I wrote the Tainted Love Series of books to tell you what was going on in the lives of Zoe, Melissa and Tanya as Ethan and Nadine’s story unraveled in the Perfect Match Series.

Consequently, the timelines for the books are often in parallel with some of the events that take place in The Proposal, Lost In Solo, Heart Sync and A Leap of Faith and you’ll get occasional appearances from Ethan and Nadine and a few of the other characters from the Perfect Match Books.

Misplaced Love is Zoe’s story and it takes place just after the end of Heart Sync, though Zoe has made an appearance in a few scenes prior to Misplaced Love. In the Perfect Match books she is Billy’s girlfriend, and shares an apartment with Billy and his friend Ethan.  There is a scene in Misplaced Love which is also told from another point of view, in A Leap of Faith. Tyler makes a brief appearance in Lost In Solo, on Ethan’s 30th birthday when Ethan goes out with Billy and Zoe and meets some friends in Rocco’s.  Tyler is one of those friends and he is currently working as a male escort. He tells Ethan how easy it is to earn good money by doing what he does.

 

 

Reclaiming Love is Melissa’s story. Melissa is Nadine’s loyal and hard-working secretary. She meets Matt during the summer, in Lost In Solo, when he fixes an IT issue for her and Nadine. Reclaiming Love starts a few months later, in December, just after Nadine comes back from her month in Europe (in Heart Sync). Melissa’s story ends just as Nadine is trying to decide whether to give up Ethan, or to turn down her chance to work abroad for a year.

The Tainted Love books are a little darker than the Perfect Match Series and Reclaiming Love is the darkest of them all.

 

Embracing Love, the third book and final book, is Tanya’s story. Tanya first appeared in The Proposal when she interviewed Nadine for a job at the Zimmerman Group. Nadine later went on to replace Tanya in her role. Embracing Love takes place shortly after A Leap of Faith when Tanya relocates to Paris. She’s escaping San Francisco in the hopes of rebuilding her life and of course she’s given up on love altogether.

Because this is the last book in the series, you’ll get a glimpse of Ethan and Nadine and other characters from the Perfect Match books. For those readers who are familiar with Sandra Donnelly (if you’ve read the Perfect Match Series) please click here for a free bonus chapter on Sandra’s story.

 

 

The book is back! Needs a little tweaking. I’m hoping to have it out within the next 10 days. Watch this space ;-)

This is a draft cover but I couldn’t wait to show it to you :-)

Reclaiming Love is Melissa’s story…

 

A Leap of Faith is now available from Amazon and Smashwords.

I’ll update this post as soon as links to the other retailers become available.

If you’re a newsletter subscriber – check my last email to you first!

I hope you enjoy this novella about Ethan and Nadine.

Click to buy from Amazon US

Click to buy from Amazon UK

Click to buy from Smashwords

 

 

 

Nadine strode purposefully into the shiny clean offices of the Zimmerman Group as though it were another normal day at work—even though she had cleverly negotiated a two-week leave of absence barely a few days ago.
Dressed smartly, if not in her usual business suit, she held out her hand as the elevator quietly soared to the higher floors. She admired the gleaming rock on her finger.
She would never take this ring off.
It had been a few days since Ethan’s proposal had taken her completely by surprise. Quiet excitement still bubbled under the surface of her skin; it hadn’t quite left since that day at the park when he had suddenly fallen down on one knee and asked her to marry him.
She knew already that she couldn’t imagine any other life, not one without him. Not any more.
The elevator doors opened and Nadine beamed from ear to ear as she walked down the long hallway to her office. Ethan had gone to see Douglas, his mentor at the Hayward gallery, and, well—what was she supposed to do? They’d come back to the city for a few days, and she thought it would be a good use of her time to deal with important last minute things at work. Just in case anything had come up.

“Nadine?” Melissa’s surprised face welcomed her.

“Hey, Melissa. I know, I’m not supposed to be here, but I was passing through—I thought I’d look over the Noble Vintage specs. I think some of them needed to be signed off.”
Melissa opened her mouth to say something. “Michael already signed them off.”
Nadine looked crestfallen. “He did? Oh, okay, then I’ll just check a couple of things anyway now that I’m—”
Melissa let out a shriek. “Oh my goodness, is that a—you got engaged! Oh my goodness, Nadine. You got engaged!” Her secretary jumped to her feet and leapt over to where Nadine stood.

