Monday, January 26, 2015

Author Babette James

About Babette James:

Babette James writes sweetly scorching contemporary romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. As a teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! Babette lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and extremely spoiled cats.

You can find Babette at:

Amazon Author Page:

I Love the Shore by Babette James
I love the shore. Winter, spring, fall, or summer, I love the ocean breezes and the cry of the gulls and the peace of walking over the sand, summer thunderstorms barreling over the bay, and winter nor-easters leaving snow drifts in the dunes.

The original spark of an idea for my His Girl Next Door series was inspired by many summers spent at the shore in Lavallette, New Jersey. My brother met his wife there, his own "girl next door." I adore writing friends-to-lover stories and I thought it would be fun to write a romance series where my heroes discover love is just around the corner, literally. I set the stories in four New Jersey shore towns and four different seasons and I've had a wonderful time exploring some favorite and sentimental memories while writing these romances.

The first book in my series, Kissing Katie, is set in the summer at Lavallette, a quieter, more family-oriented small town just north of the busier and more famous Seaside Heights. In Convincing Cami, I move on to autumn and up along the coast to Point Pleasant Beach, a town I loved living in and visiting. Life in a shore town has a different pace in the off-season. The heavy crowds and traffic are gone. The boardwalk and beach are still there to visit, but the vacation mindset inspired by summer sun is over and work and weather keep you home more and focused on family life. As the temperature dips through autumn toward winter, curling up indoors with a warm and loving significant other after a long day at work is much more tempting than a chilly stroll on the beach. J

What’s your favorite shore town or vacation spot? What do you love best about it and when is your favorite season to visit it? I’ll give one commenter an e-book copy of Kissing Katie (His Girl Next Door – Book 1)

CONVINCING CAMI (His Girl Next Door – Book 2)


Sometimes love is just around the corner.

When Cami Alexander moves next door, it’s time for Jack O’Malley to concede the sweet and sexy fellow teacher is more than a long-time friend—she’s the one he’s been looking for in all the wrong places. He’s ready to put his footloose bachelor days behind him, but between his past, Cami’s doubts, her overprotective family, and well-meaning blind date offers from friends, convincing Cami they’re meant to be together is going to get complicated. Good thing Jack likes a challenge.
Cami's always had a little crush on the dashing, blue-eyed Jack, but when the heat in a spontaneous kiss surprises them both, she’s afraid to risk their friendship over mere desire. Passion proves irresistible, and one explosive night ups the ante on their dilemmas. Jack vows his love and to stand by her through every trouble, but she’s been burned by promises before, and this time more than her heart’s at stake.

Excerpt :

The old wooden ladder creaked and rocked with loose joints as Cami climbed. The thing must be as old as the house. She stretched, screwing in the first bulb. The step under her feet creaked, cracked—
And gave way. She shrieked, dropping the light bulb, but grabbed only air. Oh, this was going to hurt—
“Cami!” Jack shouted. Strong arms clamped around her. “I got you.”
Shaken from the close call, she melted into him. “Thanks. That was too close.”
“I knew I should’ve brought my ladders over. You okay?”
“Yes. Just a scare.”
He let her slide to the floor, but held her snug against his body. He would release her, any second now. She should step away. Instead, she wrapped her arms around his waist. She shivered, this time less from the scare and more from realizing just how close he held her. How he’d never actually touched her before beyond a social hug or handshake.
Her quiet little crush speared into a hot rush of want. How warm and sturdy he was. How perfectly they fit together.
She caught her breath and looked up to find Jack studying her with a puzzled, serious expression that she’d never seen on his face before. The twilight added a deceptive privacy to the dim room and made Jack’s eyes appear dark and deep with—
“This is a really bad idea,” Jack muttered. Tightening his arms, he crushed his mouth down on hers.
She gasped, and he seized full advantage of her mouth opening under his in the hungry, demanding kiss.
Oh, Jack was right, this was a really bad idea, but the surprising kiss was far too amazing to rally any effort to break away. With the curiosity of six years pressing her, Cami recklessly surrendered to the pleasure, not caring he had a girlfriend, not caring they’d just careened over the friendship line . . . and his warm body was hard against hers.
What a kiss! Far from a perfect kiss—too hot and rushed—but wonderful, wonderful, fierce, and toe-curling.
Curiosity killed the cat, remember.
Well, she wasn’t a cat, and this was just a kiss.

