WORTH IT – Now Live!

worth it

“You’re my thunder and lightning, girl. I chase you even when I know I’m going to get struck down.”

Mark Lutz was doing so well. He was in therapy to tackle his sex addiction and everything looked brighter. He was pulling himself together. Then, he had a relapse.

Now he’s at a standstill. He’s lost everything. His job. The love of his life. His self respect. He feels like there’s no point in trying anymore because he’ll only end up failing.

He needs a friend more than anything, someone who genuinely cares. That friend comes in the form of Cai Matthews, who has an offer Lutz cannot refuse.

One of the Sub Rosa Series’ many strong characters, Lutz has a unique story to tell, one of self-discovery, healing and dramatic truths.

**It is highly recommended you read Unbind, Unfurl and Unleash before this novel.**

Universal download link: http://mybook.to/WorthIt

deadly-rose-3dAfter WORTH IT, you need to read His Deadly Rose (Sub Rosa #6), details of which can be found here: http://mybook.to/HisDeadlyRose

And right now, all the books in the series are on SALE!

Sub Rosa Series on AMAZON UK

Sub Rosa Series on AMAZON US

Unbind is FREE!

Unfurl, Unleash and Dom Diaries are all 99 pennies! Visit me on Amazon

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*Now Live in Paperback*

THEY SAY“They Say I’m Doing Well” is a collection of blogs about overall mental health and it has now become a paperback. 29 authors came together, uniting in the hope of discussing matters often brushed under the carpet. In the process the book is supporting Mind, the UK mental health charity championing improvements to mental health services across the country. £1 from every copy will be donated to Mind.

From poetry to short stories, first-hand experiences to monologues and matters of the heart, “They Say I’m Doing Well” aims to reassure others they are not alone. You can read everybody’s words on this blog for FREE: www.sarahmichellelynch.net/blog

Words have the power to change lives; to educate and nurture, to help bring people together. The authors have put their hearts and souls into this project. Issues tackled include post-natal depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, stress, eating disorders, the strains of coping with physical illness, overcoming cancer, domestic abuse and suicide.

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You can reach the authors who contributed to the project by clicking through these links: Alexandra North, Amelia J Hunter, Andie M Long, Anna-Maria Athanasiou, Audrina Lane, Blake Rivers, Carrie Elks, Charlotte Hart, Claire C Riley, David E Gordon, EJ Shortall, Eleanor Lloyd-Jones, Francesca Marlow, Glenn Haigh, Grace Harper, HA Robinson, Hemmie Martin, Lavinia Urban, Lisa Fulham, Mandy Gibson, Muriel Garcia, Rachel Hague, Rebecca Sherwin, Sarah Michelle Lynch, Scarlett Flame, Stevie Turner, SJ Warner, T A McKay and Victoria L James.

To buy the paperback and support Mind, follow these BUY LINKS:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1523952636

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1523952636/

Or to support our project with more than a £1 donation, visit our Just Giving page to give a little more: https://www.justgiving.com/Sarah-Lynch16 – your donation goes direct to the Mind charity.

Thank you x

Tainted Lovers is Live…

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(Click cover to be directed to Amazon)

Title:

Tainted Lovers

Genre:

Romantic erotica/suspense

Page count:

424

Series?

Complete standalone

Listen to me reading Chapter One without any rehearsal, I just picked it up and read it (sorry if I sound shite! you can read along below):

Chapter One

Easter, 2003

 

I worked as a cataloguist of special documents at Leeds University’s Brotherton Library, which had some seriously interesting old scrolls and manuscripts among its collections. I landed the job because I had tenacity. I wanted the job because it meant not dealing with the public. I was waiting until my son Billy was a little older so that I could give more time to my studies and finally do my accounting degree.

Occasionally I left my office but only to make the dis-tance from my workspace to the café nearby. While Billy spent time at the crèche every afternoon, I worked. I didn’t need the money, just some sort of sanity.

One day I was leaving my office to pick Billy up on my way home when I spotted a man stood nearby at the self-service units, looking perplexed.

“Excuse me, excuse me,” he called in a panicked voice. He held one foot on the floor while reaching high in the air to signal me over the tops of the high booths. Looking around, I saw no other members of staff available to help him. It was getting toward the end of the day for most people and also, it was nearly the Easter holidays and the past few weeks had been the busiest of the year. Most of my colleagues were surviving on cigarettes and bitching sessions to keep them going.

