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Happy New Year from the Bay of Islands, NZ

Date: June 24th, 2022, Posted by mollie

Happy New Year from the Bay of Islands, NZ. Today were are celebrating Matariki as a public holiday for the first time ever today (Friday 24 June 2022). This is a highly significant event in the world as it is the first time an indigenous cultural event has become a national holiday in any country. Matariki refers to the star cluster also known as Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, which disappears from view at the beginning of the cold months. When the stars reappear in the pre-dawn sky in the middle of winter, it signals the Māori New Year.

The brightest star in the cluster is also called Matariki – it’s said to be the mother of the other stars that surround it. The rising of Matariki is traditionally a time of transition and reflection when families get together to remember the past and prepare for the future.

I’ve been reflecting on the things that name me happy and have been flitting between a few of them:

  • Walking in nature
  • Baking (I made a lovely pear sponge)
  • Narrating my audiobook set here and in Stromboli, Sicily, Love All of Me (I only have two more chapters to narrate!)
  • Meditating
  • Loving my Buddhas ( especially my laughing ones…I changed my screen saver on my iPhone for this one)

and more…

It’s been a gorgeous day.

I hope wherever you are, the stars sparkle fairy dust for you. What are you up to?

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Love All of Me

Date: June 21st, 2022, Posted by webstudio

Love All Me

After surviving a horrific accident Kate Miller is plagued by guilt.

Hiding both her mental and physical scars, she shuns love and escapes into work—finding meaning and purpose in running her global manuka honey empire.

Beautiful and smart, when Gianni Romano demands she sell the business to him, her passions are inflamed. How dare he think he can buy the only thing that gives her a reason to live?

Gianni Romano has ventured to New Zealand by the one thing he’d love to escape: family The Romano fortune and name has followed him wherever he goes. But that only made the headstrong Italian more determined to strike out on his own. Now he’s on the cusp of achieving world acclaim.

Only one woman stands in his way—Kate Miller and her refusal to submit to his demands. The spark they have is hotter than a Sicilian sunset, but when emotions run deep and lives are on the line, will mixing business with pleasure be the bedrock for a lifelong love? Or will it all explode like an angry volcano?

Love All of Me is a beautiful romance brimming with the promise of a happily ever after. Set in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand—one of the most beautiful, unspoiled, sensuous places in the world.

If this is the first time you have read a Mollie Mathews love story, you can easily read each book as a standalone.


captivating romance!

“I absolutely loved this romance book set in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands. Gianni has fled to New Zealand to flee from his family and Kate is in New Zealand running her global Manuka honey empire. Kate and Gianni are realistic, strong, independent, sexy, and confident. Kate is irate when Gianni demands she sell her business to him. Kate and Gianni are struggling with personal issues and just want to escape their lives. They end up having sparks that are hotter than an inferno. Their journey with each other is sensuous and in one of the most tranquil places in the world, their happily ever after came when they were at their most vulnerable. I recommend reading this phenomenal romance that will set you on fire, this author is extraordinary and knows how to captivate her reader’s hearts and attention with passion and hot, steamy romance.”

a great read

“Love All Of Me is a great read. It has its share of angst and joy. Kate and Gianni have a lot of familial events that play into this story. Well-layered and the interaction, even when it comes to their need for a therapist, is really cool. Disaster and betrayal are balanced out with the realization that they have both dealt with the volcanic activity which leads to love. A quick and balanced read.”

another heart-wrenching yet heart healing story from this gifted author

“Loved the push & pull between the main protagonists. They both had horrific experiences & whilst she had physical scars & grieved the loss of her family with a heavy dose of self-blame, his were buried much deeper & yet he revealed everything. Loved her almost human mutt & the detailed well-written story that had a lot of angst but underpinning all the drama, the harsh words. they were so sexually connected that they could have put the stars to shame. Highly recommended.”

Buy this book through the links below…

To enjoy your copy in eBook, paperback or audio from Amazon, click here:

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores:

To enjoy your copy from Kobo:


To enjoy your audiobook from Audible:





To enjoy your audiobook from Kobo:

Audiobooks are also available from other online retailers and libraries for your listening pleasure


Listen to your free excerpt here

Enjoy other full-length contemporary romances by Mollie Mathews: Sex With Strangers; The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage, The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride, Flight of Passion and Claimed by The Sheikh

Posted in: Books by Mollie Mathews, Full Length Novels, New and Upcoming Titles

Claimed By The Sheikh

Date: June 20th, 2022, Posted by webstudio

A grief-stricken Sheikh Tariq na Hassir, the formidable ruler of the Kingdom of Avana, arrives in Paris to claim his brother’s child after a car crash killed his parents–only to find out from the hospital that the child isn’t their biological son. Salim is Tariq’s son, with his former lover, a renowned architect.

Three years ago, after being banished by Tariq from his desert kingdom, Melanie Jones secretly gave her baby to Tariq’s childless brother and his wife, in a swap the world was never supposed to discover. 

The tragedy pulls her back to the world that rejected her and the man who abandoned her—the only man capable of turning her carefully controlled world upside down.

