Saturday, 30 March 2019

When We Fall - new release


When We Fall by Olivia Rose

(Rocky Falls #1)


Genre: YA/NA Contemporary Romance  

#OliviaRose #WhenWeFall #ReleaseBlitzTour #BareNakedWords

Do you remember that moment? 

That one moment.

The one when you changed.

People might say it was this or that, but deep down you know. You know exactly what that moment was. Even if you're not ready to admit it to yourself. You know. I remember mine, it didn't just change me. It changed everything.

Everyone thought Mason Knight would be the whirlwind that swept me away, my unexpected hero in a leather jacket. But no one could've seen it coming.

That moment woke me up and made me see that when we fall, sometimes we need help to get back up.

Previously released under pen name Sloane Murphy - content has been altered and updated before republication.


What a story! This is exactly what I needed to jump back into reading. A really well told story that was just so good. 

Erin is an awesome character. She’s in high school and getting so much agro from people in her year. She’s never deserved all the bullying yet it hasn’t stopped throughout the years. 

Mason is sex on legs. Needing to turn his life around he finds himself moving house and moving school. This brings him to Erin and his whole life changes. 

Erin feels ages dreaming when the new hot guy Mason wants to be her friend. 

Can she trust him or will she get hurt again?

A well told story with relatable characters and a great storyline. I read half of this late last night and as soon as I got up this morning I finished it. So so good. Can’t wait to read more from this author in the future and of course this series.

The Snowman of Zanzibar - blog tour


The Snowman Of Zanzibar

Ex Rhodesian soldier Jason Green was frustrated and mildly depressed. The winter in London had been long and bitterly cold. The steady work as a freelance insurance fraud investigator was mundane and repetitive. This tedious monotony suddenly changes early on a frigid February morning when he is summoned to the offices of a wealthy investment banker in the City. The brief , to ascertain the source of the unanticipated wealth of the man's high flying young son. The time frame , urgent. The payout , enormous. Inspired and rejuvenated , Green takes the job immediately. The roller coaster ride that follows takes Jason Green from the grimy streets of London to the beaches of Cape Town and ultimately to the dark tropical jungles of the spice island of Zanzibar. Intrigue , chaos , murder , betrayal and revenge follow swiftly as a series of unfortunate events unfold. Events far beyond Green's control. Events that result in unspeakable violence and horror. The action comes hard and fast in this page turner and culminates in an ending that will leave the reader breathless.

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Author Bio – Gordon Wallis is a 50 year old author based in Zimbabwe , Southern Africa. Born of British parents he has lived there all his life. A keen reader of thriller novels , particularly those set in Africa , he has travelled extensively in Africa , Europe , The Middle East and Asia. He runs a number of businesses in Zimbabwe and is single.

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Friday, 29 March 2019

A Country Rivalry - blog tour


A Country Rivalry by Sasha Morgan

About the author
Sasha lives in a rural, coastal village in Lancashire with her husband and Labrador dog. She has always written stories from a very young age and finds her fictional world so much more exciting than the real one.

Follow Sasha:
Twitter: @SashaMorgan_
Facebook: @SashaMorganAuthor

About the book
Life in the beautiful Cotswolds village of Treweham could never be described as boring, but the arrival of a documentary film crew means that things are even busier than normal.
For the ever-so dashing Lord of the Manor Tobias Cavendish-Blake and his new wife Megan, it’s a great advertising opportunity as they’ve recently opened up their home, Treweham Hall, to the public. And for the chef at the local pub The Templar, Finula, the arrival of the brooding director Marcus Devlin, means her love life is looking up. Whilst at the racing stables, jockey and trainer Dylan Delaney is hoping the exposure will help him find new owners and horses for him and his partner Flora to train. But there is more to Marcus Devlin than meets the eye, and he has very personal reasons for heading to the Cotswolds. 
And once his plans become clear, life in Treweham may never be the same again. 