Walking toward him, I asked, “What’s the problem?”

It wasn’t my job to help him, but I was familiar with the self-service machines.

“It won’t let me take out this book.”

Part of me had already clocked the fact he was beautiful but I tried to ignore that.

Attempting to take his book out for him, I muttered under my breath, “Where is everyone?”

“I’ve been stuck standing here for god knows how long waiting for help.”

I nodded along, hearing angry beeps from the machine, which refused to let him take out this book. Looking closer at the screen, I realised the computer bore a message:

 

This title is reserved.

 

Pointing at the screen, I drew his attention to the message and he answered, “Yeah, I reserved it. About four months ago. So did everyone else. Some shit keeps hiding this and none of us can ever get hold of the bloody thing.”

I picked up the book under scrutiny and held it in my hands. It was an old book on medieval chivalry with a brown, warped cover and thin pages nearly falling apart. The book had illustrations in colour but it was at least a hundred years old and should have been a reference title – if that.

“This shouldn’t even be on a shelf,” I mumbled, “it should be under my care. Look at it.”

I felt him staring at me for a while as I examined his long-overdue/reserved book. “A soft spot for battered old books, eh?”

“I’m actually in charge of battered old books,” I told him. “Just wait here a second.”

“Okay. I’ll wait,” he said.

I caught a softness to his voice, perhaps affection, and the tone caught me off guard. Looking directly up into his eyes for the first time, I was throttled by what was staring back.

Our eyes locked. I think I burned from every pore. My belly filled with heat and my heart rinsed off its icy cage in an instant. Staring at him, my feet rooted, I realised he wasn’t affected at all, not whatsoever. Cool as ice. I hated him a little for it.

“In… a… wait,” I mumbled, not making sense.

I rushed off back to my office and sank against the door, panting, trying to slow my heart. Never had I been so affected. Light-headed, I tried to catch my breath.

Clutching the book in my hand, I remembered I had a job to do. My PC on standby, I started it up again and searched the catalogue number.

It was a borrow, he wasn’t lying. Not a reference title. Flicking through it again, I realised it was one of the core subjects our medieval scholars studied – on chivalric court-ship. So I knew he was either an MA student or higher. Going by his eyes, he was a few years older than me.

Anyway, I needed to get rid of him.

Quickly.

I overrode the system and did something naughty, cancelling all the reserve statuses so the book could start a new cycle of temporary ownership. No doubt some div hated his fellow classmates and wanted nobody else to have access to the book, a rare title which could make or break a dissertation.

Gathering myself, I took some deep breaths, my bag clutched under my arm and the book clutched at my chest.

Leaving the office again, I walked fast because I really needed to pick up Billy.

“Hi,” he said as I rejoined him.

Stepping in front of the self-serve machine with authority, I asked, “Library card, please.”

He handed me it and I took the book out for him, avoiding eye contact altogether.

Job done.

“There you go.”

“Thanks… how did you…? Thanks!” He stuffed the book into his rammed-full bag as I began walking away.

I chased down the stairs, not wanting to give him chance to follow me. I had two flights to get down, though. My exit was through the Parkinson building, and the stairs outside were steep and dangerous. I had to slow down to take them.

“Wait, wait!” He caught up with me, a hand on my forearm slowing me down as we got out into the open air. “I know you.”

“I have somewhere to be,” I huffed, impatient.

“Adrienne, right?”

I dared look into those chocolate-brown eyes again and another electric current shot through me, even stronger though this time. In the light of day, I saw how deeply brown his eyes really were – and smouldering – with umber striations.

I folded my arms. “So what? I saw your library card, David.” I sounded pithy. “You saw my name tag. Big deal.”

“No,” he shook his head, “Adrienne Kyd. I know you. Well,” he chuckled, “I know of you.”

I examined him carefully and the familiarity became clear.

“You’re a Harrogate boy,” I said through gritted teeth.

So, my past was inescapable. A boy from my hometown had found me.

But just how much did he know?

“Everybody knows you… or knew you,” he said, but while his tone was affectionate, his eyes remained devoid of any feeling. He looked at me like he was looking right past me. It was something about his steady gaze. I couldn’t read him. He seemed, guarded.