“I did,” Nadine announced proudly, and held out her hand while Melissa fawned all over her ring. “We’re engaged.”

“When? Oh my god, I’m so happy for you.” Melissa threw her arms around Nadine with excitement.
Slightly overwhelmed by the outpouring of emotion, Nadine turned a little redder. “Thank you.”
“Ethan is just the most perfect, perfect guy for you. You’re so lucky.” Melissa took a hold of Nadine’s hand again and examined the ring as closely as if she were checking for its clarity. “And he’s lucky too,” Melissa added, almost as an afterthought. “When’s the wedding?”
Nadine extricated her hand gently. “No idea. Let me get used to this first.” She beamed, unable to wipe that continuous smile off her face. The smile that had started the moment Ethan had proposed, and they had made up. The moment she just knew that turning down the opportunity to go to Europe was the right decision.

“We haven’t even thought about the wedding. It just feels so…comfortable reaching this far. You know?” She wasn’t sure if she was talking to herself or Melissa as she headed towards her office, just behind Melissa’s desk. No harm in logging onto the company intranet. Seeing that she was already here.

“I can imagine, it would feel right, with the right guy…” Melissa said.
Nadine nodded.

“But you’re crazy for coming to work when you should be out doing something else.”

“I’ll be gone soon. Ethan’s got some things to deal with at the gallery.” She opened the door to her office. “Is Michael in?” She might as well let Michael know of her good news.
“He’s been in meetings most of the day,” replied Melissa, walking back to her seat and bringing up the calendar on her screen.
“Oh?” Nadine usually knew of Michael’s timetable, yet this was news to her. She’d only been gone a few days and already it felt as though lots was going on at work. “Who with?” she asked casually, still hovering around the door.

“He was with the Noble Vintage guys this morning …” Melissa’s voice trailed off as she scrutinized her screen. “He’s in conference room one with Tanya right now. He’ll be free in half an hour if you want to see him.”
Tanya Braun? The woman she had replaced was back? Sandra had mentioned as much before. Why was Michael talking to Tanya and how come she knew nothing about it? Nadine’s throat felt suddenly dry.

“Okay.” She feigned nonchalance, trying to dismiss the clawing thoughts that seized her. “I’m going to check a few things and then I’ll be gone.” She disappeared into her office.
Minutes later, she’d looked through her diary, checked a couple of things on her list and then she walked out, casually strolling past conference room one. With its glassy front wall, it was easy to see who was inside it.
She stopped short, felt her stomach roil. Huddled around the table with intense looks on their faces were Michael Zimmerman and Tanya Braun. They didn’t see her, so deep in talks where they. There was no entry on her diary or calendar of Tanya coming in today.

“Well, well, well.” Nadine’s heart sank as a familiar voice behind her settled heavily over her like a damp blanket. She started to walk away from the all-seeing glass walls, not wanting the people inside to see her. And she especially did not want any scene playing out now.

“Sandra,” replied Nadine breezily, hoping her easy tone would filter through. She half-turned and gave Sandra a welcoming smile—a smile she hoped would imply that she was fine. Just fine.
Sandra’s beady gaze swept over Nadine’s shoulder. She snorted. “Worried?” She sneered, circling around her and facing the glass. “One golden girl replaces another.”
Don’t listen to her.
Nadine pretended to think about it. “Worried? Of course not.” She made to move away.

“The hell you’re not,” said Sandra. “Aren’t you supposed to be on leave or something?”
As much as Nadine tried to steer them away from the conference room, Sandra seemed intent on doing the opposite. She stood in full view, and any minute now Nadine felt sure Michael would look up and see them both.

“I must get on—I’ve got a couple of things to sign off,” said Nadine defensively. She ran her hand through her hair, tried to act relaxed, even if she felt as stiff as a dead body. “I’m off for a few weeks.”

“Then ask yourself why you can’t keep away.” A look of alarm fell upon her. “Is that a ring on your finger?” she asked, in a tight voice, rooting Nadine to the spot. Sandra peered at the ring as though Nadine had a big glob of bird droppings on her hand.
“Of course it’s a ring.”

“The escort proposed, did he? Well, well, well.” Sandra’s smile was slow, almost pained, as if it took a great deal of strength to make her muscles move in that direction.