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The quaint country inn of Treweham village was still recovering. The Templar was 
well used to playing host to its local celebs and all the hullabaloo that entailed, but the village’s latest event had taken its toll on the sixteenth-century coaching inn. Lord Cavendish-Blake’s wedding had caused utter mayhem, attracting local and national press, not to mention the public, who had flocked to Treweham to capture anything they could of this momentous occasion. Dermot O’Grady, landlord of The Templar, wasn’t complaining, though: business had boomed and profits had soared. He made sure his staff had reaped the rewards, giving them hefty bonuses as well as the tips they’d earned.
Finula, his daughter and chef at The Templar, was worn out. He could see she 
needed a break and was going to suggest she take a few days off. He knew she missed her best friend, Megan, who had worked alongside her in the pub. Now that Megan was the new Lady Cavendish-Blake and had a role in the revamp of Treweham Hall, he doubted Finula would see her as much, which was a shame as he’d enjoyed the camaraderie between the two of them.
Dermot bent down to pick up the post that had been delivered that morning and 
noticed a cream envelope addressed to Finula. It was thick good-quality paper and 
had bold black writing in fountain pen. Dermot frowned; whose handwriting could 
that be? He walked through to the bar area, where the traditional wooden benches, 
oak panelling and stone floor gave it real character. Finula was behind the bar.
‘Fancy a coffee, Dad?’
He nodded. ‘Thanks, Fin. You’ve got a letter.’ He held up the cream envelope 
before passing it to her.Finula looked at it curiously. She didn’t recognise the curvy handwriting. Choosing to open it later, alone, she passed Dermot his coffee and made herself one.
‘Finula, I’ve been thinking.’ He eyed his daughter thoughtfully.
‘About what?’ She sipped her cappuccino and winced as it burnt her lips.
‘Maybe you should take a break. Have a few days away from this place.’
‘But what would you do?’ she answered, surprised at his suggestion.
‘I can always get help in, no one’s indispensable.’
She raised her eyebrows. ‘Thanks.’

Now you know what I mean,’ he gently reproached. ‘You know I think you’re the best chef ever, but seriously, Fin, you need a rest.’
She couldn’t argue with that. The last week had certainly been taxing, working long hours to accommodate the fully booked inn. Only now was normal life gradually returning, although being Megan’s bridesmaid and having the media buzz on her own doorstep was an experience Finula would never forget. The day had been wildly thrilling. She’d worn a beautiful bronze dress and had been driven in a horse-drawn carriage to Treweham Hall. Reporters, journalists, and the public had lined the country footpaths, waving as Dylan had gently guided the two carriage horses through the cheering crowds. It had felt surreal, and once the carriage had made its way through the security of the cast-iron gates of Treweham Hall, Finula had sighed with relief.
Even now she couldn’t help smiling when she thought of it. She smiled when she thought about a certain guest who had stayed at The Templar last week, too. 
Originally assuming he had been a reporter, she had been corrected by her dad, who had informed her that he was in fact a film producer called Marcus Devlin. From the short conversation she had had with him, Finula immediately realised he was from the same county as her dad, Roscommon, which was clear from his soft, Irish lilt. Dermot had soon struck up a rapport with their guest, exchanging tales from their home turf. 
Finula tried to deny her attraction to Marcus, knowing he’d be gone all too soon, but that hadn’t stopped her looking him up on the internet. Marcus Devlin apparently was an up-and-coming documentary producer with vision, flair and plenty of grit. Finula had admired his profile picture, the way his green eyes with amber flecks had stared broodingly into the camera. They reminded her of someone, but she couldn’t place who. His dark stubble and hair looked slightly unkempt, which gave him a rugged look. Finula read that he had been born in Roscommon thirty-two years ago, had attended the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in DĂșn Laoghaire, County 
Dublin, obtaining a BA Hons Degree in Film and Television Production, and thereafter had gone from strength to strength. He’d started out as a runner, quickly climbing up the career ladder to production assistant, director, then finally to the award-winning documentary producer he now was.
‘When I’m making a documentary, I live with it twenty-four hours a day,’ he’d 
stated in an interview. ‘It takes over my life.

