Blog Tour - Elin Gregory - Eleventh Hour
Author: Elin Gregory
Release Date: August 1 2016
Length: 68,000 words
Borrowed from the Secret Intelligence Service cipher department to assist Briers Allerdale - a field agent returning to 1920s London with news of a dangerous anarchist plot - Miles Siward moves into a "couples only" boarding house, posing as Allerdale's "wife". Miles relishes the opportunity to allow his alter ego, Millie, to spread her wings but if Miles wants the other agent's respect he can never betray how much he enjoys being Millie now how attractive he finds Allerdale.
Pursuing a ruthless enemy who wants to throw Europe back into the horrors of the Great War, Briers and miles are helped and hindered by nosy landladies, Water Board officials, suave gentlemen representing foreign powers and their own increasing attraction to each other.
Will they catch their quarry? Will they find love? Could they hope for both?
The clock is ticking.
The clock is ticking.
“Have you finished with the shaving water?” Miles asked. “I can’t ask for more. They might wonder why.”
Briers had to concede that was a good thought, even as he ground his teeth in frustration. Miles in only a towel was a sight to gladden the heart, amongst other things. Willowy was the word, almost wasp-waisted, with a delightfully pert behind. But most importantly, untouchable, Briers decided, and he averted his eyes while Miles lathered his face and shaved, then continued to scrape the cinnamon coloured hair from the parts of his body he hadn’t had time to see to the day before. Not that he was hirsute, but what little foliage he had was ruthlessly cut back until he was smooth everywhere Briers had seen, which was everything apart from the small area from navel to thigh concealed by the towel.
“Have I missed anything?” Miles demanded, holding the towel in place with first one hand then the other as he twisted and turned, trying to see the backs of his calves.
“I don’t think so,” Briers admitted, and turned away abruptly to look out of the window.
His experience with women had been limited the occasional fumble when it had seemed rude not to, and one heart-breaking affair in Prague when it had been assumed he would be willing, if not eager, to seduce the lonely wife of an Italian chargé d’affaires. He had hoped to keep it to handholding and promises of more, but his masters had insisted he at least show willing. Easy for them to say. Still he had done what was necessary. The dear lady had put his reticence down to inexperience, bless her, and couldn’t have been kinder. Once the incriminating photographs had been taken and the damning letters had been exchanged, he had caught a train back to Belgrade. The woman would be approached with the evidence and encouraged to pass on any little scraps of information her husband might let slip. Everyday business for the SIS, but this time it had left Briers feeling even dirtier than usual. The worst thing had been that he had truly enjoyed the woman’s company. She had been tall, slender, and opinionated with a bright smile, very much like Millie Carstairs.
And hadn’t that been a surprise? Small, diffident Siward, fussy in his formal pin-striped suit and pince-nez, had given way to forthright Millie. Miles had seated himself as though afraid of taking up too much room and had spoken softly. Millie stretched out her long legs, crossed them with a slither of silk, snapped her little gold glasses onto her nose with much the same air as a guardsman presenting arms, and told Briers what was what. Briers found the steely glint in her big blue eyes and the challenge in her conversation as stimulating in their own way as he had found Miles’gentle smile. There had been a youth – or girl he should say really, he supposed – some years back in Belgrade. Draga had been petite and blonde and utterly beautiful, and Briers would have passed her by without a glance if it hadn’t been for the particular bar he had seen her in. Curiosity had paid off and they had spent a very satisfying week together. Briers couldn’t help but wonder if, given the right encouragement, Miles would be as voracious. But he kept his back turned and his eyes on the window. In part, this was to conceal his interest – his sudden vivid image of himself yanking the towel away and tipping Miles up to inspect every recently shaved inch had caused him an embarrassment in the trouser department – but partly to keep an eye on their target.
Elin Gregory lives in South Wales and works in a museum in a castle built on the edge of a Roman Fort! She reckons that's a pretty cool job.
Elin usually writes on historical subjects, and enjoys weaving the weird and wonderful facts she comes across in her research into her plots. She likes her heroes hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow. Often they are in danger, frequently they have to make hard choices, but happy endings are always assured.
Current works in progress include one set during the Great War, another in WW2, one set in the Dark Ages and a series of contemporary romances set in a small town on the Welsh border.