Tariq will do whatever it takes to protect his legacy, including claiming Melanie as his bride and his son as heir before scandals ensue. But Melanie has other plans for her future—a westernized life where she’s free to operate her own business, control her life, and hold onto her wish that one day she’ll meet a man who loves her for who she truly is. 

If you love beautiful stories, set against a sensuous backdrop of the sensuous desert, art and innovative architecture you’ll love Claimed by The Sheikh.


compellingly page-turning

“Wow, just wow, I can’t articulate enough how compellingly page-turning this remarkable story was. If I could give it more than 5 stars this would be it! This author has the gift & the power to make you experience her remarkable craft on a whole other level. I’m not one to tell the story, the blurb & other reviewers will cover that but I will concede that this magical, mystical, hauntingly beautiful story will stay with me for the longest time. Highly recommended.”

~ Terry

grabbed me from the first page

“This book grabbed me from the first page. Both lead characters were portrayed fully as real people not just by how they looked as in many books. There being a child involved added to my enjoyment!”

~ Melba

determined to carve a career for herself

“The tone for this book is set in the opening chapters as the young Sheikh is faced with ongoing difficulties in the kingdom created by his atrocious father. He is fighting an ongoing battle to prevent himself from being sucked into the past and to rather create a new and prosperous future for his people. Tariq’s previous rejection of Melanie and the results have soured her against romantic love and made her determined to carve a career for herself.”

~ Margaret

fiery, passionate and conflicting

“I really like the premise of the book, I always like the royal romance with impediments to happiness and this book has it in spades. I like the strong figure of the Sheikh and the strong heroine who has built a professional career. Immediately I can see lots of problems that seem insurmountable at first: their past stormy relationship, the baby secret, her desire to have her own career, his desire for an heir, his demand to raise the child, his vow to swear off women. I also like that, right off the bat, we learn about his plan to build a reserve for animals and to right the many wrongs from his father’s legacy. These are all good foundations for a fiery, passionate and conflicting relationship.”

~ Elaine

fantastic premise that has a substantial conflict

“Fantastic premise that has a substantial conflict behind it. I like Melanie a lot. A strong female heroine is what I want to read. I think that is particularly important with such a powerful man, and here in this instance, someone who can wield such power. I love love love the beginning. This is one tough guy but the book opens with him protecting a baby giraffe. Fantastic opening.”

~ Leanne

Buy this book through the links below…

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>

To grab your copy from Apple, Nook, and other great bookstores, click here>>

To enjoy your copy from Kobo:







The audio version of this book is also available from all online bookstores and also libraries

Bride of GoldMarried by Christmas; Flight of Passion; Love All of Me; Sex With Strangers

Fall in love with these contemporary heroes and heroines trying to mend their hearts, overcome their fears and find true love—read the other standalone books my Mollie to discover the friends and family who tumble into a once-in-a-lifetime-happily-ever-after affair of the heart themselves. 5-star reviews

Posted in: Books by Mollie Mathews, Full Length Novels, New and Upcoming Titles

Father’s Day Gift and Thank you

Date: June 19th, 2022, Posted by mollie

Happy Father’s Day. I have a Father’s Day free romance to celebrate all the beautiful father’s out there.

My Dad passed too young some years ago now, but he continues to inspire! As you may know, many of my books have art-related themes. But bees also have a special place in my heart. My father was a beekeeper who researched and applied the healing power of bees to the treatment of severe burns.

To celebrate his legacy, I am giving away the first three chapters of my love story, staring my heroine who survived a fatal volcano disaster and is continuing her dad’s legacy as a beekeeper. Despite the background tragedy, it’s a quick, fun and joyful read, set in the dual locations of The Bay of Islands, New Zealand and the volcanic island of Stromboli, off the coast of Sicily. I shared more of the inspiration behind the story on my blog.

Click here to download your free chapters. I hope you enjoy Love All of Me, as much as I loved writing it

P.S.Exclusive to Amazon in ebook and paperback. Today, I am sitting down to narrate the audio version!

Have you read and enjoyed Love all of Me? I would so appreciate it if you left a review





Thank you.


Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Perfect for reading in a single sitting on the summer solstice

Date: June 17th, 2022, Posted by mollie

Six heart-warming reads for the longest day of the year

This year, June 21 marks the summer solstice for the northern hemisphere: the date with the longest stretch of daylight all year. What better way to celebrate all that sunlight than reading a wonder-filled book? If you’re looking for a book you can enjoy in a single sitting, check out my list of full-length page-turners for the longest day of 2022 — including heartwarming romance, light-hearted and fun, fast-paced suspense, and more.

Six Full-length reads for the longest day of the year

Claimed by The Sheikh

The secret she kept from the Sheikh…

A grief-stricken Sheikh Tariq na Hassir, the formidable ruler of the Kingdom of Avana, arrives in Paris to claim his brother’s child after a car crash killed his parents–unaware that the child isn’t their biological son. Salim is Tariq’s son, with his former lover

To enjoy your copy from Amazon:
To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores:

To enjoy your copy from Kobo:








Sex With Strangers

“I absolutely enjoyed this story. I loved the storyline, I loved the characters, I loved the humor. I couldn’t put it down. The descriptions were perfect. I loved everything about this book especially the humor. It was funny, sad at times, and I loved it.”

