It’s nearly here!
My new release – Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon – goes on sale on 21 October (but you can pre-order now). It’s the second instalment of my Billionaire Romance series. The first being The Billionaire Pursuit of Love.
Below is the first scene of the book. I hope you enjoy it...
‘Sack her,’ Nicolo Capitini demanded.
Nicolo watched the computer image of his European head of operations sit up straighter in his chair. Nicolo’s Skype call had hauled Luke Randal, his man in London, out of bed.
‘I won’t do that, Nic.’ Luke’s voice contained too much passion for a simple discussion about an employee’s termination.
Nic’s jaw tightened. He and Luke often debated issues strongly, but this was the first time Luke had refused a direct order.
‘She’s the best general manager in the region,’ Luke said. ‘Our Lake District resort has flourished under her . . . until these recent problems.’
Nic had also never heard the stubborn tone sharpening Luke’s voice. Luke had clearly lost perspective when it came to this Poppy . . . Nic glanced at the employee file open on his desk. This Poppy Bradford.
‘The best GM in the region wouldn’t allow these so-called accidents.’ Nic added extra punch to his voice.
It had taken him ten years to build his global health spa business. Experience had taught him that everything could be snatched away by one false move.
‘The police say it could be sabotage,’ Luke said.
‘Any GM worth a senior position at Sirona would organise the security to prevent this. Get rid of her.’
He leant in closer to the camera built into his computer. ‘Today.’ Nicolo crossed Poppy’s name off his to-do list.
‘Sorry, boss. I won’t do that.’ Luke leant back and crossed his arms across his chest. ‘I don’t believe there’s enough cause to sack her. Our European policy is that you need three strikes to terminate someone, and until a few months ago Poppy’s record was flawless.’
Nic beat his fingers on the desk. Luke’s obstinacy was very disappointing. ‘Occupancy has dropped from ninety-five per cent to thirty-five. She’s failing dismally on one of her key performance indicators. You know my modus operandi.’ He leant forward. ‘I give my employees total autonomy, but with that comes ultimate accountability.’ He glanced at the file and ran his finger down the page until he found her date of birth. ‘She’s only twenty-seven; you’ve promoted her too fast.’
‘Nic, give her another few weeks to turn things around. She’s good. Really good. Probably the best talent we have in Europe. In a few years she could be doing your job.’
Nic snapped the file shut. This conversation was going nowhere. ‘I’ll ring you in a few days,’ Nic said. ‘Get it sorted, Luke.’
Or I will.
He tapped the keyboard and Luke’s image disappeared from the screen. He opened the file again and surveyed the contents. Poppy Bradford had been promoted to GM nine months ago and initially guest numbers in the Lake District had soared under her management. But several ‘incidents’ had seen bookings plummet in light of a publicity nightmare.
He scanned the latest news report still active on his screen.
Near-death caused by poisonous resort spa treatment.
He thrust his body back into his soft leather chair. This had to stop.
Standing, he walked to the window and opened it. The salt-laced breeze played across his skin. As always, his gaze swept directly over the beach to the horizon of the Pacific Ocean. His heart was always drawn to his island home far away. The island from which he’d been expelled. The pain never left.
He quickly turned away from the brilliant blue and his dark memories, and looked over to the smooth green lawns of his multi-award-winning resort. He’d searched the southern Californian coast for over a year to find the perfect location for his first Sirona resort here in Carmel. Now thousands of guests every year enjoyed rejuvenation at one of his fifty international properties scattered across the globe; from Sydney to Beijing to Rio.
He couldn’t wait for Luke to act. He’d already received two calls from financial analysts this morning making queries about his British operations. He pressed his teeth into his bottom lip. And there’d be more.
He sat behind his desk. The British Isles represented ten per cent of his business, and his total European operations thirty per cent; slightly more if his French acquisition went to plan. But the negative publicity threatening bookings in England could spread to other resorts. The impact on the company going public would be disastrous.
The initial stock offering was set for three months’ time. The awful headlines, accompanied by a drop in bookings, would affect the initial share price. Too much hinged on its success.
