Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Friendship, Suspense

Guilty Women Melanie Blake 5*#Review @MelanieBlakeUK @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours#BlogTour #BookReview #SoapOpera #Thriller #Guilt #Relationships #Friendship #Revenge #suspense #GuiltyWomen

Can they get away with MURDER? On a beautiful island off the English coast, four TV actresses gather. Their fifth member is missing – and only they know why she was killed. As the secret between them threatens to come out, tensions on set run high. The women are determined that the show must go on – whatever the cost. But one of them is on the edge of telling the truth – and no soap opera in the world could survive this scandal… All of the women have something to hide – but the question is, are they ALL GUILTY?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Continuing from book one, Ruthless Women, Guilty Women has the eighties ‘blockbuster’ vibes with a contemporary twist. The female characters are ruthless, but you can see why they must be when you meet the men. The strong friendship bond between the main protagonists makes this so readable. The plot is full of action, shocks and surprises and keeps you turning the pages. The characters are vibrant and flawed, but they make you care about them, and you are intrigued to know what next? Are they guilty?

Melanie Blake

MELANIE BLAKE is the bestselling author of Ruthless Women, which became a Number 4 Sunday Times hardback bestseller and an ebook bestseller in 2021, selling over 150,000 copies. Guilty Women is her second novel about the cast of Falcon Bay, and her first with HarperFiction. Growing up in a working-class household with severe dyslexia, Melanie has her own Rags to Riches story, just like that of her characters – at 15 she was told by her school career advisors that her decision to work at a record shop was ‘a clear example that she wouldn’t go far in her career’. They were wrong. By 19 she was working at the BBC’s iconic Top of the Pops show and by 26 she had built a reputation as one of the UK’s leading music and entertainment managers. She also created her own acting agency from scratch which became the most successful independent boutique agency in the UK. Melanie still represents a high-profile stable of actresses, but is also now enjoying success in her own right as a author, playwright and producer. #GuiltyWomen | @MelanieBlakeUK

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Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, New Books, Romance

Crowned for his Christmas Baby Maisey Yates 5* #Review @maiseyyates @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsiders #MillsandBoonModern HarlequinPresents #BookReview #Festive #CrownedforhisChristmasBaby

Romance

Is her royal baby his redemption?

After being swept up in Prince Vincenzo’s revenge plans, Eloise is carrying his surprise heir. And the man who vowed never to marry is claiming her – as his royal Christmas bride

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills & Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

My Thoughts…

Prince Vincenzo is determined to rescue his country from his father’s excesses and vows to end the monarchy by refusing to marry and father an heir. Avenging his mother, he enlists the help of Eloise, the daughter of his father’s mistress. Eloise is a positive, strong character who has moved on from her destructive past. She has always loved Vincenzo despite his reputation and agrees to help him.

There is an intense passion between Eloise and Vincenzo despite her innocence. The emotional connection between the couple deepens as they realise they have misjudged each other. The story has many festive touches and ends happily after much angst. Believable characters and an appealing fairytale quality make this a lovely holiday read.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Couple Upstairs Shalini Boland 5*#Review @ShaliniBoland @bookouture #Relationships #Secrets #Lies #Friendship #BookReview #psychsuspense #TheCoupleUpstairs

Our new home was supposed to be a chance to leave our past behind. But was moving here the worst mistake of our lives?

All our friends and family were gathered, glasses raised to toast our fresh start. It should have been a night for happiness and celebration. Zac and I had worked so hard for this: our first home together, just minutes from the sea. But the dream quickly turned into a nightmare…

We’d invited our neighbours too. I wanted to make a good impression – to show them we’re exactly the sort of people they want living on their street.

I hadn’t thought about who they might be, the strangers I was letting in.

It was going so well. There was laughter in the air and the wine was flowing. But then I noticed the narrowed eyes, the whispers.

And then the lights went out.

As my heart thumped in my chest, all the little things that had been going wrong since we moved here flashed through my mind: the food poisoning, the arguments, the flood of nasty reviews shaking my business.

Am I going crazy? Or is someone trying to destroy us?

From the USA Today bestselling author Shalini Boland comes an absolutely heart-thumping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley in return for an honest review..

