Jun 18, 2017

Sunday Smooch with Leah Ashton

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Cat-in-the-wild Leah Ashton but first...

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is WrensRoost!

Can you please contact Ally: ally (at) allyblake (dot) com  to receive your copy of The Wedding Wish.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Leah's latest release: Behind the Billionaire's Guarded Heart.

Falling for her mysterious boss…

When Australian heiress April Molyneux is left brokenhearted, she looks for a new start in London. Determined to stand on her own two feet, she finds herself working for the reclusive yet sexy billionaire Hugh Bennell.

Hugh likes his life—and his emotions—uncomplicated, but meeting glamorous April changes everything. Hugh doesn’t do relationships, and April wants to keep the independence she’s worked so hard for. But with these sparks flying…resistance might be futile!

Once a socialite and Instastar, April has dyed her hair and is using the name April Spencer, so Hugh - her boss - has no idea of her fortune or her glamorous past. Hugh's mother was a hoarder, and April's job is to clean out her house which has been left untouched since her death. Hugh has been having a hard time dealing with his mother's hoard, and what it represents to him, but slowly he's been revealing more to April and beginning to trust her. Hugh has just revealed some of his past to April, when he suddenly turns the tables..

  ‘My husband left me,’ she said.
  She’d expected him to recoil. Because surely this wasn’t the conversation Hugh Bennell wanted to have with her?
  Instead, he nodded. ‘Are you okay?’ he asked simply.
  She smiled. Genuinely this time. ‘Yes,’ she said with confidence. ‘Now. Sucked for a bit, though.’
  He smiled too.
  ‘I needed a change. So here I am. Unpacking your boxes and stacking supermarket shelves. Trust me, it’s not as glamorous a mid-life crisis as I’d expected.’
  ‘What happened?’ he asked. Gently.
  ‘We fell out of love,’ she said. ‘Him first, but me too. I just hadn’t realised it. So I’m okay. Not heartbroken or anything. But it was still sad.’
  ‘Not heartbroken?’ he prompted.
  Her gaze had travelled downwards, along his jaw and chin. Now it flew upwards, locking with his.
  ‘What do you think?’ she asked.
  Her gaze was heated. Hot. Deliberately so.
  Nope. Definitely not scared any more.
  ‘No,’ he said, his voice deliciously low. ‘I don’t think you are.’
  And just like that weeks of tension, of attraction, of connection were just—there. No glancing away, no changing the subject, no pretending it didn’t exist.
  It was there. Unequivocally.
  Oh, God.
  His eyes were dark, and intensely focused on her. He’d moved closer again, so that only centimetres separated them, and there was no question about what he wanted to do next.
  He leant closer. Close enough that his breath was hot against her cheek and then her ear.
  ‘I want to kiss you,’ he said, and the low rawness of his voice made her shiver.
  How did he know? April thought. That she needed that? That she needed a moment? That despite the crackling tension between them doubts still tugged at her?
  Could she trust her instincts after what had happened to her marriage? She’d got it all so very wrong. And, even more than that, could she actually kiss another man?
  It had been so long—so very, very long…
  ‘Kiss me,’ she said, because she couldn’t wait another moment.
  Although it turned out she had to.
  His lips were at her ear, and he didn’t move them far. Instead he pressed his mouth to the sensitive skin of her neck, at the edge of her jaw. Suddenly her knees were like jelly, but strong hands at her waist steadied her.
  The sensation of his lips against her neck and his hands against her body was so good, and April’s eyes slid shut as a sigh escaped from her mouth.
  Her fingers untangled themselves from the sleeves of her jumper and reached for Hugh blindly, hitting the solid wall of his stomach and sliding up and around to the breadth of his back.
  Hugh dotted her jaw with kisses that were firm but soft. And glorious. But not even close to enough. More than almost anything, she wanted to turn her head to meet his mouth with hers—but she didn’t. Because, even more than she wanted that, she wanted this anticipation to last for ever. This promise of Hugh’s kiss that, she realised, had been growing from the moment they’d met.
  But he was definitely going to kiss her now – this mysterious man who was so different to anyone she’d ever met - and the wonder of that she wanted to hold onto. Just a few seconds longer.
  By the time his mouth reached hers April felt about as solid as air. His hands pressed her closer, and then her own hands drew his chest against her breasts.
  His mouth was hot against hers, and confident.
  If she’d been tentative, or if her brain had been capable of worrying about her kissing technique or other such nonsense, his assuredness would have erased it all.
  But, as it was, April didn’t feel at all unsure. In fact, Hugh made her feel that this kiss was about as right as anything could get.

April is working two jobs - cleaning out a hoard, and stacking supermarket shelves. What's the worst job you've ever had?

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from Amy Andrews will be posted!

 Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver


  1. Hi Leah

    WOW what a smooch I have just added this book to my must have list :) need to read this one

    Worst job was probably the one I had for a while washing dishes in a big club dining room so many dishes and I was always so hot in that kitchen but then again the people I worked with were lots of fun and there was always a drink after all the dishes were done and the kitchen clean :)

    Have Fun

    1. I had a job washing dishes too! So monotonous, but I made the mistake of doing the lunch shift, so no drinks! A tactical error, as your job sounds like much more fun :-)

  2. Gorgeous smooch, Leah! The sparks are certainly flying between April and Hugh. :-) So looking forward to this one.

    I've worked an assortment of odd jobs over the years -- clothing factory, waitressing, call centre -- but in all of those my workmates were a saving grace. So...I think the fish and chip shop with the humorless boss and son who couldn't keep his hands to himself was the absolute worse. Needless to say, I didn't stay there long. ;-)

    1. Oh yuk! I've only ever been sexually harassed by customers (like the guy who came in every day at Maccas at 6am and called me Princess while asking inappropriate questions *shudder*).

  3. My worst job ever was at a daycare center. Very unethical director & assistant director who harassed me pretty much every day. I lasted 5 months before that job ended. Have the best job ever now as a nanny.

    1. Working with kids is such a tough and unrecognised job - I'm glad you have a great job now where you are valued!

  4. Leah, how lovely to see you here! Wonderful smooch, full of sensual tension and promise.
    I love the idea of April being employed to clear out after Hugh's mother's hoard. I'd like to employ her to look at our garage!
    Worst job I had was as a tea lady. I had to trundle a tea trolley around four floors of office workers fanatic about their tea. The trolley kept getting stuck in the elevator doors, I hated the smell of tea (I don't drink tea or coffee) and there were a few lecherous guys who loved coming down to my cramped little tea room to instruct me on how to make their tea the way they liked it. Oh and to ask me out. I don't think tea ladies exist now.

    1. That sounds awful Kandy! Although, I would so love someone to bring me tea at my day job :-) Or, actually, at any time!

  5. Lovely excerpt and have always worked at a supermarket before I had kids. Actually loved it, working with people. I was all about customer service, still say hello to my old favourites. So glad I got this book with Liz Fielding story :)

    1. I love Liz Fielding! Am thrilled I was paired with her (I actually asked if I could be :-)). I hope you enjoy Hugh and April's story!

    2. Two great stories to read :) Love the cover of your book.

  6. love the smooch looking forward to reading rest of the book------Lyn W

  7. My worst job would have to be a summer job washing windows - inside and out. The house was set up very high, the job was for my mother and she did not pay me. The things you do for family.

    1. Oh no! I seem to only wash windows properly when I move house... Not a fun job!

  8. Hi Leah - waving! Lovely to have you here.

    My first job was at the local racecourse restuarant as a dish pig. I worked for lovley people and stayed for two years but this was back in the days when people were still allowed to smoke in restaurants and I had to go out and clear tables regularly. I would go home at the end of four hours reeking of cigarette smoke, clothes and hair.
    It was gross :-/

    1. I remember how weird pubs smelled once smoking was banned (I hate smoking, but the smell was just what I associated a pub or bar with) , was strange at first, but SO much better!!

  9. Leah, I love this excerpt. Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing with us.

    Definitely my worst job ever (and thankfully my shortest) was making and selling doughnuts at the local show for a few days. We worked in a very cramped space and I had burns on the backs of my legs from the doughnut fryer for quite some time.

    1. Hi Annie! I had burns from the fry baskets at McDonald's for years, I feel your pain!

    2. Hi Annie! I had burns from the fry baskets at McDonald's for years, I feel your pain!

  10. I am VERY lucky. In my 40 years of working (so far), I have always been in the secretarial field, just with various titles: clerk, data input, secretary, receptionist, customer service representative, administrative assistant - and, for the past 32 years as well, I have been an owner/operator of my own typing/editing business. I suppose the worst - and the best - would be owning my own business. The worst is working through the night on rush jobs and dealing with ignorant, rude, and selfish customers. The best, of course, is having some degree of flexibility in my hours for a personal life, being able to work in my nighty if I want, and not having to commute.

    1. Hi Laney - I can definitely relate to the pros and cons of having your own business. I have a day job as well as writing, and while the idea of writing full time really appeals (especially for the flexibility) I know there are definitely down sides to working for yourself!

  11. When I was 17 my uncle owned a cleaning service that was hired to clean the dorms at a local college after the spring term. He needed extra help, so he let me, my sister and my cousin work for him. My sister and I left after a couple hours....those dorm rooms were so gross and stinky like old vomit and sweat, and the porno magazines and posters on the walls were too much for our tender sensibilities (I mean, who wants to see that stuff when you are working with your male cousin and uncle? ewwwww.)

    1. Oh yuk, cleaning up after teenage boys would be the WORST! Very glad I've got girls :-)