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In Training is FREE!

No! I don’t mean that you can get training for free, though I suppose you could if you looked hard enough or if you did it yourself. What I mean is that my novella, In Training is FREE all through the month of June. All you have to do is follow this link and you’ll find way more than just In Training. In fact you’ll find all kinds of wonderful, spicy summer reads for FREE!

What happens when a girl meets her destiny and her doom in one gloriously hard-bodied, hot package in a pub the night before her life becomes a sweaty, muscle aching, joint straining, cardio pounding living hell? You can find out for free!

 

In Training Blurb:

Getting fit on reality TV is PR guru, Lauren Michaels’, brainchild for gym equipment and fitness company Physicality,
Inc. The brilliant PR stunt involves one brave volunteer who wants to be fit badly enough to submit to the not so tender training techniques of personal trainer, Wolf Jennings, whose successful, but non-conventional, methods would make a drill sergeant look like a fluff ball. But when CEO and owner of Physicality, Inc., Claire Amos, decides her PR ace in the hole needs to walk the walk, Lauren finds herself between a kettle bell and a hard place… er, a hard trainer. That’s nightmare enough, but for six weeks, 24/7, the explosive chemistry between the two will be sweated out live on camera for the whole world to see. What could possibly go wrong?

 

 

Chance Encounter: In Training Excerpt:

Lauren had nearly finished her second pint, when a man plopped down on the stool next to her. “‘Zat Sneck Lifter?” he asked.

She raised her glass and offered a nod.

“Ah, a woman with good taste.” He motioned for the bartender and pointed at her pint. “You don’t see many women tossing back real ale these days.”

He looked like he’d come straight from the financial district in London. It was a look not all that common in a Keswick pub, where walking gear and outdoor clothing were the Cumbrian uniform of choice. Dark hair and delicious bedroom stubble framed the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. The big city look lasted a whole two seconds before he shoved the jacket carelessly onto the stool next to him and jerked at the tie like it was a snake. That it had taken the strip tease for her to really appreciate that the man looked damn fine was a testament to how badly her day had sucked.

“Ah! That’s better,” he said with a northern accent that had local boy written all over it. “It’s like getting out of a straitjacket. Not that I’ve ever actually been in one,” he added, rolling his broad shoulders and cracking his neck from side to side.

When she offered only a jerk of a smile, he continued. “The best thing about a suit is taking it off.”

She couldn’t argue that point after seeing him in the act.

The bartender delivered his Sneck Lifter. He slapped down a tenner and raised his glass. “Here’s to new beginnings.”

“To new beginnings,” she replied, gulping back the last of her pint and ordering another.

Tall, dark and northern gave her the hard stare. “Spoken with the enthusiasm of someone going to their own execution.”

“Sometimes new beginnings aren’t what they’re cracked up to be,” Lauren replied.

The bartender delivered her drink and went back to stacking glasses on the shelf.

“Mind if I ask?” He didn’t wait for her reply. “Break up, divorce?”

She banged her glass down on the bar. “Why does it always have to be about relationships? Why is that the first question you ask a woman? Did it ever occur to you, it might be something else?”

He gave his dimpled chin a thoughtful stroke, not the least bit put off by her sharp answer. Moving closer, he leaned one elbow on the bar in such a way that she couldn’t help but notice the strain of hard muscles on well-cut cloth. “Work, then; you lost your job?”

“Since we seem to be playing twenty questions, no, I didn’t lose my fucking job.”

He clucked his tongue. “I would have thought for sure that was it, foul language and all. Did you have it out with your boss?”

She mirrored his posture and leaned into his solicitous smile, forcing a bitter one of her own. “Oh, I fucking had it out with the fucking boss all right, and it didn’t do a fucking bit of good. Any more questions?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact,” he said without losing a beat. “Where does a skinny-arsed chick like you put all that Sneck Lifter, and will I have to stuff you in a cab to send you home later?”

“I’m not skinny, and I can hold my alcohol just fine, thank you.” She raised her glass and chugged half of it.

He looked her up and down. “Well, you’re sure as hell not fat. Living on caffeine and fags doesn’t put much meat on a woman’s bones. I can handle that, I suppose, as long as you promise not to puke on my shoes later.”

