Having not had much opportunity to read lately, I wanted to lose myself in as many books as possible on holiday. After reading a book review on Rachel’s Random Reads, my interest was piqued and I chose Untouchable as my first book, hoping it would have that essential hook that would make the book unputdownable. It did. Untouchable reeled me in completely. This is a book with a difference, a storyline that simply has to be compelling: an intelligent woman with a psychology degree and a career in …. But that would be a spoiler. We learn later how Stella/Grace’s former career and her relationship with offenders leads her to choose a new career as a high class prostitute. I knew what to expect from the review and was intrigued to see for myself how the sex element was handled. I have to say it was handled brilliantly. The scenes, though graphic in places, are communicated with a sense of detachment, necessarily, given that titillation isn’t the aim of this book. We see these scenes through Stella’s eyes and this detachment only made Stella more compelling as a character. I was desperate to discover the circumstances that precipitated her ‘fall’ into prostitution, why she would actually regard it as a suitable way to punish herself. Desperate also to see how Stella would seek retribution from high ranking businessmen and government officials when a fellow escort is found dead. The characters, both escort and client, are all believable people, the men not all portrayed as sexual perverts or losers. The ending was just right. Again, no spoilers. It wasn’t quite all tied up in a pretty pink bow, but there was hope. For me, that was a perfect ending, perhaps leading to a new beginning for Stella. If you want a read that is riveting, powerful and different, this is the book for you. Well done Ava Marsh on tackling a subject that some would shy away from.
Need a Hero?
Look no further! We have another sizzling, hot hero to share! Oh, and he also has a rather nice, erm, bum. The hero from Zanna Mackenzie’s latest book If You Only Knew is Zane Ferguson….
Five Facts About Zane:
- He’s an extreme sports instructor and an expert ice climber
- He’s just arrived in the UK from Austria where he’s been working for a few years and is ready to put the past behind him… or so he thinks
- He’s confused, battle scarred, avoiding getting involved and wants to bury himself in his new role as co-owner of the Carrdale Outdoor Extreme Sports Centre… until he meets Faith and decides perhaps he can risk a relationship after all…
- He hiked to the North Pole for a charity event in gruelling conditions and is super fit
- He’s about to discover that Matt, his best friend, business partner and co-owner of Carrdale, just happens to be Faith’s first love and he’s not happy about it!
Extract of Zane in action:
Faith shielded her eyes in the sunlight, watching Zane as he abseiled down the cliff face.
It was the day of the pre-launch for the Centre, when all the locals were invited to explore Carrdale and try out some activities for free. Zane had just led an introductory climbing lesson. It had been the first time she’d seen him climbing, and she’d expected to spend the whole time with all her fingers crossed, holding her breath until he was safely back on the ground. Instead she’s been surprised by her reaction. He looked strong and confident, moving nimbly across the wall of rock as he expertly found gaps and crevices for his hands and feet. His students responded well to his easy-going, friendly and encouraging attitude.
“That was pretty impressive,” Faith said moments later, as Zane appeared at her side, removing his helmet. “But now I know I shouldn’t watch you climb.”
“It’s perfectly safe, honestly. I know what I’m doing. I always do all the checks and I’ve got all the proper equipment. You don’t need to worry.”
“It’s not so much that.”
“What then?” Zane frowned.
“Come on, tell me.”
“Honestly. It’s nothing. Forget it.”
By now Faith was feeling embarrassed and wishing she hadn’t said anything.
“Nope.” He shook his head. “Come on, spill. I want to know why you don’t like to see me climb. I don’t want you to worry about me all the time, Faith. It’s safe, I promise you.”
Faith looked away.
“I didn’t say I didn’t like seeing you climb. Just that I thought it best if I didn’t.”
“Because? Come on. You know I won’t let it go. I can be stubborn when I want to be. You may as well tell me now and save me pestering you about it.”
Faith held her hands up in a gesture of surrender.
“OK. OK. Seeing you climb has a strange effect on me. That’s why.”
“I thought you said you weren’t worried,” he said, looking confused.
“I’m not. It isn’t that kind of effect.”
Zane turned to her, a grin quirking the corner of his mouth as he twigged what she meant.
“I think it’s sexy, OK? I think seeing you up there on the cliff face, so confident, strong and capable.” She lowered her voice. “It’s really sexy.”
He took her hand and led her behind a nearby tree.
“Sexy eh? So watching me climb turns you on?”
“And while we’re on the subject,” she went on, “in the interest of full disclosure, your bum looks totally biteable in your climbing gear.”
“Biteable? You want to bite my bum?”
