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Jackie and the Bling Stock: A Free Fairy Tale

 

 

Tis the season for fairy tales and happy endings, the season for giving and good cheer. I tend to be a grinch where all
the commercialism this time of year is concerned, but I came across a story I’d written long before there was a K D Grace and found myself smiling to think that the power of fairy tales and the power of a good dead done and a kind gentle heart truly is timeless magic.

I wrote the story for fun. It’s not erotic or sexy. In fact it was written in my pre-erotic romance days. It’s light, it’s definitely airy fairy, and it’s just the kind of thing that seemed right for a season of love and good cheer. Enjoy!  And remember, it’s an oldie, written while I was still learning my craft, so consider me kindly as you read it.

 

Jackie and the Bling Stock: A Fairy Tale Revisited

            Once upon a time, a woman called Jackie got tired of having her boss feel her bum, so she slapped him, magically transforming him into her ex-boss.

As Jackie left Prince Charming Jewelry for the last time, an old woman beckoned her to a nearby cart. “You want bling? My bling’s blingier. Cheaper too. Best bling you ever seen.”

The woman was right. Her jewelry was exquisite, unique. Jackie held up a pair of earrings similar to expensive ones in Prince Charming’s, but prettier, and only a few pounds – one last splurge before destitution, she thought, holding out a fiver.

“You work there? The woman pointed to the Jewelry store.

“Not any more. Mr. Prince fired me.”

“Disgusting man,” the old woman spat. “You work hard, he gets the dosh. You were the brains in that shop.”

“How do you know that?” Jackie asked.

“I got eyes. You got money?”

“Two hundred pounds. Why?” It was the money from her final paycheck.

“For that I’ll sell you my cart, complete with its magic bling stock. You could use some magic, no?”

It made no sense. Jackie didn’t believe in magic, and still she bought the cart.

The old woman said, “You treat people good, the cart treats you good. Them’s the rules of the bling stock.” Then she was gone.

Jackie shivered. Had the woman cast a spell on her?

Next morning, dawned cold and rainy. Jackie gave her umbrella and a bracelet to a girl in a tattered jumper. She gave a child some purple beads and an old man some earrings for his ailing wife. All day people came to Jackie’s cart, strangely avoiding Prince Charming’s. Unfortunately her generosity meant her cash box wasn’t overflowing. But when she inventoried her bling in the evening she found it mysteriously replenished. She went to sleep with no dinner and dreamed of ruby slippers and fairy godmothers.

All the following day people queued at Jackie’s cart. If they had no money, she gave them bling anyway. She couldn’t help herself. The harder she tried to be entrepreneurial, the more she gave away. Some magic cart!

“I’m in trouble.” A handsome man in an expensive suit leaned over the cart smiling sheepishly.

“Today’s Mum’s birthday party. I had my eye on a necklace at Prince Charming’s, but traffic was bad. Shop’s closed.”

Jackie showed him a silver locket set with amethysts.

“Exquisite! I’ll take it, with matching earrings.” As he paid, he lifted her hand to his lips. “Rescued by the fair maiden.”

The next day almost every woman in queue wanted a locket and earrings like the man had bought. A lady thrust the newspaper at Jackie. “It’s what Lady Valentine wears. It’s all the rage. A gift from her son Thomas.” the woman swooned. “Most eligible bachelor in London.”

Jackie stared down at the photo of her handsome customer with his smiling mother, resplendent in bling from her cart.

A week later the newspapers announced the engagement of Vanessa Valentine, Thomas’s sister. Everyone speculated on who would design the wedding gown and where the honeymoon would be, but the bride’s jewelry, no doubt, would come from Prince Charming’s.

Jackie was taking a tea break, when the Valentines arrived unexpectedly — mother, sister, and Thomas all smiling at her.

Thomas took her hand. “Mum wanted to see what lovely bling you have.” Jackie blushed. It wasn’t her bling Thomas was looking at.

She offered them tea from her flask and the last of her Jaffa Cakes. As the Valentines oohed and ahhed over Jackie’s jewelry, Mr. Prince trotted across the street in a jealous panic. “I’ve been waiting for you,” he simpered. “Surely you wouldn’t buy cheap trinkets for the wedding.”

