Getting randy with Randolph Quinn, another hot steamy tease – this time from ‘Wealth’. Adults only.

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A moment of passion, a ‘sexcerpt’ from Emma Calin’s steam suspense romance ‘Wealth’. This is the first time that Kaitlyn and Randolph make love.  They’re on board the Platinum Demeter – his super yacht, docked on the River Thames in London, just next to Tower Bridge.

The story so far….

Kaitlyn Thorn,  a traffic cop, arrests billionaire banker Randolph Quinn, after he crashes his brand new Maserati into a tree, chased by two figures on a motorbike. He surely seems to be the victim of a targeted attack, but his super-confident manner and cheeky banter arouse her suspicions. She’s left with no choice but to lock him up. This guy is too full of himself. Since that moment her life has been turned upside down. At his request, she’s been assigned to guard him 24/7 at a ‘safe house’. Just who is this guy to demand personal protection – and get it?  But their cover is blown and they just escape a petrol bomb at the new, supposedly secret address. The Albanian mafia is after him and someone on the inside has leaked their location. They’re on the run and now she doesn’t know who to trust.  She’s been ordered to stick with him – whatever happens. Apart from the trouble she’s having keeping him alive,  she’s finding herself increasingly attracted to this dashing wheeler-dealer.  They’re going to make their escape on his yacht – he’s going to pass her off as his latest companion.  She’s not had time to pack – and it’s too risky to return home, After a few hours with his unlimited bank card and a personal shopper in Harrods, she’s all set for whatever is to come…..

 

Chapter 8

She knew she looked good. The sapphire and diamond earrings sparkled in the light from the chandelier. The ring glinted on her finger. The dress was a perfect fit, the slash running just high enough up her thigh to provide an interested man with a glimpse of her lace trimmed panties. Was she allowing herself to be seduced by wealth, power, and sexual desire? Could her integrity be so easily put at risk? Too damned right it could and she knew it. She looked good, the champagne was a dream and Randolph Quinn was gorgeous. It was time to go through that door.

For a moment he didn’t speak. His hair was still wet and even darker, swept back with an aristocratic insouciance. He had changed into a white shirt accentuated by his tan. A Hermes belt held up his black Zanella handmade trousers. She held his eyes before executing her twirl.
“So, so lovely,” he said with an astonished simplicity. “I thought you’d scrub up well, but you didn’t need much on top of what you’ve got. But bloody hell, how am I gonna keep hold of a girl like you?”
“First you’ll have to get hold of me at all.”
He took a couple of strides and pulled her into his arms. His kiss was as if their lips had once before been molded in the history of a man and a woman. It was a finding of place, some place that you would always crave once you knew it existed. A helpless pulse buzzed in her groin. She let him hold her thrilling spot to the hard muscle of his thigh. She was hot and wet, feeling almost too close, far too close. He groaned a little as her belly pressed into his powerful erection. If he ran his hand now up her bare thigh she would come as they kissed with wet searching tongues. She was holding herself tight, feeling his hard cock pushing against her. She was just holding that pleasure, just too long, couldn’t hold back thinking of his cock jetting his juice into her as she came. She played a hard-core fantasy of him jerking off, helplessly pulsing out his sperm. He held her tight in support as she convulsed against him. My God, she’d just let go. She must be gushing as she growled out the last spasm of her ecstasy into his mouth and onto his softly kissing lips.
“That was so beautiful, such a compliment to a man to think someone so lovely would find pleasure in him.”
“I, I, I sort of wandered off into the long grass,” she said.
“I’ll have to fix up some sort of safari on a really big savannah,” he said with his warm smile. “We need to eat and think about our situation.”
She took a deep breath. Bloody hell, she’d just come kissing him. Maybe he hadn’t realized. Teasy aftershocks still flickered in her own little shaft. His hand ran down across her breasts to her waist. He led her to the door and out onto a swish dining deck with panoramic views and a glass-domed roof. The lights of the coast were sprinkled along a dark horizon.
“That’s Canvey Island and Southend. We’re at anchor in the Thames Estuary. Unless the bad guys have got warships or submarines we can relax here.”
She took in the view. They were at the top of the enormous ship.
“I used to sell burgers at my uncle’s fairground diner on Canvey Island,” she said.
He nodded and smiled, pulling her to him.
“We’re from the same pod, ain’t we? I love the old fairground stuff, the rides, the fried onions, the rifle range sideshows and the cuddly toys. I always dreamed a lovely girl would be on my arm one day and I’d win her the prize teddy. Pity we can’t go ashore.”
He spoke in his normal cheeky way but with an edge of sadness. She pushed her fingers back through his hair and looked up into his eyes.
“You could take a girl to a fair, surely.”
“If I could find the right girl and if my life could ever be normal.”
“Like not being a billionaire on the run from the Albanian Mafia. If you want to talk about your options, I’m your girl.”
He tweaked his eyebrow, but didn’t answer.
“One day we’ll have caviar and lobster thermidor, but tonight I’ve just ordered a couple of big rib eye steaks. Don’t tell me you don’t like fries.”
They took a window table while waiters brought them their meals. The steak was rich and soft. He poured generous glasses of red Chateauneuf du Pape. She took a slug of smooth heaven. Added to the champagne, the wine swept aside her reserve and focus.
“So, Randolph just bloody well tell me why you want me here?”
“I saw you and liked what I saw. I said to myself here’s a brave girl who’s out on her own in a cop car, turning up at whatever happens next. How many girls do you think are interested in billionaires?”
“Dunno, might be a few old slappers I suppose. Generally a sweet virgin like me wouldn’t be interested.”
“And that’s why I want you. Kaitlyn, you’re fucking gorgeous and you know it.”
“I want you to know I play Bingo with my mum, I get drunk and sing karaoke, and, and. And I’m starting to really care about you and I’m fucking terrified that you’re going to hurt me.”
She blew out her cheeks. She was a bit drunk and just saying what she thought. She had never been made to play girl games. He reached out and took both of her hands in his.
“Hurt you? You’re afraid of that?”
“Yeah. Simple. I get swept up in you and you soon see the real boring deal. You won’t want any commitment like all the bloody rotten bastards and users, and I’m there with my fake smile saying I understand. Look Randolph, it’s the wine talking, but shit I don’t care. I should never just open up like this, but I’m afraid of my own helplessness if I want a guy. I know it’s not hip or feminazi to tell you that but that’s how I am. Maybe that’s why I shoot guns, do karate, drive fast cars.”
His eyes were on her face, their kindness almost a caress.
“And why you have that tattoo of Ishtar on your arm maybe?”
She nodded. Had she ever truly thought about the reason?
“She represents female power, but a lot of that power is in the idea of giving love too. It says I’m someone, not a cop. It says I’m all sorts of stuff.”
He turned her arm to see the whole design. He leaned across the table and gently kissed the figure at the groin.
“I can’t say I’ll never hurt you. All I can say is that I won’t ever hurt you by turning away from you.”
“How the hell can you just say that about the future?”
“Because I’m the kind of guy who knows what he wants. If I hadn’t known the future how would I have known you’d want a steak? My powers are supernatural.”
“Your powers are barrow boy bullshit crook.”
“And your powers are burger-flipping karaoke girl.”
He shrugged and held her eyes.
“OK, we’re just two black and white biographies fallen from Facebook into each other’s arms. Face value’s the only sensible price if you don’t want to spend too much. Doesn’t mean we can’t dance, I guess.”
He made a sign and a guy started to play a piano in the far corner of the room. The tune was silky and familiar. She had to. She bloody well had to sing.

With a song in my heart
I behold your adorable face
Just a song at the start
But it soon is a hymn to your grace….

His eyes softened in a way she’d never seen a man react as she sang the song remembered from her father’s vinyl Ella Fitzgerald collection when she’d dreamed of being a real singer, not a girl’s night karaoke queen. She hung onto the notes, watching him grip his bottom lip in his teeth, almost as if he was fighting to hold back emotion.
She finished the song as the piano guy stood up to applaud. Randolph was simply laying his eyes on her face and watching her lips.
“So beautiful. You really can do it, can’t you? You could steal a heart from a man, roast it, carve it for his dinner, and he’d be begging for more.”
“That’s one hell of an image.”
“Worked as a butcher’s boy as a weekend job,” he said.
She smiled. She’d caught him by surprise and he’d changed the mood so as not to show his soul. Maybe, just maybe, he’d been hurt too.
The piano re-started. And there on the dark sea with the land of all their dangers held away for this one night they danced, often lips to lips, threatened only by the terror of love.

Chapter 9

It was 2 a.m. Too late to be in his bedroom, watching him undress, the shirt slipping from his broad, muscular shoulders. This guy had the build of a fighter. He hadn’t dragged her there, hadn’t made her sit on his bed to watch the show. God, he had already made her come in her panties with a kiss. Much more of this and she’d have to deal with her issues herself. He ran his hand over the hard flat muscle of his stomach, letting his fingers stray down under his belt where the first hint of his pubic hair teased up onto his tanned skin. His fingers were at the buckle. Kaitlyn, it’s only sex, it’s only pleasure, she told herself. He was watching her, letting her know that he knew where her eyes were fixed.
“It kind of gets personal in a minute,” he said with a slow smile.
She kicked off her shoes and lay back on the bed, propping herself up on the pillows, wantonly showing her panties.
“I did the cabaret, you do the striptease,” she answered, feeling the excited pulse of her lust in the depth of her belly.
He smiled back, flicking off the buckle and stepping out of his pants. Now he stood before her, his hard cock bursting from his white briefs. Her eyes shot to the slight darkening of the fabric where his man juice had already started to flow. She felt evil, wicked. She let her hand drift to her pouting hot groove. His eyes widened as his own hand slid to his cock. Her fantasy was of his semen pulsing into her hot tube. She closed her eyes, let the image take her. Oh God, he was pulling away her panties, his tongue was teasing and urging her on. She opened her eyes to see his head buried in her groin as the jolts of orgasm doubled her over onto him. For a second she subsided, allowed the tease to build without holding herself tight to bring it on. She looked down again. He was licking her, conscious of her climb to her summit, and jerking his own massive cock. His fingers eased inside her as his tongue drew her on and on. Her own hands went to her nipples sending the final sparks of release to her clitoris. She was letting go without abandon, animal sounds expressing the jungle of her woman soul and lust. His hot cock filled her as she was coming and then built her again to some higher peak from which she could only crash like a massive wave. She heard his deep voice urging her as his hard cock drove in to the limit of her flesh. Her own hand reached for her clitoris. She had to catch his wave as he groaned out his release into the heat of her flesh. She caught that same wave, calling out into the blur of desire and coming, coming, coming into the shallows of a tender kiss and the opening of eyes to see the gaze of love returned.

