At Last: Chapter One

Happy New Year! I can't believe it's already 2015. Hope your New Year's Eve celebrations were fabulous 🙂

I was sitting in front of my computer, working on a new book, when a reminder popped up on my screen. With the busyness of the holiday season, I almost forgot that At Last is releasing on January 6! So it's time to share with you chapter one of Gemma and Greg's love story. Here it is.

AtLast-200x300 At Last Chapter One

Ugh! Awkward!

Gemma Aldwyn suppressed her sigh and tried to look as nonchalant as possible while standing in the middle of a crowded dance floor. It was bad enough that it was a ten-year-old kid she’d been dancing with when the MC announced it was midnight, and therefore Christmas Day. Now, everyone was kissing someone—except for her, it seemed.

Here she was without a date in one of the most romantic places she’d ever stayed—the Carmichael Sanctuary, a private, exclusive and luxurious resort in Australia, located in the quiet country town of Serenade Bay on the fringes of a sub-tropical rainforest. Trying not to look out of place, she casually looked around for a person who wasn’t smooching with someone, only for her gaze to land on the one man she’d hoped would at least give her a peck on the cheek—Greg Carmichael, the brother-in-law of two of her best friends.

But just her luck. A pretty supermodel wannabe had caught Greg, and was giving him a very flirty embrace.

Her lips twisted into a rueful curve at the snarkiness of her thought. Truth was, rather than a supermodel wannabe, that woman happened to be Liana Sanders—the only daughter of Tony Sanders, one of Australia’s wealthiest entrepreneurs. In terms of social status and power, the Sanderses were almost at the same level as the Carmichaels—up there.

With Greg being CFO and co-owner of the Carmichael Corporation, one of the most successful private companies in Australia—whose business interests included property development, ecotourism and wineries—it didn’t surprise Gemma that women from equally influential families would want to snare him. Being a hunk with knee-weakening good looks, Greg had sophisticated and beautiful women flocking to him everywhere he went. With his older brothers, Zach and Jeff, both off the market, the ladies hadn’t been holding back in showing their interest in Greg, the only Carmichael brother left unattached.

Gemma had been quite surprised by the overt flirtation by a couple of the women at tonight’s party. Apart from Liana, there was also Annette, a well-known actress, who’d been vying for Greg’s attention all day. The unfortunate thing was they had plenty of time to fight over Greg. Both women were also staying at the Carmichael Sanctuary until after New Year’s Eve.

Well, Greg looked like he was enjoying Liana’s attention. His hands were even lingering on Liana’s waist as they chatted.

This time, Gemma’s exhale came out loud and gushy. Seriously, she should stop noticing what Greg was doing, what he was drinking, who he was talking to, who he was hugging…

She already knew he wasn’t going to be her New Year’s resolution guy. Even if she’d had a secret crush on him for ages, it didn’t matter.

Greg’s own brothers had a nickname for him—Mr. Commitment-Phobic. Since Gemma was looking for something serious, and all he was into was play, they weren’t a match. Besides, Greg wasn’t interested in her anyway.

It was kind of morale sapping that she was the only one who wasn’t going to accomplish the group New Year’s resolution she’d made with her four best friends. Worse, it had been her idea to make a deal with Rebecca Andrews, Sarah Daley, Amanda Payne and Brenna Ward to make time for love this year. She’d argued—aided by the effects of alcohol—that they should pinky-promise to get off their butts and be pro-active in finding themselves their true loves.

Each of them had been pretty poor in initiating dates with men, holding on to some past hurts that had made them reticent about going into relationships that didn’t guarantee their heart’s safety. What better way to break the shackles of fear and self-doubt than by making a pact that all of them had to fulfil?

Well, Rebecca had recently married Zach Carmichael, and Brenna was just proposed to earlier tonight by Amanda’s brother, Ash Payne. And the reason why they were here at the Carmichael Sanctuary for two weeks was not only to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but to also have a joint celebration of Sarah’s engagement to Jeff Carmichael, and Amanda’s engagement to Connor Reid—a childhood friend of the Carmichael brothers.

Yes, her best friends of twenty-one years had over-fulfilled their resolution. They were now in permanent relationships. All four of them. And here she was, a bystander in the middle of the dance floor while everyone else seemed to be revelling in the romantic vibe.

Hurriedly, she walked off. Might as well pretend she needed to go to the bathroom. She sniffed, thinking no one was likely to notice—


She stopped to smile at Magda Carmichael, the lovely eighty-year-old grandmother of Greg, Jeff and Zach.

“Merry Christmas, dear,” Magda said, enveloping her in a warm hug.

