Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Season's Greetings

Have a gorgeous Christmas holiday, filled with good company, great food and even better champagne. (I know I will!)



Monday, 14 December 2015

... maybe it can

What an amazing, wonderful, terrific weekend. That's all.

Rome, courtesy of www.pexels.com


Thursday, 10 December 2015

Can a long distance relationship work?

I don't know yet, but you'll be the first to hear when I figure it out. This weekend I'm off to Rome to see Luca. Since he is spending Christmas with his family, and I am with mine, this is likely to be the last opportunity we get to spend time together until 2016.

Friday, 27 November 2015

The ex-Client

For dinner, Luca took me to an Italian restaurant in Queens Park. When an Italian takes you to his favourite Italian restaurant, you know it's going to be good. And it was. The food was great, the cocktails were excellent, and the company... sexy as sin.

We started with cold antipasti, then I had the seabream and he had the lamb chops. For dessert, we shared a lemon sorbet flavoured with prosecco and espresso martini. Coffees were back in his hotel suite.

And there's the only downer of the night - he doesn't live in London. Tomorrow he flies back to Rome, and who knows when we'll see each other again? And I really want to see him again.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

The day marked in red on my calendar

It's November 26th, and you know what that means? Yes, as of 11pm last night Luca is no longer my company's client. And at 8pm tonight he's taking me out to dinner. More tomorrow...


Sunday, 15 November 2015

Paris

There will be no posts on this blog until further notice. There are no words.


Sunday, 8 November 2015

Poppy's Caribbean Adventure Part 14

Here's the next installment of Poppy's Carribean Adventure:
(Previous installments can be read here)

Since she’d barely had a chance to unpack, it didn’t take Poppy long to re-pack her suitcase and head upstairs. She let herself into the honeymoon suite and paused a moment on the threshold. The living room area of the suite was almost twice the size of her room downstairs, and the view was breathtaking. Though it was already full dark outside, the moon stood high and full, casting bright silver light across the ocean, lighting up the white strip of beach.

The staff had already beaten her here. A pile of extra pillows, sheets and blankets waited on the sofa.

Poppy crossed to the tall French doors that led to a small, private terrace, and threw them open. Heavy, warm air swept into the room, mingling with the cooler air of the purring air conditioner. She breathed in the briny scent, listened to the soothing song of the waves on the beach. A shout of laughter drew her gaze to a group of young people heading for the beach. Conference delegates making the most of the all-expenses-paid trip to the beach, no doubt.

She’d have loved to join them, to feel the soft squish of sand between her toes and the warm caress of the water lapping around her ankles… But not tonight. Tonight she needed to be showered, dressed, in bed and fast asleep before Gage got back from his dinner.

In the bedroom, the staff had already turned down the bed for the night. Red rose petals had been scattered across the pristine white linen, and a bottle of decent champagne chilled in a silver ice bucket beside the bed. That would be going to waste tonight.

In record time she unpacked her suitcase into an unused cupboard, carefully hanging up the evening dress she’d brought for the banquet on the final night of the conference, then she showered, brushed her teeth, pulled on her pyjamas, and climbed into bed. But she couldn’t sleep.

It was too hot. She turned up the air con, but that didn’t help. She tossed and turned, until at last she heard a gentle knock at the door, then the squeak as the door to the suite opened. She pulled the sheets up under her chin.

With her eyes pressed shut, making a concentrated effort to keep her breathing steady and her body relaxed, she listened as Gage closed the door and moved across the room. He paused at the entrance of the bedroom doorway for a moment before he turned away. She heard him moving around the living room, making up a bed on the sofa. He switched the air con to a higher temperature. Then, careful to be quiet, he tiptoed through the bedroom to the en suite.

It was getting bloody hot under the sheet. As soon as she heard the shower running, she kicked it off so the breeze through the open windows could cool her over-heated skin. And then the bathroom door opened, and Gage emerged, wearing nothing but a white hotel towel wrapped around his hips.

She stared. Gage’s mouth kicked up into a smile as his gaze flicked over her naked limbs and the silky camisole and shorts set which were the only pyjamas she’d packed.

“Faking sleep again?” he asked, leaning up against the door jamb.

She crossed her arms over her chest. “I don’t need to fake anything. You woke me.”

“Sorry.” But he didn’t sound sorry.

She fumbled for something more to say. “You left the shower running.” Way to go, Poppy. Scintillating small talk.

“I forgot my shampoo in my bag.”

“They have shampoo in the shower,” she pointed out.

He shrugged, grinning. “It smells like flowers.”

“Well, don’t let me stop you.” Poppy turned her back on him, and made a show of fluffing up her pillows, as if preparing to go back to sleep. Gage headed back into the bathroom, shutting the door between them once again.

If she thought it was impossible to sleep before, it was even worse now. How could she sleep with Gage naked in the shower on the other side of a flimsy door? Not Gage. Think of him as Mr de Vere. Think of him as The Boss.
Think of him as anything but naked.


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Lunch Date

Do I look like an Agony Aunt? I'll be the first to admit I'm way too self-centred to be a great listener. Yet somehow Aurélie has decided to make me her confidante. We had another lunch today, this time at the newly opened Modern Pantry in Finsbury Square.

She talked a lot about how she met Bastien (at a party), and their early days together, but she doesn't talk much about their lives now. She seems to have conveniently forgotten that her husband and I were once lovers. Maybe she's just desperate for someone to speak to in French.

Mostly, I think, she likes to hear about my single life, about going on dates and to parties and clubs. So maybe what she really wants is someone to chat to who isn't obsessed with babies. It appears the only friends she's made since they arrived in London are the other moms from Daniel's play group - and me. Sad, isn't it?

Aurélie's a lovely person, bright and direct, and she has a good sense of humour, but I still struggle to picture her and Bastien together. She's a 'good' girl, has always played by the rules, never stepped out of the lines, never explored her wild side, not the way Bastien and I have done.

I try to imagine what he's doing while she's at work or lunching with me, or what kind of father he is, but I just can't see it. But at least I had good company and a great meal. I highly recommend the restaurant!

Modern Pantry, Finsbury Square

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Halloween!

I know I said we were going to keep it strictly professional, but there are some invitations a girl just can't pass up, and one is the chance to go to Zombies on Ice for Halloween. So when my new client - aka Luca - invited me to join him, what could I do but blow off my plans with Sophie and Amelia and say 'yes'?

We dressed up (him as a pirate, me in my steampunk, short-skirted finest) and headed to Alexandra Park. After working up an appetite skating (which didn't take long!), we went out for dinner and drinks and talked until late before he dropped me back home. Aside from a little hand-holding, which is inevitable when you're ice skating, nothing untoward happened, so I can walk into the office tomorrow with a clear conscience. Well, mostly clear...

And today's such a miserable day that I'm spending it curled up in bed with a book. I'd rather be spending it curled up in bed with Luca, and to hell with both my conscience and my boss.


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Poppy's Carribean Adventure Part 13

It's been a while since I posted more in the story of Poppy and Gage's business trip to the Carribean, so without further ado, here's the next instalment. (Wishing I had a little of that heat and sunshine right now!)

