Thursday, September 11, 2014

Juice (The O'Malley's #1) by Michelle McLoughney



 


Synopsis
  Three years after the tragic accident that claimed the life of her brother Harry, Cassidy Evans is still struggling. Determined to focus on her career as an artistic consultant in London; when Cassidy lands the commission of a lifetime she has no choice but to dive in head first. There is only one very tall, very beautiful, man-shaped problem. Her attraction to her new client Rory O’Malley is proving impossible to ignore. Cassidy finds herself falling for Rory and for once she allows herself to be carried away by the prospect of true love. Rory seems almost too good to be true. Is he?

As CEO of the exclusive O’Malley resorts, Rory O’Malley frequently travels around the world. His good looks and healthy bank balance have always ensured that he has his pick of beautiful women, but through choice has been celibate for over six months. Whenever Rory is at home in Ireland his family provides more than enough drama to keep him entertained. Rory thinks his life is grand just as it is--until he meets Cassidy. Rory has never met anyone as sweet as Cassidy, both inside and out.

Cassidy is unaware that Rory harbours a secret about her brother’s accident. A secret that could potentially ruin their blossoming love affair. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love--and protect--her, but should he be protecting her from himself?

Cassidy had vowed never to make the mistake of loving a man again. So, how the hell did she end up in his bed? And how the hell did he end up in her heart? The attraction between them sparkles and sizzles and love winds its grip around them both. But secrets rarely stay hidden and very soon Rory’s secret puts their love in jeopardy. Can Cassidy forgive the worst betrayal she had ever known?


 


Excerpt
May your home always be too small,
To hold all your friends.
Irish proverb.

