His Secret Boss Is Officially Out

His Secret Boss6I’ve been teasing it for a while, but here’s the blurb:

Claudia Anthony, the overachieving owner of a successful hotel chain, is recruited to take part in the reality TV show Secret CEO. Disguised as Jane Ennis, she takes on a job at The Anthony in Aberpentre, a Welsh seaside town that has seen better days. She finds herself working under young, headstrong Rhodri Wynn-Jones, who has no clue of her real identity. Soon, passion flares and although Claudia knows there are lines she can’t cross, she just can’t keep away.

Rhodri is falling in love with Jane – but what will happen if he learns he’s actually having an affair with his boss?

And here’s the beginning of the story, where Claudia receives the pitch that will see her become a reality TV star:

‘You have to admit, Claudia, it’ll be wonderful publicity for you …’

Gina paused, and took a sip from her cappuccino, waiting for my reaction. In the chair beside her, Hugo Murray of Wild Card Productions regarded me intently. According to Gina, Hugo had been anxious to speak to me pretty much since the day I’d taken over running the company.

I glanced out of the window. Three floors below us on St Martin’s Lane, the traffic was its usual Friday snarl-up, and the pavement tables outside the café across the road were occupied by shoppers enjoying the first pleasantly warm afternoon of spring. As I contemplated the familiar scene, I gave myself some thinking time. Why, I wondered again, had I agreed to this meeting? With everything I had on my plate since Dad died, I didn’t have time to get involved with some reality show; even if Gina assured me it would be as good as free advertising for us. When I’d asked her to beef up our PR strategy, I’d expected advertorials in the Saturday travel supplements, maybe being asked to put myself up for a sympathetic profile on the business pages. Not this.

Turning the chair back to face them both, I said, ‘So tell me exactly what it would involve. What you’d expect me to do.’

‘OK, Claudia.’ Hugo smiled, a dimple appearing in his left cheek as he did. ‘Well, as I’m sure you know, the viewing public don’t have a very favourable opinion of the people who run our businesses. The conception is that they’re all smug, uncaring fat cats, creaming off the profits and awarding themselves massive bonuses while their employees struggle by on peanuts.’

‘Well, that’s certainly not the case here …’ The man had been in my office five minutes and already I was on the defensive. I couldn’t see anything good coming out of this.

‘I’m already aware of that. Gina’s briefed me extensively on your commitment to paying the living wage, the various opportunities for career advancement within the Anthony Hotels chain, and the donations you make to charity. You’re clearly a good employer.’ His words should have mollified me more than they did. I was on edge, waiting for the next barb. It wasn’t long in coming.

To find out more, pick up a copy of His Secret Boss from Amazon.

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Sunday Snog – His Secret Boss

His Secret Boss6

Yes, it’s that Sunday Snog time of the week again, and as my Cariad Romance novel, His Secret Boss, is officially released on Thursday (yes, it’s a big couple of weeks for me in terms of new releases but sometimes the planets align that way…) here’s an extract.

Hotel chain owner Claudia Anthony has agreed to take part in a reality show where CEOs go undercover to discover why part of their business is underperforming. She’s taken on a menial job at the Anthony Hotel in the rundown Welsh seaside town of Aberpentre, where she’s started butting heads with the cute young manager, Rhodri Wynn-Jones. Here’s the moment where Claudia and Rhodri get up close and personal for the first time:

He stepped a pace closer, and I looked up at him, silhouetted in the subdued orange glow of a streetlamp. Even though I wore heels, he still had a good few inches on me. Tension hung in the air between us.

I parted my lips a fraction, though whatever I’d intended to say was swallowed up as Rhodri swooped down to claim my mouth with a kiss.

His lips were soft against mine, and I brought my hands up to twine round the back of his neck as I raised myself up on my toes. There was a moment’s awkwardness as I manoeuvred so my unfamiliar glasses weren’t poking against my flesh, or his, and then I settled into the kiss. It was deep, intense; my body seeming to melt against his. Rhodri’s tongue explored the contours of my mouth and I moaned, the sound swallowed up by the night.

He grabbed my bum cheeks in both hands and pulled me tight to him, breaking the passionate lip-lock so he could trail soft kisses over my neck and down to the hollow of my throat. With our bodies pressed together, I was all too aware of his cock, thick and solid, pushing at me. Even the layers of clothing between us failed to disguise its heat and urgency. He wanted me, just as much as I wanted him.

Heat burned between my legs. We gazed into each other’s eyes. Maybe things were moving too fast here, but I didn’t care. I was more than ready to take this further.

I was about to suggest that we go up to my apartment, where we could have a little privacy, when Rhodri’s phone rang.

To find out what happens next, pick up a copy of His Secret Boss. To read more sizzling snogs, go to Blissekiss and see who’s sharing a sexy extract this week.

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The Inspiration For Snowed In – Guest Post By Alice Raine

Love Under The Mistletoe is officially released this week, and to mark the occasion I’ve invited my fellow authors in the collection to talk about their stories and share an excerpt. Today I’d like to welcome Alice Raine, author of Xcite Cariad’s best-selling Untwisted series.

Alice Raine author picFirstly, I’d like to say a big thanks to my host today, the lovely Elizabeth Coldwell. I’m thrilled to be included in the Love Under The Mistletoe Christmas anthology with you, and it’s a pleasure to be here today 🙂

I thought I’d talk briefly about the inspiration behind my Christmas short story Snowed In.

Have you ever fantasied about being locked in a room with the man of your dreams? Marooned on an island with a film star? Or perhaps stuck in a lift with your favourite celebrity crush? Admittedly the idea of being unable to leave the space may ignite issues of claustrophobia for some, but in my more romantic notion it would be all about getting to know the other person, and then if the chemistry was right, perhaps inventing some rather creative ways to fill the time.

