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COVER 4 (Final) Goldfish.png

Miranda and Floss are childhood friends who swear that no man will ever come between them…until they both fall in love with the same man. In a moment of weakness, Miranda betrays the trust of her friend, with devastating consequences for all concerned. Floss has already been a victim of trauma and tragedy in the London Tube bombings, and Miranda is consumed with guilt about the further anguish and pain she has caused her friend.


Not only that, but the fallout has devastated the friendship and business partnership of the two men concerned. Unable to live with the consequences of her actions, she flees to America, where she meets a remarkable man who helps to heal her troubled soul and learn to love again. Miranda heals herself, but can she heal the friendship with her dearest friend, or is that gone forever?


London, July 2005


Miranda was talking to Floss about their favourite subject – relationships – in particular, romantic relationships.

   “I remember reading somewhere that one of those self-help groups (I can’t remember which one – something like Love Addicts Anonymous perhaps) who said that you first have to look after a plant—perhaps a cactus—without it dying. If you can manage that successfully, then you are allowed to move on to a pet. Perhaps a cat, or a goldfish – I don’t remember which. Anyway, you have to succeed at both of those before you are allowed to start a relationship with a person. God only knows how many goldfish have to die before you’re considered safe enough to be entrusted with a real live man. Frankly, I think I will stick with the goldfish. I’m sure they are a lot less likely to drive you back to your addictive behaviour!”

   With that, Miranda took a large gulp from the glass of red wine in front of her. The wine bar was not very busy and she and Floss had managed to get two of the ‘squishy’ armchairs – the sort that are murder to get out of when you’ve had a glass or two. Floss was already looking a little squiffy, and it was only their third. 

“Well, neither goldfish nor men would be safe with me,” she laughed. “I’m famous for killing all my plants. I swear I only have to look at them for them to curl up and die.”

Miranda laughed. “I believe you have to do more than just look at them, darling. I’m sure the man on the gardening show would recommend giving them a good watering from time to time. I don’t think the cold cup of coffee you poured on one of them the last time I was at your place is an acceptable substitute for water and plant food.”

“Perhaps I could find a man who is good at looking after goldfish, cats, plants and me, and then all my problems would be solved in one move. Do you think such a man exists? Oh, and he would have to be handsome, rich, intelligent—and funny too—that goes without saying.”

“I’m glad to hear that you’ve dropped your standards a little. Last time we talked about your ideal man I think that Brad Pitt was the only one who qualified. Now you’ve widened your search to include men who know how to look after goldfish – well, I expect they will soon be queuing around the block.”

   Floss ignored her friend’s sarcasm and changed the subject; looking at her watch. “What time did the other two say they were coming? It’s ten past eight already.” No sooner had the words left her mouth than she spotted Pen and Mark walking along the pavement outside. She knocked on the window and waved frantically at them. Mark walked up to the glass and deposited a great big sloppy kiss on it in front of her.

“I hope they cleaned those windows today,” remarked Miranda, dryly.



Do we really know what happens behind other people’s front doors? After an unpleasant event in her parish in Liverpool, Grace Bennett takes a job in the quiet Oxfordshire town of Swinbury as the vicar of the local church. The Bishop thinks it will be the ideal place for her to recover her confidence and forget what happened in her earlier post. Little did they know the dramas she would encounter.


One by one, the characters who make up some of the townspeople are revealed to us. Some are native born; others arrive to be with friends and family in the town. We meet a retired British journalist—a former foreign correspondent, who grew up in the town and had a difficult childhood there—and her lover, an American man who was once a member of the US Special Forces, and subsequently became a war photographer; a teenage couple, still at school, who meet tragedy at an early stage in their lives; a female murderer, now released from jail; a local builder who falls in love with her; a US former soldier who comes seeking revenge against the man he thought had abandoned him behind enemy lines; his daughter, a New York student, who loves him, no matter what; a woman who turned to drink after her daughter was killed; and a young woman whose life is transformed by a heart transplant. These characters, and a few minor ones, exist in isolation, until they are gradually drawn together as events unfold.


This is a slow intermingling of people whose lives are more unusual than you might think. They contain love, loss, happiness and tragedy. But then, knock on the doors of houses near you. You may uncover just as many fascinating stories behind closed doors. Their stories will warm your heart.



Be aware that these extracts are not suitable for under 18 year olds.


He fastened a silk scarf around my eyes, before spinning me so I was disorientated. I heard his voice from behind me. “Take everything off—except the heels. Leave those on,” he growled. Soon my clothes littered the floor. “Now dance,” he commanded. 


The music was a slow jazz number, very mellow. I ground my hips to the sound of a sensual sax, bending and swaying to the gentle rhythm. I had a slight smile on my lips as I anticipated what was to come. I delighted in winding him up very slowly. 


I couldn’t see him, but I knew he would be sitting in the leather chair, probably sipping on a glass of whisky. He liked these little displays of mine. He liked choreographing them and controlling my movements. He liked his power over me and I handed it to him voluntarily.


“Move that sexy little arse of yours. Show me what you can do. Be my private dancer. Make me want to fuck you without mercy.” I swayed and undulated my hips, running my hands up and down my body, knowing his excitement would be mounting until he could resist me no longer. How I loved to torment him. And how he made me pay, deliciously, for it.

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Roxy is a modern, independent, kick-ass woman, who hides a secret desire—she likes to be spanked. Will she ever meet a man who can satisfy her desires, without expecting her full submission?

