Time for another tantalising treat thanks to Teaser Tuesday, the series where I share snippets from my novels, old, new and in progress.
This week, we sneak into adventure-land with The French Prize, my first romantic adventure and a book I had an absolute ball writing.
I’m enormous fan of the Indiana Jones and Mummy film franchises. And who could forget Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile! They seem to have everything that is fun: action, drama, puzzles, great landscapes, gorgeous heroes, feisty heroines and, of course, romance. So when I came across the story of Durendal, the ancient sword at the heart of The French Prize, I couldn’t help thinking what a great relic that would be to chase. Throw in a couple of charismatic protagonists, a murderous villain and Provence, and there’s a story aching to be written.
One of the things I really love about The French Prize – besides the setting and the clever heroine Olivia – is its broody, tortured hero Raimund. He’s so torn between duty and love! Watching him change from a man who believes he has no future beyond the army to one who imagines peace and happiness might be possible was sheer pleasure. And all thanks to Olivia. ‘Twas verra romantic, if I do say so myself.
The French Prize is available now in paperback and ebook from Booktopia, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play or your favourite retailer. You’ll also find lots of photos and more information on the origins of The French Prize on its ‘The Story Behind’ page.
Now enjoy this sighworthy taste of Raimund…
Easing from her grip, Raimund’s hands slipped up her arms to cup her shoulders. His thumbs teased the hollows and curves of her collarbone in smooth circular strokes, then moved leisurely across her skin towards her neck, as though he wanted to savour every inch. His breath caressed her cheek and lips, a whispered reflection of his touch.
Olivia held her breath, the anticipation exquisite, her desire igniting like fanned embers.
But to her utter frustration, he closed his eyes and shook his head in denial, his forehead rubbing against hers. There would be no kiss.
At least, not the sort she wanted.
With gentle, tender hands, he cupped her face, kissed her lingeringly on each cheek and then let her go.
‘It’s time for you to sleep.’
‘What about you?’
He held her hands to his mouth and kissed them, then laid them back on the sheet in her lap. ‘I must keep watch.’
‘But you’d like to stay, for a little while?’
His attention strayed to the window, as if somewhere out there, floating on the Mediterranean, lay a world only he understood.
‘What I would like and what I must do are incompatible,’ he said, turning sad eyes to her. ‘Some things are better left unstarted. They will only end in desolation.’
‘But it’s already started.’
‘Then for both our sakes, it must stop.’
But Olivia knew there wasn’t a hope in hell of that.