Away for Christmas by Jan Ruth book review

away for christmas

Away for Christmas, written and self-published by Jan Ruth, is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  myBook.to/Away4Xmas

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Jonathan Jones has written a novel. Losing his job a few days before Christmas means the pressure is on for his book to become a bestseller, but when his partner drops her own bombshell, the festive holiday looks set to be a disaster.
When he’s bequeathed a failing bookshop in their seaside town, it seems that some of his prayers have been answered, but his publishing company turn out to be not what they seem, and when his ex-wife suddenly declares her romantic intent, another Christmas looks set to be complicated.
Is everything lost, or can the true meaning of words, a dog called Frodo, and the sheer magic of Christmas be enough to save Jonathan’s book, and his skin?

rocking horse

Away for Christmas is a 107 page novella by author Jan Ruth.  Jan Ruth is a contemporary women’s fiction writer and sets her stories in the countryside, specifically her beloved Welsh countryside.  I really enjoyed Away for Christmas, so much that I didn’t want it to end, this was mainly because the storyline is set around a bookshop, which is every book lover’s dream to own and run their own bookshop.This festive story tackles real life issues which made the storyline and characters more easily recognisable.

Jonathan Jones was a despondent accountant in a lovely coastal town in Wales.  For the last year or two his mind has been more focused on words rather than numbers as he is an aspiring author.  With his first book written he was now part way through his second novel and was obsessed with getting his characters and ideas in his head noted down.  After a particular bad day at work he makes a radical decision about his career.  With a failed marriage under his belt he’s hoping his relationship with Charlotte will not go the same way as his writing obsession does have the habit of taking over his life.

We follow Jonathon’s journey fulfilling his dreams of seeing his own books in print in a bookshop.  His steps to become a published author hit many wrong turns and you are left wondering whether Jonathon will realise his dreams.  We also follow his relationship woes and over the months and years pursuing his writing career he is given time to ponder his future.

Jan Ruth transported me to the ruggedness of Wales with it’s natural beauty.  I fell in love with the rundown bookshop and could picture it in my head and also images were swimming around my head of my very own imaginary book shop.  The text flowed very well and I was sad to see the story come to an end.

A festive story that will entertain and inspire you.

To learn more about Jan Ruth please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://janruth.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/JanRuthAuthor

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JanRuthAuthor/

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The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale by Rebecca Stonehill book review

the secret life of alfred nightingale

The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale written and published by Rebecca Stonehill is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2zFC5xi

Product Details (as per amazon page)

A compelling page turner of a buried past resurfacing, set against a backdrop of the 1960’s youth culture and war torn Crete.

1967. Handsome but troubled, Jim is almost 18 and he lives and breathes girls, trad jazz, Eel Pie Island and his best friend, Charles. One night, he hears rumours of a community of young people living in caves in Matala, Crete. Determined to escape his odious, bully of a father and repressed mother, Jim hitchhikes through Europe down to Matala. At first, it’s the paradise he dreamt it would be. But as things start to go wrong and his very notion of self unravels, the last thing Jim expects is for this journey of hundreds of miles to set in motion a passage of healing which will lead him back to the person he hates most in the world: his father.

Taking in the counter-culture of the 1960’s, the clash of relationships between the WW2 generation and their children, the baby boomers, this is a novel about secrets from the past finally surfacing, the healing of trauma and the power of forgiveness.

A captivating story that will mesmerise fans of Lucinda Riley, Dinah Jefferies and Tracy Rees.

caves of Matala

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

This was such a profoundly moving novel that evoked many emotions in me.  A story cleverly told in two different time frames from two generations of one family going through a pivotal time in their own lives which would leave a lasting impression forever.

The author, Rebecca Stonehill, swept me away to a time in 1967, to a place of free spirit, young love and a time of self-discovery.  This particular part of the story was quite fascinating.  An adventure for the youngsters who quite bravely took this journey.  The caves of Matala with their steeped history intrigued me and with the backdrop of the beach and sea I can understand the draw especially with the Mediterranean temperatures.  For young Jim though, who was hellbent on escaping the stifling relationships at home, it wasn’t the idyllic retreat he expected.  As the days drew on he felt like something was missing, he was hurting inside with unresolved angst from home and the young love he craved wasn’t like he’d dreamed.

