Title: Warwick’s Mermaid
Author: Ellie Gray
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Having escaped an abusive relationship, Chloe MacGregor is determined to put the past behind her. The little cottage high up on the cliffs overlooking the beautiful North Yorkshire town of Whitby is her safe haven, somewhere she is free to be herself.
When the arrival of her new neighbor and boss, Luke Warwick, threatens her peaceful, sheltered life, Chloe is forced to confront her past and to re-evaluate who she really is. Falling in love with Luke is not part of her plan but, to her surprise, Luke is falling for her too. The only thing preventing their happy ever after is Chloe herself. Will she ever truly learn to leave the past where it belongs?
A quick read, I did enjoy Warwick’s Mermaid. I prefer characters with flaws in my romance, and even though there was an attraction between Luke and Chloe, her own past did make for a slow burn in terms of their relationship. The setting was absolutely gorgeous and made me want to go visit North Yorkshire, just to see the beach area. I would certainly look for other books by this author.
Luke relaxed back in his chair, his body angled towards Chloe, one arm resting casually on the table, the other along the back of his chair. In stark contrast, she was sitting bolt upright, her hands clasped tightly in her lap, and his gaze narrowed thoughtfully as he watched her battling with some emotion. He had been taken by surprise when he saw her walk into the room with Lucie, recognising her instantly as the girl he had been captivated by on the beach below his cliff-top cottage. He remembered how her auburn curls, tumbling down to the base of her spine, had shone brightly in the sunlight as she collected shells along the shore, oblivious to his gaze. And now here she was again; except tonight she was tense and uneasy, whereas on the beach she had seemed relaxed, carefree, and somehow ethereal.
“Red or white?”
She looked up in surprise and Luke smiled faintly, gesturing to the wine bottles sitting on the table.
“Do you drink red or white?”
“Oh, er…white, please.” She briefly met his gaze before adding, “Can’t stand red.”
As he reached forward to pour her a glass, she snapped around to face him. “This isn’t a blind date, is it?”
He favoured her with a curious glance, taking his time with pouring himself a glass of water before settling back into his seat. “I’ve just moved to the area. A friend suggested the ball and put me in touch with Clive, and I couldn’t think of a good reason why not. He mentioned Lucie would be bringing a friend, but in answer to your question, no, I didn’t understand it to be a blind date.”
Chloe nodded and sipped at her wine, clearly unconvinced.
“I gather Lucie has persuaded you here under false pretences?” Aware that this was somehow a big deal for her, he frowned and leant forward. “Look, forget Lucie’s intentions, blind date or otherwise. Even if I hadn’t been invited as part of the group, you would still be sitting next to a stranger. Why don’t we start again as two people who happen to meet up at a ball, safe in the knowledge that, after this evening, we don’t have to see each other ever again if we don’t want to?”
“Luke Warwick.” He reached out his hand, holding her gaze.
After a brief hesitation, she took it, the tension visibly leaving her body as she smiled at him in relief. “Chloe MacGregor.”
About the Author:
I love to write heartwarming, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense novels, with characters I really want my readers to engage with. I live in the beautiful East Riding of Yorkshire in the UK and, although I work full-time in the public sector, my favourite pastime, when not writing, is wandering around old stately homes and castles, or sitting at a pavement café in the sun and watching the world go by – always on the lookout for something that might spark the idea for my next novel.
I enjoy engaging with both readers and other authors, and am a proud member of the Romantic Novelist Association. Feel free to contact me and chat about all things romance through my social media pages, which you can find at the bottom of this page.
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Ellie Gray will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js