Come fall in love at the shore
CONVINCING CAMI is out on January 13, 2014 and Available for Pre-Order at:

GIVE AWAY ALERT!! Babette will be giving away an e-copy of KISSING KATIE, the first book in the series, His Girl Next Door--book 1 to a lucky commenter.

Monday, January 19, 2015

An Interview With Author, Clare Dargin

Interview With Clare Dargin

Author Bio

Clare Dargin is an author of Science Fiction and Romance and has been writing stories all of her life before being published in 2007. She’s a great fan of the two genres and loves promoting them.

An educator by profession, she possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in English from a major mid-western university. She presently resides in the Midwest and she hopes to expand her writings to include non-fiction, historical romance, and contemporary novels.



What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done? 

Oh that's difficult to say.  Hmmm if I had to choose one, it would be going to Europe to the UK when I was college.

What adventure would you like to have that you haven’t done yet if money and skill were no problem?

I'd love to go to Hong Kong and/or Australia.  Just because it'd look like it would be cool.

Who are some of your favorite authors?  What commonality do you see in them? 

Inside my genre there are too many to name!  But outside my genre it would be Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child books.  I just love reading them.  They have a balance of accuracy and great story telling with characters who seem to jump off the page with life.

I believe color says something about a person’s personality.  What’s your favorite color?

I recently saw QVC and added a new favorite color to my retinue- Sea Foam Green. But if that's not around, I settle for Royal Blue.

If you could have a do-over life, what one thing would you do differently?  What would you do again?

I wouldn't stress about the little things and as for what would I do over?  I'd just let things flow as life happened and act accordingly. 

What is your writing process from conception to finished MS?

I'm a tried and true pantster<---sp?  So I usually am inspired by something or someone.  And decide on the setting, if that hasn't already happened, then research the hell out of the topic if I don't already have some rudimentary understanding of it.

Are you a planner, panster or both?

Pantster.  I tried being a plotter/planner and it drove me bonkers plus I totally didn't even follow it after like two tries.

How did you research for your book?

The internet!

What is your all-time favorite movie?  TV show?

Star Wars.  TV shows-- too many to name.  At any given time I could name a different one-- like for instance right now I'm obsessed with Supernatural.  A few years back I was obsessed with Firefly.  So it ebbs and flows.

How important do feel writing workshops are to any writer?

I think they are great for the beginning writer or the person who is ready to get their work published but may not be certain if their work is ready to be submitted.  I've used workshops through list-serves in the past (yes my age is showing) as well as through letter correspondence-- (yep that confirms it, I'm old.  But not ancient.)

If you could learn one new skill, fear and money no deterrent, what would it be?

I'd learn how to appreciate musicals.  They make me nuts.  I hate them but people swear they are an art form and one part of me says- hey Clare you are missing out.  But right now there isn't enough money in the world to pay for all the therapy I'll need if I have to sit through one musical cause they make me crazy!  I'm like -no body walks on the street singing a conversation!  Music videos, yes, that's just a song performed in front of people with like pictures but musicals are plays that take too long to be said. 

If you had a million dollars to donate to any one charity, what would it be?

I would set up a free or low cost School Fine arts in Detroit for elementary and middle school children.  That's not donating but that's a dream of mine.  

What advice would you like to give to an aspiring writer?

Know your target audience.  Know the genre in which you are writing, learn about crafting story, dialogue, pacing, etc.  And practice! Practice by writing always!

Did anyone mentor you or help you along the way?  Please tell us about your mentor and what you feel they contributed to your writing career.

There are so many people who have laid the foundation for my dream of publication and I am grateful to them all.  But the one person who stands out is DK Gaston who helped me with my first love-- my scifi romance Cold Warriors.  He really took the time to go through it and brought it up to publishing standards with his editing and I truly believe he was responsible for my first yes in the publishing world.  Thanks #DKGaston #TheFridayHouse #TaurusMoonRelicHunter <--great book!  Buy it!

What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?

You have to love yourself before you can love others.  Because you can't give what you don't have.

