For more information about In Loving Hate and a longer preview, please check out my publishers' website here.
Following the failure of her marriage in Greece, Lyssa returns to her family home in London, to discover that her mother, a once-celebrated actress, is now facing crippling debts. When Lyssa begins to investigate these, she becomes embroiled in the intricate business dealings of Nell and her arch-rival Alex. Irresistibly drawn towards widower Alex and his unhappy young son, Lyssa begins to uncover some unexpected and disturbing facts.
The more involved she becomes, the more shocking are the discoveries she makes. The conflicts culminate in a frightening battle for survival as Lyssa finds herself the prime target between the possessive Nell and obsessive Alex. With her loyalties deeply divided, can Lyssa make the right choice for everyone concerned?
In this short excerpt from Chapter One, Lyssa, fleeing from Greece to meet her best friend, Nell in Geneva before driving back to London, encounters a friendly and charismatic surgeon on the two day ferry crossing between Greece and Italy. She is grateful for his friendship, which later becomes very significant, but which he would like to develop into something deeper:
In Loving Hate
They paused beside the small deck pool, now hidden beneath heavy rope netting. The deck teemed with loitering passengers, enjoying the balmy night air. Like themselves, others had collected around the pool where the playful breeze did not reach. As if called by an unspoken command, they turned and retraced their steps toward the stern.
“I’d like to make love to you,” he told her. He placed his hand over hers on the rail. He stood so close to her, she could feel the warmth of his breath on her cheek. A tiny thrill of pleasure tingled through her body and she allowed herself to savour it, just for a moment.
She looked down at his tanned hand with its long, sensuous fingers and smiled. “I know. I read the clues.”
He leaned closer still and brushed her ear lightly with his lips. “That’s not an answer.”
“You didn’t ask a question.” She turned her hand palm upward and surveyed his elegant, slender fingers for a moment longer before easing her own hand away from the contact.
“Won’t you share my air-con?” He kept his voice light.
She shook her head and turned away to stare into the churning waters below. Laughter filtered out across the deck, danced about her ears; then flew out across the dark water.
She started suddenly as a plaintive cry sounded above her.
“Even at night?” Surprised, she scanned the blackness for a moment before discerning the white shape darting about the flapping blue and white flag above them.
He placed his hands evenly on her shoulders. “Well?”
Her gaze fell slowly until it rested on his face. She smiled faintly as she considered the doctor’s prescription. One night of illicit sex. She wondered what vicarious pleasure he might receive from administering his chosen therapy.
He frowned in puzzlement.
“I have a severe allergy to married men,” she explained.
He sighed; then smiled in resignation, offering no further arguments.