Dear fabulous ARC reader! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing An Unholy Affair! As a special thank you for your support, I’m giving you exclusive access to the extended epilogue so you can enjoy more Jack and Eveline loveliness!
Don’t forget you can review on four of the major seven platforms prior to release day so please copy your review over now if you haven’t already – links are below!
- An Unholy Affair on Goodreads – reviews can be posted prior to release day
- An Unholy Affair on Bookbub – reviews can be posted prior to release day
- An Unholy Affair on Barnes & Noble – reviews can be posted prior to release day
- An Unholy Affair on Google Play – reviews can be posted prior to release day
- An Unholy Affair on Amazon
- An Unholy Affair on Kobo
- An Unholy Affair on Apple Books
And you can access graphics and more at our ARC team resources page here!
Monaco – six months later
The sky was a cloudless, azure blue. The sun warmed the pale-yellow sand and sparkled across the surface of the sea to the horizon.
It was a perfect day and Jack had a perfect view—that of his pregnant wife on a sun lounger under a parasol, reading a book.
He was currently experiencing levels of contentment designed to cause spontaneous singing, or the hugging of strangers. Jack often wondered if God—with whom his relationship was still rather nebulous—or the universe, held a balance sheet of everyone’s happiness quota for their life. And as unconditional love had been in rather short supply during his childhood, he was getting a surfeit of it now.
Eveline glanced up from her book and smiled at him. ‘So then, what’s my surprise?’
‘It can wait. I don’t want to take you away from a particularly exciting bit of the story.’
She peered at him over the top of her sunglasses. ‘Jack Newton, are you teasing me?’
He grinned. ‘What’s that one called again? Cold-War Double-Agent Zombie-Nazis at Mince Pie Cottages on the Cornish Cove?’
Eveline giggled. ‘Almost exactly. Only minus the cold war, double agents, and zombie Nazis.’
Sitting on the sun lounger next to her, Jack rested his hand on her leg. Touching Eveline didn’t need to be sexual, but it felt necessary. It completed a circuit, grounded him and made him whole.
‘Who’s my current rival?’
‘Well, husband, you’ve got some stiff opposition in this one.’
He raised an eyebrow. ‘I bet he’s not as stiff as me.’
Eveline glanced around, furtively. ‘Jack!’
‘What? I’m English. We’re renowned for our stiff upper-lips.’
She smirked. ‘You delight in being naughty.’
Leaning forward, he kissed her. ‘As do you, wife…’
Her cheeks turned pink, and she fanned her face with the book. ‘Well, the hero of this book is a secret Duke, who’s set up a service delivering cupcakes by penny farthing bicycles.’
Jack snorted, and she frowned at him.
‘Sorry,’ he said, passing his hand over his face to try and remove the laughter. ‘Go on…’
‘But he’s gone up against our heroine’s business. Her company delivers cupcakes by tricycles.’
Jack couldn’t hold it together any longer, laughing so hard, a few people glanced their way.
‘It’s very romantic,’ Eveline hissed at him.
‘What are their names?’
‘I’m not going to tell you. You’ll only laugh.’
‘Don’t you like making me happy?’
He loved how hard she was trying not to smile.
‘And don’t forget,’ he continued, running his hand a little higher up her thigh. ‘I need to have the intel on my love rivals so I can… Outperform them…’
Her breathing hitched. ‘You… Er…’
He reached the bottom of her swimsuit and hooked a finger underneath the material.
‘Jack!’ She batted his hand away with the book. ‘We’re in public!’
He shrugged, loving how flustered she was. ‘It’s the south of France. Half the people on this beach are topless.’ He raised an eyebrow. ‘Want to join them?’
‘You’re absolutely incorrigible.’
‘And you love it…’
Energy sparked between them, and his cock jumped. When he was with Eveline, Jack was convinced telepathy was real. The more time they spent together, the closer they became, and the more effortlessly they seemed to read each other’s minds.
Eveline broke first, fanning her cheeks again. ‘When can I get my surprise?’
‘You can have it on one condition.’
‘And what might that be?’
‘Tell me the names of the main characters in your book.’
She huffed. ‘Okay, but your surprise had better be worth it.’
He grinned and nodded. ‘You’ll love it.’
Eveline sat up and crossed her legs, facing him. ‘The leading lady is called Wren Butterscotch and her hero is Heath Wyld.’
He pressed his lips together tightly to stop a snort from escaping.
‘Happy?’ she asked.
‘Ecstatic,’ he replied, reaching into the canvas tote at his feet and pulling out a paper bag.
‘Ooh! Is it food?’
‘Yes. I bought you some pig’s ears.’
She frowned. ‘Really?’
‘They’re also called “elephant ears”, “palm leaves”, “French hearts”, “shoe-soles”, and even “glasses”.’
‘Now I’m intrigued…’
Jack passed her the bag. ‘Palmiers. These ones are ham and cheese.’
Eveline pulled out the pastries. ‘They smell amazing!’
Biting into one, her eyes fluttered as she chewed.
‘You like?’ he asked.
She swallowed. ‘They’re the best pig’s ears I’ve ever had.’ She held the bag out and he took one.
They sat, gazing happily at each other as they ate. Then Eveline leaned forward and kissed him.
‘Thank you. They were absolutely delicious.’
Jack smiled. ‘My pleasure. How are you feeling?’
She took his hand and placed it on her swollen belly. His heart jumped as he felt movement.
She nodded. ‘He likes pig’s ears too.’
His throat was too full of emotion to speak.
She placed her hand over his.
‘I…’ he began.
‘I love you too,’ she replied.
Eveline suddenly felt too far away. Jack hauled her onto his lap so he could hold her closer.
‘That’s better,’ he murmured.
She let out a happy sigh. ‘I love it here.’
‘We could stay a bit longer?’
‘Maybe a couple more days?’
She glanced at him. ‘You know we can’t. It’s Robert and Shirley’s wedding in a couple of weeks and you’re the best man.’
He smiled and kissed her. ‘I can’t wait. Then there’s the official opening of the church hall to look forward to.’
‘The music and arts festival,’ she continued.
‘And the summer fete. I expect you to win big.’
She grinned. ‘My money’s on you to come first in the “cake baked by a gentleman” category.’
‘Aren’t men allowed to enter the rest of the competition?’
‘Of course they are, but the ladies who run it are so old they assume men will never win, so have created that category to give them a chance at a prize.’
Jack laughed. ‘That’s hilarious. I feel like entering everything now.’
Eveline prodded him. ‘Don’t you dare. You’re good enough to rival me.’
‘High praise indeed,’ he murmured, brushing another kiss across her lips.
‘It’s going to be a very busy summer…’
He stroked her stomach. ‘And then in September, this little one will make his appearance.’
She nodded, her face shining. ‘I can’t wait.’
His heart was overflowing with love. ‘Me neither. It’s going to be amazing.’
Eveline smiled. ‘I’m so glad we’ve been able to take this break. It’s helped give me space to breathe.’
‘I hope it’s shown you that even Super-Vicar needs some time off?’
She nodded. ‘Yes, but you’ve already done that. Meeting you has given me perspective. I can’t help everyone if I run myself into the ground.’
He kissed the top of her head. ‘Exactly.’
‘You’ve changed my life, Jack.’
He smiled. ‘Not as much as you’ve changed mine.’
Holding her tightly to him, Jack gazed out at the sparkling sea. With Eveline at his side, happiness was as limitless as the horizon.
I so hope you enjoyed the read! Please let me know what you think, and many thanks again for all your support,