He didn’t move, didn’t turn away but kept his eyes steady on her face. His voice was slow and deep.
“At last I’ve made love with a woman.”
She smiled.
“You’ve made love to plenty of girls, Mr Quinn.”
“I said made love with,” he replied.
“I guess not too often on the first date. I imagine it’s no use saying I’m not that sort of girl if we assess the evidence.”
“It’s not our first date. You invited me back to your police cell, gave me a cup of tea without even a kiss and left me alone all night and I could have done with your company believe me.”
He lay on his back, pulling her to rest her head on his chest, his arm around her. She’d just forgotten everything she knew about men, about being a cop, about every kind of risk. In the warmth and the illusion of safety in his hold she didn’t care. She simply didn’t care.

For the rest of this story, download the complete book at http://www.smarturl.it/webwealth

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If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share, many thanks. Emma x

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Come on without… come on within…

You ‘aint seen nothing like… An author interview with one of Emma’s most outrageous fictional heroes,  from ‘Wealth’… Mr Randolph Quinn.

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A vessel like Platinum Demeter,  on The Thames near Tower Bridge, London.

No matter how ever long I live in London, she will always excite me and I’ll always be a tourist. Although I write about many locations which I’ve seen with my eyes, with London I write first from the heart. In most places I hate winter but here in this northern capital, there’s a blue sky clarity and stoic face of regal stone that says – I’m exposed and stripped; this is the truth of me.

Christmas is piled up and put away behind us now. Around my home in Chelsea the famous London plane trees are bare like naked mannequins in the windows of Sloane Square boutiques, cool and poised for those spring fashion shows. Yes – this is her mood today as I step out into the street. Today I’m a woman on a mission and of course – that means a man.

There are brave enthusiasts who drive cars in London, but why miss all the fun of public transport? Today I’m heading for the Chelsea Harbour river bus stop. The Thames Clipper service speeds up and down the Thames from Putney out to the Emirates cable car crossing, where PC Helen Marx did that fateful drugs handover last summer. As always I’m ten minutes early and there’s no sign of the river bus as I look up towards Battersea Bridge and the iconic chimneys of the old power station. (Pink Floyd fans will know this image from their 1977 Animals album cover).

My mind flicks back to my teenage years. Today I’ve tarted myself up to meet a guy twenty years younger than me. I should know better but believe me, the old urge is still there. I stroll towards the pier. A menacing looking grey open power boat is blocking the landing pontoon. A couple of guys are at the controls. One of them sees me and jumps ashore. He moves with strength and power. He’s headed for me, balaclava type hood framing a handsome face. God I like watching men. I love that big handed kind of competent and confident strength thing. OK – I’m old fashioned but you were allowed to be like that when I was young.

“Emma – don’t you know me?”

I stare. I’m on the way to see a suave banker type. This guy is familiar but all in tight black like a frogman he’s just a broad mass of hard male. OK, there is an outline of something in the groin area. I don’t look – honest. He pulls off the headgear, longish dark brown hair falling free. He beams and reaches out both arms. I can’t help it – that little flutter that’s thrilled me (and led me into all kinds of drama), all my life sweeps up and settles…somewhere nice.

“Randolph – Randolph Quinn. What the hell?

“You told me you were coming so I though you’d like a ride.”

“How did you know where I was?”

“ You said you were coming on the river bus. The guys tracked your phone – come on this is me. You know who we are and what we can do.”

I smiled. For sure I knew what he could do and rather regretted I’d never had the chance to let him do anything to me. I take both his hands. His brown eyes are still full of mischief. I start with an obvious and very banal question.

“Are you still the world’s richest man?”

“Good question. As it happens Kaitlyn’s gone out shopping so maybe she’s made a hole. With a bit of luck I can pull back a few bucks before the City of London closes tonight.”

He leads me down the pier to the boat. I’d dressed for the river trip in black leggings, my Dr Marten rose embroidered boots, a thick woollen jumper and of course my fur hooded duffel coat. I know this sinister looking craft. It’s the M-46 Interceptor from the belly of the world’s biggest super yacht, the Platinum Demeter. Luckily the speed limit on the Thames through central London is 12 knots – that’s about 14 miles per hour. That’s fast enough on a cold day without shelter. I take a seat beside him while the other guy heads us out into the channel. Within minutes we’re passing under Lambeth Bridge and slipping past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Randolph is holding my hand, like I’m a girlfriend or something. Maybe a nervous mother. He called me to say he was in London, moored at Tower Bridge alongside HMS Belfast. He suggested lunch on board maybe running in to dinner with his partner Kaitlyn. The power boat slows as we pass the Tower of London on our left.  I see the elegant pure white Platinum Demeter ahead as the traffic passes to and fro across the world famous opening bridge. Our pilot eases the Interceptor into a water-filled hangar in the hull of the ship which is the size of a small ocean liner. Now this is wealth. He steps out and I take his arm. We pass through sliding glass doors into a warm atrium with elevator and pots of palm trees. In a corner a guy is playing a grand piano. The contrast with the cold wind and roar of the boat is astonishing. I feel like a farmer’s wife just stepped in from hand milking wild cattle on the hills. I need to blow my nose and probably reapply my whole face. We’d not really been able to converse during the journey.

“Randolph – I feel like …”

“I bet you don’t feel like you look,” he says, big smile, tousled hair from pulling off his balaclava.”

“You don’t know how I feel.”

“You look sexy fantastic and wild. You’re way too cool to admit to that.”

“Let’s form a committee around the wild. I think we can agree.”

“Hey – committees – that’s like group sex without the sex.”

“I’m writing about politics sex and power. Committee just popped out. I meant to say I need to adjust my presentation Randolph.”

He’d thrown the sex in to shock me. He doesn’t know me well enough. He knows I’m vain and attracted to him so he’s just being his normal persona of irritating arrogant multi billionaire sex god.

“Me too – Let’s head upstairs. Gin and tonic, wash and brush up. Perfect.”

His hand eases into my back. His touch makes me close my eyes. Does that happen to you girls? Makes me kind of feel I could just lie back and let him protect me. We stand in the elevator. He’s 6 feet three inches. I’m 5 feet four. He smiles. Down.

“Why don’t you ever look older Emma?”

“Cos you’re too vain to wear glasses.”

“Hey – you’re teasing me. Nothing worse than a woman who knows you.”

“Except a woman who doesn’t want to know you.”

“Yeah – lucky you came to save me from someone like that.”

“You can save yourself Randolph. First time we met you were giving a lovely girl a load of shit.”

“That was no girl – that was a mean cop on my case. That was something else.”

Suddenly his tone had changed. His mind had flicked to Kaitlyn, his lover and partner. He would joke and tease with me, but love was a serious business – even for the richest man in the world.

“How did it feel – to fall for a cop?”

“It felt good economics. She asked for nothing.”

I smile. Just for a moment I thought he was going to talk deeply about love. The elevator stops at his suite. Grand windows look out onto an open deck. The carpet is deep and luxurious beyond belief. This truly is the seduction of wealth. I want some answers before I give up and relax.

“Why her? Why a traffic cop who was giving you problems?”

“As soon as I saw her there was something. I wanted to keep my eyes on hers. It seemed natural and right. She locked me up but there were killers outside so I was cool about that. I was alone in a police cell. She was going off shift but she stayed on and made me a cup of tea. An act of kindness is an act of love, although not romantic love. All the same an act of love shows the heart.”

This was a strange man. Never had I come across a guy more serious and yet more flirtatious. I knew his father had been a petty crook, stabbed to death. I knew he’d come up hard in a dog-eat-dog environment in south London. To be frank, he’d said all he needed to say for now. He loved her at first and he loves her now. All I’d done is set them on a collision course. I needed to restore my status – or at least brush my hair.

“Did you say gin and tonic?”

Randolph went to a long unit stacked with bottles and glasses, all set behind rails in case of rough seas. It was a job to remember this was a globe-wandering vessel. It was like the Ritz.

“Sure tidy up. I’ll fix the drinks.”

I wander through to the marble bathroom and brush my hair in the back-lit mirror. I re-do my lips and check my look. Well, Randolph doesn’t think I ever look any older.

I go back to the salon and relax into the deep blue Mastrangelo velvet sofa. He smiles. His nautical dry suit is on the floor and he’s wearing pale ripped jeans and a grey Lonsdale work-out vest. His feet are bare, tanned and strong looking. He hands me a Square Mile English gin laced with Fever Tree tonic. It looks like a quadruple – it swallows like a shameful night of who gives a f**k lust. I feel pampered – and you know kind of squeezy in the thighs. He smiles again, lifts the intercom phone and seems to talk to the captain.

“William, I’ll tell them when to open Tower bridge, OK? There’s nothing more important to the City of London than Sackman-Platinum bank. No! We don’t wait in any lines because there’s no line we don’t own.”

“Some people would say you’re brash and arrogant,” I say as he slams down the receiver.

“Some of them would be right. I’m so happy you see through me to the sweet little boy inside.”

“Do I?”

“You’re here and giving me far too much beautiful soft blue eye contact if you don’t think I’m a sweet little boy. If you’re wrong and I’m like the sort of romantic hero you find irresistible you could have a problem. Not because of me – because of you.”

“You’re so bloody full of yourself Randolph.”

“Yeah – no one else fitted my clothes so I had to fill the gap. That Desmond Merrion stuff is too expensive to waste.”