I was then transported back to a beautiful coastal area of Crete to 1940 when British forces were posted to defend Suda Bay and the British ships.  This beautiful area was soon to become tarnished and the locals and military personnel were fearing for their lives due to the onset of WWII.  Rebecca Stonehill took me to this terrifying time when the man you eat, sleep, work with becomes your closest friend in the world.  He’s your brother in arms that you will trust with your life and share your innermost thoughts with.  We see a different side to a character that our first impressions of are so far from the truth.

The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale is a historical timeslip novel about friendship, about self-discovery, about grief, about young love and much, much more.  Beautifully poignant, emotive and informative.

To learn more about Rebecca Stonehill and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://rebeccastonehill.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/bexstonehill

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/RebeccaStonehillBooks/

Zenka by Alison Brodie book review

Zenka_Final

Zenka written and self-published by Alison Brodie is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2AlpBe1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Devious, ruthless, and loyal.

Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?

Maid-Marigold

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Zenka is Alison Brodie’s 6th published book; I’ve had the pleasure to read three of these books and each one has been a joy to read.  Alison Brodie has a great writing style taking you on a journey with the characters using dialect to help you be fully immersed in their personalities and traits.  Adding in wonderful wit and humour you leave Alison Brodie’s novels with a sense of satisfaction that it was an entertaining and enjoyable read.
Zenka is a dark, romantic comedy about Jack Murray, a London gangster, who saved a couple of Romanian girls from a fate filled with slavery and fear.  One of these girls is Zenka.  Zenka is bright, vivacious, intelligent and beautiful.  Since being saved by Jack she vows to be his guardian angel and soon picks up the unorthodox gangster ways with a fabulous twist of feminine ways.
When Jack learns he may be the father of a young man he swears to go on the straight and narrow, secretly flinging expensive gifts and money to his long lost son’s way. But finding out his son is shy and downtrodden Jack feels he needs to help build his confidence and there is no better person for the job than Zenka.  Zenka sprinkles some of her own magic Nicholas’ way and sets in motion a chain of events that will change the future for many.  However, neither Jack, Zenka or Nicholas have figured that love may be on the agenda.
A crazy fun-filled dark romantic comedy that you just don’t know what’s going to happen next. Jack Murray reminded me in a way of a ‘Robin Hood’ type character; in his own unorthodox way he was helping out those in need.  I loved Zenka’s dialect and her letters back home that were very honest and quite funny with her parting shot each time.  Zenka was such a brilliant, quirky character and I could imagine the author had so much fun creating her.  4.5/5*
To learn more about Alison Brodie please visit the following pages:

 

Englishwoman at Christmas by Jenny O’Brien book review

englishwoman at christmas

Englishwoman at Christmas written and self-published by Jenny O’Brien is available NOW in paperback format and the ebook version will be available on 31st October 2017.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2yS6L0A

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Englishwoman at Christmas, a standalone romance and last in this current series.
Holly Branch has it all. She’s rich, famous and beautiful but, after a disastrous early marriage, she’s also deeply distrustful of men, all men…
Lord Oliver Ivy has it all. He’s rich, titled and handsome. He’s also a world renowned plastic surgeon, or he was… Now he’s an emotional wreck seeking solace in the bottom of a whiskey bottle.
When fate decides to play a trick on these two strangers, by dumping them in Cornwall in the middle of a snow-storm, fate gets a shock…

Note from author. When my twins asked to have a book dedicated to them, of course it was going to be jam-packed with twins…

country cottage in the snow

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I’ve really enjoyed the Englishwoman in series by Jenny O’Brien and Englishwoman at Christmas is sadly the last in this series.  I’m hoping the author Jenny O’Brien may revisit this series later on as a romantic novel written around the lives and loves of modern day aristocracy has captured my imagination and I haven’t read many contemporary stories that have touched on this subject, I’ve certainly read plenty of historical romances but aristocratic life now is very different.  At the end of the day whatever background we are from we appreciate companionship and love.

The Englishwoman in series includes the following novels:

  • Englishwoman in Paris
  • Englishwoman in Manhattan
  • Englishwoman in Scotland
  • Englishwoman at Christmas

Each novel can be read as a standalone but you will find characters from previous novels from this series and from the Irish Romance series will crop up in other stories.  To fully appreciate the full enjoyment of this series I would recommend reading them all.

This story focuses on Holly Branch who has just been bequeathed a country cottage in Cornwall from her late mother’s inheritance.  Holly is a hard working interior designer in the city of London and is happy that her work is her main priority in life.  Her heart has been shattered in the past and she is still struggling with her self-esteem.  It’s Christmas Eve, she’s finished work for the holiday period and after being handed the keys for her inheritance she wants to do nothing more than escape to Cornwall.