He certainly looked intense, thought Finula, as her interest continued to grow. 
He’d lived in London, but had recently moved to Shropshire, taking a liking to it 
whilst filming on location there.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Review: Broken rules

Broken rules Broken rules by I.A. Dice
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. This is why I still blog. I haven’t seen this on social media so when I did come across it I loved the blurb and thought I’d give it a try. Well what happened was last night I thought I’d read a few chapters. That didn’t happen as I read three quarters of it and as soon as I could this morning I sat down and finished it.

Layla and Dante meet one night in a bar. This meeting is about to change their lives in more ways than one. Layla is the daughter of Frank a Mafia boss who is at war with Dante. Layla finds herself in the middle of a battle ground not knowing which side to take.

Yikes there’s so much I could say about this story but I don’t want to spoil it for you. This is a well written Mafia romance that I didn’t want to end... and that ending!! Omg I can’t wait to read more from this author.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Review: Tears of Glass

Tears of Glass Tears of Glass by Anna Bloom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the series so make sure you read Tears of Ink first. After that cliffhanger I couldn’t wait to read this and I’m delighted I wasn’t disappointed.

Eli and Faiths story continues and what a story it is too. These two are such fantastic characters. Two totally different kinda people yet they are so good together.

This is a brilliant read. We get to read more of their past so we get to know them more. This is one brilliant roller coaster of a story that I absolutely loved. Can’t wait to read more from this author.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

The Plastic Seed - blog tour


The PlastIc Seed
Two schemes uncoil—and, very quickly, begin to unravel—on the same day in the Australian town of West Glassport…

Jean Hima isn’t happy with the way her life has been going. First, her husband leaves her. Then, she loses her job as a midwife at the local hospital, over the easily-fixed misplacement of a baby or two…

Now, Jean is sure a snooty real estate agent is blocking her efforts to find a rental in a nice part of town.

Given possession of a batch of incriminating photographs, who wouldn’t begin thinking about a little life-restorative blackmail?

Written in three acts and covering a quarter of a century, The Plastic Seed is an environmental thriller that explores the hypocrisy of some aspects of the philosophy of wellness. This novella is part satire of the human potential movement, and sincere testimony to the ability of humans to face facts when given no choice.

Purchase Links

Author Bio – Maisie Porter works as a professional photographer in Australia, with wide experience covering weddings, though she has neither abducted nor been abducted by any competitors. No Reception is Maisie's first novel.

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Monday, 25 March 2019

Review: Bombshell

Bombshell Bombshell by Jane Harvey-Berrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so excited to read this as I absolutely loved Tick Tock. My expectations were high and I’m so delighted I wasn’t disappointed as this was so so good.

I’m not gonna rehash the story - it’s just not my thing. I will stay this story has a brilliant storyline. The author is in a league of her own with the emotions she pulled me through while reading this.

Bombshell will certainly be one of my favourite reads of this year, without a doubt.

Great praise to the author on an amazing read. I felt I could easily be watching a movie as I read this story. Can’t wait to read more from her.

View all my reviews

Seeing Angels - cover reveal


Title: Seeing Angels
Author: Harmony Lawson
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance/Fantasy
Publication Date: April 15th, 2019
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Camille Harper sees angels all around. They watch her. She is not sure why she was born with this ability but believes the knowledge will present itself in due time.
When she witnesses a confrontation between a beautiful angel and a dark winged creature, the strange event signals the end of her world.

Then she meets Jason and they enter an exciting but forbidden relationship. Her strange ability complicates things and puts her loved ones in danger. Camille wants a normal life, but changes lead to some apocalyptic event. Can Camille continue Seeing Angels without her life going to Hell?


Author Bio: 
Harmony Lawson and her family live in Northern California in the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She is a self-published author and self-taught in drawing, painting, and writing. She is fascinated by angels, Nephilim, and fallen angels. She incorporates her research into her fictional stories.