She ground her teeth. “First off, I don’t smoke. Secondly, I don’t recall us discussing any later.”

The bastard still wasn’t bothered by her belligerent attitude. “Hmm. I would have thought for certain he’d fired you—your boss, I mean. You know, didn’t like having a hard-drinking, hard-talking woman tearing him a new one?”

“She.”

“What?”

“My boss is a she, and no she didn’t fire me. I’m her golden girl. She just has a sick sense of humour. That’s all.”

He raised an eyebrow and took a thoughtful sip of his beer. “Didn’t see that coming.” He leaned closer. “Wanna tell me about it?”

“Let’s just say I’m in way over my head, and I have no idea how to get out.”

“Your boss isn’t organised crime, is she? A mafia queen maybe?”

In spite of herself Lauren laughed at the thought of Claire Amos smoking a big cigar and talking with a sharp New York accent. “No, nothing so sinister as that.” She gave a little jerk of her shoulder. “Okay, well there is the offer I can’t refuse part.” Before he could respond she waved a negating hand. “I really don’t want to talk about it. I’ll figure something out. I always do. So you’re obviously here to celebrate. What’s your reason? Just closed the big deal for your company?”

He smiled down into the ale he’d barely touched. “I ammy company, but something like that, yes.” He turned his attention to the bartender and ordered two waters. “Buy you a drink,” he said, pushing one in front of her.

“Oh, how sweet. You shouldn’t have,” she said raising the glass in salute.

“Actually, the way you’re tossing ‘em back, I shouldhave—what with your body weight, even if your metabolism is pretty high, you’ll need it. And let me guess, you haven’t eaten anything since breakfast, if you even had that. Either way, I’d say you need to hydrate.”

“Thank you, Father,” she grumbled.

“You’ll thank me in the morning when you don’t feel quite so shitty.”

“So,” she glugged back the water and scooted closer, “you think I’m skinny?”

“No, not really. You’re just not very well muscled. You look a bit wimpy to me.”

“Well, don’t you just know how to make a girl feel sexy,” she said, returning her attention to her pint.

“What can I say, I’m hot for dirty-mouthed, ale-drinking women.”

This time her laugh was genuine. “I think you need to work on your pick-up lines.” She couldn’t help the blush that climbed her cheeks. For the first time in a long time, she found herself feeling almost pretty—even with her lack of muscle.

“I don’t know. It seems to be working pretty well so far.” He reached out and curled a tendril of red hair that had escaped her day-old chignon around his finger. “I figure if you don’t hit me or knee me in the balls, and if I halfway behave myself, I might just get to celebrate with someone interesting and pretty too.”

She groaned. “Fine. I’ll celebrate with you—celebrate my last day of freedom.”

He quirked an eyebrow. “So that’s it then, you’re a convicted criminal off to prison after one last pint?”

She sipped her beer. “Might as well be.”

“I could bring you a cake with a file in it.” He suggested. “Though I don’t really bake.”

“Trust me,” she patted his hand, “I’ll probably be appreciating the cake a lot more than the file before long. And I don’t care if you bake it or buy it at Sainsbury’s.”

“Sounds harsh,” he said, then he added, “Look, I’m gonna be pretty tied up with work for the next few weeks, but I could show you around a bit if you’d like, you know, make your last night of freedom memorable. Beautiful place, the Lakes.”

She leaned in close. “How well do you know the area?”

“Well enough. I was born and raised in Keswick.”

“I’m all yours, then,” she said, downing the last of her pint. “Show me.” She all but fell off her stool and right into his arms.

“Thought you could handle your alcohol,” he said with a chuckle.

“Oh, I can handle that just fine,” she replied, feeling suddenly brazen and bold. “I caught my heel in the strap of my bag. That’s all. Lucky you were here to catch me.”

“Lucky, indeed,” he all but purred.