~ Patricia Quinn

To enjoy on Amazon:







The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage

Would you protect a murderer to save your family? Three women. Three lives. And the lies that bind them. Why is everyone afraid of the truth?

Buy this book through the links below…

To grab your copy from Amazon>>

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores,>>

To grab your copy from Kobo>>


The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage





The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

Milan fashion house leader and avowed bachelor Massimiliano Balforni has no intention of taking a vacation, despite his sister’s insistence that he subject himself to an art therapy retreat following a minor heart attack. With an important collection due, he intends to fire his therapist and work instead. But the determined and striking Issy gives his heart palpitations of a far more dangerous kind.

To enjoy your copy from Amazon, click here>>

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>

To enjoy your copy from Kobo>>







Flight of Passion

“This book is a carefully crafted, truly original story. Mollie’s wonderfully descriptive narrative paints a picture in which it is easy to lose oneself–I really felt like I had been to Mexico by the time I had finished. Her butterfly theme echoes throughout the book both literally and figuratively. The main characters, Oliver and Ruby, are each conflicted in their own ways. Despite facing challenges, both ultimately find the strength to work through their difficulties to emerge better people, and most importantly, triumph over adversity together. A touching and heart-warming book, well worth a read.”

Cathy Rioran

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>

To grab your copy from kobo, click here>>







Love All of Me

An unexpected lover…

After surviving a horrific accident Kate Miller is plagued by guilt. Hiding both her mental and physical scars, she shuns love and escapes into work—finding meaning and purpose in running her global manuka honey empire.

Beautiful and smart, when Gianni Romano demands she sell the business to him, her passions are inflamed. How dare he think he can buy the only thing that gives her a reason to live?

To enjoy your copy exclusively from Amazon, click here:

Audio coming soon!

There’s nothing like a good romance in the summer. I hope you enjoy a healthy dose of escapism.


You may also like:

Ways to make a difference

Why I write romance

How trauma can fuel your life purpose

Danielle Steele and the joy of working on many projects at the same time

To enjoy more posts and books like this please follow this blog and BookBub. Subscribe to my newsletter and enjoy a free copy of Twist of Fate

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Love In Venice and the joy of working on many projects

Date: June 17th, 2022, Posted by mollie

I’m looking forward to the 2022 release of Love In Venice. It’s a beautiful love story which is very close to my heart. I’ve been to Venice many times and always loved it. The story was sparked by true events. Here’s a little about the hero and heroine of this story:

Maggie Green is a hardworking and driven lawyer and business strategy consultant. She runs a successful international practice and is constantly juggling the demands of generating income to sustain the business and meeting the demanding needs of her staff and clients. She is a workaholic and uses her work to mask her dissatisfaction with her life.

She yearns to have a romantic partner who will accept her for who she is and who will bring out the softer, romantic side of her that has been buried for so long, but the tragic memories of a past love affair with an Italian man means that she has resolved never to fall again for the foreign charms of tall, dark, handsome men, with exotic accents.

Toxic stress levels require dramatic changes in her life, and Maggie is ordered to take a career break to literally save her life. She goes to Venice to rediscover her true self and surround herself with situations that will stir her heart.

She has only just arrived when a pregnant Romanian Gypsy girl cons her and steals her belongings. She is left with only the clothes on her back and breaks down in despair. The hero, Mauro, an Italian Architect, witnesses this happening and unsuccessfully attempts to catch the gypsies. She suffers an anxiety attack and the hero, Mauro, unable to leave her in such a state of distress, reluctantly takes her back to his apartment building. He has a spare suite that is usually let out to tourists but has recently been vacated.

You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens next! Subscribe to my new releases email to be the first to know.

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The joy of working on many projects at the same time

I can relate to Danielle Steele who says she works on many projects at the same time. You can read one of many articles where she shares how she manages to be so prolific here>>. I love Danielle Steele and the way she choses to write about things that are real in people’s lives.
Last year, I released a short story about my toxic work experience. It all unravelled around Christmas which in many ways made everything feel so much worse. But life has a funny way of working out and I try my best to focus on looking for the silver-linings when the grey clouds smother. Forever and Always is a love story—so yes, it will have a happy ending.

If you’ve read my art-inspired romances you’ll know that it’s so important to use our heart as a compass and follow the invisible trail of what lights us up.

Along with writing love stories. I love to paint. Inspired by my Christmas 2021 released, Love All of Me, and the beekeeping heroine, I’ve returned to creating artworks with beeswax, pure pigment and fused with fire.

Another of my many projects I have loved, was novella “Love Me As I Am” – Book three in the Seven Sister’s series.

This story was sparked by a true event—the tragic murder of a mother and one of her daughters in a small town near where I live. I wondered how would her death affect the children she left behind. How would it affect their lives? What if something good could come from this tragedy?