My Thoughts…

Supremely confident psychological suspense with an unreliable protagonist, a supposedly idyllic community setting that is not quite what it seems and a manipulative and twisted antagonist. I love this author’s books because there is always an unexpected twist. For regular readers, the fun is trying to guess who isn’t what they seem.

Classic, domestic suspense with the expected underlying edge of menace. What seems obvious is twisted until it is unrecognisable and the threat real. The perfect book if you like your psychological suspense atmospheric and well-written.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Friendship, Suspense, Thriller

#Repost Ruthless Women Melanie Blake 5*#Review @MelanieBlakeUK @HoZ_Books #BlogTour #BookReview @MidasPR #SoapOpera #Thriller #Relationships #Friendship #Revenge #suspense #RuthlessWomen #Paperback

RUTHLESS WOMEN Melanie Blake

Published by Head of Zeus
8th July 2021 | Paperback Currently £7.19

Ambition can be deadly…

Ruthless Women takes readers on a wild ride behind the scenes of beloved TV drama Falcon Bay, beamed globally to millions three days a week from its picturesque location in the Channel Islands. But even in this beautiful coastal spot, tensions swirl. Once one of the world’s most popular soap operas, but now with ratings and syndication at an all-time low, the production has been sold to an American business woman, beautiful and malevolent Madeline Kane, the new network owner who arrives on the tiny island just off Jersey, determined to do whatever it takes to get the show back to number one.  

Writer Farrah, star Catherine and producer Amanda are the driven, ambitious women who keep the show on the road. But Farrah is losing episodes to the network’s lead male rival, Catherine is terrified of the public falling out of love with her and Amanda’s evil husband Jake, vice president of the network, is plotting to get his own wife kicked off the show.

As the dawn of a new era begins, cast and crew turn against each other with loyalty, decency, and trust, replaced by scandal, betrayal, and an outrageous ambition to survive.

In a true battle of the sexes, these women will do anything to stay on top. But can they team up to bring down their male rivals? Or will jealousy, betrayal and revenge tear their long held friendships apart?

As the story reaches a climax so shocking readers will be talking about it for decades, one thing is certain: only the most ruthless woman will survive… 

Amazon UK

The Genre…

Over 25 million people in the UK watch soaps a week and now they’ll get a true glimpse of what really goes on behind the scenes of TV’s most  popular shows, and examples of the desperate trade off’s their beloved leading ladies go through to survive the very game they are in. Ruthless Women shows that what takes place behind the cameras is way more juicy than on….

Even the actresses, who Melanie was worried would be angry about what she’s written, are raving about Ruthless Women too.  Well, some of them are….

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus via Midas PR in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Scandalous, sexy thrillers based on real experiences and personalities are always addictive. Ruthless Women’s vibrant characters and vivid scenarios make guessing the inspiration behind them a must. The abuse of authority and prejudice are relatable, and the intelligent way the women fight against them believable. The female characters are flawed but easy to empathise. Hidden agendas and twists make this an intriguing read.

Scandal, secrets and sex underpin the story of a ruthless boss determined to make a once top-rated show great again. The dynamic between Farrah, Catherine, Amanda and Sheena is insightful and the force behind the story. It is both their strength and weakness, which Madeline exploits to her advantage.

This story has a poignant side which gives it depth and immerses the reader into the characters lives. The noir world simmering below the surface of television’s glamorous facade is the perfect setting for this story of ambition, friendship, revenge and scandal.

The suspense builds coupled with striking sensory imagery, as the story develops and the final chapters are full of twists, with a climactic ending.

I can’t wait for the next book.

Melanie Blake

At 15 Melanie Blake dreamed of being a writer, but was told by her English teacher that the only thing she’d ever write were labels for factory boxes. Severely dyslexic, and desperate to escape a childhood of poverty and religious extremism in Stockport, she left school with no qualifications and ran away
from home.

Against all odds, Melanie managed to blag her way onto the lowest rung of the showbiz ladders, working as an extra on Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Eastenders and a camera assistant on Top Of The Pops. It was during this time that she got her first big break aged 21, when soap icon Claire King chose Melanie to be her agent. Her agency was an immediate success, and she would go on to represent the likes of Patsy Kensit, Michelle Collins, Stephanie Beacham, Emily Lloyd, Denise Welch, Jennie McAlpine, Laila Morse, Daniella Westbrook, Amanda Barrie, Gillian Taylforth and Nadia
Sawalha; earning herself the tag ‘Queen of Soaps’.

