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Excerpt of All That Mullarkey by Sue Moorcroft

Purchase


Middledip #2
Choc Lit
June 2010
On Sale: June 1, 2010
336 pages
ISBN: 1906931240
EAN: 9781906931247
Kindle: B003ZK5R7S
Paperback / e-Book
Add to Wish List

Romance, Contemporary

Also by Sue Moorcroft:

Summer at the French Cafe, May 2022
Paperback / e-Book
Under the Mistletoe, November 2021
Paperback / e-Book
Under the Italian Sun, July 2021
Paperback / e-Book
Summer on a Sunny Island, July 2020
Paperback / e-Book
Just For the Holidays, May 2017
Paperback
The Wedding Proposal, August 2014
e-Book
Is This Love?, November 2013
Paperback / e-Book
Dream a Little Dream, November 2012
Paperback / e-Book
Love & Freedom, June 2011
Paperback / e-Book
Want to Know a Secret?, November 2010
Paperback / e-Book
All That Mullarkey, June 2010
Paperback / e-Book
Starting Over, December 2009
Paperback / e-Book

Excerpt of All That Mullarkey by Sue Moorcroft

Cleo’s eyes burned with the effort of trying to pierce the ultraviolet glare of a nightclub that heaved with partying Friday-nighters, as she willed her sister’s blonde head to bob into view. Liza had said she’d be here at Muggie’s tonight.

Cleo needed Liza’s sisterly arms around her, needed to rain foul insults on her absent husband (safe in the knowledge that, if Cleo forgave Gav, Liza would forget every word). And, as the bass and drums music thumped, Cleo had already texted her four times, without reply.

With a squeak of relief she glimpsed two golden heads and began wriggling her way towards them. ‘Angie! Rochelle!’ she gasped. Not Liza, but close. Angie and Rochelle, Liza’s cronies and clones – hair up in a series of complicated plaits, necklines low and hems high – swung around and gave Cleo air-kissy little hugs. ‘Cleo! Hiya!’

‘Where’s Liza?’

Angie, a starlet in scarlet, pouted heavily glossed lips as she raised her voice above the music. ‘She’s supposed to be here but we haven’t seen her. Have you tried texting her? What you having?’

Cleo paused. She hadn’t bothered with the bar yet but, actually, a drink would be perfect. Until Liza showed, Cleo could drink with Angie and Rochelle in this, the city centre’s pick-up joint, simply because she knew how much Gav would hate it. If he was going to insult her with accusations of bad behaviour, she might as well behave badly. Alcohol would be a good starting point. She turned to the red leather and chrome bar and surveyed the bottles in the cold cabinet behind the scurrying black- clad bar staff. ‘Lager, thanks.’

The pint of special brew Angie passed back to her wasn’t quite the bottle of Becks she’d had in mind, but the big, fat, frosty glass felt satisfying. Gav hated her drinking pints.

She checked her mobile but found no texts and no voice messages. Aggravated that Gav wasn’t even trying to get her – so that she could ignore him – she drank the pint down steadily and took her turn to buy a round, making her own another pint of special. Gav’s giant strop had made her feel unsafe, unstable, as if she could combust at any moment. Fury clanked around inside her head. She needed Liza.

She kept one eye on the iron staircase that brought punters up into the club from the street below, hovering beside Angie and Rochelle as they quartered the room with beady eyes and heads on springs. ‘There’s Duncan, look, with Daniel. And Ross!’ They waved across the room at men Cleo couldn’t identify in the crowd.

Cleo couldn’t even raise a smile, wishing deeply, dreadfully, that Liza would appear so that she could share her festering fury before she ripped someone’s head off. She heaved a sigh.

‘What’s up wiv you?’ Angie had recently affected an inability to pronounce certain words containing ‘th’. ‘You look like you’re, like, spitting fevvers.’

‘Nothing,’ Cleo muttered. ‘I just want to talk to Liza.’

Angie exchanged glances with Rochelle before asking, slyly, ‘Your Gav not wiv you tonight?’

She shook her head, blinking back tears.

‘Ah. Right.’ Angie nodded, sagely.

Rochelle, eyes outlined startlingly in aquamarine, patted Cleo’s arm. ‘It’ll be all right when you go home! He’s probably waiting to make up.’

Cleo felt her eyes begin to melt. ‘But he stormed off –’

Angie’s attention was suddenly whipped away. ‘Who’s that?’

‘Where?’ Rochelle craned to follow her friend’s gaze.

‘There! Spiky hair, pointy face. Hot, or what?’

‘Wow!’ Rochelle’s intake of breath was so deep her neckline almost gave way under the strain. ‘He’s looking! Make as if he knows us.’

Finger-twiddling waves in the direction of Spiky Hair ended in sighs of disappointment. Cleo glanced across as he threw back his head and laughed with two men wearing excruciatingly short platinum crops and wrap-around shades. Angie and Rochelle were probably missing the pulling power of Liza, tiny, fey, blonde man magnet. Cleo had long ago accepted philosophically that Liza was the one who turned heads. She didn’t mind because Liza, her kid sister, heap of trouble, oddball, was one of Cleo’s favourite people.

Cleo had what their mother (another tiny, fey, etc.) termed ‘dark and uncommon attractions’. All, apparently, to do with Stanislaw, a Polish grandfather who bequeathed Cleo Slavic cheekbones, a kind of stocky sexiness and medium height to make her the tallest female in her family. Her eyes, her mother decreed, were her big asset. ‘Dark and twinkly, turning down at the corners to meet your big smile turning up.’

‘Crap,’ Liza would mutter, ‘your big assets are your boobs.’

Cleo rose onto her tiptoes to do a 360-degree scan of the room. Turning back, alerted by straightening of tiny skirts and hair flicking, she saw that, despite unpromising early indications, the laughing man with the spiky hair was on his way over. ‘I saw him first!’ hissed Angie.

‘His call,’ Rochelle growled, bolstering up the contents of her bra under her thin lace top.

Spiky arrived through the throng with a dazzling smile. ‘Evening, ladies.’

‘I’m Angie!’

‘Rochelle!’

Cleo sank into the background, content to be the audience for Angie and Rochelle’s forthcoming boob-thrusting assault. But suddenly she found herself under the brown- golden gaze and it was like being fixed by the eyes of a leopard. His mouth curved. ‘I’m Justin.’

Through her astonishment, Cleo heard dual sighs of disappointment.

‘This is Cleo,’ Angie snapped, turning away.

‘Her husband’s run off,’ added Rochelle, meanly.

Cleo gazed uncertainly at Justin. His hair was cropped tightly at the sides, sharpening his features, and his smile seemed to poise him on the point of laughter. Somehow her eyes kept sliding down to his mouth – perhaps because he kept looking at hers.

Justin smiled. Centrefold material. ‘Sorry to hear about the husband.’ Cleo had never seen anyone look less sorry about anything. He cocked his head. ‘So, what did you do?’

Cleo’s stomach twisted on fresh indignation. ‘He left in case I did something.’

Slowly, he grinned, teeth white and narrow. ‘That’s … unreasonable. So. Option A or Option B?’

She blinked. ‘Sorry?’

He edged nearer as people tried to push past him to the bar, dropping his head close to hers so that she could hear him over the clamouring music. Warm. He smelled of aftershave and beer. ‘Option A is where I leave you to brood about your gitty husband. Option B is where I take you to dance to forget your gitty husband.’ His eyes laughed, inviting her to join in....

Excerpt from All That Mullarkey by Sue Moorcroft
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