Lord Oliver Ivy is a world renowned plastic surgeon, with such talented skills in the field he is sought to perform very risky procedures.  Oliver is currently off work with a stress-related illness.  He’s struggling to cope with his emotions due to an incident that has left him emotionally and physically scarred.  Oliver has just wished his driver a Happy Christmas and now he’s left to enjoy the holiday season on his own.  But when he by chance meets with Holly Branch who mistakes him for her taxi driver he decides as he has nothing better to do to play along with Holly and drive her to Cornwall.

The weather is playing havoc with their journey as the country is blanketed in snow and when they eventually arrive at the cottage Oliver realises he cannot make the return journey home straight away.  Fate has brought these two workaholic people together.  Within the confines of the cottage Holly and Oliver have no alternative but to learn to live alongside each other.  A mutual attraction is felt between them but with Holly’s previous heartache and Oliver’s current emotional state tension and confusion is muddled along with a growing chemistry.

This was such another lovely romance from Jenny O’Brien.  I love how Jenny O’Brien incorporates sensitive issues amongst her storyline and scenes take us to medical procedures giving us drama and a myriad of emotions.  A lovely festive romance to enjoy as the season brings in the colder weather.

To learn more about Jenny O’Brien and her novels please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://jennyobrienwriter.wordpress.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/ScribblerJB

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JennyOBrienWriter/

 

Courting Chaos by Lynne Barron book review

courting chaos

Courting Chaos written and self-published by Lynne Barron is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2g3CTmR

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Opposites attract, orbits align and chaos ensues…

Born of scandal and raised in squalor, Miss Harry O’Connell has turned her back on her feckless, frivolous father and carved out a happy, if rather hectic, life for herself in the working-class neighborhood of Wellclose Square. Until an unwelcome visit from the Earl of Dunaway puts her on a collision course with a handsome fortune-hunter.

With three men standing between Phineas Griffith and the nearest title, he was perfectly content to live up to his reputation as a careless scoundrel. Two unfortunate accidents and an apoplectic fit later, the new Viscount Knighton finds himself saddled with a decimated estate, a mountain of debt and two sisters in need of launching into Society. There’s really nothing for it but to woo and wed an heiress post haste.

Phineas cannot afford the luxury of falling in love with a prickly, penniless woman. Harry hasn’t the time or inclination to dally with a charming rake when all her considerable talents are aimed at laying waste to all the Earl of Dunaway holds dear.

But some forces are greater than gravity, and some chances worth taking. Can these two star crossed-lovers find the wherewithal to risk it all for a happily-ever-after that defies all odds?

This story is a frolicsome romp with naughty bits sprinkled throughout, though nothing likely to make the average romance reader blush.

fancy hat from 1800's

Courting Chaos is book 2 in the Dunaway’s Daughters series.  I haven’t read Taming Beauty (book 1) so I treated Courting Chaos as a standalone novel and to be honest it read very well as a standalone but to fully appreciate this wonderful era of the early 1820’s and the whole courtship and culture I would recommend reading both books in the series.

Courting Chaos is my first introduction to the work of Lynne Barron.  I do love a good historical romance and Lynne Barron delivered a fabulous, addictive, seductive read that was also quite witty and humorous in places.  Lynne Barron cleverly incorporates words and sayings from the era making the prose very authentic, if you are not sure of a word the beauty of an ereader is that you can highlight that word and the inbuilt dictionary will explain and I made use of this feature a few times and was interested to learn about these new old words and phrases.

I loved Miss Harry O’Connell’s character she was so self-assured, streetwise, intelligent and had a great head for ingenuity and business.  So very unusual for a young lady in the 1800’s.  However, Harry hid a secret heartache and keeping herself busy was one of her coping mechanisms to conceal this.  Due to her upbringing she was also insistent on being self-reliant.  Harry however, didn’t have ‘Falling in Love with a Notorious Rake’ in her agenda.  This particular rake, Phineas Griffith (Viscount Knighton) was virtually penniless and in order to keep his family and property he was on the lookout for a bride, one that came with a wealthy dowry.  His plans were soon thwarted when he made eyes with Harry and all sense was forgotten and for the first time in Phineas life he was consumed by this young woman.  Harry’s beauty was a pleasure to behold but what was more wonderful about her to Phineas was her intelligence, ingenuity and enterprising ways.

I have to be honest Harry’s head of business did get me a little lost at first but I was so beguiled by her strength of character I quickly overlooked these tiny little niggles in the storyline and by the end of the novel I could appreciate the background and descriptions the author took us on at the start as they all fitted into place.