Melanie wrote her first book The Thunder Girls when she was working in the music industry as a young woman. She was told no one wanted to read a book about middle aged female singers on a comeback tour and so it wasn’t until 2019, twenty years after she first put pen to paper, that The Thunder Girls was finally published by Pan Macmillan, becoming an Amazon number one bestseller. She adapted it for the stage herself and it went on to break box office records for a new work at the prestigious Lowry Theatre.

Her second novel, Ruthless Women has been an even bigger success, going straight into the Sunday Times hardback fiction chart at number four, staying in the top ten for a month, and also charting in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, as well as foreign language translation rights being picked up by Russia, Romania and Hungary; meaning Melanie Blake is going global. Ruthless Women is inspired by Melanie’s behind-the-scenes knowledge of British soap operas. In the UK alone, over 25 million people a week currently tune in to watch the very stars Melanie represents in their globally syndicated shows. They say write about what you know, and in Ruthless Women, Melanie certainly has.

Melanie still represents some of the best-known faces on British television but is also now enjoying success in her own right as a columnist, producer, author and playwright. She lives in London and is available for interview and to write features, and this woman has got a lot of stories!

Posted in Book Review, New Books, Romance, Travel

The Greek Wedding She Never Had Chantelle Shaw 4*#Review @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsiders #MillsandBoonModern #HarlequinPresents #Romance #Revenge #Forgiveness #Greece #InnocentSummerBrides #BookReview #TheGreekWeddingSheNeverHad

Eleanor Buchanan broke off her engagement to Jace Zagorakis a year ago. She discovered he only wanted to marry her to gain control of her family’s luxury Greek hotel – on their wedding day! Now the devastatingly handsome tycoon is back with a second proposal…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This passionate romantic story has echoes Greek tragedy. Jace is driven to revenge his father’s death after Eleanor’s grandfather’s betrayal. Eleanor discovers Jace’s plans and runs, but one year on, her hotel is on the brink of bankruptcy, and Jace is the only way out.

There is undeniable chemistry between innocent Eleanor and Jace, which she thought was love. As they get to know each other, their growing emotional commitment deepens into love. Eleanor is a strong woman who values family and loyalty, something she shares with Jace. She understands his motives, and when he shares his past, she forgives him. Jace is a sexy but troubled man driven by revenge. His attraction and admiration of Eleanor let him learn to trust and realise he deserves to be happy.

This is a lovely sensual romance with likeable characters.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Gangland Crime, ganglit, Thriller

Forgive and Forget Stephanie Harte 4*#Review @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books @StephanieHarte3 #ganglit #crimefiction #thriller #Essex #organisedcrime #BlogTour #BookReview #ForgiveandForget

It’s now or never for Gemma, will she finally be able to step away from a life of crime?

Mob boss Alfie has new rivals in town – and they might be more than a match for the Essex gangster. Between defending his turf, appeasing his crime lord father and holding onto the woman of his dreams, Alfie knows that something’s got to give…

Nathan’s recovering from his coma and trying to come to terms with his wife’s bombshell secret – that her son Luca was fathered by Alfie. Unconvinced of Gemma’s loyalty, he turns to his estranged ex-con father for help…

Gemma will do anything to give her son a normal life – and she’s surprised to find she has unexpected allies. But when the moment of truth arrives, can she trust Nathan to protect her and Luca?

Amazon UK Kobo Google Apple

I received a copy of this book from Aria Fiction in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The final instalment in this gangland thriller is addictive, intense and revengeful. Gemma regrets her mistake with Alfie, although she loves Luca, her son. Nathan survives his coma, but will he survive recuperation at Alfie’s secluded home? Alfie’s world threatens to implode from all sides whilst Gemma tries to save her family.

Told from the three protagonists points of view, the reader experiences their fears and motivations. The characters are realistic, and the plot gritty with suspenseful twists.