“His name’s Ethan. Can’t you be happy for anyone, Sandra?” Sudden rage boiled up inside Nadine at the way this witch had referred to Ethan. She suddenly wished she’d taken Ethan’s advice and gone for a pampering day in the city. The only problem was Nadine didn’t do pampering too well. Hence the reason she was back at work and now taking a verbal lashing from the office Gorgon.

“It’s all downhill from now. Love? Marriage? Oh, puh-lease.” Sandra sneered. “Children? Everything you do, going forward, will suck up your time and drain you.”
Nadine almost shrank back. As nasty as she knew Sandra was, even this onslaught was one she hadn’t been prepared for.
Too shocked to reply, she stood there, letting Sandra attack her.
This time Sandra stood at Nadine’s side, as they both faced the conference room. Michael and Tanya were going through some paperwork and were still too engrossed to realize they were under observation.

“You do understand that you can’t have both, don’t you? It’s either your career or your marriage.” Tsk, tsk, tsk. “I thought you were smarter than that, Nadine.”

“I don’t know where your malice comes from, and I certainly have no interest in hearing any of your vicious outpourings on life.” Nadine made to walk away.
Sandra looked pointedly towards the glass wall and then glanced at her watch. “She’s replacing you. I’ll save you hearing it from Michael.”
Nadine lost the ability to speak and watched as Sandra checked the time. “I must go. I’ve got a meeting with the Flight people.”
That’s my account.
Nadine strained a smile, resisting the urge to question Sandra—knowing she expected this.
She finally made it back to her office and was relieved to see Melissa busy on a call. Closing the door to her office, she shut out Sandra, everything and everyone outside.

Seriously, what was she doing here? Nothing but a glutton for punishment. Why hadn’t she just gone shopping or for a massage instead?
She collapsed into her chair and felt her body shrivel into a heap. Sandra’s words spun around her like darts. What was she doing here? Clasping her hands together on her stomach she couldn’t help but notice the ring, then smiled.

At least this was something new, something welcome to get used to. She liked the sensation of it rubbing against her fingers when she interlaced them. She wouldn’t part with this for the world.

It didn’t matter what Sandra said. She might not have been able to manage both, but Nadine had every intention of doing so. Having Ethan didn’t mean she couldn’t continue with her climb up the corporate ladder.

Women reached and broke the glass ceiling and had been doing so quietly for years. She was one of them, she thought, with quiet satisfaction, and tried to think of the women she had met at conferences and networked with from the other ad agencies, who regularly made the newspaper columns for their achievements. She couldn’t remember if they were married or whether they had children. The women had mostly talked work at these events.
But women could have it all, couldn’t they? Or was this really the biggest trap ever set, according to the COO of Facebook? Sheryl Sandberg had done it, and so could she.

Children. Another item that had never made it onto her goals list but now was turning into something that could very well affect her a few years away. She still couldn’t see herself as a mother, but she could definitely see Ethan with babies and kids. Seeing him with his niece and nephew these last few days when she’d met his family had been eye opening. He was a natural with them and they loved him no end, it was so plain to see.

She liked his family.
His mother had been so weak and tired, but news of their engagement had lifted her spirits. Meeting Ethan’s family for the first time, Nadine had seen firsthand how close they were, how much Ethan doted on his mother, and how they had all taken to her. Though his niece Jessica was going to take some convincing.

Melissa knocked on her door. “Since you’re here, would you mind signing these off?” She handed Nadine a pile of what looked like expense forms that her team had put through.

“What’s wrong?” Melissa could tell her mood at a glance. “You look as though you wish you hadn’t come in today.”
Nadine picked up her pen, getting ready to sign the paperwork. “I shouldn’t have.” She gave her secretary a weary look. “Don’t worry. I’m going after this.”

“Good.” Melissa took the signed forms. “As much as I love working for you, I’d rather not see you for another two weeks.”
Nadine got up. She still had lots of emails to respond to, but they weren’t urgent. She’d been keeping an eye on them through her Blackberry anyway.

There really hadn’t been a need to come in at all. She’d known that—but she’d been unable to keep away. In a way though, perhaps it had been good that she had; otherwise who knew what else Zimmerman had up his sleeve?
She’d have to keep an eye on him.

 

Coming soon…

The new cover for my latest book, a novella.

I’m calling it Book 3.5 in the Perfect Match Series. You get a glimpse of Ethan and Nadine’s life right after book 3 (Heart Sync) ends. But this doesn’t take you to the epilogue mentioned in that book or beyond.

