By Lorna Peel (Guest Blogger)
Jane Hollinger is thirty one and recovering from a devastating divorce. After being dumped by her husband and business partner then discovering he had been having a year-long affair with a client, Jane doesn’t think she will ever recover from the betrayal. She isn’t in any hurry to begin dating again because, as she puts it, she’s the wrong side of thirty. She spends her time teaching family history evening classes and one of her students is a man named Mitch. His strange appearance makes her very nervous but at the same time she is intrigued by him.
After a few classes and encounters with Mitch, Jane discovers that the man who has been sitting at the back of her class is a man she thought she would only see in her dreams. When she discovers his name is Robert Armstrong, one of Britain’s biggest acting stars, she is stunned. Robert asks Jane to help her with an up and coming television role and also to help him with a mystery in his family tree.
Jane and Robert become friends but realise the chemistry between them is too strong to ignore. Jane begins to discover what dating a celebrity is like and Robert gets a taste of the normal life. Then, the British press get wind of their relationship, and Jane must decide whether she can put up with press intrusion and the paparazzi to be with Robert. Find out what she decides in Only You!
“No.” He just had a habit of turning her into a gibbering wreck.
She felt herself redden. “Because, if you want to date me, I don’t know how,” she admitted. “I haven’t dated anyone since university and that wasn’t even proper dating. Tom took me out to dinner once. We were students; we couldn’t afford to go to restaurants, so it was usually fish and chips or a burger. I don’t know how to date properly, Robert. I’ve never been out with a man your age and it’s mortifying to have to admit it. That’s why I take the easy way out and run. And, apart from that, your ex-girlfriend was everything I’m not.”
“Which is precisely why she is now my ex.”
“Why did you split up?”
“It’s a cliché, but we ended up wanting different things. I’m not into all that ‘let’s see how often we can get in the papers’ stuff. I didn’t like going to clubs or restaurants where there would be photographers outside. She did. I’m an actor, not a celebrity. I hate the whole celebrity thing.”
“But you’re very famous now,” Jane protested. “And you’ll be even more famous when Mitch Burns is aired. I mean, on the web…” She pulled a face.
“What on the web?” he asked.
“You don’t surf the net much?”
“Not at home, no. Sometimes at Vince’s, he’s a mate of mine. I haven’t even turned my laptop on at the apartment yet. Why?”
“Um. Well, there are websites dedicated to you. Loads. Some of them are a bit…”
More blood gushed into her cheeks and he rolled his eyes. “Look, I’m just an ordinary bloke.”
There was nothing ordinary about him. “There are millions of women out there who compete against each other to see who can come up with the best sexual fantasy involving you. That doesn’t really strike me as normal.”
“Looks like I’ve got some work to do, then.”
“I’ll boot up my laptop and dedicate a few websites to you.”
“What?” she squeaked. “No you bloody won’t! If my parents saw…”
“You’re beautiful when you’re angry.”
“And that’s just corny.”
He shrugged. “That was meant to be a compliment. All right, you look like crap, if that’s what you really want to hear.”
She snorted and laughed. “Thank you.”
He inclined his head. “Look, Jane. Just tell me whether I’m wasting my time.”
“No,” she sighed. “But I think you’re mad.”
He came slowly towards her and took her hands. “No, I’m not.”
“Not,” he whispered, then kissed her. “You’re not going to run, are you?”
“It’s my house.”
“Ah. Good point. Can I have your mobile number?”
“Don’t you want me to text you sometime?” He gave her a wink.
“Sexy ones?” She cringed as soon as the words were out of her mouth.
“They might be,” he replied mischievously. “So don’t show anyone.”
They exchanged phones and numbers.
“Thank you.” He put it back in his jacket pocket and returned hers. “I’ll ring you the odd time, too. Now can I have a peep at these websites about me?”
Her heart lurched. “No!”
Because the women—and quite a few men—in the guest books, message boards, and forums would queue up to rip your clothes off and handcuff you to the bed so they could smear cream all over you and lick it all off. “Because you’d find some of them a bit embarrassing.”
“That bad, eh?”
“Thanks, I think I will.”
“Won’t be long.”
She went out to the kitchen, switched the kettle on again then leaned heavily on the worktop. Right, let’s get this absolutely straight. Jane Hollinger is in a relationship with Robert Armstrong. She inhaled and exhaled deeply before she reached for the jar of coffee.
Jane Hollinger is the wrong side of thirty, divorced and struggling to pay the mortgage her cheating ex left her with. As a qualified genealogist, teaching family history evening classes is a way for her to make ends meet. But she begins to wonder if it’s such a good idea when a late enroller for the class is a little... odd. “Badly-blond Bloke” both scares and intrigues Jane, and when she discovers he is her all-time favourite actor and huge crush, Robert Armstrong, she’s stunned. Even more stunning to Jane is the fact that Robert is interested in her romantically. He’s everything she ever dreamed of, and more, but can she overcome her fear of living in the public eye to be with the man she loves?
Lorna Peel is an author of contemporary and historical romantic fiction. She has had work published in three Irish magazines – historical articles on The Stone of Scone in ‘Ireland’s Own’, on The Irish Potato Famine in the ‘Leitrim Guardian’, and Lucy’s Lesson, a contemporary short story in ‘Woman’s Way’. Lorna was born in England and lived in North Wales until her family moved to Ireland to become farmers, which is a book in itself! She lives in rural Ireland, where she write, researches her family history, and grows fruit and vegetables. She also keeps chickens (and a Guinea Hen who now thinks she’s a chicken!).
Thank you for featuring me on your blog, Lisabet!