I'm so thrilled with so many positive reviews from those of you who have now read my debut novel. (For those of you who have not yet received an ARC and are local to West Sussex, England, be sure to keep an eye out for my pre-sales promotional launch events through The Glorious Spa in January).
So many of you have asked me, what is going to happen next? Is Adam a bad guy? Some of you think Dan has a lot more to offer.
Well, the answer is.... I'm not going to tell you! ;)
But, if you have read book one, what I can highlight for you are some key points you already know which might give you some major clues as to where the next novel is headed. So scroll down to see more, but don't read them if you haven't read the book yet.
Finally, EXCITING NEWS, before the launch of book 2, Believe In Me, I am currently working on a novella, book 1.5. I'm not able to disclose the title and many more details just yet, but for those fans of Adam's, it's a MUST read as it's from his perspective. I'm so very excited about this novel so will keep you posted. My first of my monthly newsletters has now also been sent, so if you haven't subscribed to my mailing list yet, you're missing out.
Here are the clues you might have missed:
He shrugs a bit. ‘I work away a lot and when I am here, I don’t tend to spend much time inside, it’s a big place to rattle around on my own with the dog so I tend to go out.
‘Which university did you go to?’
‘Washington, then I travelled and spent a few years in Mexico.’
Oh wow, that sounds fascinating. It would also explain why his accent is not from the south, like Dan’s, for instance.
‘What did you do in Mexico?’ A moment passes before he answers.
‘I was in the automotive industry for a while, shared a house with two brothers called Carlos and Juan. But when my dad died, I had to come back and take the reins at the farm.’
‘Do you have the full two thousand dollars for tomorrow?’
I blink at him, taken aback. I’m certain I never told him that.… How does he know exactly what we owe and by when? How does he know that?
‘Let’s say I’ll be glad when Jon’s back, I’m too busy to be stuck in the office all day,’ he says glancing at me as we start to pass through a few roads of small houses. He’s too busy to be at work? What else does he do all day?
‘That wasn’t really me; you remember I told you that, right?’ He speaks quietly, but I can tell he means it. What I can’t tell is whether I believe him, there was just so much I overheard which I don’t understand, like a message from Mexico, what the hell does that mean?
‘The fuck you didn’t, Parker!’ Adam shouts at him. ‘And all this shit since I arrived? Who the fuck do you think you are?’
I’m jolted in his arms as he kicks something. I think it’s a desk as I hear a chair scraping back in reaction.
‘It’s just business, Brook.’ The man’s voice is apologetic again.
‘Just business? That’s a fucking insult! You dare to hurt my woman and think this is just business now?’ Adam thunders with rage. I’m so scared I’m positively trembling and can’t possibly screw my eyes closed any tighter. ‘You went early and straight to her for the money when I told you to come only to me. You expect me to believe you’d go through the fucking process with her for two freakin’ grand if she wasn’t with me?
siness bullshit. It’s as personal as it gets!’
‘We should call 911!’ I gasp in shock and look at Adam.
‘Yeah,’ he agrees but makes no move to take out his phone. I stare at him aghast.
‘Adam?’ I whisper tentatively.
‘It’s alright, baby, they’ll know already.’ He points to various people already on phones exiting other buildings.
Adam doesn’t look at me but connects the call.
‘I’m not alone and you’re on speakerphone,’ is how he answers briskly. Huh? Tingles of apprehension run up my spine and I feel awkward and uncomfortable knowing he doesn’t want me to hear this conversation.
‘They did it. Do you want us to…?’ The voice replies and trails off. It’s a man’s voice and he has a north American accent similar to Adam’s... ‘Yeah,’ Adam replies curtly and then disconnects the call abruptly. I sit silently beside him, pretending to disappear into the seat. Who was that? He referred to ‘her’, so who knows I’m with him? After a minute Adam clears his throat.
‘Ella baby, you said you trust me, can I trust you?’ Adam says quietly. I nod quickly, there’s no way I’m going to say no! ‘Good. You didn’t hear that call,’ Adam says and although his tone is gentle, there’s no mistaking the authority in it. ‘You’ll never repeat that you heard that, understood?’
‘Err, you better ask him for the details,’ Dan answers vaguely, ‘but I’ll tell you that they weren’t women I’d take home to meet my parents, if you know what I mean. Hell, one of them darn near tore him open.’
‘What do you mean? Like, broke his heart?’ I ask.