The gin is working on my novelist’s similes. I’m looking at this incredibly wealthy sexy guy. He has charm, he has ruthless dominance over others. I get a sort of shudder – like a kind of shiver women get in those vampire books. No – Emma it’s not possible. He’s fixing me another gin. He leans in and kisses my cheeks.

“I was so rude. You’re more or less French and we didn’t kiss yet.”

I take a tiny sip and look shamelessly at those broad shoulders, those rock hard rowers’ triceps. Yeah, my blue eyes are following his deep brown eyes as they scan my sex, my breasts, my lips. My neck. Randolph Quinn is not normal OK. Fuck it Emma – you’re fifty blah blah. Get a grip.

“So you still work for Sackman-Platinum bank Randolph?” I say, taking a deep deep breath and forcing my eyes to his chest.

“Sure – the billions roll in. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.”

“This bank – your bank, it has a certain reputation for …..”

“Money laundering and tax evasion.” He leans back in his chair and laughs towards the ceiling. Then his gaze snaps back to my sozzled eyes. “Emma, I love you but I can never square with you. You knew that the first day we met. I’m every bastard you can name but there is a longer game. A few people know the truth but you never will. You do not have the clearance. Things have moved on from you. That’s what happens in life.”

I’m fighting the gin and the groin twitches. I’m on top of the gin.

“OK, you run this bank. You have fabulous but mysterious wealth. Your lover is a straight regular cop? What the fuck Randolph? What does she know? You owe me that information since I hooked you two up.”

He’s leaning back in his chair. He’s looking at me, hands steepled under his chin, his thumbnail between his teeth. He speaks slowly.

“Kaitlyn knows everything and that’s all you’re ever going to know.”

His tone is deliberate and final. Maybe I believe him. Between you and me – I don’t. I absolutely fucking don’t. I decide to let sleeping dogs get pissed on gin. I ask him a muddled question from my erotic haze of a brain.

“What do you know about Ishtar?”

He smiles and nods with genuine personal warmth.

Ishtar“Ishtar is Kaitlyn. It’s the tattoo of a goddess on her arm. For years she’d felt that this Assyrian goddess defined her true soul and one day she had the courage to have her image tattooed on her arm.”

“Does it define her?”

“A couple of days later she met me so for sure that’s powerful juju.”

“You’re a big-headed man Randolph.”

“How else can a man compete with a goddess who is both war and peace, love sex and fertility and also both sexes? To round it off she has all knowing wisdom. OK – I’m still a winner over that stuff but it’s a tough fight every day.”

“I think you’re joking,” I say unable not to laugh at his little boy expression.

“Emma – don’t fret. I love Kaitlyn. She’s never asked me for anything other than honest love. She’s fought at my side, saved my life. That tattoo on her arm is there for her. It proclaimed herself to her. Nothing in this life can give you strength that’s not within but some ideas and some people reveal to you what is within you. No matter who you are there’s ten times more strength, determination and love within you than you ever thought. Kaitlyn found that inspiration in Ishtar. By having a monster tattoo on her arm she proclaimed that identity with an unstoppable voice. Then she had to follow.”

“You’re a psychologist Randolph.”

“You don’t get rich by not knowing what goes on in people’s heads Emma.”

“But it’s not all about being rich is it?”

No, of course not. Maybe I’ll sail south for the northern winter but hey, maybe I’ll go skiing for a few days. Maybe I’ll talk to the president of the USA about what I want on Chinese trade deals. Maybe I’ll tell your English prime minister what I want to do about this Brexit stuff. Nah – being rich doesn’t get you anywhere.”

I tossed back the rest of my gin. This man was right This man had unlimited wealth and power. This man had a wonderful honest woman in his life. For me I’d always have to know more. The jury is still out on sexy gorgeous Randolph Quinn. He loves to tease and tell me I’d feel differently about him if I knew what he knew. He knows he’s gorgeous and that wouldn’t be too easy for me to live with.

“If it were all about money you wouldn’t be wasting time chatting with a poor old woman like me,” I say, daring him with a raised eyebrow not to contradict me.

“Hey, Emma – we can fix the poor. Come down to the trading deck and I’ll fix you a Sackman Platinum loan of ten thousand pounds. Then I’ll look over your shoulder and you can place my trades in your name. You could have a million before lunch. We’re expecting a run on the Australian dollar but their central bank will step in to support the price. We’ll keep buying cheap as long as the dumb political suits are prepared to buy dear.”

I look at his face. He’s serious. He’s a smug bastard.

“With that sort of money I’d have no drive to get up and write books.”

“Hey Emma, you mean it’s all about money for you too? I always knew that deep down you’re just like me.”

I had to smile. Randolph Quinn always manages to have the last word.

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An author suffering for her art… the quest for authenticity takes a dive

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It’s time to check out another book in my steamy suspense romance series. The title is WEALTH. I’ll admit I had a ball with this. Our heroine Kaitlyn isn’t a greedy girl. She works shifts as a traffic cop, scrapes by for cash and still doesn’t really know who she is or what she wants. Then the storm hits her. The first wave is infinite sexual love with a fabulous man. The second wave is infinite money. The rest of the story is about enjoying both. Hey – I loved imagining and writing this story. I’ve not quite been the same since and it’s not because of money…..I’ll explain.

You guys know that I try to write about real places I’ve seen for myself. If it feels real to me I’m hoping that’s the way it comes off the page. I adore Paris, so I had to check out the little bistro in the Latin Quarter where a daring kidnap and shoot-out takes place.

Then the story heads for Italy. First up is the high fashion world of Milan and a hotbed of inter-mafia tensions. Just as I was wondering how to get there, my partner surprised me with a little trip. These days kids go through the routine of gap years and back-packing tours of the globe. Back then neither of us had the freedom or money to do that stuff. We went to work, paid the taxes and dreamed of a pensioner’s cruise – maybe. With a book to research why not join the back-pack trail and head off for Italy? The kids groaned and rolled eyes but what’s the use of parents if they don’t embarrass you? We set off by train to see Milan, Rome, Florence and Venice. What could possibly go wrong? What danger could there be in admiring the architecture of the fabulous rail station of Milan while waiting to catch the train to Rome?

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A DARING ADVENTURE ON THE ROOF OF MILAN CATHEDRAL – NO SLIP UPS HERE

There I was loaded with my unfamiliar heavy back-pack, wobbling along the uneven concrete forecourt. A pothole, probably left by Mussolini, seduced my foot and I crashed to the ground, trapped by my luggage. There was pain. I knew it was bad. My partner hauled me up and draped me on the hood of a taxi. We had a conference. Life is about choices: My partner made a sympathetic male patriarch type decision.

“I think you’ve broken your humerus. Generally they put you in a sling and tell you to smile through the pain. We’ve paid for an hotel and a very expensive Vatican tour tomorrow. We go on to Rome, buy a sling and maybe pray for divine intervention in St Peter’s. Then we see the sights. If you don’t cry and howl I’ll buy you an ice cream. Then we go to the hospital.”

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MEDECINE A LA MILANESE

And that is what we did. My arm was swollen and black. The X-Ray showed the break and the fragmentation of the ball joint. We bought a deluxe high fashion Italiano sling at a shop recommended by the hospital. My man bought me an ice cream. I smiled through the pain as we flew home without going on to Florence or Venice. The rest was one handed typing and physio. It took me at least six months to get back to anything like normal.

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SMILING THROUGH THE TEMPORARY SLING AT THE VATICAN

Far more importantly, I had seen the venues I wanted for Seduction of Wealth. At last I felt as if I had truly suffered for my art. Very soon I’m going to plan a story in Florence and Venice. I’ll be back.

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HMMM…. THUMBS UP? I GOT THE VENUES FOR MY SUSPENSE ROMANCE ‘WEALTH’!

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A Rendezvous with an Old Friend – Emma Calin meets up with Sophia, from Crowns.

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A character interview with Sophia Castellana from suspense romance novel ‘Crowns’ for the Passion Patrol.

I’ve been at my home in south west France working on my next Passion Patrol story. There’s still some warmth in the sun in the middle of the day. I’m as English as fish and chips but my partner’s home is in France – a good 300 miles south of London where the sun is higher in the sky. A couple of days ago I was amazed to receive a phone call from a French woman working at Versailles – the royal palace of France at the edge of Paris. She introduced herself and informed me that the Queen had invited me to dinner at the Chateau de La Roche Courbon – an impossibly beautiful castle very close to my home. I wondered why some official had called me but I guess royals have staff to fix everything. The caller outlined her wishes:

“Her Majesty is hoping to see you alone on ziz occasion. Her ‘usband is gone to Canada for a spa water cure with his friend Monsieur Trou d’Eau. Her Majesty is also very happy in realizing zat you are writing sometimes for papers and magazines and can put forward her private aspects to zee public. It would be her plaisir for you stay overnight and sample her new crude wine.”

I put the phone down and sighed. Sophia – married to Charles 11th of France – is a bloody difficult woman to be frank. I caught sight of her at the Royal Ascot race meeting the day of the terror attack. I’d also seen pictures of her in the celeb’ magazines at the christening of the Ambastilias baby in Naples. The parents Helen and Marco were beaming but Sophia looked – well you know, regal. I think it’s her way of staying aloof from the semi-scandal surrounding her marriage. By staying above it all, she doesn’t have to talk dirty if you know what I mean. She was thirty nine. He was twenty four and a very innocent young guy. Sophia has a very close friend – Martine La Plume, president of France. I mean, these girls are very close and the press like to reflect upon the nature of their relationship. Is that what she wanted to talk about? Dear me – not my bag but I’m as curious as any cat and about to look at a queen. A few days later I kiss my man au revoir without saying too much and prepare for une promenade on the wild side – maybe.

I drive my elderly little Citroen C3 past the main castle building with its Sleeping Beauty towers into a private courtyard. A severe looking female with hair tied back into a bun stands by as I stop. She takes my small overnight bag and leads me through an old wooden door studded with chunky iron nails.

