the first paragraph (or a few) of a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon.

The morning began as so many do in winter, with lowhanging fog and a smattering of frost. For weeks the sky has been the muted silver of a much-thumbed coin, but today the sun has broken through, laundering my little Cambridgeshire village with light. As I walk the ten or so minutes to the pub, I relish this new brightness which has brought with it so much colour – red berries in a thicket of holly, a battalion of purple pansies in a window box, and perched on the wall outside the church, a blue tit, its head cocked inquisitively to one side. I see David as soon as I cross the threshold of the White Swan. He is easy to spot, with his round bald head and those John Lennon-style glasses, which he wears balanced precariously on the end of his nose.

I only started reading this beauty this morning and I’m hooked on this breathtaking story. So far Genie has been through so many emotions and my heart really does go out to her. Her best mate is called Hayley – which made me smile free-fold, I’m always looking for books with Hayley’s and she’s super fun. Although her eating lemon drizzle cake sure did make my sweet tooth twitch so I may have had some chocolate cake to accompany my reading. This is a buddy read that I’m reading with Catriona although for once I’m ahead I literally cannot get enough. I have extremely sore feet from a cut on the bottom and due to sunburn so I’ve enjoyed chilling with a book today. I’m in the midst of chapter 9 and I know I can get a few more chapters in before we go out this evening…..see there are major pluses to days staying on camp….what an absolute treat of a book. The descriptions of New Zealand sound amazing.

That’s me over and out for today…I have a few reviews to write but right now I need another coffee and to get back to One Winter Morning.

2019, Blog Tour, Book Snippet, extract, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Last Orders at the Star and Sixpence By Holly Hepburn

It is the greatest pleasure of mine to be on this blog tour for a book that well and truly got inside my heart. I will be sharing an extract and later you will also find out my thoughts on this beauty. Without further ado I’m going to hand over to my good friends Nessie and Sam at the Star and Sixpence although the menu invitation does not copy well…

Chapter One
A Taste of Autumn
at the
Star and Sixpence
The leaves are turning gold and there’s a chill in the air, so why not join our new chef, Gabe Santiago,
for an evening of smoky flavours and zinging cocktails as he introduces his new brand-new menu.
Booking essential. Thursday 25th October

It was a crisp mid-September morning, the kind that began with dewy grass but promised warmth as the sun rose higher in the sky. Nessie Chapman leaned back against the wrought- iron bench in the garden of Snowdrop Cottage and let her eyes drift shut. Soon, she’d have to walk over to the neighbouring Star and Sixpence and help her sister, Sam, welcome their new chef on his first day. But not right this second. She could steal a moment or two to appreciate the chirp of birdsong and gentle buzz of a nearby bee; Sam wouldn’t begrudge her that. In fact, knowing Sam, she might even prefer to be alone to greet the undeniably gorgeous Gabriel Santiago, although she’d insisted after they’d agreed he was the right person for the job that she was only interested in his prowess in the kitchen.
The truth was, Sam didn’t begrudge Nessie much. She’d cheered to the rafters when Nessie had finally got together with Owen Rhys, the blacksmith who lived next door to the Star and Sixpence, and she’d continued to cheer even when her own love affair with cellarman Joss ended in another tumultuous break-up. And she hadn’t objected a few months later when Nessie tentatively mentioned that Owen had asked her to move in with him, even though it meant Sam would be living in the pub on her own. She’d simply beamed in delight and declared that she couldn’t wait to have the place to herself.
There was a faint creak behind Nessie, alerting her that the back door of the cottage had opened.
‘A penny for your thoughts,’ a deep, Welsh-accented voice said.

