I’m so thrilled that my latest Harlequin Mills & Boon Romance is out this month! Heiress on the Run, my second category romance, has been spotted in the wild by friends and family on many the shop shelf, and I’m merrily collating photos for my own personal wall of fame. Turns out that the excitement of seeing your own work in actual stores doesn’t fade after the first few times. Or, I’m beginning to suspect, ever.
(In the interests of full disclosure, I had a meeting with my agent this morning after which we stalked the aisles and spotted a couple of copies of Heiress. She made me move them both to the front. And then I ran away.)
Working on this book drew a lot on my experiences of working in events in London, which made it great fun to write. That said, I don’t remember showing any gorgeous aristocrats around the city at that time. Which I guess is why fiction is so much more fun than real life…
To celebrate the release, I thought I’d give you a little sneak peak at Dominic and Faith’s first meeting, in Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci airport, after a very long and trying day for both of them:
Raising the bottle to his lips, Dominic took in the low-cut blouse, too-tight skirt and wild dark hair framing large hazel eyes. The smile on her wide lips was knowing, and he wondered if she’d recognised him. What she wanted from him. A drink. A night. A story to sell. She wouldn’t be the first, whatever it was.
And whatever it was, she wouldn’t get it. He’d made a mistake, letting Kat close enough to damage his reputation. It wasn’t one he intended to make again—certainly not for one night with a pretty girl with an agenda.
But, to his surprise, the first words she said were, ‘Sounds like you have a problem, my friend. And I think I can help you out.’
It wasn’t the way she normally got work, but there was a lot to be said for serendipity, Faith decided. Walking into an airport bar, jobless and broke, and hearing a guy talk about how he needed a London tour guide and hotel rooms? That was an opportunity that was meant to be.
‘And how, exactly, do you intend to do that?’ the guy asked. He didn’t look quite as convinced by coincidence as she was.
Faith held out a hand. ‘I’m Faith. I’m a tour guide. I know London even better than I know Italy and Rome, and I’ve been running tours here for a year and a half. And it just so happens that I’ve finished one tour today, and I have a break before my next one.’ She didn’t mention the slight hiccup in her heartbeat at the idea of going home to London. Probably it would be fine. She could be in and out in a week or so, heading off on a plane to sunnier, less panic- inducing climes.
Besides, at this point, it wasn’t as if she had a lot of other options.
‘Dominic,’ the guy said, taking her hand. He looked familiar, she realised. But then, after a while, all men in grey suits looked the same, didn’t they? Maybe not quite as attractive as this one, though. His gaze was cool and evaluating. The high end suit said ‘successful businessman’, the loosened tie said ‘workaholic’ and the beer said ‘long day’. She could work with all of those. ‘And how, exactly, do you know I need a tour guide?’
‘I eavesdropped.’ Faith shrugged, then realised the move strained her struggling blouse a little more than was wise in a professional environment. Maybe she should have left the necktie on.
‘Not exactly the key quality I look for in an employee.’ He frowned down at her cleavage with more distaste than she was used to seeing in a man.
‘Really?’ Faith asked. ‘Someone who listens even when they’re not required to and anticipates your needs? I’ve always found that rather useful.’
It was funny, Faith thought, the way you could watch someone re-evaluate you, and see the change in their attitude as a result. When she’d first sat down, she’d known all he saw was boobs and hair. Then she’d offered to help him, and his expression had changed from dismissive to interested. And now…now he was really intrigued.
Heiress on the Run, Sophie Pembroke