The lip lock was not planned, but the feel of a hard male body, one that was actually interested in her, was just what she needed after the crap day she’d had. The knowledge it was going to get way worse before it got better emboldened her. She leaned in close to steal a kiss. She decided she really liked being a thief and stole another one. She decided she liked being a thief even better when those kisses were returned with enthusiasm and a stealthy flick of the tongue. He drew her up close to muscle and sinew and strength in all the right places and all the right proportions. She found herself practically on the man’s lap—definitely close enough to be certain he was enjoying the clinch as much as she was.

“Get a room, you two,” the bartender said with a quirk of a smile from under bushy raised eyebrows.

“Might just do,” big and brawny said without actually pulling his mouth away from Lauren’s.

“Might just do,” she repeated, her words distorted because her tongue had better things to do than ensure good pronunciation.

She hefted her bag, and he grabbed up his jacket and tie, throwing the jacket over her shoulders and looping the tie around her neck. Tugging the two ends playfully, he led her past the billiards table, and down a narrow hallway that passed the ladies’ room. Then he made a sharp left out past the open kitchen door into a small, but fairly private garden in the back.

“Don’t think we’ll make it to a room,” he said as they exited the pub and he tugged her into the garden up close to a
blooming lilac.

“Don’t think I care,” she replied.

“Maybe for round two,” he said as he backed her against the rough brick and picked up the mouth-to-mouth where they’d left off.

“Don’t know what’s the matter with me,” she managed between nips and licks and tugs and pulls. “I don’t do this sort of thing.”

“Neither do I.” His kisses migrated to her neck. He slid a hand up her thigh and beneath her skirt. “Celebrating new beginnings, I guess.”

“Must be that,” she agreed. One of the kitchen staff came through the door for a ciggy break, stopped short, gave them the once-over and went back inside. She barely noticed. She was far too occupied with hard muscles and an expressive mouth up close and personal. He cupped and stroked and explored, finding the fastest routes to bare skin and sensitive places. She returned the favour, hiking her skirt enough to hook one leg around his hip. He cupped her bum and lifted her off the ground with her offering an undignified little yelp. And there they were, panties creating friction against bespoke trousers that barely contained his desire, both of them shifting and rubbing and pressing for all they were worth.

It was her efforts to reach the condom in the side pocket of her bag that ruined the mood. The bag slid off her shoulder and ended upside down on the cobbles, the contents skittering in all directions. They both dropped to their knees laughing and gasping and scrabbling to pick up her things. He gave her a hard nip high on the thigh just as she reached for the condom beneath the picnic table. It was then that his phone fell out of his jacket that she had miraculously managed to keep around her shoulders. At the moment he grabbed for it, a text pinged. He started to shove it into his shirt pocket and then did a double take. He froze there on his hands and knees, the colour leeching from his face as he looked from his phone to her and back again.

“You’re Lauren Michaels?”

“In the flesh.”

“Your boss is Claire Amos?” His voice cracked, and he looked at her as though she’d suddenly sprouted horns.

“That’s right, why? Do you know Claire?”

He scrambled to his feet, offering her his hand. “You’re right.” The muscles around his chiseled cheekbones twitched. “She does have a sick sense of humour.” He stood for a second looking her over like he was seeing her for the first time. Then he jammed the phone in the pocket of his trousers. “I gotta go.”

Just like that he turned and fled, leaving her with his coat and tie and one more reason why this had been a totally crap day.

 

In Training — Not Me, the Novella

Does anyone else love a good training story as much as I do? Earlier this week, I shared another one of my pole posts with you lovely lot. While being the main character in my own ‘in training’ story, I love to read other people’s stories of being in training even more,  and … oh yes, in case you didn’t know, I also love writing fictional in training stories. While my pole tale has unfolded mostly off the written page with me offering only little glimpses of it to you now and again, can you imagine how it would be to be put through the hard paces of a really tough training programme on reality TV? Oh, I can! And that’s exactly what In Training is all about. Here’s a little excerpt I thought I’d share with you today, since I’m in training mode. Enjoy.

