It’s release day and I’m so excited! Lucy and I had such a laugh writing this novel together, I hope you guys have as much fun reading it as we did writing it!
Flynn Gifford is enjoying a simple existence in a rural Derbyshire village when Caroline Rogers crashes into his life, barefoot and panicked.
Their lives could hardly be more different—she owns a successful luxury hotel chain, and he’s a penniless nomad who’s off the grid—yet neither can deny the attraction that burns between them. As Caroline reluctantly starts to open up to him, Flynn finds himself divulging some secrets of his own, secrets he thought he’d take to his grave.
But can a billionaire and a wild man ever make a relationship work, or will their secrets keep them apart?
The afternoon stretches into evening, and I’m anxious for Mum to leave.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come?” she asks again.
“I’m sure, Mum. I’m tired. I’m just going to have an early night.”
“Well, okay. I’ll be back by nine at the very latest and you have the vicarage’s number if you need me at all.”
“I’ll be fine, don’t worry. Go and enjoy your evening.” I wish she’d stop dithering and just go. I’m sure I can see Flynn leaning by a tree on the other side of the garden wall.
“Right, I will do then, if you’re certain.” She’s anxious. I can’t blame her after my flight earlier on.
“I promise. I’m just going to go put my pajamas on and read in bed for a bit. I’ll probably be asleep by the time you get back.”
“Well, okay then. I better go or I won’t have time to finish my arrangement.”
I wait until the door bangs shut and then count to ten before leaping up from the sofa and out of the French doors into the garden.
“Flynn, all clear!”
The figure by the tree moves, takes the wall in one jump, and walks towards me. It is indeed Flynn.
“Hey, Flynn. Mum just left, so we’ve got an hour, an hour and a half or so before she gets back.”
“Okay, you can do a lot in that time.”
I blush at the suggestive tone of his voice.
“Well, it’s plenty of time for a shower and a shave. Did you bring razors?”
Flynn inhaled noisily through his teeth. “No.”
“Well, no worries. You strip out of your clothes and put them in the washer, I’ll go and get some razors and foam, and then you can hop in the shower and get clean.”
“If you’re sure. I mean, I can probably live with this beard a bit longer.”
He scratches his chin absently. It must be very uncomfortable in this heat.
“It’s no problem. I want to see what you look like under all that hair.” I smile, and he replies with a grin that’s heart-stopping, even through the bristly undergrowth partially obscuring it. “Come on in, I’ll leave you to it and I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
“Thanks, Carrie, you’re a star.”
I’m almost at the village shop—which fortunately is still open—before I think about what I’ve just done. I’ve left a strange man in my mother’s house on his own. What if Flynn’s ransacking it as I buy razors? I’m fairly confident he’s a good bloke, but I rush into the shop, grab my purchases and take them to the till. The shop assistant raises her fuzzy brows and looks me up and down.
“Why do you need razors?” she asks.
“I need to shave my legs,” I reply tartly, “not that it’s any of your business.”
“It is when Marjory’s asked me to keep an eye on you.”
“Look,” I glance at the badge pinned to the assistant’s straining green tabard, “Pat, I appreciate you helping out my mum, but I promise you I just need to shave my legs, my armpits, my intimate bits and pieces, you know. I’m buying foam, too. I hate the sight of blood, and I dare not make that much mess in my mum’s house. So please just sell me the razors so I can get on with it.”
Pat looks at my legs, and I hope they don’t look too smooth under her critical stare.
“All right then. That’ll be seven pounds ninety-eight, please.”
I pay, grab the items, and rush out. My bloody mother sticking her oar in again. I wonder if there’s anyone in this whole village who she hasn’t told about my mental breakdown. No wonder I get so many funny looks when I’m out and about.
“I’m back,” I cry, flinging open the cottage door, “got your razors.”
No reply, but I can hear the shower running over the low thrum of the washing machine. Briefly I check the washer and note that Flynn’s put it on for a quick wash, grab some scissors to open the ridiculously difficult packaging and run upstairs then tap on the bathroom door.
“Flynn, I got your razors.”
When he doesn’t answer, a stab of irrational panic strikes. Has he slipped and hurt himself? Has he stolen the silver and left the shower running as a distraction? Does Mum even have any silver?
“Flynn,” I shout again. “Flynn!” I knock on the door. “Flynn!” I turn the knob, and the door opens. I walk in to see the shower curtain pulled across the side of the bath and I can see there is someone in there. In fact I can see creamy buttocks just sticking out behind the screen. I try not to stare, but it is a deliciously perfect arse.
“Is that you, Carrie?” Flynn’s voice carries over the clatter of the falling water.
“Yeah,” I reply, starting guiltily. “I’ve got your razors and foam.”
“Cool.” He puts his head around the front edge of the curtain, “I’m desperate to get rid of this hedgerow on my chin.”
“I bet.” I chuckle nervously. “I’m sure it must chafe when you’re kissing your girlfriend.” Stupid nerves. Why did I say that?
“Well, I’m sure it would,” he nods slowly, “but as I don’t have a girlfriend I can’t say for certain.”
“Oh, right.” My inane answer makes no real sense, but I concentrate on cutting open the lethal packaging.
“Thanks so much for helping me out, Carrie. I can’t tell you how good it feels to have a hot shower.”
“No problem.” I smile. “I’m just sorry we’ve got to rush around while my mum’s out. She’s just such a damn control freak, though.”
I step forward and pass him the razor. “Here you go.” The steam heats my skin, and I try really hard not to stare at his revealed chest, or peek at what he still has hidden behind the curtain.
“Carrie,” Flynn says my name as I’m about to move back. I look up into his eyes, and he takes me completely by surprise. He touches his hand to my cheek then pushes his lips against mine. I can feel the sharp pricks and bristles of his beard, but they don’t distract me from the plump softness and insistent pressure of his lips. I press forward, give myself over to the kiss, and then he pulls back and it’s over as soon as it started.
“So, what do you think? Does it chafe?” He smiles cheekily, and I know my cheeks are hot and flushed from more than the damp heat surrounding us.
“Erm, well.” I touch my face and it does sting a little, but maybe that’s just because I’m remembering how it felt as we kissed. “It is a little prickly.”
“Give me ten minutes and we’ll try it again without the beard in the way.”
Want more? Then you can pick up The Billionaire and The Wildman here…more links coming soon!