“Merry Christmas, Magda,” she responded, returning the elderly lady’s embrace with genuine fondness.

“I’ve been meaning to tell you all night that you were absolutely wonderful playing the piano while singing those beautiful songs,” Magda said. “I knew you’re a piano teacher, but I didn’t realise you’re that great a talent!”

Gemma blushed. She was stoked that people had enjoyed her performance just after dinner—her gift to Ash and Brenna for getting engaged tonight. “I hope my nerves didn’t show,” she said with a laugh.

“Were you nervous?” Magda asked with surprise. “You didn’t seem like it to me. You looked like you were in your element, sitting in front of the grand piano, singing those moving love songs.”

Gemma chuckled. “I most certainly was nervous, Magda. There are plenty of VIPs here. I’ve never performed in front of a bunch of…” She let the sentence trail off, choosing not to voice out the words wealthy and famous people. The woman in front of her was one of them—not to mention powerful and influential. As the matriarch of the Carmichael family, Magda had had her fair share of being on the cover of magazines.

But Gemma was comfortable with Magda. At first she’d been intimidated by her. But not for long. Magda had treated her like family by virtue of her being one of Rebecca and Sarah’s ‘sisters-by-choice’.

“Well, everyone I’ve spoken to thought you were amazing,” Magda said. “In fact, more than one of them commented that they enjoyed listening to you while you were practising in the piano lounge for the past couple of days. I’m sure you’ve noticed them sitting around, sipping drinks, while you played.”

“Yes, I did,” she said shyly. She gave Magda a goodbye hug and headed for the bathroom, feeling much better. But before she could leave the ballroom, someone else called out for her.

“Hey, Gem!”

Gemma halted, her heart pounding as she smiled up at Greg.

“Merry Christmas,” Greg said, kissing her on the cheek.

“Merry Christmas,” she said breathlessly, unable to help but be thrilled that Greg seemed to have sought her out, since she was already away from the crowd.

“You were great tonight. Everyone loved you.”


“Needless to say, a few people have asked me if there was any truth to the rumour that we’re together,” he said with a grin.

She rolled her eyes with mock frustration even as she blushed. “What? The rich and famous read gossip magazines too, do they?” she asked jokingly.

Greg snickered. “They’re just as nosy as everyone else.”

Since the day she’d walked down the aisle with Greg—as his partner bridesmaid during Zach and Rebecca’s wedding—paparazzi shots of the two of them had made it to the magazines. Of course, speculations abounded that she was Greg’s new flame. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

“So you’ve set the record straight, I take it,” she said lightly.

“Yeah,” he said, his smile disappearing. “But there’s a new article that came out yesterday.”

“About us again?” she asked in consternation. She’d already had a paparazzo or two hassle her a couple of times. Plus there was the scary middle-aged lady who’d accosted her on the street, insisting her daughter was Greg’s one true love.

“Yes. Unfortunately, there’s something about us again.”

She shook her head. “I really don’t get this. Apart from being together at Zach and Bec’s wedding, where we had to be arm-in-arm, we’ve done nothing to make them think we’re a couple. Why do they keep making things up?”

“You know how they work.”

She nodded, giving him a sympathetic smile. If all this media attention was intrusive for her, it was much, much more so for Greg and his family. Since the horrific tragedy three years ago, when their parents and grandfather died in a freak light-plane accident, interest in the Carmichael brothers hadn’t let up to this day. The media, who’d left them well alone before that, had suddenly become interested in all aspects of their lives. Most had been respectful during those first few months. But as time went by, the gossip rags realised they sold magazines like hotcakes when photos of the good-looking—not to mention fabulously wealthy—Carmichael brothers appeared on their covers. Now, the brothers constantly found themselves in an unwanted limelight.

“Have you seen the article?” she asked. “What’s it about?”

Greg sighed, running his hand through his short, dark hair, his blue eyes betraying his worry. “Apparently, it involved your clients,” he said reluctantly.

She stared at him. “What do you mean?”

“I asked someone to grab me some copies. We’ll find out tomorrow, although I’m sure you can Google it already.”

“Okay, but what did you hear? What about my clients? They’re just kids!”

“Well, from what I was told, a certain shutterbug has been hanging around outside of your studio. A father of one of your students noticed him looking through the windows when he happened to pass by, and asked the photographer who he was and what he was doing. Then the paparazzo asked the father questions about what he knows about you and me. And apparently, we were on the cover again, showing us at Sydney airport just before we flew out to come here. Funny how there was no mention of the other guys, because we were in a big group.”

“Oh, no,” she said. “Some parents, I’m sure, would welcome the attention. But most would hate being dragged into this ridiculousness, especially if it means their kids might be harassed.”