He laughed, pushing her back against the tree and kissing her, lightly, teasingly, on the lips.
“Not right now, but yes. You see? That’s why I really shouldn’t watch you climbing.”
“If it has that effect on you then I disagree. I think you should always watch me climb!”
Faith playfully swiped him on the bum.
“Oh, and feel free to try that biting my bum thing later,” he added.
“Don’t take the mickey out of me.”
Zane put a finger under her chin, tilting her face up so she was looking at him.
“Believe me, I’m not taking the mickey. I’m quite chuffed it has that effect on you. And I have to warn you: I intend to milk that effect to the full.”
“Come on, man. I know it’s been a while since you had a girlfriend, but can you stop feeling her up long enough to lead this group tour of the Centre?”
Faith and Zane turned to see Matt standing a few feet away glaring at them both.
“Duty calls,” Zane said to Faith. “Want to join the grand tour?”
The photo!! Slurrrrp.
If You Only Knew is Zanna’s third novel; her previous books The Love Programme, and How Do You Spell Love? were both published in 2013.
Find out more about Zanna on her blog: www.zannamackenzie.blogspot.co.uk
At her website: www.zannamackenzie.co.uk
Or FOLLOW Zanna on any of the links below:
BUY LINKS for If You Only Knew:
Thanks for sharing, Zanna! Loving him, and his biteable bum! More hot heroes next week, folks. Meanwhile, stay safe.
Welcome Ces Creatively! Ces is here to share a little bit about her fabulous new book:
Reach For Your Light – An Inspiring Story
Reach For Your Light has an “inspiring” journey at its heart. In 2006 my son was still born at full term. I almost died too and this terrible event changed my whole outlook on life. Writing is great therapy. Since my son died, I’ve overcome all kinds of adversity and always found that no matter what life throws at you – there is “Light” in “Dark Times” if you open your eyes and look for it.
The Light Direction Series is more than an exciting hot paranormal romance. It has a twisting plot and characters that get under your skin, some you’ll love and some you’ll hate but they’ll all make you ‘feel’ and want to know what happens next in their story. The characters experience many challenges and are real and flawed in the choices they make. With surprisingly interwoven journeys and lots of sexy distractions, through the series they grow and spread a positive message of finding your way in hard times.
‘Reach’ means the world to me as it is written for and dedicated to my little boy Aarlonzo (in heaven).
What the readers say:
“As soon as you start reading Reach For Your Light You’ll Be Addicted. It’s a fast paced power house of a book that will stay with you long after you’ve read it. Sexy characters, amazing locations and a story that draws you in. The perfect summer read!”
Emma Williams is searching for a new direction. Leaving behind a dead end career and harrowing relationship in London, she makes a fresh start in Bournemouth bonding immediately with flat mate Denzil and enjoying coastal life.
Falling in love with delicious Jeremy White she soon discovers that her new life is not as uncomplicated as she’d hoped. It may look like she has the perfect beach apartment and gorgeous man of her dreams but when visions of a mysterious stranger become reality and manipulating exes are out to cause trouble in paradise, Em just wants to find the truth in a world of deceit.
Reach For Your Light will take you on a fast-paced roller coaster of hot sex, mind games and supernatural visions that will leave you hungry for more.
Ces Creatively is an inspiring mum of three from Poole who loves to spend time at Poole Harbour, Sandbanks Dorset. Juggling being a mum with running graphic design business www.biz-brand-buzz.co.uk, popular website with a book blog www.supportivebusinessmums.co.uk and handmade gifts business www.prettyinspiring.co.uk she miraculously also finds time to write www.the-light-direction.co.uk novel series which she has dedicated to her son in heaven. A tireless champion of small businesses and other authors, Ces has won several awards for supportive innovation and dedicates time every week to promoting others online. In a unique twist, her debut paranormal romance novel The Light Direction – Reach For Your Light features real small businesses and talented creatives.
Merchandise Gifts: The Light Direction Shop
Click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway to …
Need a Hero?
Look no further! Welcome to the blog where selfless authors will be brightening your Tuesdays by sharing their male protagonists, along with the heroic qualities for you to ogle … erm, admire!
First of all, we’re listing five facts so you can get a feel for him (I did say for him). Next is a brief excerpt showing our hero in action. Lastly, the pics! Do you have a hero who’d like to put himself about?
Today I thought I’d give you a flash of PC Paul Davis from Warrant for Love. Now, Paul is a little bit clumsy and he’s also a teeny bit shy, so whatever you do HANDLE WITH CARE.
