Yep a long title but all are true...
So yee haaa... The Furnace is now available from Evernight here
The cover is amazing...
The blurb is...
Don’t piss off the furnace man.
It might be a standing joke around the glass factory— he’ll mix you with the sand and burn you, leaving nothing left to discover—but Lindsey Earnshaw is about to find out the truth behind it.
Placed there to spy on the place on behalf of the government, a warning message brings forth not only a dead body, but also the one man she’s never forgotten.
Michael Hoult cannot believe his eyes, when his ex-wife turns out to be the receptionist on duty. Having to drug her in order to not blow his cover will not earn him her renewed submission, neither will whisking her away to the Death Isle.
Duty first, though. It cost him his marriage all those years ago, but with Lindsey now working for the same side, can they not only catch a killer, but also rediscover each other?
Your tease is the beginning...
All of the prologue... (shhh)
“So tell me husband dearest,” the voice was laced with sarcasm, “just what does my darling other half do, that means when I try to contact him his phone goes to voicemail every bloody time? How can a director of a whisky company be unavailable every minute of the day and night?” She was working up a fine head of steam and Michael could imagine he could see smoke coming out of her ears. Lord, how he loved his feisty lady. Nevertheless, it would have been easier to deal with sulks and tantrums. Not this icy cold contempt, which was about to turn to red-hot but not explosive. That wasn’t his lady’s way.
Even so, she looked ready to murder someone. Or cut their balls off, and he was right in the firing line. Petite and slim but with curves in all the right places, her blonde hair was all over the place as she poked him in the chest with one non-bitten red-tipped nail. Fuck-me-red varnish and perfectly manicured. Bloody hell. His cock hardened to a painful rod and his balls stiffened with anticipation.
Poor sods, he thought. There wasn’t a cat in hell’s chance any of that particular area of his body was going to get the relief it wanted. Unless his own hands got busy, and the likelihood of that, at that moment in time, was a big fat ‘not a scooby’.
“Since when did you not bite your nails?” he asked with interest. He’d never known her without ragged nails, which she had always been at pains to hide. These perfectly shaped talons were definitely cum-inducing. “Looking good, pet. I like the varnish.”
“Good for you,” Lindsey retorted. “Zero out of ten for observation. I haven’t bitten them in over a year, and I’ve had them professionally done for at least ten months. But, oh yeah, I forgot, you wouldn’t know that. After all, you’re never here to notice, are you? Oh and silly me. On the odd occasion you do turn up, well, why look at my hands when all you’re interested in is my pussy? Fuck me, and flop. Well fuck me, no more fucking me is on the cards, mate. Not till you ’fess up.” She took a deep breath followed by what sounded suspiciously like a sob. “Who is she?”
He stared at her blankly. What was she talking about? He smothered a yawn. Lord, he was so bloody knackered all he wanted was sleep. Then to make love to his wife, sate himself in her. Play a little and try his new nipple clamps out on her luscious tits. Ha, and that, he reckoned with a sinking feeling, was as likely as flying pigs. Why oh why was his working life so incompatible with his home life? Why did he have the tingle that informed him love was not enough? Now it seemed his wife thought he had someone else in his life. Surely not as…?
“She?” Michael asked warily. “She, who?” It couldn’t be his boss. He was a guy. Someone who he was damned sure wasn’t on Lindsey’s radar. There was no one else, unless…Oh fuck.
“Whoever you’re screwing,” Lindsey said impatiently. “’Cos it sure as hell ain’t me.”
“I’m not screwing anyone,” he protested, well aware how pathetic he sounded. “I love you, Lins, you know that.”
“Do I?” She raised both eyebrows, her unusual blue-green eyes cloudy, her lashes dark against her pale skin. It was one of life’s mysteries why her hair—everywhere except her lashes—was blonde.
Her expression was reflective and somber, and a slash of color over her high cheekbones was the only brightness he could detect. And that, he knew, was from temper.
“I wonder, Michael, I really do. I love you, I thought I knew you, and I sure as hell believed in ’til death us do part. Now though? If you’re not playing around and dipping your wick elsewhere, what the fuck is going on?”
Fuck? From Lindsey, who never swore. Fuck several times and pussy in less than a minute. Hell, he was deep in the shit. And sadly, he could say nothing to defend himself. As for playing? What the… Just before he made an even bigger mess of everything, Michael realized she didn’t mean their sort of playing.
“Cat got your tongue?” Lindsey demanded harshly. “Oh no I forgot: we don’t have a cat. A cat needs looking after and you, I quote ‘didn’t think it fair as you were away so often’. Must be nice to think about things like that. Maybe you should have had the same thoughts about a wife.”