“I know,” Greg said. “Don’t worry. We’ll sort it out. Try not to let it worry you, especially since we’re supposed to be celebrating and relaxing for the next couple of weeks.”

She made a face. “Okay.”

Greg gave her a stern look. “Convince me you mean that.”

She chuckled. “Okay,” she said in a stronger voice.

“Good,” Greg said, giving her a dazzling smile that made her want to gape at him till the sun rose—in five to six hours’ time.

She excused herself to go to the ladies’ before she made a proper fool of herself. If only those rumours about her and Greg were true, she’d probably welcome the attention with open arms. But they weren’t. And now that her students might be affected, it wasn’t funny anymore.


Greg stared at Gemma as she walked away from him. He couldn’t help but admire how her dress showed off her stunning body. She’d always been lovely, but she was particularly beautiful tonight.

There was no denying the strong attraction he had for Gemma. It had been bothering him for some time now. But he’d been doing his best to fight and hide it.

It wouldn’t be fair to Gemma if he acted on his physical urges, as she wasn’t the casual-dating kind of girl. And that was all he was into—casual. After the personal promise he’d made three years ago to be more considerate of women’s feelings, he’d been conscious of not leading anyone on.

He took a sharp intake of breath as he remembered his last-ever discussion with his parents.

~ ~ ~

“You weren’t there for the board meeting again, Gregory,” his dad said. “If you’re going to be one of the heads of this company in the future, you have to start taking your company responsibilities seriously. Or I won’t have a choice but to cut you out of it!”

Greg smirked, knowing his dad would do no such thing. He’d been threatened with that many times in the past, and he still got invited to high-level meetings. Besides, he might not be there all the time, but he was brilliant at what he did.

“You have to grow up, Greg,” his mother said angrily. “We didn’t raise you like this. I especially resent the fact that you include my friends’ daughters in your shenanigans! Don’t you care about Glenda’s feelings? You made her hope, then you dropped her three days later!”

“She knew what she was getting into, Mum,” he retorted.

“You’re so inconsiderate of women’s feelings, Greg,” his mum accused. “All you care about is satisfying yourself.”

“Look, I have to go,” he said.

“This conversation is not finished, Gregory,” his dad called out.

“No time,” he responded, leaving his dad’s office. He was only twenty-six. He had no plans of being roped into the boring, responsible life too early.

What he was looking forward to was meeting with his cousin Rick for some fun with a few girls they’d met at a club the other night.

~ ~ ~

Greg shook his head to bring him back to the present. It hurt to remember that afternoon. Because the next day, his parents were gone.

He took a deep breath to settle his emotions. Once again, he was hit by the realisation that he’d never get the chance to make them proud of him. That opportunity was lost forever.

He didn’t know whether to believe in life after death, but a big part of him still hoped that somehow, his parents and grandfather could see that he’d made a turnaround. He still hoped that they knew of the promise he’d made to his brothers and grandmother to be completely dedicated to ensuring that the Carmichael Corporation, the company created by his grandfather out of nothing, would flourish and continue to grow in leaps and bounds. He didn’t know of any better way to honour the loved ones they’d lost unexpectedly.

He’d kept his promise every day, working as hard as he possibly could. Knowing that he was now contributing to the company as equally as Zach and Jeff had alleviated some of his guilt.

And though his mother was no longer around to see it, he’d changed his attitude towards women. While he’d never intentionally set out to hurt anyone in the past, he’d been an inconsiderate, immature idiot who’d seduced anyone he was attracted to. He’d reasoned that since the ladies were very much aware of his reputation, they must have known what they were getting into by being with him. Looking back, it appalled him how many girls he’d sweet-talked insincerely to satisfy his wants. He never wanted to be that kind of guy again.

However, he was still very much into the single life. It was simply a fact he couldn’t change. He’d come to believe that a serious relationship just wasn’t meant for him. Not at this point in time, anyway.

The difference was that he was now completely honest with girls about what he wanted—fun flings only, and nothing more. If they were looking for commitment, he stayed away from them, even if the physical attraction was great.

His grandmother had surmised that the reason love had never captured his heart was because he had too many choices—too many women who were throwing themselves at him. Well, that was true. Especially now that Zach and Jeff were most definitely taken, the interested ladies seemed to have become bolder and more aggressive in getting his attention. So even though he’d become very picky, he didn’t lack for female company whenever he wanted some.

He was surprised by the number of women out there who were happy with a short fling. Their reasons were varied, although two motivations had been the most common. Either they wanted the experience of ‘dating’ a rich guy for a few days, or they intended to use his name to further their personal interests. He didn’t mind those motives. He was comfortable with that kind of give and take, as long as they were honest about it from the beginning.

Admittedly, it wasn’t all roses for him in the dating game. There had been a few ladies who truly lit his fire. But since they were genuinely the kind who equated sex with emotions, he’d had to keep his paws off of them. He knew he was bound to lose interest after about a month or so. That cycle had been pretty consistent for him. So he’d rather avoid them than break their hearts later.


“Hey,” he said, smiling at Annette, the actress sister of one of Jeff’s friends.

“You promised me another dance, handsome,” Annette purred, running her hand on his chest.

“I did, too,” he agreed amiably, leading her to the dance floor.

Now, here was a woman who’d happily climb into his bed on his terms. Actually, he was trying to choose between Annette and Liana, another guest, to be his fling while he was at the Sanctuary. Both girls had made it clear they were happy with no-strings fun if that was all he was offering. He knew and they knew that being associated with him, even for just a short while, could do wonders for their respective careers.

Both women were very pretty and sexy, but neither held a strong enough attraction for him to easily make a decision. Unfortunately, while he was at the Carmichael Sanctuary, his choices were limited.

He held Annette close, trying to read his body’s reaction to her.

Meh. Nothing to get excited about.

His gaze strayed to the big double doors and his breath hitched, his heart beating faster. Gemma had just walked back into the ballroom.

Ah, damn it. Why her? He couldn’t do anything with her. He shouldn’t do anything with her.

***End of Chapter One***

Chapter Two will be ready for you tomorrow!

You can pre-order At Last at a discounted pre-order price of US$2.99 from the following stores:
Amazon US | Other Amazon Stores | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

It will also be available from January 6 on Google Play, All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords and Scribd. (The discounted price will remain for a couple of days after release date to allow those who can't pre-order time to download at the special price.)

Enjoy your day/night!

Much love,
Miranda xoxoxo


ALWAYS: Release Date, Cover, Pre-Order Links

Always (Time for Love Book 4) is almost here! I'm happy to announce that the official release date for Ash and Brenna's love story is October 22nd. I'm excited, and can't wait for you to read it.

Now is the time to show you the cover, so here it is. It's another beautiful work by Viola Estrella. I love it!


Always is now available on pre-order for a special pre-order price of USD $2.99. The book will be at its regular price of USD $3.99 a couple of days after release date, so I suggest ordering it early to ensure you get it for the lower price. Here are the links to the stores where you can get Always on pre-order.

Amazon US
Other Amazon Stores
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

I'm really looking forward to sharing Ash and Brenna's love story with you. I hope you're as excited about it as I am!

Next week, I'll post chapters one and two so you can have a read of them before the book gets released 🙂 . Stay tuned for those!

Much love,
Miranda xxx


Finally Chapter One

I'm so proud of Sarah and Jeff–our couple in Finally (Time for Love Book 2). I tried to take their story in one direction, but they kept blocking me until I was forced to look at a different path. In the end, these two characters reminded me of the simplicity and complexity of true love.

There's only a handful of days left before the 27th, when Finally is released. Today, I want to share with you how their love story begins.


“Kiss, kiss.”

Sarah Daley whipped her head toward the hunk with dark hair and vivid blue eyes sitting next to her in the big hot tub. What?

Her two-second excitement at the thought that she might be the intended recipient of that comment was quickly dashed when she noticed that the gorgeous Jeffrey Carmichael wasn’t even looking at her.

“I’m almost hoping that there are paparazzi around to capture this moment,” Jeff said with a wry grin as he watched his older brother Zachary and Sarah’s best friend Rebecca Andrews kiss passionately by the poolside.

“Oh, let them be, Jeff,” Magda Carmichael said as she sank up to her neck in the heated pool, relishing the massaging effects of the water jets. “They’re in love.”

“Look at your face, Gran,” Jeff said to Magda with a laugh. “You’re so thrilled about this.”

“Of course, I am,” Magda replied. “I’m glad your brother and Rebecca settled their differences and reconciled. They’re wonderful together. Don’t you think so, Sarah?”

“Yes, they are, Magda,” Sarah said with a fond smile for her sweet eighty-year-old client.

“Well, I’m glad that you and Rebecca are on this ship with us. It produced a very satisfactory outcome,” Magda said smugly.

It had already been almost four weeks since Sarah and Rebecca boarded one of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships from Sydney, and Sarah was still overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of Magda Carmichael—the matriarch of one of Australia’s wealthiest families.

Having been Magda’s physical rehabilitation nurses when Magda had hip replacement surgery a year ago, Sarah and Rebecca were handpicked by the elderly woman to accompany her as her private nurses on the all-expense-paid, one-month cruise that included several exotic Asian cities in its itinerary.

But Magda was fit and well, and only wanted them on board for any unexpected illnesses or injuries. That left them with loads of free time on their hands, able to fully enjoy the amenities, activities and shore excursions the fabulous ship offered.

Sarah now suspected that getting Rebecca and Zach together again had been Magda’s primary reason for getting them on board as her nurses. She just felt lucky that Magda had thought of hiring her, too—probably to make sure that Rebecca felt comfortable enough to take the job.

Well, Sarah was very grateful. She’d been having a wonderful time meeting new people—a few of them good-looking single men. Truth be told, the romance of being at sea on a grand floating home was having an effect on her. She’d been toying with the idea of a holiday fling, even though she was generally averse to one-night stands. But although Ron—the handsome guy she’d met at the beginning of the trip—had been giving her strong hints, she hadn’t been tempted enough to go to bed with him.

But geez, ever since Jeffrey Carmichael had boarded the ship over a week ago with his younger brother Gregory, he’d been occupying her mind.

The Carmichael brothers turned heads wherever they went. Photos of them on the covers of magazines ensured a bestseller. So it wasn’t hard to develop a crush on a Carmichael. But out of the three, Jeff was the one who had always made her heart beat just a tad faster.

She’d gotten to know him a little in the six months that she’d looked after Magda. She’d seen the guy who was the COO of a multi-million dollar company—focused, driven, brilliant, reliable and trustworthy. Combine that with his flirty and fun-loving nature, and sitting next to her was someone irresistible. Totally hot. Heck, who wouldn’t want to sleep with him?

She was dreaming though. Fat chance that Jeff would pay attention to her. According to Rebecca, Jeff was sleeping with Marilyn—the granddaughter of one of Magda’s friends, who was also on this cruise with them.

She sighed her resignation.

“Now it’s your turn to find that special someone, Jeffrey,” Magda said.

Jeff snorted. “Now, now, Gran. Don’t get any ideas.”

“Whyever not? You’re already thirty years old. Back in my time, that was too old to still be single.”

“You already know I don’t want to get married.”

“Oh Jeff. You can still change your mind,” Magda said, her eyes wide with concern.

Jeff shrugged. “You should just focus on Zach, Gran. This thing with Rebecca looks serious. Say, if those two decide to tie the knot, would you promise to lay off me about finding a wife?”

“No,” Magda said with conviction.

Jeff laughed.

“I want to see all three of my grandsons happily settled down with someone they love. A few great-grandkids to help raise before I die is one of my final wishes before I leave this earth.”

Jeff sighed. “So me being happy with my life isn’t enough, Gran?”

“I know you’d be happier if you could spend the rest of your life with a woman who loves you, and whom you love,” Magda said stubbornly.

Jeff rolled his eyes and glanced at Sarah. “See what I have to put up with?” he asked in mock frustration.

Sarah smiled and decided to ask the question that piqued her interest. “So you don’t believe in marriage, Jeff?”

“Oh, I’m not anti-marriage when it comes to other people tying the knot. It’s just not for me anymore.”

“Anymore?” she asked, unable to shut the lid on her curiosity.

“Well, I proposed to a woman once. But she didn’t want to marry me,” he said blithely.

“Really? Was she crazy?” Sarah exclaimed before feeling the heat rise up to her face. “I mean, who wouldn’t want to marry someone as dashing and devastatingly handsome as you?” she hastily added in a flippant tone, hoping to cover up her embarrassment by pretending she was joking around. Not that she was joking about Jeff being dashing and devastatingly handsome, because he really was. She just hoped he thought she was joking. Argh! She was blushing harder now.

“Why thanks, Sarah. That’s very kind of you to say that. I didn’t know you had a crush on me,” Jeff said, his eyes laughing and his tone teasing.

Magda’s amused expression at their interaction gave Sarah confidence to push on. “Well, if saying that someone is handsome means I have a crush on that person, then I have a confession to make.” She gave an exaggerated sigh before turning to Magda. “Magda, I have a crush on all your three grandsons. They’re so good-looking. But that’s not a surprise because you’re one very beautiful woman.”

Magda chuckled. “Why, thank you, dear. Yes, I agree my three goons are not bad on the eye. So which one do you like best?”

“Oh, uh…” Sarah was lost for words. Speaking before thinking was a trait that had landed her in embarrassing situations many times before. She’d done it again, and there was only one way she knew how to dig herself out of a hole—continue pretending everything was a joke.

“Well, unfortunately for me, Zach’s taken,” she said with a fake pout. “By my best friend, nonetheless.”

“Ouch,” Jeff said quietly. “See what I mean, Gran? This is what women in this day and age do. They take your heart from out of your chest and crush all your dreams.”

Jeff spoke with enough gravity to make Sarah’s eyes widen in surprise and… yes… hope. An itsy-bitsy, tiny speck of hope. Was he really disappointed at her answer?

“That’s one face that would be a challenge to paint,” Jeff said gravely, but the twitching of his lips gave him away. “To capture that horror and disbelief would take some serious skill.”

Sarah laughed out loud and her tension eased. “Hey, don’t you know I’m a painter’s dream?”

“I wouldn’t dispute that,” he said.

She sighed, deciding it was time to end this banter. She was flirting around with Magda’s grandson, for heaven’s sake! That was very unprofessional. But with all the Carmichaels being so down-to-earth, it was so easy to forget she was in the company of her employer, not her friends. In fact, Magda had always treated her and Rebecca like family, not hired nurses. Of course now that Rebecca was officially Zach’s girlfriend, Rebecca was definitely no longer considered staff in any way, shape or form.

She pretended to relax, closing her eyes, as she mulled over Jeff’s comments about being rejected by the woman he’d wanted to marry. Was that the reason why he’d now turned his back on marriage?

At least Jeff was being honest about what he didn’t want for his future. Maybe all those magazine articles about him changing girlfriends like he changed his clothes were true after all. There had been enough pictures of him in the magazines and on the internet to suggest that he’d had a string of affairs with different beautiful women in the last two years alone.

She knew how the constant attempts to invade their privacy were a big frustration for the Carmichaels. Luckily for them, unwanted publicity had slowed down in the last few months. Rebecca had told Sarah that the brothers were intent on not giving the press anything to write about. Privacy was something the Carmichaels valued, and they had been vigilant in ensuring they minimised the chances of seeing themselves plastered on the front covers of magazines.

A wave of sympathy hit her. It wouldn’t have been easy being in the brothers’ and Magda’s shoes in the last two years. The tragedy that hit their family was so great she could only admire how they’d handled it and come out of that dark period.

Her musing was interrupted by Zach and Rebecca getting into the Jacuzzi with them, their faces split by big, happy grins.

“Glad you decided to join us,” Jeff said teasingly. “I was starting to worry that you’d forgotten you’re in a public area of the ship and not in the privacy of your suite.”

Zach grinned at his brother. “Bec and I have something to tell you guys.”

“What’s that, dear?” Magda asked.

“We’re getting married,” Zach said, giving an ecstatic-looking Rebecca a sweet kiss on the lips.

Sarah gasped while Magda let out an uncharacteristic squeal.

“Oh, darlings, that’s wonderful!” Magda gushed, reaching out to hug Zach, then motioning for Rebecca to come close for the same treatment.

Sarah glided to her best friend when Magda released her. “Congratulations, hon! I’m so happy for you,” she said, squeezing Rebecca tight.

“Thanks, sweetie.”

“I can’t believe this,” she whispered. “Just a few days ago you were crying your eyes out because Zach had broken your heart again.”

“I know,” Rebecca said with a giggle.

Sarah let go of her friend and hurried to Zach, who already had his arms poised for a hug. She let out a surprised cry when she felt a wall of muscle hit her back. A low chuckle came from behind her as warm hands gripped her arms.

“I see you like being sandwiched by two men,” Jeff said, keeping her flush against his chest.

“Hey, I was going to give Zach a hug and I thought he was aiming for me.” Despite her light response, Sarah knew she was redder than a beet. And, heaven help her, she couldn’t move away. She was frozen in the hot water as Jeff’s caressing hands slid down her arms. When he stepped back from her, the chill she felt was startling.

“Here we go, Sarah,” Zach said, his voice laced with amusement as he embraced her.

“Congratulations, Zach,” she murmured, returning the gesture and swallowing her embarrassment.

“Thank you.”

“My turn,” Jeff said.

She moved away from Zach to make room for Jeff. To her utter surprise, Jeff wrapped her in his arms. Her already racing heart galloped faster and, Lord, she’d rather not admit it, but she felt a delicious, needy tingling between her legs.

“Oops, wrong person,” Jeff said, grinning wickedly before turning to give his brother an affectionate hug.

“Don’t mind him, Sarah,” Zach said, casting Jeff a warning look. “He’s just a big, flirtatious joker. And for all his reminders about our photos making it into magazines, he’s the worst when it comes to public exhibitionism.”

“I’m finding that out,” she said wryly.