Anyway, he wasn’t lying. Everyone knew me. I was Miss Harrogate 2000, the same year I got together with Marcus, my ex – the donator of sperm that created my child (he was never a father).

“I’m not trying to be rude… I really do have somewhere to be,” I insisted, avoiding his eyes at all costs. I couldn’t help notice he was mentally undressing me, sizing me up for the kill.

“Can I give you my number?” he asked.

“No.”

“No?”

“No. Goodbye.”

I charged off. Petrified wasn’t a word I thought I understood, but right then, I did. I purposely wore dowdy clothes, no make-up – and worked in the backroom of a library. I hardly ever let my hair down (literally) and I didn’t try to make myself look attractive to the opposite sex whatsoever. In fact I was glad to be invisible but that day, my magic cloak seemed to have worn off.

I’d never been so scared before in my life: I’d fallen in love at first sight.

 

***

 

Even though I worked at the library, people may not have even known that. I passed through quickly on my way to and from places; always with my eyes focused on leaving, always with an air of inapproachability so that people never stopped me in my tracks. I lived in my office, end of. I wore a name badge I always tried to hide by folding over my cardigan. I wasn’t on the help desk. I didn’t deal with returns. I didn’t want to talk to people. I didn’t want people to ask me questions and know things about me. I was quiet. I talked to one girl I worked with, Bebe, and the rest of the staff thought I was some sort of mentally ill person with antisocial tendencies. It worked for me.

However. After that first encounter with David, I was no longer a ghost fluttering in and out of that place. I was a target. David hung around in the afternoons, waiting, watching. He asked if he could carry my bag on my way out. He tried to slip his number into the palm of my hand. He even stalked me at my favourite coffee shop in Parkinson, finding out from the owner what my usual tipple was. The coffee shop owner said David had paid for me to have free coffee for the rest of the academic year. I was molten with fury and longing – torn between giving into my urges and tearing strips off him for refusing to let it go.

 

Not many days later, I had to run an errand over to the geography department which was expecting a new delivery of old maps. Because of my infrequent escape from the office, I don’t think David expected me to catch him with another girl that day. I watched from a distance, hiding myself behind one of the many trees lining the pathways of our campus. I spotted him and a redhead on a bench having a heated discussion, and then a second girl walked up to them. A brunette. The two girls faced off, seemingly fighting for him. David was able to slope off because they were too busy arguing. He chased away once he’d put a safe distance between himself and the two ladies, heading off campus it seemed. Once I knew he was gone, I left my hiding place and walked along to my destination, passing the two girls as I did. All I heard from the redhead was, “He was mine first, keep your hands off.”

The brunette replied, “Don’t you see? He’s playing us both…”

I didn’t hear anything more, but I was sure as hell certain David wasn’t a man to be trusted. I certainly couldn’t afford another man like that in my life.

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19 days to go…

With 19 days to go until this book’s release… here’s a little snippet of BEYOND ANGEL AVENUE, an emotive, devastating tale. A sequel to Angel Avenue, this book delves into the archives, revealing why a hug meant so much to Jules when she first met Warrick Jones all those years ago…

Prologue

 

fac841f0ca653d0da35a9f773eb1bb8cJulianne, aged five, danced for her mother, some TV show blaring in the background. It was the Christmas holidays and they’d cleared a big space in the living room. Julianne’s father slept upstairs. Recently sacked from his job, he was constantly moody and irritable. Lorraine, the little girl’s mother, didn’t want her husband to know she was teaching Julianne to dance. She didn’t think he would understand. She also knew he might get jealous. Julianne’s one Christmas present was her first set of ballet slippers. While all the other boys and girls had piles of presents under the tree, this mother and daughter shared a gift beyond most people’s wildest dreams.

“Julie, no telling Daddy,” Lorraine would often say, and Jules would tap her index finger against her nose.

In her second year of school, Julianne would turn six in February but they didn’t have money for dance lessons so Lorraine taught her daughter at home.

“Extend, my pretty, oh that’s beautiful, that’s wonderful,” Lorraine exclaimed as Julianne – still so young – already demonstrated natural-born ability. “Have fun, move as you wish.”