He’s clumsy. Yes, I know I mentioned that but we’re talking seriously clumsy, as evidenced by his wrongly arresting our heroine for soliciting. Not a good start to the relationship.
He’s hunky, dark, and comes nicely packaged in blue.
He’s not very good at communicating, having been brought up in care, where keeping quiet earned him safe passage.
He’s fighting for custody of his son.
He cheated on his wife, who is now having an affair with his sergeant. Ooops!
‘For your information, I’m quite happy with my kipper for company, thank you.’
‘Haddock,’ Paul corrected her. ‘Look, it’s only a suggestion, but if you’re at a loose end, why don’t you stop chewing the packet open and come out with me. We could go to the Italian, or The Glass House maybe? The company won’t be as scintillating as the fish, but the food’s good, I hear.’
‘Go, Mother.’ Drew said, waltzing into the kitchen, wearing Paul’s CK tee shirt and a vat of aftershave. ‘It’s no big deal. He’s not asking you to marry him. He’d have to work his way up to that for another million years.’
He gave Paul a despairing look as he sauntered back out, purloined pint of milk in hand. ‘I’m off. Oh, incidentally, the midget’s upstairs playing on the PC.’
‘I’d better go get him before he gets square eyes.’ Paul said. ‘We’ll drop him home on the way. That’s if you do fancy eating out?’
‘I thought you were seeing Saun?’
‘Tomorrow. So?’ Paul looked hopeful. ‘Do you fancy it?’
‘I suppose. I’ve nothing better to do,’ Lee said, quietly panicking about whether to offer to go Dutch. If he thought he was going to get a little physical reassurance in exchange for a meal, he could go shag the kipper. That ought to be soulless enough.
‘Great.’ Paul nodded, then headed upstairs to see which latest game of Drew’s had kept James so quiet. ‘James?’ He peered around Drew’s door, to find no James.
The hairs prickled on the back of his neck as he headed for Lee’s room. On which PC was James playing, precisely?
‘James? Oh, no. James… What have you done?’
‘I was just playing.’ James glanced nervously from the screen to Paul. ‘There was an email in the draft box and I logged on and…’
‘You sent it.’ Paul glanced at the ceiling, looking for deliverance. James shuffled a foot. ‘Sorry, Dad.’
‘It’s all right,’ Paul reassured him. ‘Go downstairs.’ He stopped his son short of the door. ‘You didn’t look at it, right?’
‘No.’ James shook his head adamantly. ‘I just logged on and… wham.’
‘Good. Okay, go on.’ Paul ushered him out. ‘Go down and get some M&Ms or something. I’ll sort it.’
Though Christ knew how, he thought, checking the sent emails box.
It’d gone all right. And some.
He clicked on the attachments. There was no way Simons wouldn’t go to the police when he clocked that little lot. Claiming the email had been sent by accident would cut little ice in court. Lee could get banged up.
Paul had to stop him… somehow.
‘I’ll have to give you a rain check,’ he said, racing past Lee in the hall. ‘Sorry.’ He grabbed his cap and keys. ‘Something’s come up. Would you mind keeping an eye on James?’
‘Not at all.’ Lee called from the front door as he leaped the gate in his haste to be gone. ‘I’ll just lie down on the doorstep and wait for you to walk all over me on the way back!’
Paul banged into the central surveillance office, praying Simons didn’t check his mail, which was his only other hope. If this didn’t work, he’d have to resort to breaking and entering. Relieve Simons of his PCs, or break his neck.
‘I need a favour,’ he said, wincing as a sharp pain sliced through his side.
‘Uh-uh, no can do,’ the officer-in-charge replied. ‘Not unless you’ve got authority.’
Paul dragged his hand through his hair. ‘Look, Phil, I really need this. Give me a break, and turn a blind eye, will you?’
‘Can’t do it, Paul. Sorry.’
Paul raked both hands through his hair. ‘Okay, I’m begging. Whatever it takes. I’ll clean your car for a year. Anything. If I don’t get in there, I won’t have a job, or a life. My partner’s in trouble. All I need to do is check something out. Nothing more. Ten minutes. You can look the other way for that long. Come on, Phil.’
‘Ten minutes.’ Phil relented, reluctantly. ‘And you owe me one.’
He let Paul through and allowed him access to the closed-circuit TV surveillance videos he needed. ‘You’d better keep your mouth shut, Paul,’ he warned, heading for the door and leaving Paul to it, ‘or I’m stuffed.’
