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IT FEELS LIKE GIVE A LITTLE has been a long time coming. The seventh and final book in Kate Perry’s ‘Summerhill’ series, dealing with a fractured family who come together after the death of the Earl of Amberlin, it focuses on protagonists Beatrice Summerhill and Italian racing driver Luca Fiorelli.

GAL_WebSince the series began, Luca and Bea’s relationship has been simmering away in the background, a matter of great speculation among family and friends, alike.

The ‘will they?–won’t they?’-get-it-together question is answered in the opening paragraphs of Give a Little and it’s quickly made clear that Bea and Luca have hooked up. Bea, however, for reasons known only to herself, seemingly has absolutely no intention of pursuing a more enduring relationship with him. Luca has other ideas. Guess who’ll win?

Against the couple’s turbulent but humorous relationship, which involves them travelling from London to Italy and back again, there’s another relationship blossoming. Rowdy, great mate of Ian MacNiven, Bea’s sister’s beau, pursues his own less than straightforward affair with Jasmine, who, incidentally, is also the best friend of Finn, Viola’s new husband. It’s all very incestuous, but very entertaining, especially as this is what Perry does best. She creates worlds made of people whose lives continually cross, worlds in which the concept of ‘family’ is based on more than just blood lines.

Perhaps because Bea and Luca’s relationship seems somewhat inevitable, it’s Rowdy and Jasmine who take centre stage, in my opinion, and this is partly because Rowdy is an extremely empathetic character: funny, warm, poignant and attractive. His earthiness contrasts beautifully with the theatricality of Italian Luca.

All-in-all Give a Little is a fitting end to the ‘Summerhill’ series, tying up loose strands and also providing Perry with a vehicle through which to introduce her new series, ‘Fillmore & Greenwich’ – the link being Sebastian Tate, the new Earl of Amberlin.

I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of the Summerhill girls, but only time will tell…

Give a Little is published on 23 March 2015 and is available from Amazon and iTunes. For a sneak preview see below.

 

SNEAK PREVIEW, GIVE A LITTLE, #Summerhill 7

Chapter 5, pages 40–45

“Hello, Beatrice,” he purred.

Goose bumps rose on her skin, the way they always did when he said her name like that, like it was sinful and to be savored. And just like always, she had the urge to run up to him and press herself against him, to ask him to hold and kiss her.

But that wasn’t her, she reminded herself. She was a powerful woman and didn’t need adoration. She retook her seat at the desk, master of her universe again.

“Isn’t this a surprise?”

“Did you miss me, Beatrice?”

She wanted to say not at all, but they’d both know that was a lie. Instead, she crossed her legs and pressed her lips together so she wouldn’t ask him where he’d been the past three weeks.

He smiled as though he could read all her thoughts. He stalked toward her, taking his time like it was part of their foreplay.

Her eyes narrowed. “Oh, no, you don’t. You aren’t going to get lucky today, Luca.”

“I know.” Turning her chair, he took her mobile out of her hand and set it on the desk. Holding the armrests, he leaned so close that his breath tickled her skin. “You’re the one who’s going to get lucky.”

She shook her head. “I—”

He lowered his, and any argument she’d had was gone.

His lips were criminal. Warm and confident, lingering and lazy like he had all the time in the world—like he knew nothing could possibly be more important than this moment.

“You missed me,” he whispered against her mouth, a hand spearing into her hair.

“I think you’re projecting,” she said, sliding her hands to hold his hips.

He kissed down her neck. “Every moment I’m away from you is an eternity, Beatrice.”

She shivered, and her nipples tightened, tingling with the need to be touched.

“How many women have you said that to?”

“One.” He bit her where her pulse beat so hard. “You.”

“You don’t really think I’d believe that, do you?” But—good Lord—part of her wanted it to be real.

“Yes, because it’s true.” His hand glided up her body and undid her top button. “Were you just talking about Stallon-E?”

She tried not to be turned on by the way he said it in his accent—STA-low-neh. She’d never admit it, but his voice was delicious. Neither would she admit that her knickers became damp whenever she heard him speak.

“Well, Beatrice?” His finger dipped into her cleavage, barely touching her.