Julianne pranced and giggled, swishing and swooping, her mother such a good teacher that she encouraged freedom of expression as well as discipline.

“First position Julianne, good.” The little girl raised her arm and held the back of the sofa to steady herself. “Plie, my darling, oh yes, keep your back… oh perfect, you don’t even need me to say.”

It was clear how much strength the little girl already had in her core. She had muscle definition, even for one so young. Lorraine had been teaching Julianne since she was three and a half.

They heard creaking upstairs, signifying Julianne’s father was getting up.

“Quick baby, let’s put the room back.”

They returned the sofa against the wall and put the coffee table back in the middle of the main floor space. They sat on the sofa and Lorraine grabbed some Value crisps for them to sit and eat, making it look like they’d been doing nothing but veging out in front of the TV.

“Where’s my tea?” Julian Simonovich asked gruffly, falling heavily into his armchair.

Without a word, Lorraine stood up and went to the kitchen.

Julianne stared at the TV, not looking at her father.

When Lorraine returned to the room with tea and toast for Julian, she told him, “We’re going out for the groceries, alright?” Her voice carried little affection.

“Get me some more of them pop tarts,” he grumbled, “fucking hate scabby toast.”

For your munchies, more like, thought Lorraine.

“We can hardly afford bread let alone overpriced junk,” Lorraine countered.

“So get another job. It’s not my fault I got sacked.”

Lorraine bit her tongue. It was his fault, but he was looking for anyone else to blame it on.

“I can’t. What about Julie? Who will get her to school and pick her up?”

He grunted. He was barely out of bed before ten everyday and he would no doubt forget to pick his daughter up. Besides, Lorraine didn’t trust him to look after Julianne. Lorraine would do anything to keep her daughter safe. Anything. Working as a receptionist for six hours a day was all she could manage and she didn’t want to put upon Julie’s grandmother, who was a bitter woman with a bias for her son. A pub job in the evening would mean leaving her child with Julian and Lorraine didn’t trust him not to go out and leave her all alone. She wouldn’t have put it past him. In the last year everything had changed for the worse and Lorraine was worried about the future.

“Let’s go, Julie,” Lorraine ordered, helping the girl on with her coat and boots.

They left the house, trundling down the hill towards the centre of town and the shops. In Frozen Foods, they picked up all the bargains on the £1 shelves and Lorraine submitted to Julian’s demand for pop tarts.

“Why are you sad, Mummy?”

“I’m not sad.”

“You are. Why don’t you dance with me? Why don’t you want Daddy to know I dance?”

Avoiding Julianne’s eyes, Lorraine explained, “A demon lives in Daddy. It makes him say and do and want bad things. Dancing is a good thing, yes?”

“Yes,” Julianne nodded, happily.

“He might try to take away anything good from us. We must keep all our good locked away, so he can’t steal it. That’s why I put your dance fund under the floor, honey.”

“Oh.”

Lorraine was saving up a few pounds each week so that Jules could go to dance school when she was older. For now, most of her hopes and dreams seemed so far off – but she had great ambition for Julianne, her second chance.

“Can we go to the park?” asked Julianne.

“Okay, but it’ll be very snowy!!”

“That’s okay, I want to build a snowman.”

“Okay.”

Lorraine sat on a bench with the shopping at her feet, chilling it on the ground. Julianne pranced and rolled in the snow, giggling her head off.

“Show me how to dance the snow angel dance, Mummy! Show me, show me!”

“No, darling, no.”

“Pleeeeassse!”

Lorraine stood and wobbled on her feet. “No, Julianne. No. Let’s go home.”

The child held her mother’s hand on the way home but she was shaking and trembling, in fear of her mother suddenly.

“I’m sorry, Julie, but I had my love of dance stolen from me. I never fulfilled my promise darling.” Bitter tears gathered but didn’t fall from Lorraine’s eyes.

They arrived home to an empty house and Lorraine grumbled to herself. Julian had no doubt gone out for his fix. While he was gone, Julianne suggested, “I’ll dance again to cheer you up?”

“No, no, darling, it’s okay. I don’t want you straining your little legs. We’ve tired you enough today. Why don’t we just do each other’s hair, hmm?”

“I like doing your hair, Mummy.”