 

In Training Blurb:

Getting fit on reality TV is PR guru, Lauren Michaels’, brainchild for gym equipment and fitness company Physicality, Inc. The brilliant PR stunt involves one brave volunteer who wants to be fit badly enough to submit to the not so tender training techniques of personal trainer, Wolf Jennings, whose successful, but non-conventional, methods would make a drill sergeant look like a fluff ball. But when CEO and owner of Physicality, Inc., Claire Amos, decides her PR ace in the hole needs to walk the walk, Lauren finds herself between a kettle bell and a hard place… er, a hard trainer. That’s nightmare enough, but for six weeks, 24/7, the explosive chemistry between the two will be sweated out live on camera for the whole world to see. What could possibly go wrong?

 

In Training Excerpt in which Bets are Placed:

“On your knees, Michaels! Do it on your knees. You can’t do a full press-up until we strengthen those spaghetti arms. Do it like this.” He demonstrated the modified press-up. “Now I want you to do as many as you can in thirty seconds.” While thirty seconds lasted forever, as many press-ups as Lauren could do didn’t take long at all before she fell to the mat with her arms trembling. “Damn it, Michaels, you gotta be willing to push yourself. I can’t do it for you.” He reset his timer. “Do it again.”

 

***

 

“Well, this isn’t an auspicious beginning, Misty,” Del Allen said as they observed the training session going on in the gym below. “As much as I admire Claire Amos for believing her people should walk the walk, it’s clear to me that Lauren Michaels’ heart just isn’t in it. One has to wonder why the waste of time, energy and money for someone who doesn’t want to be here when there are so many who really do. I’ve said it before, I hope Physicality has a back-up plan because I’m betting Lauren Michaels won’t make it to the end of the week.”

“The real question, Del, is not whether Wolf Jennings can ‘get someone there,’ but whether he can motivate someone to wanthim to. Certainly this is a world away from what Lauren is used to, and apparently she didn’t know she’d be participating until twenty-four hours before.”

 

***

 

It was near the end of the fourth day when Lauren finally broke. “I can’t do any more,” she gasped after what seemed like miles of lunge walking back and forth across the gym with a dumb bell in each hand—dumb bells that got heavier with each step. “I need the hot tub. When do I get to use the hot tub?”

“When you’ve earned it,” Jennings growled. “Now do it again.”

“I hate you,” she forced the words out, no longer caring if the ever-present cameras picked up her remark or not. She reckoned that would be one more reason for the ‘sack Lauren and hire me’ faction to tweet nasty things about her. It’s not as if she wouldn’t trade places with them in a heartbeat.

“I’m not here for you to like,” came the reply. “Keep your back straight, shoulders back. Head up!”

She was halfway across the gym when one of the dumb bells slipped from her sweaty fingers, hit the floor with a loud crash, and she tripped over it, going into a belly flop in the middle of the gym.

“Get up. Keep going,” Wolf yelled, jogging effortlessly to her side. “Don’t be a wimp, Michaels. Finish it. I don’t train babies. Stop whining and keep going.”

“I hate you.” This time she all but yelled it as she hefted the sweaty dumb bell and forced her way forward a couple more steps before she dropped the weight again—this time on her foot. It was only a glancing blow. She jerked away just in time, but it was enough. It was fucking enough! She dropped the other weight next to its fallen compadre and stormed back across the gym.

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” he said. “You’re not done yet.”

“Oh, yes I am.” She grabbed up her sports drink and her towel.

“What? Are you a quitter, Michaels?” Jennings stepped in front of her, effectively blocking her way. “Is that it?”

“What I am is sick of you yelling at me, sick of you treating me like a subhuman.” She hadn’t planned it, but when he didn’t move, it just happened. A quick twist of the lid on her sports drink and she let it fly. Her aim was true, hitting Jennings in the face with a shower of bright orange Lucozade. Then she stomped off toward her room. She hadn’t expected him to follow her, but then there were a lot of things she hadn’t expected about the man she’d met at the pub less than a week ago.

Legs still screaming from the workout, she took the stairs two at a time with him gaining on her fast. At the top, he called after her, “They’re taking bets on how soon you’ll quit. Did you know that, Michaels?”

She stopped dead in her tracks, as though she were suddenly frozen to the spot. For a second she squeezed her eyes shut, fighting back tears. Then she took a deep breath, squared her shoulders and headed back toward the stairs, stopping in front of him to meet his cold glare. “Then they’ll lose.”