While she has endured many hardships in life, she believes she learns something new from her experiences. Life has its ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and Heaven and Hell. She believes the bad times are a test to prove a person's worth. Her books reflect on that concept. Writing also helps her heal from past traumas. In the meantime, she cares for her family, loves her pugs, and remains silly through all that life throws at her. Her goal is to be an introverted hobbit.

Author Links: 

Darker Than Desire - spotlight


Title: Darker Than Desire 
Author: Samara Dev
Rashida married Khaled al Hasiqi to get out of her country and save her brother. But the plan backfired when she began to fall for Khaled. She found he was nothing but a playboy who had married her to save his reputation as a high placed diplomat. Desperate to escape him, she left him.
But now Khaled has found her. She cannot keep running away from him, especially when he holds the key to her brother's safe return. Torn between staying and leaving, she finds the magnetic attraction he held for her rearing up again.
Across Parisian avenues and Icelandic seas, she accompanies Khaled, held silent by her deceit, yet swept away by the passion only Khaled can ignite inside her. The truth will be out one day and surely when Khaled knew everything, he would never forgive her.
Then she realizes she is trapped and not just by Khaled's alluring handcuffs...

About the author:

Samara Dev is a published Indian author who writes contemporary and sensual romance. She grew interested in writing through being a voracious reader. Her favorite genres are romance and mystery. Her humdrum, busy life changed when one fine day, she decided to give in to the procrastinated desire to write a book. Since then weaving other worlds and creating their characters became a passion and a profession.
She likes to explore new places and writes romance with a global feel. A proud indie author, she loves to work on every aspect of publishing as well as reach out to fellow authors and readers. Her other interests include reading about and discovering new aspects of health and nutrition.
Readers, please send your feedback and get in touch with her via Twitter @samaradevauthor or use the contact page at her website to subscribe for her newsletter:

He reached out and brushed a strand of hair from her cheek with a careless flick of his finger. ‘Did you think I would not try to trace you, my dear or did you think I would not have the means?’
The touch, as light as it was, wasn’t lost on her. She didn’t betray by a flicker of an eyelid but he knew she felt it. Knew because he felt it too and electricity like that couldn’t be generated by a single potential. Her soft blow of breath hit him almost as much as the contact. Her skin felt soft, like live silk and he felt like forgetting everything to indulge his relief on finding her. And because he felt like that, it brought up anger. She hadn’t cared, hadn’t hesitated in deceiving him…
A man, she had implied. The very thought made him seethe with raw fury, but what other explanation was there? He had mocked at her statement because he genuinely didn’t believe she could think of having another lover, let alone take one. Things had been too good with them. Much. Too. Good.
Book link:

Envy - new release

💀ENVY an #EliteSeven novel by @Author-MN-Forgy is LIVE!!!
Accept your sin wisely, for the tasks given to earn your place are not for the weak...they’re for The Elite.

$20 GC Enter→


This is book four in The Elite Seven series. Make sure you read the previous books Lust, Pride and Wrath before you read this one.  

This is Sebastian aka Envy’s story. The title is so appropriate to the story. I read this in one sitting as I really liked it. Sebastian is a complex and twisted character which gives us an interesting story. 

This is a fantastic series. I’m so looking forward to reading more of the series. Bring it on!

Review: Envy

Envy Envy by M.N. Forgy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is book four in The Elite Seven series. Make sure you read the previous books Lust, Pride and Wrath before you read this one.

This is Sebastian aka Envy’s story. The title is so appropriate to the story. I read this in one sitting as I really liked it. Sebastian is a complex and twisted character which gives us an interesting story.

This is a fantastic series. I’m so looking forward to reading more of the series. Bring it on!

View all my reviews

Sea of Lies - blog tour


Sea of Lies
He abducted her. He fell in love with her. He helped her escape. Can she trust him?

Sarah Evans has returned home after being abducted and held in a dilapidated farmhouse by a group of men.

With her is Martin, who turned against the other men to help her escape. He says he’s not like them, and claims to be in love with her.

Can Sarah trust Martin? Does she share his feelings? Or should she listen to her father, himself deceitful and abusive, and turn her back on the relationship?