He winced. She didn’t notice, as she was so caught up in her ire.
“You know.” She poked him again. Those talons were sharp. Michael was glad of his t-shirt.
“Look, Lins…” he began. He didn’t get a chance to say what he wanted her to look at before she narrowed her eyes, glared—she had a good line in glares—and broke in.
“Nope. You look,” she commanded. “Think on this. Ask yourself something. Go on, say to yourself, ‘is it fair to have a wife when I’m away so often?’ You said it enough when I asked for a dog. Even though I was around and with more than a little spare time on my hands, your argument was that you—you mind you—wouldn’t be able to give it the attention it deserved. A wife, though? You obviously don’t give her the same courtesy. Which is shite. Because you know, it’s as bad neglecting a human as an animal. Something you do, all the time.” She held her hand up to stop him voicing an opinion. “Let me finish.”
After her previous knock back, he actually hadn’t intended to add anything. How could he when sadly, everything she said was true?
“And another thing, how come if I phone your office the call is diverted?” Lindsey went on, oblivious—luckily—to his rigid stance. “How come for that matter you allegedly work from home a lot as well, but you’re never here? That you have two passports and I only ever see one? How come…oooft…!” Lindsey glared at him as he shut her up most effectively by covering her mouth with his hand. Enough was enough. He waited for her to bite him.
Her eyes widened and the angry glint went out of them. Instead she looked defeated. Sad, resigned and reconciled with something he decided he wasn’t going to like.
“I tell you what I can,” he said quietly. Even that was too much to say, but sod it, this was his wife. His wife, his life and if he wasn’t mistaken, his marriage at stake. Was the bloody job worth it? “And I shouldn’t even say that. Hell, Lindsey, I love you. I wouldn’t cheat on you. Never ever.” It had never even crossed his mind. She was all he wanted.
Lindsey sighed and her breath tickled his palm. Michael lifted his hand with care as she smiled with such a sad expression on her face he could have cried. That weary, haunted look of despair was all his fault.
“I accept that you’re not cheating on me with a woman.” She half laughed. “Or a bloke, for that matter, but it’s not going to change, is it? You are cheating me out of something. Whatever it is you do, and please grant me the intelligence to know it’s not just all whisky related, you’re not going to share it with me. That’s cheating in my book.”
He shrugged as if his heart wasn’t splintering into tiny little bits that bombarded him with pain. The sort of pain he didn’t know was possible to receive and still stay upright. “I can’t tell you anything. There’s nothing to tell.”
She shook her head and bit her lip. Her face was white, her expression resolute. “Really?” she said. “I’m sorry to be a skeptic, Michael. More sorry than you’ll ever know, but I can’t stay in a marriage where one of the partners isn’t open and honest,” she added, sadder than he’d ever seen her. “I accept you’re not playing away, but you’re doing something you’re not sharing with me. I can’t live like that, always wondering, never sure. Hell, you might be a spy or a bloody drug dealer, for all I know about it.”
Little did she realize. “I despise drugs and anyone who has anything to do with them.”
“So you’re a spy.” She laughed and thankfully didn’t look at him. “That’ll be right. So Mr. Bond, go and make someone else’s life hell. I’m there already.”
He had a nasty suspicion he was about to join her, but he had to make one last plea for another chance.
“Lin…oh shit.” His phone blared out its insistent ‘answer me now’ noise. “I’d better take this.” It had to be his proper boss. He recognized the tone.
“Yeah oh shit,” she mimicked. “Story of our life, eh? Your phone rings and you disappear. Well hey, I’ll save you the need to think up a reason why a director of a whisky company has to go to Bora Bora or Tierra Del Fuego or wherever. I’ll go first, and not to there. Where I go will be up to me. And no, I won’t bother to tell you where or why either.” She stood on tiptoe and kissed his three-day-old stubble. “I could say so long, it’s been good to know you.” She swallowed and the noise was like a death knell to him. “But I’m not sure at the moment if that is true or not.”
Michael watched, silent and unmoving as she took one step back, then another, before she turned around. Her eyes glistened with tears and two red spots showed on her otherwise ashen cheeks.
“I did love you,” she said softly. “But it wasn’t enough, was it?”
Don’t go. But he didn’t say it aloud. What right had he to beg her to stay? In a marriage where he was away more than he was home, and he told more lies than truths.
Catch the other #MidWeekTease posts here
both of me, Raven and Kera xx