Fucking hell! Did she just say that? Surely she didn’t mean it. She would do almost anything to get out of this chamber of horrors, and yet here she was marching back downstairs, picking up the goddamned dumb bells, taking a deep breath and willing her legs to move forward. When she got to the end, instead of stopping, she gave Jennings a defiant glare, from where he now stood at the foot of the stairs, then she turned and headed back across. Somewhere a long way off, she could hear gasps and chatter from Wolf’s mezzanine fan club, but it didn’t matter. The world around her narrowed to the in and out drag of her breath, the pain in her quads and the slow step and lunge, step and lunge, that pulled her forward.

At the end, she dropped the dumb bells and bent over gasping, eyes clenched shut, hands on her knees. When at last she had the strength to stand up, she was surprised to find him next to her, hair still dewed in orange. He handed her a bottle of water and a towel. While she drank, he wiped his face on his shirt.

She didn’t look at him, she was still battling the urge to cry. She knew all eyes were on her. After the drama she was now embarrassed to have caused, that was a given. But it was only Wolf Jennings’ eyes she felt in ways that were somehow even more intimate than his kiss at the pub. At last she handed him back the bottle and struggled to meet his gaze.

“That’s better,” he said. “Now drop and give me ten. Pull a stunt like that again and I’ll shove you on the treadmill till your Reeboks wear out.”

She did as he ordered, counting each press-up out loud and hardly feeling the effort, dazed as she was by what had just happened.

 

***

 

In The Closet, still sticky from the drenching, Wolf all but fell into the chair and waited. The room was affectionately called such because it was the only space other than the bathrooms, where there were no cameras. It was for Skyping with Claire privately. He didn’t have to wait long. He took a deep breath and answered the call, offering no greeting. “Claire, I’m sorry, I swear… that woman… I thought she’d broken her foot. I thought…” He ran a shaky hand through his wet hair and gulped a breath. “I nearly lost it. I thought I was—”

“You thought you were going to kiss her,” Claire said. “So did I, so did millions of other people.” She raised a hand, cutting off his response. “Before you say anything else, check the tweets.”

 

Lauren Michaels kicks arse!

I was half hoping he’d spank her.

He can spank me anytime.

I’d drop and give him ten.

I thought he was going to kiss her.

Bets on how long before he does kiss her?

Where do I sign up for sports drink removal detail?

About time she drenched him. He’s her trainer, not her torturer.

 

In Training Fit for a Re-Launch

Happy Day After Valentine’s Day, my Lovelies! New Years Resolutions have either become new habits or fallen by the wayside by now, and everyone needs a little inspiration now and again, so it seems like the perfect time to re-launch my novella, In Training. This novella originally appeared in the British Bad Boy Box Set a year and a half ago, and I’m now very happy to be launching it as a stand-alone. It’s a comedy of errors, steamy romance, fitness-based romp at it’s sweatiest. And no New Years resolution is ever required to enjoy someone else’s sweaty workout.

If you know anything about me you know that I’m a fitness junkie, with or without any resolution. But let’s face it, not everyone is all that fond of getting sweaty anyplace other than between the sheets. Our heroine, Lauren Michaels, certainly isn’t a fan. You can well imagine she is not best pleased when she finds herself the guinea pig in her own PR stunt. She may be the PR guru for fitness firm, Physicality, Inc, but that doesn’t mean she wants to walk the talk, especially not when bad boy personal trainer, Wolf Jennings, is the one who will be whipping her into shape. Enjoy the little excerpt.

 

In Training Blurb:

Getting fit on reality TV is PR guru, Lauren Michaels’, brainchild for gym equipment and fitness company Physicality, Inc. The brilliant PR stunt involves one brave volunteer who wants to be fit badly enough to submit to the not so tender training techniques of personal trainer, Wolf Jennings, whose successful, but non-conventional, methods would make a drill sergeant look like a fluff ball. But when CEO and owner of Physicality, Inc., Claire Amos, decides her PR ace in the hole needs to walk the walk, Lauren finds herself between a kettle bell and a hard place… er, a hard trainer. That’s nightmare enough, but for six weeks, 24/7, the explosive chemistry between the two will be sweated out live on camera for the whole world to see. What could possibly go wrong?

