Kat French – Bed & Breakfast On The Beach (EB 22 June)
From Kat French, the author of best-selling ‘My Perfect Stranger’ and ‘Love Your Neighbour’ comes a story that all women will be able to relate to – the perfect read for a beach holiday or to keep you company on a train journey this summer.
Three women throw caution to the wind and move from England to run a B&B on a Greek island…
They’ve all reached a point in their lives when they need a change – one divorced, one empty nester, one made redundant from the job she’s held since leaving school many moons ago. The move tests their friendship to the limits, brings errant husbands running, and offers new opportunities for love.
Each of the women go through their own metamorphosis, but will they choose to stay in Greece when the holiday season winds down?
This is the perfect escapist read for fans of Lucy Diamond, Milly Johnson and The Durrells – escape to a Greek island and forget about your troubles with this glorious summery romance.
[Extract 9 from Chapter 3 pp.41-43]
He stopped walking and swung around. ‘Are you coming or not?’
‘You’re not going to kill me, are you?’
‘Fucking hell, woman. I think I might if you carry on like this.’ He rubbed his hand through his dark, slightly too long hair, clearly exasperated. ‘I’ve lived on Skelidos for the last ten years without murdering anyone and I don’t plan on that changing today, but if you’d rather stay out here just in case while I fetch you a glass of water, then be my guest.’
They’d reached a low-slung farmhouse, and he gestured towards a table and chairs set out under the shade of a veranda.
Winnie considered her choices and decided that on balance he was unlikely to bump her off; he knew that she wasn’t here alone and, technically, she’d been trespassing on his land and inadvertently tried to steal his donkey so she wasn’t really in a position to be judgmental. He led the way through a stable door directly into his kitchen. Winnie wasn’t sure what she’d been expecting; something rustic and manly, if she’d been pinned down to take a guess. It wasn’t rustic. It was sleek and minimalist, a complete contrast to the traditional stone exterior of the building. Cool and uncluttered, his air-con was blessedly fridge-cold and his drinking water, when he passed it over, was as cool and clear as if he’d just dipped the glass in an icy mountain spring.
‘Thank you,’ she said, taking a seat when he pulled out a chair at the glass dining table.
‘It’s safe. I’m fresh out of arsenic,’ he said, dropping into the seat opposite hers.
Winnie smirked and took a welcome drink as he watched her.
‘So what’s going on over at the B&B?’ he asked. ‘Are you three doing a Thelma and Louise?’
God, he was annoying. ‘Meaning?’
He lifted one shoulder. ‘Bitter women running off together for an ill-advised adventure?’
‘Way I remember it, Thelma and Louise were badasses who murdered a man because he behaved like a cock and then killed themselves.’
Jesse cupped his glass between his hands on the table. ‘This could be an interesting summer for all of us then.’
‘And we’re not bitter,’ Winnie added, correcting him belatedly. ‘We’re three modern, perfectly happy women who spotted a shrewd business investment and snapped it up.’
Jesse nodded, then lifted his glass and downed the entire contents. Something about the action disturbed Winnie; for a few brief seconds she found herself noticing the physicality of him, as if she were watching a movie. He could pass for Greek; the sun had burnished his skin that deep bronze that could never be attained on a package holiday, and if his hair wasn’t black, it was as near as damn it. He’d changed from the billowy shirt into a faded red T-shirt that had either shrunk in the wash or been given to him by a lover who enjoyed the way it fit him a little too well; either way Winnie couldn’t help but be aware of his long, lean biceps and the generous width of his shoulders. All that fresh air and olive farming clearly agreed with him.
‘Speaking of badasses,’ she said, because getting her mind off the fact that he looked hot was a good idea. ‘How do I get that bad ass out there to walk back to the B&B with me?’
Jesse shook his head. ‘There’s no way you’re going to win him over in five minutes, or five hours even. Five days, possibly, or five weeks, I’d say it’s almost a definite. He has to trust you. To like you, even, before he’s going anywhere with you.’ He paused. ‘Hard work. Bit like a woman, really.’
Winnie curled her lip at him. ‘You just don’t stop, do you?’
He lifted his hands palms up. ‘Just sayin’.’
‘I don’t know about us being bitter women,’ Winnie said. ‘It sounds to me as if you’re the one with the chip on your shoulder.’
He laughed and rubbed the heel of his palm into his eye socket. ‘On the contrary. I love women. You all just drive me fucking crazy with your complications and contradictions.’
‘That is so incredibly rude and ignorant,’ Winnie said, bridling. ‘So what, you hide out on your farm drinking beers with your donkey?’
‘I’m not a monk. I fuck sometimes. I even make breakfast afterwards. I’m one of the good guys; I don’t promise the moon on a string, because strings strangle relationships.’