“Don’t judge a rock by its price tag.” Thomas said.

“Indeed,” Lady Valentine spoke around a Jaffa Cake.

The man bristled. “Surely, Madam, you wouldn’t buy jewelry from this… chav.”

“It’s your fault, Mr. Prince. If your store kept decent hours for shopping, we’d have never discovered Jackie.”

“I’ll make you a wager, Mr. Prince,” Thomas said. “Choose your best wedding jewelry, and let Jackie choose hers. If Vanessa picks your jewelry, we’ll finance that second shop you want. But if she chooses Jackie’s, then you sign over Prince Charming’s to me.

“Done!” Prince glowered. “Have your lawyers draw up the documents.”

Soon everyone was talking about the big bling-down. And Alvin Prince was determined to win. He already had plans for that second shop. So the night before, very late, when only thieves and cockroaches prowl, he sneaked to Jackie’s cart with matches and the lighter fluid from his bar-B-Q. He’d lose no more customers to this cheeky mare.

Next morning, Jackie found only ashes where her magical cart had been. She fell to her knees and wept. All her work had been for nothing. But where her tears fell something glistened through the soot. With trembling fingers, she uncovered the loveliest necklace she’d ever seen, then earrings, bracelets, brooches. She scooped them up and hurried off to Valentine Hall.

Vanessa was trying on Prince’s extravagant diamonds when Jackie burst into the salon.

Thomas hurried to her side. “Where were you? I was worried.” He escorted her past a nervous Mr. Prince.

Dusting aside the last bits of ash, Jackie offered Vanessa simple pearls and garnets.

She put them on, studying her reflection in the mirror.

No one dared breathe.

Then Vanessa laughed. “Delightful!” she exclaimed.

Her ladies tried them on too.

“I feel as beautiful as a bride myself and as happy,” the maid of honor said.

All the ladies agreed.

A grumbling Alvin Prince signed over his shop to Thomas, who handed the deed to Jackie. “Prince Charming belongs to you now. You’ve earned it.”

All the Valentine’s applauded.

“You’re coming to the wedding, of course,” Vanessa said.

“She has to.” Thomas folded her arm over his. “She’s far too kind to leave the bride’s brother unescorted.”

As for Mr. Prince, well CCTV had captured his whole pyromaniac act for posterity. It gave several of his other female employees the courage to come forward to the police about his abusive behavior, and he was given a nice rent-free room in the local prison.

As for Jackie and Thomas Valentine, well I’m not a gossip columnist, but I will say that Jackie did catch the bouquet.

 

Forsaking Hope by Beverley Oakley: Tour and Giveaway

 

Forsaking Hope

Fair Cyprians of London

By Beverley Oakley

 

Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

 

Forsaking Hope Blurb:

 

Two years ago, she missed their secret assignation and disappeared without a trace. Now the divine “Miss Hope” is in Felix Durham’s bed – a ‘surprise cheering-up gift’ sourced by his friends from London’s most exclusive brothel. Felix is in heaven – and he wants to stay there.

So does Hope, but she can’t.

Hope Merriweather lives by a code of honour – even if she’s a prostitute.

Having sold her soul, she’s prepared to sacrifice everything else to protect what she believes in.

Even if honour – in her eyes – comes at the cost of thieving and breaking hearts. Including her own.

 

Available for preorder here:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

 

 

Excerpt:

Chapter One

 

Wilfred Hunt.

If there was a name to tip Hope into the abyss of despair she was hearing it spill from Madame Chambon’s lips now as the older woman directed Hope to take a seat in the reception room, presumably so Madame could loom oppressively over her.

With her hands on her ample, expensively padded hips, Hope’s benefactress—procuress, employer and gaoler were other monikers—sent Hope a beetling look that needed no interpreting: Regardless of Hope’s true feelings, Hope must project the required show of warmth and delight at being the chosen one.

Madame patted the side of her faux curls. Years of hot irons had reduced her hair to the texture of wool but her crowning glory these days was supplemented by the lustrous locks of those girls who dared cross her – before they were thrown back into the street from where most had come.

