Outliers Box Set
by PJ Adams
Release Date: January 18, 2016
They are outliers.
...Denny McGowan has only the clothes on his back, the money in his pocket, an easy, wise-cracking charm that could melt the hardest of hearts... and two gangsters on his tail.
...Will Bentinck-Stanley is a billionaire aristocrat whose dark secrets involve murder, blackmail and irresistible attraction.
...And Eleanor Dryton: widow and jailbird, a woman who has lost everything and now only wants revenge.
Winner Takes All
When a guy in a tux walks into a bar in the middle of nowhere, dripping wet from the storm, and pulls out a sodden roll of hundred dollar bills, you just know he's going to be trouble.
Denny McGowan has lost his girl, his best friend and millions of dollars. All he has are the clothes on his back, the money in his pocket, an easy, wise-cracking charm that could melt the hardest of hearts... and two gangsters on his tail and out for revenge.
Cassandra Dane is down on her luck, and on the run from a father fresh out of jail. She's probably the last girl you'd expect to hook up with someone as hot and exciting as Denny - and she knows it. But things are not always what they seem and sometimes you're just on the tail-end of a string of bad luck and worse decisions.
When a one-night stand looks like becoming something more than that, Cassie must decide whether she can trust a complete stranger like Denny and work out what he's really after. As matters of the heart become matters of life and death, Cassie has some tough choices to make.
And foremost among these: just how many chances do you give a guy like Denny McGowan?
The Object of His Desire
When Trudy goes to her estranged brother's wedding, the last thing she expects is one of those moments: a handsome stranger, their eyes meeting across a crowded room... a tempting, but dangerous stranger. Determined to find out more, she discovers that dark secrets bind him to her brother; she also learns that he's the kind of man who gets what he wants, and what he wants right now is Trudy.
Introducing her to the world of the super-wealthy, he showers her with designer clothes, shoes, and diamonds, whisking her off to dinner dates by private jet... what more could a girl want? But as she finds out more about him, Trudy begins to wonder if she can ever love a man she can never fully trust. A man involved in murder and blackmail, who may just be using her as an alibi. Should she run or let herself fall for him? And will he give her a choice?
A passionate erotic romance, where scandals buried away in the past lead to murderous intrigue in the present, in the intensely steamy world of the super-wealthy and powerful.
Two years ago Eleanor Dryton lost her husband, her job and her friends. She lost everything about her old life that ever mattered to her. All she had left were her will and a burning desire for revenge.
Now, El has served her time for being an unknowing partner in her murdered husband's crimes. Her prison sentence has toughened her up and she's learned that she can be bad.
But when her search for revenge leads her to a man who takes bad to a completely different level just how far is she willing to go? If prison has hardened her, what effect will the man who killed her husband have? And does she even have any control over what happens next?
A dark and disturbing romantic thriller containing themes of violence and mature situations that could make some readers uncomfortable.
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SNEAK PEAKEven now, I’m unsure whether it was a genuine Jane Austen moment or the worst of clichés: eyes meeting across a crowded room, for heaven’s sake.
What can I say?
I was nervous, in a crowd of mostly strangers and distant acquaintances.
I was feeling flustered after a difficult journey and finally arriving at this little chapel in the middle of nowhere later than I’d intended – I hate not being in control.
I was unsettled by the rush of mixed emotions in my head. I was about to see my big brother again after far too long; despite following him across the Atlantic to England we’d drifted ever farther apart over the last couple of years.
I was thrown by the realization that his best man was Charlie, the ex who could still wrap me around his posh little English finger after all this time.
Under these circumstances a girl can surely be forgiven a lapse into cliché. No?
I’d driven for nearly four hours to reach this remote little Norfolk chapel. It had taken far too long to escape the tangle of London traffic, and even longer driving through the winding East Anglian lanes trying to find the place.
Deep breath, Trudy. I was here. I’d made it on time.
I stood outside the chapel and straightened my three-quarter length Anoushka G dress. Deep cornflower blue, with scooped neck-line and a lily fascinator pinned to my long auburn hair, even I’d admit that I felt good in my wedding outfit.
I realized I was falling back on coping strategies I’d developed in my teens: a constant interior monologue of commentary and pep talks.
You look good, Trude.
That dress will make up for all sorts, and you can get away with those sucky-in Magic Knickers you bought in desperation, because you just know you’re the only one who’s ever going to see them.
Nice shoes, by the way.
Whatever it takes.
I recognized a few of the faces of the guests milling around in the churchyard. They were Cambridge buddies of Ethan’s. When I’d first come over from New Haven, I’d hung out with him in his college halls for a few weeks before landing my temporary job at Ellison and Coles, a wonderfully quaint traditional publisher with offices just off Covent Garden, right in the heart of London.