The thirteenth installment of Poppy's Carribean Adventure:
(The previous installments can be read here)

Half way across the lobby, raised voices finally pierced Poppy’s bubble. She glanced back towards the reception desk where a flustered hotel employee was trying to placate an irate couple, both of whom were shouting at her at the same time.
Poppy cast a longing glance at the lift doors, and the rest and refuge they represented, then turned around and headed towards the reception desk.

“Is there something wrong?” she asked.

The hotel receptionist started to explain, but was drowned out by the couple.
“We booked separate rooms. How hard is that to understand?”
“There is no way I’m sharing with him!”

Poppy held up both her hands until the couple finally quieted, then she looked at the receptionist. “What’s the problem?”

The receptionist swallowed. “Their original booking was for one room. When the call came through asking for separate rooms, we explained that we were fully booked. The conference…”

Poppy nodded. The conference had taken every available room, and even that had required some manoeuvring to accomplish. She should know. She’d spent half the day hunched over the rooming lists with the reservations manager. She scanned her memory and came up with a name. “Mr and Mrs Smith, from New Mexico,” she guessed.

“Mr and the soon-to-be-ex Mrs Smith,” the man said bitterly, while his wife looked at him as if she’d like to punch him.

Since murder didn’t go well with a successful conference, she turned back to the receptionist. “Is there nothing we can do?”

“I’ve offered one of them a suite at the Palm Resort, on us. It’s not that far, and we could arrange a car…”

Both Mr and Mrs Smith broke out in voluble protest. Clearly neither wanted to be sent off to another hotel and miss half the fun of the conference.

Out of the corner of her eye, Poppy spotted Gage, emerging from the cocktail party with a group that had to be the New York contingent. Oh great. Just great. She really didn’t need Gage to witness this. She could handle this. She had to handle this.

“I can take the room at the Palm Resort, and Mrs Smith can have my room,” she suggested.

“Impossible.” It was Gage’s voice, behind her shoulder, deep, decisive, and allowing no dissent. How the hell had he moved so quickly?

“You’re the organiser of this conference and you need to be on site.” He turned to the receptionist. “Please move Ms Monroe’s belongings to my suite.”

“Thank you, sir.” The receptionist looked as if she’d cry, she was so relieved at having a solution. “If you’ll just sign for your rooms here.”

As she began the check-in process for the late arrivals, Poppy drew Gage aside. “I can’t stay in your suite!”

“Why not? It’s a large suite.”

Poppy knew. She’d booked him the largest suite in the hotel. It was also the honeymoon suite. “It only has one bedroom,” she hissed.

Gage’s eyes sparkled with mischief. “Then ask the staff to send up some extra pillows and blankets. I haven’t slept on a sofa since my uni days, but how hard can it be?”

With a wink, he turned on his heel and headed back to the waiting New York party. Poppy stared after him. She couldn’t let the company CEO sleep on a sofa. What the hell was he thinking?

And what the hell was she thinking? Because suddenly she didn’t feel tired any more. She was picturing an enormous honeymoon bed… and them both in it.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Date week

The blind date I was set up with during London Cocktail Week took me out for a splendid meal at City Social, scoring big points in choice of venue. He'd also planned everything ahead, including a driver so we could enjoy the cocktail bar. Followers of this blog might have realised my tastes in men lean towards the continental, Latin type, but for an Englishman, this one's not half bad.

City Social at Tower 42

Aside from a few sloppy kisses, and a bit of a grope in the back of the car, he was flirty and interested without being pushy, so he scored high in that department too. We've agreed to meet again next weekend.

In other news, I took a new client for lunch at The Fable Bar, and it was more than just business on the menu. He had my attention from the moment he walked into our office on Monday morning, and it was clear during lunch that the attraction is mutual. We talked until long after I should have been back at the office, and not just about work.

As long as we're working together, we'll keep it professional, but I already have the date of November 26th circled in red on my desk planner. That's the day after the event we're organising for him, the day he becomes an ex-client. And fair game.

The Fable Bar at Holborn Viaduct

Monday, 12 October 2015

Cocktail Week is back!

Or rather, was back. The week for discovering new creations at the price of just £5 a cocktail passes by so quickly!

LCW Master Class from Londontown.com

This last week featured visits to the House of Angostura's opening night party, Sackville's and Nola and pop-up Oriole, a gin tasting at The Trading House, a mixology masterclass, lunch out in Seven Dials with a blind date, and the crowning event: Olivia's birthday lunch yesterday at The Botanist.

The date turned out to be pretty fun, considering I insisted we meet for lunch, in a public place, with a set time limit. So fun, we've agreed to meet for dinner next week.


The Botanist at Sloane Square


Sunday, 4 October 2015

Poppy's Carribean Adventure Part 12

Thank you to everyone who sent wishes for my Grandmaman. By the time I arrived she had already perked up thankfully, and we had a wonderful time catching up.

Ditto with cousin Marie-Madeleine. Thank you for a glorious Saturday night out on the town, Mimi!

I also had lunch this week with Aurélie. For those not yet in the know, this is the wife of my ex-boyfriend Sébastien. Interesting.
But you don't really want to know about that, do you?

So on to the twelfth installment of Poppy's Carribean Adventure:
(The previous installments can be read here)

God, it was too hot for a suit. Gage longed to loosen his tie and the top button of his shirt. But instead he smiled and shook hands with the man in front of him, saying a few words of welcome before the man moved on.

A woman in tight cocktail dress, her breasts straining against the low-cut neckline, headed straight for them through the crowd, like a missile zeroing in on its target.

“The marketing manager for our Minnesota distributor,” Poppy whispered, unfailingly spotting the new arrival. “You met her at the last North American conference.”

Gage smiled and held out his hand, but instead the woman leaned in to brush her cheek against his, wafting her floral perfume over him.

“It’s good to see you again,” Gage said. “You must be pleased to be away from Minneapolis at this time of year.”

The woman preened, pleased to be remembered. Over her shoulder, Poppy tried – and failed - to stifle a laugh. Gage smiled back at her. The woman, thinking the smile was meant for her, laid her hand on his arm. “Could I buy you a drink?”

“All the drinks are on me tonight,” Gage said, suppressing his smile and focussing back on the distributor.

“Later then?” She arched an eyebrow suggestively.

Poppy cleared her throat. “You have a dinner meeting with your team from New York later.”

Gage gave a rueful shrug, and the woman moved off. He turned to Poppy. “Thanks.”

“Don’t thank me. You really do have dinner booked. You’re scheduled to meet the new VP from the New York office.”

“Will you be joining us?”

“Hell no. I’m getting an early night tonight. We have a big day tomorrow.”

Disappointment pooled in his stomach. Oh well, there was always tomorrow. And after that just another three days before they had to return to London and normal life. Three days had never seemed so short.


Sunday, 27 September 2015

Poppy's Carribean Adventure Continues

This weekend I'm out of town, in Paris to visit my Grand-mère who had a bad fall and isn't well. I'll be staying with my cousin Mimi, so I expect there will be cocktails and gossip too.

In my absence, I leave you with the next installment of Poppy's Carribean Adventure:
(Read the previous installments here)

Gage watched her leave, a small smile playing on his lips. He was playing with fire, but God he loved the burn.

Until last night, this conference had been just another thing on his To Do list. Another responsibility to add to all the others. But it was rapidly becoming something different entirely.

