Sweet Seduction Secrets (Sweet Seduction, Book 8)

By: Nicola Claire

And here we are, book eight of the Sweet Seduction series. Did you ever think we’d get to here? The end of the road, the end of such a delightful journey? And what a journey it’s been. There’s a few people to thank and a few memories to share, but with this last instalment, Sweet Seduction Secrets, I thought we might just go back to the beginning…

The premise behind Sweet Seduction has always been “love at first sight.” For some people, this concept is as foreign as, say, the pronunciation of Karangahape Road. And, I must agree to a certain extent, that maybe some folks are right to mix lust up with love, or to assume that feeling they get upon meeting someone is just butterflies, and not your body trying to tell you something BIG is happening.

But I never set out to prove that love at first sight exists. I know it does. I don’t need to prove a thing. It’s real. At least, the type of love that blindsides you, that comes out of nowhere and smacks you on the head, making your heart race and your palms sweat and your tongue feel three sizes too big for your mouth, is real. The type of love that involves attraction, for sure, respect and admiration, interest and intrigue, desire and longing, and, sometimes, much more.

It’s the type of love that continues to grow, morph into “traditional” love, but that’s not to say it wasn’t “real” love to begin with. It’s cunning and sneaky, it’s unexpected and sometimes unwanted. It’s not always convenient or appropriate. It just is.

And I know it exists, because it happened to me.

I still remember the first moment I laid eyes on my husband. I remember what tie he wore, and for those who know me, my memory is not always that sound. But I can envisage the colour and pattern intimately; burned into my brain in that split second. I remember the feelings and sensations as they rushed through me. The realisation, in that one brief moment, that my life would never be the same again.

I may have dismissed the notion immediately. But true love has no boundaries, even though obstacles may lie in its way. Love, and yes, that type of love, love at first sight love, is just the same.

If you’re lucky enough for it to be real.

It was real for me. And I credit that moment, over a decade ago, with much of Sweet Seduction’s success. Because it was real. Because it was all consuming. Because the world did stop spinning as this tall man in a business suit stalked in through the door to my new place of employment, held his hand out in a commanding way to shake, with not just a little anger and challenge in his eyes, (later I was to discover that anger and challenge was because he’d been landed with the ‘new girl’ only that morning by telephone and was none too happy), and stole my breath away.

The romance that ensued, and in all honesty has continued since, has been the basis for much of what I write. Not just this series, but everything. I have lived and I have loved and every day I am grateful for that. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without my husband’s and my romance as a backdrop to the stories I write. So, the first thank you must undoubtedly go to him. To that moment. To love at first sight.

Now, there’s more people to thank than just Hubby. Over the course of the series, to date, some tens of thousands of books have been downloaded. Hundreds of fans have emailed, messaged me on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads, and genuinely made writing the next book so much more important, just so I’d get it right. For them. Books seven and eight followed a similar path as each other, slightly different from earlier instalments in this series, simply because of reader requests. You wanted more of the ASI guys, more of the Sweet Seduction girls, and much more of the male leads. Alternating points of view became the norm and I’d like to think helped you, as the reader, to see into both the protagonists’ heads. Making the story more engaging.

So, thanks to the readers, for getting in touch, for telling me what you like, for asking for more, and for making this series even better.

And lastly, towards the end of the series a fantastic group of gals got in touch with me, individually and after the fact for some, to start up a fan club and a street team, because of their love of Sweet Seduction. Both the Sweet Seduction Café fan club on Goodreads and the Sweet Street Seducers street team on Facebook have been a wonderful source of inspiration as the series came to an end. So, thank you to those outstanding few who took their love of the series one step further and through it gave me something so very special and heartwarming, something I will always treasure and no doubt think back on, as I do that moment, when I first met my husband.

Well, that’s it. And if you made it to book eight, thanks for sticking with Sweet Seduction right to the end.

You guys rock! I mean it. You can take that as being very real.



♥ Nicola





For: Jamie & Whitney, cheerleaders extraordinaire!





Chapter 1





I’m In





Charlie




"Welcome to ASI, Charlie. I just know you're going to make a great addition to the team."

If only he knew. But then, if Nicholas Anscombe, of Anscombe Securities & Investigations, was aware of just who I was and who I actually worked for, never mind the real reason why I was here, he wouldn't be so eager to file that employment contract I’d just signed.

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