If you fancy an early read, check out Total-E-Bound. Meanwhile, to celebrate Nathan and Eva finally being released into the wild, here’s an excerpt.
The driver’s door of the gas-guzzler flies open. “What the fuck is that wreck doing there?”
The man who storms out is tall, broad-shouldered, spitting with fury—and absolutely beautiful. I am stunned and can only stare. I think my mouth is open. I fumble in my hoodie pocket for my glasses.
His long, dark hair—quickly drenched in the continuing downpour—is thick, wavy and brushes his collar. He is smartly dressed in a crisp white shirt, open at the neck with no tie, and charcoal-grey trousers. Reaching back into his car, he grabs a leather bomber jacket and thrusts his arms into the sleeves, then zips it up and pulls the collar up around his neck. His obviously expensive clothes look completely incongruous out here in the wilds of the Yorkshire moorland, and that jacket is probably never going to recover from the soaking it’s getting. But he’s incandescent with rage and obviously not thinking of his wardrobe at this precise moment. I manage to spot highly polished Italian leather shoes. Wellies would have been more practical…
He is towering over Miranda, looking as if he might just pick her up and lob her back out through the gate.
I have never seen a man I’ve thought beautiful before, but there is no other way to describe him. I stand there, dripping wet and just gaping. After a few moments, I realise he hasn’t seen me yet. His outrage would be comical if he wasn’t so intimidating, his gaze going from his crumpled bonnet to Miranda’s relatively unscathed rear end and back, and his fingers combing roughly through his hair. He bends to look into Miranda’s driving seat, then stands back, obviously puzzled. Leaning down again, he reaches in and turns off the engine, and Ludwig finally quietens. He pockets my car keys, then straightens to look around him, clearly puzzled. Uh-oh, time to make myself known. “Are you all right?”
At my question, he whirls and—by the look of total amazement on his face—he can’t believe what’s in front of him. And I know what he‘s thinking. I’ve seen that look before. Frequently. All he sees is what appears to be a scruffy teenager in a hoodie, faded jeans and trainers, soaking wet. Probably joyriding in a stolen car, and definitely up to no good on his quiet country lane in the dead of night.
Damage limitation seems called for. I walk up to him, hand outstretched, my face plastered with the politest smile I can manage. most polite “Good evening. Sorry about that. I’m Eva Byrne. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with this area. I’m trying to find a place called Black Combe and I seem to have taken a wrong turn somewhere. I wonder if you can direct me?”
He looks at me, then at my hand—checking for hidden flick-knives?—then back at my face. Then good manners take over, just momentarily, because he takes my hand briefly and shakes it before stepping away to more closely inspect the damage to his penis substitute. He walks slowly around his once-gorgeous car, crouching to examine the crumpled bonnet and smashed headlamp, and God knows what other internal injuries, judging by all the steam and fluid slopping about.
Finally standing upright again and towering over me—he is nearly a foot taller than I am—he glowers over my head in the direction of poor, innocent Miranda. “Is this heap of junk yours, or did you steal it?”