Instead this novella covers four months after the end of  Heart Sync.  As you might know, I’m currently writing books for the ‘Tainted Love Series’ which is a spin-off from the ‘Perfect Match’ books. These ‘Tainted Love’ stories cover the lives of Zoe, Melissa and Tanya.

While writing these stories I had to revisit Ethan and Nadine’s world – and that was how ‘A Leap of Faith’ was born.

I’m hoping to get it out to you before Christmas …

 

 

 

It’s just been released!

You can buy  ‘Misplaced Love’ – the first in the ‘Tainted Love’ series – from Amazon right now:

Click here to buy from Amazon US

Click here to buy from Amazon UK

 

My next book, the first in the ‘Tainted Love’ series is called ‘Misplaced Love’ and it is Zoe’s story. You might remember Zoe from the ‘Perfect Match’ series.

I’m hoping to release this book during the next few days.

Happy Halloween!

Chapter 1

Zoe dragged her battered suitcase out of the taxi and stood outside, staring at the familiar apartment she’d shared with Billy.

She’d moved in with him when things had turned serious between them. But even then, if she was being truthful, she wasn’t sure if it was because she loved Billy so much or whether she wanted to move out when her mom’s new husband moved in.

Her stomach churned and she wondered whether Ethan would be inside. He didn’t even know that she and Billy had split up, or that she had cut short their trip around South America.

It had all been so different when they’d set off, starting in Peru, and it was Peru where she had returned from.

She’d never made it to Ecuador or Bolivia. Heck she’d barely lasted a month. A month away on the road with Billy, running away from their problems. Why had she thought traveling might fix things?

Like flecks of dirt on white cotton, it had only highlighted them even more.

They still had another four to six months on the road, maybe longer. They didn’t have a concrete plan. Billy winged it wherever he went.

Winging it was fine—for people who could sleep easy in hostels where the floor crawled, and eat from soup bowls not caring too much what horrors floated beneath.

When Billy suggested they join the group of Australians instead of it being just the two of them traveling together as planned, she’d had enough.

With all their rows and with her mind constantly harking back to home, she hadn’t really been wholly convinced she had done the right thing.

She’d even signed up for the programming course she’d been thinking about. So when Billy changed their plans to fit in with the Aussie group, she quit her plan with Billy and focused on her needs instead.

He was now on his way to Ecuador and she was staring up at the redbrick building wondering what it might be like to stay with Ethan again.

Just as she got ready to walk up to the door, it opened and a statuesque girl with flyaway hair and hot pants rushed out. She pulled the corners of her teeny leather jacket together.

As if that’s going to keep you warm, thought Zoe, and wondered whom this creature had come to see.

Billy’s friend Andre had moved out in a hurry and Billy had told her their room was free again. It seemed serendipitous—as though she was meant to come back and follow her plan, instead of idly following him around.

If Andre wasn’t at home, it meant Ethan was.

And if Ethan was in, had that long legged gazelle paid him a visit?

It couldn’t be.

She sucked in her stomach and walked up to the door and knocked. No matter how many times they had called, texted and emailed him, they’d been unable to get a hold of Ethan, but seeing the girl leave just now had given her hope that he was in.

She waited, wishing he would hurry up, and yet the thought of being face-to-face with Ethan again set her nerves on edge.

When he didn’t open the door, she started to get irritated. She knocked again, and rang the doorbell twice.

Still no answer.

She crashed to the floor in a huff, flung open her battered handbag and rifled through it, muttering under her breath. She was tired after the long flight and needed a bed more than she needed food or a clean shower.

Relief poured out when she found the key. Getting up quickly, she opened the door just as she heard heavy footsteps on the wooden floor from inside. The angry voice of a man yelling greeted her.

The door yanked roughly open away from her, pulling the key with it.

She stared at the tall and slim shirtless man who opened the door wearing only jeans and a bad attitude. “I see her once a week, Chrissie. Why the hell has she started to demand two to three appointments a week?”

He glared at Zoe, then looked away and yelled into the phone. “I don’t care how much. I can’t see her so many times. This isn’t a full time gig for me.”

A rush of adrenaline tingled through her body. This wasn’t Ethan or Andre.