Sea of Lies is a chilling psychological thriller about secrets, trust, and a family falling apart.

A standalone sequel to Thicker Than Water
Purchase Links


This is a standalone sequel to book one Thicker than Water. Although this can be read as a standalone I do recommend you read book one first to give you more background story. 

After being abducted and held captive by a group of men Sarah returns home with Martin... one of the men who kept her hostage. 

He turned against the other men to help her escape.....

Can she trust him??

This is a fast paced well written story that will keep you on the edge of your seats. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author on the future. 


Author Bio –
My name's Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.

What does that mean?

In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.

Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?

My books aim to fill that gap.

If you'd like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at I'll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I'll let you know when my books are on offer.

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Sunday, 24 March 2019

Hettys Secret War - blog tour


Hetty’s Secret War by Rosie Clarke

About the author

Rosie is happily married and lives in a quiet village in East Anglia. Writing books is a passion for Rosie, she also likes to read, watch good films and enjoys holidays in the sunshine. She loves shoes and adores animals, especially squirrels and dogs. 

Follow Rosie: 
Twitter: @AnneHerries
Facebook: @RosieClarke

About the book
In 1939, with the world on the brink of war, one women faces a future more uncertain than she had ever imagined...
Living in Paris, with the threat of war becoming all the more imminent, Hetty knows if she wants to stay safe, she must make her way home immediately. So she makes her way to the ports, hoping to secure one of the last places on the boats headed for England. But on her way she finds newly orphaned little girl who needs her help, and care. 
And so Hetty, with little Kristina, finds herself sheltering at Chateau de Faubourg, where they 
are both welcomed by Countess de Faubourg and her dashing son Pierre... But the gilded walls of the Chateau hide secret war work of the most dangerous kind - but Hetty knows she owes it to the gami Beth - orphaned as a child, Beth is coming of age and determined to do 
her bit for the war effort. 
Caught up in a whirlwind romance, she marries only to become a war widow....and one 
expecting a baby who will never know his brave father. Can she find happiness again? Hetty desperately trying to make her way back from Paris to her beloved family in England, a fateful and tragic encounter brings Hetty to Chateau de Faubourg where she joins the resistance and risks both her heart and her life fighting for charismatic resistance leader Stefan Lefarge... 
However dark the times, courage, determination and the power of friendship can overcome the hardships of war.


