London Bound by Nana Malone
(Chase Brothers #1)
Publication date: April 1st 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
It wasn’t exactly like spunky, photography student, Abbie Nartey ran away from her life…except, that she left under the cover of darkness and put three thousand miles between her and her ex-boyfriend’s betrayal. She went to London searching for her dream. She never expected to find love, or herself.
Heir to his family’s tech fortune, sexy, Alexi Chase, is looking for freedom—from his family and from his past. What he’s not looking for is love. With secrets like his, he can’t afford to let anyone get too close. But a chance rescue has him wondering if the price of keeping secrets is too high.
Will Alexi risk losing love to keep his past hidden? Will Abbie trust herself enough to love again? Or will their pasts keep then from accepting true love?
This book contains mature themes and is intended for audiences 18+
“Hello, Little Bird.”
Abbie jumped as the voice whispered over her consciousness. She whirled around. Sure enough, Xander leaned against the wall. Clutching her hand to her chest, she asked, “What are you doing here?”
His smile was wry as the corners of his eyes crinkled. “I could ask you the same thing. Are you here to pilfer my photography gig?”
It was only then that she noticed the camera around his neck. “Oh, you’re working.” Who was Lex that he could afford a photographer of Xander’s caliber just for his birthday? “Not poaching, I swear. I’m here for the party.”
He chuckled softly. “You can relax. I’m only having a bit of fun with you.” He nodded toward Lex. “I saw you dancing with the birthday boy.”
She silently thanked God for the low light in the bar, because it meant that her sudden flush was hidden. “I, uh, yeah.”
“You know him well?” His question was almost too soft to be heard over the din of the rap song Jasper played.
She shook her head. “No. Not really. We just met recently.”
“Pretty hot dance for two people who just met.”
Abbie frowned. The dragon that was her temper woke from a long slumber and stretched its talons. Though cooler heads prevailed, and she remembered Xander was her teacher. She cleared her throat and searched the crowd for Max or Sophie. “No, not really.”
“Not from what I could see at this vantage point. As you know, the camera never lies.”
Had he photographed them dancing? What had her face looked like with Lex’s hips pressed into hers? If it reflected the way she’d been feeling at the time, euphoric desire and a little giddiness, then she was in trouble. “You’ll need an artist release to use that.” She couldn’t put her finger on why, but Xander’s being here irked her. His butting in irked her even more. Something else about him bothered her too. Maybe it was his air of overconfidence, but something about him pushed her buttons, and she had to resist the urge to toss her drink at him. That would have been a waste of perfectly good water.
“That I would, if I intended to use it for anything.”
Through gritted teeth, she asked, “So how do you know Alexi?”
Xander grinned. “Alexi is it?” He smirked. “I used to throw away his dirty nappies.”
Confused, she blinked.
His sudden laugh transformed his face, making him even better looking, but also making him approachable and less cocky. “He’s my brother.”
Brother? Well that explained the common last name. And Lex had said his brother was a photographer. But she had a feeling like he’d deliberately not told her about Xander. Granted, probably many a girl got close to Lex hoping to brush against fame or something.
Now that she looked closely, she wondered how the hell she could have missed it. Alexi cocked his head the same way Xander did. Had the same almost-smiling uptick of his lips. And their bone structure was similar as well. Except Xander’s eyes leaned toward dark slate, and Alexi’s were a soft silver. “Oh. Small world, I guess.”
“Indeed.” He continued to study her. But again, his scrutiny wasn’t sexual….exactly. At least she didn’t think it was.
She stood there, awkwardly shifting from foot to foot to distribute her weight in the killer heels. She wanted to appear nonchalant, but he unsettled her. “What? Why are you staring at me?”
His grin flashed. Wow. It should be illegal for him to do that in public. The simple act of the smile made him look angelic and sweet. He was possessed of the devil’s charm.
“Relax. I already told you, I don’t sleep with students.” He shrugged. “Your face is interesting. I’m trying to figure out the best light to shoot you in.”
He thought her face was fascinating? Right. Didn’t mean she was going to let him shoot her though. “I don’t think so.”
He nodded absently. “Well, if you change your mind, I suppose you know where to find me.”
“I suppose I do.” She began to wonder exactly how many of his students he’d ‘photographed.’
His next question surprised her.
“What do you want with my brother?”
She wasn’t sure she’d heard him right. “Excuse me?”
“My brother—what do you want with him?”
Bewildered, she sputtered. “I-I don’t want anything from him. I barely know the guy. It was just a dance.”
Xander’s eyes were stormy as he leaned into her space. He smelled like Lex. They apparently had the same taste in the unique cologne. The scent swirled around her, and she had to shake her head to clear it.
“Bullshit. I can see it on his face. You intrigue him. Let me do you a favor. Steer clear of him.”
Heat prickled her arm. “I’m sorry, but as far as I’m concerned, I only need to take your advice in the classroom. Outside of it, I can take care of myself.”
He cocked a brow. “Who said I was worried about you?”
With open-mouthed shock, Abbie could only stare as Xander sauntered off to join the throngs on the dance floor. He was immediately joined by a blonde and a brunette, each vying for his attention.
Who did he think he was? She had a father, and she didn’t need to take advice from her professor, who looked more like a player than any teacher she’d ever seen. And if he wanted to steer her away from Lex, he’d just done the one thing likely to make her run toward his brother.
What London Meant to Me by Nana Malone.
We’ve all experienced this. The overwhelming urge to run away from your life, from the thing that scares you most or hems you in.
In my latest New Adult Romance, my heroine Abbie takes off for London under the cover of nightfall, running away from expectations, her family, her ex’s betrayal. But it isn’t so much about what she’s running from, it’s about what she’s running toward—passion, a sense of adventure, and a dream.
I had that moment myself. And yes, I ran to London. After the events of September 11th, I struggled with staying in New York. I was in a dead end job doing something I didn’t love and the city that was normally so vibrant and alive felt hollow to me. After a year long stint in Ghana for a contract, I opted to attend graduate school in London. After all, I’d always enjoyed the city.
But I was unprepared for how alive I’d feel once I got there. In a matter of weeks, I had a job, had registered for my classes and knew the tube and bus schedule as if I was a born Londoner. Most people would assume I had the most fun tripping in my heels, running from club to club. Lol. And while that was enjoyable, I honestly had the most fun at my job. I know, weird right?
I worked at a call center full of ex-pat foreign nationals. I met people from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Brazil. Everyone was young and adventurous and wanted to explore. The moments between calls and between shifts were where I made some of the friends I still have to this day.
I also became addicted to running home between work and school to catch an episode of East Enders (A UK soap opera) and would have these hilarious philosophical conversations about why British television starts didn’t have that pretty, polished glow to them that our stars in the US did. With my schedule, I often had my groceries delivered. I took dance classes at Pineapple Dance studios and explored Covent Garden on the weekends. Going to the park meant Hyde Park and shopping meant the High Street or the West End.
But most importantly, in those moments of exploration and fun and dancing, and combing British bookstores looking for every Lesley Pierce and Martina Cole book known to mankind, I found myself. Oh yeah, and I went to a few classes too.
The friends and love that Abbie finds in London will change the course of her life, just like London did for me. And while the book is of course a fictional work. I couldn’t help but infuse some of my adventures into it. I hope you enjoy Abbie and Lex’s story as they explore themselves, shed their pasts and find true love.
USA Today Best Seller and iTunes Breakout Books author, Nana Malone’s love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she borrowed from her cousin.
It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She’s been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.
While she waits for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, in the meantime Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.
Nana also writes sizzling erotic novellas as Q. Malone: http://www.amazon.com/author/qmalone
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