Nessie smiled and opened her eyes. ‘If I had a penny for every time you’ve said that . . .’
Owen smiled back, his dark eyes crinkling beneath his coal-black brows and unruly curls. ‘You’d have around twenty pence, I expect. I should up my rates.’
He dipped his head to brush her lips with his and she felt the same familiar rush of delight mixed with incredulity that she still got every time Owen kissed her. Would it ever get old? she wondered, gazing up at him. It was hard to imagine at the moment, when every kiss still felt like their first.
‘So,’ he said, raising an eyebrow. ‘Do I have to guess what you were daydreaming about?’
Nessie laughed. ‘You won’t be surprised to hear I was thinking about the pub. Sam wants to make sure everything is gleaming for the new chef’s arrival.’
‘Ah, yes,’ Owen said wryly. ‘The much-anticipated Señor Santiago. I popped into the bakery yesterday and Martha was like a cat on hot bricks. I hope he’s ready to become Little Monkham’s new heart-throb.’
Nessie pictured the brooding Spanish chef and pulled a wry face. ‘Something tells me he’s already used to that kind of attention.’
‘I can imagine,’ Owen replied. ‘How does Sam feel about him?’
The question was innocent enough, but Nessie felt her- self bristle slightly at the implication behind the words; Sam had been at the centre of village gossip on more than one occasion in the past. Or at least her love life had. Then Nessie reminded herself that this was Owen, who didn’t have a gos- sipy bone in his body, and she forced herself to relax. ‘She’s looking forward to it, I think,’ she said cautiously. ‘We both are. He’ll be a breath of fresh air.’
Owen smiled. ‘He’ll certainly cause a lot of sighing, if his photo is anything to go by. Luke is hoping you’ll be able to sneak some puddings home.’
An image of Owen’s nine-year-old son popped into Nessie’s head; blond-haired and blue-eyed, he was the oppo- site of Owen’s dark Welsh looks, but they shared the same appetite. In fact, Luke didn’t so much eat food as inhale it and Nessie could just imagine him licking his lips at the thought of the kind of desserts that might be going begging at the end of the night in the Star and Sixpence kitchen. ‘I’ll see what I can do,’ she promised.
‘And now I suppose we’d both better get to work,’ Owen said, casting a rueful glance towards the pub. ‘You know where I am if your wonder chef decides to whip up an impos- sibly fancy lunch, although a decent steak sandwich would be just as welcome.’
Nessie laughed. ‘We’ll let him unpack before we start demanding meals, shall we?’
Owen accepted the teasing rebuke with a cheerful nod. ‘I suppose you’ve got a point. See you later, then.’
Dropping another kiss onto her forehead, he crossed the yard and disappeared into the forge.
Nessie sat for a moment longer, then roused herself with an inward sigh; Owen was right, she’d better get moving. Sam might not begrudge her sister’s happiness, but she definitely wouldn’t appreciate cleaning the pub on her own.
Nessie wasn’t sure she’d ever seen Sam as anxious as she was right before Gabriel Santiago was due to arrive. She paced the floor in front of the gleaming bar, casting fret- ful glances back towards the door that led to the newly fitted kitchens.
‘You did steam-clean the floor, didn’t you?’ she asked Nessie, running a hand through her usually sleek blonde bob. ‘After you’d done the oven and swept up the dust?’
Nessie summoned up her most soothing voice. ‘You were there when I did it, Sam. And I’ve double-checked the spare room, before you ask – everything is ready. All we need is the man himself.’
Sam checked the time. ‘He said he’d get here around ten o’clock, depending on traffic.’ She took a deep breath and glanced towards the spotlit bottles that lined the back of the bar. ‘God, this is stressful. Is it too early for gin?’
‘Relax, Sam,’ Nessie said, frowning a little. ‘Would it help to think of him as just another new employee?’
Now it was Sam’s turn to frown. ‘An employee who just happens to be an internationally respected Michelin- starred chef – one we’ve been boasting about for weeks. There’s a lot riding on making sure he settles in fast and sticks around.’
‘He’s also a professional,’ Nessie reminded her. ‘And he’s already inspected the kitchen, before he agreed to work with us. A speck or two of dust won’t scare him off.’
For a moment, Nessie thought her sister would argue, but then she sighed. ‘You’re right. I don’t know why I’m so worried.’
Nessie thought she knew: Sam had been different since her relationship with Joss had fallen apart. It had been a dif- ficult break-up – neither had wanted to accept that the bad times had begun to far outweigh the good – and Nessie sus- pected her sister had been considerably more hurt than she’d ever admit when Joss had made the decision to leave Little Monkham ‘for both their sakes’. He’d been Sam’s first serious love affair and the ensuing fallout had dampened her usual optimism, making her more wary of everything. Including, it seemed, their new business venture.
‘I thought I was supposed to be the worrier,’ Nessie said, her tone gently teasing. ‘Connor and Tilly will be here soon – they’ll get everything ready for opening. Why don’t we go upstairs and grab a cuppa?’
Connor was the burly ex-fireman who looked after the pub’s cellars, and Tilly was their nineteen-year-old barmaid; both were stalwart members of the Star and Sixpence team. And Nessie wouldn’t be surprised if Tilly’s mother, Martha, abandoned the village bakery to catch an early glimpse of the pub’s new chef – he’d been all she had talked about for weeks.
Sam puffed out a long breath. ‘Okay, deal.’
The first-floor rooms were a far cry from the gloom and woodchip wallpaper that had dominated when Nessie and Sam had first moved into the Star and Sixpence. The bedrooms hadn’t needed much; a lick of paint on the wood-beamed ceilings and plush new carpets to take some of the chill out of the early winter mornings. The kitchen had been another story – Sam hadn’t wasted any time in stripping out the boxy wall units and replacing them with something sleek and tasteful. The outdated appliances had gone too, including a fridge that was so vintage it had almost come back into style. In the living room, there were now two matching teal sofas that went beautifully with the oak coffee table and bookshelf, plus a flat-screen TV that Sam and Nessie had rarely found the time to watch. The rooms were still recognisably part of an old building but updated and modernised, in the same way that the pub downstairs was a fresher, more inviting version of the sixteenth-century inn it had been.
‘It’ll be weird having a flatmate again,’ Sam said, as they sat around the small table in the kitchen, sipping tea. ‘And even weirder that it won’t be you.’
‘I’m sure it will just be a temporary arrangement,’ Nessie said. ‘I imagine Gabe will want his own space too, once he’s settled in a bit.’
Sam gazed at her over the top of her mug, her expression pensive. ‘We are doing the right thing, aren’t we, Ness? Expanding the business, I mean.’
Once again, Nessie was struck by the reversal in their roles. Sam had always been impetuous and confident, while Nessie was more thoughtful and reticent. But those differences had grown less marked over the last year and not all of it was due to Sam’s broken heart; Nessie felt more settled in her role as the official landlady of the pub, in her place among the Little Monkham community too. Being with Owen had helped – his placid strength gave her something to lean on and the future no longer looked dark and unknowable. She could see the years stretching ahead, comfortable and safe, and the thought gave her more peace than she’d ever known.
‘Of course we are,’ she told Sam, with a smile of encouragement. We need to keep growing if we’re going to bring home that National Pub of the Year award.’
Sam nodded slowly. ‘I know. But are we being too ambi- tious? We could have gone for a lower-profile chef.’
‘We could,’ Nessie agreed. ‘But when have we ever taken the easy path? More importantly, when have you?’
Sam said nothing.
‘We chose Gabe because he’s a rising star – fresh and exciting and not afraid to take a few risks,’ Nessie went on. ‘Anyone can do good pub grub. We want more than that.’
‘Go hard or go home,’ Sam said, a wry smile tugging at her mouth. ‘Okay, you’ve convinced me all over again.’
The thud of feet on the stairs made them both glance towards the kitchen door. ‘Good,’ Nessie said. ‘Because it sounds like he might be here.’
Tilly appeared in the doorway, her cheeks unusually pink. ‘There’s a man at the door asking for you,’ she said, sounding flustered. ‘It’s . . . He’s . . .’

