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This Foreign Affair (Pink Bean Series - Book 4) (PAPERBACK)

This Foreign Affair (Pink Bean Series - Book 4) (PAPERBACK)

Zoya and Camille's holiday fling turns into something deeper. But what happens when they're back on opposite sides of the world?

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Book specifications

Pages : 246
ISBN : 9789881491084
Weight : 8.5 ounces (242g)
Dimensions : 5 x 0.55 x 8 inches (127 x 14 x 203mm)

Full description

Can passion bridge ten thousand miles?

Television presenter Zoya Das is reeling from a painful breakup. When she’s called to solve a problem at a rental flat she owns, sparks fly between her and French guest Camille Rousseau.

A short holiday fling before Camille flies back to Paris could be just the thing to help Zoya’s recovery.

But what happens when Zoya and Camille develop deeper feelings for each other and are faced with the prospect of being in love on opposite sides of the world?

Don’t miss the fourth book in the thought-provoking Pink Bean series!


Themes and tropes

  • Holiday romance
  • Toaster oven
  • The Pink Bean series

Chapter One Look Inside

Chapter 1

“You’re here bright and early this morning,” Josephine says before I can even place my order.

“Walk of shame?” Micky butts in.

“Christ, ladies. I’ll have a coffee first, we can talk after.”

Micky looks at her watch. “I’ve never seen you here this early.”

Josephine elbows her in the biceps. “A large black coffee for Zoya, please.”

“Coming right up.” Micky gets busy with the coffee machine.

“How are you today, Jo?” I ask.

“Very well, thank you.”

“I suppose it’s out of the question for me to call Caitlin at this ungodly hour and ask her to join me?”

“You can try, but she wasn’t awake when I left.” She quirks up her eyebrows.

I wave my credit card over the terminal to pay for my coffee. “I won’t bother then.” I check my phone in case I missed a text message while ordering. The screen is blank. “Myrtle is sick and there appears to be a bit of a problem in my Airbnb down the street. The new occupant arrived late last night and is complaining the smoke detector is beeping every few seconds. I promised to change the batteries first thing.”

“Here you go.” Micky hands me my coffee.

“If I lived in Darlinghurst, I could have stopped by last night.”

“Such a pity you don’t know anyone in the area.” Micky smirks.

“Very funny. They arrived after midnight. I wasn’t going to rouse any of you because my caretaker was sick, was I?”

“Thank goodness for that,” Micky replies.

Rebecca used to deal with all of this, I want to say but swallow the words, because I don’t want to talk about my ex. It’s too early in the morning for that particular kind of grievance.

“I’ll become your neighbor soon enough.” I sip from the coffee. “Just need to sort out some stuff first.”

A sudden break-up from your partner of sixteen years is emotionally harrowing enough even without all the practical things to arrange: assets to divide, and figure out who gets which souvenir from that trip to Tasmania. As far as I’m concerned, Rebecca can have it all, as long as I never have to see her face again. My lawyer disagrees.

“One of the houses in my street is for sale,” Micky says.

I perk up my ears. “Really?”

“Yeah, I’ll get you the number of the agent. You should check it out.”

“Maybe I will.” My phone buzzes. “Ah, here we go.” I check the message. “Time to go.” I drain my coffee, give Micky and Josephine a wave, and make my way to the apartment I own but haven’t set foot in for months.

* * *

The apartment is above a hair salon, which is still closed. I suppose no one wants to get their hair cut before eight o’clock in the morning. I take the stairs to the first floor and knock gently on the door, shuffling my weight from foot to foot. I never wanted to own a bloody Airbnb. Another thing I resent Rebecca for. Just add it to the pile.

The door flies open and a woman stands in front of me. She’s tall and has cheekbones for days, but what I notice most of all are her eyes. Not the color, but how they sparkle with something. I hope it’s not rage. I think it best to immediately launch into an apology.

“I’m so sorry about this.” I give her my widest TV smile and hold out my hand. “Hi, I’m Zoya. Your smoke detector battery replacer for today.”

The woman looks at my hand for a split second, then takes it in hers and gives it a quick, firm shake, her fingers squeezing tightly. “Camille.” She steps aside to let me in.

I look around. A high-pitched beep startles me.

“It’s been like that all night,” Camille says with a heavy French accent. Her hands are on her hips. “Not exactly conducive to a good night’s sleep.”

“I can imagine. Let me take care of this.” I look up at the smoke detector. A red light blinks. I don’t remember the ceiling being so high. Is there a ladder somewhere in this building? This whole scene is making me feel extremely inadequate. Rebecca was always the handy, super-organized one—a skill that allowed her to organize her affair around our life together for more than a year. I was just the fool who didn’t have a clue.

Just when I think I’m putting the whole sordid ordeal behind me, something like this happens to remind me of it. This apartment was Rebecca’s project from the start. Why it is up to me to deal with it now remains a mystery.

I scan the kitchen for a chair. I step out of my shoes and balance on it precariously. Camille scrutinizes my every move. I raise my hands but I can’t reach the ceiling.

I climb off the chair. “Looks like we’re going to need something higher.”

She gives me a look I can’t decipher. “I’ll try. I’m taller than you.” 

“Thanks.” Why don’t we keep spare batteries in this apartment? I’ll have to talk to Myrtle. Or just sell the damn place. Then I wouldn’t be standing here in bare feet in front of a woman who is probably pretty pissed off at me. Although she hides it quite well.

I watch her clamber upon the chair. She does it gracefully, as if balancing on a piece of furniture is all she does in life. She stands on tiptoe and can just reach the outer shell of the smoke detector with her fingertips.

“Careful.” I steady the chair for her.

She has already screwed off the outer casing. “Hand me the batteries.”

I try to pull the package open but, as always with these things, it’s hard to find a spot to pierce it and I have to tear at it with all my might. I finally manage to pry out two batteries. Our fingers touch when I hold them up to her.

She drops the old batteries in my palm and, all the while balancing on the tips of her toes, replaces the batteries and screws the lid on again.

I hold out my hand to her for support when she climbs back down and she takes it. At least I’ve done something.

“That wasn’t so hard, was it?” she says.

I shake my head. “I’m mortified. Really. I will reimburse you for the night. The person who usually takes care of this is indisposed at the moment and, as you’ve clearly noticed, I’m not very good at any of this.”

She waves me off. “Just an idea. Keep some spare batteries in a kitchen drawer, perhaps? I could have done this myself last night if I’d had the necessary equipment.”

“I can’t apologize enough. You must be so tired. How about I take you out for coffee? Show you what’s where in the neighborhood?” My earlobes flush. I don’t even know the area that well. The best I can do is take her to the Pink Bean and hope Kristin is there to tell her all about Darlinghurst’s best spots.

Camille ponders my question. “Okay,” she says. “Give me five minutes.” She heads into the bathroom.

I put the chair back and leave the remaining batteries on the kitchen counter.

Maybe when I see the real estate agent to view the house Micky was talking about, I can ask her to come and take a look at this place. Or maybe I should just move in here. I glance around. No, I couldn’t. Rebecca’s touch is all over the decor. That turquoise contrast wall in the living area. The photograph of an outback road in Queensland to my right. It used to hang in our house, until she redecorated it and relocated it here.

“I’m ready for that coffee.” Camille exits the bathroom with a smile.

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