So I began to write a love story. For love is the only antidote to hate. Forgiveness, the only path to healing. And purpose the gift that can come from tragedy.

As with all of my books, some of the characters and events in the story were also inspired by true events in my own life. Including, when my paternal grandmother was channeled by a psychic. She asked my disbelieving and skeptical self, “Your grandmother says you don’t believe she is here. But she is holding out a flower, and she wants to know, “Do you remember the jasmine flowers growing over the house?”

I didn’t.

But when I drove home I called into to Araby Lodge, where my grandmother used to live and where until her death, she bred and trained her beloved horses. At the time my father lived in her house. I asked him, “What is that vine growing over the house?”

I didn’t want to tell him anything about what the psychic had said because I was still skeptical and I didn’t want to influence the answer. My father said, “Oh, that old jasmine vine? That’s been there forever.”

My heart nearly leaped out of my chest. It was at that point that I began to believe in spiritual and psychic phenomena, and in time, many years later, to awaken my own gifts.

I named the story, Love Me As I Am, for isn’t that the deepest love of all. To love and be loved unconditionally—weirdness, flaws, fears, insecurities, our beautiful uniqueness…and so much more.

These introductory novellas are currently published under the series: PASSION DOWN UNDER SASSY SHORT STORIES:


Twist of Fate Margaret Review Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 5.17.42 PM


Love me Forever romance with a dream-like quality Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 4.32.39 PM

And of course, there are my standalone love stories, Love in Venice, and also Claimed By the Shiekh. I adore these stories and really want to do them justice, as I do all my stories.

If you’re new to my love stories and clean romance you may enjoy, Flight of Passion—a rapturous tale of love and obsession. Available in ebook and paperback from all excellent retailers, including Amazon here:



You’ll also love Claimed by the Sheikh. I adored my heroine, who is an innovative architect and her swoon-worthy match—the commanding Sheikh. Discover how tradgedy turns to love in this commanding love story.

Plus, if you’re still in the mood for Christmas, you’ll love, Love All of Me. Inspired by the true-events of a Christmas volcanic eruption.

Sign up for my mailing list and get a free preview of Love All of Me



Pure New Zealand Beeswax

P.S. In 2022, I’m looking forward to the release of Love in Venice.

Here’s a little bit about the book:

Maggie Green is a hardworking and driven lawyer and business strategy consultant. She is a workaholic and uses her work to mask her dissatisfaction with her life. Facing burnout her doctor orders her to take a career break. Reluctantly she agrees and opts to go to Venice – a city sure to awaken her artistic senses and soften her hardened heart.

 The hero, Claudio Della Toffola, a handsome Italian architect, reluctantly comes to Maggie’s aid when, just after arriving, she is robbed of all her belongings. He is a man of great tradition and integrity. His mother has arranged for him to marry a woman who he has no feelings for to bring honour and increased social standing to the family.  He feels duty-bound to continue with the marriage his mother has arranged for him. Claudio also still bears the scars of an ill-fated relationship with an American woman. He appears aloof and standoffish. 

Will the beauty of Venice soften their hearts and unite their souls?

You’ll have to read to find out!

Posted in: Mollie's Blog

Sex With Strangers? The inside scoop on characters and storylines.

Date: June 4th, 2022, Posted by mollie


Dear readers,

As a friend of mine wrote to me, when times are tough, and you’re feeling depressed, you can’t concentrate on a heavy book. You need to read to take your mind off things.

Which is why I wrote Sex With Strangers, a comic and playful look at the world of dating follow betrayal and divorce As with all my books, it does portray serious themes, but it also shows the power of love, kindness, and compassion to heal the deepest wounds.

sex with strangers a playful and true view of a recently divorced women Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 12.15.00 PM

Recently I came across this unused scene. I thought you’d enjoy an inside scoop on characters and storylines from this book.


Fergus left Chanel’s apartment feeling confused. For the first time in his life, he cared about someone. Really cared. Only instead of feeling safe and warm, like he thought he would, he felt like an outsider. They’d made wild passionate love all night, sex too, and then she had the nerve, the balls, in fact, to get up and cool as a cucumber tell him to let himself out.

“I’ll call you,” Ruby said as she headed out the door to work.

Hey! That was his line. And had been for seventeen years. Ever since he first started to fool around with girls. First, there was Mabel, who he had his wicked way with behind the bike shed at school. Then Chrissie, once again behind the bike shed. And then…well let’s just say there were a lot of pretty girls who were keen on Fergus at school and none of them minded the bike shed, not one little bit.

When Fergus was old enough to drive he got a car and quickly started having his way in the back seat of his 1964 Ford Anglia, ‘Angie.’ *


It wasn’t a palace but at least it had a roof. None of the girls seemed to mind the split leather seating and the wire springs that popped up unexpectedly when the car jiggled too much. Boy did it jiggle. He gave that car a real run for his money.

Fergus smiled to himself as he remembered some of the innovative positions he’d tried out in Angie. He tried to figure out how many girls had begged and pleaded to go for a spin around the block with him. He soon gave up counting, there were just too many.