‘I was never here.’ Paul settled down to watch TV. Two minutes later, he discarded an unproductive video and reached for another. Simons had to be in there somewhere. Paul was acting on no more than the proverbial hunch, putting two and two together and hoping his math was better than…
‘Got the bastard.’ Simons having a penchant towards restaurants in red-light districts, the footprints on the windscreen… Made sense the guy had made a few star appearances on CCTV, the leading lady, or ladies, definitely not being Lee.
‘I owe you two.’ He winked at Phil, shoving the videos inside his jacket as he headed for his car.
‘Hey! You can’t take them off the premises.’ Phil threw his hands up in despair. ‘I won’t have a bloody job.’
‘They’ll be back before anyone notices they’re gone. You have my word,’ Paul promised.
No point messing about at the station looking for addresses. Quicker to go back to Lee’s, find out from her which hole the vermin crawled out of.
Driving a patrol car had distinct advantages, he decided, covering the distance between the surveillance office and Lee’s in record time… where Simons’ car was parked out front.
Paul’s heart sank fast. What the hell had he been thinking? He shouldn’t have left them alone. If he couldn’t check in officially, he could’ve at least enlisted Mike’s help.
Paul cursed his incompetence, screeched the car to a halt on the pavement, and slammed through the front door. There was no way to disassociate from his personal feelings now. He’d had it. And so had Simons, who was standing way too close to Lee for Paul’s liking.
‘Where’s James?’ Paul asked, calmly establishing the lie of the land. ‘Upstairs with Doorstep,’ Lee said.
‘Best go and join him.’ Paul inclined his head towards the stairs, keeping his gaze fixed on Simons.
Lee skirted around Richard, and went to do as suggested.
‘So, what are you going to do now?’ Richard shrugged insolently. ‘Dirty the uniform?’
The tic went in Paul’s cheek. ‘Something like that.’
‘Yeah, right.’ Richard backed towards the kitchen. ‘I don’t think so. Touch me and you’re well and truly fucked. You’re going to have a hard time convincing your superiors you were defending the slag you’re living with, when you’re involved in a blackmail plot against her alleged attacker, aren’t you?’ He looked Paul over, cocksure, then turned towards the back door.
Which suited Paul fine. One second’s complacency was all he needed, to wrap his arm around Simons’ neck. He locked his grip tight with his free hand and pulled back. Hard.
All is revealed! THE PIC!
What the reviewers are saying:
Took me by completely by surprise! Will make you want to break the law – 5 STARS!
Tremendous character development, heartache, humour, and love!
This is a fantastic romantic comedy with a superb supporting cast. Fantastic feel good book! 5 stars!
Twists and turns in the story that will have you flipping pages right until the end.
Move over Mr Grey! The men in this book made my toes curl! Ohhh la la. Helloooooooo boys!
Thanks for ogling … Um, reading!
Waves, lovely Sheryl, and thanks so much for inviting me along.
Katie REALLY needs a hero! The broody Steve is her long-term partner and they’ve been through some tough times together. The gorgeous Adam is a customer who calls in to Katie’s bakery to buy a Christmas cake for his elderly grandmother. Two heroes? Possibly.
I asked Katie to tell me in her own words her definition of a hero:
“Ooh, I instantly think of some of the most romantic film moments! A young Richard Gere, or Patrick Swayze. But for me? My hero would be someone who could see the mess I’m in and help me make some sense of it all. Someone who wouldn’t judge me and who would love me faults and all.” Spoken from the heart!
Both Steve and Adam are potential hero-material. Being cute to look at helps, but it’s all about actions speaking louder than words when it comes to a damsel in distress. The problem is that a true hero puts the damsel’s needs first and his own second. That’s not always the case.
It’s written from the perspectives of HIS (Steve and Adam), HERS (Katie) and Grandma Grace! This fun, chick lit-style story might make you shed a tear, or tear-your hair out, as the characters seem to be making life as complicated as possible!
Due for release on 23 September, 2014!
Katie’s relationship has had more than its fair share of problems. After a difficult few years things begin to pick up and Katie finally realises her dream of opening up a bakery. Sweet Occasions specialises in novelty and celebration cakes, plus the most inspiring range of cupcakes anyone could possibly ask for!
Utilising her passion and skill helps to inject happiness back into her life, but it’s short-lived as things begin to fall apart. The reality is that you need to run a business with your heart AND your head. Help is at hand in the shape of her partner, Steve. He has the necessary experience, but does Katie want to tie herself to him financially, as well as personally?
Then one rainy, wintry day a bedraggled customer steps inside the door to order a cake …
Sometimes a turning point centres around one single moment in time:
sometimes it takes two Christmases and three birthdays
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