A raunchy regency romance that will take you on a chaotic journey of courtship with two players dancing around each other fighting with their emotions, beliefs and hopes for the future.

I’d like to share one of my favourite quotes from the book:

And his smile ought to be illegal, all smooth self-assurance with just a hint of mischief lurking at the corners.

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

To learn more about Lynne Barron and her work please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.lynnebarron.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/lynnebarron06

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/LynneBarronRomanceAuthor/

White Lies by Ellie Holmes book review

white lies

White Lies written and self-published by Ellie Holmes is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2fNEb8I

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Have you ever told a white lie?

Sam Davenport is a woman who lives her life by the rules. When her husband Neil breaks those rules too many times, Sam is left wondering not only if he is still the man for her but also if it’s time to break a few rules of her own.

Actions, however, have consequences as Sam soon discovers when what starts out as an innocent white lie threatens to send her world spiralling out of control.

White Lies is a warm, engaging read about love, deceit, betrayal and hope.

white peonie bouquet

I have just finished reading White Lies and needed to express my feelings about the story immediately as I was totally gripped by the storyline.

On a very wet winter’s night Sam, Neil and David’s lives were about to change forever.  A split second decision was made which culminated into destructive actions.  Actions which then soon turned into a domino effect of lies and deceit and the covering up of the truth just to save one’s reputation.

The aftermath of this night wasn’t easy to forget and Sam’s conscience was ever present.  Sam was also in a very vulnerable place at the moment as her marriage had suffered recently when her husband Neil’s affair had come to light.  Sam was struggling with her emotions and she felt she needed to make amends however, this was to open up a whole heap of trouble.

White Lies is a dramatic, suspenseful romance.  I was gripped with the storyline and with all the twists and turns I wasn’t sure were the author Ellie Holmes was going to take me next.  At one point I found the storyline quite chilling and I feared for Sam and her children.  There is a little darkness to the storyline but as the story progresses and you learn more about all the characters involved you start to feel empathy but it didn’t stop me feeling on edge towards the end of the novel.  However, amongst all the angst and drama the author has created a diversion and has interwoven a wonderful, poignant story of a woman coming to terms with her grief and finding happiness and hope from the least expected of places.

A story of deceit, a story of betrayal, a story of a love that may or may not survive the obsession of another.

To learn more about Ellie Holmes and her work please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.ellieholmesauthor.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/EllieHWriter

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/EllieHWriter/

Guest Post: Extract from Zenka by Alison Brodie

Zenka_Final

Zenka written and self-published by Alison Brodie is available to pre-order in ebook format.  Date of publication is 6th November 2017.

To pre-order links:

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07534Y6QZ
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07534Y6QZ
Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07534Y6QZ
Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07534Y6QZ
Product Details (as per amazon page)

Devious, ruthless, and loyal.

Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says

About the Author

Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side.
Alison Brodie is an international best-selling author. Her books having been published in hardback and paperback by Hodder & Stoughton (UK), Heyne (Germany) and Unieboek (Holland).  Alison has now gone “indie”.
Here are some editorial reviews for her recent books:
BRAKE FAILURE: “Masterpiece of humor” –Midwest Book Review
THE DOUBLE: “Proof of her genius in writing fiction” -San Francisco Book Review.
To learn more about Alison Brodie visit the following links:

EARLY PRAISE FOR ZENKA:

“A riveting read. Powerful. Spicy” -Midwest Book Review

5* “To say I loved this story would be a massive understatement” –Bloggers from Down Under

5* “Will warm your heart and chill your bones” –Tome Tender Blogspot

5* “Top of my list for best fiction this year” – Lauren Sapala, WriteCity

5* “You won’t be able to put this book down” –Laura Reading

5* “Brodie nails it again. Intelligent wit and outstanding writing” –Charlie Elliott, author of Life Unbothered.



I’m delighted to be able to share an extract from Zenka.  Alison Brodie has chosen a brilliant scene to share with you all.

Maid-MarigoldAt ten o’clock, the doorbell buzzed. Nicholas padded down the stairs, smiling grimly as he imagined the battle-axe standing on the doorstep, a battle-axe who would storm into Jason’s room and order him to get his lazy butt out of bed and tidy up his mess.

Nicholas opened the door to see the top of a dripping blue umbrella. He saw it lift slowly to reveal a face. The small pointed chin and full lips belonged to a little girl, but the slanted green eyes belonged to a porno queen.