If you could live anywhere in the world you wanted to, where would it be? (Language is no barrier)

In one of my books right after the Happily Ever After!

Where do you write? 

Anywhere I can get some quiet and time!

How much time do you devote to writing each week?  Do you have a day every week that you take off?

It's hard to quantify really.  But it is more than ten and less than forty.

What is a genre that you have not attempted that you would like to try?

Non-fiction.  A dream of mine.  Oh and the spy thriller genre.

Is there anything you would like readers to know about you?

I always have at least two or three books in the pipeline! 


[Ménage Amour: Erotic Ménage a Trois Romance, M/F/M, HEA]

Jilly Reimers wants love but can't find it. Chris Spinell is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who suffers from PTSD and a haunting feeling that something is missing in his life. Chris Poole is also an Afghanistan war veteran is ready to break out of his shell but is unsure how.

With Christmas just around the corner, they decide not to spend it alone. Believing The Love Play Matchmaking Service to be just what they need for a night of fun and passion, they sign up. But when the guys show up and see that they've been set up on a menage, the only one happy about it is Jilly. 

Their consultant, called an Eros, assures Jilly that the service has a perfect track record but she's certain they'll be the first ones to get their money back. Will they have a very merry Christmas? Or will the three spend yet another one alone?

A Siren Erotic Romance


Jilly idly twirled a lock of her hair as she gazed at the fire. The meal was good, a bit awkward, but all right. Now with Chris S. in the shower, she and Chris P., who’d freshened up after her, sat beside her. She hoped she’d get a chance to know him a little better, now that they were alone.

Unlike Chris S., Chris P. was quiet, more reserved. His warm smile could melt ice. They’d spoken a bit about his life in Australia and how he met the other Chris when they were on Diego Garcia, a tiny atoll in the Pacific. It was there he garnered a better perspective on life, friendships and love. She reasoned that war tended to do that to a person.

She looked at him again, admiring what she saw. He was gorgeous. If only she were a femme fatale like her friends. She pictured grabbing him by the scruff of his collar and planting a long seductive kiss on his pouty lips. Anything to ease the tension between her legs and the moisture dripping from her swollen pussy.

Golden and sun-kissed like a surfer, he had a look impossible to have around this time of year in Michigan, unless he spent countless hours in a tanning booth. But at the same time he didn’t look like the type who’d go to one. He seemed too rugged. She glanced at his short, flaxen hair, which he wore pulled back in a stubby tail. It accentuated his keen facial features. His physique, like that of a gladiator, made her want to whimper. Built like a brick wall without being too thick, he was three words—supple, etched, steel. And his Australian accent added to his raw sexiness.

Whereas Chris S. was the perfect picture type of the all-American, boy-next-door type, with light brown hair and sandy-colored tips and eyes so blue they looked like the color of tropical water. He reminded her of the high school captain of the football team who’d gone into the military and become a man, except he had a sensitive edge that permeated his being. While Chris P., who looked like he could take on a few guys at once, was more lighthearted and outgoing.

Either way, she knew she hit the jackpot because both guys were like something out of a magazine called Hot Guys “R” Us. They were a perfect ten. It was best Christmas gift anyone could have ever given her. She hoped a Chris Sandwich was definitely on the menu for the night. But how to get past the talking stage, she had no clue. She wondered if all of her Love Play’s match ups started like this.

Wearing some leggings and a cami, and he a T-shirt and shorts, she suddenly felt overdressed. The art of seduction was not something they taught in any of the schools she’d attended, and she sure as hell never picked up any pointers from her so-called “friends.” And her exes never gave her any encouragement in that department either.

This date should have come with instructions. I think I’m in trouble.

She let out a long sigh.

“Did you say something?” Chris P. asked, stirring from his long silence.

“I was just thinking how beautiful this place is,” she lied. What? How lame is that?

“It is. I’ve never been to a place quite like this.”

“Love Play has quite a reputation.”

“You’ve used it before?” He perked up, facing her.

Heat burned her cheeks. “No. It’s what I heard from some of their clients.”

“So have you been married?” he asked.


“Neither have I. Never found anyone to get serious with,” he said, shrugging. “I don’t know. Maybe cupid’s arrow doesn’t work on me.”

