by Nicky Abell-Francis
Published by Self-published on 14th April 2014
• Goodreads • Amazon UK • Amazon US •
Many thanks to the author for sending me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the Rekindling Connections Book Tour
When I post a review it’s normally for something I have either downloaded on Kindle or pulled from the shelves of Waterstones. It’s my choice. With blog tours I get to chose a category but know nothing about the book I shall be reading and reviewing until all the relevant information comes through. I have to say though that so far I have not been disappointed and Rekindling Connections has further reinforced that opinion. In fact I loved everything about this book. A wonderful cover, a great story and a teaser at the finish to alert us to the fact we have by no means reached the end of the journey.
I loved the relationship between Zara and her three friends, Bella, Amber and Gina. All three became an integral part of the story as it progressed. And then of course there were the men. Zara’s husband-to-be Bruce Loxley – good looking, rich and dependable but with a definite feel he was not quite all he seemed. Then there was Tyler Montgomery – well at least you knew what you were getting here. Handsome, egotistical and heartless Zara still seemed unable to resist this incredibly handsome polo player. And last but not least Brett McNeil. Now Brett is the one with my vote. He may disappear and reappear in Zara’s life as he chases his dream but he’s an honest all round good guy and there’s that indefinable something that surfaces between them every time they meet. However what will happen now Zara has decided her future lies with Bruce?
So where does this leave the reader at the end of the book? Well waiting for the sequel of course! A brilliant and entertaining read and worthy of all five stars I’m awarding it when I post my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
The high octane world of sports therapy fast tracks Zara from middle class suburbia to the bright lights of Los Angeles. Approaching marriage to Bruce Loxley, dependable, seriously rich & with an impeccable pedigree, allows her entrance to the private world of high society.
But is Bruce as honest as appearances portray? Returning to Zara’s hedonistic past, we career into lust & temptation head on in the form of Tyler Montgomery. The devilishly good looking, though arrogant Polo player, causing sexual havoc in his wake. But a when a new younger competitor enters the love arena, has Zara met her match? Brett McNeil with his wild sense of adventure & mischievous streak that so attracts Zara’s eye lingers seductively in the shadows of her fast paced life.
Is fate in control or do we really have a choice? Which player will ultimately win? Or does life have its own game plan?
A BITTERSWEET JOURNEY OF LUST, LOVE & CHOICES.
POWER, PASSION OR PRESTIGE. WHICH LOVE IS THE RIGHT LOVE?
A muffled groaning sound came from the far end of the hotel suite. Busy street life outside seeped through into the dimly lit interior. Across the queen sized bed lay two figures forming soft undulating mounds beneath the bed sheets. A shrill siren broke the quietness of the bedroom.
‘Gee, what did I do last night?’ murmured the fragile voice of Zara, the sound causing the body beside her to stir. Leaning back on the feather pillows her brain tried hard to recollect the last twenty four hours. For one awful moment she froze registering that she wasn’t alone. Hesitatingly, she glanced sideways at the slumbering form. Deep and heavy breathing could be heard from beneath the covers. Turning, rather cautiously Zara peeked over the top of the white bed linen.
‘Oh, my god,’ there she was naked and in bed with a complete stranger. No tiny recollection of how they’d met, or what the hell she’d done with him for that matter. What would the girls think of her? It wasn’t worth imagining what Bruce would think if he found out. Zara noticed her strewn clothing on the floor nearby. How to retrieve them was going to be some feat in itself without disturbing her unknown visitor.
The bedtime occupant grunted and turned. Stretching out a limb, he slammed a heavy thigh across Zara’s body. Gritting her teeth and sucking air through them she now laid pinned to the bed. How was she supposed to move now? First disentanglement without waking the stranger and; second allow herself to get suitably clothed before he came round.
Surveying the room, her head throbbed with the effort. A vague recognition flashed through her brain cells of some heavy alcohol consumption the previous night. Zara detected the faint sound of running water from the en-suite. Her throat was now feeling parched. The joys of a large glass of cold liquid were enticing her to attempt moving pretty quickly.
Looking back over the young male who lay sprawled across her bed, she viewed his athletic body. He lay perfectly still and quiet in the hazy light of the hotel room, chest moving rhythmically, the gentle arch of his back just visible above the covers. He appeared young, mid- twenties maybe. A shadow of morning stubble enhanced his dishevelled appearance. Trying hard to recharge her memory of where they’d met, Zara rubbed her temples gently in the hope this would miraculously help. No, it wasn’t there. What in hell had she drunk last night?
