Today I am so pleased to welcome Lily Morton to Joyfully Jay. Lily has come to talk to us about her latest release, Beautifully Unexpected (which I reviewed and totally loved). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
I shift position on the wooden bench and then do it again when it doesn’t relieve the ache in my arse. Court cases can go on for ages, so why they don’t make the seats comfortable has always been a mystery.
The prosecution QC drones on at the front of the courtroom, leaving the witness looking a little glazed.
“Uncomfortable, isn’t it?” the woman next to me whispers.
I shoot her a smile. “Awful.”
She leans closer. “I come here all the time, but I bring a cushion now.”
“You come here a lot?” I ask. She’s tiny, with lilac-coloured hair and faded blue eyes.
“Well, only for Mr Carlsen’s trials.”
I bite my lip. “And you like the way he defends a client?”
She winks. “And the way he fills out those robes. He’s a brilliant QC, though. It’s always worth watching him.”
The lady on my left leans forward. “Do you mind me asking what a QC is?” she asks with an American accent.
My lilac-haired neighbour inflates with importance. “It stands for Queen’s Counsel. They’re the top barristers who take the most important cases. It’s a huge honour to be one.”
“And what are barristers?”
I lean back farther so they can whisper over me, but they’re too intent on each other to notice. I hope we don’t get thrown out for talking.
“They’re lawyers but they’re the only ones who can come to court,” my original neighbour says. “If you’re going to be tried, you get yourself a solicitor, but they can’t act for you in court, so they pass your case on to a barrister. And if you’re really lucky, you get Mr Carlsen.”
I glance at Magnus. He’s leaning back in his chair and looking almost bored. As if the whole trial process is just too trite to hold his attention. Several jurors are watching him rather than the prosecution QC, and I can’t say I blame them.
He’s a stunning man. It’s not so much his looks, as the way he carries himself. Like he’s a downed wire full of crackling sparks and electricity. There’s an air of mischief about him and a palpable confidence that says he’s unconcerned by the way people view him.
“Mr Fitzpatrick,” my stepfather addresses the prosecution QC. “Could we proceed to the portion of the day where you actually ask a question?”
My companion giggles as a wave of laughter sweeps the benches. It’s hastily quelled by a glare from my stepfather. I take that as a reminder that I’m supposed to be working here, so I pull out my sketchbook and pencil from my satchel. It’s lain in there for the last few hours, as I’d been absorbed by the drama of the court process. And Magnus Carlsen. I have to admit he draws the eye and attention. And he knows it, I remind myself.
Opening the pad to a clean page, I start to sketch with sure movements of my fingers. The familiar motions are comforting, and I fall into a haze as I draw my stepfather’s stubborn jaw and rather pugnacious expression as he listens to the counsel for the prosecution.
I could’ve felt the old lady’s gaze from a mile away, and I’m not surprised when she leans in. “Blimey, that’s good,” she breathes. “You’ve got him down pat, love.”
I smile at her. “You think so?”
She nods. “Oh, definitely. Although why you’re drawing that old sort when you could be sketching Mr Carlsen, I don’t know. I’d pay for a picture of him.”
I smile at her and then look at Magnus. The prosecution QC is moving back to his seat, and Magnus is rising to his feet. He stretches almost idly and then prowls to the witness, who perks up visibly.
“Is it still May?” Magnus asks in a conversational tone, and several of the jury members laugh.
“Mr Carlsen,” my stepfather warns.
“My apologies.” Magnus’s voice clearly conveys no such thing. I can’t help my smile and watch him intently as he launches into his questions. Within minutes, he’s exposed a crucial flaw in the prosecution’s case that will probably turn the case on its head, but he still leans almost casually against the bench. His voice is rich and warm, his posture is relaxed and almost meditative, but his eyes belie the pose. They’re razor-sharp and focused on the witness.
Before I can stop myself, I turn to a clean page and start to sketch him. My pencil catches his craggy face with the high, broad cheekbones and the silky ash-brown hair that sometimes falls into brown eyes that are so clear they almost look see-through. I sketch his nose that’s obviously been broken once or twice and gives him a rakish charm. But it’s his mouth that fascinates me. It’s wide and curling and too soft for such a strong, harsh face.
He wears his life on that face, I realise as I continue to draw. It’s in the faint web of lines that run from his heavy-lidded eyes that speak of many years spent laughing, and the bags beneath that show he’s a man who enjoys life. It’s not a handsome face, but it’s stunning, full of vitality and sardonic amusement that are impossible to look away from.
Sometimes love comes when you least expect or want it.
Magnus Carlsen is determined to grow old disgracefully. At fifty-two, he doesn’t believe in keeping anything. Men, sofas, books—everything gets jettisoned, eventually. He’s divided his life into happy compartments. A successful trial lawyer, he spends his days lecturing jurors, exasperating judges, and striding arrogantly around courtrooms. He fills his nights with a parade of handsome young men who want to make him happy. Why date someone his own age to discuss back pain, retirement-planning, and corns, when he can date men who don’t care to discuss anything at all?
However, when one of these sunny young men shows an inclination for dramatic scenes, Magnus meets his new neighbour. And his whole world implodes.
Laurie Gentry is nearly the same age as Magnus, but that’s where the similarity ends. He’s messy and creative and nosy and mysterious. He’s everything that Magnus has spent a lifetime avoiding. So, why can’t he get Laurie out of his head?
Luckily, Laurie is only in London for the summer. Magnus can uncover Laurie’s mysteries and indulge their annoyingly hot attraction, and Laurie will be gone before complications arise. A few months isn’t long enough to lose his heart. Is it?
From bestselling author, Lily Morton comes a romantic comedy about two footloose older men and how one summer in London brings something quite beautifully unexpected into their lives.
Lily writes contemporary romance novels, and specialises in hot love stories with a good dose of humour.
Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she bought her first Kindle.
She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing, because how else could she get to spend her time with hot, funny men!
She loves chocolate and Baileys and the best of all creations – chocolate Baileys! Her lifetime’s ambition is to have a bath in peace without being shouted by one of her family.
To celebrate Lily’s new release, we are giving you a chance to win your choice of any book from Lily’s backlist! Three winners will be chosen!
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