Tuesday, 26 January 2016

New Release: Secret Love

My full length Romantic Suspense novel with a mystery to solve, Secret Love  has just been released.  If you love a hot romance with a sexy alpha male who refuses to allow his wife suffering from amnesia to leave their French Chateau to be on her own and holds her prisoner until she remembers him and the strong love they have for each other, then this one is for you.  Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

Check out the blurb and a small excerpt below.



Secret Love

Publisher's Note:  Secret Love is the original non-erotic version of Conquering Sabrina.

Historian Sabrina Michaels lost her memory ten years ago after waking up in a London hospital badly beaten.  When she travels to a French chateau owned by handsome wealthy businessman Raoul Valoire to research his famous ancestor, he lays claim to her as his wife.

Afraid of confronting her past, Sabrina attempts to leave the chateau but finds that her husband is more than determined to have his wife back in his arms and in his bed.  He is prepared to hold her  prisoner until she uncovers her true identity and remembers her love for him.

Sabrina embarks on a journey into her own past in the hopes of uncovering what caused her to disappear from the chateau without a trace the night of her birthday party and the man who was responsible for her attack.  She only hopes it is not the husband she is falling in love with all over again.

Secret Love Excerpt

Sabrina glared at Raoul and moved to stand up from her chair in a temper.  She pushed her way past him, ignoring his demand for her to remain seated in case she fell to the floor again.  She shook her head and looked up at the painting.

‘I don’t believe this . . .  It’s unreal.  I don’t remember getting married.  I don’t remember anything about our life together, ’ she told him angrily.

Raoul frowned and straightened from his kneeling position, making Sabrina feel small and defenceless against his tall height.  Afraid of what he might do, she took two steps back, but Raoul headed for the top drawer of his desk.  Sabrina glanced back at the door wondering whether she should make a sudden break for freedom.  She needed space, time to think.  Her mind made up, she straightened and headed forfrom the door deciding to leave and collect her thoughts.  There was nothing he could do to keep her here.  A doctor couldn’t just write her off as insane and have her committed.  There were laws.  She needed to think, to escape.  Her whole world felt as though it was a whirl.

Nothing appeared safe or trustworthy.  Leaving would give her some control back until she could decide what to do.  Surely, Raoul would understand that.  Frantically, she headed for the door and reached out for the handle with a shaking hand when she stopped dead, hearing the cracking whip of Raoul’s reprimand across the air.

‘Sabrina.  Where are you going?’

Sabrina turned sharply, tilting her chin defiantly at him.

‘You can’t stop me leaving,’ she threatened.  ‘I will call the police.’

He gave a laugh and began walking towards her with determination.

‘It will do you no good,’ he told her softly.  ‘They know that you are home and that your memory loss may have made you unstable.  They are more than likely to advise hospital care if I can’t keep you under control than help you leave.’ 

‘I knew you would be like this so I dug our wedding certificate out of my pile of personal papers last night.’  He unfolded the piece of paper he held in his hand and offered it to her.  ‘Your signature will prove that this is not some elaborate hoax.  You belong to me, Sabrina, and I am not letting you walk out of that door again.’

She glanced at the certificate and the signature that he pointed to.

  It is definitely my writing.  Blind panic filled her mind.  She didn’t know what to do.  What if Raoul is the man who  beat me so badly I lost my memory?  What if he really is the man who put me in the hospital seven years ago?  Maybe I had tried to leave him , and he’d become violent.  Too many questions.  I need to get out.

‘Do what the hell you want, but I am still leaving, and there is nothing you can do,’ she shouted wasting no more time in turning the door handle.

But to her dismay she was not to get very far.  Raoul leaned over and raised his hand above her head, slamming the door shut hard.  Sabrina gave a yelp of fear and turned around to face him, finding her back pressed against the door with no means of escape.  Raoul’s dark eyes looked down at her threateningly.  He closed the distance between them, sweeping his arm around her waist when she made a gesture to duck out from under the cage of his arm.  He pushed her back against the door once more and restrained her there.

‘I am going to keep you here even if I have to tie you down.  I want to know why you walked out on my life.  We were in love.  I have spent years wondering what happened.  I never once thought you were dead.  Did you leave me for another man?  Your absence has tormented me.  One moment we were happy and the next you were gone from my life.  I didn’t know what to think.  At first I thought you had left me.  Then when I saw there had been a struggle in your study, I was terrified.’  Raoul’s tone grew more intense with anger leaving Sabrina trembling. 

‘The police believed you were murdered, and I was their main suspect.  I was an obvious target after someone told them that they had heard us arguing that night.  The police even dragged the lake in the grounds looking for your body.  How the hell do you think that made me feel?  Even our own friends began to suspect me, and the English press went out to get me.  I spent two nights in a jail cell while the police questioned me.  I thought I was going to lose my mind.  The only thing that stopped them from charging me with your murder was the lack of a body and help from my old school friend in the police who believed in my innocence.  I lost friends.  I nearly lost my business, but worst of all I had lost you.  I hid myself away in this Chateau like some kind of recluse.  Here I could be close to you.  I wasn’t sure I was going to pull through, and I spent some dark nights alone wondering whether or not I should carry on life without you.’

Sabrina’s eyes filled with unexpected tears as she listened to Raoul’s impassioned speech as he recounted his pain at her disappearance.  Their appearance only seemed to fuel his anger even more.

‘I want answers, Sabrina, and after everything you have put me through these last seven years, you are going to give them to me, darling wife.  So yes you will stay, and yes I will make you a prisoner if I have to.’