 

In Training Excerpt:

Claire’s phone blared out Flight of the Valkyries over Jennings’ barked instructions to his tortured clients. “Speaking of the devil,” she said, nodding to Jennings’ arse on the screen as she answered her device. “Wolf, darling! Lauren and I were just talking about you. Watching your lovely video, actually. On our way over.” She winked at Lauren, whose stomach suddenly felt like it was in freefall. “Here, sweetie, let me put you on speaker so I can introduce you two,” she said just as the Wolf Jennings on the screen yelled for his people to clench those glutes and zip those abs.

And suddenly it was like that slow-motion scene in a horror film, just before the pretty young innocent is shredded by Freddy Krueger or pursued by the monster from the fetid swamp. Wolf Jennings turned to gaze at the camera from beneath hooded eyelids that revealed familiar blue eyes. He offered a smile that was damn near erotic. Then he said in a very northern accent, “If you do your part, I guarantee I’ll get you there.”

As the clip ended and Misty and Del were once again on camera, Lauren sat frozen to the spot, just like all those poor women in the films. She didn’t scream, though she felt like it. Instead she managed in a shaky voice, “I can’t work with him.”

“I can’t work with her.” The response on the other end of the phone was simultaneous. The familiar voice was honey and heat and frustration. Then he continued, sounding at least as breathless as he had on his video, as he had when he got up close and personal with her in the garden behind the pub. “There’s been some mistake, Claire. I can’t work with her. We can’t work together.”

The smile on her boss’s face slipped just a fraction. “Why ever not, Wolf? You two are perfect together. Not only is Lauren comfortable on camera, but she’s horribly unfit.” Before either of them could respond, she continued, “I need my PR ace in the hole fighting fit, and right now I doubt if she could fight her way out of a paper bag.”

“Oh, yes, I could.” Fuck, Lauren sounded like a kid at the Christmas pantomime.

“Didn’t look like you could on the stairs,” Claire responded. She turned her attention back to Jennings. “Obese couch potatoes or under-muscled, out-of-shape career women, unfit is unfit, Wolf.”

“I’m not really that unfit.” Lauren barely got the words out before they both said in unison,

“Yes you are.”

A part of her wanted to crawl under the seat in her embarrassment while the other part wanted to punch Wolf Jennings right in his smug gob. Instead she snarled between her teeth, “You lied to me, Jennings.”

“I lied to you?” His voice became a hushed growl. “How do you figure that? If anything, you lied to me.”

“As I recall you’re the one who sat down right next to me and wheedled your way in. I didn’t ask for your company.” She leaned closer to Claire’s iPhone, which the woman obligingly held up for her, with a bemused shrug. “I didn’t even know who the hell you were, or you’d have been wearing your Sneck Lifter.”

“Did you two have sex?” Claire Amos seldom pulled punches.

“We didn’t,” Lauren said.

“We would have,” Wolf said.

“Would not,” she responded.

“Oh, and that’s why you grabbed for the condom, was it? You couldn’t even wait to get to a room.”

“You had me pushed up against the garden wall. I wouldn’t have come near you if I’d known that you were Wolf fucking Jennings.” She grabbed Claire’s phone away and all but yelled into it. “Look, I don’t want to be here anymore than you want me to. I’m not one of your fucking gym bunnies.”

“Clearly,” he spat back.

Lauren felt the chill of doom crawl up her spine as Claire took the phone from her hand. The smile on her face was back, this time with a good dose of scheming behind it. “Let me get this straight, the two of you ran into each other in a pub?”

“Yes.”

“And one thing led to another and you got touchy-feely.”

“Yes.”

“Mind telling me why you didn’t do the deed?”

“You sent me the fucking file with Lauren Michaels’ image front and centre,” Wolf managed. Even on the phone, Lauren could tell he was struggling as much for control as she was. “I don’t sleep with my clients.”

“Well you must not have been too into each other if you let a little text file stop the action.”

“I didn’t check it intentionally.” He sounded offended. “The phone fell out of my jacket and the message popped up with Lauren’s name and photo.”

