Friday, September 19, 2014

First Fight Friday: Stable Mates by Zara Stoneley

Goats solve their differences head-on. They don’t give the silent treatment or yell, they butt heads, and then it’s over.

Cowboy Marvin has learned humans resolve issues differently especially those romantically involved. His curiosity sparked, he has invited authors to stop by on Fridays and share the first fight out of their latest book.

A fellow Harper Impulse author and a 
Fire Writer for Written Fireside
Zara Stoneley

           is here for ...

First Fight Friday 

with a scene from 

Stable Mates

Flirting and fun seem the perfect antidote for Lottie's battered heart, and where better to find them than back in tranquil Tippermere, home of sexy eventer Rory Steel, the smiling Irish eyes of hunky farrier Mick O'Neal, and mysterious newcomer, model Tom Strachan?

Lottie made a dash for the safety of the kitchen and Rory, only to find a battlefield. The small kitchen table was normally piled high with entry forms, schedules, directions, vets bills and every other conceivable bit of information that an eventer might ever need. Today they’d been scattered in all directions. She teased one out of the corner of a terrier’s mouth and then gave it back to the dog when she realised it was only a phone bill. A second terrier lay forlornly in her small basket, sheets of paper still slowly floating down, her chin on her paws and her eyes darting anxiously between her master and the arm-flailing Pip.

‘I pay you to send in the f***ing entries on time.’

‘You don’t bloody pay me, and even if you did, what am I supposed to be? A bloody mind reader?’

‘I do pay you.’

‘Not to be your bloody cleaner, housemaid or secretary. I,’ she waved her arms towards the still open door, ‘work out there, you moron. You said you wanted a bloody groom, not a nanny.’

Rory, who was sat on one of the chairs at the kitchen table, dumped his muddy boots on the chair opposite and crossed his arms rebelliously. Which Lottie was sure was because he just knew his attitude would wind Pip up even more.

‘What are you two arguing about now?’ She pulled out a spare chair and sank back onto it, a dog landing on her lap for reassurance almost before her bum was settled on the seat. 

When Lottie had suggested Pip come and work for Rory, it had never occurred to her how the sparks might fly. Lottie and Rory thought along the same lines, they were both slightly disorganised, both more interested in play than work and neither of them took much seriously, apart from, of course, horses. Pip was different. Pip took everything seriously and ran her life with military precision when she was on duty. And when she was at the yard, it was business not pleasure. And Rory drove her round the bend. Neither of them would give an inch, one because of his male pride, the other because she was never, ever wrong and wasn’t prepared to pretend she was. The fact that she was quite happy to throw things if it got her point across made life interesting. She’d only been here a matter of months, but already Rory had found out that if he was wrong he was damned well going to be told. Repeatedly. Until he admitted it. The only problem was, Rory was never, in his eyes, wrong.

‘He’s lost his entry for next weekend.’ Pip glanced at her briefly, then fixed an accusing glare back on Rory.

‘I’ve lost?’ He ran his hand through his curls, eyes wide with the injustice of it all.

‘You’ve lost. You did not ask me to send that entry in, Rory Steel, and we both know it.’

‘It’s not the one in the wagon is it? For Rio?’ Lottie tried to sound casual and hide the note of guilt in her voice. 

She distinctly remembered Rory picking up his post on the way out last weekend, and reading it in the cab as they took Flash to the dressage. And when he’d left it on the seat, she’d glanced briefly then stuffed it all in the glove compartment to stop the terriers chewing it to shreds. Then forgotten all about it. Until now. She kept her gaze fixed on the terrier and rubbed the silky ear between thumb and finger.

‘You are kidding?’ Pip had reached the hands-on-hips stage.

The terrier yelped as she rubbed a bit too hard. Rory frowned. ‘Oh, yeah I remember now. I did enter, that was the confirmation.’ He grinned. ‘Brilliant. Glad we got that sorted.’

‘Sorted? You call that sorted? You bastard, I just knew it was nothing to do with me.’ Pip was almost stamping her foot.

‘So,’ Lottie coughed to get their attention as they were back to a stand-off, ‘who is that guy on the yard?’

‘Oh, shit, I was supposed to be helping him, he said he’d sort Kis for me.’

Rory laughed as Pip shot out of the kitchen. ‘Come here gorgeous, I need some TLC after that battering.’

‘It’s your own fault.’ Lottie stood up, tipping the terrier onto the floor, and moved over to sit on his knee, shivering as his fingers rubbed exactly the right spot between her shoulder blades. ‘You know she’s not going to take it lying down if you blame her for things that aren’t her fault.’

‘Will you take it lying down?’

Copyright © Zara Stoneley 


Stable Mates by Zara Stoneley   

Secrets and scandals, love and lust 
when the ‘Cheshire Set’ are up against 
the ‘Footballer’s Wives’ 
the only common ground is carnal…

Flirting and fun seem the perfect antidote for Lottie's battered heart, and where better to find them than back in tranquil Tippermere, home of sexy eventer Rory Steel, the smiling Irish eyes of hunky farrier Mick O'Neal, and mysterious newcomer, model Tom Strachan?

But when landowner Marcus James drops dead unexpectedly, and the threat of his waggish wife Amanda selling the heart of the village out from under them looms large, things look like they're about to heat up in and out of the saddle.

With tensions running high, and the champagne flowing as freely as the adrenalin, is it any wonder that love catches more than one of them unawares?

Stable Mates 
is available on 
Amazon ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ Sainsbury's ~ Nook ~ Foyles 
 Waterstones ~ Google Play ~ Blackwells

Other titles by Zara include:

Summer of Surrender

Love is a Four Letter Word

Want to know more about Zara?
Check out her Fire Writer Friday interview.

About Zara: 

Bestselling author Zara Stoneley lives in deepest Cheshire surrounded by horses, dogs, cats and amazing countryside. When she’s not visiting wine bars, artisan markets or admiring the scenery in her sexy high heels or green wellies, she can be found in flip flops on the beach in Barcelona, or more likely sampling the tapas!

Zara writes hot romance and bonkbusters. Her latest novel, ‘Stable Mates’, is a fun romp through the Cheshire countryside and combines some of her greatest loves – horses, dogs, hot men and strong women (and not forgetting champagne and fast cars)!

She writes for Harper Collins and Accent Press.

Follow Zara Stoneley online

Thanks for sharing Zara!

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