“Zeez are the servant’s lodgings. Her majesty will join you in the castle. The fires should have warmed the rooms.”

I follow her back out across an open area where I remember there was once a film crew making the TV show ‘Born To Be King’ about Sophia’s husband, Charles. That was a few years ago during all the French political upheaval which ended up with a grand yet constitutional monarchy. My companion has a strict and frigid military manner. The evening is deepening with the V formation of crows swooping down to roost with raucous calls, echoing a mortal shudder of black wings. I remember too that this was where Sophia first met Charles, when her life was very different and the woman destined to be a queen was herself a prisoner.

We enter a huge kitchen with a rotisserie style spit turning over an open wood fire. A wild boar is still recognizable as it sizzles, dripping fat down into a tray. A maid operates the mechanism with a rope and chain while basting the meat. The aroma hits my hungry button with a sledge hammer. OK, I’m not too self-denying or PC. We walk through to a grand salon with chaises longues, Louis XV chairs and a cheminée with a roaring log fire. A line of chestnuts squeak as they cook in the heat of the hearth.

“Her majesty will arrive Madame,” says the strict cool lady, pointing to a chair and moving back into the shadows.

“Thanks,” I say in English not wanting to show any imperfection in my French. I feared she might have some kind of school teacher’s baton in her pants to correct naughty grammar students.

A door opens and the Queen of France walks in. Of course, I knew her when she was Sophia Castellana, a London cop, before she turned cougar and scooped the boy king. I stand and she comes to me, arms open, smiling. I prepare for the French two-cheek peck but get a hug and a woman’s warm lips more or less on my eyebrow. OK – I’m cuddly short and Sophia is willowy tall.

“Emma – Emma you came to me. I’m so happy.”

I relax and smile back. She’s wearing a burgundy velvet pants suit, a cream high-necked blouse and a double string of pearls. Her face is calm and her long aquiline nose still gives her an air of aristocratic certainty. She seats herself opposite to me in the light of the fire, crosses her legs to show off her flat heeled hand stitched leather boots. I’ve worn medium stiletto heals and a blue and cream striped jumpsuit I bought in Naples in September. I look at my scarlet fingernails and romantic display of gaudy rings. Fearing the chill of a draughty castle I completed my look with a wool blazer, in dark navy with a sparkle silver plaid in the weave. She was out-gunned. I was just out-classed.

“That hog smells so good. If you hear a noise it’s me rumbling,” I say, not sure what to call her.

“It’s in the tradition of the great kings of France and of course of the English royal house of Stuart”

“Oh yes – like the heritage of Charles – I mean your husband, um – the king.”

“Yes, indeed – now we try some chestnuts and our vin bourru. It is the autumn tradition here.”

bourru

From nowhere a waitress steps forward with two bottles of what looks like cloudy cider and places them on a side table. Then she collects the chestnuts from the hearth and sets them on a heavy earthenware dish, their skins split and giving off a sweet yearning aroma. The girl pours the wine into large glasses, curtsies and departs. A couple of low electric lamps come on in the corners of the room but still her features change and reflect in the firelight. I sip the drink. It’s fizzy, yeasty and actually lovely. I peel a chestnut as Sophia does the same. I feel a bit awkward – like maybe you would, wanting to ask a queen what it’s like being a cougar and if she’s also gay. I raise my glass to her.

Salut…

She catches my hesitation.

“Sophia, please and salut to you.”

We make eye contact. The French believe that a toast needs eye contact to ensure good sex. It’s my favorite tradition.

“Sophia, I was a bit nervous. Since we last met you’ve been mixing with the great heads of state, the artists, the stars and all the other royals of the world. You’ve gone beyond my realm of experience.”

She stared into the fire and spoke without looking at me.

“And what do you think of me now?”

“Sophia – the truth is I don’t know you now. I think you’re beautiful, I think you’re regal, I think you’re strong and brave. When you came to France after that night in London, that terrible night of death, I wasn’t expecting you to marry a boy and end up as a queen.”

“A boy you say?”

“A boy relative to you. He’d never had a fight, or a woman. He’d been training to be a priest for Christ’s sake.”

“He was twenty-three, I was thirty-eight. If a man of forty marries a woman of fifty-five – so what? Who would care?”

I nod. She was right. She was so right.

“Look, I’m with you on that. We expect different things for and from a man of forty that’s all. Maybe he’s not looking for a child with a woman. A younger man still has to make his way in the world.”

“Sure I get that. Supposing you had a baby crab that had lost it’s shell while the hungry seabirds hovered above the beach. Let’s imagine that this is the last crab and it needs to survive at all costs. To save a society from civil war a man needs survive and bring a new focus to the people. Charles needed that and he wanted no one but me. He loved me.”

“And you loved him?”

She turned to pick up her glass and smiled. Her eyes were warm on mine and I could feel her strength.

“Emma – you of all people don’t run from the complexity of love. Love is not one thing. You can watch waves on the shore and they can always look the same. Yet, in the history of time no two waves have made exactly the same sound or the same exact pattern on the rocks or sand. When two people meet it’s like that wave and like that shore. If love was a precise idea everyone would know exactly how to get it – like we know how to make a pizza.”

I laugh.

“A French queen wouldn’t talk about pizza.”

“My name was Castellana. I’ll never be French no more than the Medici.”

“So, he loved you and….”

“And I felt my own sexual desire as a woman. I felt pride that a young man would desire me over perfect younger women. I’ve had a child and have the belly medals to prove it. I felt power like I guess a teacher feels power. I’ve never wanted ultra-Alpha types. I wanted a relationship where a guy had fixed his idea of ecstasy on me rather than other women. A man never forgets that first time.”

“Nor a woman.”

She held my eyes, brought her hands up to her jaw and looked back into the fire.”

“You’re right again. I was a good girl from a good Italian family. I went to a girls’ school to keep me pure. Emma – sex is a powerful drive. It’s like bloody Vesuvius.”

For a moment I wanted to keep her mind on Charles. All the same I knew what she was saying. I was about to speak when she began again.

“I was a cop once. You live with a cop. I don’t have to explain this to you but here’s a question for you. You’re hungry, you’ve got no money. You’ve never stolen a thing because everyone says it was wrong. Society says it’s wrong to steal but you’re hungry. In the shop there’s a sandwich – you snatch it. You eat it. It feels so so good. It’s a wicked sandwich. It tastes so so good. You’ve done what you needed to do. The hardest crime if you like, is the first. To take sexual food when you’re starving is no moral crime. The law just masturbates in order to stay untouched and neutral.”

I think I’m wide eyed, maybe hanging my jaw. This is a freaking queen guys! I love her frank honesty and compassion.

“You were a working girl in London when a situation broke over you. Your courage and strength burned itself into this young man’s mind and he needs that strength every day in his life. His situation in France has enemies. Do you ever fear that he will falter?”

“Yes, Emma please believe me, yes yes yes. I stay regal, brave and proud because that’s the expectation. That’s what royals are for. Charles is a man of royal blood – the house of Stuart. His blood unites the story of the Bourbons, the Medici and the throne of Britain. I’m more alone than I’ve ever been. I cling to my self belief and….”

“Martine,” I say.

She lets out a long sigh. I see her utter vulnerability and loneliness. She waits with her eyes closed before looking back at me.

“Yes of course. Love of Power is to have no fear of loneliness. She’s a wonderful woman. She’s bold and takes the heat of conflict.”

“She has advisors and experts around her I’m sure.”

“Thousands, yes. She operates from her heart you know. You can have too many hangers-on. I tell her that and she knows it. I was a police sergeant and when it gets tough you just act. You give the orders and believe me, under stress, that’s the real you. You won’t be judged on cool long term policy. When the gun came out, when the fist hit your face – what did you do? That’s you right there.”

I take a good swig at the cloudy sweetish wine. She seems ready to talk so I dive in.

“A lot of people speculate about your relationship with Martine.”

“Ah – but not you Emma?” she replies with a smile and a raise of her eyebrow. “I’m sure a hardcore female like you would never ever ever have the slightest curiosity about love with another woman.”

“OK – I’m curious.”

“I was on a police operation to rescue Martine from a plot within her own close group. We pulled it off by the skin of our teeth. We were thrown together and she let me know where she stood on her sexuality with just a small gesture. I admired and respected her. Her hand touched my shoulder and she knew from my response that I wasn’t troubled by her implication.”

“But you married Charles.”

“Of course. I wasn’t expecting it but events and social media created that momentum. I wasn’t expecting anything from Martine. Charles is a good and gentle man. He’s a superstar with a generation of teenage girls and I believe, their mothers. He is very handsome – maybe more beautiful if you like. I love him for that. I love him more for his desire for me.”

“The European press say that you are the boss at Versailles and that you and Martine are the government.”

“Then for once the press are right.”

Her gaze was fixed on my eyes. I had forgotten that this was a woman who’d stood up to a machine gunner in London and risked her life on the streets of Paris. That same toughness was still in her core. I hadn’t discovered too much except that I was looking at a powerful woman, a beautiful woman, an attractive woman and above all, a queen.

I decide to nudge our chat away from the intensity of world control and politics.

“Do you still see any of the old team? Anna La Salle still lives close to Paris.”

dormeuses“Sure, but she’s a top cop now and often in London. I saw her husband at the Petit Palais gallery a few weeks ago. He’s an art collector and expert on Courbet. He’s desperate to buy a picture they have there.”

“What’s it called?”

‘Le Sommeil’. I told him I’d like to buy it myself for Versailles. I think it might shock Charles.”

I nod as if I know this painting. All I know is that Courbet was

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A chateau at Bussac sur Charente

a local artist who spent a lot of time at the chateau of Bussac, not far from here. I also knew he loved the erotic. I’d be hitting Google later.

“What lies in your future Sophia?”

“A dinner of roast boar with my wonderful friend and a few local officials. Then a flight to Moscow with Martine to see President Pinupskin in the morning,” she answers, downing her wine. She stands and gestures for me to follow her.

“And if I write any magazine features about you – what would you like to present as your message?” I ask.

“That I have the heart of a woman.”