Glancing around the dimly lit room Zara noticed discarded items randomly littering the floor, accompanied by two half-drunk bottles of Champagne. Hawaiian garlands decorated the table lamps either side of the bed.
From the bedside table she picked up a tumbler containing what looked like a cocktail. She sniffed gingerly. The strong smell of mixed spirits confirmed her opinion and a nauseating wave came over her. Once it passed, she noticed there were four tumblers, not just two.
Uneasiness crept over her as the possibility she may have got up close and personal with more than one member of the opposite sex flashed in front of her. No, Gina wouldn’t have allowed her to stoop that low. She had more decorum than that, even if this was possibly her last major weekend of freedom. Gently tried to manoeuvre her body round and slide free from under the comatose individual. The movement started to arouse the stranger once again as the gentle touch of his hand brushed past her shoulder. Turning back to look, she met the glazed eyes of her finally semi-awake neighbour. Bleary eyed, he ran a hand through his dishevelled hair.
‘Urrg, what time is it? That was one great party last night; you girls know how to have a wild time. Thanks for letting me crash. I certainly won’t forget you two in a hurry.’ Zara flushed and gulped.
‘Err!’ Slightly stunned and unable to say much, she felt even more anxious. Blinking hard, she tried to obtain a little distance. By shifting furtively towards the edge of the bed, now that his weight was no longer pinning her down.
The cascading sound of water stopped and shortly after, the en-suite door opened. Swivelling round like an electric bolt had hit her, Zara stared at the emerging figure in the half light, unsure of who to expect. It was Crystal!
‘Hello gorgeous, glad you’re awake.’ Zara looked indignantly at her, trying hard to indicate discreetly her concern without letting the dozy Prince Charming next to her notice what she was doing. Raising her eyebrows and gesturing towards him, she mouthed to Crystal silently.
‘Who is he?’
Crystal giggled coyly as she sat down on the bed, her towel barely covering her vital statistics.
‘This is Christian.’
Zara noticed that Christian suddenly looked rather perkier when he saw Crystal’s body perched rather provocatively at his feet.
‘We had rather a wild night and all of us ended up back here.’
‘All of us! But I was sharing with Gina. You were with Amber and Bella. What happened to them? How many more party goers were there?’
Crystal smiled, ‘Just Christian and Lance. Our group couldn’t take the pace. You, me and Christian carried on till later, hence the pounding headache you’re probably enduring? Lance escorted the others back to their room. Gina must have decided to join them. Not sure what happened to him, but we had a hell of a time back here.’
Zara shot a very worrying look at Crystal. Whispering as quietly as she could she felt the urge to ask the dreaded question?
‘Tell me we didn’t? Tell me I didn’t at least?’ Crystal leant forward her towel revealing more than just a cleavage. Distracting the worse for wear bed fellow from listening too closely, she whispered in Zara’s ear.
‘No honey, you didn’t. Christian had the desire in him and tried his best to seduce you, but the poor sweetie had drunk way too much rum punch. Besides you weren’t having any of it. He didn’t stand a chance.’
Zara fell back against the pillows unsure whether to be relieved or concerned. ‘Oh great, thanks Crystal.’
Christian now had sufficiently woken enough and after viewing the delights of Crystal at such a close up range, he now had experienced a shot of adrenaline to allow him to carry on where apparently they’d left off the night before.
‘Ladies, what do you say, recuperation is always better with the hair of the dog. Fancy joining me for one more bevy?’ He lusted longingly in Crystal’s direction. Christian was now recuperating from the punch a tad too quickly for Zara’s preference.
‘No! You can count me out. Fresh air and a strong shot of New York caffeine is in order now I fear. Don’t let me stop you two,’ replied Zara sharply. Sliding swiftly from beneath the covers she backed out of harm’s way. Grabbing a garment from the floor, she walked as discreetly as she could towards the en-suite door.
‘I’ll just freshen up and be out of your way.’ This parting shot was directed at Christian his face looking a little disappointed at her retreating exit.
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Working in the sports therapy field for some fifteen years the opportunity to work in some diverse areas came about and led to the meeting of some very competitive, challenging individuals, who make up the sporting world. Current affairs of the heart of many women today allowed me to see that we all search for the perfect soul partner. Both male and female clients produced this result, from many a conversation and gossip on the bench, (massage work relaxes the body as well as the mind). Clients worldwide found choosing their ideal partner a lottery.
This inspired me to look more closely at how marriage choices are made through the heart or the mind. Having travelled round the world my research led me to be inspired by the excitement of each country visited and how my heroine could become incorporated within these settings combining the sporting calendar and outdoor pursuits of each destination I found exciting and that created a passion within.