He wasn’t a man who mixed business and pleasure. Unlike his father. Gage had worked very hard to restore not only the company’s reputation but also the CEO’s. He’d barely started in the family business before he’d heard the whispers and sniggers and ‘wonder just how much like his father he is?’

Ten years in the company, three at the helm, and no one whispered behind his back any more. He didn’t abuse his power, and no one could whisper now than any woman who got a promotion earned it on her back. Or on her knees.

He was always very, very careful not to even look twice at any woman at the office.

Until Poppy.

At the end of this conference he’d planned to promote her to full time conference administrator. He would miss her quiet efficiency in his office, and the fact that she didn’t make calf eyes at him like most of the other women in the company, but she was too bright and ambitious to be an executive PA forever. He would lose her eventually, so rather he promoted her and kept her within the company than lose her altogether.

But giving her a promotion meant he absolutely could not go where he wanted to go with her. No way would he give anyone the opportunity to whisper that she’d slept her way into the promotion.

He ran his hands through his hair.

On the other hand…

On the other hand, what if no one ever found out? He could be discreet. And what if what happened in the tropics, could stay in the tropics…

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Calling it quits and LFW

Well, The Banker is now history. Last weekend we called it quits after nearly five months, which might be something of a record for me.

I seriously had to use the "it's not you it's me line". But how else do you say to someone "this is great, you're great, but I'm just not feeling it?" when he wants to take the relationship up a notch to exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend territory?

I've said it from the beginning: he's perfect on paper, but there was always something missing. When I'm with him I feel like I'm looking over my shoulder, wondering if being with him is making me miss something better. Not a great basis for a serious relationship, n'est pas?

But there has been no time to dwell, because it's London Fashion Week - part work / part play, lots of fun.

London Fashion Week #SS16


From Roksanda Ilincic's show


Ready to wear from Edeline Lee


Sunday, 13 September 2015

Mile High Part 10

If you haven't already read this story, start here.

Now for the next installment:

One hour to crunch time.

Already the delegates were arriving and checking in, and the foyer was abuzz with excited chatter. Poppy stood on one side of the enormous double volume space with its white marble floor and let out a deep sigh. There was nothing more she could do now.

“Have you eaten anything today?” Gage appeared at her shoulder.

She didn’t turn to look at him. She racked her brains, trying to remember when last she’d eaten, then shook her head.

“Come with me.” It was a command, not a request, and at last she looked at him. He still wore the same jeans and polo shirt he’d worn all day.

“You should be getting ready for the cocktail party,” she said, frowning. “As the host, you need to be there to greet everyone. You can’t be late.”

“It doesn’t take that long to get into a suit. And I can’t spend the whole party worrying that the woman standing next to me is going to keel over.”

Okay, well put it that way… so his concern was less for her than for himself. There was the boss she knew and loved. Okay, maybe not loved. Just lusted over.

She followed him out onto the terrace where a small table had been set for two. A platter of finger foods awaited them, sandwiches cut into neat triangles, savoury puff pastries, fresh fruit slices, plantain chips. Poppy’s stomach growled ominously, and Gage laughed.

She scowled at him, though she had to admit it was kind of sweet that he held her chair for her to sit, then poured her some of the fresh fruit juice in a jug on the table. They ate in companionable silence. Had she been alone, Poppy might have wolfed down the food, now she’d realised just how hungry she was, but with Gage just across the table from her, she put on her most ladylike manners. Her mother would have been proud. Maybe not so proud of the fact that beneath the table she had to clench her legs together to stop the needy ache there.

Now that she wasn’t keeping busy and avoiding him, her traitorous body seemed to be re-living last night’s half dream. Maybe it was the fresh sea breeze blowing in off the bay, wafting his deliciously sensual masculine scent towards her. Or maybe it was the mischievous light dancing in his eyes. It had to be the angle of the tropical sun, because it wasn’t an expression she was used to seeing on Gage’s face. He looked lighter, less serious. He looked like he was having fun.

She frowned and considered him. She’d never really stopped to wonder before now whether he enjoyed what he did. He was a workaholic, putting in long hours, always so on top of everything, quick with decisions, fair and even-tempered, and the staff all loved him. He was good at what he did. But did he enjoy it?

“Do I have something on my face?” he asked, rubbing self-consciously at his chin.

She started and blushed. Of course, he’d caught her staring. She’d been terribly obvious, hadn’t she? Better to let him think that was the reason than let him think it was him she’d been staring at.

“Just here.” She leaned across the table and pretended to wipe a smudge from the side of his mouth. His stubble was rough beneath her fingers. The pad of her thumb tingled against his skin. She drew her hand away quickly, but not quickly enough. He caught her fingers, turned his head and pressed his lips to her palm.

“Thank you for all the effort you’ve put into this conference,” he said. “It’s going to be a great success.”

She snatched her hand back. “You should shave before you meet the delegates. And I need to get changed.”

She pushed back her chair, almost stumbling in her hurry to get away from him, back to her room where she could try to figure out in peace and quiet what the hell was happening here between them.

Stay tuned...


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Bank holiday weekend

Did you enjoy your bank holiday weekend?

I did! From an outdoor screening of The Princess Bride courtesy of the British Museum, to a lazy brunch with friends, and an entire day spent reading, this weekend was heavenly. In spite of having to dodge the carnival crowds!

From wordsnquotes.com

Friday, 28 August 2015

Dilemma

Isn't it odd that you can live in the same city with people for a whole year and never even know they're there, then suddenly you meet them twice in a couple of weeks?

It was pissing down with rain this last week and I didn't have an umbrella. I made a mad dash from the tube station exit to a shop awning, hoping desperately to avoid getting my newly blow-dried hair wet. I turn to check my reflection in the shop window and who is standing right beside me?
Aurélie.
She smiled as if I were her long lost friend and greeted me with "So Sébastien tells me the two of you used to date."
I'm often told that I'm direct but I think she really wins that award. Damn, but I rather like the woman.
"Yes." I answered. (We did a lot more than date, but I'm direct, not stupid, so I didn't elaborate.)
Then she invited me to join her for a drink before we parted ways.
I was headed to meet The Banker but figured 'what the hell?'. We headed to the wine bar across the street where we spent a pleasant hour getting to know one another.
Did I mention that she's a really lovely person? We could be great friends if it weren't for the fact that we've both slept with the same man.
Or does that even matter?

Needless to say The Banker wasn't in the happiest mood when I arrived over an hour late for our date. (But he forgave me, of course.)

Aurélie seems quite lonely here in London. Between the baby and the demands of her job, she doesn't get out much and hasn't made many friends outside of work. So she suggested we get together some time.

What do you think: good idea to make friends with the wife of someone you're still a little in love with - or not?

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Mile High Part 9

If you haven't already read the ongoing story of Poppy's Carribean Adventure, click here, start at the bottom of the page, and work your way up.

The story continues:

In the car, as they jolted over the rutted road towards their resort, Poppy pulled her folder of notes out of her shoulder bag and began to run through the lists of things they needed to accomplish today, before the rest of the delegates arrived and the conference began in earnest. She tried to focus on her checklists, asking Gage questions and making notes as she moved down the list, but her throbbing awareness of him made her clumsy and less attentive.

