Feed Your Reader: Workplace romance featuring a unique conflict

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From one-night-stand to new boss…

Ambitious management consultant Ellen Kennedy is going places. But when last year’s one-night-stand shows up in her office as her new manager, it threatens everything she’s worked so hard for. Even worse, she’s not quite sure that one night was enough.

Alex Broadhurst has private reasons for moving to Melbourne, and he has no intention of sharing them with anyone, including the woman he never forgot. But business and pleasure can’t mix, not ever, no matter the temptation.

Workplace romances always end in disaster, so Ellen and Alex strike a deal: one night in the past won’t affect their present or influence their future. But sometimes even the best deals are made to be broken…

“This story might have the most original obstacle to the couple’s HEA that I’ve ever read in romance novels” – Maria, NetGalley

“How much I enjoyed it: 5/5” – Coral, Goodreads

 

Deal Breaker is available from your favourite e-tailer now!

iBooks, Booktopia, Nook, Kobo, Google, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon AU

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Exclusive Excerpt: Deal Breaker

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From one-night-stand to new boss…

Alex Broadhurst. She’d known that was the new boss’s name, but she hadn’t realised he was the same Alex she’d … met all those months ago.

Maybe he didn’t remember.

Please don’t let him remember.

Ellen perched on the edge of her seat, not even remotely able to keep from studying the man in front of her. A sweep of cheekbones, long face with a straight nose, strong jaw. Crisp blue cotton shirt, red silk tie. Even from this angle, anyone could see he was gorgeous. So clean-cut, masculine and handsome, he could sell cologne for Armani.

Yes. The man was indisputably gorgeous.

Her shoulders dropped and the tightness in her chest eased just a fraction. An attractive guy with success written all over him—chances were, he went home with many, many women. And it was a while ago, their fling. Even if he recognised her, he probably couldn’t pinpoint the where and the when.

The how.

God, the how.

Not helpful, Ellen.

She tore her gaze away, searching for something apart from Alex to hold her attention, but apart from his train wreck of a desk, which held a laptop and various piles of papers dripping in red scribble, the office was bare. No photos, nothing personal.

Maybe it was because he had no personality, like everyone was saying.

When Jeremy had been boss, this office had been full to the brink—photos of Jeremy shaking hands with various important people, framed degrees, posters with witty quotes, novelty gifts. But then again, given the way Jeremy had left, that was nothing to aspire to.

And it wasn’t true that Alex had no personality. He did—and a wicked, sneaky sense of humour. He was also very … generous. She had reason to know.

The pen came to rest. ‘Right. Ellen Kennedy.’ Alex extracted a page from one of the piles—her CV, no red, thank God—and scanned it, nodding occasionally. ‘Okay.’

He dropped it on the table and looked at her. Her stomach clenched. Those eyes. Intense hazel, bright against his dark hair and olive skin. Swarthy almost, as described in the historical romance novels she liked way too much. She had no trouble recalling exactly why she’d said yes that night. At least she could credit herself with having good taste.

Heat flushed her neck and cheeks.

He must remember. No?

Deal Breaker will release 12 September 2017. One-click pre-order below:

iBooks, Booktopia, Nook, Kobo, Google, Amazon AU, Amazon UK, Amazon US

The Story of my Book: Blue Steal

by Marnie St Clair

I came to write Blue Steal because it was the kind of book I wanted to read.

First and foremost, I’m a romance reader, but I do love mystery. I spent one summer as a teenager on a three-month Agatha Christie binge. I swear I literally barely raised my head from the pages all summer long. But I do remember thinking, if only there were more kissing …

agatha_christie

And I am not alone. Romance readers tend to read widely, and one of their favourite other genres is mystery.1 Two fantastic genres – so why choose? Let’s throw them both in the pot. Hence, romantic mystery (or mystery romance) Blue Steal.

Romantic mystery is like romantic suspense’s older, quieter sister. They’re similar, but distinct genres. I read somewhere2 that suspense appeals to the heart, while mystery appeals to the head—in suspense, the bad guy is often a known quantity, and people read it for the heart-pumping constant threat of danger; on the other hand, people read mysteries to pit their wits against the investigator (or the author!), trying to solve the mystery before the big reveal. Of course, there’s overlap—protagonists in suspense novels often have some figuring out to do, while those in mysteries are often in danger at some point or another.

