The Nanny Who Saved Christmas.
Today though, is the final day of the free Kindle download of OLD DESIRES at Amazon US and Amazon UK - actually Amazon everywhere! - so I wanted to talk a little about how that's gone.
Actually, it's been amazing. I've had an unofficial Street Team helping me get the news out there and OLD DESIRES shot up into the top 20 Kindle free downloads on both sides of the Atlantic and is still in the top10 contemporary romances as I write, so a huge thank you to everyone who has tweeted the news, put it on Facebook or hosted me on their blog
I know this is a bit irritating for those of you who read on a Nook, or Kobo or Sony eReader but I promise that in February, when my deal with Amazon is done, I'll post a free promo voucher for Smashwords on my blog so that you can all get the same deal.
Meanwhile here's an excerpt of Old Desires to whet your appetite -
‘Ready to go?’ Holly nodded and he pulled on the helmet for her and fastened the strap beneath her chin. ‘Very fetching. Don’t forget to hold tight.’ He put on his own helmet and then climbed on an enormous black machine. She sat very primly behind him, her hands scarcely touching the sides of his waist. Then he started the machine and without further warning moved off and she threw herself at his back and clung on for dear life.
Roaring up the lane, the stab of the headlamp into the dark the only source of light in a black world, was bad. As dreadful as it could be. But it was nothing to do with the noise of the bike, or the speed with which the hedge flashed by them. It was her body pressed against the supple leather of his jacket, feeling the steady reassuring hammer of his heart against the crazy counterpoint of her own, beating much too fast. It was her arms around his waist, her hand clasped desperately under his ribs. That was what she feared. The unavoidable closeness and what it was doing to her.
Then it was over. They were in front of Highfield and she was sliding quickly from the machine in an effort to escape, her legs wobbly as she had known they would be. She fought desperately with the uncooperative strap of her helmet to remove it before he could help her, touch her. But her fingers couldn’t, or wouldn’t, find the release and after he had removed his own helmet he bent to do it for her.
‘Are my hands cold?’ he asked.
‘No. Yes.’ With his long fingers brushing against her neck she couldn’t think clearly.
‘Well?’ he asked, pulling the helmet off and putting it with his own on the seat of the machine and leaning back against it. ‘Which is it?’
‘They’re cold,’ she managed before turning quickly away, determined to get inside before she betrayed herself totally. ‘Thanks for the lift, Joshua,’ she said, from the doorway.
‘Holly?’ His voice grated against her spine and she stopped and turned slowly back to face him. He hadn’t moved.
‘Yes?’ she asked, from the safe distance of her porch.
‘There was something else.’
‘Can’t it wait?’ She fumbled desperately in her pocket for her keys.
‘I don’t believe it can.’ Her margin of safety proved illusory as in a stride he was beside her, his eyes smoky dark as he searched her face. It was a look that seemed to touch her, stroke her, burn her up until she thought she would cry out. After a moment, or it might have been an age, in which she felt as if she was suspended at the top of a roller-coaster, waiting for that dizzy freefall plunge, he spoke. ‘I don’t believe it can wait another moment.’
She closed her eyes in an effort to blot out the desire in his eyes, not quite trusting it, but knowing that it was far too late for her to fight the echoing response he must all too clearly see in hers. Knowing that she was helpless to resist.
He took her face between his hands, tilting her face upwards and holding it cradled in his long fingers, until she could bear it no longer and her long lashes fluttered open. ‘Please…’ The word, barely more than a sigh, escaped her lips, but whether she was begging for release or capture she scarcely knew. Until he kissed her and by then it was too late.
His lips were cool as they began to feather her face with butterfly kisses, each touch to the delicately veined lids of her eyes, her temples, the smooth curve of her jaw the gentlest, teasing caress, that gradually turned her bones to jelly.
She was trembling as at last he slid his hands inside her jacket and pulled her tight against his chest and held her there.
‘What are you doing?’ she whispered, her eyes jet dark in the sudden shaft of moonlight breaking through the clouds,
He laughed, very softly. ‘If you have to ask, my darling Holly, I must be doing something wrong.’ But he wasn’t doing anything wrong, she was quite sure of that. In fact as his lips continued their philandering progress, she had the very definite impression that he was an expert. Then he raised his head and she moaned very softly.
‘Don’t stop,’ she protested.
‘I haven’t stopped.’ His arm tightened about her waist, drawing her so close along the length of him, that suddenly she didn’t have any breath for words. And then that was no longer a problem, because she had something else to occupy her mind as his mouth claimed hers and she knew he had spoken nothing but the truth. He left her in absolutely no doubt of his meaning.
Her lips parted under the sensuous prompting of his tongue and she responded with an urgency that at once shocked and elated her, her arms snaking around his neck, pulling him down to her until with a groan he wrenched himself free.
His ragged breathing matched her own as they stood just inches apart, staring at one another in stunned amazement at the reality of what had just happened to them both.
She shook her head. It wasn’t a time for words. Her hand fastened on the cold keys in her pocket and she held them for a moment, clenched tight in her fist. Then, her cheeks flushed with bright colour, she extended her hand and offered them to Joshua.
For a heartbeat they hung from the tip of her finger, glinting in the fitful moonlight between the two motionless figures, then he reached out and his fingers closed around them and she surrendered them into his care. He turned to the door, fitted the key in the lock. The sound of the lever drawing back in the mechanism was like the crack of a pistol in the unnatural silence and then the door swung open.