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Authors: Tasmina Perry

Tags: #Fiction, #Contemporary Women, #General

Private Lives

BOOK: Private Lives
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Tasmina Perry is the author of the huge
Sunday Times
Top Ten bestsellers
Daddy’s Girls
,
Gold Diggers
,
Guilty Pleasures
,
Original Sin
and
Kiss Heaven Goodbye.
She left a career in law to enter the world of women’s magazine publishing, going on to win the New Magazine Journalist of the Year award, edit numerous national publications and write on celebrity and style for titles such as
Elle
and
Glamour
. In 2004 she launched her own travel and fashion magazine,
Jaunt
, and was Deputy Editor of
InStyle
magazine when she left the industry to write books full time. Her novels have been published in seventeen countries. Tasmina Perry lives with her husband and son in Surrey, where she is at work on her next novel and a screenplay.

For the latest news, competitions and much more, log on to
www.tasminaperry.com
.

Praise for Tasmina Perry’s novels:

 

‘Takes you to the most glamorous corners of the globe while keeping you on the edge of your seat’
Glamour

 

‘Gripping and exciting. . . We loved every page of it’
Heat

 

‘Exotic, decadent, sexy and full of surprising twists. . . Irresistible’
Closer

 

‘Tasmina Perry just gets better and
better
. Utter
bliss

InStyle

 

‘For glamour, escapism and a glorious cast. . . The perfect beach read’
Daily Express

 

‘No one crafts a mystery with the same panache or glittering prose as Tasmina Perry’
Madison

 

‘A sizzling summer read’
Marie Claire

 

‘Pure glittering escapism’
She

 

Copyright © 2011 Tasmina Perry

The right of Tasmina Perry to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Apart from any use permitted under UK copyright law, this publication may only be reproduced, stored, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, with prior permission in writing of the publishers or, in the case of reprographic production, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency.

First published as an Ebook by Headline Publishing Group in 2011

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Cataloguing in Publication Data is available from the British Library

eISBN : 978 0 7553 5847 2

HEADLINE PUBLISHING GROUP

An Hachette UK Company

338 Euston Road

London NW1 3BH

www.headline.co.uk

www.hachette.co.uk

To my brothers, Digs and Dan.

Table of Contents

 

About the Author

Praise for Tasmina Perry’s novels

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Chapter 62

Chapter 63

Chapter 64

Chapter 65

Chapter 66

Chapter 67

Chapter 68

Chapter 69

Chapter 70

Chapter 71

Acknowledgements

She looked around the flat and smiled to herself. Silk drapes and tall windows looked out on to an iconic view: Tower Bridge and the slick black ribbon of the Thames glistening in the night. Sometimes she wanted to hug herself with excitement; just being here, in her own luxury flat, surrounded by all her nice things. Who’d have thought that someone like her would live in such a smart flat in the centre of one of the most exciting cities in the world?

Walking over to the kitchen, she poured herself another large glass of wine from the open bottle. Would he still come tonight? The thought of their last conversation jumped into her head, but she shook it away. No, of course he would still come, he always did. She admired herself in the mirror: the long legs, the high breasts. Even in leggings and a T-shirt she looked fantastic. No, he’d come. She knew he’d come.

She sank back into the sofa then flicked through her favourite celebrity magazine. In her more honest, introspective moments she knew it was her obsession with magazines like this that had led her to choose this career path. Not that she could imagine Miss Davies, her careers adviser at school, calling what she did a career. But what was wrong with wanting to be rich and famous? She’d bet Miss Davies didn’t have a flat like this one.

Tossing the magazine to one side, she knew she should get ready in case he did drop by. A bottle of nail polish was on the coffee table and she held it up to the light. Scarlet. He always said he loved it when she painted her toenails red. Slutty, that was what he meant. Well, she was happy to oblige in that department, especially when they’d be making up tonight.

One toenail had been painted when the doorbell rang. Flustered, she put down the polish and went to the door. She peered through the spyhole, expecting to see flowers or some small, tastefully wrapped box clutched in his hand. Instead she saw an unfamiliar man in a suit, his face stretched and bulbous in the fish-eye lens.

‘Who is it?’

‘It’s Jack. Jack Devon. I’m a friend of Peter’s.’

She frowned. Who was he? Had Peter sent him? Attaching the chain, she opened the door and looked through the gap. The man was about forty. Smartly but conservatively dressed, like an accountant. Pale watery eyes blinked behind small rimless glasses.

‘What do you want?’ She hadn’t meant to sound rude, but it was past nine o’clock and she wasn’t used to strange men turning up at her door, no matter what other people might say about her.

‘It’s about Peter.’ He glanced behind him. ‘Do you think we could talk inside?’

She felt a jolt of panic. Was he hurt? Was something wrong?

‘Is he okay?’ she asked.

‘Under the circumstances,’ replied the man.

‘What circumstances?’

‘I think it’s best if we discuss this inside.’

She wavered for a moment, then slid back the chain and opened the door. He walked into the apartment, looking nervous, uncomfortable.

‘I’m sorry to have to visit you so late,’ he began. ‘I don’t enjoy this any more than you do.’

‘Who are you?’ she asked, folding her arms across her chest. ‘What do you want?’

The man shrugged as they moved into the open-plan living space. ‘It’s not what I want. It’s what Peter wants.’

She didn’t like the direction this conversation was taking. ‘And what’s that exactly?’

He pushed up his glasses and rubbed his eyes. ‘He wants you to start acting reasonably.’

Her heart was beginning to hammer in panic, but she was determined not to show it. ‘So who are you? His lawyer?’

‘No, not exactly,’ he said. ‘But that might be next. Blackmail is a criminal offence, after all.’

‘Blackmail?’ She almost laughed. ‘Is that what this is about?’

Okay, so she had applied a bit of pressure, told him she wasn’t prepared to wait any longer, maybe said a few things she shouldn’t have. But that was hardly blackmail, was it?

‘Does Peter know you’re here?’

‘Of course. He simply wants a solution that works for both sides. We really don’t want to have to involve the police.’

She snorted nervously. ‘You and I both know that Peter is not going to go to the police.’

The man blinked at her, then nodded. ‘Indeed. Which is why I’m here.’

He moved over to the table and opened his leather briefcase. He pulled out a chequebook and held it up. ‘How much?’ he asked.

She glanced at the chequebook, then looked out of the window. ‘I don’t want his money,’ she said.

The man allowed himself a small smile. ‘Really. And who paid for all this?’ He glanced pointedly around the apartment.

‘I don’t want
money
,’ she snapped, trying her best to sound indignant. ‘What I want is Peter.’

‘Well, I’m afraid that’s not an option any more,’ he said flatly.

‘We’ll see about that.’ She strode to the coffee table and snatched up her mobile. ‘I’m phoning him.’

BOOK: Private Lives
9.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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