His thigh lay barely inches from her own. Here in the back seat of the hotel’s luxury sedan, they were even closer than they’d been on the plane. His hand spread out on his knee, the same long, strong tapered fingers that had stroked her and been inside her last night. She squirmed and pressed her legs together, but it didn’t help. God, but she wanted those fingers back inside her. Better yet, she wanted his cock inside her.

Then she looked up and caught Gage’s gaze on her. She could read nothing from his expression. The breeze from the open window beside him ruffled his dark hair. He arched an eyebrow and she realised with a start she’d asked him the same question twice already - and still couldn’t remember his answer.

She gave up any attempt at work and turned to look out her window instead. Giant-leafed banana trees flew past the car, and between them she glimpsed white beach sand and azure water rising up to meet an equally blue sky. Would she manage a free moment during this trip to take a stroll on the beach?

The moment the car rolled to a stop before the grand, white-columned portico of the resort hotel, the manager already awaited them, and they hit the ground running. Site inspections, staff de-briefings, final checks of the AV equipment and the preparations for the evening cocktail party, and Poppy personally oversaw the packing of the delegates’ goodie bags. She kept so busy she barely even saw Gage let alone had a moment alone with him. For which she was profoundly grateful. Because every time she looked at him she couldn’t help but picture him naked. Her infatuation was worse than ever. In fact, it was rapidly turning into an obsession.

That's all for now folks! But check back on this blog same time and same place next weekend for the next instalment of Poppy's Caribbean Adventure.
 

Sunday, 2 August 2015

A man walked into a bar

"So what was the Shadow that was cast over Olivia & Stu's wedding?" you ask. I haven't told Olivia yet, but I guess if she's reading this, she'll know soon enough.

It went like this:

On the night before the wedding, we went down to the village pub. There was quite a big crowd of us, even though Stu was out having dinner with some of his work mates.

It was nearly ten, I think, when Stu and his colleagues joined us at the pub. I remember the moment with crystal clarity.

It was really hot and stuffy inside. A few people had drifted outdoors, but Amelia and I were still inside. I had a glass of red wine in my hand. The guys were all messing around, pretending to know how to throw darts, and I was laughing at something Stu's friend Simon said, when the pub door opened.
I half turned to see Stu lead in a group of about 7 or 8 people. Two women and the rest were men.

And then, for the first and only time in my life, my heart stopped. Honest to God, it skipped a beat and I couldn't breathe.

Sébastien walked in.

Yes, that Sébastien. My first love. Perhaps the only man I've ever really loved.

I tried to hang back out of sight, but it didn't work. Like a heat-seeking missile zeroing in on its target, he looked at me. His eyes widened. Then he turned away, putting his arm around the waist of the woman next to him.

If I thought I was over him, now I know better. It was as if someone reached inside my chest, yanked out my heart, tossed it on the floor, and jumped on it.

The rest of the evening, I kept as far away from Bastien as I could. But it couldn't last forever. It was late, quite a few people (including the bride and groom) had already left, and the crowd was thinning out. I sat outside on one of the tables, alone, enjoying the fresh air and more wine, and he came to sit beside me.

We didn't talk for a while, and then suddenly we couldn't stop talking. Lots of catching up, 'what are you doing now?', 'are you happy with your life?' kind of stuff. Turns out his wife works for Stu's company, in the legal department, and they're living in London now. They have a baby, just a couple of years old, and this is the first time they've left their son with her parents and been away, just the two of them. Her parents came all the way over from France to babysit. Can you believe that? I can't imagine my own parents going further than beyond their own front door to babysit Fleur.

After a while his wife came outside to look for him and found us there. When she heard we came from the same area and practically grew up together, she got so excited. We chatted for a little, but Bastien said he was tired and wanted to leave.

Olivia's wedding day was beautiful. But it was as if I carried a Shadow around with me the entire day.

I tried to keep busy, and there was so much to do, and so many people to talk to, that it really shouldn't have been hard not to see them all the time. But they seemed to be everywhere, holding hands, laughing together. And every time was like a knife in my heart. He's still the most gorgeous man I've ever known. I still remember the feel of his hands on me, the way he kissed. I can barely remember how The Banker kissed me two days ago.

Later that evening, his wife, Aurélie, finally cornered me. We had a long chat, and she's so lovely, warm and genuine, which only makes it worse. I want so much to hate her. I'd love to be able to claw her eyes out for having the one man I've always considered 'mine' but I can't.

But it's obvious she doesn't know who I am. He didn't correct her when she assumed we were nothing more than childhood neighbours. I don't know whether to feel hurt that he can brush our past aside so easily, or to be happy that the idyllic summer we spent together in Paris still belongs to no-one but us.

And so there it is. They left after the champagne breakfast on Sunday morning to drive back to London, and I finally told Sophie and Mel who he was. I even cried a little. Even though it's stupid, because that was years ago and we're different people now. I can't possibly still be in love with him.

My BFFs couldn't believe it was him. Of course, they met him at my 21st but he's changed a lot. His hair is shorter, and he looks more preppy now. But he still has the same wicked sense of humour, the same dark eyes that hint at mischief. The same crooked smile.

Oh God, I am still completely in love with him, aren't I?

Monday, 27 July 2015

The wedding of the year

www.pexels.com
I have never attended a wedding as fabulous and joyous as Olivia and Stuart's wedding. It was a five day party that in some ways I wish could never have ended.

["Only in some ways?" you ask. Let's just say that there was one Shadow over the weekend and I'm not yet ready to talk about it.]

On Wednesday the bridal party drove down to Gloucestershire where many of Olivia and Stu's family had already gathered. The Banker was seriously pissed I wasn't taking him as my Plus One, but the night before we'd gone out for curry and beers and he finally saw the light: as a bridesmaid I'm going to be way too busy to pay him any attention.

We checked into the Cotswold hotel which had been booked out for the wedding, then that evening there was a dinner party at Olivia's parents' house. Some thirty plus people. Then us girls sat up late into the night, talking the way we used to do back in our Pembroke days, just the four of us and a bottle of tequila.

There was no lie in on Thursday as we had the rehearsal, followed by a day of Olivia's mother fussing about flowers and seating arrangements. She even made the musicians do a full run through. Twice.

By that night even more family and friends had arrived, so we had dinner in a restaurant they'd booked out for the night. After dinner, all us young people headed out to a nightclub (yes, there are some outside London, if you look hard enough). And Stuart's Uncle Martin, who seems to think he's still 30. (He's not!)

On Friday we slept in, finally dragging ourselves out of bed to hit the spa for manicures, pedicures, and overall pampering - and champagne!

Stuart met up for dinner with a bunch of his work-mates, then we all got together at the pub for drinks, partying until the early hours.

www.pexels.com
Then Saturday dawned. The day was kind of a blur of make-up and hair stylists, dresses and champagne, then Olivia walking down the aisle of one of the most beautiful late medieval churches in all England, the most radiant bride I've ever seen. I'll admit: I cried.

The bride wore white, the bridesmaids were in blue. The men looked dapper in their grey morning suits. There were blue irises everywhere.

There was more champagne, way too many speeches, lots of dancing, a little light flirting with some of Stu's friends, before Sophie and I collapsed into bed at 3am, too tired even to get out of our bridesmaid dresses. I have no idea what happened to Amelia after about one in the morning, but I know Sophie and I both went to bed alone.

