Hello, Castle Greyskull
Years ago while on holiday in a quiet seaside village off the coast of Wales, I spotted a massive old house right by the sea. All the other buildings in the area were pastel or white fronted, typical holiday hamlets that draw visitors to admire the scenery. And then there was this place. Built of dark, grey stone, it looked angsty and troubled, and we nicknamed it Castle Greyskull.
I drove closer and discovered it was sitting on a rocky outcrop overlooking a small, rock-strewn bay, with the sea constantly crashing against it. At the time I wasn’t writing much, but I tucked away the memories of this amazing house to use one day in the future.
When I developed the storyline for Obsession I knew it was the right time to introduce my gothic, brooding house. My hero, Josh Delaney, has strange and fragmented memories of it and is fascinated with the place. Almost obsessed. He certainly feels drawn to it in a way he cannot explain. I have big plans for the house, and as the Talisman Series story arc develops, the house will become more important and eventually take centre stage.
In this extract, Josh is having a recurring dream.
I’d had this dream before, it was an old one. I stepped into it, as comfortable and familiar as an old pair of shoes.
I stood at the window gazing out at the night sky, watching as a shooting star flared in a moment of brilliance and then burned out. The sea lay before me, moonlight playing across the undulating surface in a flickering trail, shifting and restless. My hands pressed against the cool glass and my body felt too hot, as though I had a fever. I could smell sandalwood, an incense stick perhaps. The room was quiet, dark behind me where I knew the bed lay.
As I waited, I heard the distinctive creak of the mattress, the rustle of bedding, bare feet whispering across the carpet to my side. My eyes were fixed on the sky. It hadn’t happened yet, whatever it was. A bare arm snaked around my naked waist, pale skinned and slender. Silken strands of hair fell across my chest as she buried her face in my shoulder.
“Come back to bed. You’re still not well.”
I smiled over her head, holding her to me, absorbing her perfume. Now I could smell flowers, lily, and a hint of rose. Her skin felt like velvet against mine. She was my lover, the fixed point in my life, the centre of my universe. I had kissed her a hundred times before, breathed her scent, and stroked her hair more times than I could count. “Bed,” she repeated, a little firmer this time.
Acquiescing, I allowed her to guide me the few steps, her arm still looped around me. Yes, I had a fever, but I knew it had been worse than this. The sheets were delightfully cool against my skin, the pillows soft. Slipping in beside me, she reached across to turn out my light, but I caught her hand. “I want to watch you.”
This was our last time together. I knew this with painful clarity. Our last chance to make love.
She lay beside me, our bodies pressed together from shoulder to thigh, butterfly kisses raining across my chest. Gentle hands drifted across my stomach, teasing, searching, finding me hard and aching for her. I slipped one arm beneath her, around her, pulling her closer. I couldn’t tell where my body ended and hers began. One hand raking through her hair, coaxing her head up, our lips blindly seeking each other.
Her brown eyes, almost black in the dim light. I gazed at her. Familiar yet different. The part of me that had been missing for so long. When she smiled it made my heart ache. “Please don’t leave me. Don’t go.” I sounded like a little boy again.
This was the point I usually woke up. Tonight, I stayed a fraction longer.
Her voice barely audible as she outlined my lips with one finger. “Baby, it’s not me that’s going. You’re the one leaving.”
I snapped awake, a thin sheen of perspiration coating me. It was Suki. All these years I’d been dreaming of Suki. And now I knew something else—where the dream was set.
That would have been the view from the grey mansion.
When I told my publisher that the Grey Mansion in the story actually exists, she immediately wanted a picture of it, and it’s now immortalised on the book cover. How cool is that!
It’s such a prominent building in that area, I wondered if the owner were to read Obsession and recognise their home, what would they think? I hope they wouldn’t mind…
Josh Delaney is the ideal honey trap.
His charm and model good looks would be enough for most women, but coupled with his psychic ability to read their thoughts, he’s impossible to resist. Suspicious husbands employ him to test their wives, to see if they can be tempted to stray.
High profile couple Suki and Gabe Bridgewater have the perfect marriage, or at least, that’s the image they portray to the world. Behind closed doors, Gabe’s dominance in the marriage is unravelling and he decides to test Suki, using Josh as bait.
For Josh it should be just another easy job, but two things go horribly wrong.
One, Josh falls in love with Suki.
And two, Gabe refuses to let her go.
Romance author Sofia Grey spends her days managing projects in the corporate world and her nights hanging out with wolf shifters and alpha males. She devours pretty much anything in the fiction line, but she prefers her romances to be hot, and her heroes to have hidden depths. When writing, she enjoys peeling back the layers to expose her characters’ flaws and always makes them work hard for their happy endings.
* images courtesy of 123rf.com