“That’s very enigmatic.”

“And very true,” she replies.

My audience is over.

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Available in e-book and print formats on this link: ‘Seduction of Crowns’ 

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‘Cougar’ romance – a steamy excerpt – for adults only from CROWNS

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Chateau de la Roche Courbon – venue for the filmset action in ‘Crowns’

First move of seduction by a ‘cougar’ – taken from chapter 21 of Crowns by Emma Calin.

She was still reading when Charles came in. With only the light from the bedside lamp his head and shoulders were in shadow. She studied his large hands and the flatness of his stomach. Shamelessly and secretly beneath the duvet she moved her hand to a comforting aroused self-caress and set aside the book. It wouldn’t hurt to add a little secret tingle to his voice and presence. Wordlessly he lowered his lips to hers and she couldn’t stop, couldn’t stop, OMG, just couldn’t stop. The kiss was breathless, wet and pulsed out into his hair as her free hand held the back of his head.

Now I have been kissed,” he said.

She was trying to recover her senses. She was guessing he didn’t know what had just happened. He had one knee on the bed and was leaning over her. She moved her hands to his lips, like an animal wanting him to sense her. Some instinct in him made him clasp her fingers there and let the warmth of his tongue push between them. She knew where she wanted that hot tongue but not recorded on the bosses’ CCTV.

He took off his shoes and sat upright on the bed beside her.

You know I can’t stay, Sophia. Captain Côté is outside and I promised him I’d only be a minute. He has to guard me and he’s a good man. His soldiers are a bit rowdy after Vandervell’s film show and the wine. I don’t want to make things any harder for him.”

Did you just come to kiss me goodnight?”

Of course and to say I understand how you feel about the stuff I had to do for the show.”

The kissing and the bed scene,” she said.

I felt nothing. I just did what I’d seen on movies.”

She smiled, again letting her hand trail along his lips, gently parting them and feeling the warmth and wetness of his mouth. This time he kissed her fingertips.

She brought her lips to his and ran her hand along the fabric of his thigh. He gasped as she continued over his hard shaft. She paused at the head and pressed as she kissed him again, this time with her tongue.

Do you know how you made me feel just now?” she asked.

I don’t think so exactly,” he whispered.

You know I want you to let go too, don’t you?”

She pressed on his shaft, gently stroking him. He nodded and looked down.

I just want you to think of me and say my name and I’ll be saying yours, Charles,” she whispered.

He sighed and looked at her. She could feel the tight spring of his desire in every muscle of his body and chamber of his mind.

I love you,” he said in an awkward rush.

And desire me as a woman?”

Yes, Yes. It’s impossible not to….”

Then imagine me and say my name as you come. Hold me, only me, in that moment.”

I must go,” he said.

I’m thinking of kissing you, Charles. I’m not ashamed or shy about that,” she said as she slipped her hand back to her hot wet hood. She knew he was watching her face even through her closed eyelids. He was breathing hard as he watched her from the door.

Charles, Charles, think of me, oh God say my name, say my name too,” she pulsed out in a groan.

 

For more hot romance and adventure with Charles and his bodyguard-lover Sophia, check out ‘Crowns’

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Fiction meets fact: could France’s political problems be solved with a monarchy?

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Crowns with flag (1).jpgThis week I’m featuring the third book in my steamy suspense romance- ‘CROWNS’. It’s a story full of FRENCH flavor. Although I’m British, a lot of my life is in France. The English Channel is only a few miles across but it’s a huge gap in terms of tradition and attitude. France has a wild culture of street politics, strikes and direct action. They have a bloody history of revolution. My lovely neighbours like to joke about us Brits bowing and scraping our queen, princes, dukes and the like. Officially, the French have no need or affection for Royals. That’s if you just take their words at face value……

Scratch the surface and you’ll find the newspapers and mags in France are full of features on, you guessed….. the princes and princesses of Europe. They can’t get enough of the outfits/gossip/pageantry of the real life royal soap opera. I believe they’re secretly jealous. Several admit to wishing that there was still a monarchy in France. Of course, they would have no real power (just like our British royals) – but would be there as a spectacle to provide ceremony and a sense of national unity. I’ve often wondered how a country like France could go about reinstating a royal family in modern times? I mean what is a celebrity after all but an uncrowned “Special One”?

Well, a couple of years ago I let my imagination fly free and came up with CROWNS. It’s still my usual blend of female-cop action adventure and steamy passion…. but with a fantasy French finale!

Rather scarily, many of the predictions I make in the book have recently come true… a president comes to power and makes changes that enrage the people (Emmanuel Macron?). The recent ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (they wear yellow hi-viz fluorescent jackets) protesting across the country who correspond eerily with a political movement I call ‘The Patriotic Front”. Watch out for the ambiguous sexy Martine La Plume, their leader. There are several real-life living claimants to the French throne…. descendants of the original French Bourbon royals, via cousins/marriage and all sorts. A handsome guy from Maryland is the true descendant of King Charles the First of England and his French queen. When the crowd get behind him, history as always writes its own future in struggle and passion. It’s an all action romantic tale but maybe it says a lot about the way we are and just maybe points a way to bringing unity to a divided society. You’ll have to read my book to find out just how things might end up in France in the not too distant future.

‘Crowns’ available in print on Amazon worldwide and as an e-book on my website and at most e-book retailers here.   (Hint: for best prices, always buy direct from the author.)

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Love in Venice: an uncensored moment of passion from Dynasty

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Taken from Chapter 15 of ‘Dynasty’ by Emma Calin

He led the way to the luxurious executive lounge. She accepted a coffee and a couple of salmon and cucumber blinis. This was not her comfort zone. She watched rich passengers guzzling complimentary champagne and rudely clicking their fingers at waiters for more. Spencer glanced at her, indicating his disgust with a tweak of his brow. The truth was money made things effortless. Poorer people served their needs and desires. Red carpets unrolled in front of each step as queues were pushed aside. Drivers polished cars and waited on the whims of masters. She wanted him as the man he was. But could this ever be her milieu?

Of course they traveled at the front of the cabin on wide leather seats. She relaxed and watched him working seriously on his laptop. This was a business trip after all. The absence of chatter somehow allowed a wordless blanket to wrap around them. As they walked from the plane an Italian official greeted them. They bypassed all customs and immigration checks as he showed the way to a waiting burnished motor launch. A couple of minutes later a bowing porter delivered their luggage and they set out across the still lagoon. The sky was white through to midnight blue and turning to rose. The sun brushed its last kiss before fleeing from the night. The scent was of the sea, summer heat, and humanity. The view ahead was a picture postcard. Slowly the Campanile grew larger as the onion-domed roof of the Cathedral of San Marco formed silhouettes against the hot pink sky.

She realized how little they’d spoken. They’d held hands, smiled, and let the presence of the other speak for itself. It was a quietness that was hard to kick-start into life. It had become a pause that had become a question. There was a depth in their simple presence together which their first new words mustn’t trivialize. Shannon knew that these coming words mustn’t fill their moment with chatter. She saw him look at her seriously several times as they sat in the back of the speeding launch. However they moved on from here would set the agenda of her life. She was sure of that. So far they had run headlong like playing children along a corridor towards a door which would either open, or not. They paused breathless and silent looking at each other. They were about to try the handle.

The launch slowed as they neared land. He stood and drew her up beside him. Now the shapes of the buildings of Venice were overpowering against the twilight. He tilted up her chin and kissed her with a soft urgency that left her breathless.

“Such beauty, and the view’s not bad,” he said.

Her mood lifted a little as they kissed again. Other vessels and gondolas were close by. His words had awoken her but had left a void longing to be filled.

“It doesn’t seem real, this city and being here with you.”

“You’re real enough. I don’t have the talent to dream you up.”

“Spencer….” she began, not knowing how she was going to continue.

“This is Venice, Shannon. I have no obligations or rule book here….”

He was fencing and probing. There was no need to crowd him. She studied his strong, handsome face. He was one man with one woman. The world could make whatever it would of the rest of their story. It would never be more or less than that. They were passing La Piazza San Marco and heading up into the wide mouth of the Grand Canal. Ahead was the fabulous church of Santa Maria Della Salute. They both stared into the dusk. The navigation lights of vessels were bright. A bridge spanned the canal ahead of them. She thought to ask its name but let it slide over their heads into the darkness. His arm was firm around her shoulders. She softened into him, willing him to understand his own strength through this metaphor of body against body. She closed her eyes. His voice came deep from his chest.

“I love you,” he said.

The evening of Venice sighed and surrendered into the arms of night. The weight of all the words unsaid lifted from her heart and she was free.

“I love you,” she answered.

“Do you? Do you really? I’d been so afraid to say—in case you ran from some fool.”

“I’ve loved you since we sat by the lake.”

“Yes, that was it for me too.”

“So we’re both fools not to know that such a thing could happen,” she said. “I’ve been fighting it because I couldn’t believe anyone else was as crazy as me.”

The door had opened and they had charged headlong into a new space. She hugged his waist as his arms folded her in to him. Her mind raced ahead. What was was the destination of this love?

“Before I said it, it was the most difficult thing on earth to say. Now I’ve let it out, it’s the only thing I can say,” he said.

“If I love you then it’s total, my hugga-bear. There’s no way back from love or murder. The jealous beast is out.”

“Jealous of a man like me?” he said smiling.

“Grrrrrr,” she replied.

“I wouldn’t want any other kind of love.”

“There is no other kind of love,” she said.

They were at the Rialto Bridge. They clung together in a kiss, oblivious of its magnificence. The launch had cut its engine and was coasting. There were only their words.

“My man.”

“My woman.”

A building rose above them as the boat nudged the mooring.

“This is the Palazzo Coccolare,” he said.

“Cock-o-lah-ray,” she repeated. “Sono Signora Ag-Where-ee from the Palazzo Cock-o-lah-ray.”

“That’s brilliant, you say it beautifully.”

“I don’t want to get lost and not know the address.”

She stepped out onto a stone platform that led up to a monster iron-grilled door. He steadied her arm as the door opened.