For me the whole ‘stuck in a room’ scenario is slightly different though. I’ve always thought that getting snowed in somewhere with a handsome man would be rather romantic. Visions of roaring fires, hot chocolate and snuggling up to keep out the cold all spring instantly to my mind, and quite simply it was that fantastical idea that sparked me to write Snowed In. Being ensconced in a warm toasty cabin whilst snow falls outside and piles up at the doors could possibly be one of my ultimate romantic ideals. Providing there was plenty of food, wine and wood for the fire of course!!

If you want to get in touch, or find out about my other books, then you can check out any of the pages below:

Website: http://www.aliceraineauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alice-Raine/1433662383579684

Twitter: @AliceRaine1

Thanks again to Liz for having me!

Alice xx

Love Under the MistletoeHere’s a small exert from Snowed In to hopefully whet your appetite. (This scene occurs just after the main female character, Allie, has discovered that she is stuck at a strangers’ house because a snowstorm has rapidly descended and rendered her car useless.)

The snow was already falling quickly as I emerged from the house, and judging by the eerily silent white landscape around me it had been doing so for quite a while. Annoyed at myself for not noticing the layer of snow earlier I threw my bag onto the passenger seat, slid into my car, shoved the key into the ignition and turned it preying that it would start. It did, and I’ve never been more relieved in my life.

Ramming it into first gear I went to pull away when my front wheels immediately started to spin uselessly below me. Lightening my touch on the accelerator I tried again. After several more failed attempts the only progress I had made was a marginal skid to the right. “Bugger it!” I yelled, whilst banging my hand on the steering wheel.

Jumping from the car I slammed the door as hard as I could and then yelled a stream of expletives to vent my frustration as I stomped around my useless hump of junk. I knew I should have had the tires changed at the last service, but the mechanic had told me they had a bit of life in them yet. It seems he was wrong.

I spent a good ten minutes getting soaking wet trying to build ramps by the tyres out of pebbles that might help me get some grip, but the snow was falling so quickly that they were covered by the time I unsuccessfully tried them. What to do? Glancing back at the house I grimaced. There was no way I was asking the house owner for help. He’d been so moody. Whoever he was. So instead I rooted around in my boot and produced my sleeping bag and thermal survival blanket. Thank god I’d been too lazy to clean out my car since my camping trip last summer. I’d wait it out. It couldn’t snow forever, so as soon as I saw it start to clear I could have another attempt.

Settling myself in the drivers side again I wrapped myself up as best I could and prepared for a rough few hours ahead, at least I had a fairly full tank of petrol so I could keep the engine running and my decrepit heater on.

After ten minutes I had pretty much lost the feeling in my toes, I was shivering uncontrollably and my wet gloved fingers were stinging so much that they felt like they had been bitten by a thousand wasps. Huffing out a breath I yelped loudly as someone knocked briskly on the window to my car sending snow cascading to the ground and clearing the glass.

The nameless owner of the house was stood there in a snow jacket, waterproof trousers and boots looking annoying warm and dry and was holding a mug of something which was sending plumes of steam into the air.

Reluctantly I drew the car window down a few inches. “What’s the problem?” he asked conversationally, as if he didn’t know! If I could have felt my legs I swear to god I would have jumped out and punched him.

“It’s much heavier than I thought and my car can’t handle it, I just keep skidding. I’m going to wait it out, I’m sure it will pass over soon enough.” Although judging from the colour of the clouds that might be wishful thinking on my part.

“You can’t stay out here, you’ll freeze. Come inside.” He told me in a presumptuous tone that rubbed me right up the wrong way, but somehow made me feel all pathetically melty inside too. Sneering at my pathetic female hormones I dug deeper into my sleeping bag and turned away from him. Seeing as I seemed to have some strange sort of attraction to this equally strange man I was decidedly unwilling to go back inside with him. He made my insides feel warm and gooey when my brain was telling me that he was a rude, pompous prick. It was an imbalance I didn’t like at all, so I decided to play it safe and stay away. “I’m fine here, thank you.” Although I wouldn’t mind whatever warm beverage was in that cup he was holding.

“Have it your way.” He murmured, then taking a teasing sip of his drink he turned and walked back into the house. 

What a bastard! I was slightly stunned that he was just going to leave me out here in the cold, even if that was what I’d told him I wanted. So he was a chauvinist pig and ill-mannered. My treacherous mind was midway through trying to remind me of his good points, like his muscular build and startlingly handsome face when the door to my car was wrenched open and I was literally dragged from the seat and tossed over his shoulder like a rag doll.

Kicking my car door shut he then strode into the house ignoring my kicking, yelling and flailing, toed his boots off, climbed the stairs and deposited me roughly onto my feet by the side of a large bed. Being carried from the car had made my legs wobbly, or perhaps that had just been the affect that touching this man had had on me, but suddenly my knees gave way and I plonked down onto the bed like a rag doll.

“I’m not having your frozen corpse on my conscience. This is my spare room, dry off, warm up and when it is safe to leave you can. Not before. No more ridiculous stubbornness. Understand?” He was actually rather imposing, I realised as I took in his huge frame and steely eyes again. His tone or stance didn’t leave me any room for refusal so I licked my lips nervously and then nodded.

Without another word he turned and left the room, leaving me sat on the bed blinking at his retreating back. What a turn of events. And I still didn’t know his bloody name! 

Love Under The Mistletoe is available from Amazon. Come back to the Naughty Corner tomorrow when I’ll be talking about my own story, Christmas for One.