Fergus craved affection and the girls wanted to give it to him. So what was a young man just exploring his sexuality supposed to do? Say no? Not likely. Not unless you wanted to be called a faggot and a homo. That was the reality in the small town where he grew up. The first hug he’d ever had was from a prostitute. He revelled in that brief moment of affection. “When I got that hug, I wanted more and you know what can happen if you go looking for hugs,” he’d told his shrink years later.

For the first twelve years of his childhood, he had never spoken to a girl, never visited a shop, never even used a phone. He lived in five orphanages in nine years. He was addressed only as O’Farrell—rarely. More commonly he was known as a number in the system. In one institution, he was boy No. 33. Every time he shifted his number changed.

Then when he was fifteen a new teacher came to his local school. Miss Marples was from London and she was a knockout. She had hair the colour of gold that fell down her back in light waves which bounced up and down when she walked.

Her breasts bounced too. They were the biggest, roundest breasts Fergus had ever seen in his whole life. Much bigger than the young girls at school. Her eyes were green like the rich pasture surrounding the orphanage, and when she smiled they would glitter like diamonds. Fergus couldn’t believe his luck when she started asking him to stay back after school. She was different from all the adults that used to prey on him regularly. She was a woman. A real woman. With bits that fitted his parts perfectly.

It was wrong of course. She was twenty-eight and he was only fifteen. But for three years she was all he could think about. She gave him special tuition after school. Extra special tuition. Just for him. How he wished he could brag about her to all his mates.

“You can’t tell anyone, Fergus. Not a soul,” she said as she unbuttoned her blouse. “We’d get in trouble. Very serious trouble.”

“No Miss. I won’t tell a soul. Not a soul,“ he promised solemnly kicking off his regulation school shoes and peeling off his socks. He could still recall the embarrassment when she pointed to the holes in them. All his clothes were hand-me-downs—even, good lord, his underwear. Kids in orphanages were lucky if they ever got anything that was new.

Miss Marples took him under her wing. She fed him sweets and slipped him new clothes in return for his extracurricular activities. Fergus was an A student when it came to Miss Marples’ out of hours classes. An A+ student. Fergus never got A’s in anything else. She gave him hope.

He should have known that nothing good in his life ever stayed for long. His mother had only lasted five months. She’d died sweating like a pig and coughing up blood. TB they’d called it. He called it ‘TBOE—the beginning of the end’. His father buggered off and left Fergus and his seven siblings to fend for themselves. He was stupid to think Miss Marples would stick around either.

Fergus clenched his fists as he recalled how it all started to go sour. For three years, five months and 18 days no one knew. Until one night at the local, she had one drink too many and blabbed to several of her friends. Then the shit hit the fan. . . and the newspapers.

That was when Fergus first got a taste of the fast and ready world of gossip journalism. Of course, he didn’t much like being on the receiving end…well…no that’s a lie…he liked it plenty. Suddenly he was somebody. Not number 33 or 235 or what other bloody number they hadn’t used yet. He was Fergus O’Farrell, the kid who’d banged the horny teacher for three years. He was famous.

No, make that infamous—the talk of the town. Everyone was talking about him. All the men were super jealous and wanted to know how he managed to bag gorgeous Miss Marples with the hourglass figure and the plump, rosy red lips. Fergus instantly became the local Cassanova. Girls herded to him. But none of them stacked up to Miss Marples. Not one.

You see Fergus had fallen in love with her. He hadn’t meant to. It just crept up on him like the Sting Ray crept up on that Australian crocodile lover, skewering him in the heart and making him delirious. Only not with pain, well not at first, but happiness.

For the first time in his life, he suddenly felt wanted. Miss Marples was the only one who had been kind to him. Really kind. Not just the sex, but the clothes, the food, and the nice words she said about him. Miss Marples told Fergus that he was the smartest kid in the school. So smart that she felt he was wasting his life in a small country like Ireland. She told him he should set his sights higher and branch out into the big world.

Then bang! The only good thing to happen in his life for a very long time was gone! Gone! Just like that. Just because other do-gooders took it upon themselves to decide what was proper and what wasn’t.

Fergus shuddered as he remembered the look of anguish on her face when the police came to the school that fateful summer’s day. The kids sat gobsmacked as the headmistress, a misshapen, damp dishrag of a woman marched primly to the front of the class and instructed them all to go and have an early lunch.

Fergus didn’t feel like eating. He only felt like puking. He sat at the window and watched the police bundle Miss Marples into the back of their car. His body began to tremble, then convulse. His chest felt like a jackhammer was stabbing angrily at his heart trying to wretch it free.

It was for his own good, the social worker had told him, the proper thing to do. What was proper about taking the woman he loved and making her sit out ten to fifteen years in prison?

“It’s not just sex outside of marriage”, they said, “which is a very terrible thing in itself, but it’s sexual assault on a child. Even worse it’s by a person in a position of trust. Things like this can make good kids go rotten by contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

Lawyers always used big words that didn’t make sense.

The women in the town felt sorry for Fergus. They thought he’d been unfairly taken advantage off. Seduced and maybe even brainwashed.