“Eccellenza—e Contessa, buona sera, che piacere,” said a dark-haired woman in a maid’s uniform.

“Antonella, e stato un lungo tempo,” said Spencer in obviously fluent Italian.

Shannon smiled as they entered the magnificent marble-floored hall.

“Dottore Ceccarelli non e qui ma la vostra suite e pronta per voi.”

“Grazie, Antonella,” said Shannon, exhausting her Italian vocabulary in one go.

The maid beamed and spoke to Spencer, squeezing his hand joyfully.

“Eccellenza—che bellezza, che felicita.”

A young man in an elegant gray suit picked up their bags and carried them to a lift. He bowed as the doors closed.

“You speak Italian?” he asked.

“Nah, I had a quick run round Google while I was waiting for the car. Sounds like you’re a pro.”

“Tourist level. We used to come here as children.”

“Whose palace is this?”

“It belongs to Dottore Ceccarelli. He’s my father’s cousin. He’ll be showing you the sights tomorrow.”

The wood paneled art deco lift juddered to a stop. He drew back the lattice gate and pushed open the door. She gasped at the sight before her. The floor was a burnished dark wood. A splendorous chandelier hung from a ceiling painted with cherubs, horses, and people in magnificent robes. She stood staring up. The illusion was of a dome rising almost forever. For her, this was an absolute first.

“Did my jaw drop?” she said.

“It is a show-stopper isn’t it? It’s by Tiepolo. He did it in 1720 for one of my ancestors, La Duchesse Feronese. She was the lover of both Louis XV of France and Cassanova. This is really a sketch. The full work is in the throne room at the royal palace of Madrid.”

Her eyes took in the deep red walls hung with massive gilt-framed mirrors. Crimson velvet buttoned chairs and a sofa formed the seating. In the center of the room was a beautiful wooden antique table, so deeply polished that it appeared to glow. Curtains in red and gold brocade swept down from the ceiling to frame open doors leading to a balcony.

“I’m just overwhelmed,” she said.

“Not by me I hope.”

“You’ll always be Spence the welder in sexy overalls to me, but all this stuff….”

“That’s all it is my love. I was born to stuff and titles. We’re all just mortal flesh and ideas.”

“Stuff is trouble. More stuff is more trouble. That’s what my dad says.”

“Then he’s a wise man.”

“And a poor one,” she said, not looking for an answer.

He had put down the bags and turned to her. Her heart raced as she looked into his eyes. For the first time she was seeing this man whom she loved as the man who loved her and risked that soft underbelly of his love. He pulled her to him and kissed her hungrily, almost masterfully. His strong arms held her to him, his hand behind her pressing her groin to his powerful body. She felt a tingle of pleasure and closed her eyes, feeling his lips and tongue with hers in a fusion of erotic emotion. Her heart sang in her chest. This man she adored had said he loved her. Over and over she let the words play in her mind. If the sun fell from the sky at this moment she would at least have reached the peak of human joy.

“You must see the view,” he said.

He led her to the balcony, his arm possessive around her waist. Below them the dark waters lapped against the steps of the palazzo. Mellow lighting danced in reflections on the Grand Canal. Gondolas and a vaporetto water bus flowed by. He had moved a little behind her, his big hands almost encircling her waist. His lips touched her neck. A sigh of pleasure rustled every leaf of joy in her body. She felt his deep voice in his chest as he spoke.

“I love you.”

He pulled her waist back to press against him. She could feel the strength of his arousal. He wanted her and that wanting thrilled her. She let her soul flow into the lapping water and her heart beat with the oars of the gondoliers. In this place beauty was a lust that could be satisfied. The most beautiful thing was their love and lust was its mortal life. She swiveled round to face him and clasped his cheeks, bringing his lips to hers. She held tightly and looked into his brown eyes.

“I love you so much Spencer. Don’t hurt me,” she said, the final words jumping out uninvited. She had never meant to reveal that fear. No one had ever held such a power over her.

“I’ll never hurt you.”

“I know,” she said.

The apartment was spectacular. A dressing room and genuine marble bathroom led off from the carpeted bedroom. The bed was antique Venetian walnut with covers of a deep cream satin.

“I need to clean up,” she began, staring at the bath. It appeared to be a one-piece bowl of black and gray flecked marble big enough for four people.

“It’s wonderful, isn’t it? They had to put in steel girders to take the weight.” He opened the tap. “Fabio, the owner, wanted something very special for a very special guest.”

“How special can you be?”

“Let’s say for instance, a desperate princess in a loveless life. Maybe she found true love here. I can’t say more because of course no such thing happened,” he said with a tweak of his brow.

She shook her head. These things were hard to take in.

“This is another world to someone like me. This is like being the ink on the page of a celebrity magazine—as if I’m in the story.”

“Shannon, the North Peckham Estate has its stories and secrets too. Royals and aristocrats are no different and certainly no better.

“Thank goodness for that,” she said with a knowing wink. Still watching him she began to undress. She knew she had his attention. She was fit, with a skin of deep olive silk that he longed for. She brushed her hands down over her white bra. He swallowed as his lust rose. She unhooked it and let it fall to reveal her aroused nipples. She was boiling him with desire. How she loved this. How long would he hold back? She could hear his breathing becoming more urgent and irregular. She held his eyes brazenly and slid her hand down to her panties, slipping inside to touch her sex.

“Shannon, for pity’s sake woman, you’ll make me come just looking at you,” he gasped.

“I’m a naughty minx aren’t I? I’m a naughty girl when I think of you,” she said, shamelessly fixing her gaze on his groin.

He swallowed hard and almost desperately undid his belt to free his hard upright cock. She saw at once that the tip was glistening wet with his juice. His seed was bursting to release into the heat of her belly. The sight of his desire shot a thrill through her. She had stopped her own touch but maybe she’d traveled too far. She’d only meant to fire his desire. She closed her eyes. A slight unstoppable tremor had begun. Suddenly he was kneeling in front of her. He pulled her panties aside and kissed a crashing wave of love from her nub and lips. She bent over him as his hot tongue licked her button to pulses of oblivion.”

“My angel, my angel,” he groaned into her flesh.

His lips were on her as if in the most tender searching for her soul, finding her sexual joy answering his gentle love and desire for her. She was helpless as he drew up her pleasure from her well of love for him, her convulsing cries thrilling him as the fruit of his touch. He kissed her stomach and stood, taking her in his arms. She could feel the ruthless steel of his cock pressing against her. She reached down and took it, desperate for him inside her. He sensed her desire as he lifted her, allowing her to wrap her legs around his waist. Then he filled her. She squealed as he entered. Orgasm engulfed her, mastering her will and being. His strength was unwavering. She was a weightless toy in his tireless arms. He kissed her lips as his movements beat in time with the rhythm of her need. He held his control, almost watching her. He was smiling and had still not released. He was showing her the power of his own teasing. She had surrendered to abandoned bliss. Before his own touch of the summit, he was taking in the view. The view was her joy that she helplessly spread before him.

“My turn to make you savor your desire, my beautiful temptress,” he said, lifting her from him and to her feet like a child. “We can’t waste the bath.”

They slipped into the smooth warm water. He was still erect. She moved to hold it. He pulled away with a laugh.

“My turn to tease,” he said.

“Spencer—I want it!’

“You’ll get it my love. But first you get some tender care.”

He picked up a small curved colored glass bottle. He pulled out the stopper and poured some oil into the palm of his hand. A scent of wonderful roses filled her senses. He slid behind her and began to massage the oil into her back and shoulders. His powerful hands slid under her arms to her breasts. The first tickle of no return zizzed in her nub. His cock was hard against her back.

“You feel desire, my lovely woman?”

“Yes,” she said, the deepness of his voice and the command of his hands  taking her over. She tried to say more but she became nothing but a voice groaning in sobs of pleasure. He was holding her as she flew with him.

“You remember when we were by the lake when we exchanged our ages. I fell for you in that very second. You said you wanted to give of yourself whatever I gave of myself. Can you remember the scent of lime and the breeze? Think of that moment of first love now.”

His hand slipped to her groove and moved sensuously to her clitoris. He soothed her lips against the soft woman love of her as he spoke.

“I remember your blue eyes and your smile….”

Her mind filled with the memory and of him, his maleness and deep brown eyes. Irresistible throbs of orgasm blended with the beauty of that day in her mind. A mental link between the abandon of sexual release and the powerlessness of the mind before the beauty of nature formed in her mind. The love from this man brought harmony which allowed her to see into some transcendental void of consciousness.

“I have a little mission,” he said.

He stepped out and held out a gloriously warm luxury towel. He patted her dry, lifted her and carried her to the bed.

“Lie down. Let me see your skin against the cream satin. I want a photo for my soul,” he said.

He toweled himself and looked at her. His eyes were warm with emotion. “I can’t believe you are mine and will be mine.”

He joined her on the bed, reached under the pillow and eased her up to a sitting position.

“Close your eyes.”

His lips kissed her back and neck. Something cold touched her chest.

“Voilà. Eccoci qua,” he said, getting up and standing back to look at her.

Glancing down she could see the unmistakable sparkle of diamonds and some slightly darker stones. She sprang from the bed and went to a mirror.

“My God, my God.” She was staring at the most beautiful piece of jewelry she had ever seen.

“What is it?”

“It’s a necklace.”

“Duh!’

“It’s white gold with pear-shaped rose diamonds.”

“It’s so lovely.”

“It is, now it’s on you.”

She stared at herself naked, the diamonds sparkling against her dusky skin.

“Can I keep it on?”

“Of course,” he said as he led her back to the bed and lay beside her. He raised himself on an elbow and softly kissed her lips. His other hand circled her belly teasing at the top of her groove. Then he touched her more deeply, his kiss drawing up her longing for him. She was already letting go. She pressed her hand over his, urging his hand down to open her. She felt the excited surge of his cock against her side as he explored her wetness. She thrilled him. How she loved his deep groan as he found her entrance. She knew now he couldn’t stop. His broad muscular shoulders were above her. She opened herself to him as he filled her. She could feel the relentless hard heat of his need. Her own tremor began as he quickened. She pulled his flexing buttocks to her, willing him to let go into the depth of her.”