Nessie took pity on her. ‘Gabe Santiago, I presume?’ The barmaid nodded.
‘Thanks, Tilly, we’ll be right down,’ Nessie said. She
glanced at Sam. ‘Ready?’
Her sister lowered her cup and squared her shoulders. ‘As
ready as I’ll ever be.’
   

Be sure to pop in for a drink with the rest of the gorgeous tour. I will be posting my review later.

2018, Blog Tour, Blogtober, extract, Guest Post

Blog Tour: The Water and the Wine inspiration By Tamar Hodes

Blogtober hasn’t been too bad for me so far.

I’m pretty chuffed with my efforts with a mixture of reviews, blog tours and a few personal entries which I’m still so bowled over by. I must admit I can’t take all the credit I would like to thank Kelly @ Love Books Groups for the reminder.

Today I am pleased to share with you a gorgeous guest post…

Blurb: It is the 1960s and a group of young writers and artists gather on the Greek island of Hydra. Leonard Cohen is at the start of his career and in love with Marianne, who is also muse to her ex-husband, Axel. Australian authors George Johnston and Charmian Clift write, drink and fight. It is a hedonistic time of love, sex and new ideas. As the island hums with excitement, Jack and Frieda Silver join the community, hoping to mend their broken marriage. However, Greece is overtaken by a military junta and the artistic idyll is threatened.