Nevertheless, Hope had to make her resistance clear. Surely Madame who knew her history would understand her loathing for this man, above all others. “I shan’t do it,” she whispered. There was little evidence of the willful child and wild adolescent who’d been the despair of her family. “I won’t—”

Outside, the noise of the traffic rumbling over the cobbles and the shrill calls of competing vendors settled upon the tense silence. Madame Chambon’s other girls, ranged around the sumptuously appointed room on red velvet upholstered banquettes, watched the exchange with prurient fascination. Hope knew it had been a calculated ploy of Madame’s to conduct her interview in public so that Hope would serve as an example to them.

No one crossed Madame Chambon.

The shrill cry of a fishmonger caused Madame to look pointedly out of the window. With something between a smile and a sneer, she smoothed a Marcel wave. “Is that where you plan to return, Hope? The gutter?” Her nose twitched and in the sunlight that filtered into the room, the grooves chiselled between mouth and chin were thrown into harsh relief, highlighted rather than hidden by the thick powder she used to conceal her age.

Madame Chambon’s comfort, now and into retirement, depended on obedient girls. Hope knew that as well as anyone. She’d had to bury her rebellious streak just to ensure food in her belly.

The Frenchwoman raised a chiselled brow and began to pace slowly in front of her girls. A painter with an eye for beauty would have been ecstatic at capturing such a spectacle on canvas. The discerning young man about town who visited 56 Albemarle Street was frequently rendered ecstatic by the range of delights Madame Chambon’s girls offered in addition to the visual.

“You forget yourself, Hope. I put a roof over your head and deck you out as handsomely as Mr Charles Worth ever did for his most discerning customer.” There was acid in Madame Chambon’s tone. “But for me, you’d be starving and glad of the pennies you could trade for a grubby stand-up encounter in a dark alley.” Madame Chambon thrust out her bosom and breathed through her nose, her response a calculated warning to the other girls arranged in various languid poses about the ornately decorated reception room that intransigence would not be tolerated.

“Mr Hunt has requested you.” She paused and when Hope remained silent, though her stance and expression left no one in any doubt as to her horror regarding this enforced assignation, went on. “Remember what I told you—what I tell all my girls when they first come here? The past must be forgotten the moment you step over my threshold. You are reborn, remodelled, refashioned into the most exquisite delectation of womanhood. A marquess, a prince, is well recompensed for the tidy sum he hands over in order to enjoy your sparkling wit, to converse with you in French, or if he chooses, on philosophy…to enjoy your charms…and,” she added significantly, “your gracious hospitality and tender ministrations to his needs. That is our agreement and you are no different. If Mr Hunt wishes you, Hope, to attend him at his residence then you will go.”

Faith, one of the kinder girls, patted Hope’s arm in silent solidarity. Hope didn’t expect any of them to speak up in her defence. Not when they all relied on Madame Chambon as much as she did to provide them with the necessities of life. Anything more than that was part of a strict contract that indentured a girl for life unless she was able to secure a generous benefactor to settle Madame’s severance bill. The fine clothes were part of the charade, necessary to entice a more elite clientele. Hope’s exquisite wardrobe did not belong to her though she’d have forsaken all the dupion silk and Spitalfields lace for the freedom of the gutter and to be mistress of her own destiny – and her body – if she could only be sure of a plate of gravy and potatoes every second day.

Closing her eyes, she hung her head, the carefully coiffed curls that fell forwards brushing against her tear-streaked cheeks. It was as well that they not be in evidence. Tears, weakness, vulnerability were like a red rag to a bull where Madame Chambon was concerned.

“How long…do I have to prepare myself?” She was not so stupid she couldn’t admit defeat when there was no alternative. Obduracy was beaten out of one, but tears ensured a girl got the very worst next assignment. Their clients weren’t all marquesses and princes, though they did require a very fat pocket book.

“Tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow.” Hope repeated it in a leaden tone, and stared at her hands, clasped in her lap; white-knuckled. As white as the rabbit-fur that edged her fashionable black-and-white striped satin cuirass. Hope had the tall, slim figure suited to the scandalously tight tie-back skirts that were all the rage, the back flowing into a train adorned with elaborate swags and trimmed with bows. She’d turned heads the length of Oxford Street as she’d promenaded along the pavement following a walk through Hyde Park earlier that afternoon. In fact, for the first time in two years, she’d almost felt happy as she’d pretended a sense of freedom in the afternoon sun, blocking her mind to the prison to which she was returning.