“For me they’re defective. Or maybe his aim is bad,” she said, trying to suppress the memory of her ex-boyfriend.

“What do you mean?”

“My relationships, they never work out.” She shrugged her shoulders. “For whatever reason, they seem to choose my friends over me. Or it ends up that way once we get together.”

He shook his head. “Nah. They were bad blokes from the start. Believe me. I know. I’ve been around those types my entire life. The randier they are, the worse they will be. If a man wants you, he’ll stay.” His tone was soft, almost vulnerable.


“So tell me,” he said, turning to face her, “you ordered this hook up?”

Again, her face flushed. She imagined it turning its characteristic red when the blood rushed to her cheeks.

“Yes. But according to the guidelines, you would have either had to be open to it or requested it too. Right?”

He chuckled. “I see he also got the smart I asked for. Yes, I am open to a ménage.” His expression became serious. “Do you think me odd?”

“No. I’m glad we share that desire.”


Chris S. slipped her undies over her round hips. They slid down her baby-like skin, exposing her shaved mound. More blood flowed to his dick, making whimper.

“God,” he said, fighting tears.

Through gritted his teeth and clenched his eyes, he forced himself to maintain control. It was getting to be damn near impossible. Everything about her was fucking outstanding. Lips, breasts, skin and pussy. He was ready to fill her pussy with his thick, hard dick.

He slid his finger into the folds of her wet interior. The thin crease surrounded by supple labia oozed moisture from her tight and tiny hole. He slid a finger inside her hole, and her taut muscles quivered at his touch.

“You want it?” he asked.

She moaned “yes” before being silenced by the other Chris’s mouth. He inched her legs apart. Moving in just right, he tasted her. Explosions went off in his brain. She was pure, simple, clean and honeyed. He wanted to mark her as his own. Delving his tongue in and out of her tight hole, he held her still, allowing her juices to saturate his mouth.

Lifting her legs, he opened her wider, curling her upward, burying his face in her mound. His breaths increased as his heart rate grew frantic. His hard dick, standing at full scale attention, threatened to bust a nut if he didn’t stop.

Pulling away, he set her down gently. “Got to go get a condom.”

The other Chris looked up, his eyes equally as dazed as he felt.

She swallowed, seeming breathless. “My bag, by the wall.”

The time for being cool had passed. Quicker than he’d wanted and less suave, he dashed toward it, finally seeing the stash. Grabbing the entire lot, along with a bottle of lubricating gel, he opened the box and pulled out two, handing one to Chris and keeping the other for himself. Setting it aside, he removed his shorts, exposing his aching dick to the room’s cool air. He grimaced as he slid the latex over his shaft. It hurt with a pain that would only be relieved by what Jilly had to offer. He squeezed the gel, which had the scent of strawberries, onto his palm. He fisted his hand and soaked his condom-wrapped rod with the smooth, thick liquid. The mere pressure of his hand gave him some relief, albeit short.

“Me first,” he said, climbing onto the bed.

Calming himself, he lay down beside her and turned her on her side. Wrapping his arms around her, he pulled her close. He spread her legs apart as she tilted her pelvis back. She melded her body to his. There was so much of her he wanted, not only her body, but her soul, mind, and yes, even her heart.

He took a hand and placed himself at her entrance. Slowly he pushed inside. He grunted and made himself hold back, lest he spill at that moment.

She was so tight. No doubt about it. This was going to be a short run. Inch by inch, he slid inside of her, stopping at the root. His balls drew in tight. He shifted her close and moved in and out slowly. Each movement became stronger as his control slipped. He needed the release, the kind that would give his aching balls sweet relief. Back and forth his hips moved inside her. She wriggled and moaned in response. Their mouths met briefly, tongues swirling, causing his stomach and heart to flutter. He increased his thrusts. Finding his target, she keened her delight.

“Yes,” she moaned. “Don’t stop.”

She pushed her ass toward him.

“Baby, I’m going to come.”

“Come, honey. Come.”

He grunted, harder and harder. Sliding his hand down to her hard clit, he rubbed it as his panting increased. Pressure built up behind his eyes, his mind went blank as everything in the world seemed to fall away. He couldn’t stop. Harder and harder he pushed, holding her firm and tight.