Oliver is a man who loves some kink in his life, but doesn’t want to be tied down by a possessive woman. He also has a secret life that doesn’t bode well for a long-term relationship.

When they meet the attraction between them is immediate and electrifying. But Oliver’s secret other life stops their relationship in its tracks. Can they find each other again? Or will their relationship be doomed to failure?

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She was fairly certain that as long as she kept them content with her cooking, and Bhodan content in his bed, the men would allow her to stay until she had worked out a way of getting them all safely away from this place.

That night, Bhodan came for her again, but did not repeat the rough treatment of their last coupling. This time, he paused at the kitchen door and watched her combing her long hair, which she normally put up into a bun during the day. The anger and aggression previously in his face and demeanor had gone.

"Come. I want you."

He wondered why, after just a short time, this woman was getting inside his head. Throughout most of his life, he had been careful to allow no one to penetrate the armor-plated exterior he had so carefully constructed. There had been many women over the years, and Laryssa was just one more. And yet, there was something about her, an indefinable 'something' that drew him to her. He liked her calmness, her bearing, her soft voice and, yes, her body, which responded so well to his touch, and which set his own body alight in ways he found unfamiliar and strange.

Laryssa followed him and, despite herself, couldn't help a shiver of expectation pass through her body, the traitorous body that had been reawakened after its long slumber. Why was this man able to make her feel truly alive for the first time in her life? Even though she felt anger about being beaten the previous day, she was ashamed to admit to herself that there was a small part of her that had found the experience exciting.

"Take off your clothes."
She did as she was told, feeling a tremble in her belly, not of fear, but of anticipation. "Turn around."
She turned slowly, and Bhodan walked towards her and ran his hand down her back, and over the bottom he had so harshly beaten the day before. He was checking to see whether she still bore the marks. The bruising had faded somewhat, and there was no permanent scarring. He was relieved.

He pulled her backwards so her back rested against his chest, and ran his hands over her breasts before moving one hand slowly and gently down over her belly and over the lips of her sex.

Laryssa took a sharp breath as his fingers began to explore her moist, hidden parts, swirling around her clitoris until she longed for him to enter her. This man, with just a touch, was able to light a fire within her that she had never experienced before.

He bit her earlobe, and when he spoke, his voice was husky with desire. "Such a sweet body. No wonder the other women drove you away. They must have been afraid that their husbands would push you up against a tree to gain access to this hot little cunt whenever their backs were turned." 



Theo rose earlier than usual the next morning, having turned in early the night before. He regretted telling Lizzie not to come until mid-day now, anxious to make use of the bright morning sunshine, but could do nothing about it, as he had no knowledge of where the girl was living. He decided to take a walk instead.

It was pure chance that he picked Oak Lane to stroll down. It was a pretty walk, with magnificent, fully-grown oak trees that gave it its name, and a stream meandering in the dip by the side of the road amongst the trees. Just before he reached the farm entrance, he spotted movement below him. Creeping a little closer he realized it was Lizzie, having her morning wash in the stream, and he darted behind one of the trees to watch without being seen. It was foolish to hide, he told himself, when he could look at that wonderful body all day while he painted her. But there was something wonderfully erotic in spying in secret his little flame-haired model, performing her morning ablutions. She clearly thought herself completely hidden from prying eyes, for there was not a trace of inhibition in her movements.

Lizzie was standing ankle deep at the edge of the water, and had tucked her skirt up on either side of her body to avoid it getting wet. The blouse she wore on the top half of her body was unbuttoned halfway down her chest, and the soft roundness of the top of her breasts were peeking out through the gap. She had a rag in her hand and pushed it down the opened buttons and under her arms. The dampness from the rag caught against the front of the blouse and made the material stick to her breasts, causing her nipples to stand to attention. That was not the only thing that was standing to attention. In his trousers, Theo felt his cock expanding and straining against the rough material.

A bird chirped on one of the branches above Lizzie's head, and she raised her face to look up at it. Her pose, with her mass of auburn hair flowing backwards down her back, lips open and breasts pushing outwards against her blouse, made the artist in Theo want to paint her in such a pose, and made the man in Theo want to fuck that woman so badly he was afraid he might come in his trousers.

Having washed her upper body, Lizzie now concentrated on the lower half. Theo was unsure whether he could safely watch without giving himself away by a sigh or a groan. She bent forwards to rinse the rag in the water, away from where Theo was hidden, and he caught a glance of her perfect, shapely bottom peeking out from the bottom of her skirt. What a glorious arse, he thought to himself, and what he wouldn't give to bring the palm of his hand down on that soft, creamy flesh, leaving the imprint of his hand on her behind. 


She was in the library one afternoon, bending over Viktor’s desk, avidly reading a book with illustrated erotic tales, and totally immersed in the work so that she did not hear Viktor come in the room and walk across the carpet towards her. The first she knew of his presence was a hand sliding up the back of her leg and under her dress, towards her bare bottom.


“So, my little English Miss is studying my erotic books, is she?”


Natasha jumped at the sound of his voice and began to stand, but his hand pressed her down again.


“Continue reading, my dear. In fact I’d like you to read aloud, please.”


She began to read, haltingly at first, but then with more confidence. As she did, Viktor lifted her dress up and rested it on her back before running the palm of his hand over her bare bottom and down her thighs. The story was about a woman who was being taken roughly by three men, and each time Natasha said something coarse or erotic, Viktor raised his hand and brought it down sharply on her behind. 

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