She drew in her breath and forced herself to be brave, knowing the punishment she’d invite for daring to speak her mind. “Please tell Mr Hunt I will see him again under sufferance.”

Madame Chambon’s voice was surprisingly caramel. “Well then, now that you have made your objection clear, Hope, you will be pleased to hear that Mr Hunt’s desires are not only motivated by fond memories of your no-doubt mutually satisfying congress. I believe he wishes to acquaint you with news of your family.”

Hope hid her shock. “I have no family.” With care, she modified her tone so it was as leaden as before though emotion roiled close to the surface.

“Not even a sister?”

Hope raised her chin. Here was the chink and Madame knew it. The woman did her research.

Aware that the other girls who surrounded her were tense with anticipation, Hope struggled not to respond. Camaraderie existed at surface level but one never knew when it might profit one to have the dirt on a fellow prostitute. It was, clearly, another reason Madame Chambon had chosen to make this conversation public.

“Mr Hunt will see you at nine tomorrow evening,” said the so-called Frenchwoman who, it was whispered, was from the gutters of Lambeth, not Paris. “At his apartments in Duke Street. Now go and prepare yourself for Lord Farrow. Married to a monolith like the venerable Lady Farrow, he likes his girls vivacious and free-spirited. There’ll be less coin in your pocket if you sully the transaction with that long face, Hope.”

 

 

About Beverley:

 

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.

Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.

Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.

Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.

 

You can get in contact with Beverley at:

 

Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Sultry Nights Romance Collection Blog Tour and Giveaway

 

 

Sultry Nights

A Limited Edition Romance Collection

Containing Stories from: Nicole Morgan, Jocelyn Dex, Alison Foster,

Kate Richards, Linda O’Connor, Samantha Holt, Jerrie Alexander,

Whitley Cox, Krista Ames, Ursula Sinclair, Measha Stone, Tuesday Embers,

Siera London, Rachel Shane, Bonnie Phelps, Misha Elliott,

Alyson Reynolds, Jenna Bayley-Burke, Madison Michael,

Pepper Goodrich, Marcia James, Destiny Blaine

 

 

 

The authors are giving away lots of goodies with this tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Don’t forget you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

 

 

 

 

 

Sultry Nights Blurb:

Love, passion, romance and desire… No matter what your preference, this set of 22 hot and sexy reads has just what you need. From surprise love affairs to bad boys that we can’t help but fall for, and couples that were meant to be, this compilation from Romance Collections is sure to please your every single need.

 

 

 

 

 

Sultry Nights Buy Links:

Amazon

 

Featuring:

Love Unleashed, novella

By Marcia James

 

 

Love Unleashed BLURB:

 

His best laid plans…

 

DJ “Rabid Ron” Hart has a grand scheme to win back the woman he loves. It involves an animal adoption fair, a goofy hairless dog named Charlie and an offer she can’t refuse.

 

Her hidden desires…

 

Cara Wilson has fantasies she’s never admitted, and her ex-boyfriend still features in her erotic dreams. If only he didn’t keep his bad-boy urges so tightly leashed.

 

Tonight they’ll learn that winning sometimes takes losing control.

 

 

 

 

Love Unleashed Excerpt:

Cara knew this wasn’t fair to Ron. Even if he hated her afterward, he had a right to know why she’d left him. “We got
along great everywhere but in the bedroom. You’re just too…nice for me.”

“What the–? Too nice!” He gritted his teeth. “I was so careful with you–”

“Did I ask you to be careful?” Dammit, she wasn’t a bad person. Men didn’t apologize for liking kinky sex. Why should she? “You treated me like a porcelain doll, like I’d break if you looked at me cross-eyed.”

He leaned closer, his arms folded over his muscular chest. “I’m over a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier than you. Was I supposed to body slam you to the floor and screw you senseless?”