Julianne brushed out her mother’s hair, which fell to her waist. The little girl tried to plait it but wasn’t quite skilled enough yet and by the end, she was making more knots than anything. Then Lorraine skilfully plaited Julianne’s hair into a French braid.

“You’re my beautiful mummy,” Julianne exclaimed out of the blue, and Lorraine squeezed her daughter tight, feeling richer for having a daughter’s love.

Lorraine would never leave her daughter to that foul man.

But for some reason, she did…

**END**

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FABIEN: A Christmas Tale – OUT NOW

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Synopsis:

Centuries ago Fabien was thrown from his coven for betraying the queen who had claimed him as hers. Leticia chose him for his sexual prowess and never expected he would fall in love with a pathetic human, something she couldn’t forgive. Cursed to live alone, Fabien harbours a small hope he will one day encounter the reincarnation of his one true love.

One cold Christmas Eve Fabien bites a man who he believes could lead him to the one woman who might break the curse he’s been forced to bear for far too long.

The ancient vampire sets out to woo her in the only way he knows how but unfortunately for Fabien, love proves to be his constant undoing . . .

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Excerpt:

In simple answer, I smiled and said genuinely, “I really don’t think we have met before. In fact I am sure we haven’t.”

“Hmm.” He held his chin and scratched the black stubble that looked the colour of mercury against his pallid complexion. “Well, I feel like we have met before. In fact I am usually really good at reading people, but you are so… unreachable.”

I nodded, because I agreed with him. “Lots of people say that, don’t worry. I am unreadable, unreachable… even. My husband often doesn’t thank me for it. I just prefer to keep my mystery, I suppose.”

“Doesn’t every woman?” He smiled with a twinkle in his eye.

I didn’t like how awkward it was all becoming, this random stranger appearing in my path like this, so I made a move to leave.

Except he barred my way with an arm and before I could protest, he pulled me into his arms and placed a strange but soul-wrenching kiss on my lips. It wasn’t even that I was attracted to him, no. It wasn’t that his kiss even came close to the kind of kisses I shared with Louis. No.

It was that his kiss brought to mind strange sexual images of him devouring my secret places and sampling me in ways not even Louis had yet. Also, even though his skin remained cold, his kiss was warm and as he held my cheeks in his hands, I didn’t—simply couldn’t—put up a fight of any sort.

I put my hands in his hair and it was so soft. As he kissed me much more deeply, his tongue expertly swirled around mine. I tasted something I had never tasted before, yet I couldn’t describe it. There was no taste like it. A few seconds later, I felt my whole body come alive with an aggressive arousal and I pulled away shaking and shocked.

“I love my husband,” I yelled, and I pulled the dogs with me hastily.

He did not follow me, not in body at least.

Purchase Links:

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FIRST FIVE STAR REVIEW ON AMAZON UK:

5.0 out of 5 stars Fangtalisingly good!! 12 Dec 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I was given an early review copy of this as Sarah knows how much I enjoy her books. This is no exception my only complaint is that it ended too soon!! but then I know she is planning to write another.
I love a good (or should I say bad) vampire hero and Fabien is no exception, his intentions are good but in the bedroom he is a very hot, bad boy!! I enjoyed the way the story switches between his life in the past and the present where he collides in a very dramatic fashion with Louis and Jaimiee and then her twin Jodie. And the love scene between Fabien and the vampire Queen Leticia had me gasping with excitement and desire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All I can say is if you need a story that you can devour in a couple of evenings then this is for you!!

Prologue – THE INFORMANT!!!!

the informantOUT THIS WEEK!!

This is the sequel to THE RADICAL and promises to be explosive, action-packed, full of romance, intrigue and surprises galore!

To buy THE RADICAL… GO HERE!!!

READ ON FOR THE INFORMANT PROLOGUE…

January 2064

Mine was a life unlike all the others’. How bold a statement, you may say. Yet quite true. The rest thrived off reputation and hearsay whereas me, Camille Honoré, needed no reputation to prove how much of a threat to Officium I was. Nothing they had thrown at me had killed me. They had tried numerous times. I had kept my head down yet they knew of my conquests. My name was still synonymous with threat.

I sat in a bedroom in Paris, with these thoughts all swirling around my head. I looked out over the expansive rear gardens of Seraph’s new purchase: a house. The place needed a great deal of work and the gardens were more junkyard than recreational space, but I could see she believed in a possible transformation. I’d complain about the seals, the safety locks, the roof and she would smile and return, ‘It has potential.’