On Sunday morning we had a late champagne breakfast on the lawn at Olivia parents' house. The champagne worked quite well as a chaser, but most of us were wearing sunglasses and not talking much. While Olivia and Stu had to be responsible and see off all their guests, Sophie, Amelia and I headed back to the hotel and our beds. It was then I dropped my bombshell on them and told them about The Shadow.

That night was a very subdued dinner in the hotel, a bit of a let down after the excitement of the previous days. I still hadn't quite recovered from the party the night before and headed to bed early. Alone again, and just a little maudlin. Not quite the way I'd envisioned the weekend panning out.

The next morning we sent the happy honeymooners off to start their diving holiday in Thailand, and those of us who hadn't yet left began our own journey back to London and the grind of everyday life. And here I now am.

Olivia and Stuart: I wish you a lifetime of happiness together. Thanks for a wonderful week and for showing me that maybe love is real, after all.


Monday, 20 July 2015

The week that was & Mile High Part 8

In spite of a couple of nights out this last week (Lakme at Holland Park and the opening of Green Day's American Idiot) I've managed to write the next chapter of Mile High for you.

If you haven't already read the ongoing story of Poppy's Carribean Adventure, click here, start at the bottom of the page, and work your way up.

The story continues:

"Please secure your seats in the upright positions and stow away the trays. Cabin crew to prepare the cabins for landing."
Poppy kept her gaze firmly on her Kindle, as she had from the moment the flight attendant had cleared away the detritus of their breakfast.
An hour earlier, she'd woken from the best sleep she'd ever had on a plane, wondering if she'd dreamt what had happened. She was pretty sure she hadn't. Well mostly sure.
If Gage had even as much as smiled at her, she might have believed it.
But instead, he’d behaved as if nothing had happened. He was already awake, working on his laptop, and he’d said a polite ‘good morning’ and ‘did you sleep okay?’ before focussing back on his screen.
Which only served to reinforce that, erotic fantasies aside, he was still her boss and she had to have bed hair, and her teeth were unbrushed. She’d sneaked away to the bathroom as quickly as she could to make herself presentable, and returned to find breakfast being served.
She managed to avoid looking at him all through the landing and disembarkation, though as they left the plane, she was sure the blonde flight attendant pressed something into Gage’s hand. Poppy worked very hard not to roll her eyes. If the woman hoped for an assignation during her lay-over, she was going to be seriously disappointed. In less than two hours they’d be at the conference hotel, and there’d be no time for play. Gage would make sure of that.
The heat hit them the moment they stepped from the plane. Thick and muggy after the cool, damp weather they’d left behind in London, carrying the rich scent of the tropics. Poppy had never been to the Caribbean before. She tried to look like a world-weary traveller even as she craned to see past the terminal buildings to what lay beyond.
They walked across the runway from the plane to the terminal, with Poppy hurrying to keep up with Gage’s long strides. At baggage claim he fetched a trolley and she grabbed a premium spot beside the conveyor belt. Then they waited.
She fidgeted. Gage cleared his throat.
And then she made the mistake of actually looking at him.
He watched her. His green eyes bright and amused, and looking straight into her. The edge of his mouth curled up in a complicit smile and her heart stood still.
Oh God, she hadn’t dreamed it. He really had fingered her to an orgasm last night. And he was remembering.
The Caribbean heat had nothing on the heat in her face, in her body, as his smile deepened.
“Isn’t that your bag?” he said, though he hadn’t even turned his head.
She looked at the belt and there was her bag indeed, about to sweep past them. How did he do that – notice everything without even seeming to?
She grabbed for her bag and Gage took it from her, his fingers brushing hers on the handle. She pulled away quickly.
Soon his bag emerged from the chute and Gage stowed it on the trolley next to hers, and they headed for the arrivals hall where the hotel driver awaited them.

Is the affair over before it even began, or are things about to hot up for Poppy and Gage now they've landed in the Caribbean? Read the next instalment to find out...

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Hen Night!

My head aches. We celebrated Olivia's hen night last night. A day of spa pampering, followed by tacky limo, champagne and dinner, followed by cocktails and all-night dancing at Konnect. I did not wake up alone. And it wasn't with The Banker, either. That's all.

Image courtesy www.designmynight.com


Sunday, 5 July 2015

Suffering the heat wave in Henley

The place to see and be seen this weekend is at the Henley Royal Regatta. Me and my girls, and a couple of Stu's friends, are booked into Phyllis Court Club for the weekend, so naturally this post is being pre-scheduled as I do not expect to be anywhere near the internet this weekend.

If you're stuck in London during the heatwave, check out the Nantucket Beach Club at SkyLounge, Double Tree Hilton. I highly recommend the Surfside Punch.

Have fun everyone, and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

Image from www.joeatslondon.com



Sunday, 28 June 2015

Pleasure and Pain

Whether or not you like shoes (and I'm guessing that since you follow this blog, it means you're a person of taste and discrimination, so naturally you adore shoes) you should check out the Victoria & Albert Museum's new exhibit: Shoes: Pleasure and Pain.

Image courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum

The exhibit opened a couple of weeks ago, but with one thing and another I only made it there this last week, armed (or footed?) in my new pair of Michael Kors booties. Appropriate, n'est-ce pas?

Cinderella's Swarovski slippers (Photo by AFP Photo / Niklas Halle'n)

Oh my God - so many amazing shoes under one roof! Some are just crazy and some are works of art.
While I'm not averse to a little pain in the pursuit of fashion, some of the shoes made even me cringe.

Venetian chopines c. 1600 (Image courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum)

Louboutin works of art (Photo by AFP Photo / Niklas Halle'n)

We went early in the day and managed to take our time looking at everything, but I've been told by colleagues that the show is popular and can get crowded. Crowds do not make for good viewing, so go early. But go.

My only complaint was that the show did not have a coherent narrative structure. Or to put it more simply: I would have preferred a display that started with the earliest shoes and ended with the mot recent. Though I'll admit I was so fascinated it didn't even occur to me until afterwards that the display didn't follow any historical timeline.

If you haven't yet seen this exhibit, you should. At the very least it will make you look more carefully at what people are wearing on their feet.



Sunday, 21 June 2015

Royal Ascot 2015

It's that time of year again - Ascot week! What I love most about this week is that Londoners set aside their drab greys and blacks and bring out the colour. Add sunshine and champagne, and we have all the ingredients for a fab day out.

But once again this post is about the hats...

Where does the hat end and the flowers begin?


Irish milliner Jennifer Wrynne, image courtesy of The Telegraph


Musical theatre actress Samantha Barks


Triin Konsap wears Inga Kovalerova, image from Irish Mirror

Perhaps one of my favourite outfits of the day:

Ella McNeill from the Ascot Racecource Facebook page

Even some of the men got in on the act... but seriously, meat on one's head?!

Image courtesy of the Daily Mirror


Finally, here's that splash of colour I was talking about:

Interior designer Anouska Lancaster, image from The Telegraph


Want more? Check out this collection of pictures at The Daily Mail.

Next up... Opening Day at Wimbledon.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Ministry of Smut

During my trip to Ireland this last weekend an exciting new project was born: the Ministry of Smut. Watch this space for more...