“Yes!” God, it would have been wonderful if he’d been more sexually aggressive. “I loved you, Ron, but I can’t commit to a man whose lovemaking is so…”

“What? Boring?” He was being sarcastic, but his mouth dropped open as something in her eyes must have confirmed his comment. “This is crazy. I put you first every time. You want a selfish bastard who just cares about his own needs?”

He was crowding her personal space, and Cara’s anger spiked. “You can be generous in bed and still open to new things. Selfish and daring aren’t synonymous.”

“So, Cara, you want spice or kink?” His lips twisted. “Should I get a copy of the Kama Sutra?”

“I’m not ashamed of my desires.” She was tired of men scorning her for having a strong sex drive. “You’re the one who’s repressed. Ron Hart, Mr. Perfect Gentleman. Why keep such a tight leash on yourself? I’m not going to faint if you give into your urges.”

His pupils dilated and his jaw clenched, but she wasn’t afraid. Ron would never hurt her, but he might finally let his inner-caveman out. And if he threw off his good-boy manners and didn’t despise her for her fantasies, there might be a chance for them after all.

Ron’s gaze dropped to her mouth. His voice deep and sensual, he asked, “You want me to give in to my urges, Cara?”

Yes. God, yes. She’d had fantasies like this since she’d met him–Ron taking what he wanted from her, giving in to his wild side. Licking her lips in anticipation, she nodded.

 

 

 

About Marcia James:

 

Marcia James finaled in eleven Romance Writers of America contests before selling her first contemporary romance. Her releases include Sex & the Single Therapist (the first in a comic romantic mystery series) and the “Klein’s K-9s Service Dogs” contemporary romance series. A national and international ebook bestseller, she writes hot, humorous romances featuring heroines you can root for, heroes to die for, and funny dogs.

 

In her eclectic career, Marcia has shot submarine training videos, organized celebrity-filled nonprofit events, and had her wedding covered by People Magazine. After years of dealing with such sexy topics as how to safely install traffic lights, she is enjoying “researching” and plotting her novels’ steamy love scenes with her husband and hero of many years.

 

 

Find Marcia Here:

 

Website: www.MarciaJames.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Marcia_James

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/marciajames/

Amazon Author Central page: www.amazon.com/author/marciajames

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

Out Now—United in Love, a Charity Anthology Edited by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #charity #anthology #britishredcross

United in LoveBlurb:

The world could use a lot more love, which is why being united in love is the theme of this short story collection. Each of the characters are dealing with horrific and heartbreaking situations—loss, grief, war, divorce, dementia, disputes over land and more, but what they all have in common is that, with the help of love, of unity, they come through. It may not be all happily-ever-after—since life just doesn’t work that way—but positivity and solidarity shine through in each of the tales and will warm your heart.

So enjoy these stories of unexpected companionship, old lovers reuniting, second chances and creative problem-solving, with the knowledge that the proceeds from your purchase will also have a deeply positive effect—with every penny going to the British Red Cross’s UK Solidarity Fund.

Featuring stories from Gina Wynn, Lily Harlem, Rebecca Chase, Rosie Jamieson, Skye MacKinnon, M H Heyer, Alyssa Drake, Arizona Tape and Lucy Felthouse.

Available from:

Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/unitedinlove

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2wq8dqe

iBooks: http://apple.co/2hdoqEP

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

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2hbrLrN

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36240214-united-in-love

*****

Excerpt from What’s Past is Present by Gina Wynn

Connie always believed she’d know it was summer when the rain got warmer. And that meant summer was today.

She ran along the pavement, trying to dodge the drops as they fell in big splats on her bare arms like sloppy kisses, hunching as she attempted to shield the package of fish and chips she carried. The aroma of the hot food and warm paper tickled her nose, and she could almost taste the contents. Declan would be lucky if she arrived back with anything more than soggy, empty wrappings at this rate.

Picking up her pace as the smell of rain-splashed tarmac filled the air, she hurried the rest of the way back to the house. His house. She shook her head. It would take a while to see the house as anything but Mr Pearce’s place—an adjustment it felt like she’d only just made. Now, it was Dec’s. Just Dec’s. In her head, it’d only just stopped being his place where he lived with his dad. Glancing at the windows in hopes of glimpsing him inside as she walked past had been a habit for a very long time.

