Lonely Hearts Release Boost!
Title: Lonely Hearts
Author: Lilliana Rose
Series: The Clockwork Mysteries Book 4
(Can be read as a standalone)
Genre: Steampunk Romance
Lonely Hearts is available on Kindle! Continue the journey with Vickie.
And for a limited time is at the reduced price of 1.99!
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Vickie is kept busy with her private eye business. Her success depends on solving personal mysteries and helping clients, but she has too many cases and is overloaded. Her work is consuming her day and night, and she pushes her husband George away, putting her passion for her work ahead of her relationship.
George gives her an ultimatum.
The tension with George, the stress of attempting to solve a case, might prove to be too much for Vickie.
Vickie loves her work, and when helping people, she finds it becomes hard to say no.
Can she balance both in her life?
Vickie had her mind on so many cases the details were getting mixed up. She needed a break. Her business was only just starting, so there was no way she would indulge in a break so soon.
A blast of cold air made her shiver as she looked out into the darkening evening. No one was there.
Weird. Vickie had seen someone, but in the short time she’d taken to get to the front door the woman had disappeared. Vickie hadn’t heard the front gate open or close. She stepped out, looking up and down the street as best she could. It wasn’t that safe to be out after dark, so she shrugged her shoulders and went back inside. She had the last bit of book work to do, then George should be home very soon, and well, she was disappointed how tired she now felt and that it could mean to a very easy night.
Voices filtered down the hallway.
Vickie paused at her office.
The words were muffled.
Curiosity spiked, she padded down the passage. The servants were always disciplined and kept out of her way. She never caught them whispering or talking. Not like this.
Maybe George came home early?
If he had, she was disappointed he hadn’t come and seen her. Though, she had a client up until about an hour ago—Katherine. She shook her head, unsure how she was going to help the woman. She was pretty sure her daughter, Leesa, was living it up at university, or maybe had gone off with a boyfriend and didn’t want her mom to know. There were so many possibilities, none of them untoward, that Vickie was beginning to convince herself that it was only a misunderstanding. Vickie’s stomach clenched tight, muscles pulling on each other as she walked down the hallway. She ignored the discomfort, refocusing on the voices in the kitchen. One was familiar. She couldn’t quite hear what was being said, and for some reason, it annoyed her.
Vickie crept closer to the kitchen door, slowing down her pace so she could hear what was being said.
“We will marry,” a young female voice spoke softly, yet there was determination behind what she was saying.
“No,” James answered back.
At least I’ve found where James is.
She took one more step with the intent to lean her ear against the door, but the floorboard creaked.
A noise like a scurry in the kitchen distracted her for a moment before she came to her senses and pushed on the door.
“Who’s in here?” she demanded. Vickie didn’t like the idea of having visitors in her home who she didn’t know. She trusted her servants, but things tended to go wrong when there were extras invited, and that was then when the jobs weren’t done, like the front door not being answered.
James jumped as Vickie burst into the room. “Just me.”
Vickie stopped in the doorway, holding open the door. “I heard another voice.”
There was no one else in there.
Cautiously, she stepped further into the large kitchen, peering around the center counter where most of the food was prepared. No one was hiding between that space. She walked around it to make sure.
“Well, it’s just me in here, ma’am.”
“I know what I heard James.” Her voice was sharp. She might not be able to see anyone here, but she was certain there had been a woman’s voice.
“Sorry, ma’am, just me.”
Vickie noticed his face burned red and he looked uncomfortable like he’d been busted doing something he shouldn’t be doing. She tried to make a mental note to keep an eye on James and to investigate what he was up to.
“Where’s the cook?” inquired Vickie, not wanting to let James off the hook without trying to get more information.
“Cellar.” James sought to keep a blank expression, but his eyes flickered to the back door of the kitchen, then to Vickie.
Vickie casually moved to the door and opened it. She peered out, but no one was out there. She sighed with frustration.
I wasn’t quick enough.
Vickie was just about to say that she didn’t believe him when the cook entered the room, holding a dusty bottle of red.
“Mr. Wenderlen’s request,” said the cook. “Dinner’s a little late. Sorry. But will be ready in half an hour.”
Vickie’s mind flooded with questions. At least James wasn’t lying about the cook being in the cellar. Though she was annoyed George was back, and James hadn’t told her.
He’s getting sloppy his job.
“Is George back?” She raised an eyebrow at James who she directed the question to.
“Yes,” said James. “He’s freshening up, and sent word for you to meet him in the dining room.”
“Bugger that.” Vickie stormed out of the room. How dare George come home and not try and see her? She was going to have a word or two with him. She marched up the stairs, holding her skirts up a little so as not to trip.
Vickie burst into George’s room. “Why didn’t you come see me?”
George looked up, shock on his face as he stood there, naked, holding a clean shirt in hand. Steam rose behind the screen, and his skin glistened.
I could do with a bath.
She was a little jealous George had the time for such an indulgence. She was struggling to find time to do her self-defense training, let alone unwind or pamper herself.
“Darling, I wanted to surprise you.”
“You know I don’t cope with surprises.”
“You’ve been working so hard, I thought you deserved a break and some… enjoyment.”
“I’ve not been working that hard.” Vickie folded her arms across her chest.
I’ve barely gotten into the three cases, no four, hang on there might be one more…
“You’ve worked longer hours than me today.”
He had a point. Vickie hated it when he was right, but she wasn’t about to admit it. She glared at George. She couldn’t help think he was looking rather hot. Standing there naked, slightly angry at her, his chest had a definition she’d not noticed before, and when he breathed in, there was a hint of a six-pack. Her eyes flowed down along the carved muscles over his hips, to his groin, where his cock was thickening. Her annoyance of him not seeing her when he got home dissipated, suddenly seeming irrelevant. Her fingers tingled wanting to explore his body. Her lips wanted to wet them against his. Moisture flowed from her pussy, hot and wet. No matter how much she reconnected with him, it was never enough, and she always wanted more. They still had time to make up for those few years where they had grown apart.
“You been working out?”
George laughed, but it wasn’t a happy sound, more like a scoff. “It’s taken you this long to realize?”
Vickie swallowed hard, feeling the hurt behind his words. “I’m seeing it now, and I like what I see.” She tilted her head to the side soaking in his features once more, his biceps were thicker and his thighs strong and firm with muscles.
How could I have not have noticed this before? And when did he have the time to work out?
“You did this for me?”
“Hell, there’s no one else I’d go working out at the gym for.” He moved to put on his white dinner shirt.
Other books in the series:
Book 1: Change of Heart
Book 2: Heart of Gold
Book 3: Heart's Desire
Grab Books 1-3 on Amazon:
Lilliana has poems, short stories, and novels with various Indie presses in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. She enjoys world building and creating characters for these unusual worlds. Check out more of her work at www.lillianarose.com and as an Amazon Author and her blog on life wanderings and wanderlust, Café Pondering www.cafepondering.com
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