Today, I am posting the second taster from my new novel, Sweet Entanglement, which is being released on April 30th. This extract is also narrated by the male protagonist, Andy Ravel. I hope you enjoy!
“Margie draws the curtains in the living-room and switches on the two table lamps, bringing a warm glow to the room.
‘Pour the wine, would you,’ she instructs. ‘I’ll be back momentarily.’
She goes off and I hear her light tread on the stairs. I take off my jacket, fetch two large glasses from the pull-down cabinet, and empty the bottle of Pinot into them. Momentarily – I have discovered – is an American word meaning anything from immediately to half-an-hour later.
However, anticipation is everything. Since I have known her, Margie has already surprised me several times, and I wonder how many more times, and in how many more ways, she can take my breath away. I have to wait ten minutes for my answer. Sexy doesn’t begin to describe her.
Gone are the formal blouse, pencil skirt and jacket. She has changed into a white, sheer kimono, calf length, what I can only describe as half-way between a dress and a robe. Fastened loosely at the waist with a tie, it opens sufficiently at the front to afford me a slit view of her throat and cleavage. A naked knee and thigh poke out from the gap below the waistline.
‘Well, what do you think?’ With hand on hip, she strikes a pose which makes me hot all over. Several words spring to mind but none seems appropriate or adequate in the circumstances. I gulp down a generous helping of confusion and embarrassment.
‘I saw it in John Lewis’s and I couldn’t resist,’ Margie says. ‘Do you like it?’
‘What’s not to like?’ My tongue returns to its normal place in my mouth. ‘You look amazing.’
Margie smiles. ‘That’ll do for starters.’
‘And, for what it’s worth, I think your ex-husband must be a prize idiot.’
‘Even better, Ravel. I can’t quarrel with you there.’ She picks up a glass of wine and curls up on the sofa. ‘Now, sit beside me and tell me again what you think of my outfit.’
‘What I think is, you are trying to seduce me again.’
Margie drinks half of her wine then runs her tongue suggestively round her lips. She puts her glass down on the coffee table. ‘What was that poem again – not the Baudelaire, the other one? Caresses sweeter than wine. . . . Is that really in the Bible?’
‘Really.’ The tie of her kimono slips easily at my touch and the garment falls away. Underneath, she is wearing a white lace thong. I feast my eyes on the curve of her waist and hips, the perfect symmetry of her pelvis, the apex of her thighs. She is incredibly lovely.
‘I bought them especially for you,’ she whispers. ‘Only for you.’
Her arm encircles my neck and she pulls me towards her. The lamplight glistens on her smooth skin….”
Character Biography – Andy Ravel
Born in Bordeaux, France on July 5th, 1991. His father, Yves Ravel is sixth generation owner of the Château Ravel wine estate on the banks of the River Garonne; his mother, Cathy, is Anglo-Scottish and teaches English part-time in a Bordeaux school. Born with the proverbial silver spoon, Andy went to a French boarding school and, at seventeen, to university in Paris, where he studied for a BSc in Physics. From there, he went on to Oxford to work for his DPhil.
Andy loves wine (to drink), but he is not interested in following the family tradition. Science is his passion and he is committed to a career in research. At the start of Sweet Entanglement, he is twenty-five years old and has recently had access to a legacy from his Scottish grandmother.