Powered by Blogger.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Coming soon - A Taste of Loving Discipline

Well, it's taken a while to write, and at over 53,000 words it's fairly hefty, but I'm glad to announce that A Taste of Loving Discipline is now finished and is on schedule for publication next weekend.

Here is the opener. I hope it whets the appetite.


June put down her brush and stared at the painting. “Hmmn, not bad, June. Not bad at all.” She took a few steps back and critically appraised her work. It looked even better from a distance. Pleased with her efforts, she absentmindedly reached up to secure an escaped tendril of long golden hair from her face, daubing a streak of indigo on her nose in the process. She smiled. The painting was almost complete and needed just a touch more colour on the dramatic skyline. She picked up her brush, ignoring the loud intrusive ring of the doorbell, and began to mix paint on her pallete.

The ringing persisted. With an exasperated sigh she put down her brush and made her way downstairs. Some moron must be standing with their finger on the bell. The top portion of the front door was bevelled glass and through it she could see the outline of someone's head and shoulders. If it was yet another salesman cold calling, he would soon be sent on his way for interrupting her work. She flung open the door, green eyes blazing.

“Hello, June.” He smiled at her through a pair of vibrantly blue eyes, taking in her dishevelled appearance at a glance. Her golden hair was secured on the top of her head in a plastic clip, with escaped strands framing her face. She was wearing a snug fitting denim skirt and a paint-splattered blue smock over a black sweater. On her feet were a pair of canvas shoes, both daubed with blobs of paint. “You have a paint smudge on your nose.”

“Oh. It's you.” She bristled and reached up to rub the smudge away but only succeeded in making it wider, much to the undisguised amusement of the visitor. The insufferable man had the gall to grin at her. One brow arched in that infuriating way he had. It didn't matter that she thought of herself as a confident, poised, 24-year-old woman - he somehow made her feel like a gauche teenager on the defensive.

“Obviously. It's damned cold out here on the doorstep. Are you going to invite me in?”

“No. I'm busy.” She gave him one of her best glares and then stood aside as he barged past her and stepped into the hallway. He was already making himself at home by removing his jacket and hanging it on the coat stand at the bottom of the stairs. She fumed inwardly. What an irritating pig of a man.

The irritating pig of a man flashed a gleaming smile. “How's your dad?”

“He wasn't very good yesterday, but isn't too bad today. He's taking a nap. You probably woke him by ringing the doorbell,” she said accusingly.

“Oh well, he did ask me to call round at 2pm.”

“He's expecting you? He never mentioned it. What does he want to see you for?”

“Yes he's expecting me. I'll go up shall I?” the visitor said, making his way upstairs without bothering to wait for a response and deftly sidestepping her other question. He climbed the stairs effortlessly, two at a time and once he was at the top glanced round to see her following him, a cross expression clouding her face. “I've had a two and a half hour drive. A cup of tea would be lovely,” he said with a smile. “Milk. No sugar. If you please.”

June scowled at him and flounced back downstairs to the kitchen where she spent the next few minutes banging cups about and slamming the cutlery drawer so hard it almost flew off the hinges.

What was it about Alexander Stewart that she detested so much? He was one hellishly handsome guy, even she had to grudgingly admit that, with those intense blue eyes contrasting with dark brows and hair. Well defined bone structure and a chiselled jaw added to his visual appeal, along with a wide, sensual mouth. At 6ft 2 he stood tall and broad-shouldered in his expensively elegant suit, and he exuded charm and confidence. A lot of women would be bowled over by all that smouldering sex appeal. She thought he probably had a long queue of women clamouring for his attention, but he sure as hell wouldn't have June Jackson in his line up.

“He can go and boil his head,” she muttered as she took the teapot out of the cupboard and filled the kettle with water.

June Jackson had many admirable qualities. She was hard working and loyal, honest and reliable; she could be charming and witty, kind, considerate and compassionate - and since graduating three years ago with a degree in Fine Art from York University, had selflessly devoted her time to caring for her father who was battling Parkinson's Disease.

Then there were a few other qualities that were not quite so admirable. She could be impetuous, short tempered and obstinate, and she wasn't quite the selfless being she imagined herself to be. Because since Dad had formed a relationship with Gloria, June had become increasingly jealous of the woman whom she regarded as trying to usurp her own place in the household and in her father's affections. Dad had wanted Gloria to move in with them but June had dug her heels in. So for now, a temporary truce reigned. Gloria came round every evening and the three of them had dinner together, then June, conscious of 'three's a crowd' would take herself off out with friends or retreat upstairs to her 'studio' to paint or read – anything other than intrude on what remained of dad and Gloria's evening.

June was also as stubborn as a mule and would not be bullied into doing anything she didn't want to do. And that included marrying Alexander Stewart. It was her father's idea. He had made no secret about it and over the past few years had tirelessly remarked how they were remarkably well suited to each other and would make a perfect match. June had stamped about in outrage and refused to be part of a 'barbaric arranged marriage', telling her father in no uncertain terms to mind his own bloody business. She had no plans to marry, and if she should ever change her mind, she would marry someone of her choice. And that someone would most definitely NOT be Mr smart ass Alexander Stewart.

“Damn the man,” she muttered as she sneakily added a spoon of sugar into his tea. “There – drink that you smug devil,” she said as she stirred the liquid.

“Is that for me?”

“Oh!” June whirled round to find him right behind her, regarding her with that thoughtful and appraising look of his. “I didn't hear you come back downstairs. You sneaked up on me!”

“Did I?” he said smoothly. “Tsk tsk, you know I don't take sugar. I'd better pour that one down the sink.” He did so, then deposited three cups and saucers on a tray along with the teapot and a small jug of milk. “Your dad would like some biscuits. He says they are in the -”

“I happen to live here. I know where they are,” she growled, and reached up into the cupboard to retrieve the tin.

“We're in a bit of a snit today aren't we, Miss Prickly? You could do with a few lessons in good manners.” His eyes narrowed as he looked at her.

There was something in that look that made June go weak at the knees. For a moment she found herself unable to speak as she rapidly tried to process the way she felt. A wave of something hit her full on … of what? Sexual attraction? Yes, maybe, she acknowledged reluctantly. But there was something more. And whatever that something was, she couldn't discern it; nor did she welcome it. And yet …

She pulled herself together. “I am neither 'in a snit' or prickly and I'm perfectly polite to people I happen to like.” There, that's told him. She flashed a gleeful smile.

He wasn't in the least phased by her cutting remark. “We'll continue this conversation some other time,” he said enigmatically. “Now come upstairs, your father wants to talk to you.”

“He can talk to me any time,” she objected.

“He wants to talk to both of us.”


“Because I'm his godson. Because I'm a close friend who cares about him. And because I'm also his solicitor. Now take that stubborn look off your face and stop acting like a petulant child.”

“What?! Stubborn? Petulant child? How dare you speak to me like that – you … you fat bastard!”

He did that thing with his right eyebrow again. It arched quizzically. “I'm neither fat nor am I a bastard. June Jackson, you are one bad mannered, jealous little madam. It's about time you started acting like an adult. You've been deliberately rude to me for years, and I've had enough.” He took a step closer – so close she could feel the warmth from his breath – and then he smiled seductively as he asked, “Do you recall I promised you a spanking last time you gave me a mouthful of sassy remarks?”


Here we go - a nice sexy cover. Don't you just love chocolate?! (I do!)

1 comment: