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Since I didn’t roll it into the #MerlinClub post today (which was stupid because it was written completely by the #MerlinClub three), and since it’s now available in all formats on Smashwords, below the jump are the final buy links for If Ever I Would Leave You, and an excerpt from my story, A Choice Fit For A Queen.

To say that the Rose and Pig was off the beaten path would have been an understatement.

If Ever I Would Leave YouThere were no streetlights. The street wasn’t even paved. It was barely more than a dirt two-track leading past the low stone fence that surrounded the field. At the end, a two-story wattle-and-daub house stood, chimney smoking. The light spilling from its windows promised warmth and a place to get dry. Though my feet ached and stung with raw blisters from jogging around airports all day, I practically sprinted the last leg of my journey. Mud splattered onto the legs of my jeans, and I didn’t care. All I wanted was to get inside, away from the hellish downpour. I reached the door, prepared to fling it open and launch myself into the warm embrace of a charming Welsh pub.

It was locked.

Visions of sleeping in the cold, shivering in the dark, wet, pneumonia-encouraging night put urgency into my arm as I pounded on the door. “Hello! Hey, is anybody inside? Can anyone help—“

A guy opened the door. A hot guy. An annoyed hot guy. One look at him and my heart jolted. I froze in shock, but managed to stutter out, “m-me?”

He was absolutely gorgeous. Flawless dark brown skin stretched over a face that made the words “aesthetically pleasing” an understatement. His cheeks were full, like he’d retained baby fat in the exact right places, and his lush lips spread in a smile that was half “let’s be friends” and half “let’s be friends with benefits” as he looked me over.

Unfortunately, the longer I stared at him, the more his smile faded. He leaned his shoulder against the door and slung a white bar towel over the other to cross his arms over his chest. “Let me guess. American white girl, thinking, ‘What do you mean, they have black people in Wales?’” He held up his hands in mock apology. “Sorry, we’re everywhere. Hope you’re not too disappointed.”

“N-no, I wasn’t—“ Explaining was not going to work if I couldn’t talk like a normal human. I had to glance down and push my wet hair from my face to concentrate and steel myself against his good looks when I raised my head again. When I did, I managed a smile. I hoped I didn’t look goofy. “I was actually thinking, ‘wow, the guys are a lot hotter here than at home.’”

His smile returned slowly. “Yeah, all right. You’re forgiven. Come on inside.”

His accent. Oh god.

The inside of the pub was exactly the way I imagined pubs would look. Lots of wood, not too much light, pictures of horses on the walls. Mr. Gorgeous moved behind the bar and took out his cell phone. “We’re closed, but I can give you a lift and someplace dry to wait, at least.”

“Thanks, but I don’t need a ride. My place is supposed to be—“ I pointed at the ceiling and whistled.

“Bill finally rented it? Huh.” The guy shrugged his shoulders, then reached across the bar to give me a clean towel. “Bill’s not in right now. You’re going to find that he’s not ‘in right now’ a lot of the time. Sorry about that.”

“Oh.” I looked around as I squeezed water from my long brown hair with the towel, for all the good it would do me. I had way more hair than towel. The building was old, but clean, though there were some cracks in the yellowed plaster walls. “Um… is there like a Holiday Inn around here or something?”

Hot guy pulled a carabiner from the belt loop of his jeans and jingled it at me. “Lucky for you, I’ve got a spare key.”

“You are a lifesaver—“ I paused, waiting for him to fill in the blank.

“Rhys.” He held out his hand. His big, warm palm swallowed mine, and I hoped he thought my skin was damp from rain and not nervous sweat.

“Madison.” Had I just giggled? I needed to get that on lock down.

Or not. Because Rhys held my hand just a heartbeat longer than necessary, and smiled wide in the moment it took him to respond. “Look, do you mind waiting while I finish up here? Just for a couple of minutes?”

“It’s fine. Better than sitting out in the rain, anyway.” I leaned an elbow on the bar and propped my face on my hand. “So… you work here alone? Isn’t that kind of dangerous?”

“It didn’t seem like it before, but now you’ve said that…” He gave me serious side-eye, as if he thought for a second I wasn’t really kidding.

“I don’t generally attack people,” I reassured him playfully. “I know I look super intimidating.”

“Yeah?” He grinned as he flicked off the lights that glowed above the shelves behind the bar. “All, what? Nine stone, soaking wet?”

“Well, I am soaking wet,” I laughed, and then I realized how incredibly wrong that sounded if taken in a different light.

Whatever. I was twenty. I was in a different country. Wasn’t the point of a trip abroad to sow some wild oats? Or whatever it was dad called it?

Knowing my dad, he meant actual oats, and was imagining a pastoral scene of farming the Welsh countryside.

“You know, it’s rude to ask a woman her weight,” I reminded him. “I thought people in England were supposed to be more polite.”

“Yeah, well, you’re not in England, and you better know the difference before you go saying something like that in front of the locals.” He grinned and gestured to the door. “Come on. I’ll let you in upstairs.”

The second floor apartment was accessible from a staircase at the back of the pub. The scarred wooden door at the top looked liked it could have been original to the house, but the knob and lock were brand new. Rhys slipped the key in and wrestled with it for a moment, which was an auspicious sign.

“Ah, there we go.” He held the door open for me, and I struggled my bag up the last remaining stairs.

“Let me get that,” he said, and when he leaned down, the side of his face grazed my chest. I took an audible, embarrassed gasp of air, and he straightened with an awkward laugh. “Yeah…sorry about that.”

Amazon • Smashwords

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Here for the first time because you’re in quarantine and someone on Reddit recommended my Fifty Shades of Grey recaps? Welcome! Consider checking out my own take on the Billionaire BDSM genre, The Boss. Find it on AmazonB&NSmashwords, iBooks, and Radish!


  1. Teresa B
    Teresa B

    Hooked! When does that one come out? Sounds like a way awesome read.

    July 12, 2014
    • JennyTrout

      It’s out right now! 😀 Links are at the bottom of the post.

      July 12, 2014
      • Teresa B.
        Teresa B.

        Thanks! How about ‘A Choice Fit For A Queen’? 🙂

        July 13, 2014
        • Teresa B
          Teresa B

          Wow, I’m dumb. Never mind. I have pregnancy brain going on. Hope you got a chuckle out of my stupidity…. 🙂 purchased!

          July 14, 2014
  2. Thanks for the reminder! Snagged it. 🙂

    July 15, 2014

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