Stephanie Harte

Stephanie Hart is a debut author writing in the ganglit genre. She lives in London with her family. Twitter

Read my review of Risking it All

Read my review of Tangled Lives

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Friendship, Suspense, Thriller

Ruthless Women Melanie Blake 5*#Review @MelanieBlakeUK @HoZ_Books #BlogTour #BookReview @MidasPR #SoapOpera #Thriller #Relationships #Friendship #Revenge #suspense #RuthlessWomen

Ambition can be deadly…

Ruthless Women takes readers on a wild ride behind the scenes of beloved TV drama Falcon Bay, beamed globally to millions three days a week from its picturesque location in the Channel Islands. But even in this beautiful coastal spot, tensions swirl. Once one of the world’s most popular soap operas, but now with ratings and syndication at an all-time low, the production has been sold to an American business woman, beautiful and malevolent Madeline Kane, the new network owner who arrives on the tiny island just off Jersey, determined to do whatever it takes to get the show back to number one.  

Writer Farrah, star Catherine and producer Amanda are the driven, ambitious women who keep the show on the road. But Farrah is losing episodes to the network’s lead male rival, Catherine is terrified of the public falling out of love with her and Amanda’s evil husband Jake, vice president of the network, is plotting to get his own wife kicked off the show.

As the dawn of a new era begins, cast and crew turn against each other with loyalty, decency, and trust, replaced by scandal, betrayal, and an outrageous ambition to survive.

In a true battle of the sexes, these women will do anything to stay on top. But can they team up to bring down their male rivals? Or will jealousy, betrayal and revenge tear their long held friendships apart?

As the story reaches a climax so shocking readers will be talking about it for decades, one thing is certain: only the most ruthless woman will survive… 

Amazon UK

18th February 2021

The Genre…

Over 25 million people in the UK watch soaps a week and now they’ll get a true glimpse of what really goes on behind the scenes of TV’s most  popular shows, and examples of the desperate trade off’s their beloved leading ladies go through to survive the very game they are in. Ruthless Women shows that what takes place behind the cameras is way more juicy than on….

Even the actresses, who Melanie was worried would be angry about what she’s written, are raving about Ruthless Women too.  Well, some of them are….

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus via Midas PR in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Scandalous, sexy thrillers based on real experiences and personalities are always addictive. Ruthless Women’s vibrant characters and vivid scenarios make guessing the inspiration behind them a must. The abuse of authority and prejudice are relatable, and the intelligent way the women fight against them believable. The female characters are flawed but easy to empathise. Hidden agendas and twists make this an intriguing read.

Scandal, secrets and sex underpin the story of a ruthless boss determined to make a once top-rated show great again. The dynamic between Farrah, Catherine, Amanda and Sheena is insightful and the force behind the story. It is both their strength and weakness, which Madeline exploits to her advantage.

This story has a poignant side which gives it depth and immerses the reader into the characters lives. The noir world simmering below the surface of television’s glamorous facade is the perfect setting for this story of ambition, friendship, revenge and scandal.

The suspense builds coupled with striking sensory imagery, as the story develops and the final chapters are full of twists, with a climactic ending.

I can’t wait for the next book.

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus via Midas PR in return for an honest review.

Melanie Blake

As one as the UK’s most successful agents, managers and publicists for music stars and TV actresses, Melanie Blake has represented some of the most famous faces on British television and international screens.

Where her debut novel, the No. 1 bestseller The Thunder Girls, was inspired by the early years of her career  spent working in the music industry, her follow up novel Ruthless Women is heavily influenced by the last 15 years Melanie has spent representing more female actresses than any other agent in her genre. Nicknamed The Queen Of Soaps, there is no one better placed to write a novel based around a continuing drama and its leading ladies.

As one of the UK’s most successful female entrepreneurs, over the years Melanie has had two careers at the top tier of the entertainment industry. Her first 10 years were as a music manager with a roster of award-winning artists and the second decade as one of the UK’s leading acting agents representing some of the most famous faces on British television. The Thunder Girls is inspired by her time in the music business and Ruthless Women which is out in 2021 is inspired by her years in the world of soap opera and drama.

With no formal education herself, Melanie is a true champion for working class women who are so often overlooked in our society. The Thunder Girls is a celebration of women from diverse demographics and all the lead characters in the novel are over 40 and working class. As well as having written the book, Melanie has penned The Thunder Girls the play which embarks on a nationwide tour in 2021. 