He didn’t know about that. All he knew was the sex was better than great and he loved Miss Marples and he wanted to make her happy. He knew what she liked the most was Fergus mounting her and rogering her silly.

“You thrill me, Fergus,” she would say afterwards stroking his hair affectionately. Miss Marples was a knockout.

Fergus wanted to marry her.

Miss Marples promised that as soon as he turned eighteen and it was legal they would get married for sure.  She told him that age didn’t matter. She told him that plenty of men hooked up with younger girls, so why did it matter if it went the other way. What she forgot to tell him, Fergus thought angrily, was that she was already married.

Harry Wessel, a two-bit investigative journalist found that out. Apparently, it wasn’t too hard to find skeletons in people’s cupboards. At first, Fergus was angry.

“Rot in hell” he cursed when Harry came to ask him for his comment.

He wished Harry had left the skeletons alone. Now he couldn’t even pretend Miss Marples had loved him. Now he had nothing to wait for. When she got out of prison she’d go straight back into the arms of her husband. Even if she didn’t she had ruined everything now.

Fergus wasn’t going to hang around waiting for her. Besides by the time she got out she’d be old and wrinkly. He tried to picture her at fifty-five. He screwed his face up, saggy breasts, wrinkles, ash-white thinning hair …awww not a pretty picture at all.

Stupid cow, why did she have to go and ruin everything?

“Look, kid, I feel bad about what happened,” Harry has said. “Blowing your hot thing like that. I’d like to make it up to you. There’s plenty of tits and arse in London…” he handed him his card. Look me up if you ever decide to cross the Atlantic. There’s some ready money for those willing to make the work their way up in  the newspaper.”

Starting afresh, sounded good to Fergus, really good. Miss Marples might have stolen his trust, but he sure as hell wasn’t going to let that ruin his life. Hell, he’d endured more pain than her breaking his heart in his life. He shuddered as he recollected the unwanted advances of the older kids. He wouldn’t give her the satisfaction. He’d show her. He’d show them all, he vowed angrily.

“Tits and arse”, Harry told him, “tits and arse, more than you can shake a stick at.” That sounded good to him. Love was for mugs. And older woman? Well, they were just trouble. He fled the orphanage with a brown suitcase containing two pairs of pants, two shirts, a Bible, an identity card and one photograph of himself and headed for London.

Now nineteen years later it looked like history was about to repeat.

“You bloody fool,” Fergus cursed, “Don’t you ever learn?” He clenched his fists angrily. What had started out as a fun way to get intimate with New York had backfired. He had fallen for the funny girl with the crooked teeth and the silly seductive techniques that looked like they’d been learned from a magazine.

She’d fooled him and then again she hadn’t. She’d only managed in confusing him and snuck up on his blindside. But he should have seen it coming, he fumed. After all he knew every trick in the book. He was a  pro. Only this time he’d been outsmarted. His damn stupid emotions had got in the way of his head, and his splintered heart.

He didn’t want to hang around in the apartment one second longer. It felt odd being left on his own. Normally he was the first to shoot the breeze the morning after shagging a girl. He looked grimly around the room.

Used condoms and the remnants of the chocolate flavoured underwear she’d playfully worn lay strewn on the floor. For an experienced pro, though, her room had a real girly feel.

Matching bedside tables were covered in a sheer white fabric which co-ordinated tastefully with her pure white sheets. At least they used to be pure white. Now they were a crumpled tangle stained with the night’s passion and remnants of the pre-sex feast they’d concocted up in the early hours of the morning.

Fergus picked up a champagne flute lying precariously close to the edge of the bed and placed it carefully on the table. Squashed beneath the glass lay a plump strawberry drowned in alcohol. A large red stain bled across the sheets.

She should have got red satin sheets he mused as he tried half-heartedly to remove the stain. From what he’d read on her Sex With Strangers blog he’d figured they would have been more her style. That and a mirrored ceiling and black shagpile carpet. But something about this girl didn’t add up.

Not at all. He looked across the room to the vase of spring flowers which sat on her dresser. A sweet floral fragrance intermingled with the sexual odours that lingered in the crevices of the room.

Beneath the bright yellow, pink and lavender blooms were fifteen or so framed photographs of Ruby and a young girl. They looked alike. He guessed the girl must be a niece. She’d never mentioned a daughter.

He lay back in the sheets and stretched his arms languidly out to the side and ran his fingers across the soft cotton sheets and burrowed them under the soft feather pillows. Ah, so that’s where they got to, he mused as he discovered the underwear she had tantalized him with in the early hours of the evening.

As he traced the delicate fushia-pink lace g-string and surveyed the room the silence engulfed him. Surrounded by the dying memory of a wonderful night he fought back the feelings of longing. But they fought even harder to remain.

He ran his fingers over the lace underwear and wondered if he would ever hear from Ruby again. She seemed so nonchalant. So detached when she left. “Thanks a lot” said with the same lack of feeling as a thanks uttered to a storekeeper that’s just sold you a packet of smokes.

‘Thanks…I’ll be seeing ya’.

You know you won’t, but you say it just the same.