I loved her enthusiasm. Even after all that had transpired, she saw something good in everything. I knew it was because she had been to rock bottom and come back again that she didn’t take anything for granted. I had learnt that same lesson myself.

The strain of the past few months had driven me to the odd cigarette and I puffed on one out of the window so she wouldn’t see my vulnerability. Me, yes, me Camille Honoré, who was meant to be beyond all these earthly pleasures. Yet the past nine months had nearly killed me. Why? I could admit the reasons but only to myself. It knew it would take more than retrospect and reflection before I would be able to digest it with anyone else.

Seraph and her “condition” put a spanner in the works, let’s say. A touch of nausea on a certain Dakota apartment balcony was the whole damn reason why nine months had nearly killed me…

I was digressing. Getting sloppy. Allowing emotions to get the better of me. How crass. I forgot Camille Honoré does not admit she has the potential to die, when in fact she has more than the potential. I was just as fallible as the rest, if not more, though I was better at hiding it.

We thought Ryken had successfully paved the way for a resurgence. When in actual fact, no.

“Fuck him,” I whined to myself.

I blamed Eve for teaching me swear words. I blamed her for a lot of things actually. She had passed on and left me with a shit load of problems to mop up, sweep away, tuck under the carpet… (insert other archaisms here).

I was dealing with a mountain of logistical nightmares in fact and no amount of swearing would make me feel any better. Nothing was going to sway me from my feeling that the proverbial was going to hit the fan before long.

He damn well forgot to wear a prophylactic. Nothing but mayhem would ensue because of that one, silly, neglectful action.

I finished the cigarette and took out a mint, spraying myself with scented water too. Perfume would have her licking my face with the heightened sense of smell she had.

A ding from my xGen arrested me and I inwardly recoiled. What now? I told them all to leave me alone. I am not in the mood.

I had retired myself, I suppose, to a certain extent. I had left my no.1 in charge at the shop and had come to Paris with Seraph in a bid to start fresh, breathe away the cobwebs and reconnect with who I used to be. That thought made me chuckle inwardly: who I used to be

I recalled a little French girl, treated like a princess by her parents, strolling the streets with her mamma, seeking shoes from stalls that would inscribe your name inside and make it all the more magical to have something that was entirely your own. How fantastical. How whimsical. How nothing of that little girl remained in the powerful machine that had replaced her.

I picked up my xGen and saw a message. I saw the sender and heat flooded my body. Heat rose in my cheeks. She still had that affect on me. It read, ‘Got time for a chat? Only a quick one.’

Sure,’ I replied, unable to help myself.

She called within a minute and I froze when I saw her. She was all blackness and I loved it. The darkness within her contrasted with the lightness in me. Though what she knew, and only she, was that my depths ran darker and deeper than most others’ – and in that respect we were a perfect fit.

‘How are you?’ she asked with concern.

‘Shit,’ I replied. I never swore. She knew that meant it was bad.

‘He is on his way?’ she asked tentatively.

‘Yes, he is,’ I mumbled.

‘Do you want me to come over?’

‘No,’ I told her, my lips pursed.

‘I don’t like the way you look,’ she argued.

‘How should I look? Pleased?’

I was more miffed than I had ever been.

There was a very valid reason for Ryken’s disappearance off the face of the planet and now I feared all this sacrifice, all this struggle, would be for nothing.

‘You can tell me what is going on in that head of yours. If it will help to unburden you, you may as well.’

I sniffed. I shook my head and rambled quickly in French, quicker than even she could understand. I went into my roughest dialect, my street tongue, and she gawped as I reeled off a lot of jargon.

‘Don’t be such a child and just tell me,’ she chastised.

‘Huh,’ I harrumphed, sitting down on my bed with her on my lap. I had to think of Seraph and her talk of piles earlier… anything to take my mind off the beauty of the woman opposite me.

I cogitated and twisted my mouth before admitting, ‘You haven’t been here when she cries in the night. You haven’t seen her…’ I paused, my mouth twisting uncomfortably while I tried to combat my emotions, ‘…talking like she is happy when she isn’t, not really. She is only pretending… when really she is so sad, she can barely get out of bed in the morning.’

