Title: The Sweet Spot
Series: Appleton Vale, Book 1
Author: Anneli Lort
Cover Artist: Louise Mizen Ferguson
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Romance Genre(s): Contemporary, Sports
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About the Book
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.
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He had been in a world of his own and hadn’t heard her approach.
He jumped at the sound of her voice, stood up, hastily wiped his eyes, and gave her a weak smile. “And to you, Olivia.”
“Are you ok?” she asked tentatively, in fear of poking the bear.
“I used to love Christmas, but now,” he gulped and was unable to finish his sentence.
Olivia moved towards him, the sheer wretchedness of his pain was evident.
Sebastian shook his head, “No,” he held his hands up, stopping her in her tracks. “I don’t want your pity, I’m sorry enough for myself.”
Olivia gulped and was lost for words. All she wanted to do was hold him, make him feel safe, but instead she felt she ought to walk away and give him space.
She looked around for Hector, who had inconveniently vanished into the undergrowth with Ace. Damn you dog, just when I need a quick getaway.
Standing there like a spare part, she fiddled with her scarf and looked anywhere, other than at Sebastian.
“Aren’t you going to say something?” A ghost of a smile flickered across his face. “It’s not like you to be lost for words.”
“Err, I’m not exactly on top form today, I’ve got a rotten hangover. I blame Susie, and Andrea, and myself,” she grinned, thankful the moment of awkwardness had passed.
“I’m sorry.” Sebastian looked woeful. “Forgive me. Christmas is a difficult time and I had a skin-full last night too. I feel like shit if truth be told.”
“Thought you were on the wagon?”
“I was. I just happened to go over a few bumps and fell off. I’m paying for it now,” he said sheepishly.
“I’m a terrible drunk. Good job we weren’t together last night, it would have been carnage,” Olivia laughed.
“God, if only,” Sebastian muttered under his breath.
“What?” she asked.
“Nothing,” he smirked.
“You think I’m a little hostile, don’t you?” she said.
Sebastian looked perplexed. “We’ve been getting on well, I thought,” he said.
“Getting on my nerves more like,” she muttered.
“I heard that,” Sebastian laughed. “So what is it that you find so irritating about me, Ms Carmichael?”
“Do you really want to know?”
“By all means,” Sebastian teased.
She took a deep breath. “You have this impenetrable wall around you, you’re always on the defensive, and you can be so unbelievably rude sometimes, and that’s just for starters.” Olivia pointed her chin defiantly, she was on a roll.
She glanced at Sebastian, hoping she hadn’t overstepped the mark; he was her boss after all. “You don’t see how good your life is, you push everyone away and you don’t give a toss about your career, which is disappointing to say the least. I didn’t peg you for a quitter.”
“You forgot misogynist.” Sebastian grinned. “Feel better now?”
“Yes, lots,” Olivia was relieved.
“Water off a duck’s back, nothing I haven’t heard before,” he said honestly.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said all of that, I didn’t mean it,” said Olivia.
“Yes you did. Well, most of it, and you’re bang on the money, and I’m a complete bastard.” Sebastian reached out and stroked her cheek. “But being with you makes me want to be less of one.”
Olivia’s heart skipped a beat.
“What?” she squeaked.
Sebastian was now standing so close to her their faces were just millimeters apart.
“You make me want to be a better person, Livy,” he whispered.
“Oh,” she gulped, averting her eyes in case they betrayed her feelings for him.
“Olivia, look at me,” he urged her gently.
At that very moment, Hector and Ace came bounding out of the bushes and launched themselves at Sebastian, knocking him flat on his back.
“Ouch, you little buggers. That’s hardly a nice thing to do at Christmas.”
Olivia suppressed a giggle and offered her hand to help him up but, instead, Sebastian grabbed her wrist and pulled her down on top of him.
“What are you doing?” Her voice was shaking; she was in danger of losing control.
Her breathing was short and shallow as she tried to disentangle herself, but the force of his hands on the small of her back kept her firmly in place.
“Livy?” he whispered, as if asking for her permission.
She hesitated and Sebastian seized on her moment of indecision, gently placing both hands around her face, drawing it to meet his. He kissed her, tentatively at first, as if he were testing the water, and she found herself unable to resist. She melted into his arms and allowed herself to be consumed by her own desire.
About Anneli Lort
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.
Connect with Anneli
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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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