Yep, the time has come to share another sneak preview with you all. You recall a week or so ago, you got to see the opening for the next Holloway Pack story, Blue Moon? Well, as Escort to Insanity is my short story for the Make Believe anthology, which just so happens to be releasing around the same time as Blue Moon in December, there have been a lot of posts chasing each other for the two.
Anyway, here we go. A little different to the other stories in there, and very much me, here’s a peek at my Make Believe offering:
“Ugh.” I marched the width of my living room for the hundredth time before wedging my stilettos into the shag pile in front of the mirror. “Why do I subject myself to such …” I threw up my hands.
My tenant’s reflection stared back at me from over my shoulder. “Craptapular evenings just to keep your flipping family happy?” One brown eyebrow rose above the sardonic expression in Kellie’s hazel eyes.
“Yes, but …” I groaned and leaned forward, teasing my ebony fringe into perfect alignment and prodding at my French twist. “I can’t believe I let you talk me into this. I mean, an escort, for goodness sake.” A quick appraisal assured my black cocktail dress hugged where it should beneath my scarlet swing coat. “Like I’m some bloody saddo incapable of acquiring a date of her own.”
“You have nabbed a date. That’s the whole point.”
“Okay, incapable of nabbing a date that doesn’t cost me five grand for a few hours of his time.”
“Five grand? Holy frickin’ cow, Cole.”
I met her reflected gaze. “You gave me the bloody number.”
“Yeah, because they had prices starting from fifty quid.”
“Fifty quid was for a date with Quasimodo. No point doing this if I’m not going to take someone to keep the vultures off my back.”
“True.” She nodded. “Very true … but …” At the chime of the doorbell, she spun away as I whirled on the spot. “Forget it,” she said, already moving for the hallway. “I’ll see for myself what five grand worth of man looks like.”
Frozen in place, I could only listen as she vanished into the hallway, and her socked feet brushed over the floorboards. The catch twisted. The front door whooshed open.
“Nicole Harrington?” Disbelief tinged the deep, masculine tone.
“Would you like me to be?”
As I thought of what confronted him, Kellie in her Snoopy, fleece shorts, peeling and faded Iron Maiden T-shirt and hiking socks that had long ago lost any elasticity, I snorted out a laugh.
“Ignore her,” I said. “She’s just my tramp of a housemate. Come on in.”
“What’d you do that for?” Kellie said. “I almost had him.”
A deep chuckle preceded the delicate clop of a shoe on the floorboards. A moment later, one black clad shoulder peeked around the living room door, followed by a shock of honey blond hair and amber eyes.
His left eyebrow arched up. “Nicole?”
Head tilted in an attempt to see the rest of him around the door, I nodded. “My friends call me Cole. Might be best if you stick to that this evening.”
He crossed the room in a few easy strides, his hand already outstretched. “Benjamin Gold.” He smiled down at me as I slid my fingers across his. “And I very much doubt you want to know what my friends call me.”
Whatcha think? Sound like something you’d enjoy? You can add it to your Goodreads pile by clicking HERE! (or on the bookmark image above). Plus, all SIX excerpts are available to read over at the J. Taylor Publishing Blog. Go check ’em out!
And to say thanks to those who stop by to read, I shall be giving away ONE signed* printed Make Believe book cover.
All’s you have to do is leave a comment before midnight on Sunday Aug 26th.
*please note: the won book cover will be signed by me only.