Feeling very lucky to be able to share an extract from Country Lovers with you all today!
About the book
They say you should never go back, but glamorous Ronnie Percy did just that, to the home she ran away from with her lover.
But not everyone is finding it easy to forgive and forget.
Daughter Pax, fighting for custody of her small son as her own marriage disintegrates, is furious to have to spend New Year’s Eve waiting for some stranger her mother has invited to help run the family stud farm.
Even more annoyed is the staunchly loyal stud head groom, Lester. Does Ronnie think he’s lost his touch with the horses? And anyway, who is this so-called Horsemaker, Luca O’Brien? Why does he seem to be running away from something? And what is the true story of his relationship with grey stallion Beck, once destined for the Olympics, now broken and unrideable, screaming his anger from the Compton Magna stables.
Passionate, sexy, gripping, laced with her trademark wisdom and humour, this is bestselling Fiona Walker at her dazzling best.
Utterly professional in work mode, Bridge had waited to say it into her hall mirror afterwards, but she winked now, satisfied it was God’s truth. She had a reputation to protect; her three riding friends delighted in being shocked by their Belfast black sheep. Youngest and most urban of the four, and with the shortest and hottest marriage, Bridge’s chippy streak meant she took on the plums in her fellow riders’ mouths with her pierced tongue. She considered it her duty to be the naughty kid at the back of the middle class. Historical novelist Petra, Yorkshire-born and determinedly left wing, might fancy herself the arty boho outsider, but she had a barrister husband, independently educated children and a working gun dog. Farmer’s daughter Mo – perpetually broke, always dealing with a family crisis and juggling three jobs – ate home-reared guinea fowl and hunted twice a week. And Gill, grey-haired, gung-ho equine vet, mother of three and Laura Ashley devotee, was an original Sloane Ranger, if endearingly supportive. They were all diamonds, this mounted big-sisterhood, whose kindness and honesty had seen Bridge through giddying ups and downs during her first year in the village, their endless good humour and wise counsel keeping her sane, their poshness a running joke to a dock-worker’s daughter from Ardoyne.
It riled rebel-hearted Bridge that her family now accused her of being the snob, especially sister Bernie, who claimed this was because they were born either side of midnight on the twenty-first of March, meaning she, as the older twin, was a generous, broad-minded Pisces while Bridge was a tough, ambitious Aries. ‘That’s also why you argue with everyone,’ Bernie had insisted when they’d last spoken across whatever time zone divided them, ‘it’s star-crossed.’
Bridge – who held no truck with astrology – thought she argued with everyone because she was just plain cross. There nothing starry about Bridge Mazur.
‘Sous Vide can stuff her fecking job.’ She thrust her chin up, still smarting from the rejection. She’d never dream of telling the Bags that the cook had accused her of being out of touch, finding every hole in her CV and tripping her up on her data protection know-how.
‘Good for you!’ Gill rallied.
‘She doesn’t deserve me.’ Bridge summoned a big smile to show the others she wasn’t bothered, turning to look at the pretty old limestone inn as they trotted past it. The painted hoarding boasted a grand reopening of ‘Suzy David’s The Hare at Compton’ on Burns Night. ‘Which is a pain in the arse because it’s fecking well-paid and practically next door.’
‘Utter hell to work with, I should imagine,’ Gill reassured her as they slowed back to walk at the junction. ‘They said that poor little Russian she danced with on Strictly had to go into therapy afterwards.’
‘I feel much the same after taking to the dance floor to “Come on Eileen” with my husband,’ Petra pointed out. ‘And Charlie can’t rustle up a seared plantain black rice risotto afterwards.’
‘Is it going to be all veggie food, then?’ Mo read the hoarding in alarm.
‘Vegan.’ Gill shuddered. ‘Her raw food fine-dining restaurants are all the rage: Cirencester, Cheltenham and Chippy have one. The Bardswolds are the last preserved limestone outpost south of Birmingham. Sous Vide vient ici. Allumez les feux, mes copains!’
‘Is that one of her dishes?’ Mo sniffed.
‘It’s all smoke and mirror glazes.’ Petra winked at Bridge.
Thanks, as ever, to Vicky at Head of Zeus for providing me with this extract to share! As you can see, the Blog Tour is running for another couple of weeks so you should check out some of the other blogs for more extracts and reviews!