When her doorbell had rung the previous night, she hadn’t expected to find a very crumpled, travel-weary Dec in the dingy entryway to her bedsit. In fact, he was probably the last person she hoped to ever find gracing the stoop of what she not-quite-laughingly referred to as her hovel.

She’d barely had chance to move, or slam the door in his definitely unwelcome face, before he wrapped his arms around her, folding her into a perfect bear hug of long-ago familiarity. Caught off-guard and unprepared to see him, she rested her cheek against the soft brushed cotton of his shirt, listening to his heartbeat, as his fingers splayed over her cheek, and she pretended not to notice the rough gasps of air he drew or the silent tears landing in her hair. Her chest hollowed, her heart breaking both for him and over him anew, and a lone teardrop of her own slid noiselessly down her nose.

Of course, she’d promised to help him today because she could never deny him anything, even though she’d spent the past five years regretting him. Getting over him. The bastard. She’d never stopped loving him.

Five years had crept by in a lazy blink of his beautiful brown eyes. And now, in the place where she’d spent so many of her stolen days and illicit nights, she could almost imagine the clocks had rolled back and he’d never left. She’d certainly wished for it enough times.

Short of pressing the doorbell with her nose she had no way to attract his attention, so she pushed on the door handle with her elbow and shouldered her way through the unlocked door into the narrow hall. The same worn carpet, lending a musty smell to the house these days, ran straight ahead to the kitchen and up the stairs. She walked towards the kitchen, ignoring the grime of a house where the owner hadn’t cared as much for the fabric of the building over the years as he did the family members within it. Framed portraits and holiday snapshots of Dec and his dad lined the walls, but she brushed past each of them. She could describe the position and content of each—perhaps accurately pinpoint the date of a few if she appeared on Mastermind with ‘The early life of Declan Pearce’ as her specialist subject.

But as she turned to push through the door into the next room, she caught sight of some new pictures and swallowed down a mixture of envy and bitterness at the juxtaposition of Declan’s life before and after—the part where he’d moved on without her. Even after Dec left, his dad must have continued to hang pictures of him because there he was, framed with as much care as anything that gone before.

Dec in an office of black leather and gleaming chrome—a vista of New York spread like a map through the huge picture window behind him; Dec beside an aeroplane bearing his name—sunglasses on, wide grin in place, and a suit that must have been expensive but one he wore without effort and made it look good.

Dec behind a podium.

Dec in an apartment so swish she’d have believed someone had Photoshopped him into it if she didn’t know better.

Dec… Dec… Dec. Just him.

Her gaze skimmed the remainder of the newest frames, and her thoughts stalled. She leant closer. No. They weren’t photographs. They were pictures that had been cut with great care from glossy magazines and newspaper articles, as if someone was reduced to simply scrapbooking a loved one’s life rather than being part of it.

Regret flashed through her. It didn’t show the future—the life together— she and Dec had planned in all those late nights that somehow turned into seeing the dawn. If she was honest, it didn’t show any sort of life she’d ever imagined for anyone she knew, let alone someone she loved. And especially not for Dec. She’d always believed they were the same type of person. But maybe not now she could see his life through someone else’s eyes.

She shrugged, trying to throw off her sudden melancholy. The fish and chips wouldn’t eat themselves.

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Out Now—Fast Lust by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #badboy #biker #sexy #romance

Blurb:

When a straitlaced journalist and a fearless motorcycle racer are thrown into an interview together, will they find any common ground? Or are they destined to clash?

Gloria Heath loves her job as a lifestyle journalist. She also loves the perks—free meals, complimentary spa treatments, behind-the-scenes access and more. So when her boss sends her on an assignment to the British Superbikes tournament at Donington Park, she’s less than impressed. Sports are definitely not her thing, and her brief is to find a rider with an interesting back story and write about their journey. But how is she supposed to do that when she really doesn’t care one way or the other?

