I’m very happy to give you a little sneak preview of In Training, my contribution to the British Bad Boys Box Set. I’m elated to take you all back to my favourite place, The English Lake District, to have a sweaty, outdoorsy, fun romp with Lauren Michaels and Wolf Jennings. the British Bad Boys Box Set comes out in May. But you can preorder yours now for only 99c/p.
Enjoy the 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?
A Desperate Plea — In Training Excerpt:
“Think Big Brother does the gym, but one on one,” Del Allen said to the camera, as though the folks at home were not quite bright enough to figure that out for themselves. “But I’m wondering, Misty, is there a back-up plan in case Lauren Michaels can’t cut it. She’s a shining example of the walking unfit that plague Britain right now, putting career above marriage and family, above fitness and health. That path seems to have worked for her just fine judging from her kudos in the world of PR and marketing, but this is a whole different ballgame. I’ve seen how Wolf Jennings operates. If I were a betting man, I’m afraid I wouldn’t be putting money on Michaels.”
“Well, Del,” Misty Daniels, his co-presenter offered him a genuinely fake smile. “I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss Lauren Michaels. Certainly Claire Amos has confidence in her, and I’d be the last person to bet against a horse Amos is backing.”
“Fucking hell. Now I’m a horse. Claire, please reconsider. I wouldn’t bet on me either if I was Allen.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Lauren. You’re perfect for the job.” Before she could argue, Claire made a loud shushing sound and nodded back to the TV screen built into the plush upholstered wall of the stretch limo transporting them to the Wolf’s Lair, as the place was now being affectionately called.
Lauren glared at the two presenters, who sat in the lounge area of the TV control center. The lounge overlooked the gym, far more intimidating than the presenters, who were now trotting out her less than stellar stats for the world to see, while Lauren racked her sleep-deprived brain for a last minute stay of execution.
It hadn’t been a good night – not that Lauren had expected it to be after tall dark and Northern pulled a runner and left her in a bad way. She would have returned to the pub afterwards and switched from beer to whisky – lots of it, but for the fact that she had to drive back to her hotel, and she didn’t need a hangover when she faced Claire for the walk of shame. Her boss had arrived in Keswick early this morning for the final briefing before she threw Lauren to the wolves, er … just one wolf, actually – Wolf fucking Jennings.
Lauren had been up late checking the applicants who had wanted to be Wolf Jennings’ guinea pig. It hadn’t been difficult to line up several, who promised her they would be packed and ready to take her place at the drop of a hat. That was the easy bit. Figuring out how to convince Claire to give someone else the infamous honour was the real battle. It was down to the wire. This was her last chance to talk Claire down from her hair-brained plan to make Lauren the guinea pig of her own PR campaign. There had to be a way out. That being the case, she’d gone back to her hotel room accompanied by a pint of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream, which she followed up with an order of curry fries from the chippie down the street. In spite of her resolve to make Claire see reason, she couldn’t help feeling like it was her last meal. If she couldn’t make her boss see reason, the next six weeks would low-carb and kale hell.
Claire had the limo pick her up an hour before she was to make her grand appearance at Wolf Jennings’ chamber of horrors. It was another nod to Claire’s sick sense of humour that she wouldn’t allow Lauren to know what trainer would be torturing her until she was on her way to her gym prison.
“Here it is, here it is,” Claire said, giving Lauren a maternal pat on the arm.
On the screen, Misty offered the viewers that smile that said she was about to impart the best gossip. “As you know, Del, Wolf Jenning’s was my personal trainer for over a year, and all I can say is that the man gets results.”
“Sounds like the guy gave her multiples instead of biceps,” Lauren grumped.
Claire replied with a silencing finger to her mauve lips, and Misty continued.
“Here’s a little clip we filmed earlier to introduce you to Wolf Jennings, the man and his methods.
“About this whole thing, Claire, I really don’t think I’m the right person for — ”
Claire silenced her with a loud shush and nodded to the screen. “Just watch, and then we’ll talk.”
She glared at the video through gritty sleep-deprived eyes. In her best cheerleader voice, Misty did the voiceover touting Jenning’s unorthodox, but successful methods, as before and after selfies of some of his clients, all looking svelte and glowing with health, flashed on the screen.