With the call over, the guy stabbed a finger at the cell and shoved it into his back pocket. He turned his attention to Zoe, his slate-gray eyes widening for the briefest second.

Zoe stood stupefied into silence, first by his rude manner, then by the sharp line of his abs. It rendered her speechless. Her gaze skimmed over the faint gauze of his five o’clock stubble—before dipping down lower to fix on his tight, ripped chest.

Her heartbeat raced and she experienced firsthand the sensation of free falling without leaving the ground.

The guy cocked his head and gave her a who-the-hell-are-you look.

And then she remembered.

Tyler.

He was one of the guys who’d been in the Dreamboys Dancers right at the beginning for a little while. They knew each other, through Billy. They’d all been friends, Troy, Jed, but Tyler was always on the outside. He’d only been with the group a short while before he left.

Her eyes widened as she recalled it now—he’d left to join an escort service. Apparently, he was the one who told Ethan all about it.

What the hell was he doing here?

“Ethan’s not in.”  He gave her a hard smile.

She felt more out of place than ever, especially now that Billy wasn’t here. She stood taller, mustering her bravado; the guy was tall—very tall—and the way he stared at her made her feel minuscule in her flat sneakers.

She had expected to sail right in, but this guy was barricading the door with his totally ripped chest.

Seconds passed while they had a silent but deadly standoff and she tried to find her tongue.

Finally, he stepped closer to the door—his hand on the door handle. “Zoe, right?” His eyes narrowed and the angry ridge between his eyebrows kept her at bay.

She nodded, wishing he’d put a shirt on. She grabbed the handle of her suitcase trolley even tighter.

“What are you doing here?” The slate-gray eyes remained cold.

She swallowed. “Billy received Andre’s email about him moving out in a hurry. He emailed Andre to say I’d be taking the room.” Her explanation caused the angry ridge to deepen.

The guy’s face was a mixture of confusion and irritation.

“I’m staying here. Andre moved out last week. Didn’t Ethan tell you?” He frowned at her, then scrubbed his jaw.

Ethan? They hadn’t heard from him since they’d left. “Tell me what?” This time her eyes narrowed. She wished again that he would put a shirt on. Jet lag made it harder to focus on his face.

“Your friend Andre moved out. Ethan knew I was looking for a place. So here I am.”

Zoe felt her body tense. His explanation just about tipped her over the edge and especially that idea that he seemed to think he had one over her.

“I think you got that wrong. I’m staying here. We got Andre’s email and we told him I was coming back. The room you’re temporarily staying in belonged to me and Billy anyway.”

But even as she said it, she remembered they hadn’t been able to check their emails while they were in a rural part of Peru. And when they’d received Andre’s email, it was a week after he’d sent it.

She knew what had happened. In the time that Billy hadn’t replied, Andre must have gotten a hold of Ethan.

It was the only explanation which made any sense, and which would explain why this caveman was now staring at her with that smug look of satisfaction plastered all over his face.

He gave her a cool, condescending stare. “Look at it any way you want; it seems I beat you to it. The room’s mine.”

 

 

 

 

It’s taken a little longer that I wanted, but finally ‘Honeymoon Blues’ is available on other platforms too:

Nook:
http://bit.ly/1nBFkrr

iBooks US:
http://bit.ly/1vPOu97

iBooks UK:
http://bit.ly/1vPOrtP

Kobo:
http://bit.ly/1le70H9

Smashwords:
http://bit.ly/1rzmfNZ

It’s finally here…the book many of you have been asking me about…and you didn’t have to wait as long as you normally do :-)

It’s available from Amazon right now, and will be available on other platforms around late August. I’ll post the links on my Facebook page at that time.

Meanwhile, here are the Amazon links – ‘Honeymoon Blues’ is discounted to .99 cents only until 29 July. So grab your copy right now!

Click here to buy from Amazon.com

Click here to buy from Amazon.co.uk

 

Buy Honeymoon Blues from Amazon

 

I’m starting on the ‘Tainted Love Series’ next…so you can find out what happened to Zoe, Tanya and Melissa from the Perfect Match Series – due sometime around Autumn 2014.

Who knows, maybe you’ll find out some more about Ethan and Nadine too ;-)

I hope you enjoy ‘Honeymoon Blues’ – and have a great summer xx

It’s here, the cover to Honeymoon Blues, the third and final book in the Honeymoon Series.

I’m still looking to release the book by sometime next week…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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