With light speed, he cried out, “God!” His hips bucked upward while cum poured out of him.

Slightly dizzy, he held onto her before letting her go. “Are you all right?”

Her kiss eased the butterflies threatening to kill the moment. Sliding out of her, he sighed, relieved. He gazed into her eyes. Instantly he felt the completed connection he’d sensed along. She was the one. And he saw that she felt it too.

* * * *

Jilly recovered her breath as Chris P. gathered her up into his arms. His musky scent was so spicy and inviting. She buried her face in the crook between his shoulder and neck. She was ready.

“On your back,” he said, holding her.

She nodded.

“Tell me if I’m hurting you,” he said, whispering in her ear.

From her tall Adonis, she was ready to receive all he gave her. Trust welled up within her heart. She knew he wouldn’t hurt her.

Placing her on back like she weighed nothing but a feather, he positioned himself on top of her. A lock of his blond hair obscured his face. She opened her legs. She felt his solid, round tip prod her hole. Panting, he pushed inside of her, his raw strength causing her pussy to clench. Each muscle spasmed to accommodate his thick and meaty cock. She cried out along with him. He braced himself.

 GIVEAWAY ALERT!! Clare will be giving away an e-copy of  COLD WARRIORS to someone who comments. Be sure to include your email address in your comment to enter.

Monday, January 12, 2015

How Open-Minded Are You?

How open-minded are you? 

You know, it's easy to look at someone, and yet, actually look straight through them. What do you see when you see a person in a wheelchair? Do you even see the person? Or just the chair?

How do you refer to a person in a wheelchair? Do you use terms such as Disabled, Handicapped, Physically Challenged, or Mobility Impaired? You know, a person can be in a wheelchair for any number of reasons.

I know someone in a wheelchair. He prefers not to be labeled as "Disabled", "Handicapped", or "Physically Challenged". To him, those words have a negative connotation. He tolerates the phrase Mobility Impaired.

I challenge you to open your eyes, and your mind. No. I'm not saying dash up to a person in a wheelchair and offer unwanted help. I'm just saying, "Open your eyes, and your mind. Be aware that a person is sitting there."

In my new release, the hero, Craig Johnston, is a paraplegic.

Give Away Alert!! Mickie will be giving away an e-copy of her new book, Christmas Crush to someone who comments. Be sure to include your email address in your comment to enter.


Although Ashley Wagner feels more like Scrooge than Santa, she keeps her promise and accompanies her sister back home for a Christmas wedding. Her three-day weekend is off to a rocky start, thanks to the unexpected run-in with her womanizing ex-husband, and his very pregnant new wife. She manages to get away with her dignity intact, but later, with old wounds ripped open, the professional crisis manager ends up in the middle of her own life-altering predicament.

Then, sports journalist Craig Johnston, wheels to her rescue.
Will Ashley spend Christmas brooding over bitter memories? Or will Craig, a dynamic paraplegic, present the deserving divorcée with a gift she can't resist?

Driven to perfect his sports news piece, Craig glanced from his laptop to the telephone when it rang. In a way, he was glad for the interruption. The knot in his neck said he’d been hard at work for hours. “Yeah?”
“There are two ladies here to see you.” The female voice on the phone advised.
Since the station operated on a skeleton crew because of the holiday, the call was from the security officer in the building’s lobby. Adjusting the rolled up sleeve of his white shirt, he asked, surprised, “Visitors to the station on Christmas Eve, Donna?”
“They say it’s about this morning.”
Those words commandeered his attention. “This morning?” He slapped down the cuff of both sleeves. “I’m on my way.” Quickly, he buttoned them, pushed back from the desk, then rushed from the office. His door shut with a bang. Craig took the hallway to the elevators, almost running down a co-worker when he turned the corner.
“Hey! Where’s the fire, Craig?”
“Sorry,” was all he had time to say as he continued on his way.
The elevator seemed to take a long time to arrive. Finally, the doors opened, and he dashed to board.
Memories flooded back to him on the ride down. Craig remembered how he recognized the woman was in trouble. Her luminous eyes held a faraway look. Nevertheless, in no way did that obscure their charismatic beauty. He reminisced about the cottony soft skin of the hand he held.
The elevator bell dinged.
Abruptly, he was a bundle of nerves. Big, strong, athletic sportsman, Craig Johnston experienced something he hadn’t in years—immediate infatuation—for a stranger, no less.
Chances of a slow reveal past as the security officer beckoned in his direction. The two pivoted together. Their resemblance was so remarkable. Although one appeared slightly older, he surmised a familial relationship. The younger one failed in her attempt to hide what he assumed was pity and alarm. His wheelchair probably caused her reaction. The woman he rescued never batted an eye of surprise. To his amazement, he watched her stroll over. A majestic smile curved her luscious-looking lips.
“I’m Ashley Wagner.” She extended her hands to him. “I believe you’re the one I should thank for being so kind to me this morning.”
Taking her outstretched hands, Craig looked at her. No longer in a rush, he took time to analyze Ashley. A feeling, akin to this morning’s enchantment, zapped him. “Are you all right?”
At that point, Ashley’s action mystified him. Craig watched her close her eyes. But, she never removed her hands from his fingers.
“Ask me that question again,” she urged.
Baffled, he obliged. “Are you all right?”
“That voice.” Her eyes reopened. They seemed to shower him with a joyful gaze. “I would recognize that chivalrous rumble anywhere.” Ashley squeezed his hands as if to impart power to her gratitude. “It is you.”

Purchase Christmas Crush at:

Author, Mickie Sherwood

I'm a cruise-loving, people-watching, picture-snapping baby boomer with time on my hands. So, I create sweet, and spicy relationship-based, mainstream contemporary, and romantic love stories.

Find me at:

Thanks to TRR for sharing my newest romance.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Write About What You Know

Paula Martin lives near Manchester in North West England and has two daughters and two grandsons. She had some early publishing success with four romance novels and several short stories, but then had a break from writing while she brought up a young family and also pursued her career as a history teacher for twenty-five years. She has recently returned to writing fiction, after retiring from teaching, and is thrilled to have found publishing success again with her contemporary romances. Apart from writing, she enjoys visiting new places. She has travelled extensively in Britain and Ireland, mainland Europe, the Middle East, America and Canada. Her other interests include musical theatre and tracing her family history.

Where to find Paula:

Group blog (where I blog each week):

Her contemporary romance, His Leading Lady, was first published in 2011, and has just been re-released by Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery, with a beautiful new cover.

CONTEST ALERT!!! Paula will be giving an e-copy of His Leading Lady to someone who comments. Be sure to leave your email address in your comment for a chance to win.

Write about what you know

His Leading Lady is set mainly in London’s theatre world, when small town girl Jess Harper is given the opportunity of a lifetime – to star in a new musical in the West End (the equivalent of New York’s Broadway).

We’re often advised to write about what we know – but my only experience of the West End is as a member of the audience in the theatres there.

However, I have been stage-struck for most of my life. When I was a child, my parents were Gilbert and Sullivan fans so my very first ‘theatre’ experience was The Yeomen of the Guard when I was about eight. I loved it (and still love the G and S shows). Repertory theatre was also still alive then, so my mother used to take me the weekly plays if she thought they were ‘suitable’ for me. Then, in my teens, I discovered Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals through the amateur operatic society in my home town, and I was hooked!

Although I had a few minor parts in school plays, I couldn’t really act to save my life (can’t sing or dance either!). However, in the 80s and 90s, I worked backstage with two local amateur musical theatre societies, doing either costumes or props. Also, for about ten years I produced two shows each year with the junior section of one society and I was privileged to work with a lot of very talented youngsters.

I’ve never worked in the professional theatre but I reasoned that rehearsals are pretty much the same as in the amateur world, as well as the glitches which happen with scenery and props, even when the show goes ‘live’ in front of audiences. I have a lot of memories of good (and not so good rehearsals), and of the excitement, adrenalin surges, and camaraderie of ‘show week’.

In that sense, therefore, I could write about what I knew, and the main thing I had to research was how professional shows are financed.

Of course, the background and setting of romance novels only form part of the story. Even more important are the emotions of the main character and we, as writers, can write what we know about those, since we may have experienced them ourselves – the thrill of falling in love, the uncertainty, the fear, sometimes the disappointment, even resentment and anger. Then, since romance novels should always have a happy ending, there’s also relief, joy, and happiness.