The church clock was chiming the hour as Georgie heard the stairs creaking and went out into the hall to greet her guest. Everything creaked in this old but much-loved house and it was impossible for anyone to come down without announcing their
arrival. She turned to look at the young woman; Beth was Annabel’s protĂ©gĂ© and adopted daughter, because she’d taken her in after Beth’s mother was murdered by Annabel’s first husband. Annabel’s marriage to Richard Hanson had been desperately 
unhappy and Beth’s mother had blackmailed him but he’d had her murdered, though it was a secret that Beth did not share. She knew that her mother had been killed but Annabel would never tell her anything more. ‘What a charming dress,’ Georgie said as the young woman reached the bottom. 
‘Where did you find that, Beth?’
The hall smelled faintly of flowers, some of it from a bowl of pot pourri on the well-polished oak hutch placed against the wall just outside Georgie’s front parlour, the rest from a large vase of sweet peas that she had picked from her garden earlier.
‘Hetty sent it for me from Paris,’ Beth Rawlings replied and crossed the hall to kiss her cheek, not from habit or duty but affection. She was rather worried about her friend at the moment because she knew Georgie was struggling to keep her spirits up in the face of her husband’s latest illness. ‘Isn’t it lovely?’ She did a little twirl to show off the movement of the beautifully cut dress as it clung lovingly to her slender figure, flaring out at the hem. ‘Hetty sometimes designs things for that fashion house, as you know, and Madame Arnoud lets her buy things for next to nothing. This dress 
was left over from last season, but that doesn’t bother me in the least.’
Outside they could hear the drone of a light aircraft from the airfield some two miles distant. It seemed to circle overhead for a few minutes and then the noise faded away. Both were aware of a slight tension in the other but neither referred to the 
noise, which was becoming more frequent of late. It seemed to bring home the threat of the war everyone said was inevitable.
‘I should just think not,’ Georgie said of the dress. ‘I would love to be able to buy something like that myself.’ It would make such a change from her habitual tweed skirts and twinsets, which fitted her way of life.
‘If you tell Annabel, she might be able to fix it up for you. She visited her sister last year, as you know, because she thought Hetty might want to come home now that she has left Henri, but of course she wouldn’t. Annabel isn’t thinking of going out again herself at the moment, not as things are, but Hetty said in her last letter that she might come home for a visit with us.’
At the age of seventeen, Hetty Tarleton had run away to Paris to live with Henri Claremont, who was a successful artist but a rather selfish man some years her senior. 
Pleas from both her brother Ben and her sister, Annabel, had met with a deaf ear these past nine years. Hetty was settled in Paris and enjoying her life too much to think of giving it up.
‘It might be a good idea if she came sooner rather than later,’ Georgie said and looked anxious. ‘If this wretched war is on the cards as everyone says it must be, she could be in serious trouble. But I don’t suppose it’s any good Annabel telling her that, 
of course. Hetty was always headstrong. Annabel suspected at the start that Henri would prove unreliable, but she couldn’t change things. Hetty was in love and Annabel had her own problems at the time.’
They had gravitated into the small but comfortable sitting room. Its furniture was perhaps a little shabby but well-tended and familiar, the scents of lavender and beeswax mixing with the fragrance of pine logs piled in the grate and the copper box 
next to it. Papers and books lay on various tables, a sherry decanter and glasses took pride of place on the sideboard, and Georgie’s knitting was on her chair. Arthur preferred hand-knitted socks to any that could be bought in the shops. The sight of the 
latest half-finished pair brought tears to her eyes, because she knew he might never wear them, and the thought of losing her dear friend was painful. Whatever else Arthur might have lacked, he had always been her good friend – and it was the reason she’d married him when she’d realised she could never have Ben. He’d promised to be patient and kind – and he had, always.
‘I know that Hetty can be very stubborn…’ Shadows clouded Beth’s eyes for a moment as she recalled that some of the problems Annabel had been dealing with at the time of Hetty’s elopement were because of her. ‘Annabel was afraid that she 
would be unhappy and I think she was for some months before she finally made up her mind to leave Henri, but although she came home for a few days she wouldn’t stay.’
Beth was quite a tall girl, slim and graceful with dark hair and rather serious grey eyes. Her manner sometimes made her seem older than her nineteen years, perhaps because of things that had happened in the past. The old scandal of Alice Rawlings violent murder had been forgotten now by most, but Georgie thought that Beth had been more affected by her mother’s death than people realised.
She’d been fortunate to have her grandmother, but perhaps more so that Annabel had taken her into her own family. There were no formal adoption papers, but to all intents and purposes Beth was Paul and Annabel Keifer’s daughter and as much loved as their own two children, Paula and David.

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Saturday, 23 March 2019

My Husbands Wives - blog tour


My Husband’s Wives by Faith Hogan

About the author
Faith lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and two very fussy cats. She has an Hons Degree in English Literature and Psychology, has worked as a fashion model and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector. 

Follow Faith: 
Twitter: @GerHogan
Facebook: @faithhoganauthor

About the book
Is it better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved?
Paul Starr, Ireland's leading cardiologist, has died in a car crash with a pregnant young woman by his side. A woman who is not his wife.
Evie, Grace and Annalise never thought they'd meet, but now they have to uncover the truth of their pasts. And suddenly they find themselves united by a man they never really knew at all.
As these women begin to form unlikely friendships they discover that Paul's death could prove to be the catalyst they needed to become the people they always wanted to be...

A heart-warming story of love, loss, family and friendship. A compelling debut for fans of Sheila O'Flannigan, Veronica Henry and Jane Fallon.