Her back arched of its own volition. “What do you know of Stallon-E?”

“I’m a racecar driver.” He slipped open another button and spread her shirt open to reveal her bra. “I know cars, especially the beautiful ones with delicious curves,” he said, his gaze on her.

She looked down, knowing how her skin looked against the jade of her lingerie. Luca was partial to red, she’d discovered, but based on his expression he didn’t seem to mind jade either.

He bent down to place a kiss where the lace stopped and her skin began.

Bellissima,” he said reverently, running a finger inside the cup.

She hissed as his nail scraped her nipple. She was about to lower the lace and offer herself to him when her office door opened.

She looked around Luca’s body to find Inga in the doorway, eyes wide, shock written all over her normally unflappable face.

Bea couldn’t blame her—this never happened. She believed in separation of church and state. Business and sex didn’t mix, and she never allowed any sort of shenanigans to happen in her office, unlike many of her colleagues who often conducted trysts in theirs.

She pushed his hands away and cleared her throat as she rebuttoned her blouse. “Yes, Inga?”

“I thought you were alone.” Inga looked at Luca, curiosity bright in her eyes. “I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“You didn’t,” Bea said curtly. She glanced at Luca, expecting him to be ogling the young woman.

Luca crossed his arms and sat on the edge of her desk, gaze on Bea. He didn’t bother to hide the fact that they had been interrupted, or the prominent evidence in his trousers. “I’d say otherwise,” he chimed in.

That was the last thing that needed to be voiced under her employee’s avid gaze. She glared at him, silently telling him to be quiet before facing Inga. “What did you need?”

Her assistant cleared her throat. “I emailed you the information on Stallon- E.”

Luca faced Bea with a frown. “You never said why you’re interested in Stallon-E.”

“It’s none of your business.”

“Cars are my business, and so are you even though you refuse to admit it.” He arched his brow, daring her to contradict her, his sharp gaze unexpected for a playboy racecar driver. “I’m surprised that you’ve heard of them. What do you know of them?”

He asked with intensity she didn’t know he’d have outside the racetrack or bed. She tapped her fingers on the desk, wondering where it stemmed from. “I know nothing yet. That’s what the research is for.”

Luca studied her for a long silent moment. Then he said, “The London Motorexpo is this week, and Stallon-E is being featured. I can take you, if you wish.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Convenient, isn’t it?”

He shrugged, hands out as if to show he had nothing to hide. “You’re the one interested in the car. I’m merely giving you what you want.” He leaned in. “If you let me, I’d make it my purpose in life to give you everything you want.”

Inga made a strangled noise.

Bea glanced at her usually self-possessed assistant, who watched Luca with bright interest. Scowling, she crossed her arms. “I only want to go to see this car.”

“The car, and dinner,” Luca countered, also crossing his arms.

She knew time was of the essence, and as ornamental as he was, Luca knew automobiles. He really was the perfect person to talk to about the viability of the automobile. So she arched her brow and said, “The car and dinner, and that’s it.”

Smiling slowly, he lowered his face so his lips hovered above hers and whispered, “That’ll never be it, Beatrice,” and then he kissed her like she was the main course. With a victor’s grin, he straightened and sauntered past Inga.

“Wow.” Her assistant fanned herself, her eyes still on the door.

Picking up her mobile, Bea gripped it tight, trying to get herself back under control. “That didn’t happen.”

“I’m fairly certain it did.” Inga flipped her hair. “And your blouse is buttoned wrong.”

Flushing, she redid her buttons. “Is that all?”

“I’d assume no.” Inga gave a knowing look and closed the door behind her.

 

Give a Little is published on 23 March 2015 on Amazon and iTunes. It’s the seventh book in the ‘Summerhill’ series.

KP SH Series

 

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Notice: Please note the images used in this article are by kind permission of Ms Perry, unless stated otherwise. All other images are for promotional use only. The extract from pages 40–45 of Give a Little is © 2015 Phoenix Rising Enterprises. Please contact Ms Perry for further information.

This article is ©The Literary Shed, 2015. All rights reserved. Please only reproduce it with our permission and contact us if you wish to do so.

 

 

 

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