She knew what she wanted, but it was a secret. A secret she’d had for a long time.
Daniella – Danny – Ravenshaw has her life organised. She has her own apartment in London, a successful blog, a column with a top magazine, and is working on her first novel: a romance. The only problem is her own love life is nonexistent, and likely to stay that way because Danny has a secret desire she’s never told anyone, not even her best friend.
Her life is turned upside down when she is invited to a weekend engagement party at a friend’s house in the country. Shortly after her arrival, she goes to the stables to visit Bella, the chestnut mare she has ridden on previous visits, and discovers that the friendly, middle-aged factotum she’d expected to see is not around.
Instead, she meets a tall, dark, handsome man with hypnotic blue eyes who, as well as sharing her love of horses, seems to intuitively understand her secret desire. Danny is overjoyed; it seems she has finally found her soul mate, but the handsome stranger has a dark secret of his own which threatens to destroy their budding romance.
Publisher’s Note: This steamy contemporary romance contains elements of mystery as well as power exchange.
Are you an avid reader yourself?
Yes. I am. I have always been a reader, from when I was very little. I absolutely love books. My home has always been full of books of all kinds, but I do try to keep it under control by periodically recycling ones I don’t want to keep forever. That gives me room for new ones!
Howard Spring has always been my favourite author. I read my first one when I was 13yo. My daughter became a solid fan too, and now my granddaughter has read her first one.
Visiting the area around Cornwall where Howard Spring lived is still on my bucket list. I have been to the UK a few times and I love the countryside (it’s where the inspiration for Danny’s Secret Desire came from – you can tell, huh?). I haven’t yet made it to Cornwall, but I do have a secret desire of my own to stay in Falmouth for a few weeks while I write a book. Perhaps the next one. . .
Do you enjoy travel?
I love travelling but haven’t always had the opportunity. But losing oneself in a good book, I’ve always thought, is like travelling anyway. A book can take you to anywhere imaginable: past, present, future, reality, fantasy. They are like magic carpets. For a short time you can be anywhere at any time doing any thing. You can even be someone else.
Do you get that same feeling creating your own book?
Yes. Writing Danny’s Secret Desire was like that for me; I was able to spend the time in beautiful parts of England, although not Cornwall, this time. I love pretty, green countryside (not something we have a lot of where I live in Western Australia), so I really enjoyed researching the local birds and plants Danny would see while riding Bella. And as the author, it’s like being there, doing that thing myself.
Although the dawn chorus was officially over for the day, she could hear blackbirds calling to each other as they flew from tree to tree and foraged in the leaf litter beneath for tasty treats of insects, spiders and snails. On the other side of the path, she caught sight of a family of mallards, floating and dabbling in the stream ignoring the hornets buzzing alongside and, high above them, a few skylarks were singing in the sky.
In the full bloom of summer, the woods’ quiet, unspoiled, natural beauty brought joy to her heart. Streams of sunlight, pouring from the glimpses of blue sky above, filtered through the oaks and ashes leaving white-gold splatters across the leaves, branches and boughs. Striking orange and black-spotted, silver-washed fritillary butterflies flitted about feeding on the flowers in the sunny glades.
So, a lovely summer day, beautiful countryside, the sounds and sights of nature, and of course a gorgeous man to steal your heart.
“Still trying to fight against it, she felt her head slowly lifting, her eyes travelling over the taut curves of his chest so clearly outlined by the tightness of his shirt out of the top of which a small clump of black hair protruded.
Up her eyes went, up over his strong, slightly square chin with its deep groove visible through black, designer stubble. Totally rejecting any commands from her rational mind, her eyes paused momentarily, and she shuddered as the image of his mouth pressed against hers sprang unbidden to her mind. It was a generous mouth, the lips sensuous but firm, the partially revealed teeth white and even.
Reluctantly, as though called away, her eyes detached themselves from his mouth and passed over the long, fine nose with its slightly flared nostrils, up to the jet-black hair just long enough at the front to be charmingly ruffled, and then back to his waiting eyes. This time, the jolt that shook her as his eyes locked onto hers was enough to knock the breath from her.
For what could have been eternity, silent, motionless, he held her in his formidable grasp. Nothing existed but the depth and colour of those electric blue eyes against his olive skin and black hair.”
What more could a girl want? 🙂
Do you write about Australia too?
Yes. I have set two novels in Australia, both in Victoria, and am working on one set in Western Australia at present. Having also just come back from a week’s holiday in the Northern Territory, maybe that will be the location for a future one too.
“Whoa, Bella!” Danny pulled on her reins, released and pulled again, but Bella refused to respond. “Whoa,” Danny cried again, a note of panic in her voice. The wind was rushing against her face so hard she could hardly breathe.
The road was looming towards them, and Bella was still refusing to obey her commands to stop or turn. She tried pulling on the reins again to slow her down. Then tried using her weight, legs and hands to turn her, but Bella, still in a panic, galloped on.
“Bella, please,” she cried, tears springing into her eyes, terrified Bella was going to run straight out onto the road and crash into the fence on the other side, or get hit by a car, or fall over and break her leg.
“Oh God, please stop, Bella,” she cried again.