Claire actually giggled. “I won’t even ask which of your explosive cardio moves you were trying on Lauren that made your phone fall out of your pocket.”

 

What Gets Us There?

“If you do your part, I guarantee I’ll get you there.”

 

That’s Wolf Jennings’ motto. And to some degree, it’s the theme of my story In Training, Anyone who knows me knows that I love spending time in the gym. For me, it’s been a major life-changing experience, one I thoroughly enjoy. One of the reasons I do enjoy it is because I consider a workout a creative process. I know how to put together a routine for myself with any equipment or with none at all. But I didn’t always, and I didn’t always love it either. I suppose that’s a part of the reason why the big question of my story In Training, from the fabulous British Bad Boys Anthology, is what does it take to get you there? What inspires you enough to make you pull out all the stops and totally go for … well for anything that really matters?

 

As far as getting fit goes, my answer was that I was losing strength, gaining weight and stress from writing four novels in one year was doing a real number on me. Mr. Grace kept nagging me to get to the gym and get a trainer. For a long time I ignored him, but one too many panic attacks in the middle of the night finally made the decision for me. I got a trainer. I figured if I had to pay, I’d make the commitment. In the beginning I paid someone twice a week, and I kept the commitment.

 

It didn’t take long to discover that not only was I feeling better, calmer, but I really enjoyed it. That was four years ago. Now I do it as much because I love it as because I love the benefits. That being the case, it’s not surprising that my heroine, PR guru Lauren Michaels, has to find her own reason for pushing herself. A gym is the last place she wants to be, but her boss has just made her the ‘get fit’ star in a reality fitness show with bad boy personal trainer, Wolf Jennings, who will get her there even if he has to drag her kicking and screaming. At least that’s his plan. But it’s only when she finds her reason to push that Lauren decides she really wants to “get there,” and she wants to do it with Wolf Jennings. Here’s a little excerpt.

 

British Bad Boys Box Set Blurb:

Indulge yourself with this boxed set of stories written by bestselling and award-winning British romance authors. No one knows British bad boys better than they do!

Come and spend time with a dirty-talking London tattoo artist, a Scottish bad boy, a British gangster who won’t take no for an answer, and MORE! These men are all hotter than hell and have accents to die for. Whatever your desire, you’ll find it within these pages.

Packed full of brand new standalone, steamy stories with no cliff-hangers. With happily-ever-afters guaranteed, you won’t want to miss out on this limited collection, available for a short time only!

In Training Blurb:

Getting fit on reality TV is PR guru, Lauren Michael’s, brainchild for gym equipment and fitness company Physicality, Inc. The brilliant PR stunt involves one brave volunteer who wants to be fit badly enough to submit to the not so tender training techniques of personal trainer, Wolf Jennings, whose successful, but non-conventional, methods would make a drill sergeant look like a fluff ball. But when CEO and owner of Physicality, Inc, Claire Amos, decides her PR ace in the hole needs to walk the talk , Lauren finds herself between a kettle bell and a hard place … er a hard trainer. That’s nightmare enough, but for six weeks, 24/7 the explosive chemistry between the two will be sweated out live on camera for the whole world to see. What could possibly go wrong?

 

Wanna Bet? In Training Excerpt:

“On your knees, Michaels! Do it on your knees. You can’t do a full press-up until we strengthen those spaghetti arms. Do it like this.” He demonstrated the modified press-up. “Now I want you to do as many as you can in thirty seconds.” While thirty seconds lasted forever, as many press-ups as Lauren could do didn’t take long at all before she fell to the mat with her arms trembling. “Damn it Michaels, you gotta be willing to push yourself. I can’t do it for you.” He reset his timer. “Do it again.”

 

“Well this isn’t an auspicious beginning, Misty,” Del Allan said as they observed the training session going on in the gym below. “As much as I admire Claire Amos for believing her people should walk the talk, it’s clear to me that Lauren Michaels’ heart just isn’t in it. One has to wonder why the waste of time, energy and money for someone who doesn’t want to be here when there are so many who really do. I’ve said it before, I hope Physicality has a back-up plan because I’m betting Lauren Michaels won’t make it to the end of the week.”

