The One That Got Away

Posted on July 5, 2012

The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away is the title of my launch story for Harlequin’s new Kiss line (launching in North America in Feb ’13).  At the time I wrote it, my stories were still feeding through into the Harlequin Presents Extra line in North America and Kiss was a mere twinkle in Harlequin’s eye. There are fun bits to the story. Flirty bits. Hooky bits. Sex. But it’s also one of my darker efforts and I’m very keen for potential readers who pick up the book to know this.

So… which part of this book production process do I have control over? Only the words within the cover. And Chapter One starts out light and bright and isn’t a good representation of the rest of the story.  I needed a prologue. One that set the overall story tone and gave readers a heads up as to what they might expect.

So here it is.


There were limits – but Logan couldn’t remember what they were.

He lay on the bed, stripped-out and trembling, his body screaming out for oxygen and his brain not working at all. The woman splayed beneath him looked in no better condition. Boneless in the aftermath, just the occasional twitch to remind them that there was substance there. The shallow rise and fall of her chest that accompanied her breathing.

He looked to her skin; it had been flawless when he undressed her but it was flawless no more. There were marks on it now from his fingers and from the sandpapery skin of his jaw. Marks on her wrists and her waist and the silky-soft underside of her jaw.

He’d met her in a bar; that much he could remember. Some student hangout near the hotel he was staying at. This hotel. This was his room; he’d brought her back here. She’d given him her number but that hadn’t been enough for him. The hotel nearby. He’d walked her back to it. Invited her back to his room.

And those golden eyes had seen straight through to his soul and she’d tilted her lips towards his and told him to take what he wanted, all he wanted, and more. And he’d done so and discovered himself utterly in thrall.

‘Hey,’ he said gruffly, and reached out to drag his thumb across her stretched and swollen lips. Their last close encounter had been the wrong side of rough, and he felt the shame of it now, the black edge of guilt encroaching on the insane pleasure that had gone before. ‘You okay?’

She opened her eyes for him, and, yeah, she was okay. He smoothed her inky-black hair away from her face, tucked it behind her ear, combed it back from her temple. He couldn’t stop touching her. Such a beautiful face.

He stroked her hair back, smoothed his hand over the curve of her shoulder. ‘Can I get you anything?’ he offered. ‘Glass of water? Room service? Shower’s yours if that’s what you want.’ Whatever she wanted, all she had to do was ask.

And she looked at him and her lips kicked up at the corners and she said, ‘Whatever you just did to me… whatever that was… I want more.’



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  1. Lynne Connolly

    But – what’s with the balloons on the cover?

    • Lynne, I went to war over that cover (and the cover/content mismatch). I ranted, I raved, I sulked… and then I begged. To some extent I think bad luck and timing played a part. Harl were developing and testing a particular look for the new KISS line at the same time as I’d just delivered a much darker, edgier story than my usual. In my defence, I was expecting the story to slot into the Presents Extra lineup. In Harl’s defence, they had a bigger marketing picture than just that particular story in mind. The KISS covers for the March ’13 releases are much nicer and (I think) edgier than the Feb drop. But, yeah. Balloons.

      Just pass me a drink with a little umbrella in it and I’ll be fine. Juuuusht fine…

      Many thanks for the review. Appreciated.

  2. Lynne Connolly

    Just read the ARC and I loved it. I’m putting the review up at The Good, The Bad and The Unread. What a great set of characters!

  3. Ooh, I already love it! Will it be released in the UK, do you know?

    • Sorry, Ros. Your comment got stuck in moderation for some reason. It should get a UK release. I just don’t know when or as what. There’s a Riva trial (with the new packaging) running Oct-Dec ’12, and it’s not in that. I think I’m looking more at mid year ’13 with it for the UK and roll-outs to non UK markets. Long way away!

      • Hmm. I might have to see if I can sneakily buy it from the US website then. Not sure I can wait that long for my Kelly Hunter fix!

  4. Madeline Ash

    I’ve been waiting for Lena’s book :-) Admittedly, I was expecting Trig/Adrian’s name up there, so I’m looking forward to reading how it all fits together. Thanks for the heads up about the darker aspects – will The One That Got Away be released outside of US? x

    • Uh oh. Madeline, thank you so much for your comment, because this is a stand alone story and the heroine’s name is Evangeline Jones (Evie). Evie uses the name Lena in her first encounter with the hero.

      Given that readers will be expecting another Lena (family series Lena) I’d better change the name in that prologue to Angie (or summat) to avoid reader confusion.

      Of course, they’re totally separate in MY mind .

      Lena and Trig’s story is on hiatus (along with Riva)

      • Madeline Ash

        Oh, I see. Well, you’re welcome then! (And now I can stop wondering how to accept Lena NOT ending up with Trig). I do love your family series’ so I hope Riva comes back as scheduled. I shall not be left hanging regarding Jared either. I simply shall not.

        Looking forward to this release too, of course. If it’s not released in Aus, I’ll track it down online.

        Angie would be a less confusing alternative. Or perhaps Jolene. x

  5. Lena’s story………….can’t wait!!

    • Gill. My apologies. Twice. For having you stuck in moderation and for it not being Lena West’s story. It’s a stand alone story rather than a continuation of the family series. Lena’s story is still another book away. Harl wanted a couple of stand alone stories from me in between.

      • Phew….. am a bit (ok, hugely) happy its going to be a Lena/ Adrian story after all!! Love your books, they have spoiled me for everything else in this category :-))

  6. Jacqueline

    Sounds great! You mean I have to wait until February to read this? Total bummer.
    But I love your stuff so I guess I’ll wait. :-)

    • Again with the apology for catching your comment in moderation. Yes, it won’t be out until Feb. But I’ve just seen the cover and it’s much lovelier than I was expecting (how’s that for a backhander?) so I’m starting to get excited already. I hope it’ll be worth the wait.

  7. Jacquie Biggar

    Wow!, I needed a fan after that, and maybe a smoke, lol. Looking forward to the new book

    • Sorry for catching you in moderation, Jacquie. I need to look at my settings. This one is a fair bit hotter than usual. Mild kink alert. And hopefully hotness in the spaces *between the words on the page.

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