“Come in me—You’re making me come—do it deep in me.”

He moaned a profound voiceless grunt of male release. She felt his spasms as his man cum jetted into her belly. Her own juices squeezed and swirled with his in a hot mix of perfect union. He found her lips as his shock waves shook his powerful body. Each flex of his cock thrust more of his seed into some place of her inner longing.

“I’m coming in you, my darling lover. I’m doing it inside you, my angel.”

His words tipped her over into a cry that merged with his male growl. As they resolved together he kissed her lips and held her eyes.

“No man has ever longed for a woman more or found such a woman,” he said.

“I love you, Spencer. I love you, I love you, I love you.”

A film of hot sweat joined them. She breathed in the scent of their male and female sex lust. Some beast in her gut drank it in. This was the musk of baby-maker man.

“I love you more than there is love in the love bank,” he said, moving to her side and pushing his hand through her hair.

“You’d better get an overdraft. I’m a greedy, exclusive, jealous girl,” she replied.

*******************************

Find out the rest of Shannon and Spencer’s steamy love story and action adventure in ‘Seduction of Dynasty’, available in print and e-book formats for all e-readers http://www.smarturl.it/webdynasty

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My hot luncheon date at Bloxington Manor with the Earl – a character interview from Dynasty

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Shannon's Law Post 4 photo Bloxington Manor

A character interview from Dynasty.

At last I could get out of central London. I’d had an early meeting with my best ever friend, Anna La Salle, Deputy Chief Commissioner at Scotland Yard. These days we’ve all gotten used to soldiers and cops with machine guns mingling with the tourists in Whitehall. I often stand back and reflect at the madness and sadness of it all. I’m excited to be heading south to interview a true aristocrat and sexy hunk, but I never forget the danger that the police and military face on these magnificent streets, every minute of every day.

As I get nearer to Bloxington Manor I’m feeling quite nervous. I mean this guy is a peer of the realm and hob-nobs with the royal family. I remember going to bed after I’d sent Police Constable Shannon Aguerri to meet him. I just didn’t know what I’d find in the morning. I mean she’s got a heart of gold but also a big mouth and a bit of attitude – well honestly a truck load of attitude. That’s why she’d been kicked out of inner city. It could have been disastrous for all three of us. Shannon’s got so much front she’ll just face up to anything. Spencer Chamberlain Knightsmith, eleventh earl of Bloxington is a refined English gentleman and accustomed to respect. At first I didn’t know him myself, he’s the kind of guy who risks becoming a cut out wealthy aristocrat. I sure didn’t expect Shannon to find him welding up an old racing car with his overalls open to the waist and almost certainly nothing at all underneath. The view wasn’t wasted on Shannon.

I pull up in front of the pillared front entrance. Two long haired retriever dogs scamper towards me across the gravel drive. They look wet from the long damp grass of the meadow that runs down to the lake. A commanding voice booms out.

“Jilly, Bobby. Stop!”

The animals freeze and sit. In the distance I see the six-feet-four bear-like form of Spencer striding along the long drive of horse chestnut trees golden in the autumn sun. He’s wearing a tweed jacket, corduroy trousers and of course green wellies. Now my heart is beating a bit harder. This is the first time I’ve spoken to him since I set Shannon on him and put mayhem into his life.

He takes my hand and kisses me on both cheeks, European style.

“Emma – you’ve not changed a bit and you’re always early for appointments.”

“I like to set the scene before I get into the action,” I say.

“What a good strategy. Top class idea. Look, let’s get inside. I hope you’ve got time for some cold cuts while we talk.”

“Cold cuts?” I’d forgotten this old-style aristo language.

“Luncheon – I’m going up to the City later for a board meeting so it’ll be great to combine question with digestion.”

He chortles at his obviously choreographed expression.

“You’ve turned into a bit of a poet Spencer.”

“Well to be honest I do it just to make Shannon groan. She talks at twice my speed and my old duffer act slows her down a bit.”

I’m beginning to see what I set loose on the poor chap. I wanted him to be happier but I’m still not sure if I did the right thing. I look at his rugged face and brown eyes. His hair is still overlong and a little more grey. He eases a commanding hand into my back and smiles. I love his posh accent.

“It’s truly wonderful to see you again. To be honest I never felt we’d got to know each other before, well you know, before Shannon.”

“I was always watching you from a distance, feeling jealous of her if I’m honest. When you started to do things out of character I just had to let you go.”

“Out of character?”

“Like singing Elvis songs to her and taking her to Venice to propose.”

“All that kind of surprised me. You know a man is like a box of toys or something. A woman can’t control what’s in the box but she can choose what she pulls out and what games she plays.”

I stare at him. This isn’t the man I’d abandoned to the mercy of someone like Shannon.

“You’re deeper Spencer.”

“It’s called happiness. When you’re unhappy in life that’s all you are. Unhappiness is a city state. Happiness is a continent.”

His voice is deep and confident. If he wasn’t married I definitely could you know…….

We walk through the entrance hall with the grand stairway and through the long gallery of paintings. The Orangery is still the same with its view of the chapel and cricket field.

Avington-Park-9164“So this is where King Charles the Second consorted with his mistress Nel Gwynn?” I ask.

“Yes, I love that sense of history. I tell Shannon she should read the story of his father, Charles the First and his wife Maria. Now that was a love story.”

“Does Shannon agree?”

“She says she’d rather write a bloody hot love story with me than read one. She lives very much in the present.”

I watch his face in profile as he gazes out of the window. He nods in acknowledgement of the warmth her words convey. He turns to me and gestures me to sit. A maid wheels in a trolley with plates of sandwiches, sliced meat, salads and a range of beautiful fruit. He sits opposite me, his eyes flick to mine. I want to hold them and he lets me linger just a little longer than he would have allowed before. His sexiness is more obvious, more experienced. I’m showing a generous cleavage with a ruby pendant teasing his focus. He’s ten years younger than me. I smile and enjoy the ping in my belly. His eyes come back up to mine and I can see he knows what I’m feeling. I need to get control here.

“Those guys out there – your fans, they want me to ask you some quite personal things. I’m a bit shy to be honest.”

“Me too, but look, there’s only you and me here and we probably like the same stuff.”

“OK – the first moment you saw Shannon, what did you think?”

“You want me to be honest?”

“Sure.”

“Well, we live in a world of sexy images. You get kind of numb and I’d turned off, shut down. When I saw her, even in that police uniform I had a surge like I was seventeen.”

“Do you think she knew?”

“Shannon knows everything. She just has to angle her hips a little, push out her lips a little. I covered things up by bumbling on about the car I was fixing. She moved half an inch into my personal space and, well I wanted to kiss her then and there. She knew.”

“You’ve got to tell me if you were wearing anything at all under those overalls?”

I’m afraid I’ve gone too far and embarrassed him. He looks down and then sweeps his eyes up my body to my face, as if he’s tracing the path with his finger. Oh no…things are getting, you know – possibly humid.

“No, it was a summer day.”

“You didn’t get to say that much. Did you think about her after she’d left?”

He smiles slowly and brings his hand to his chin. I’d followed Shannon’s actions that night so his answer would be news to me too. His expression is wicked and knowing. He speaks slowly in a slightly husky voice.

“Emma, we’ve not met for a while but there’s no one closer to me. Yes, I thought about her.”

“You…?”

“Yes, I took a shower and I couldn’t hold back.”

“Did you ever tell her?”

“No, I’m a English gentleman. I wanted her to want me as only that at the beginning. It seemed my most favorable angle”

Behind my eyes I roll a fantasy of this gorgeous gentle man letting go in his lonely ecstasy of pure sex, thinking of me. I knew what I’d be thinking of later. I take some food while Spencer stands and pours some mineral water. His groin is level with my eyes. I let myself imagine that shower scene, his groan, his release. Several times.

There is a voice in the kitchen out of sight. It’s a female and I know that south London accent.

We both stand as she almost scampers in, her golden skin and crazy black hair somehow shouting her personality without the need for words. Her blue eyes mixed with her complexion made me crazy with jealousy I admit. She was here now but I’d had Spencer to myself for a precious time. A time that would kindle a little heat in me when I needed some private warmth.

We hug. Her body is young and wiry compared to mine. I’d have no chance against her. She kisses Spencer’s lips and glances at me. A woman like me knows that growl from another woman.

“I hope he hasn’t been a sexy charmer. I don’t allow that sort of stuff in here and don’t forget I’m a cop.”

“He’s been a gentleman.”

“That’s what I feared. That’s what had me fooled. By the time I realized his tactic I had my clothes off and it was too late.”

Spencer has returned to his aristocratic look. Just once I caught his eyes on mine with a look of complicity. For sure this man – my man, made love to her but now I knew something of him she didn’t. You can’t ever explain to men how much things like that matter to a woman.

“When I last saw you here you were a regular cop. You’re a Chief Inspector now at Scotland Yard, ” I say.

“Yeah, bullshit will always baffle brains Emma – I know you’ve always worked on that principle.”

“Whoever told you I had any principles?” I say, wondering if her tone had a bit of edge.

Spencer laughs

“Ha! You walked into that one Shannon.”

“Look, it’s only catty cos you’re here giving Emma smiley eye stuff. Bugger off to work and bring me in some spontaneous red roses.”

Spencer rises, kisses her and walks the door. He glances back but avoids my eyes.

“I leave you girls to chat. Emma and I never got to say much and certainly nothing new.”

Once he was gone Shannon pours some tea and sits opposite to me where Spencer had been sitting.

“So, what did you talk about? If it wasn’t about me then lie – I know you make stuff up at the drop of your knickers.”

“Shannon – are you a bit jealous of women around Spencer?”

“Course not.”

I let it drop and told her the truth.

“We talked about you and what happened when you first met each other…….”