Lauren’s stomach knotted into a tight fist as Misty exclaimed, “while Wolf’s methods might seem harsh, no one can deny that they are effective.”
Then the scene switched to early morning light streaming through Lakeland forest and a dozen people sweating their way through the workout from hell while Misty rattled off Jennings’ qualifications as a trainer, which meant nothing to Lauren. On camera, a middle-aged man grunted through something that made him look like an overgrown frog hopping across the grass, and Lauren wondered how it had all gone so wrong. The PR campaign she had created was genius. It was a simple but elegant plan to showcase Physicality, Inc. for the brilliant company that it was. The campaign was all about transformation, it was all about pushing yourself to be the best you could be, about striving toward new levels of fitness. Oh Lauren could talk the talk, but she certainly didn’t walk the walk. Who had time for all that training and planning and eating clean? Of course now that she worked for Physicality, she intended to do all that stuff. Someday. It sure as hell hadn’t been her plan to have it done to her by a fucking drill sergeant of a personal trainer on reality TV!
The plan had been to choose someone, someone grossly unfit, a volunteer who was willing to do what it took to get a hard, fit body, or at least get started down that path as far as six weeks would allow. And certainly there had been no shortage of volunteers, people believing that the extra level of control would be what it would take to finally get them the healthy fit body of their dreams. Just not her!
The close-up of frogman pulled back to a panorama of a dozen people – men and women, in varying stages of fitness. They were all running and jumping and sweating out jumpy-squatty moves along with the weird frog thingy. Instead of curling up and whimpering on the grass, which Lauren was pretty sure she would have done, they were all shouting breathless encouragement to each other. In the midst of all the grunting and huffing, Wolf Jennings yelled, cajoled and egged them on definitely sounding more like a drill sergeant than a personal trainer. The camera was strategically placed behind Jennings so that it looked out over his clients and, at the same time, made it clear that he was working out right along side his clients. He was jumping sweating and bulging and doing it all … shirtless!
“I can’t work out with him,” Lauren gasped, her heart doing a drumroll in her chest. I can’t … I mean he’s so … and I would be so …”
“Of course you can work out with him, Lauren, exactly because he is so … and you are so …” Claire spoke around a smile that was almost too big her face. Yup! Definitely a sick sense of humour, Lauren thought.
The camera zoomed in for a close-up of Wolf Jennings glorious bulging arms and broad shoulders. “There’s nothing wrong with the way I look.” Lauren spoke over the cheerleader, who was now talking fitness jargon that meant nothing to her.
“Of course there’s nothing wrong with the way you look,” Claire replied smiling up at Jennings’ tight arse well presented in athletic shorts. “Believe me, I would be the last person to ever base anyone’s employment on looks rather than skills, and you’ve got the skills or you wouldn’t have the job. But that’s not the point.” She waved a very well muscled arm at the image of Jennings glorious backside as he effortlessly pumped out some more jumpy- squatty thingies. “You’re the brains and Wolf’s the brawn. With both of you comfortable on camera, you’re Physicality’s dream team. But at a more practical level, hon, I thought you were going to have a heart attack before we made it up three flights of stairs when the elevator was down a few weeks back. I need you. I can’t have you dying on me.”
“I was carrying a heavy computer bag,” Lauren said, unable to hide the blush at being called on her lack of stamina. “Besides, I think I might have just been fighting off a cold,” she lied.
Claire gave her the evil eye. “You work for Physicality now, full time, and this new PR campaign is bloody genius, but it’ll be even more so if the world can see that Physicality’s people are walking the talk.”
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! We were just watching your lovely video, Lauren and I.” She winked at Lauren, whose stomach suddenly felt like it was in free fall. “Here, Sweetie, let me put you on speaker so I can introduce you two,” she said just as the Wolf Jennings on screen yelled for his people to clench those gluts until they felt the love.
And suddenly it was like that slow motion scene in a horror film, just before the pretty young innocent is shredded by Freddy Kreuger or pursued by the monster from the feted swamp. Wolf Jennings turned to gaze at the camera from beneath hooded lids 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 music came up and the credits rolled, 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 been some mistake, Claire. I can’t work with her. We can’t work together.”
Coming 4th May – Pre-order now at just 99c/p