A series of Exclusive Excerpts from my backlist – which always needs some extra love *wink*. Today it’s BLINDED BY OUR EYES: an erotic crime story set in the London art world, with suspense, murder, and an ending that is satisfying for the crime, and HFN for the romance.
BLURB: London art dealer Charles Garrett has devoted his life to appreciating and acquiring beauty, both in art and in his companions. His fashionable life is rocked to the core when he discovers the body of a young artist, Paolo Valero, in a pool of blood in his gallery.
As Paolo’s mentor, Charles is haunted by the horror of his violent death. Seeking closure, he investigates Paolo’s past and soon discovers a tangled web of motives and potential suspects, some closer to home than he ever imagined. He’s drawn to Antony Walker, an aggressive, handsome sculptor with unsavory ties to Paolo. Charles is unsettled by Antony’s forceful nature but irresistibly attracted to his passion and his art.
When the evidence points toward Antony’s guilt, Charles is thrown into emotional turmoil. Has he lost his heart to a killer?
The interview room at the police station was small and bleak. A smooth coat of off-white paint and a selection of plastic furniture made no concessions to comfort. I’d been brought a cup of tea but I hadn’t touched it so far. I hadn’t been handcuffed or cautioned, and I didn’t think anyone was watching me through a one-way mirror, but the officer’s attitude was harsh, nonetheless. Suspicious.
“I just found him like that.” I bit back the nausea. “I told you everything already.”
“You don’t live over the shop?”
I frowned. “You mean the gallery? No, I have a flat in Bayswater.” They had the address, didn’t they? I was sure they’d written it down at some stage.
“But you called in to the gallery, so late at night. Ten-thirty, or thereabouts. What was the reason for that, sir?”
“I wanted to check out the displays. I’ve been away for a couple of days.” I wasn’t going to tell this man how attracted I felt to the gallery, at any time of day or night. It was always a pleasure to go there, for whatever reason. Or at least, it had been until tonight.
He glanced down at some sheets of paper in front of him. His hair was trimmed to just above his collar. Dark brown, tousled. His shirt looked clean but lined, as if it had only just come out of the packet. “Yes. We’re checking that with the airline.”
I started to shake my head then stopped myself.
“No one called you? Asked you to come around? Maybe you had an arrangement to meet someone on your return. At the gallery.”
“No. Nothing like that. I just dropped in. I didn’t expect…” I swallowed hard. My throat was dry, but the tea didn’t look any more inviting than it had before. “I didn’t expect anyone else to be there.” I glanced down at my shirt. There was a smear of dried blood over the lower buttons from where I’d held Joseph.
The policeman fanned out the papers, then shuffled them back together. “You have other tenants, though?”
“I rent out the art studios above the gallery.” There were just a few rooms but they were very popular with artists who didn’t have facilities themselves. It also gave the gallery a certain unique character. That helped with the promotion, of course, with getting established in a challenging market. “But they don’t often work at night, and it’s usually with prior agreement. They’d need a key.”
He tensed up very slightly. “And who has a key?” Continue reading