The hero of Blue Steal is private investigator Jack Tierney. I love books with private detectives – they’re halfway between the grittier, dutiful police procedurals and the more home-spun feel of the unwitting amateur detective cozies. PIs are fun to work with – they’ve got training and skills, some connections and experience, but not all the red tape and bureaucracy associated with the police force. Blue Steal is the first in a series of books featuring the detectives of de Crespigny Investigations. I had stacks of fun thinking up all the different personalities and detective styles. Jack is a loose cannon, wild card of a detective, who operates mostly by seeing patterns and trusting his gut. It works for him—he has a 100% success rate he has no intention of compromising.

But he hasn’t met my heroine Selina yet!

I hope you enjoy Blue Steal. I wanted it to be fun and fast-paced. I wanted it to have an atmospheric trapped-in-a-crumbling-hotel setting. I wanted it to have a fast-thinking, fast-talking heroine and a delicious, unorthodox hero. I hope I succeeded!

1 There are statistics somewhere to support this claim.

2 Oh yes, here comes another unsubstantiated claim.


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A witty, sexy and suspenseful story about a stolen necklace, a doomed hotel, and two people determined to get their hands on the jewels—at any cost.

Selina Migliore is smart and streetwise—with an ill sister and an elderly grandmother relying on her, she has to be. When fate hands her a chance to change her life, she’s determined to seize it. All she has to do is retrieve a long-lost sapphire necklace before the Empire Hotel is blown to smithereens. Nothing’s going to get in her way…

…except Jack Tierney, PI, who’s also on the hunt for the stolen jewellery. Jack is amused by his clashes with the pushy brunette, but as he continues to bump into Selina at strange times and in odd places, he starts to question who she is and what she’s doing at the Empire.

The pressure cooker really heats up when a new player enters the scene and it becomes apparent that Jack’s not the only one keeping an eye on Selina…

Feed Your Reader: Romantic Suspense and a Box-Set!

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A witty, sexy and suspenseful story about a stolen necklace, a doomed hotel, and two people determined to get their hands on the jewels—at any cost.


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Three sexy and intriguing men discover love can be a great healer, if they can only brave the risk… 

Recipe: Oranges in Syrup

by Marnie St Clair

Oranges in syrup is our go-to Christmas dessert (along with home-grown-raspberry pavlova – yum!). It offers a number of advantages: it can be made a day or two in advance, and keeps well; it’s pretty light, so no matter how much you overloaded your plate in the earlier stages of the meal, there’s always room for this deliciousness; and… liquor to taste – hello! Perfect for reviving any flagging Christmas spirits.

Oranges in Syrup

  • 6 oranges
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Galliano (Cointreau or Grand Marnier also suitable, or go crazy with whatever you have in stock)
  • ½ cup pistachios

Make a sugar syrup. Stir sugar into water over medium heat until sugar dissolves and water comes to boil, then leave to simmer for five minutes. Cool and add liquor to taste (I believe the original recipe called for about a tablespoon, but let the needs of the day be your guide).

Skin and slice the oranges kind of thin (say 5 mm). Add slices and juice to a serving bowl.

Pour syrup over oranges and leave to pickle.

Just before serving, top with chopped nuts (they go a bit soggy if added too early).

Nice served with plain yoghurt although I like it best as is.


 

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She went from having everything to having nothing—except what she really needed.

Winter Warmers Kick Off This Month – Check out June’s First Round Releases!

24265A fresh, exciting, sexy new voice in contemporary romance, Kate J Squires debuts with a scorching novel about sexy singles, intense competition, a cash prize—and no touching allowed.


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Kicking off a brand new romantic suspense series from Lee Christine is A Dangerous Arrangement: a violinist with a secret, a billionaire with a problem and a race against time set on the beautiful Amalfi Coast.


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Introducing Marnie St Clair, a sexy, sweet, seductive new voice in rural romance! She went from having everything to having nothing—except what she really needed.


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The final book in Nicole Murphy’s steamy, sexy science fiction trilogy brings back an unforgettable character for her own unforgettable story …