Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wednesday Writing: Kiss Me at Willoughby Close

Kiss Me at Willoughby Close is the third book in the Willoughby Close series, and it is out on May 25th. As I am about to go through the copy edits, I thought I'd post a little excerpt.

I love Ava as a heroine--sassy, seemingly unrepentant, and yet with so much sensitivity and hurt. Plus I love her sense of style :)

A beat-up pick-up truck pulled into the courtyard, and Ava stepped instinctively back as the door opened and a man stepped out. She blinked slowly, taking in the long, jean-clad legs, the faded denim hugging muscular thighs and an impressive arse. Now she was the one checking out someone’s butt. She looked away, but not before her gaze had traveled up an equally impressive chest, clad in a gray t-shirt, and then clashed with the laughing eyes of a man who clearly knew just how good-looking he was. Ava could tell, because she knew how good-looking she was. Like seeing like.
     Stupidly, a flush rose to her face, and she willed it down. She was not someone who blushed. And she had nothing to blush about it, in any case. She hadn’t actually been checking him out. Just… inspecting. Admiring, perhaps, because he was quite the specimen. But nothing more than that. The last thing she wanted to do right now was flirt, and he wasn’t her type anyway.
     “Um… Jace Tucker?” Darren cleared his throat and held out one hand for what Ava suspected would be a limp, damp handshake.
     “That’s me.” Jace Tucker had a low, rumbly voice, chocolate poured over gravel. Of course. Did he practice that, along with the sexy, knowing smile? It all seemed a bit calculated. A bit too practiced and pat, like a party trick he pulled out at will. “And you are?” he continued, and reluctantly Ava looked back at him, right into those laughing eyes the color of whisky, framed by a square jaw and dark brown, rumpled just-climbed-out-of-bed hair.
     “Ava Mitchell. I’m here to look at number three.” Which he already knew.
     “Good thing, because that’s the key I have.” He fished a key out of his back pocket and ambled towards one of the doors in the middle of the close, one without a hanging basket or pot of pretty flowers. Ava followed, slipping her sunglasses up to her forehead as Jace Tucker opened the door and then moved to the side to let her through.
     It shouldn’t have annoyed her, the way he did that. It was a gallant gesture, and yet one that seemed suspect since she had to squeeze by him, her breasts brushing against his chest. Ava fought another flush as she angled her face away from him and stepped into the little hallway of number three.
     From behind her Darren started reading the cottage’s details from a printout he’d brought.
     “Two bedrooms… lovely views of the Lea River… wood burning stove in the sitting room… dual aspect…“
     Ava tuned out his monotone as she walked around. The downstairs was open plan, the galley kitchen separated from the living area by a granite-topped breakfast bar. French windows overlooked a tiny postage stamp of a garden, with rolling fields and the glint of the river beyond. Everything smelled new and slightly plasticky, the white walls pristine, the wood-burner still in its foam wrapping, the manual for the cooker on the kitchen counter.
     It was small, but she was only one person. It was also empty, and Ava didn’t possess a stick of furniture. Simon and Emma certainly wouldn’t part with so much as a throw pillow, and to buy the bare necessities, even on the cheap, would cut significantly into her ten thousand pounds, but the one furnished rental in Wychwood-on-Lea had been little better than a bedsit and far too depressing. She might be poor, but she wasn’t quite that desperate. Yet.
     And, Ava realized, she wanted to live here. She was surprised by how strongly she felt that. She’d never had her own place. First living at home with her dad, and then six hellish months of kipping on her best friend’s floor. Then to London, sharing a squalid flat with a bunch of anonymous girls whose names she didn’t remember, and then Carleton House.
     Number three, Willoughby Close would be her first home. 

You can preorder Kiss Me at Willoughby Close here.

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