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Appleton Vale, Book 1
by Anneli Lort
Cover Artist: Louise Mizen Ferguson
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Romance Genre(s): Contemporary, Sports
The Sweet Spot is a classic love story with a sexy, modern edge, set in the sleepy West Country village of Appleton Vale, and in the glittering world of professional golf.
Olivia escapes London to overcome memories of heartbreak, and moves to Appleton Vale to ghostwrite the autobiography of Sebastian Bloom, former world number one golfer and global icon. But he doesn’t make things easy for her; Olivia is not ready for a new relationship and fights her feelings for Sebastian.
Their story comes to a head at the most prestigious golf tournament in the world, The Open Championship, where Sebastian’s return to form sets up an explosive clash with his lifelong rival, Troy McLoud.
As the lives of Olivia, Sebastian and the residents of Appleton Vale interweave, passions flare and the stakes rise.
View on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35600050-the-sweet-spot?from_search=true
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073Q55YZ7
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B073Q55YZ7
Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B073Q55YZ7
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B073Q55YZ7
With Hector trailing behind, clearly annoyed at being asked to leave the warmth of the pub and the possibility of the odd chip making its way down to floor level, Olivia paused outside the cottage, already delighted with what she saw. Nestled behind a white picket fence was a beautifully proportioned, flint-built cottage, quaint and quirky with slanting window frames, a crooked chimney and the remnants of what had been a full-blooming wisteria crawling across the honeyed stone face.
She pushed through the gate. Sliding the heavy iron key into the front door, she paused, excited at what she might find inside.
Olivia hadn’t been that bothered when she initially took on an agent to find her something to rent in the area, she just wanted to get out of London fast. Terry Gullan, the agent, had called and told her that he had found a real gem. “This type of property just doesn’t come up in Appleton Vale…ever,” he’d enthused. So, on the word of a man she had never met, and an estate agent at that, Olivia had signed herself up for a year, renting a house she had never seen.
With trepidation she opened the door and stepped inside, but she was pleasantly surprised to be hit with a wall of warmth: someone had been in and turned on the heating. The light was fading outside; the long winter night starting to set in. Olivia flicked on the light switch by the door, and gasped at the picture-perfect scene before her. The house couldn’t have been more ‘her’ if she had designed it herself. Brook Cottage looked quaint and chintzy from the outside, but inside it was all mod cons and understated elegance which somehow blended seamlessly with the character of the property.
Oak-beamed ceilings set off the smooth, original flagstones on the floors, and an inglenook fireplace in the centre of the lounge added yet more character. Walking into the kitchen she found a note fastened to the fridge door with a magnet:
Welcome to Appleton Vale. I hope you don’t mind me taking the liberty of popping in to get the place ready for you, there’s a little something in the fridge to celebrate your new home. I clean for you on Tuesdays but am sure we’ll meet in the village before that. Sincerely, Pat Cowan.
She moved from room to room, turning on the pretty lamps and drawing the heavy, lined curtains. Heading up the creaking stairs, she turned the corner at the top and poked her head in the first door, the master suite, and she gasped at how pretty it was. A huge wooden bed stood in the centre of the room, covered with a thick goosedown duvet adorned with pink and white rosebud bedding. Matching bedside tables and a pink velvet chaise longue completed the furnishings and a small wood-burning stove was ready to light. Two further doors in the bedroom housed a dressing room and an en-suite bathroom that had come straight out of a Ralph Lauren catalogue.
After exploring upstairs, Olivia went in search of Hector. She could hear him shuffling round under the bushes at the back of the cottage. Opening the stable door from the kitchen, she set off down the little path that led, to her delight, to a tiny waterside terrace with what, in summer, would be a rose-covered pergola.
Olivia hugged herself, partially to keep out the cold wind, but also because for the first time in almost a year she felt content.
A sudden bleep from her mobile brought her back to reality and she pulled it out of her pocket to find a text from Sebastian.
So are we on for tomorrow?
Smarting again at his abruptness but resolving to remain professional, Olivia tapped her reply,
Hi Sebastian, if it’s OK with you I’d prefer to start on Monday as per our contract. I could do with a little time to settle in to your wonderful village and find my feet. I’ll see you bright and early on Monday morning, have a fabulous weekend. Olivia Carmichael.
She re-read the text, not wanting to give Sebastian any reason to be offended and, satisfied she had hit the right tone, pressed send.
“I think we’ve landed a tricky one here,” she said to Hector, who rolled onto his back and covered his eyes with his paws.
Anneli Lort lived with a charming cast of characters in her head for a number of years before she found the time to sit down and bring them to life in the Appleton Vale series. Once she put pen to paper her imagination was free to create a character driven world of contemporary romance that is both heartwarming and engaging.
In a public relations career that spanned more than two decades Anneli worked closely with elite professionals at the highest level and with some of the world’s biggest sporting companies. With this came an access-all-areas pass to the greatest sports events on the planet where she saw for herself the tension, drama and emotions that were played out behind the scenes. While TV audiences around the world watched the sporting excitement unfold, she was there to witness first-hand what really happened before and afterwards – the untold stories the rest of the world never got to see.This is the rich and enviable background she brings to her debut novel – The Sweet Spot.
Anneli lives in a village much like her fictional creation – Appleton Vale – that is nestled against the foothills of the South Downs. She spends her days working in brand communications, writing, walking her dog – Hector – and riding her New Forest Pony Henry. The dog shares the house; the horse has his own rather spacious accommodation.
Anneli is currently writing the second novel in the Appleton Vale series – The Country Club – which will be on sale in December 2017.
To celebrate the release of her bestselling debut, The Sweet Spot, Anneli is giving away a £20 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. For your chance to win, enter via the Rafflecopter below. The contest closes at midnight EST on September 8, 2017, and is open to entrants worldwide.
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