As we waited to enter the chapel, people smiled at me and nodded, but they were all in their own little groups and no one seemed particularly interested in me. I didn’t mind. I wasn’t in any mood for small talk, just yet. Instead, I checked my cell phone, only to find that there was no signal. I opened my mail just the same, and glanced through emails I’d already downloaded.
“You’ve got signal? Or are you just bluffing so you look busy even though you’re here on your own and nobody’s talking to you?”
I didn’t look round. I didn’t have to.
“Bastard,” I said softly.
“But a good-looking bastard, right? You always did say that I scrubbed up rather well.”
I turned. Honey-blond hair, sharp blue eyes, and the way the tuxedo and neatly pressed pants hung on his lean body... I took a deep breath and tried not to find him attractive.
Charlie didn’t look a day older than when I’d last seen him over a year before, ducking a flying ash tray as he backed out of the Islington apartment we’d shared back then.
“Last time I saw you–”
“You were a lousy shot. I only ducked to make you feel better about your aim. See? Even then I was looking out for you, babe.”
“I only missed because I didn’t want blood on the carpet. It was deliberate.”
“You preferred that dent in the door?” The ash tray had made a nasty gouge in the wood-panel door on impact. I’d never got round to fixing it: my little memento of the year with Charlie.
“Okay, so I misjudged that one. I should have hit you with it.”
“You look good, Trude.”
“Too damned right I do. You think I’d come to my brother’s wedding and look like shit?”
I was smiling by then. Our arguments went like that: they either got more and more intense or we’d end up laughing and wondering what we’d been fighting about.
“It’s been a long time, Trude.”
I leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. He smelt of Issey Miyake and cigarettes.
“Shouldn’t you be inside with Ethan? I assume he’s turned up?”
“Fresh air break,” said Charlie, tapping the cigarette-box-shaped bulge in the breast pocket of his tuxedo. “You know how it is.”
“Haven’t you given that stuff up yet?”
“Everyone’s got their vices, Trudy. Even you.”
I raised one eyebrow and fixed him with a hard stare until he was forced to look away. If the occasional vodka and tonic too many and a tendency to over-stretch my credit cards on Karen Millen and Jimmy Choo were vices, then yes, Charlie had a point, but he was pushing it.
I looked around again. The chapel was set in a stand of pine trees, a short distance from a sprawling country house, all tall windows and mock classical columns. The landscape was so flat here: fields stretching away to another line of dark pine trees, and the sea beyond. I don’t think I’d ever seen a landscape so haunting, so weighted down with sadness.
“I need a drink,” I muttered. I don’t know why I was so tense. There was no bad feeling between me and Ethan; we just hadn’t seen each other for a while. A bit of awkwardness, that was all.
“Later, Trude. Later.”
“So how did my brother end up getting married in a place like this? Does all this belong to her family? Is that it?”
One further element of embarrassment was that I’d never actually met Ethan’s fiancée, Eleanor.
I didn’t know much about her at all. Very English, was how Ethan had described her on the phone, way back when they’d just started to realize they were getting serious. An English rose, Trudy. Can you believe that? Me, with my very own English rose?
I thought he was a bit scared then, feeling out of his depth with this girl and her landed family and their English ways.
“Family with money,” said Charlie. “It’s all about who you know. Connections.”
That was when it happened. My Jane Austen moment. My cliché.
My attention was snagged by movement in the chapel doorway and I turned, thinking Ethan must be emerging and now was the time for me to go and hug him and sweep away the distance that had grown between us.
Instead, it was a guy I’d never seen before.
He was in a tux, this newcomer. He was about six foot, and his shoulders were square, almost as if he was wearing a quarterback’s shoulder pads. He was either an athlete or he spent far too much time looking after himself in the gym.
So: first impression was okay, but nothing to write home about.
And then... that Jane Austen moment.
He peered around, as if lost, and then his eyes fell upon me. It was almost as if he recognized me, as if he’d been waiting all his life for me... but then realized he was mistaken, he didn’t know me at all – exactly that kind of double take.
He looked away, and then glanced back.
His eyes were dark, but when they settled on you it was as if you’d been fixed by a hawk. A raptor, eyeing his prey.
I shook myself, made myself look away. I couldn’t believe I was actually blushing.
Eyes meeting across a crowded gathering.
It was a cliché. I was flustered by my late arrival and by the tense undercurrents of the occasion.
That’s all it was.
And yes, perhaps I protest too much.
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ABOUT THE AUTHORPJ Adams is a bestselling writer of erotic romance and suspense - love stories with that added heat and adventure. Her most popular titles include Damage and Winner Takes All. Writing under other names, PJ is a successful novelist, with several books published by major publishing houses and optioned for movies.
Find out more about PJ:
Web and mailing list: http://www.pollyjadams.com