Melanie Blake might just be the world’s biggest Jackie Collins fan. She first read Rock Star aged 9, after smuggling the copy out of the library by telling the librarian it was for her mum!  Melanie was dazzled by Jackie Collin’s world where women clawed themselves from poverty into glamorous, moneyed lives. In Jackie Collins’ novels, women were bosses and winners who achieved everything they wanted and it was these novels that inspired Melanie to become her own boss and a lady entrepreneur.  In 2017 Melanie’s connection with Jackie Collins came full circle, when after Jackie’s sad death she bought five pieces of Jackie’s jewellery at auction – two rings and three necklaces inlayed with morganite, citrines and diamonds – which she wears every day.

For the first time, Melanie reveals her biggest secret – that her career actually started as an ‘extra’ on the set of Coronation Street and EastEnders. It was there she began clawing her way from the bottom of the ‘Soap Opera ladder’ to the very top, going on to represent the leading ladies of the very shows she was hired to stand in the background of. It’s a one in a million story, by a uniquely determined woman. From extra to celebrity agent, she’s seen it all and that journey enabled her to write ‘the must read book of 2021’.

18 February 2021

Melanie will be launching the book alongside two of TVs leading ladies Coleen Nolan and Beverly Callard who will be spilling the beans on their own personal lives for a digital book launch “Melanie Blake’s Girls Night in” that members of the public can buy tickets to for £10 including a copy of the book.  

A Girls Night In With Melanie Blake | Projects | Fane

Posted in Blog Blitz, Family Drama, Saga

Unspoken T.A. Belshaw #BookBlitz @tabelshaw@lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #unspoken

A heart-warming, dramatic family saga. Unspoken is a tale of secrets, love, betrayal and revenge.

Unspoken means something that cannot be uttered aloud. Unspoken is the dark secret a woman must keep, for life.

Alice is fast approaching her one hundredth birthday and she is dying. Her strange, graphic dreams of ghostly figures trying to pull her into a tunnel of blinding light are becoming more and more vivid and terrifying. Alice knows she only has a short time left and is desperate to unburden herself of a dark secret, one she has lived with for eighty years.

Jessica, a journalist, is her great granddaughter and a mirror image of a young Alice. They share dreadful luck in the types of men that come into their lives.

Alice decides to share her terrible secret with Jessica and sends her to the attic to retrieve a set of handwritten notebooks detailing her young life during the late 1930s. Following the death of her invalid mother and her father’s decline into depression and alcoholism, she is forced, at 18 to take control of the farm. On her birthday, she meets Frank, a man with a drink problem and a violent temper.

When Frank’s abusive behaviour steps up a level. Alice seeks solace in the arms of her smooth, ‘gangster lawyer’ Godfrey, and when Frank discovers the couple together, he vows to get his revenge.

Unspoken. A tale that spans two eras and binds two women, born eighty years apart.

Amazon UK

T A Belshaw is from Nottingham in the United Kingdom. Trevor writes for both children and adults. He is the author of Tracy’s Hot Mail, Tracy’s Celebrity Hot Mail and the noir, suspense novella, Out Of Control. His new novel, The family saga, Unspoken, was released in July, 2020

His short stories have been published in various anthologies including 100 Stories for Haiti, 50 Stories for Pakistan, Another Haircut, Shambelurkling and Other Stories, Deck The Halls, 100 Stories for Queensland and The Cafe Lit anthology 2011, 2012 and 2013. He also has two pieces in Shambelurklers Return. 2014

Trevor is also the author of 15 children’s books written under the name of Trevor Forest. The latest. Magic Molly The Curse of Cranberry Cottage was released in August 2015

His children’s poem, Clicking Gran, was long-listed for the Plough prize (children’s section ) in 2009 and his short poem, My Mistake, was rated Highly Commended and published in an anthology of the best entries in the Farringdon Poetry Competition.

Trevor’s articles have been published in magazines as diverse as Ireland’s Own, The Best of British and First Edition.

Trevor is currently working on the sequel to Unspoken and the third book in the Tracy series; Tracy’s Euro Hot Mail.

Website

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Romance -Dark and Steamy, Romantic Suspense, Suspense

Chameleons Onyx Gold 4* #Review @CayellePub #OnyxGold @LoveBooksGroup #suspense #Crime #Romance #Family #Revenge #BlogTour #BookReview #lovebookstours #Chameleons

This is an adult read

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Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Cayelle Publishing in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is more an erotic crime thriller than a romantic suspense and is an adult read.