 

“The real question, Del, is not whether Wolf Jennings can ‘get someone there,’ but whether he can motivate someone to want him to. Certainly this is a world away from what Lauren is used to, and apparently she didn’t know she’d be participating until twenty-four hours before.”

 

It was near the end of the fourth day when Lauren finally broke. “I can’t do any more,” she gasped after what seemed like miles of lunge walking back and forth across the gym with a dumb bell in each hand — dumb bells that got heavier with each step. “I need the hot tub. When do I get to use the hot tub?”

“When you’ve earned it,” Jennings growled. “Now do it again.”

“I hate you,” she forced the words out, no longer caring if the ever-present cameras picked up her remark or not. She reckoned that would be one more reason for the ‘sack Lauren and hire me’ faction to tweet nasty things about her. It’s not as if she wouldn’t trade places with them in a heartbeat.

“I’m not here for you to like,” came the reply. “Keep your back straight, shoulders back. Head up!”

She was halfway across the gym when one of the dumb bells slipped from her sweaty fingers, hit the floor with a loud crash, and she tripped over it doing into a belly flop in the middle of the gym.

“Get up. Keep going,” Wolf yelled, jogging effortlessly to her side. “Don’t be a wimp, Michaels. Finish it. I don’t train babies. Stop whinging and keep going.”

“I hate you.” This time she all but yelled it as she hefted the sweaty dumb bell and forced her way forward a couple more steps before she dropped the weight again — this time on her foot. It was only a glancing blow. She jerked away just in time, but it was enough. It was fucking enough! She dropped the other weight next to its fallen compadre and stormed back across the gym.

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” He said, “You’re not done yet.”

“Oh yes I am.” She grabbed up her sports drink and her towel.

“What? Are you a quitter, Michaels?” Jennings stepped in front of her effectively blocking her way, “Is that it?”

“What I am is sick of you yelling at me, sick of you treating me like a sub-human.” She hadn’t planned it, but when he didn’t move, it just happened. A quick twist of the lid on her sports drink and she let it fly. Her aim was true, hitting Jennings in the face with a shower of bright orange Lukozade. Then she stomped off toward her room. She hadn’t expected him to follow her, but then there were a lot of things she hadn’t expected about the man she’d met at the pub less than a week ago.

Legs still screaming from the workout, she took the stairs two at a time with him gaining on her fast. At the top, he called after her. “They’re taking bets on how soon you’ll quit. Did you know that, Michaels?”

She stopped, dead in her tracks, as though she were suddenly frozen to the spot. For a second she squeezed her eyes shut, fighting back tears. Then she took a deep breath, squared her shoulders and headed back toward the stairs, stopping in front of him to meet his cold glare. “Then they’ll lose.”

Fucking hell! Did she just say that? Surely she didn’t mean it. She would do almost anything to get out of this chamber of horrors, and yet here she was marching back downstairs, picking up the goddamned dumb bells, taking a deep breath and willing her legs to move forward. When she got to the end, instead of stopping, she gave Jennings a defiant glare, from where he now stood at the foot of the stairs, then she turned and headed back across. Somewhere a long way off, she could hear gasps and chatter from Wolf’s mezzanine fan club, but it didn’t matter. The world around her narrowed to the in and out drag of her breath, the pain in her quads and the slow step and lunge, step and lunge, that pulled her forward.

At the end, she dropped the dumb bells and bent over gasping, eyes clenched shut, hands on her knees. When at last she had the strength to stand up, she was surprised to find him next to, hair still dewed in orange. He handed her a bottle of water and a towel. While she drank, he wiped his face on his shirt.

She didn’t look at him, she was still battling the urge to cry. She knew all eyes were on her. After the drama she was now embarrassed to have caused, that was a given. But it was only Wolf Jenning’s eyes she felt in ways that were somehow even more intimate than his kiss at the pub. At last she handed him back the bottle and struggled to meet his gaze.

“That’s better,” he said. “Now drop and give me ten. Pull a stunt like that again and I’ll shove you on the treadmill till your Reeboks wear out.”

She did as he ordered, counting each press-up out loud and hardly feeling the effort, dazed as she was by what had just happened.

 

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The Romance Reviews

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