Buy linkhttps://amzn.to/2OtOgUw

Twitter Handles & Hashtags

@HodesTamar 

@HooklineBooks 

#LoveBooksGroupTours

About the Author

Growing up, Tamar Hodes’ neighbours were Leonard Cohen, his girlfriend Marianne, and other writers and artists on the Greek island of Hydra. Her parents took her to the island to pursue their own art and writing. However, the bohemian nature of Hydra destroyed their marriage. The Water and the Wine is a fictional account of those days.; Tamar Hodes’ first novel Raffy’s Shapes was published in 2006. She has had stories on Radio 4 and others in anthologies including Salt’s The Best British Short Stories 2015, The Pigeonhole, Your One Phone Call, the Ofi Press, MIR online and Fictive Dream. Tamar was born in Israel and lived in Greece and South Africa before settling in the UK. She read English and Education at Homerton College, Cambridge. For the past thirty-three years she has taught English in schools, universities and prisons.

Without further ado I give you Tamar who is sharing with me her inspiration for the novel The Water and the Wine.

The Water and the Wine is a novel which I wanted to write for many years. I lived on the Greek island of Hydra when I was three (I had my fourth birthday there) as my parents were part of the creative community and, later on, they often talked about that time. It sounded fascinating to me, the way the artists and writers met in the taverna in the evenings and discussed their work and ideas and supported each other. I also knew that some of them were volatile and hot-tempered. I was interested in their attitude towards parenting, gender roles, the way they balanced work and leisure, what the locals thought of them. Also, there was the added interest of Leonard Cohen who was part of that community and just about to become famous. I was interested in the religious aspect, too: Cohen and my parents were Jewish; many of the artists were interested in Zen and Eastern traditions, and the locals were Greek Orthodox. Amazingly, they were very tolerant of each other as they were of a gay couple living and loving openly there.

Over the years, I did a lot of reading and research about that time and I came across a comment that Leonard Cohen had made, saying that it would take a novel to understand his and Marianne’s relationship. That felt like a challenge to me! There are many factual books about that period, and biographies of Leonard Cohen, George Johnston and Charmian Clift, but fiction can slip under the characters’ skin.

Sadly, my father passed away in 2013, my mother in 2014, and Leonard and Marianne four months apart in 2016. My father left me his journal about Hydra, my mother left me her first edition of Flowers for Hitler signed by Cohen and all these events made me feel that now was the time to write this novel. I felt that there was a groundswell lifting me there and so I wrote it.

Thank you Kelly for including me in this beautiful blog tour. Be sure to check out the other entries.

2018, Blog Tour, Book Snippet, extract

Blog Tour: Josie James and the Teardrops Of Summer By Lily Mae Walters

So you don’t hear from me for what a week, and then I come at you with two posts in a day. That’s just how I role sometimes.

So without further ado….

Blurb: Josie James is an ordinary 13 year old until something extraordinary happens during her summer holidays.

Whist staying at her Great Grandmother’s cottage in the country she finds herself swept into the cursed world of Suncroft where it is perpetual winter.

Her new friends believe she could be the Chosen One who it is foretold will lift the curse, but there are more pressing matters.

The Teardrops of Summer – magical crystals that render the owner immortal – have been stolen.  Along with her telepathic husky-dog Protector Asher and her new friends, Josie must race to find the
Teardrops and prevent catastrophe for their world.

http://mybook.to/Teardrops

Now I have an extract to share:

The village of Suncroft is where Josie finds herself in the first book.  It is a small village, cursed to live forever on a winter’s night.  Here Josie discovers the village and some of its people.

Josie could not believe her eyes. It was like looking at a Christmas card scene. Everything was covered in crisp white snow; while tall black gas lamps flickered and spat. Haphazard buildings stood in a square creating a courtyard with what looked to be a small park in the middle. But what surprised Josie the most was the people. Everywhere there were people. She hadn’t really thought about who might actually live in Suncroft, that it was actually a real village with real living people, but here was the proof right in front of her. All around her, people were going about their daily lives all wrapped up against the cold in long coats and boots. There was no denim, no trainers, no Nike or Adidas, no designer clothes, and no bright colours. Everyone wore brown, black or grey in varying shades of bleakness.

As they walked into the courtyard, Josie could see that the buildings were shops. They passed Rose’s Greengrocers with its green and white shade pulled out over the wooden shelves that stood neatly outside. Potatoes, onions, carrots, marrows, apples and pears were piled high inside the shelves.