Thursday, 11 June 2015

My first writerly adventure

After having been away all of last weekend, in Gloucestershire staying with Olivia's parents for Polo in the Park, I'm now off to Ireland this weekend to meet a few of the amazing writers I've met online - Kitty French, Zara Cox and Tabitha A Lane, amongst others.

For the first time in forever I'm feeling a little daunted. I feel like an imposter hanging out with these accomplished writers. I'm a little out of my comfort zone here. What if they think I'm just some upstart wannabe? No matter, I'll do what I always do when I want people to like me: feed them champagne.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Après-blogging

So what am I doing with all this free time I have now that I'm not blogging every week?

Well, the great thing about The Bet was that it forced me to carve out time very week to write the post (which is actually a lot harder than you'd think. Even when the posts are short, I usually spend ages thinking about what I'm going to put in it, then finding links and pictures to add).

Writing this blog has also forced me to be disciplined - which anyone who knows me will tell you I am most certainly not!

Now that I have a little spot of time every week and a whole lot more discipline, I'm using it to learn all about writing, 'meeting' other writers - and actually writing. And I'm getting really excited about this. I now have a completed short novella!

Yes, me! I've actually finished something. I wrote The End. And wasn't that exactly the point of why my girls made me take The Bet in the first place?

Thanks to a few of my new writer besties, I've even found a cover artist who is going to make me covers for... are you ready for this? ... an entire trilogy!

So watch this space. There'll be news and snippets and cover reveals coming soon!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Happy Birthday to me

And it's a bank holiday weekend! How lucky can one girl be?

The celebration started on Friday with tickets to Burlesque, Gin & Jazz, part of the London Burlesque Festival... and the party hasn't yet stopped.


The burlesque festival runs until the end of the month, so check it out. Still not convinced? Read this review by The Metropolist.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Book Review: One on One

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance copy of Lexy Lockhart's debut novel, One on One, and read it last weekend. Lexy is a friend of two of my favourite authors, Zara Cox and Kitty French, so coming with their stamp of approval I expected good things. I wasn't disappointed.

As I'm probably the least sporty person I know, and I can barely tell one side of a soccer pitch from another, I really didn't expect to be wowed by a romance novel set entirely against a football background. In fact, the football aspect gave it this book a very different, fresh edge compared to other books I've read. The chemistry between Gabe and Allegra sizzled, and I admit I found Gabe very appealing. I am after all a connoisseur of sexy male butts in tight shorts!

Release of this book is imminent, so keep an eye out for it at Amazon now.

This coming week at work we're doing an installation for a client at Clerkenwell Design Week so I'll try not to misbehave. Or at least, not to misbehave more than usual. See you next week!


More about One on One:

Rules are made to be broken…

…but not at Westchester United.

Allegra Alvarez has worked too hard to get where she is to jeopardise it all. Her one and only rule: Stay away from Gabe Morgan, the walking, talking, pant-melting temptation.

Her father, Westchester’s new chairman, issues playboy striker Gabe with a rule: touch my daughter and I will sell you. The only problem is Gabe has never been given a rule he hasn’t broken.

Which will win…his passion for Allegra or his love of the beautiful game?


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Mile High Part 7

The next installment of Poppy's Carribean Adventure.

If you haven't already been following this story, then click here, start at the bottom, and work your way up.

Or alternately, you can read each new chapter here:
Read here for Part 1
Read here for Part 2
Read here for Part 3
Read here for Part 4
Read here for Part 5
and here for Part 6

Gage wasn’t sure how he managed it, but he got all the way down the aisle in spite of his raging hard-on. Oh God, the agony. If he didn’t get rid of this erection soon, he’d explode.
But he didn’t get far enough. Within hand-reach of the handle to the toilet, the perky blonde flight attendant materialised in front of him. She was a buxom girl, with breasts and ass bigger than Poppy’s, and from the coy smile she gave him, he gathered she knew how to work them to good advantage.
“Can I help you with anything, sir?” she asked. Then her gaze dropped lower, down over his chest and straight to his crotch.
Her eyes widened.
Yeah, maybe she could help him.
He wasn’t usually such a man-whore. Okay, he’d done two women in one night before, but he was more mature these days. It was unfair to Poppy to follow her up with another woman, but on the other hand it wasn’t as if they’d had actual sex, and she’d had all the fun. He didn’t owe her anything. And it wasn’t as if something like that could ever happen again.
The flight attendant licked her lips and darted a look over her shoulder, towards her colleague who was busy tossing trash down the chute.
“I can help you take care of that, if you’d like, sir? Would you care to follow me?” she asked, keeping her voice low.
“Thank you. Yes.”
She led him down a narrow flight of stairs all the way down to the cargo hold, and pushed open a door into the cramped crew quarters. Bunks against the wall, clothing and make-up everywhere.
He didn’t even bother with a bunk, but leaned up against the back of the door as the eager flight attendant unbuckled his belt, unbuttoned his trousers and lowered the zip. He helped her push both the trousers and his boxers down low enough over his hips that his erection sprung free, aching with need.
Then the flight attendant went down on her knees and took him in her mouth.
Yes! He leaned back his head and closed his eyes as he imagined that it was Poppy sucking him to completion.
The blonde at his feet was good. She knew how to suck, knew how to cup his balls just right, knew how to milk his erection for all it was worth. He wished he could enjoy it longer, but he was already too far gone.
“I’m coming,” he warned.
The blonde nodded, and sucked him harder.
He spurted into her mouth, the orgasm shaking through him as he came, grunting loudly. She looked up at him and swallowed, then licked her lips.
God, she was good. Pity she was the wrong woman.
He righted his clothes and zipped himself up as she rose to her feet, patting down her uniform and checking her hair in the narrow wall mirror.
“Thank you,” he said.
“Caroline. My name is Caroline.”
He nodded and pulled the door open. By the time he was half way up the stairs he’d already forgotten her name.

Hmmm - Gage has a bit of a bad boy streak, doesn't he? Will Poppy find out and have his balls for breakfast, or will it be all work and no play for her? Find out here...

Monday, 4 May 2015

May Bank Holiday

No going away to warmer climes this bank holiday. Instead, I stayed home and partied: Centre Point Charity Ball at The Savoy on Thursday night with a guy I met a few weeks ago and who I've sort of been dating (non-exclusively), and then Mahiki Fun Day on Sunday with a whole big group of friends.

Mahiki London

So this guy (let's call him The Banker) is something really special. He's got a great job in the City as a business analyst, drives a really nice car, is fun to hang out with, and he even reads! So why the non-exclusive thing?

For a change, this isn't about a man being all commitment-phobic. This is about me not really feeling it. On paper this guy is perfect. And yes there's chemistry, and yes on date three I discovered he's super hot in bed. So what's missing? Hell if I can figure it out!

But I can live with something missing. For the moment. At least he's good for innovative dates and a little spring loving. His apartment also has a great view of the Thames which is kind of nice to wake up to.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Post #52: Penultimate Post

I'm a little early I know. I'm excited. We're on our way out to go watch Cambridge smash Oxford in the boat race. But more than that, this is my second to last blog post of The Dare.

