Just a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting British author, Jessica Chambers, on my blog. Today I’m happy to say that I have an excerpt from her chicklit novel, Voices on the Waves! (yay, clap, clap, clap). As you may remember, Voices is a story about ten contest winners who are awarded two weeks at a farmhouse retreat in Cornwall. Each character is unique and complex, bringing their own set of issues as well as their wisdom to the shore. During her interview I asked Jessica who was the hardest character for her to identify with. She answered “Marcus”. Now you have a chance to meet him–and the strong, lovely Karenza–in the piece below. Enjoy!
Before going to bed, Marcus joined Karenza on the terrace and lit up a cigarette beside her. She ignored him, and he pondered his next move. A mantle of deepest black covered the sky. Though the downpour had stopped at last, the stars still hid behind a veil of clouds, throwing the grounds into darkness. Only the faint roar of the sea broke the silence.
Ever since their fierce exchange that morning, Marcus had been unable to get Karenza out of his mind. Funny that he’d had to experience the full force of her wrath before he could appreciate how stunning she was. He cast her a predatory glance from the corner of his eye. With her turquoise dress swirling about her in the breeze, Marcus thought she resembled some exotic creature of the deep. The miracle was that he’d spared Tiffany so much as a glance beside this vibrant individual.
He drew in a deep lungful of smoke. Something about Karenza—her air of independence, perhaps—aroused in him an overpowering desire to tame her. Trouble was, for the first time in his memory, he was unsure how his advances would be received. He blamed Leah. She might be a frigid little ice-maiden, but Marcus knew his pride couldn’t withstand a second rejection in one day.
“Listen,” he said, feeling uncharacteristically awkward, “what you said earlier about my behavior towards Leah … you were right.”
Karenza turned to him, her eyes pools of black ice. “I hardly need you to tell me that.”
“Yes, well, I want you to know how much I regret it. What I did, I mean.”
“I daresay it can’t be a barrel of laughs being rebuffed,” Karenza said, “especially for a man of your modest ego.”
Marcus was stung. “Credit me with a little heart, can’t you? Upsetting Leah was the last thing I wanted to do. I don’t know what came over me.”
“Lust, perhaps? Have you apologized?”
“Not yet, but I will.”
“Don’t bother. You’ve done enough damage already without making it worse. I’m going in.” She ground her cigarette beneath her heel, looking directly at him. “I do have one piece of advice for you, Marcus. Next time, be sure to pick on someone your own size.”
He could only stare after her, hypnotized by the sway of her hips, conscious of the opportunity trickling away from him like sand through his fingers. He had to act fast.
In desperation, he called, “By someone my own size, I take it you were referring to yourself?”
Almost at the back door, Karenza considered him. “Is that an offer? Now, there’s an interesting idea.”
Marcus relaxed. There was no mistaking the challenge beneath the mockery, nor the invitation in her eyes. He moved towards her until they stood a foot apart. With measured slowness, he reached out to place his hands on her shoulders, experiencing a surge of exultation when she did not flinch.
“You, Miss Jackson,” he said, “are an extremely attractive woman, you know that?”
“I may have been told so once or twice,” Karenza replied, her gaze appraising him. “And you, Mr. Armitage, as you are well aware, are an extremely attractive man.”
They remained motionless, eyes fastened on one another’s, desire pulsating between them. Marcus ached to kiss her, but intuition held him back. If he was to bring the unmanageable Karenza under his control, he would have to leave her hanging.
Before he could master himself and step away, however, Karenza stood on tiptoe and brushed his lips with her own. Momentary indignation shot through Marcus at being deprived of the initiative, but it fled as his body responded with a ferocity that took him by surprise. He made to pull Karenza closer, but she drew back with a throaty laugh, teasing him.
“Christ,” Marcus croaked, “what are you trying to do to me, you witch?”
Karenza flashed him a provocative smile before kissing him again.
Wanna read more?
Voices on the Waves is now available to purchase on Amazon Kindle
Or as an ebook in various formats direct from the publisher
You can also find out more about Jessica by visiting her website
Thanks for stopping by! <3 Amie