Mid afternoon I drive out through the gates and head back to the crazy sprawl and scramble of London. I still feel turned on and you know, damp and naughty. I push a love song compilation CD into the player. I’d be at my flat in Chelsea alone for at least an hour before my man came home. Maybe I’d scratch my my itch of lust on him when he came through the door. Did I want to share that heat with another man? Maybe I’d take a shower with Spencer. Yeah, it’s a private affair and he’s my man after all!

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Shannon Aguerri

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Last Christmas she gave you her heart…a character interview with the hero and heroine of Seduction of Santa

Max and Paula, from Seduction of Santa, invite Emma Calin to catch up with them, one year on…

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It’s a cliché but this really is the time of year when you catch up with friends and family. Our lives are so busy now. You can have thousands of social media connections yet never get to sit down with live breathing people. It’s grey November day here England. Looking up the river from my home in Chelsea towards Westminster and Big Ben, the red London buses criss-crossing Lambeth Bridge play a counterpoint to the mournful melody of monochrome, so often the atmosphere of London – my home and my soul.

I’m taking a black cab. It pulls in and I open the quirky backward opening door. The diesel engine rattles with a sound that to me plays a lullaby of tradition and stability. In my office there’s a half finished book, Seduction of Power, set partly in sun drenched Italy. I was feeling the heat, driven mad with the horn beeping scooters and just had to escape.

“Where to My Dear?”

“Dulwich – head for Camberwell Green and I’ll give you the steer from there.”

The taxi U turns. The cabbie’s eyes are in the mirror. I smile and he gets the signal, taking permission to give me the full cockney performance – well, as cockney as a guy with a sun smile Caribbean heritage can be. He’s wearing a Crystal Palace football shirt.

“You a fan?” I ask.

“Yeah – it’s like death taxes and Crystal Palace – like it or not you’re born into it.”

I don’t mention the league table. We rattle through the streets, the wealth of Belgravia and the bleak concrete tower blocks south of the Thames river. We solve world poverty, unemployment, feminism and create our dream England football team. This is my fabulous mix up of a city and I’m in the mood for more. Driver Stanley leaves me in Alleyn Park, Dulwich – an oasis of gentility a short hop from Brixton or Sydenham. London’s like many cities – villages divided by wallet but united by bus routes. I’ve not seen Paula or Max since the last page of ‘Seduction of Santa’. For sure one thing has changed. The Rolls Royce isn’t on the drive but I know the Ford people carrier won’t belong to Max. Come on – the guy’s just not that type. There’s already Christmas lights on the bushes and a nativity scene lit up in the window. I ring the bell and hear Max’s voice like a barrow-boy trader selling potatoes.

“Come on gal – she’s here.”

I hear Paula’s equally strong London accent and passive-aggressive attitude.

“Well, it’s easy Max, turn the knob to the right, open the door and let the poor cow in.”

I hear him coming. I know his issue and it’s simple. I’m a woman, or at least a female. Max Muswell is a top dog and to a dog, a bitch can mean trouble, or even worse, girlie chat.

“Max – it’s so lovely to see you again. Happy Christmas.”

“Yeah – look , the missus is just upstairs – cuppa *Rosie Lee?” [*Cockney rhyming slang for TEA]

I smile, check the time on my cell. It’s five o’ clock and I know Max wants a beer. He sees my action and smiles. Max Muswell’s quick eyes miss nothing.

“Beer would be better Max.”

“In that case Emma, I might feel forced to join you out of politeness. Paula is coming I promise. I’ll just pop out to the kitchen and get that drink.”

I look around. He’s a millionaire but the place is no palace. It’s a family home with a litter of boys’ toys. I’m happy to see his life has kept the same shape without me.

“How’s your lad Justin?” I call out.

“Yeah good – just look at the bloody place. He’s still got that bloody earth mover from last Christmas. I have to work day and night to buy the batteries.”

That was my fault – I didn’t think of that. As the night closes in, the array of Christmas lights around the house stand out. I’m beginning to wonder where Paula is and what she’s doing. I suddenly realise he called her ‘the missus’. Surely if they’d married I’d have been invited? He comes back with a couple of beers.

“Still in the same line of business Max?” I ask, keeping things more cock than hen.

“Yeah – still breeding the race horses but I sold up the food business to one of the big chains.”

“And you’re staying out of trouble?”

“Course – like what sort of trouble?”

“Like fist fighting gangsters.”

“Bloody hell Emma – how could I risk that these days?

Before I can answer Paula appears. I must admit I gasp. She speaks before I can get my thoughts together.

“He wouldn’t bloody dare,” she says handing me a baby of about ten weeks.

Some instinct in me responds. This warm contented child against my breasts, those tiny hands, pudgy wrists that I long to kiss, that perfection. Paula had been at least forty. She had been a woman alone, longing for a child. Me – I’d just walked away and gone half way around the world with other characters. I’m speechless but this is just normal life to them. I watch her run her hand back through Max’s thick dark fur of hair. He smiles, catches her hand and kisses the palm. These two have brought so much love to each other. The baby stirs, flicks open blue eyes and resettles.

“Um?” I said.

Paula is smiling.

“Of course you don’t know what happened next.”

“I don’t know if no one tells me.”

“I heard you were in Paris, Milan, New York, Rome and Naples with young hot cops and billionaires.”

“Yeah, but all that stuff’s nothing compared to a baby. I mean it’s a….”

“Miracle – that’s the word isn’t it. I know that’s not your style Emma, but that’s how I see it.”

I can see she’d feel that way. Blind faith is tough for me as an independent woman but can I deny her that belief? Holding this beautiful child, knowing the fragility and uncertainty of life, who has any certainty superior to faith?

“I’ll not argue with miracles. I mean I love Christmas and I love it more because of how you guys made Christmas last year. You were running the show but believe me I was there in the background. If I myself, this pathetic little woman, if I could have torn my heart out and made you a miracle baby at Christmas I would have done it. Someone else took it on from there.”

I stop, somehow emotional.

“But you didn’t have to. You left our lives to the spirit of Christmas. That was enough Emma. Look on that innocent child and tell me that peace, love and hope are not enough.”

I take a deep breath. Now I know the meaning of that nativity scene in the window to these people. They are judging life on the basis of their own experience. Nothing else makes sense does it? I’m still holding the child. I’m so amazed I’ve forgotten the traditional formalities. My soul tells me it’s a boy but I hesitate to make a fool of myself. If I don’t know I don’t deserve to be a novelist.

“What’s his name?”

“Oliver Maxwell,” says Max with a note of pride.

I turn to him and smile.

“I love it – I’d have chosen Oliver myself.”

“You’ll be at the christening I hope? We thought maybe you’d be a godmother…”

“Max, I’d be so proud – I never dreamed something like that could happen.”

Paula is looking at me. She’d always been so kind and deep but in a practical way. Motherhood had given her wisdom and that had blended with her police experience.

“Emma – novelists aren’t special – we all make characters. We create an idea of other people in our heads. Kids, friends, colleagues often go their own way. Christmas brings them back to a starting point, to something to share. I’m not saying religious faith for you, but I admit I’ve moved away from you on that. It’s silly I know but the night Max turned up on that community bus the music blaring out was Mary’s Boy Child by Boney M. It’s Christmas again and I have that simple faith in my heart.”

“Paula – for Christ’s sake, everyone can share that spirit. I’m so happy for you.”

She reaches out, takes the baby and hands him to Max. My god, the look in his eyes is almost scary in its intensity. He is a top dog and this poor pup would have a world of possibilities all of his own. For sure he would need his mother. I set these ideas aside. For now they were loved, utterly protected and happy. There was no way I was going to leave it another year before I came back. I couldn’t wait for the christening.

“Are you going back to work as a cop?”

Max intervenes.

“I’m glad you asked that Emma because maybe you’ll get a sensible answer. Would you let a woman with a babe at home go out there against punks with knives?”

“It’s not my choice Max.”

“OK – put yourself in my shoes. Put yourself in this little one’s shoes.”

“For me, I could never do that job, you know that. I get scared over a keyboard.”

“Emma, I’ve not decided. I’ve got a few months yet.”

I knew I’d put my foot in it as soon as I raised the issue. Suddenly I realise I’d caught sight of her in June in that cable car over the Thames after the terror attack incident with PC Helen Marx. Paula must have been pregnant then. I’m certain she hasn’t told Max about that. Someone needs to change the subject. Paula goes over to the hifi system and pushes a button and there’s nothing else but music.

It is Christmas, a wonderful woman has a miracle baby and the rest of the world can wait or maybe even find peace.

Happy Christmas Everyone.

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#Book #Launch News: 99c For SEDUCTION OF WEALTH Another Action-Packed International #Steamy #Romance, the 7th Stand-Alone Title in the ‘Seduction Series’

Banner for Seduction of Wealth by Emma CalinSeduction of Wealth is out there – I mean the book, not just the filthy disgusting seduction of luxury, money, travel and happiness that we all know WEALTH will give us. Well, maybe eh guys! I know, I know – money can’t make you happy but enjoying a perfumed massage with a glass of glass of champagne on my super-yacht would beat a bag of fries waiting in the rain for a bus in my book. And my book is all about rolling in infinite wealth and luxury. No guilt, no shame, no social conscience. Just infinite pleasure and money. I ought to mention it comes at a price – theft, kidnap, murder, betrayal and mayhem. But hey – nothing’s free out there.

Seduction of Wealthy has a strong Italian flavour. Much of the action is set in Milan so I just had to go to get that authentic feel. A novelist simply has to suffer for Art. Just to make the point I tripped on a cobble stone and broke my arm. I ended up in hospital in Rome. I took that pain and stirred it into the hot sauce of the story with an extra pinch of oregano.

So here’s the blurb:

What would you do if your bosses said to break the law? How far would you go before questioning them? What if you’re a cop and your bosses are the law? Cop Kaitlyn Thorn must keep banker Randolf Quinn alive. Betrayed and on the run from her team, she gambles on nothing but her own instincts. Can she trust their love and save them both from destruction? A juicy mix of cops, crime and passion.
Seduction of Wealth cover art
Available worldwide on Amazon on this link for just 99c/99p during launch week ($3.99 normal price)