When she experiences the atmosphere and the racing, however, she starts to see the attraction. Soon after, she finds the perfect case study for her article. Rafe Donovan is fearless, ambitious, and the underdog of the tournament. He’s also drop dead gorgeous. She eagerly sets out to interview him, but soon discovers the bad boy biker is a tough nut to crack. The more she asks questions, the more he shuts down. Throw some chemistry into the mix and things go from bad to worse. Can she get the material she needs, or is her first foray into sports writing doomed to fail?

Note: Fast Lust was previously published in the British Bad Boys Boxed Set.

Buy links:

Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/fastlust

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2x4spOs

iBooks: http://apple.co/2vYu96M

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

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2wA3NKh

*****

Excerpt:

Gloria Heath gaped at her boss, Graeme, unsure if she’d heard him correctly. No, no, she couldn’t have heard him correctly, because she thought he’d said he wanted her to go and cover the first round of the British Superbikes at Donington Park. She shook her head and chuckled. He must have said The Great British Bake Off. That sounded similar, didn’t it?

Graeme frowned. “Something funny, Gloria?”

She snapped her focus back to her editor and smiled. “Sorry. I must be going deaf, or mad, because I thought you said you wanted me to cover some motorbike race.”

His expression was stony. “I did,” he replied coolly. “Do you have a problem with that?”

Blinking, she opened her mouth, then closed it again. Narrowing her eyes, she said, “But I’m a lifestyle reporter. I cover—”

“I’m well aware of what you cover, Gloria. I’ve been your boss for three years—don’t you think I’m familiar with what you write by now?” He sighed. “I know it’s not your usual thing, and is way out of your comfort zone, but don’t you think a change would be nice? A bit of a challenge for you?”

Gulping, she replied, “A ch-challenge? Graeme… did I do something wrong?”

He rolled his eyes. “It’s an article, Gloria, not a bloody punishment. No, you didn’t do anything wrong. Your work is exemplary—always has been, and I’m sure it always will be. But I have one of the sports writers off sick, with no one else available to take his place, and not covering the first round of the British Superbikes is tantamount to blasphemy for our motorsport readers.”

A feeling of dread settled in her stomach, making her nauseous. “Do I… have a choice?”

Graeme raised his eyebrows. “I’m an editor, not a dictator. But come on, Gloria, do me a favour here. Like I said, there’s no one else to take his place—you’re the only one with time in your schedule. If I’m not mistaken, the stuff you’re currently working on isn’t time-sensitive. Sunday’s race, however, is.” He leaned forward and put his elbows on the desk, then flashed her a smile. “We’ll even put you up in a nice hotel, right near to the track. One little article, Gloria. You’ll be saving my life. Please.”

Gloria knew when she was beaten. Graeme wouldn’t force her, she knew that, but it was clearly very important to him. And he’d never asked her to do something like this before—he was generally very laid back, and let her get on with writing pretty much whatever she wanted to. So one article out of her comfort zone—albeit way out of her comfort zone—was the least she could do. “All right,” she said resignedly. “I’ll do it, for you. But you have to give me a full briefing on what exactly you’re looking for. The last thing I want is to end up writing something where I’ve taken completely the wrong angle.

“And,” she added, “where the hell is Donington Park, anyway?”

Graeme’s expression turned despairing. “In the Midlands, Gloria. Near Derby and Nottingham. North of Watford Gap.”

“Bloody hell, that’s miles away! Have I got to drive? I’ll need a pool car.”

“Drive, get the train, hell, you can even fly. The circuit’s next door to a bloody airport. I don’t care, as long as you go, all right?”

She folded her arms. “The train will be fine. Though a first class ticket wouldn’t go amiss.”

Graeme rolled his eyes. “Done.”

“And about the briefing…”

“Of course! I wouldn’t send you in there unprepared. Right, you go and carry on with whatever you were doing while I get all the arrangements sorted. Come and see me when you get here tomorrow morning, and we’ll go through everything you need to know.” She nodded and stood up, then turned to leave. “Oh, and Gloria?” She turned back. “Thank you. I really do appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome, boss. Just don’t make a habit of it, all right?” She winked to show she was joking.

Grinning, he waved a hand at her. “Go on, get out. I’ll see you in the morning.”

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves and Hiding in Plain Sight. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 160 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter and get a free eBook: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

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