‘Camille, you always knew it would be this way.’

‘Oh, yes, yes,’ I laughed in a trite manner, ‘oh that’s right. Camille follows orders, that is what she does.’

‘This is not you speaking, who is this creature?’ she demanded, her eyes narrowing.

‘I am so tired of this,’ I moaned.

‘You cannot let emotion get the better of you. Not when we have a traitor amongst us.’

‘Ha, a traitor! That is a laugh, is it not? We are all traitors to ourselves. We are human and still we convince ourselves we have no feelings… just to get the job done.’

‘If you don’t bloody tell me what is wrong, right this instant, I am going to come over there to knock some damn sense into you!’

‘That traitor as you term them… that thing who proclaims to be a person, well… my spies tell me things I don’t like to hear. Things that mean this whole sham could have been for nothing! Nothing!’

‘I am coming,’ she warned.

‘No. I don’t need you adding to my problems as well. I already have too many people on the watch list, thank you very much.’

‘A few more days, Camille,’ she comforted me, ‘and Seraph will not be so vulnerable. Just a few more days.’

A few more days, a few more months, a few more years… they had piled up and robbed my life, those “calculations of time” that meant shit. This fight felt like it would never be over.

I wanted to tell my counterpart that she had no idea of the real legacy the Operator had left behind. Secrets nobody but me knew. Some so terrible… some days I had to break skin on the punch bag to rid myself of the guilt I sometimes felt. Me, Camille Honoré, breaking skin. Oh Jesus. Who was I kidding? I was just a woman too. No plan, no motive. Just a woman.

‘I will come if you want me to,’ she added. Oh I bet you would

Non, I don’t want you here,’ I insisted in a harsh voice.

‘Well, chin up. You never know, you might get to kick some more ass before long.’

I looked into her eyes and couldn’t help but crack a wry grin. That had me perked up. She was never easily offended, never gave up on me. She knew just how to appeal to my sense of humor.

‘She’s back, there she is, Camille is in the room again,’ she beamed.

I heard the door to Seraph’s room open after her nap and nodded towards Mara, whispering, ‘Got to go.’

She mouthed, ‘Okay.’

We ended the call and I heard Seraph yell from the corridor, ‘My back’s fuckin’ killin’!’

I chuckled inwardly. Seraph didn’t know how alike she and Eve had been. I had to hope she would never know the extent of the truth in that.

The Radical revealed her place in this tale, now I will unveil mine. Maybe I was the Principal first and foremost, in the eyes of the world. But there is/was so much more to me, too.

I was the Operator’s right-hand woman and you have yet to discover the extent of our former leader’s skills… prepare to be driven deeper into the murky abyss.

To clarify…

A few people have asked me whether Charlotte’s story is done with at the end of A Fine Profession. My answers have been vague and there is a reason. But I think I should clarify…

A Fine Pursuit is going to very much feature her, even though it is from Noah’s perspective. At the end of Book One, we are left with some BIG questions. We know she left him, we know that from the very beginning of Book One. There is something Charlotte never expected Noah would do and in A Fine Pursuit, he does it. He books himself in for therapy.

Book Two is very heavy on the psychology. It is with this in mind, I should warn you now that I have decided not to list this as an erotic novel. There are plenty of sex scenes still, there always are in any books of mine, but this is a book which you might need to prepare yourselves for. This is much less a sex book than A Fine Profession. The romancer in Noah has made this very much a story of one man’s dreadful past and the woman who forces him to not only face it, but embrace it and hopefully… move on. Sex becomes a sideline of the enormous emotional connection they grow to share.

So to warn you, this is a CONTINUATION of the couple’s story, and not just Noah’s version of Book One. The story continues. It is ongoing. There will be scenes featuring Noah’s interpretation of some parts of Book One, but I’ve only weaved the important elements fundamental to his therapy and the condition he suffers.

Whether the Chambermaid and her lover get their happy ever after, you will just have to read to find out…

At present, I am feeling excited, nervous, tired, impatient, annoyed, happy, sad, oh… and more… The research for these books has been integral and whether I meant to or not, I think I pulled something out of the bag that nobody will expect. I have made huge sacrifices to write these books but I loved every minute. Thought every hardship worth it. Watch this space…