Jess Harper's life is turned upside down when her twin sister disappears a week before rehearsals are due to start for a new West End musical in which Lora has the lead role. Jess decides to impersonate her in order to save her career, despite her initial dislike of Kyle Drummond, the determined and arrogant director. The last thing she expects is the irresistible magnetism that draws them together, but there's also evidence Kyle dated Lora.

Is Jess simply a substitute, in real life as well as in the show? And what will happen when Lora eventually returns?


(Jess is posing as her sister, and she and Kyle have returned to Lora’s apartment after having dinner, the night before they are due to do a TV interview together)

Kyle followed her across the landing and panic fluttered in her stomach, like a bird caught in a net. Her fingers shook as she started to put the key in the lock, but his hand on her arm stopped her. “I’ll pick you up at nine thirty tomorrow.”

She looked round at him, genuinely taken aback. “But—but aren’t you coming in?”
The instant she said it, she could have kicked herself. Amusement flashed across Kyle’s face. “What man could turn down such an invitation? But no, tonight I must resist. You need a good night’s sleep and I—” He stopped and gave a half-laugh. “Let’s just say I have several things to sort out before tomorrow.”

Jess knew the feeling sweeping through her should be one of relief, knew she should say a casual goodnight to him and open the apartment door, but she couldn’t move. His steady gaze sent waves of heat flooding along her veins, and she tensed. When he put his hands on both her arms and started to lower his head, a warning bell shrilled in her mind but it was too late.

His mouth was against hers, soft and gentle, and so warm and tantalising that her head began to swim. A small gasp escaped from her lips and parted them slightly. Kyle’s arms went round her, and he pulled her firmly against him. His lips hardened and his tongue slid into her mouth.

She’d been kissed passionately before but nothing had prepared her for Kyle’s kiss. His mouth took possession of her in a seductive demand for surrender. As his tongue gently fondled hers, sensations she’d never known before heated her skin, ignited every nerve, and melted every bone. She gripped his shoulders, and involuntarily arched towards him, thrilling exquisitely to the firmness of his body against hers. The surrender he demanded was complete as she responded with the same fervour, wanting more, still more.

When he released her, her breathing was ragged, and she stared up at him, dazed and disorientated.
For a couple of seconds, Kyle stared back at her before blowing out his cheeks as he exhaled. “Wow, you certainly know how to make a man regret his decision.” He cupped her chin with his hand and his gentle smile softened the darkness of his eyes. “I’d better go, otherwise I never will. Goodnight, beautiful lady. Sleep well, and don’t worry about tomorrow. You’ll be fine.”

His lips brushed her mouth again in a brief parting kiss before he turned to the lift. The door opened, and she watched as he went in and pressed the ground floor button. Still numb, she raised her hand slightly. Kyle smiled again and tilted his head in farewell.

Only when she was staring at the closed lift door did she finally turn away. She let herself into the apartment, and caught sight of herself in the hallway mirror. Her face was flushed and her blue eyes stared back at her.

“Oh God,” she whispered, unable to think of anything except Kyle’s mouth, his tongue, his whole body. A quiver ran down to somewhere low in her stomach.
In the next moment, her jaw dropped and she clasped her hand to her mouth. How could she have allowed herself to respond to him so eagerly?

She tried to bring some order to her confused thoughts as she studied her reflection in the mirror. Lora’s clothes, Lora’s make-up, Lora’s hairstyle. Of course, he’d thought he was kissing Lora, and she’d reacted as Lora. Hadn’t she?

A shiver skittered through her. Playing the part didn’t explain her own response. Not only the way she’d returned his kiss, but the other treacherous feelings she didn’t even want to think about.
Relief, she told herself firmly. She’d been worrying about how the evening would end, and when he said he wasn’t coming in, relief had swept through her. Not a storm of desire, not longing, not need. Relief, nothing more.

Her mind feverishly struggled to deny what had happened to her, both physically and emotionally, and she diverted her thoughts to the TV interview. Once she’d done that, this whole charade would be over. She could go back to Rothfield and forget about Kyle Drummond.

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