Posted by Lizzie Lamb
Today we’d like to welcome Georgina Troy to the NR4 blog.
Georgina has a new book out on 2nd April and we are thrilled to share a sneak peak of A Jersey Affair. Georgina lives in Jersey near the sea – well, most people do in an island only 9 miles x 5 miles in size. She’s always wanted to write and being an impossible romantic is always falling in love with heroes both real (hopefully), in fiction (definitely) and those of her own creation (absolutely).
A Jersey Affair is the second in a series of stand-alone romances based in Jersey, which Georgina hopes you’ll read, enjoy and maybe tell your friends about. The first book, A Jersey Kiss is out now.
Jilted by the man she was expecting to marry, Paige Bingham, a shoe designer from the tiny island of Jersey, decides to enjoy her honeymoon-for-one in Sorrento. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a mysterious entrepreneur, Sebastian Fielding, when she gets to Italy. Sebastian helps soothe her faith in men and gradually the pain recedes from her battered heart as he introduces her to the beautiful sites he knows and loves.
Unfortunately, not long after Paige returns to her small island home off the coast of France, she discovers that not only is this charismatic man’s company taking over the struggling store where her business is based, but that her concession is probably going to be surplus to his requirements.
How can Paige stop her fledgling shoe design business from falling apart? And what can she do to restore her reputation now that the paparazzi have published their untruths about her romance with Sebastian, as well as the unwanted publicity they’ve generated about, A Jersey Affair?
If you’d like a taste of Georgina’s writing, read on!
Chapter One – A Dizzy Height
“I hope you’re phoning to tell me you’ve arrived safely?” Olly asked, his tone willing her to confirm that she had.
“Yes.” She blew her nose once again, wondering why she always felt the need to phone him every time she became too miserable. “Nothing awful has happened since you dropped me off at the airport this morning and I haven’t changed my mind about being here, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“Good. Now stop snivelling and go and search for an Italian bloke to take your mind off Jeremy.”
“Surely you don’t seriously expect me to be interested in anyone after everything that’s happened?” She slumped down on the balcony chair conveniently placed under the ivy covered pergola, grateful for its shade from the midday Italian heat.
“Don’t be such a drip,” he said. “Anyone would think your ex-fiancé was worth keeping. Now get off your bum, put on a pair of your more colourful sandals then go and explore Sorrento.
“Fine, but if I can’t find something to wear that doesn’t make my bottom look the size of a small Shetland pony, I’m not going.” Paige glanced at the yellow shift dress she’d just dropped onto the bed and wished she hadn’t bothered packing it.
“You’ll be back in Jersey soon enough, moaning about wasting your trip. If nothing else, you can get inspiration for your next set of designs.”
“You’ve been talking to my sister, haven’t you?”
“How can you tell?”
“You don’t know anything about women’s shoes and I’ve never heard you say the word sandal before,” she laughed.
“Clem’s worried about you. I had to stop her from racing round to Jeremy’s house and giving him hell for jilting you.”
Paige chewed her lip guiltily. She should turn to Clem before Olly, but worried about upsetting her sister further. Her one-person honeymoon had been the only good thing to come out of this mess. She still couldn’t believe she’d had the nerve to come alone to Sorrento. “I need time to think.”
“A break up is always hard and it’s only been a week since everything happened. You’ll be fine though, I just know it. Once you’ve had time to recover from the shock I bet you’ll come back here and be ready to focus on your shop again.”
He was probably right, but it was still a little difficult accepting that Jeremy had changed his mind about their marriage and she hadn’t seen it coming. Then again, at least now she understood why he’d been acting so strangely recently, so much for pre-wedding nerves.
“Paige, are you still there?”
Had Jeremy turned to Gretchen because she’d spent all her time thinking about future designs for her shoes like he’d said?
“Stop dwelling on that jerk,” Olly shouted, interrupting her thoughts.
“Ol, you’re the perfect best friend and always ready to listen to me.” She couldn’t help smiling, he knew her so well and she hated the thought that her situation was causing upset with those closest to her.
“Probably because you don’t often moan about things,” he laughed, his voice sounding tinny down her antiquated phone. “When you get back we can spend time working on the new website designs. I’ve had a few new ideas that should perk it up a bit.”
“Good, I know the one I have now isn’t nearly stylish enough for the image I want to project.” She brushed a fly off her ankle.
“Never mind that now. You go and make the most of that incredible place and I’ll speak to you soon.”
“I thought I’d have a look at the shoe shops here and see how their designs compare with mine.”
“You see?” Olly laughed. “You must be feeling a little better because you’re thinking about your shoes. Right, I’ll put some ideas together while you go and mooch around Sorrento.”
“Thanks Ol,” she said glancing towards the window and staring at the rays of white gold light filtering through the metal shutters.
“Good, now get out and I don’t want you back in that room of yours until it’s time for you to go to bed.”
“Okay, I’m going, but I won’t enjoy myself,” she teased before replacing the receiver onto the eighties-style phone.
Paige picked up her red clutch bag, slipped on the matching shoes she had designed to complement it, and set off toward the confines of the old town. Treading carefully along one of the narrow roads, she breathed in the scent of oregano from the spice-filled air. This was more like it. She walked down the steps from the back garden of the hotel, at times holding on to the handrail especially where they tilted away from the cliff face. She stopped and concentrating on not looking down, gazed across at the spectacular view across the sea to the other side of the Bay of Naples.
She gripped on tightly watching every step and breathed a sigh of relief as she reached the small supermarket at the beginning of the main thoroughfare. She was a little surprised to see so many designer shops dotted along on both sides of the road. Forgetting her nerve-wracking walk down there, she paid particular interest in the shoe shops and thought about the rumours her father had shared with her before her fateful meal with Jeremy.
What if her dad was right about De Greys? If the store goes bankrupt then she would have to start up her business elsewhere. It had cost most of her business loan just setting up her concession in De Greys, she didn’t think she would be able to afford to set up in another shop so soon after moving to King Street.
She stepped into the road, tripping over the pavement in her panic to avoid an oncoming car that almost hit her. Hands seemed to come from nowhere, catching her under her arms before her bottom smacked down onto the tarmac. She didn’t understand what her rescuer was saying to her in the confusion, but managed to regain her footing with his help.
“Grazie,” she said smoothing down her skirt and taking her bag when he picked it up and handed it to her.
She went to say something else, but the immaculate hero smiled briefly, said something and pointed to indicate that he had somewhere to go. Then he was gone among the crowd of pedestrians passing her by. Paige didn’t want to know if anyone else had seen her reckless attempt to cross the road, so stopped to gaze at the closest window display while she gathered her senses. It dawned on her that none of the shoes in this particular shop had designs as quirky as her own. She could see the prices were similar to those that she charged and the shoes were beautifully made. Paige walked in.
Many thanks for sharing your first chapter with us, Georgina.