beginnings book cover
Beginnings is a romantic thriller set in the criminal underworld of 1970s London. Eleanor Chapman is 16. She has no idea her father is employed in a world of organised crime until the day he is forced to go on the run, leaving her at the mercy of dangerous people.
Her life is spiralling out of control yet on the night she plans to escape, she stumbles across a mysterious prisoner. His name is Jake, a rock musician from Holland and he has a contract on his life.
Their daring escape across London eventually draws them into a place of hiding before Jake’s chilling story begins to unfold. He was the one vital witness to a sinister scene leading up to the death of a British MP and now those responsible want him silenced. As two young people, thrown together by fate they develop intense feelings for each other. It does not take long for Eleanor to realise that she will do anything possible to keep Jake alive.
Their tender love bond keeps you turning the pages as they live on a knife edge, desperate to escape London. Will they outrun the deadly enemies who stalk them? Or are the people at the top more powerful than they think?
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For the rest of the day she was subdued. After washing her hair, she liberally smothered Jake’s wound with antiseptic cream, before covering up it with a bandage. She was clearly devastated about Della and Jake could understand that. She was that type of person. What Theakston’s men had done chilled him; further proof that he was prepared to go to any lengths to entrap them.
But as evening approached, Eleanor remembered the strawberries, which seemed to lift her out of her melancholy. Drifting over to the kitchen sink, she began to rinse them – using a fruit knife to slice them into halves, dropping them into bowls.
Jake couldn’t resist wandering into the kitchen to watch her. He leaned across to glance over her shoulder.
“English strawberries,” he sighed. “The sweetest in the world…”

She felt his breath waft against her neck and her stomach gave the strangest flutter. For those few seconds she was lost for words, scouring her mind for something to say. Unable to stop herself, she spun around to face him and popped one of the strawberries into his mouth. He let out a murmur of delight and closed his eyes.
“Delicious… and you say you found these growing in the garden?”
“Yes,” she smiled. “Some are not even ripe yet, so there’ll be more…”
He was staring into her eyes in the most searching way and she couldn’t seem to pull her gaze away. Some undefined emotion flickered from their intense green depths. She studied his irises; the dark rims encircling them, the tiny flecks of blue and gold; details she had never noticed but then again, he had never stood this close before…
He closed his eyes, lowering his head at the same time. She encountered the velvety softness of his lips as they brushed against her own.
Such a sensation released a wave of desire and with little hesitation, she kissed him back. She could taste the tang of strawberries. Reaching up, she slid her fingertips over his face, stroking his hair where at last, she savoured its silkiness. As his tongue slipped inside her mouth, her stomach did another little somersault, same as before.
It only lasted a second. Jake broke away, the breath on his lips shaking.
“Oh wow,” Eleanor gasped.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, lowering his eyes.
“Why?” Eleanor protested. “It was nice…”
“You are so very young, Eleanor,” Jake said, a sadness in his tone. “I mustn’t take advantage.”
Wandering away from the kitchen he sat down, letting his head droop into his hands.
“We have been through a nightmare,” he continued. “It’s bound to mess with our heads. So let’s take things slowly. We have plenty of time to discover how we really feel.”
Eleanor was stunned. She didn’t want to take things slowly, she wanted him to kiss her again. Her lips tingled from the delightful sensations he had evoked and she longed for more. Yet he had backed off; there was no point trying to force things. Frustrated beyond belief, Eleanor brought the strawberries to the table and sat down opposite. She gave a tight smile.
“Enjoy your strawberries,” she said through gritted teeth, “and for God’s sake stop worrying about my age. I’ve grown up a hell of a lot in the last few days. It was only a kiss!”

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Author Bio –
Helen J. Christmas lives on the south coast of Sussex with her husband. With a love of writing since childhood, she started her decade spanning thriller series ‘Same Face Different Place’ in 2011. Her first book ‘Beginnings,’ set in 1970s London, combines romantic suspense with a hard-hitting conspiracy thriller. Writing is something she juggles around family and social life. Helen is self employed and enjoys running the web design company, she and her husband set up from home. They have no children but enjoy the company of a faithful border collie and a fluffy white cat. Helen confesses to have got most of her ideas for writing, whilst walking Barney along the beach.
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