Walking onto Kirkland lane and heading towards the gallery, Cass noticed a sleek black SUV moving down the street at great speed. As it passed, she saw the little black kitten that had been hanging around the last few days dart suddenly across the road. The black SUV skidded to a grinding halt inches from the kitten. The kitten looked sheepishly at the wheels of the SUV and instead of running away, chose that exact moment to sit down and begin washing itself. A man jumped from the driver’s seat and started to shoo the kitten away with his shoe. Cass heard the kitten yelp as his foot made contact. Oh no, you did not! What the hell!  It was at this stage Cass realised with some trepidation that she was going to get involved, regardless of how stupid it was to approach the vehicle. Ordinarily, Cass left the superhero stuff to her best friend Marie who was more prone to sudden bursts of bravery. But seeing himkick the kitten roughly made her blood boil. What a fuck-knuckle!
Storming over to the car, Cass started to yell at him. If there is one thing she could not abide, it was the mistreatment of those most vulnerable. This jackass was going to hear it one way or the other. 
 “Oi tough guy, what the hell do you think you are doing? You big bully!” Cass picked up the kitten and cradled it gently in her hands.
The short stout man turned around suddenly and stared at her as though she had two heads.
  “Listen lady, I’m in a hurry here!”
 “In a hurry. Really?” she repeated incredulously, jiggling her shoulders in her most ghetto bitch pose.
 “Well maybe if you left earlier, you would get to your destination on time rather than bombing it down the street like you’re driving the flipping bat mobile.”     
  She snorted loudly in his general direction trying to keep the squirming kitten from running away. Ah hello kitty, a bit of cooperation please. I’m saving your arse here!
 Cass kept her eyes trained on the driver as she dropped and picked up the kitten a few times, finally snuggling it in-between her boobs in an effort to keep it still.
  “Poor kitty got a big fright, a big fright! Yes you did. Yes. You. Did. What is that bad man doing? Bad, bad man in a big silly car.” 
The driver stared open mouthed at her, and then dropped his gaze to her breasts which as usual were threatening to pop out of her top. As she rubbed the kitty in-between them, and murmured soft words reassuringly into the black fur. She felt his eyes on her and looked up to meet them. She squinted as she followed his gaze, until it landed on her boobs. The bloody cheek of it!
 “Have I something on belonging to you, Mister?’ she asked raising her eyebrows and jutting her chin out giving him ‘the look.’
  “No. But you certainly seem to be wearing that kitten quite well,” a deep voice drawled from the back of the SUV.
Cass stepped back and craned her neck in an effort to see who was behind the blackened window of the car. She hadn’t even realised the driver of the car had a passenger. The door opened, and she watched mute as a big Italian leather shoe dangled in mid air for a few seconds. The shoe was Promptly followed by a pair of grey suit trousers, a black fitted shirt, a body, and a man. A very-very, tall and very-very hot man!  Holy shit on a stick! 
Cass touched her face quickly to see if there was drool or leftover breakfast on her chin, and tried to stop the usual facial explosion of hot redness that she was cursed with. Epic fail. Having lived in London for a little over eighteen months now, she had seen plenty of good looking men in the city, but this guy…this guy! Towering over a foot above her own petite 5ft 2inches, he was built like a brick shit-house. Black shiny hair, cut long on the top and short at the back and sides flopped down over his right eye. 
As if on cue, he ran his fingers through his hair pushing it back. Cass gaped at the movement and darted her eyes back to the kitten. She looked up quickly, glanced to her left and right and wondered if she was being set up for a hidden camera show. Gorgeous, sexy, attractive, all the adjectives in the world seemed too paltry to describe him. She looked up at his face and took note of the sharpness of his cheekbones, the stubble, the wide set eyes and  strong jaw-line. She was surprised by the intensity of her attraction him. Her body was reacting to their closeness, and she didn’t appreciate it one little bit. He was staring at her. Why are you staring? The driver scurried back to the taller man and looked up at him with a lapdog expression on his face. His ridiculous chauffeur’s hat was too big and it kept dropping down over his eyes. Cass felt a giggle threatening to burst from her throat, and bit her top lip between her teeth. The driver spoke in a hushed whisper to the tall man. Cass assumed he was an important client and pursed her lips.
 “Apologies, Sir. I’ll have this taken care of in a moment. Listen, girl…. You-”
“Don’t you patronise me, Sir.” Cass fumbled with the daft kitten, and tried to put her hand on her hips while holding it. She watched as the sexgod smiled behind his hand, then rubbed his stubbled jaw and began to whistle softly between his teeth.
 And then he looked at her. He stared straight into her eyes, cocked his head to one side and suddenly held his hands up in mock submission.
 Cass raised one eyebrow at him.  Yeah big boy, you’re hilarious.
“Please accept my most sincere apologies, Miss?”
 He put out his hand for her to shake and ran the other one through his hair again, tossing it. Bloody hell! Thought Cass.
 “Evans. My name is Cassidy Evans.” Cass made no attempt to take his outstretched hand, and instead made a ‘tutting’ noise as loudly as she could and shook her head.
 Irish. He’d have to be. Typical! Hot and with a ‘fuck me’ accent to boot. Accents are the devil. Every girl knows that the right accent can guarantee that a man will get his leg over. Every. Damn. Time.
Cass felt a bitchy sense of self-satisfaction as his eyes widened in surprise when she left his hand hanging limply in mid-air. He adjusted his facial expression quickly to a cool and disinterested mask. Obviously not used to being rebuffed, Cass thought. Well, there ya go Mister sexy arse. Cass congratulated herself for taking one for the feminist movement. It didn’t feel too much like a win, admittedly.
 She failed miserably at trying to hide her inner evil smirk and it was proving impossible to keep the giddiness from her face.
“Miss Evans, please accept my apology. My driver should not have been so quick to remove the kitten without checking first, to see if it was okay.”
 The driver looked at Cassidy and then glanced back to his boss. He lifted his shoulders and dropped his eyes looking surprised. He looked as though he was about to argue, until sexy put his hand up in front of his face and muttered ‘Shush.’
  Denied. A bit of Cass wanted to high five sexgod for cutting off the little twerp. Sexgod looked at his driver and spoke sternly. “I think an apology is in order, don’t you.”
 “Am. Yes-” the driver stuttered. “Yes of course, is the kitten okay Miss-”
  “Cassidy Evans. Miss Cassidy Evans,” said the sexgod in an exasperated tone, never taking his eyes from Cass.
 “Yes. Apologies Miss Evans. The kitten, is it all right?”
Cass sniffed and looked down her nose at the kitty kicker. She held up the kitten and made a performance out of inspecting her paws and ears  “Why yes, I believe she is, Duffy is just fine now, just a little shook up. Thank you for your concern.”