52 blog posts. It should be over, but there's still another week until this blog officially turns one year old. Just one week for my girls to buy that bottle of Clos d'Ambonnay. They better choose a fucking fantastic year - I've earned it!

I have rather mixed feelings now the end is here. My darling 'Culprits' made me stick with something and I did, and I discovered something marvellous in the process. I've found something I love to do, something I actually want to finish. When I typed The End on my first story, it felt just a little like coming home (but without The Lollipop's long face to spoil the homecoming).

But as much fun as this has been, I'm looking forward to taking the pressure off. Instead of wondering all week what the hell I'm going to post this Sunday, now I can simply write what I want to write. In my own time.

So what's the next chapter? Watch this space.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Post #51: Easter Weekend Party Time!

For other people, Easter weekend might be a time for chocolate and Easter egg hunts. But here at Chez de Savoie, it's all about the party!

This weekend we had two big nights out: one a work party aboard a private cruise boat on the Thames, and an even bigger night out for Sophie's birthday at Mahiki. (Hence this very overdue, unscheduled blog post!)

But it wasn't all fun and games. I also had to endure afternoon tea with my maternal grandparents at Harvey Nichols on Saturday afternoon since they decided to brave the depravity and congestion of London. Usually I'm more successful at avoiding them (I've been known to suddenly fly out of town when they announce a trip to the Big Smoke) but with so much else going on this weekend I couldn't muster up a valid excuse. That's two hours of my life I'll never get back

Luckily it only took one chocolate cocktail to erase the misery of having my job, my clothing and my lifestyle picked apart... YAY for chocktails!

Image from www.pexels.com


Sunday, 29 March 2015

Post #50: Agent Provocateur

How is it possible that I've had this blog nearly a year and haven't once mentioned lingerie?!

If you know me in real life, or if you follow my Pinterest boards, you'll know I rather like clothes and have a tendency to drool over pretty shoes. What might be less obvious is my near-fanatical belief that what you wear under your clothes is more important than what you wear on the outside.

What you wear under your clothes is what you wear for yourself. If your underwear is sad and grey and lumpy, chances are you don't appreciate yourself. Spend a little extra for quality underwear, and it says 'I love myself. I'm worth it!' (and for the record, you are!) Wear something daring or kinky and that says - well, I don't need to spell it out, do I?

If you want to kick ass in a job interview or a tough business meeting, wear my personal favourite, Agent Provocateur, and you're guaranteed to walk in there like the winner you are. A little uplift goes a long way!

Pretty in pink, seductive in black lace, a hint of sparkle... what's your personal choice? And what's the most extravagant gift you've ever given yourself that was for you and for you only?

Agent Provocateur, courtesy of www.i2style.co.uk



Sunday, 22 March 2015

Post # 49: Culture Explosion

This last week I attended the ballet (Diana Vishneva's On The Edge), the Chelsea art fair, the exhibition of the Deutsche Borse photography awards, and at work we're frantically preparing for an upcoming installation. So if you're here looking for the next chapter of Mile High (aka Poppy's Carribean Adventure) I'm afraid you're going to have to learn with disappointment. Watch this space...

Diana Vishneva from The Guardian





Sunday, 15 March 2015

Post #48: Mile High Part 6

Also known as Poppy's Carribean Adventure.

Read here for Part 1
Read here for Part 2
Read here for Part 3
Read here for Part 4
Read here for Part 5

It's hotting up under the covers on the flight to the Carribean:

The Boss. Gage. Mr de Vere, though she’d stopped calling him that a long time ago.
Oh God. He had his hand on her fanny and she was loving it. He had to know how much she was loving it. Her panties were soaked.
He smiled, the kind of hot and hungry smile she’d never seen on his face before, but which she’d imagined countless times. He leaned forward, shielding her from view should one of the officious flight attendants decide to check on him yet again, and rubbed the heel of his palm over her moist pussy.
She bit her lip to hold back any sound, and lifted her hips into his touch. His smile deepened and he edged away the lace of her panties, his firm fingers stroking over her, teasing her lips open and finding her clit with the same practiced efficiency he did everything.
She held his gaze, afraid that if she looked away or closed her eyes this delicious dream might stop.
He stroked her into a fever of need and she gyrated against his palm, in heaven.
But heaven was still to come. He slid a finger inside her, exploring, teasing.
Better than fucking heaven. Better than her imagination had ever been.
His fingers were long and thick. She’d always loved his hands. They were a man’s hands, neat, not too soft, just rough enough to please. His finger slid in and out of her, increasing in speed and urgency as she writhed against him, his palm pressing on her sweet spot until her breath came in short pants and the orgasm began to sweep through her.
“Oh. My. God,” she whimpered as she came.
Her pussy clenched around his finger in waves of promise. Then as her orgasm waned, he slid his finger out of her, but kept his hand pressed firmly over her clit.
Slowly her breathing returned to normal.
Then he straightened her panties, pulled the hem of her dress back down to her knees, and recovered her with the blanket.
“Sweet dreams,” he whispered, and turned away.
Oh fuck. My boss just gave me the most fucking fantastic finger fuck. On an aeroplane. In public. Where the hell do we go from here?

Where indeed? Click here to find out...

Monday, 9 March 2015

Post #47: Country2Country

Okay, I never thought I'd say this, and certainly not while stone cold sober, but I like country music.

Amelia dragged us all off to Country2Country last night. I'll admit I wasn't exactly the most enthusiastic person entering the O2 (there was a LOT of enthusiasm) but it was kind of fun dressing up in boots and jeans and a cowboy hat. And it was kind of fun to dance and yeehaw and just get a little crazy. And the music actually wasn't half bad. It's a lot more pop-y than I thought.

I might even go again next year.

Image courtesy of http://www.c2c-countrytocountry.com/


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Post #46: Wedding Preparations

It's getting real now. It felt like just the other day that Stu proposed to Olivia and we were celebrating their engagement. Now we've been for dressing fittings, tasted cakes, agonised over guest lists and flower arrangements and menus, and quite frankly, we're still nearly 5 months away and I'm sick to death of wedding talk!

Maybe it's unnatural of me, but I'm not one of those girls whose always dreamed of a big Cinderella wedding. If I ever find anyone who sticks around long enough (or who I want to have around long enough!) maybe I'll escape to a tropical island for my wedding.

This weekend was yet another round of dress fittings. I'm going to have to start making an effort to use the gym equipment we have at home, as the seams felt a little tighter than last time. Either that, or the Cruella of a dressmaker is deliberately trying to make me feel fat.

Still, now that the wedding is starting to feel imminent, we're making plans for the hen night of all hen nights, and a fabulous away trip to Gloucestershire for the wedding, and I'm looking forward to those.

Olivia's parents insisted they get married in the chapel in the village where they live. Not surprising since Olivia and her brothers were christened there and her older brother married there too.

For the reception, they've chosen a gorgeous country house hotel nearby, which is where Amelia, Sophie and I will be staying. It's also where all Stu's single friends are staying, so naturally none of us planning on bringing dates for the weekend. We've met most of Stu's friends, and quite frankly if anything were going to happen it would have happened long before now, but who knows... we might get lucky!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Post #45: Dancing the night away

Fab night out for Amelia's birthday: Censored at Cirque le Soir in Soho. Burlesque, champagne and loud music!

