Thanks so much to Wendi for allowing me to be a guest on her blog.
I lived in London for many years, loving both the city’s vitality and energy, as well as its ability to be calm and peaceful, in parks and gardens and of course roof top terraces. For Smut in the City I loved the idea of a successful woman running her own company in the middle of Soho, who needs a peaceful retreat amidst the hubbub of daily life. I also loved the idea of a wildly desirable gardener turning her neat and well-managed life upside down. Neither is quite who the other thinks they are, and the more they find out, the more they warm to each other after a less than promising start. I like to think they might make it as a couple, but then, I’ve always been wildly optimistic!
Excerpt from Her Secret Garden by Viva Jones:
As promised, Fox’s quote arrived at five o’clock, and it was comprehensive and professional, without the split infinitives and misplaced apostrophes that she was always compelled to correct. Would she give him another chance?
Of course she would, Ashley realised in that second; her desires were stronger than she was. She couldn’t imagine letting someone like Fox out of her life so easily. She called him.
‘I’ve decided to forgive you for your earlier impertinence,’ she said.
‘Good,’ he replied simply. ‘I’ll start on Monday.’
Monday seemed an eternity away. ‘Can’t we discuss it over the weekend?’ she asked. ‘Exactly which types of pot and which plant, and where they might go?’
‘I have three kids and a dog. I don’t do weekends.’
Ashley felt flattened. Of course he was married. And he was probably one of those men who was relentlessly faithful to his wife, which naturally made him all the more desirable. ‘I understand. Monday it is.’
The weekend stretched like a rambling rose, climbing languidly up a brick wall, and Ashley found herself browsing through gardening magazines and websites, suddenly passionate about potting and planting, topiary and pruning. She pored over Fox’s company website, looking for clues about his private life, but it was deceptively vague, referring only to his having given up a financial career in the City to take up horticultural studies, and the business he’d run for the last ten years.
Monday brought a fine spring morning, and Ashley wore a floral silk skirt, a plain white T-shirt and a lacy cardigan, with her favourite high heels. As Fox strode in through the office, she took a deep breath – not only at the sight of him, but at the trail of mud he left on her carpet. It would clean, she told herself. She’d get someone on to it.
‘How are you this fine morning?’ he asked with that smile that could wilt the sturdiest of roses.
‘Good, thank you, and you?’ she asked with uncharacteristic nervousness as she led him up the stairs.
‘I’ll be needing to shift pots, plants and earth today,’ he told her once they’d reached the roof. ‘Don’t worry,’ he added quickly, as if reading her mind. ‘I’ll lay down protective covering, there won’t be any mess.’ She was grateful for his sensitivity, until he added with a grin, ‘I can tell how precious your carpet is to you. You probably spent ages agonising over the exact shade, didn’t you?’
Ashley flushed because of course she had, but wasn’t about to admit it. All morning, as she tried to concentrate on her producers’ monthly budget reports, Ashley watched Fox coming and going, carrying pots, plants and large bags of earth through the office to the roof. With every trip he seemed to shed a layer – first the jacket and hat went, then the loose checked shirt. On his next trip the T-shirt had been pulled out from the waist of his khaki trousers, revealing tanned, muscular arms and a tantalising glimpse of hair on his taut stomach.
By lunch time she couldn’t stand it any longer and climbed up the staircase to find him sitting on an upturned pot, eating a sandwich. He moved aside and indicated that she joined him, and as she sat down, fearing the worst for her skirt, she got a whiff of masculinity that made her instantly aroused. It wasn’t a smell that said I’m stinky and need a shower, but one that said, I’m masculine and earthy and physical, and I work hard. It was a smell Ashley could have inhaled all day if he’d only let her.
Viva Jones is the London-born author of several erotic short stories which aim to combine sex and sensuality with a dash of humour. Her stories have appeared in several of Xcite Books’ print and e-anthologies, and she has recently become an author for Mischief Books, featuring in the upcoming collection Brief Encounters. She was a winner of sex toy company Lovehoney’s 2012 erotic writing competition, with her story appearing in the anthology Take Your Partner. Her first full-length erotic novel, The Summer of Aphrodite, will be published by House of Erotica later this year. When not writing she loves cooking and gardening, and is really rather respectable.
Check her out at: http://www.facebook.com/viva.jones.75
Where to purchase Smut in the City? Amazon.com, http:/
All Romance Ebooks, https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-smutinthecity-932965-