  “Duffy?” queried the sexgod. He moved closer to her side and touched Duffy, tickling her ears.  Holy shit! He smells really good.
  His leg came to rest against Cass’ thigh, and she felt the muscles of her leg begin to quiver. Their eyes clashed and held each other until she was forced to look away from him.
 “It is your Kitten then, Cassidy?”
  He bent his head to one side and raised his perfect black brows at Cass, before smiling at her with straight white teeth. Bet an orthodontist had a field day with those choppers. Damn good work, damn good.
“Officially, no. But, she has been hanging around for the last two days and I have been feeding her. So I guess she has kind of adopted me.”
“How do you know her name is Duffy then?”
“Because she told me.”
“She what?” He stopped mid rub and frowned at her.
Cass was enjoying this far too much.
 “I’m kidding, relax! I just think she looks like a Duffy, don’t you think, yeah definitely a Duffy?”
  He looked at her as though she were a confusing puzzle.
“What is a Duffy?  I suppose she could be a Duffy,” he said rubbing the kitten under its chin. Duffy purred. Cass nearly groaned aloud. Were all females instinctively drawn to him? Probably. No doubt this man had pussys of all kinds at his beck and call.
He scrunched up his forehead and spoke to her with his face animated and curious. “Hang on, are you telling me you named this kitten in the last 30 seconds?”
“Everyone deserves a name, and I think it suits her,” said Cass furiously trying not to look at the him and failing miserably. Her eyes wouldn’t stop drinking him in and her imagination was in overdrive. Cass and sexgod holding hands, Cass and sexgod hugging. Hmm. Cass and sexgod in bed, fucking. Stop this immediately!
 “Oh..kay. Speaking of names, mine is Rory.” He put out his hand again, and this time Cass offered her shaking right hand slowly in return. As their fingers touched, Cass felt the electricity travel from her hand to her gut. Jumping back she frowned at him. Well that was new! Jesus did that actually happen in real life? Rory held her hand a moment longer than was necessary and she looked down at their hands still entwined. Eyeing the long brown fingers and wide hands, Cass wondered how hands could be considered sexy?
 “Rory…R..o..r..yyyyy.” She sounded it on her tongue. It sounded sexy, felt sexy. Rory coughed lightly and cleared his throat, Cass blushed to her roots realising that she had spoken aloud. Her nipples strained behind the fabric of her tee shirt, and between her legs suddenly felt electrified too. Cass clamped her legs together paranoid that it was visible in some way, and let an ‘oooh’ noise escape from her stupid betraying lips.
 Rory’s eyes widened and he parted his lips slightly.
Caught by the bollocks! Act normal for heavens sake, Cass! 
 “Rory, like from The G…Gilmore girls?” she stammered.
 He frowned then, as though she were speaking in tongues.
 “What or who is a Gilmore Girl?” When he frowned, little creases appeared on his forehead. Cute.
 “The TV show? The girl’s name is Rory. The daughter on the show. Lorelai's daughter?” 
Oh ye Gawds, this is going nowhere, fast. She was consciously aware that she was babbling and the more she tried to stop, the worse it got.
“Never heard of it,” he clipped. “Rory is an Irish boys’ name.”
“Oh, yes. Yes I know. It’s a nice name, and it’s a good show too. The Gilmore Girls, I mean.”
He nodded slowly at her. “I’ll check it out.” 
He was so not going to check it out. She nearly groaned at the mortification of it all. 
“Right,” she muttered, fidgeting.
“Cassidy is an unusual first name.”
“Yeah, I suppose. Most people call me Cass,” she shrugged.
“Pretty.”
“Huh?” She looked at him scrunching up her face. He thinks I’m pretty?
“I said your name is pretty, Cassidy. It suits you.”
“Oh…oh thanks. I’m an idiot! It was my great grandmothers maiden name, she was Irish too.”
“So we have something in common then.”
He smiled then, a big broad smile. Somewhere inside her, she envisaged her ovaries exploding and groaned internally.
“And where are you from, Cassidy? Your accent doesn’t sound like you’re from London.”
“Devon, I grew up in a small village called Ashworth.”
“Really? Nice part of the country, I’m told. And what brought you to London, Cassidy? Were you looking for something a bit more exciting than Devon?”
The way he said her name had the hairs standing on the back of her neck. His voice was gruff and deep. He had moved in closer to her. Too damn close. She had to lift her head back to meet his eyes, and could feel the hardness of his chest against her shoulder as he continued to rub Duffy’s body. Trying not to focus on the movement of his hand rubbing along the cats back, was an exercise in futility. Her breath was coming out hitched and nervous and the smell of him was intoxicating making her feel exposed, vulnerable.
“I came to London two and a half years ago to set up an art gallery with my friend 
Marie and we’ve have been here ever since. I run ‘The Muse’ gallery just off Brampton Street.  Just around the corner actually.”
Cass pointed in the general area behind him not taking her eyes from his face.
“Good for you, I might drop in for a look.” Yeah right, I won’t hold my breath.
“Cool. Anyway, I have to go, I have an appointment. It was lovely to meet you Mister…umm. Rory.” 
She took a step back from him.
He looked as though he wanted to continue the conversation, but Cass didn’t give him the chance. He was unsettling her, just by being so close. The artist in her kept imaging him naked, and spread out in front of her in all sorts of disgustingly elaborate, filthy poses. Gawd, I really need to get laid! Although, she had survived well this long without a man. Well, apart from the buzzing variety. A girl’s got needs!
And he smelled so good, like expensive cologne and lemon soap. Her eyes were wandering all over him, his crisp white shirt open at the neck revealed a smattering of  dark chest hair underneath. Very distracting indeed!

Cass realised that she hadn’t in fact moved at all, she was just standing there in the same position ogling him. Something she suspected he was fairly familiar with. Giving him a ridiculous half nod, half Japanese bow and an embarrassed smile she stalked off towards the gallery, kitten in hand. She cringed and mouthed ‘no no no no,' the entire journey to the other side of the road. She turned around and waved quickly, then groaned when she saw the two men still staring after her. 
Teaser
MeetTheAuthor
Michelle McLoughney was raised and still lives in the south west of Ireland, where she runs a Montessori school. An award winning poet, she began writing her first adult romance over a year ago. Being a lover of all things romantic, Michelle just loves a happy ever after. She likes to write strong but loving male leads, and their feisty and funny love interests. When she is not busy daydreaming, plotting or having conversations with her characters; she likes to indulge her addiction to Netflix, usually accompanied by chocolate and wine.

I really hope readers enjoy my debut novel ‘Juice.’ It is the first book of the O’Malley family series, book 2 is due out in January 2015. Please feel free to drop me an email or contact me on Facebook. I would love to hear your thoughts.
 

  


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