Back in London the girls always called him, chased him until he responded. If he liked them and if they were persistent enough he might shag them again. But only for a quick one. He didn’t want to get attached. But this time he got the distinct impression that she wasn’t going to call.

He was like some sort of social experiment. Some sort of initiation prank into the halls of sexual conquest.

His mind flashed back over the last couple of days with Ruby. The blind date where she dressed like a femme fatale and had come on so strong. With her coy smile, fluttering eyelashes and the way, she played with her necklace, forcing, yes forcing, his eyes to wander to her breasts. Nice pert ones that squeezed their way out into the world.  Push-up bras have an uncanny ability to do that. Especially black satin ones with diamante’s sprinkled on them.

But then she threw him totally by not being able to handle her liquor. But he’d thrown himself more. He should’ve taken advantage of her, had his way and then left. The normal routine. But he hadn’t been able to. He’d taken her back to his place and nursed her all night long as she threw up again and again.

He wasn’t kinky or anything but there was something cute about the way she looked legs splayed out on the cold tile floor, head hovered over the toilet bowl. He had to admit it now though, it was kind of odd how quickly she had come to mean more to him than life itself. How the hell did she manage to sneak his way into his heart and under his skin?

Rule number one, never mix business with red hot pleasure.

The truth was Fergus knew why knew why she’d managed to pierce through all his armour. She was funny, cute, intelligent, caring. Not like the blonde bimbo’s he normally picked up for a quick shag. After a hard day at work, the last thing he felt like doing was talking. Dealing with maggots, and the scourge of society, digging up gossip and writing slanderous copy for the paper really took a toll.

At the end of the day, all he wanted to do was get pissed and get laid. Both of those things helped in their own unique way to get rid of the memories, the horrible taint of what he did for a living day in day out.

It paid well, but it sucked. Being in New York away from all that was like a breath of fresh air. One last job and he could ditch it all. The money sure would come in handy. He yearned to grab himself a patch of land and really make a go of his passion for sculpture. He dabbled a bit in London and people said he had real talent.

“Oh shit. The job.” Fergus glanced at his watch. “Shit. Look at the time. 10am. I’m supposed to have emailed an update by now. Five days and still nothing.,” he cursed. But he was getting closer, he might not have anything hard, but something told him he was really close to cracking it.

“Cripes where’s my underwear.” He looked around the bedroom. It looked like a bomb had gone off. Where the hell were his boxers? Brand new ones too.

He always wore his best boxers when he was seeing a girl. Calvin Kleins—one of the first things he’d brought when he got to  New York. A bargain they were not. But now a short-lived expense, he cursed.

Ahh, then he remembered, they’d started unpeeling their clothes in the lounge. Against his will, he smiled, as his mind flashed back. He walked down the stairs. The bowl of radishes, lettuce, and asparagus and other supposed aphrodisiac lay on the plate largely untouched.

He laughed. He’d never see such a collection of completely undesirable food. He wanted to be sore at her but he couldn’t. The simple fact was she made him laugh like no other girl ever had, and he missed her. She’d only been gone two hours and he missed her like mad.

They’d lain in bed and talked about everything from politics to religion to the credit card debt and New York’s aggressive stance toward policing the way people ate food.

“Did you know that there is even going to be a law to make people chew their food at least seven times?” Ruby had informed him.

“Sometimes you have to help people to help themselves. Make it a law and people start taking sensible things more seriously. Where would we be if everyone could choose whether they wore their seatbelt or not?” He laughed.

“Buckle up, I’m taking you on a ride,” she cried as she mounted him, her hair flying around her face, and her breasts jiggling like two bowls of jelly as he thrust his hips up and down.

“Where are we going?”

“To the moon and back.”

“What say I don’t want to go there?” he teased, placing his hands firmly on her hips and rocking her body back and forth.

“It’s my way or the highway,” she laughed.

Such a change from the woman who had looked so uncomfortable in her slinky outfits and siren red lipstick. He knew a fake when he met one. She was faking it. Up until then, she’d been faking it. Pretending to be some hot sex goddess.

He seen enough phoneys, interviewed enough con’s, to know when someone was the real deal. Ruby may have a name like a prostitute, but that girl sure as hell wasn’t one. So he thought. But the casual way she had got up, showered and left had him wondering. Not so much as a kiss. I’ll be back after to tidy up. Let yourself out… I’ll call you…”

Just like Miss Marples.

“When you’re eighteen we’ll get married.”

Yeah right.

“I’m sick of being someone’s plaything. I’m sick of spying on people, I’m sick of making my living airing people dirty laundry. Just got this one job to do and then that should set me up. Give me the leg up I want to make a go of being a serious reporter. A war correspondent or  …”

Fergus paused for a moment, recollecting his thoughts. When he was younger, before Miss Marples came and ruined everything he’d dreamed of becoming a  sculptor. Or, if that didn’t work out, a scriptwriter. When he felt really confident he thought maybe he could do both.