Jeff sat back down on the raised seat in the water, chuckling. It was slack of him to continue to tease Sarah when embarrassment was written all over her face, but he couldn’t help himself. She was just too cute. Plus, she was a good sport. Despite her blushes, she seemed to enjoy ribbing just as much as he did.

He was attracted to Sarah. She was hot and fun, and he loved watching her blush. He could still see some colour on her cheeks and even on her neck, which was fully exposed as her silky blonde hair was tied up in a bun atop her head.

He had the urge to pull her to him so she would sit on his lap, and he could place a kiss on that slightly tanned shoulder of hers. He shook his head mentally and dunked his head in the water to arrest the direction of his thoughts. His groin was stirring and his grandmother was only a few steps away, for heaven’s sake.

A question that had been prodding him lately popped into his head again. Would Sarah be up for some fun in bed?

It wasn’t ideal to even think about a fling with her, considering that she was the best friend of his brother’s new fiancée, not to mention that she was his grandmother’s nurse. And with Rebecca and Zach getting engaged, he was sure Sarah would be deep in discussions with Rebecca about engagement parties and weddings. Women could get funny when talking about those things. The last thing he wanted was the complication of a sex partner who’d want an eventual trip to the altar with him.

He’d meant it when he said he had no intentions of getting married. It was something that didn’t hold interest for him anymore.

It hadn’t always been that way. He had wanted to get married two years ago. He’d even been engaged for five whole weeks.

He remembered he’d still been on a high from Bianca’s acceptance of his proposal when the biggest tragedy in the Carmichael family history had struck.

Jeff dunked his head in the water again to hide the grief that crossed his face. It wasn’t as bad as it used to be, but it was still there. Every now and then, memories of that horrendous day flashed in his mind, making the big empty hole in his heart make itself known again.

He’d been in his office when he heard the news that the light plane that carried his grandfather, father and mother had crashed. The three had been on their way to an outback property that his dad and gramps had been interested in buying. Investigators had surmised that his dad, who had been piloting the plane, hadn’t anticipated the suddenness and severity of the freak storm that had developed in the area. In one fell swoop, they’d lost three loved ones.

He truly didn’t know how the rest of his family survived those first few days. But even though he and his brothers had been wholly devastated, they had rallied and pulled themselves together for Magda.

In honour of their gramps, mum and dad, they had been putting all of their energy into making sure that the company built by their family’s blood, sweat and tears continued to flourish. The Carmichael Corporation, founded by their grandfather, was now one of Australia’s biggest property development firms, with interests extending to wineries and eco-tourism. He was now its COO, Zach its CEO and their youngest brother Greg the CFO. Not in a million years did he and his brothers think they’d run the company so soon, and from such harrowing circumstances.

Yes, that short space of time two years ago had been the most devastating in his whole life. It was compounded by Bianca breaking off their engagement just a month after the funerals. She’d said that while she did love him, she wasn’t ready to get married, and that the sudden spotlight on the Carmichaels by the press scared her. She’d felt suffocated by the need to hide so they could keep their private lives private. Three weeks after the breakup, Bianca had left Sydney for New York to further her career in advertising.

He’d stopped moping around for Bianca a long time ago. But ever since they broke up, he hadn’t wanted to be in a committed relationship again. He’d discovered that giving his heart to a woman only added to his grief, not helped him out of it. He no longer had the motivation to put his heart in a position where it could be broken again. Those terrible events two years ago were enough to last him a lifetime.

Besides, he was happy enough with his mutually agreed casual relationships with beautiful, discreet women. Such agreements had an added benefit: the women didn’t get mad or demanding when he worked long hours. Apart from his grandmother and brothers, The Carmichael Corporation was, after all, his priority.

Happy laughter from Magda snapped him out of his depressing memories. He smiled as he watched his grandmother chuckle at something Zach was saying.

Now this kind of love was entirely different. One thing he absolutely had no doubts about was the love of, and for, his remaining family members. They had it in spades for each other. In terms of emotional support, that was more than enough for him. Maybe that was why he didn’t feel the need for a ‘special someone’ in his life anymore. What for? He had the love of his family. As for sex, he could satisfy his lust at any time with anyone he wanted.

Speaking of lust… His gaze returned to Sarah. She was talking animatedly with Rebecca, her beautiful hazel eyes shining brightly. To his bemusement, he felt himself go hard again.

He sighed in resignation. It wasn’t the greatest idea in the world to try to convince Sarah to have a short, hot affair with him. All he was likely to get was a hard slap on the face if he did proposition her for it. So he really shouldn’t even consider it… not unless she gave him some hint that she wouldn’t mind…


Tomorrow, I'll share Chapter Two with you ;-).