It took a moment for him to find his voice. ‘Can I help you?’

I am Zenka.’ Her accent was Eastern European, her voice husky. She smiled and held up a pair of yellow Marigold gloves.

Her smile was blinding. It took him a moment to drag his eyes from her to the Marigold gloves. He looked at them. He looked at her. Somehow, it seemed, they were connected.

A cloud of anxiety moved over her face. ‘You not vant me cleaning?’

Cleaning?’ He felt a jolt. She was the cleaning lady!

He quickly collected himself. ‘Come in, come in.’ He snatched the umbrella from her. ‘I’m upstairs. It’s not very big. It shouldn’t take you long. You might need a hand … you know … with-’

Stop babbling! he screamed inwardly.

As she threw off her hood, long red hair cascaded down over her shoulders, alive and bouncing, and screaming to be touched.

He clapped his hands vigorously. It made him think of a scout master summoning his troop. ‘O-kay! Let’s get to it!

He led the way, his nerve-ends alive to her presence, every male testosterone and mating instinct flashing on red alert. At the door of the flat, he stood back to let her enter. The shy look she gave him from under her black lashes made him catch his breath, and for the first time in his life, he was aware of his heart.

Your home is so pretty,’ she exclaimed, looking around. She handed him a leaflet. ‘I saw this on door mat. Thai boxing. That for you?’

He barely glanced at it. Everything about her was sensual; her little nose, the way she moved her lips to speak, and her eyes, oh God, her eyes, sliding to look at him from under thick black lashes, seeming to say: “I want to be friends with you, if you want to be friends with me.”

Nicholas, mesmerised, watched his beautiful visitor inspect the ornaments on the mantelpiece. Suddenly, she looked back at him and smiled. His reaction was instantaneous. It was the quickest, widest smile he had ever given.

Ver do you want me to start vith you, Mr Jaffrey?’

Nicholas.’ He couldn’t get the word out fast enough. ‘Call me Nicholas.’

She tried his name, speaking delicately, as if caressing the air with her breath, the “o” sound puckering those beautiful lips: ‘N-i-c-h-o-l-a-s.’

He sat down to hide his erection, thankful that she had gone into the kitchen. He felt the grin spread across his face. Oh, Jason, Jason, you stupid twat. Look what you’re missing. Nicholas was not prepared to share Zenka with that Neanderthal. Thankfully, Jason held his Saturday morning lie-ins sacred, and would never meet her.

Itt Vagyok!’

Zenka stood in the doorway of the kitchen. She had removed her raincoat and now wore a little French maid’s. She held up the bucket and mop. ‘I begin,’ she announced. As she pivoted into the kitchen, he glimpsed frilly white knickers. He got to his feet and followed.

Let me help you,’ he offered.

Frankly, Nicholas, I’m not impressed.’ It was twelve-thirty and Jason had just woken up, bleary-eyed and cantankerous. He inspected the kitchen sink. ‘Bloody hell, it’s filthy! Look at the crud. And the cooker!’ He ran a finger over it and held up a greasy fingertip in evidence.

Nicholas smothered a laugh. Jason was behaving like Lady Davenport-Tewksbury. ‘When did you get so house-proud?’ Nicholas asked, putting away the cleaning products.

Jason stiffened, outraged by the slur. ‘I’m not house-proud for your sodding information, but I know when some tit has been ripped off. And you, mate, have been royally ripped off.’

I’m happy with what she’s done.’

What?’ Jason swung wildly. ‘What has she done?’ He pointed to the window. ‘Look!’ Squinting, he inspected the glass, ducking from side to side as if dodging bullets. ‘Look at those smears. They weren’t even there before!’

Nicholas sighed contentedly. He had spent two glorious fun-filled hours with Zenka; his only regret was that – because of the agency’s strict rules – she couldn’t give him her phone number. They’d giggled when she hoovered up the duster. He had physically melted when she tapped a puff of Fairy Liquid foam on his nose. He had blown up the Marigold gloves until they looked like udders and proudly displayed them on his chest. He had shoved two chopsticks up under his top lip and hopped about the kitchen like a rabbit, making her buckle up against the fridge in helpless laughter.

They had talked … well …. he had bombarded her with questions. She was Hungarian. No, she didn’t have a boyfriend. She told him she was attracted to men who were brave and strong. ‘I want someone who can protect me,’ she’d kept insisting. ‘A man who is not scared to use his fists.’

He knew, at that moment, he would become that man … whatever it took.