Snatching up his desk phone, he dialled his secretary. Three strikes? No problem.
‘Book the jet for tomorrow afternoon. Manchester. Early as possible. I’ll head to France after that. Thanks.’
As far as he was concerned, Poppy Bradford was already history.
* * *
I set Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon in Paris, Versailles and the Lake District which I visited in April this year. It was so fabulous to write the story while on location. I’d love to hear about a trip you’ve been on recently. Leave a comment for a chance to win an e-copy of Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon.
Find out more at www.jenniferstgeorge.com
I loved that excerpt and am really loking forward to this one :)
We went on a cruise a couple of years ago and one of the Islands we stopped at was Mare and it was beautiful the beaches crystal clear MMM
I so hope you enjoy this one, Helen.Delete
Ooo, that cruise sounds lovely. I've never been on a cruise. Must give it a try one day.
I have been on a few cruises & loved the relaxing doing nothing but eating ----reading ----no housework---LynReplyDelete
Couldn't agree more, Lyn. One of the best things about holidays is no housework!!!Delete
Jenn, love the sound of this story! And great settings too. My last big trip was earlier this year when I spent time in the Alps, Berlin and Prague. Sigh. I'd go again in a flash.ReplyDelete
Isn't Prague the most wonderful city, Annie. I think it would be my favourite city in Europe.ReplyDelete
Ooh, the sparks are going to fly here aren't they? Great excerpt, Jen!ReplyDelete
My last holiday was an all-too-quick fortnight in London and Munich. Utterly divine. I've used Munich as the inspiration for my upcoming December release. It was so much fun to revisit the city on the page once I'd returned home. :-)
Were you only OS for a fortnight? You seemed to pack a lot into that trip. I loved seeing you pictures of Munich.
Fab excerpt Jen :) I've been lucky enough to read the first half of the book and can't wait to read the ending!!!ReplyDelete
I've recently returned from Israel and had a fabulous time there especially floating in the Dead Sea. I made notes so I can set my next book there :)
Thanks Joanne. I hope you enjoy the second half of the story!Delete
I've never been to Israel. Would be absolutely fascinating.
OMG! I want that book. I haven't been on any trips anytime recently. However, I'm gradually working towards beginning travel plans now that I've finished uni. First step a trip or two to Australia - too many family members have made the move across the ditch and there are few friends that I would like to meet IRL. After Aus, there are so many places I'd like to visit that I haven't started prioritising yet.ReplyDelete
By the way, the new blog background looks good. :)
Wow Lyn, thrilled you want my new story. It's always nerve-wracking when a new books comes out, so it is lovely hear someone says they like the first scene!ReplyDelete
Congrats on finishing uni!!! Lots of great places to visit over here!!!
Thanks re the new background and it's fun having new members too!
I've been to Minnesota and Wisconsin this summer, I would love to visit Paris, it sounds so romantic.ReplyDelete
Thanks for dropping by, Cindy. Paris...I love Paris. It truly is such a romantic city.Delete
Great excerpt, Jen! Love the sound of this, plenty of potential for sparks to fly :)ReplyDelete
My most recent trip was a daytrip across the boarder to Buffalo for a Bills game and some tailgating fun. I'm hoping to get to NYC soon, it will be my first time and I can't wait!!
I hope you have fun in Buffalo. I lived in North Carolina for a while and it took a while to learn the rules of American sport. I loved watching basketball as it so huge in the US.
New York...I love walking the streets of New York. Feels like anything is possible in that city.
Great scene, Jen! I'm pretty sure things are *not* going to go the way Nic wants! Can't wait for him to meet Poppy!ReplyDelete
It's been a year since we've been on a trip... must be time to plan another little getaway... which works out rather well because we're off to house sit for a friend in a couple of weeks. She has a menagerie of horses and a dog and cat so we'll have lots of furry friends to spoil.
Have fun with your menagerie. I'm very impressed. I have enough trouble looking after one little dog.