But that's not what you're here for, is it? You want the next installment of Poppy's Carribean Adventure. Well tough... you'll have to check back here again soon.

In the meantime, check out these newly released guilty pleasures from a couple of my writer friends:


 Hazzard Blue by Tabitha A Lane

“You want to host a sex party in my house? What do you think this is, Mr. Hunt, Eyes Wide Shut?”

Kathryn Hazzard needs a miracle if she's going to pay her huge tax bill and urgently repair Hazzard Hall’s leaking roof - inheriting the family stately home isn't the rose garden it’s cracked up to be. When salvation turns up on her doorstep in the form of gorgeous Daniel Hunt, can she risk her reputation by letting him use her beloved home as the venue for his high class and outrageous sex party?


Genie by Kitty French

Feathers. Lies. Glitter. Secrets. Lust.

Meet Genie Divine, the wise-cracking London show-girl on a hell-bent mission to save her beloved family theatre. Now meet Abel Kingdom, the australian gym mogul determined to buy it out from underneath her.

On paper they have nothing in common, and when they meet, they have even less.
The only thing they DO have is chemistry. Undeniable, rip-my-clothes-off-and-do-me-now-against-the-wall chemistry.

He wants her theatre. She wants him dead.
The stage is set for an explosive summer…




Sunday, 15 February 2015

Post #44: Mile High Part 5

Read here for Part 1
Read here for Part 2
Read here for Part 3
Read here for Part 4

The next steamy installment brought to you this Valentine's weekend:

“Don’t stop.” Her voice was barely more than a whisper, low and rough and sexy as hell.
Oh God. What was he going to do now?
“Go back to sleep,” he whispered back. “You’re dreaming.”
“No, I’m not.” She rolled over to look at him, and the blanket fell away, exposing her shoulders and her chest. “And if I am, then I don’t want to wake up.” She’d shaken her hair loose before she’d gone to sleep. A caramel-coloured curl lay now across her throat. Hating himself for his weakness, he reached out to brush it away, back over her shoulder.
His fingers lingered against her skin. Definitely soft and warm. And electric.
He couldn’t help himself. His gaze dropped lower, to her chest. The chest he’d been struggling to keep his gaze off since the moment his limo had pulled up outside her building this afternoon. She’d been waiting on the pavement with her bags, her hair tied back in a loose knot, her legs long and surprising tanned for a Londoner’s, her breasts straining against the fabric of her sundress. A dress unlike anything she ever wore to the office, and he’d known in an instant that she wasn’t wearing a bra. She hadn’t needed one. The dress did a pretty fine job pushing her breasts up all on its own.
He looked his full now. The way she lay, her breasts pushed up against one another, almost spilling from her neckline. Her nipples were taut buds against the stretched fabric.
“Touch them.”
God help him. Her voice couldn’t get any sexier, any more inviting.
Perhaps he was the one dreaming.
Whether awake or asleep, it didn’t matter. He’d already crossed a line he couldn’t come back from. If he was going to hell any way, he might as well enjoy the trip.
His hand slid down from her shoulder, over the swell of her breasts, to her erect nipple. He palmed her breast, weighed it in his hand. Full and firm, not too big. The perfect size for his big hands.
He rubbed and squeezed. She arched into his touch, and he tweaked her nipple. She sighed, the sigh becoming a moan as he pinched a little harder.
“You like this?” he asked, keeping his voice low so it wouldn’t reach beyond their pod.
She nodded and licked her lips. Her pupils were swollen, her eyes half-lidded. He couldn’t tell if she was still half asleep or just completely turned on.
He had no doubts about his own state. His erection strained painfully against his trousers.
He pushed away the blanket, so that nothing separated his hand from her skin but her thin dress. And at last he did what he’d wanted to do for so many months. He explored her, his hands sliding over her breasts, her hips, between her thighs.
She rolled onto her back and parted her legs, and he needed no further invitation. He slipped his hand beneath the hem of her dress, stroking up over the soft flesh of her inner thighs to settle at her core.

The story continues here...

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Post #43: Mile High Part 4

Read here for Part 1
Read here for Part 2
Read here for Part 3

She was faking. She had to be faking. No one could sleep so deeply on a long haul flight.
On the other hand, Gage prayed she wasn’t faking. If she wasn’t fast asleep, then he was in big, big trouble. He’d crossed a line way bigger than the flimsy divide between their seats.
Who was he kidding? He hadn’t reached out to cover her up because he was worried about Poppy getting cold. He was way more worried that the sight of her bare shoulders, the sensual curve of her neck, was going to give him a damned inconvenient hard-on.
Through the blanket Gage could feel the rise and fall of her breathing. Feel the heat of her body scorching his hand. But he didn’t remove it. It felt too damned good to be able to touch her, even if touching her was as much a punishment as a pleasure.
He waited for her to shrug off his touch, to slap his hand away, but it didn't come.
What the hell was he thinking?
Okay, so he wasn’t thinking. He was acting on pure animalistic instinct. The kind of instinct that had kept humankind in business for thousands of generations. The kind of baser instinct he’d thought himself well above.
But what normal red-blooded man could resist a woman who’d shown up at the airport in a sundress that appeared to be plastered onto her and a pair of red ‘fuck me’ stilettos?
Poppy was usually such a sensible woman. He hadn’t taken her for one of those women who’d put style over comfort on a long haul flight.
Though admittedly, she seemed to have a bit of a thing for ‘fuck me’ heels. He could still remember the shoes she’d worn to her second interview. No, not shoes. Boots. That seemed to be made of black lace and leather. If he’d been into S&M he’d had her up on the table with her legs spread the moment the HR staff had their backs turned.
He should never have hired her. The temptation was killing him.
He swallowed now, let his hand stroke down the curve of her body, over the arch of her bottom, to her thigh. He imagined what her skin would feel like beneath his fingers if she were naked.
What did her skin feel like? He’d been so careful to avoid touching her before now, he really had no idea. Would it feel warm and silky – or hot as sin? His cock pricked at the thought. Yeah, it was voting for hot and tight.
His hand slid down over her stomach. Was she even breathing? She lay so still. Would she wake if he touched her as he wanted to? Would she scream?
He doubted it. Nothing flustered Poppy. She’d probably arch one of those elegant eyebrows at him. Maybe flutter her long eyelashes, or give him one of her coy smiles, taunting him with what he couldn’t have.
Why the hell did he have to be her boss? If he’d met her in a bar, he’d have taken her home to his bed, taken his pleasure, and never thought about her again. Instead, she filled his thoughts, filled his dreams, until she’d become his obsession.
She twisted in her sleep, turning a little towards him, and he held his breath, not moving a muscle until he was sure her breathing remained deep and steady. His palm lay now on her stomach, barely a hand’s span from her pussy. Was his touch arousing her in her dreams? Good. Then it would be payback for every time he’d woken from a dream with his crotch aching for her.
His hand slid lower, down over her mound towards her pussy.
Damn the blanket. It lay bunched in folds right where he wanted to explore the most.
Perhaps it was a sign that he needed to end this madness.
Slowly, reluctantly, he removed his hand, clenching it in a fist to prevent it from reaching out for her again.
“Don’t stop.”

If you're not yet ready for the story to stop, read on here...