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Grace Kennedy
Paul Starr was tall – well, anyone was tall to Grace – he might have been gangly, but his thick dark flop of hair and chestnut eyes distracted her from noticing. His smile was easy, his voice low so it made her lean closer; she was charmed instantly. He was the most successful surgeon in Ireland. He was confident, sophisticated and, rumour 
had it, married. Grace knew who he was. Everyone in Ireland knew who he was. It was said that he was responsible for keeping a former U.S. President alive, as well as half the royal family over sixty.
‘You don’t want to believe everything you read,’ he said, and she realized that she’d never felt so equal to anyone who towered over her so much. She was used to being the short one; five foot just, before she put on her heels. She fingered the amulet that hung always at her neck. It was her father’s; a token to enhance the artist within. 
Its green gemstone brought out the emerald of her eyes and it made her feel safe, as though her father was still near. 
‘Who said I’d be reading about you?’ She couldn’t help fidgeting with her long dark hair any more than he could stop his eyes drinking in every moment of her.
‘This is impressive.’ He waved a hand about the exhibition. It was her second in a year. She felt she’d rushed it, but maybe some things were meant to be. They stood for a few minutes, making small talk. He wasn’t a collector – she could spot them a mile off – not of art anyway. She was about to move away, but he reached out, touched her lightly on the arm. The silver stacking bracelets that she wore jangled, the only sound between them that mattered in the crowded room. The effect was electrifying. ‘I’m just looking at this one…’ He walked towards a watercolour she’d 
painted two winters earlier, a stark white lighthouse against the rocks and grey waves of the western coastline. ‘It’s breathtaking.’ He caught her eye as he murmured the words. The look sent ripples of what she supposed was desire through her; she’d 
never felt anything like it before in her life. ‘I’m making changes,’ he said, moving closer to her so his voice was little over a whisper. ‘Making changes and it might suit; do you think anyone has their eye on it, yet?’
‘I wouldn’t know,’ she smiled at him, flirting in some strange subconscious way, couldn’t stop herself, even though she’d spotted his wedding ring immediately. 
‘You’d need to talk to Patrick.’ Her eyes skimmed the room for Patrick Marshall. 
Usually she could find him easily – he was never far away. His languid easy pose tended to dominate whatever space he was in, and she spotted him now surrounded by a coterie of enchanted hangers-on, regaling them with one of the funny stories he always had to hand. He was all she had here; Patrick knew this without ever having to 
mention it. ‘Oh, he looks busy. Anyway, you can always leave your name with the gallery.’
‘Perhaps I could commission a piece for my rooms,’ he smiled, catching her by surprise, ‘…at the clinic.’ His voice was light, she guessed they were a similar age, but she had a feeling he knew much more of life than she. He reached into his pocket; 
he wore an elegant off-the-peg navy jacket that moved fluidly. ‘Take my card. Maybe you could drop by, if you’re passing. We could…’ his eyes held an unmistakeable promise, ‘…have coffee.’
Grace wasn’t sure how she managed to walk away from him, but she made it to the other side of the room, her legs like jelly, her stomach a wasp’s nest of restless commotion. She silently cursed herself. The last thing she needed was to fall for a married man. She’d stay well clear of him, or so she told herself. She sipped sparkling wine gently – there were still speeches to be made, people to talk to, sales to close. 
Even if there weren’t, she’d had enough of being attached to people. She’d spent a lifetime taking care of her sisters and her mother. Her father had taken the easy way out – a double barrel, kept for foxes, in the end. She’d been the one who found him in his studio. He’d probably wanted it to be her. ‘You’re the strong one, Grace.’ He’d said it so many times. In the end, it was all she could remember of him. She’d spent almost ten years being the one who had to hold it together. All the time, her mother descended further into a bleak haze, clouded by prescription drugs for a series of spurious health problems, one of which would surely stick, someday. Grace got out at twenty-three. It took almost two years to make the break completely, for them to understand that they 
were on their own. She did what she could. It was either get away or die slowly, as her mother seemed intent on doing.