Zia, a literary agent, is on the brink of success. She meets Bryce at work and becomes entangled with Baxter through her work. An unusual love triangle emerges, where only two of the participants are lovers. The story explores the concept of lust versus love in some detail, and the title resonates this theme.

Woven into the plot, as a story within a story, is the crime element. Again the Chameleon theme is reflected in the serial killer’s personality. The suspense building is good. The ending is not as powerful as it could be, with a few questions left unanswered. As this is part of a trilogy, perhaps the answers will be forthcoming in later books

Onyx Gold is a writer of all-things romantic suspense. The stories Onyx writes are primarily imitations of life with extreme twists. Onyx’s debut title, Chameleons, is the first in a tantalizing, unexpected trilogy.

Posted in Blog Tour, Crime, Extract, Gangland Crime, ganglit

Villain Caro Savage #Extract @CaroSavageStory @BoldwoodBooks #CrimeFiction #ganglit #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources

To catch a villain sometimes you have to become one.
Bailey’s Back! From the bestselling author of Jailbird.

Detective Constable Bailey Morgan is back doing what she does best – working undercover.
This time she has to infiltrate the inner circle of a notorious underworld family. Posing as a fellow villain, she is on a one-woman mission to bring the family to their knees.

But things are never that simple. Bailey finds that she is forced to confront shadowy wraiths from her past and will come face-to-face with a set of devastating revelations that will shatter her world and threaten her very existence.

With only herself to trust, Bailey is on her own and the stakes are higher than ever.

Amazon UK

Extract from Villain – Caro Savage

At that point, the door of the restaurant swung open, letting out a gust of noise which made him turn his head sharply, all thoughts of the mysterious figure dropping from his mind. He saw that a couple had emerged into the chilly night and it looked like they were heading in his direction. A bolt of anticipation shot through him. Here was his opportunity, the chance to earn some money.

The man ambled along in a self-assured swagger, his black leather jacket flapping open despite the freezing weather. The woman was wrapped in a figure-hugging fur coat, below which a pair of slender long legs ended in towering stiletto heels. The woman, in particular, looked quite glamorous, like some kind of model or actress, and both of them looked considerably well-off.

The couple were laughing, the man saying something indiscernible in a low rumble, the woman tittering in response, their puffs of breath frosting in the night air. It sounded like they were tipsy, bathing in the high of a good evening.

They were drawing closer, the woman’s heels clacking sharply on the pavement as she tottered along a little unsteadily, her arm hooked into the man’s elbow, their conversation becoming more clearly audible the nearer they got.

‘Now remember you promised me,’ the man was saying in a rough, gravelly voice.

‘When we get back to the car,’ the woman replied, with a coy twinkle in her eye.

‘I’ve been waiting for it all evening,’ he said with a leering grin. ‘And I can’t wait any longer.’

‘You won’t be disappointed,’ she purred seductively.

Dave readied himself for their imminent approach. They were only a few metres away now. He projected the appropriate air of two parts dejected to one part cheerful and one part humble, a recipe he’d spent some time refining.

‘Spare some change?’ he said as they passed, making sure not to sound too whiny.

The man stopped abruptly, pulling the woman to a halt beside him. He peered down at Dave, the smile dropping off his face. Up close, Dave absorbed his appearance – a large diamond stud in his left ear, his loud shirt open at the collar revealing a heavy gold chain around his neck, a chunky, expensive-looking watch on his left wrist and one of those rings with a gold sovereign in it on the little finger of his right hand. He certainly didn’t look short of cash, that was for sure. And he appeared to be coked up, if the wide twitching eyes and the clenching jaw were anything to go by.

Dave suddenly felt uneasy. Just beneath the surface, he could detect the whiff of violence, as if this was the kind of bloke who thought nothing of doling out a beating to anyone who looked at him the wrong way. Maybe he should have kept his mouth shut. He wondered if the man was going to assault him. It wouldn’t be the first time someone had done so. He felt a faint quake of fear. He gulped and braced himself for a possible kicking.

Caro Savage

Caro Savage knows all about bestselling thrillers having worked as a Waterstones bookseller for 12 years in a previous life. Now taking up the challenge personally and turning to hard-hitting crime thriller writing, Jailbird was published by Boldwood in October 2019.

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