Sabrina would have retorted, but both fear and confusion about her disappearance from the Chateau caused a flurry of broken images to twist inside her mind.  She could see herself standing talking to someone.  Music played in the background, and there were people dancing in Venetian masks.  It looked as though she was attending a Masked bBall.  She was unhappy with someone and kept saying, ‘I know what you are doing, and I won’t let you get away with it.  You won’t stop me.’  Her emotions at the time were fearful, but she was determined.  The image played over and over in her mind.

‘Sabrina,’ Raoul sternly called her name, but his voice sounded vague, distant, beyond the memory taking prominence in her mind.  ‘Sabrina,’ Raoul’s voice was more gentle this time, but it was the touch of his fingers on her cheek that roused her and brought her attention back into focus.
‘Sabrina, what is wrong?  You seemed to disappear.  You were vacant for a moment, I . . .’

‘I remembered something . . . I think I did anyway,’ her voice sounded drowsy with disbelief and confusion.

Raoul’s mouth lifted into a cautious smile as he studied her closely.

‘That’s good.  It’s a start.  You look pale.  You were out of it.  Now you must see how I can’t allow you to leave.  It is unsafe for you to be alone,’ he whispered continuing his light caress of her cheek.

‘I just want to be alone so I can think.  I know you are upset and angry, but this is very frightening for me.  I woke up beaten in a hospital and . . .’ she paused feeling the tears gather in her eyes.

‘And raped,’ Raoul slowly finished for her.  The pain in his eyes tightened.  ‘I know about your injuries, Sabrina.’

Sabrina turned away angrily rubbing at the tears suddenly running down her face.  She didn’t like showing weakness to anyone. 

‘You must be afraid to trust anyone, especially me,’ Raoul continued gently.   ‘But I have to make you.  You need help, and I want you back.  I will do whatever it takes to make you remember.  I want to know who did this to you, and I want them to pay,’ he was restraining the angry frustration in his voice, but Sabrina couldn’t help pity the man when he found him.

‘Please you have to let me go.  I want to think about this. . . How do I know you weren’t involved?’ she blurted out afraid that she might actually be imprisoned with her real attacker.  ‘How do I know it wasn’t you?’  She felt the remorse the moment she spoke the words.

Raoul’s eyes fired with angry disappointment.  Hurt was visibly strong on his features.  A sense of betrayal and disloyalty strangled Sabrina’s insides with guilt.  Raoul caught her chin and lifted it up towards himself, forcing her gaze to painful attention with the strain of his hold. 

‘Make no mistake,’ he told her darkly.  ‘I did not beat or rape you.  I did not try to murder you either.  I would never hurt you.  I love you, and I want you back.  If you remembered me, you would never think that I was capable of such violence.  Don’t ever doubt or question me on this again.  I won’t tolerate it.  Do you understand, Sabrina?’

‘You just expect me to trust you?  I know nothing about . . .’

‘Yes, I do,’ he interrupted with impatience.  ‘You have no choice.  I am not giving you one.’

He slowly lowered her chin and moved away.  He picked up the wedding certificate he had dropped onto a side table and took it back to the drawer.

He gestured towards all of the photographs littering the room.

‘Did I look like I wanted to murder you?  Can’t you see how happy we were?’ he sounded frustrated, almost despairing.

‘I’m sorry, but I can’t remember.  If there was any way I could, I would,’ Sabrina heard herself shout.
Raoul leaned back against his desk with folded arms, watching her intently.

‘We will find a way,’ he said calmly.  There was no room for defeat in his tone.  ‘I have a doctor who specialises in treating amnesia coming to the Chateau tomorrow to examine you.’

‘What?  You can’t just take over my life.  I have my own doctor . . .’

‘I am your husband, and I have every right to interfere in your life and take over when you are in ill health.  Besides I only deal with the best in the medical profession.’
Sabrina lost her temper. 

‘You are infuriating.  I am leaving in the morning.  I am going to my room.’ 

Sabrina opened the door.  Raoul had done nothing to stop her leaving the room, remaining in his relaxed position, leaning against his desk.

‘Sabrina, if you leave this house tomorrow, I will find you and have you committed to a hospital until your memory returns,’ he informed her casually.  She turned quickly ready to launch a full on verbal attack, but he held up his hand to silence her protest and carried on.  ‘And believe me, it will be useless to fight me on this.  I have enough power and influence with the police and the medical profession in Paris to make it happen so fast, it will make your head spin.  Don’t force me to act.  I really don’t want you confined in a private psychiatric hospital.  I want you here at home with me.  I want us to be together again.  But if confining you in a hospital is the only way to keep you in my life until you remember, I will not hesitate.’

Sabrina gave a small growl of contempt.

‘I won’t let you get away with this.  I don’t lie down and play dead easily.’

‘I know.  That’s why I am coming down hard on you.  You have been warned,’ he said quietly, narrowing his dark eyes, leaving her in no doubt he had every intention of carrying out his threat if she pushed him to it.  He was that afraid of losing her again.  A secret part of her loved him for his passion and desire to breach boundaries to keep her with him, but the stronger more sensible, sane part of her detested him for it.  He would not win this war.  When she remembered, if she could remember, it would be on her terms and in her way, not his.

Sabrina turned to walk out of the door frustrated and angry that he had suddenly taken control of her life.  This wasn’t how she’d fantasised about meeting her long lost loved ones.  She hadn’t anticipated it being so adversarial.  In her fantasy, regaining her memory would be gradual, not a forced, impatient process or one where she was made to feel mentally unstable and a prisoner.  Control of how she would regain her memory would be in her hands alone not anybody else’s.
‘Oh and one more thing,’ he said standing to his full height to walk towards her.  ‘You will be sleeping in our room with me tonight.  I want my wife back in my bed.’

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