The last thing he’d created before Miss Marples got locked up was a life-size torso of then together. When she betrayed him he’d destroyed it. He tried to sculpt again. He’d set up his own flat to a be a studio but he just couldn’t do it for some reason he just couldn’t fire up his creative juices in that way. But writing…now that came easily.

And now it looked like he was onto a winner.

 Fergus pulled on his underwear and forced his legs through his jeans. “Damn her,” he cursed, “damn Ruby Evans.”

His legs got tangled in the foot of his jean. He kicked his legs wildly in the air trying to dislodge them. Then when that failed he ripped them angrily off this feet, screwed the jeans into a ball and threw them across the floor. They landed with a thud on a computer table, hidden in the corner of the room.

Fergus glanced at the computer and then at his watch. He was late. Really late. If he didn’t come up with something he really was going to get a bollicking. His dreams of making some money and exiting the seedy world of investigative journalism were disappearing fast. He’d have to come up with something and soon. Damn, why was this woman so elusive?

He went over to the computer desk and sat down, and flicked open the laptop. He logged into ‘sexwithlotsofstrangers’ and waited for the latest posting to come up on the screen.

July 16, 9:12 am Sex between the sheets

I’ve never done it in my house with a stranger but this is the next best thing. No quickies in the toilet, no shagging in the alleys, no quick gropes at the bus stop but full-on, wild, horny passionate sex. All night long, between the sheets in a downtown Manhattan apartment. Am I losing my mind you may ask? Taking a stranger back to my apartment, but I haven’t lost my mind and the apartment wasn’t mine. Let’s just say it was a friends…

Fergus smiled at the similarity between his night of passion and the words that appeared on the screen. He’d had sex between the sheets at some friend’s apartment too. I should start a blog, he thought wryly, I’m sure It would be a best seller too. His throat was dry and he reached over to the bedside table and grabbed a glass of water. Gulped it down and then returned to the screen.

He was horny for me. I could tell. Dressed in a frog suit…

Fergus’s heart began to race. He scrolled quickly down the screen

I peeled off his clothes until he stood naked, only the moonlight illuminating the muscular curves of his body. I ran my finger down the length of the scar on his right arm.

Fergus leaned forward. He held his breath. Adrenaline raced in his body. “My scar. . .my underwear…the way I orgasmed, licking the chocolate from her butt . . .everything!  She’s written about everything!”

He could feel his heart rise in his chest and then sink with a thud. He clenched his fists and unclenched them then clenched them again. Anger welled inside him, then rose to his face, stabbing his eyes like pinpricks!

“That bitch!” he cried, scrolling through the rest of the post. “That bitch had me for dinner.” Just another sexual conquest for her pleasure. No wonder she was so noncommittal. Shag them and run. He knew the drill. He’d practically invented it. He’d done it enough in his time. How could he have been taken for such a fool, he fumed.

He stared briefly at the computer screen. His mind blank and his body numb. Then teh cogs in his brain began to race. He’d show her. This time she would pay big time and Fergus would end up getting the story of his life. No one would have a scoop like his.

He knew the true identity of the blogger and what’s more, he’d got upfront and personal. His mind flashed back to Miss Marples and the media frenzy which had followed their discovery.

Déjà vu. Snap! Karma….how ever he framed it history had repeated. This time, he vowed angrily, this time he’d make it work in his favour.

He snapped the laptop shut and untangled his jeans before putting them on. He walked over to the bed, gathered up his shirt lying creased on the floor, found his socks and shoes and headed for the door.

He walked west toward Central Park. He needed time to think. To cool down. To digest the significance of everything that had just happened. As he sat down on a park bench his phone rang. Fergus took a deep breath. Calm. Stay calm. Ruby Evans’ name flashed up on caller ID. The phone rang several times before switching to voice mail. Fergus didn’t feel like talking with Ruby Evans right now. He still felt sore at her. He’d talk to her when he was good and ready.

He dialled his manager in London. “I’ve cracked it, boss. Really Cracked it. You’ll have a report on your table…er email…tomorrow. Guaranteed. What’s an exclusive worth to you? The inside scoop? $75K? Wow! That much? Yeah, I’m sure…really sure. You’ll be surprised. Really surprised. Wait ’til you hear what this girl does for a living! Gotta go. Talk tomorrow. Don’t worry…sure you can trust me…I learned from a pro…see ya.”

Fergus snapped the phone shut. His eyes wandered momentarily to a couple walking through Central Park hand in hand around the water’s edge, near the boathouse. The man stopped, raised his hand tenderly to the woman’s face and lifted a stray piece of hair that had fallen across her eyes. She smiled, and lifted her head to his, her eyes locked with his. The man lent down his lips slightly parted. Fergus looked away abruptly and stood up from the bench and walked briskly through the park.

Did you enjoy this inside scoop on characters and storylines from Sex With Strangers? I know you’ll love Sex With Strangers.

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(The Ford Anglia is a rarity among classic cars – it’s immediately recognised all over the world by children and young people, even if it’s as “the Harry Potter car” and not by its given name, writes Adrian Flux on this interesting blog>> I still haven’t read JK Rowling’s books and didn’t know she used this car in her stories. But I do agree, it does have magical powers!).


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