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Surfing The Waves

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Fearne Hill
28 February 2022
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Clement Constantine-Church is a hot mess. With deadlines to meet.

Whereas the striking Viking redecorating his seaside cottage is simply hot.

As a precocious teen, Clem wrote a best seller. Now he writes for other people. Too busy contemplating his bleak career and panicking about pretty much everything, he doesn’t notice that the gorgeous surfer slapping paint across his bedroom walls has a top-notch flirting game. Nor that the body hidden underneath his white overalls should come with its own government health warning.

Anyhow, apparently the Viking is straight.

After one too many unwise hookups, Ragnar Aleksander Sigurdson Eggebraaten needs to lay low and avoid romantic entanglements. Which means there is zero chance he’d ever fall for a lonely writer. Not even if they pretended to be fake boyfriends during a weekend trip to London. Not even if there was only one bed. And especially not if he’s planning on leaving England at the end of summer to fulfil his dream of setting up a surf school.

Can surfer Vikings fall unexpectedly in love? And are failed writers allowed to write their own happily ever afters?

Brushed With Love is a warm and funny romance set in the UK. Trigger warnings include cosmic lizards, feisty octogenarians, and a spoiled shiatsu.

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The decorator who turned up on my front doorstep, ten minutes after our agreed nine o’clock, was hot, notwithstanding the impressive shiner over his left eye. By quarter past nine, he’d annoyed me immensely. I’d expected Ray, from Ray Bowler’s Rollers (a faux-amusing piece of wordplay better spoken aloud than on the written page). I’d met him when he came to price up the job. Satisfyingly punctual, the eponymous Ray Bowler embraced paunchy middle-age with gusto, complete with grey combover and the local Devon accent. He also boasted average height and breadth.

Whereas this striking Viking (see, Ray? we could all play word games) had none of those attributes and towered over me, blocking the daylight as his bulk filled the doorway. “Hi! I’ve come to paint your house. I work for Ray—I’m Ragnar Aleksander Sigurdson Eggebraaten.”

Was he coughing up a particularly troublesome lump of phlegm?

“Er…come again?”

He laughed easily. “Hey, mate, thanks for the offer. But I’ve got a black eye and the world’s shittiest hangover. I can’t promise I’m up to performing on demand with a total stranger, but I’m always game to give it a go.”

My face turned scarlet. Usually it was me who delivered the snarky lines. “I meant your name; I didn’t catch it.”

He laughed again; I swear those teeth must have been artificially whitened. Otherwise, life was plainly unfair. “I know what you meant, mate. I was only taking the piss. Call me Eggy. Everyone else does.”

“Clement Constantine-Church. How do you do,” I replied waspishly and gave his hand a brief shake. It felt warm and work-roughened, dwarfing my soft palm.

“Fucking hell, that’s not a name, dude—it’s a firm of solicitors! What do you like to be called?”



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Fearne Hill lives deep in the southern British countryside with three untamed sons, varying numbers of hens, a few tortoises, and a beautiful cocker spaniel.

When she is not overseeing her small menagerie, she enjoys writing contemporary romantic fiction. And when she is not doing either of those things, she works as an anaesthesiologist.

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