“This is owned by Elder Rose and his family.” Filan waved to the two ladies who were behind the counter. “That’s Lorna and Gwen, who run it.”  

Josie was finally able to put faces to the voices she had heard from the secret garden that day. They were of a similar height, both with dark hair, although one wore it long and the other short.  

“Twins, you know.” Josie couldn’t see them clearly enough through the glass to know if they were identical but got the feeling that somehow they would be.

Next door was Tubbs’ Bakery; the aromas from the shop made Josie’s stomach growl. She could see bread of all shapes and sizes behind the counter, and in front were biscuits, buns and cakes. Filan stepped inside and came out seconds later with two gingerbread men. They had currants for eyes and buttons, not Smarties like Josie was used to at home. She thanked Filan then proceeded to bite its arms and legs off. She gave the head to Glider before polishing off the body.

“That’s a very barbaric way to eat a gingerbread man,” Filan said.  

Hattie’s Watchmakers and Jewellers was next, followed by Millie’s Book Shop and Kellie’s Tea Rooms. Outside Periwinkle’s Sweet Shop, Filan stopped to talk to three young boys who had been staring in the window, their faces and hands pressed up against the glass.

 Be sure to check out the rest of the tour…

And if you want to know more about the author…

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local  places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/josiejames100/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lilymaewalters/

Twitter- https://twitter.com/LilyMaeWalters1

2018, Blog Tour, Book Snippet, extract, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Madam Love, Actually By Rich Amooi

So sorry for the lack of updates on Hayley Reviews it’s been quite a crazy week in terms of my life. Works been chaotic to say the least and I’m an auntie to two more beauties. That’s enough about me although there will be a post that may seem like moaning, rambling but I think that it’s now came to a time when I need to make some changes to my blog and my well-being.

Today on Hayley Reviews I’m pleased to share with you an extract from Madam Love Actually.

In this scene, the radio host is trying to talk Madam Love and Lance into getting together for a reading to find him his soulmate.

“Welcome back! I’m Elaine Stewart and we’ve been talking with bestselling author Lance Parker about his new book Your Soulmate Doesn’t Exist. We also have Madam Love on the line with us. She’s a fortune teller who specializes in finding her clients’ soulmates. Are you still with us, Madam Love?”

“I’m here,” Madam Love answered.

“Great. Before the break I was chatting with Lance about the possibility of visiting Madam Love for a consultation to find his soulmate. He doesn’t believe in them, but Madam Love is confident he does have one. They both said it was a bad idea. Funny, but our listeners disagree with both of you.” Elaine scrolled down the page on her computer monitor. “We have a poll on Facebook and Twitter asking if Lance should visit Madam Love. So far, ninety-nine percent of our listeners say yes!”

Lance let out a nervous chuckle. “Out of how many people? Three?”

“Over four thousand people have weighed in so far.” She kept her eyes on the monitor. “Hang on . . . it’s up over five thousand and climbing.”

What the hell?

Peter scribbled DO IT! on a piece of paper and handed it to Lance.

Lance pushed the paper aside and mouthed no to Peter.

“Madam Love, you mentioned there was a soulmate waiting for Lance at this moment,” Elaine said. “How sure are you?”

“I’m certain,” Madam Love answered, then laughed. “Hard to believe, right?”

“Not funny,” Lance grumbled.

“The truth hurts, darling,” Madam Love shot back.

Elaine was watching her monitor. “We now have over twelve thousand listeners who want Madam Love to give Lance a reading and find him his soulmate. That’s ninety-four percent of those polled.”

“Twelve thousand people?” Madam Love said.

“Yes,” Elaine answered. “Amazing, considering the poll hasn’t been up on Facebook and Twitter long. Wait, we’re up to almost fourteen thousand listeners in favor.”

“I’ll do it,” Madam Love blurted out. “I’ll take the challenge.”

Thank you once again Rachel for including me and to Rich Amooi for this fabulous extract. Be sure to check out the rest of the tour.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C9RYRHY

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07C9RYRHY

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07C9RYRHY

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07C9RYRHY

Author Bio –

Rich Amooi is a former radio personality who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. They live in San Diego, California with their very hairy daughter, a mini goldendoodle puppy. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.richamooi

Twitter: https://twitter.com/richamooi

Cover Reveal, ebook, extract, Guest Post, Uncategorized

Kathryn Freeman has a double whammy today and her new EBook is featured here….

