That was pretty much the reaction of everyone who got their first look at – and feel of – the Secret Library collection at the London Book Fair this week. Those velvety covers are delicious to hold, and though they may look discreet, the stories within most certainly aren’t!
I spent time on the Xcite Books stall on Monday, bumping into a few familiar faces like Lucy Felthouse – who has a novella, Off The Shelf, in Silk Stockings, and who took a few pictures of the books in all their glory at the fair for the Secret Library blog – and Nicki from Total-e-bound, as well as meeting another Xcite author, the bubbly Jenna Bright for the first time.
The first two Secret Library titles, Silk Stockings and Traded Innocence, which contains my own novella Cooking Up Trouble, are available now from Amazon (click on the book cover below) and the Xcite bookshop.
And to whet your appetite, here’s an extract from Cooking Up Trouble. Morgan Jones has landed a plum TV job, presenting the Saturday morning TV show, Cook’s Treats. The only trouble is her co-host is celebrity chef Scott Harley, who has previously made unflattering comments about her figure and her cooking style in print. She’s all set to hate the man when she finally meets him for the first time, in the show’s production office – which, when she reaches it, is a scene of controlled chaos:
People were shouting into mobile phones, each one’s conversation seemingly more important and more vital to the smooth running of the show than the next. For the first time, Morgan realised the difference between working for a small TV company and one of the major players. Before, there’d never been more than three egos competing for attention in a room at any one time. Here, she counted four times that.
Scott Harley striding in brought the figure up to a baker’s dozen. Morgan had never met a man whose entrance could silence a room, until now. If he’d looked good in his magazine feature, he was something else again in the flesh. A good head taller than Morgan’s own five foot ten, he had the wide-shouldered build of a professional athlete and a taut, enticing arse outlined by tight-fitting black trousers. Pushing his thick mane of dirty-blond hair out of his face, he fixed Morgan with his piercing green eyes. Despite herself, she felt a sudden rush of lust, settling low in her belly and sending a faint, guilty flush to her cheeks. Of all the reactions she’d expected to have, she’d never thought she would find him as compellingly attractive as she did.
Of course, to find out whether they’re going to generate serious heat in the Cook’s Treats kitchens, you’ll have to read the rest of the story. But I promise you, it’s tasty…