Finally – released on May 27th. Pre-orders are available from Apple iTunesBarnes and NobleGoogle Play and Kobo.


Finally Release Date Adjustment and Pre-Order Links

Finally 200x300I get very excited and impatient when I have a new book coming out. I just can't wait to get everything lined up so I can release my new baby out into the world. (Yes, I get nervous too, but I like to pretend I don't.)

So I'm happy to say that Finally (Time for Love Book 2) will be available from the stores earlier than I'd anticipated. Instead of it being released on May 29th, you can now read it from the 27th. Yay, right? (I hope you're as excited as I am 🙂 ).

You can also pre-order it right now from Apple iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play and Kobo. Pre-order isn't available for Amazon, but the book should be up there on the 27th. That's less than a week away!

In a couple of days, I'll be sharing with you Chapter One of Finally so you can have a read of it before it's published. Stay tuned for that!

On a different note, I've been trying to figure out how to connect with you more. As you might notice, I'm “off air” most of the time, mainly so I could finish and polish the next book so you don't have to wait for it for too long. But still, I'd love to be able to tell you what I'm up to in between book releases without necessarily emailing you a long post. And just talking about things that may not be book related sounds like fun, too.

I think the best place to do short and sweet (and sometimes silly) stuff is on Facebook, so I'll try to be more active there. If you want to check out my Facebook page, click here. (And please “like/follow” me?) You can chat with me there, too. You know I'd love to hear from you.

Miranda xxx

Finally: Cover and Release Date


Finally 380x594

Hi! I've got some news for you. Finally (Time for Love Book 2) is currently in the editing stage and will be officially released on…(drum roll)… May 29th!

I wanted you to be the first to see the cover so I've decided to share it with you now before the book turns up as a pre-order on Apple iTunes and Kobo. Unfortunately, pre-orders are not available for this book on other platforms, but rest assured, it will be available for download on all stores, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Google Play on the 29th.

I had a blast writing Jeff and Sarah's love story even though I struggled with these two characters a lot. You see, I insisted that their story should go a certain way. But they stubbornly gave me writer's block until I wrote in the direction they wanted me to go 😉 .

Sarah and Jeff are fun and flirty. But don't be fooled. They're good at hiding their hurts, uncertainties and insecurities.

I'll be sharing with you chapters one and two of Finally a few days prior to its official release date. That's three weeks away and I know that's a bit of a wait. So, for now, here's an unedited excerpt of Sarah and Jeff's story:

“We’re getting married,” Zach said, giving an ecstatic-looking Rebecca a sweet kiss on the lips.

Sarah gasped while Magda let out an uncharacteristic squeal.

“Oh, darlings, that's wonderful!” Magda gushed, reaching out to hug Zach, then motioning for Rebecca to come close to her for the same treatment.

Sarah glided to her best friend when Magda released her. “Congratulations, hon! I’m so happy for you,” she said, squeezing Rebecca tight.

“Thanks, sweetie.”

“I can’t believe this,” she whispered. “Just a few days ago you were crying your eyes out because Zach had broken your heart again.”

“I know,” Rebecca said with a giggle.

Sarah let go of her friend and hurried sideways to Zach who already had his arms poised for a hug. She let out a surprised cry when she felt a wall of muscle hit her back. A low chuckle came from behind her as warm hands gripped her arms.

“I see you like being sandwiched by two men,” Jeff said, keeping her flushed against his chest.

“Hey, I was going to give Zach a hug and I thought he was aiming for me.” Despite her light response, Sarah knew she was redder than beet. And, heaven help her, she couldn’t move away. She was frozen in the hot water as Jeff’s caressing hands slid down her arms. When he stepped back from her, the chill she felt was startling.

“Here we go, Sarah,” Zach said, his voice laced with amusement as he embraced her.

“Congratulations, Zach,” she murmured, returning the gesture and swallowing her embarrassment.

“Thank you.”

“My turn,” Jeff said.

She moved away from Zach to make room for Jeff. To her utter surprise, Jeff wrapped her in his arms. Her already racing heart galloped faster and, Lord, she’d rather not admit it, but she felt a delicious, needy tingling between her legs.

“Oops, wrong person,” Jeff said, grinning wickedly before turning to give his brother an affection hug.

“Don’t mind him, Sarah,” Zach said, casting Jeff a warning look. “He’s just a big, flirtatious joker. And for all his reminders about our photos making it to magazines, he’s the worst when it comes to public exhibitionism.”

“I’m finding that out,” she said wryly.


More to come soon!

Love yah,

Miranda xxx