As anyone who has read Caught Inside will know, guilt and pleasure go hand-in-hand . My heroes, seventeen-year-old Luke, and Theo who is two years older, know what they’re doing is wrong, seeing each other in secret. Luke has a girlfriend, Zara, who also happens to be Theo’s cousin. Their relationship, when discovered, has the power to hurt people and destroy friendships. But they’re young and in love, and the attraction they feel for one another is too strong. They simply can’t help themselves.
Since guilty pleasure plays such an important role in the story, I thought I’d reveal a few of my own. I’d love to hear yours as well, so feel free to share!
- Lazy mornings. I’ve always been rather too fond of my bed. There’s something so comforting about snuggling up under the covers last thing at night, mug of hot chocolate in hand and the radio playing softly in the background. My favourite times, however, are those precious mornings—increasingly rare these days—when I have nothing urgent to do and there’s no rush to get up. I’ll prop myself up on a mountain of pillows, drink endless cups of tea, and lose myself in whatever book I happen to be reading at the time. Bliss!
- Jilly Cooper novels. This love affair began in my teens and has continued, undiminished, into my mid-thirties. I’ve read her Rutshire Chronicles more times than I can count. In fact, it was these books that inspired Brookshire, the fictional county in my Boys on the Brink series. There’s just something about her larger than life characters and their interweaving stories that keeps me coming back again and again. Would it be fair to call these novels trashy? Absolutely! Yet, if there were an award for the best researched, wittiest, most compulsive trash, Jilly Cooper would win hands down.
- Desserts. Well, everyone loves a good dessert, right? Me? I’m a glutton for anything sweet, so much so that it’s become a family joke. When I was putting this list together, I tried to choose just one dessert that sends my salivary glands into overdrive more than any other, but it proved impossible. Apple crumble, raspberry pavlova, treacle sponge, vanilla cheesecake, sticky toffee pudding, lemon torte… I adore them all, and if it happens to come with a generous dollop of extra thick double cream, so much the better!
- Roleplaying games. OK, I admit it. I’m a total geek. I’m just amazed it’s taken me all these years to figure this out, but as soon as I discovered those choice-driven games, the interactive narratives where you get to pick your character and choose how the story unfolds, it was official. Now there’s no going back. At the moment, I can’t get enough of Life of a Wizard.. You can become anything from an arch mage ushering in a golden age for the country, to an undead necromancer taking over the world. It’s completely addictive!
- Late-night chats. Even after being together for eighteen months, it feels as though my boyfriend and I will never run out of things to say to each other. Currently, we’re separated by a two hour train journey, and so during the time we’re apart, we live for our nightly phone calls. Of course, once we start talking, we can’t stop, the sharing of news about our day and planning for our future carrying us into the early hours. We both know we should hang up and go to sleep, that we have to get up in the morning, but still somehow end up staying on the line far too long.