‘Nah, she stabbed him! It was in Mexico, Rita was her name and she was high at the time, demanded cash for her next hit. He didn’t want to touch that stuff, you know, after his mama nearly OD’d, so he said hell no. She went at him with a blade when he was asleep. It shook him up as you can imagine.’
‘Oh, it’s common knowledge round here that Adam Brook is a guy you don’t mess with,’ she replies easily.
‘Mess with?’ Is this American for sleep with or aggravate I wonder?
‘Yeah my friends and I,’ she clarifies. ‘Our mamas always say to steer clear. Just so we don’t get caught up in any trouble, you know?’
I’m not sure I do know. ‘Why? Are they trouble makers?’
She laughs at that. ‘Well they certainly always seem to be involved in it. Dan Monks is the worst. Let’s just say they haven’t got the best reputation locally. Too many fights mainly.’ She smiles at me, turning away now she’s finished clearing the table she was working... I remember the bruise on Adam’s face when I first met him.
‘I’m just me Adam,’ I reply and ignore the pounding of my heart as he leans in the final inch and kisses me softly.
‘Well it’s looks like I’ve got my good girl like I wanted then,’ he says against my lips. I want to kiss him, hard, but force myself to pull back slightly instead and take a steadying breath.
‘So how come you’re always getting into trouble anyway?’ I venture, hoping it’s not obvious I’m trying to dig a bit deeper. His walls come up immediately, though, he’s far from stupid.
‘I’m not in as much trouble as it sometimes appears you know.’ There’s something about his tone that makes it sound like he wants me to believe him.
He looks down at me like he’s on the verge of saying something, but looks away.
‘You know, baby, sometimes people aren’t always what they seem; you should remember I said that.'
I’m spun around. I just manage to hold in a squeal of alarm as I recognise the tall bearded man in front of me. It’s the same guy who had been with Reece at the market weeks ago, when he came enquiring about the money we owed. I know he recognises me, I can see it on his face.
I glance past him and spot a man in jeans and a black T-shirt swiftly crossing the carpark, breathing hard. I could have sworn there was no one around a moment ago. I’m about to scream to him to help me, but he disappears from my line of sight, almost like he was never there at all.
I glance back quickly to check if the men are coming and see Adam gesturing something with his free hand behind his back where Dan can’t see. Huh? I blink and look again with more attention, but Adam has moved it back to support Dan’s arm slung around his shoulders and is looking at me.
I frown. What was he doing?
‘You alright, Ella?’ he asks softly, distracting me.
I nod and in my heightened state of anxiety, I think perhaps I imagined it. Maybe he wasn’t making hand gestures at all. Although that’s certainly what it looked like.
‘How long have you been driving, Ella?’ he asks to break the silence.
‘Not since I passed my test last year,’ I say concentrating on my speed. Adam lets me focus for a moment.
‘Are you insured?’ he asks me softly.
‘What?’ After what I’ve just witnessed in the warehouse, with an armed robbery taking place over a stack of money which was clearly gained illicitly, he’s asking me if I’m insured to drive? Is he serious? Now he wants to play the law-abiding citizen? The man is a mass of contradictions. ‘You’re worried about your truck?’ My voice is strained and a little incredulous at his timing.
‘No, Ella, I’m worried about you,’ he answers flatly. ‘What if you were in a car wreck? You shouldn’t have come to pick us up with no insurance.’
‘I meant it yesterday, Ella, don’t come after me again if you think there’s trouble, go find Carson or Owen, I don’t wanna see you get hurt, especially over me,’ he says and I can tell he means it.
‘Well how about another question. If I asked you to have a little faith in me, could you?’ he asks softly. I gulp and my world starts spinning out of control. Oh Christ. I can’t answer that, not without knowing if what Dan says is true or not.
‘Is it true, Adam?’ I ask breathlessly instead...
‘I can’t answer that truthfully, Ella, so I’m not going to,’ Adam says, keeping his mask of control firmly in place.
‘Ella,’ he says, an urgency in his tone that catches my attention. ‘Don’t trust Dan. Promise me?’
I blink at him and then push his hand off my shoulder.
‘Should I put my trust in you instead, Adam?’ I throw at him shakily, thinking I used to, until two minutes ago.
‘Yes,’ he says unwaveringly. ‘Yes, you should trust me. Have a little faith in me, Ella,’ he emphasises, his eyes losing their mask and imploring me to believe him.