Today at Hayley Reviews I’m excited to say that it’s a double whammy for Kathryn Freeman. Too Damn Nice is available as an EBook and Before You is now a paperback. If that wasn’t enough excitement I now have a little exclusive here….

I don’t know about you but how gorgeous is this cover? If that doesn’t sway you here’s the blurb.

Do nice guys stand a chance? 

Lizzie Donavue went from being the sister of his best friend to the girl Nick Templeton most wants to kiss. On her birthday, he finally summons up the courage to make his move. But it looks like Nick’s missed his chance when he discovers that Lizzie has been offered a modelling contract, which will take her away to the glamorous fashion scenes of New York and Los Angeles.
 Nick is forced to watch from the sidelines as the gawky teenager he knew is transformed into Elizabeth Donavue: top model and ultimate English rose pin-up, forever caught in a whirlwind of celebrity parties with the next up-and-coming Hollywood bad boy by her side.

 But then Lizzie’s star-studded life comes crashing down around her, and a guy like Nick could be just what she needs. Will she take a chance on him? Or is he just too damn nice?

I also have a sneaky peak of Too Damn Nice here it goes…..

Clothes. She needed to find some clothes and get dressed. How many hours had she spent lying in bed, crying? She couldn’t waste any more time like that. She had to pull herself together. To be strong. Heck, two years ago her family had been all but wiped out on a single, tragic day. This wasn’t the worst thing that had ever happened to her. If she could cope with burying her parents, if she could cope with seeing her brother lying comatose in a nursing home week, after week, after week, she could cope with this.

With those thoughts in mind, she reached for the jeans she’d thrown carelessly over the extravagant cerise velvet chair. About to pull them on, her eyes settled on the crushed newspaper lying on the floor. The same one she’d read three days ago. With a wail of anguish she lunged for it, tearing it into shreds. Leaving the tattered remains on the floor she yanked on her jeans, pulled on the nearest jumper – a baby blue cashmere she’d spilt tea down the moment she’d opened the damn newspaper – and walked down the hall towards the kitchen.

‘Lizzie? Are you in there?’

She froze, the voice achingly familiar. Perhaps she was hallucinating. She hadn’t eaten for days. Her mind must be playing tricks on her.

‘Lizzie, it’s me. If you’re in there, open the damn door.’ There was a pause, and a further knock. ‘Please.’

In a daze, Lizzie walked slowly to the door. Nobody here called her Lizzie. She was Elizabeth Donavue. She hadn’t been Lizzie for years. In fact there was only one person who still called her by that name.

‘Nick, is that you?’ Her voice came out as a strangled whisper.

‘Thank God.’ She could hear the relief in Nick’s voice. ‘Come on, Lizzie. I’m the only one here. Open the blasted door.’

With trembling fingers, she fumbled with the locks. Three days ago she’d secured the door with every security device she had. Now it seemed to take an eternity to undo them all. She barely had time to register it really was Nick standing on her doorstep, before she was bundled into his arms and pushed back into her apartment. He kicked the door shut with his foot and then stood back to look at her.

‘What the hell is going on?’

She moved her mouth, but no words came. ‘I …’ Shaking from head to foot, she walked away from him. Oh God, she was going to cry. Again. It was all she seemed capable of. She’d only taken two steps when a strong arm reached for her waist and dragged her back, turning her round to face him before holding her firmly in his arms.

‘Shh, it’s okay. Everything is going to be okay. I’m here now.’ Gently he held her, smoothing his hand down her back, just as a parent would comfort a small child.

Lizzie was dimly aware of being lifted and carried to the sofa. Nick sat them both down, cradling her against him, murmuring words she couldn’t hear. Despite trying not to, she began to blubber like a baby, all over again. The more she clung to the familiar strength of him, the more she was helpless to do anything but let it all come out. In the end, that’s what she did, crying until the tears ran dry and her body stopped trembling.

‘I’ve made your shirt wet,’ she whispered, pulling away, totally embarrassed at her meltdown.

‘Excuse my language, but sod the bloody shirt.’ He narrowed his eyes and scrutinised her face. ‘Christ, you look terrible. What have they done to you?’

Want more Too Damn Nice as I know I want more. You can download it Here for a bargain price of 99p

If you are into your F1 then be sure to nab Before You which is now available in paperback Here

You can contact Kathryn here:

Website: http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1