Authors: A-Z
Authors: Most Books
Publishing Partners

A Shadow in the Water

By: April Hill
Published By: Blushing Press
Copyright: �2014 by Blushing Books� and April Hill
10 Chapters / 56,900 Words
Heat Level:
4.2 Out Of 5 (4.2 on 22)   |  Write a review
Price:
$4.99

Also available at :

  

Gwen is an aspiring artist, living on a beautiful California beach, on the glittering periphery of glamorous Hollywood. Fabulous, right? Well, not so much. For one thing, she works for her dingbat landlady, a pothead ex-hippie who moonlights as a junk dealer, and has hired Gwen to paint non- existent lighthouses on toilet seats. The home they share is a ramshackle, hot-pink surfer-shack that should have been condemned in the '60's.

And then, Gwen's obese Beagle digs up the remains of her former employer, who dabbled in art forgery and blackmail, but made his real living catering to the film industry's BDSM crowd. The drop-dead gorgeous cop who shows up to investigate turns out to be Matt O'Connor, the love of Gwen's life. That was before she nailed him with the antique sugar bowl, of course, and before he retaliated by spanking the crap out of her with a rubber spatula.

With the romance on track again, Gwen sets out to help Matt solve the murder, forcing Matt to resort to some very painful, old fashioned methods to keep her safe - and out of the art forgery business.

Chapter One

On the morning the whole thing began, I was having one of those days. You know the kind, where you lose your reading glasses, discover the milk has gone sour after you pour it over the last of the corn flakes, and then stumble into the mangled remains of your neighbor/former employer while you’re walking your dog with a broken toe. (Your toe, not the dog’s.)�

By the time Detective Lieutenant Matt O’Connor showed up, looking as handsome as ever, and apparently willing to let bygones be bygones, I had already been questioned by several cops about the neighbor/employer’s unfortunate demise, and was on the verge of losing my usual sunny disposition. So, when I heardwhat turned out to be the lastknock of the day at my door, I had no way of knowing that it was Matt. I just naturally assumed it was yet another officer of the law about to invade my privacy and complicate my life. What I didn’t know, then, was how really complicated it was going to get.

I hadn’t seen Matt for a while, though not from lack of trying. He lives a few miles from me, across the street from this very nice little park, and when my car was still running, I made a point of parking it in front of his condo several times a week, on the pretext of exercising Benjamin�the aforementioned dog�in the nice little park. The plan was brilliant in its simplicity. Matt would come out his front door, see me there, and be so overcome with passion that he’d instantly forget the silly little squabble that was keeping us apart.

Unlike other members of that noble breed, my beagle has never much liked walking, so he never seemed to fully understand why we had to drive somewhere else to do something neither of us wanted to do in the first place�like taking a walk. I tried explaining to Benjamin how such a carefully arranged “chance” meeting with Matt would improve my phenomenally lousy sex life, but he isn’t a romantic sort of dog. Ben has apparently never experienced a deeply fulfilling sexual encounter of his own, having been surgically deprived of the required equipment at some point in his life. On occasion, when an attractive lady-dog wanders by, I get the feeling he’s giving me a suspicious look, suggesting that I might be the party responsible for his impairment. I find this extremely unfair, and have repeatedly assured him that he was already in this condition when I found him�a starving, homeless waif�trying his best to get run over at four in the morning on the Hollywood Freeway. I risked my life dodging cars doing seventy miles an hour, spent two months advertising in newspapers and posting “Do You Know This Dog?” notices all over town, and checking local shelters. Sometimes, Ben can be every unappreciative.

Anyway, after my aging Kia breathed its last, Benjamin and I were forced to go back to taking our walks along the beach where we live. These daily outings are very important, since, according to his doctor, poor Benjamin is seriously overweight. I, on the other hand, am � Okay, let’s just say that I weigh a tad more than Ben does, and leave it that.� To paraphrase Winnie the Pooh, Ben is what might be called “a beagle of very small brain.”� He’s also a beagle of very small bladder, and since he wasn’t exactly at the top of his class at the $200 potty training program I paid for, his morning walk had become more precautionary than recreational.

If he could talk, though, Ben would probably point out that if I hadn’t insisted that we take our usual beach stroll that morning, most of the really creepy stuff that happened to us wouldn’t have happened to us.�

Matt�Detective Lieutenant Matthew O’Connor�and I had enjoyed a brief history together, a history that ended abruptly, after just two and a half dates. The affair was, as the saying goes, ill-starred.� It wasn’t even an affair, in the strictest sense of the word, but more like this really badly timed picnic. The kind where you get overrun by ants and mosquitoes and then it starts to rain before you even crack open the first container of potato salad.

My life and career were in the pits at that time, and I was going through what might charitably be called a period of depression-induced over-indulgence. I was indulging in way too many weekend margaritas and/or frozen daiquiris. I’ve never really liked the taste of liquor, so if the beverage doesn’t involve fruit juice, blenders, and tiny paper umbrellas, I’m usually immune to the perils of the demon drink. But back then, if you offered me a frosted glass of something that looked and smelled like a snow cone, I would usually gulp it down and ask for seconds.

Everything between Matt and me would have been just peachy if he hadn’t decided to confront me about what he referred to as my “drinking problem.” Mind you, I didn’t see it as a problem at all, but as a way of keeping me from thinking too deeply about my shitty life. Matt’s problem was chivalry. He was one of those increasingly rare males who think there are unwritten rules about sex with inebriated women. So, like the gentleman he is, he felt the need to rehab me before bedding me. I, on the other hand, have never liked people trying to improve me, since that would somehow suggest that I need improving.

Anyway, we had a rather heated disagreement on the subject, and when it seemed like I was losing the argument, I felt suddenly inspired to bonk him over the head with a sugar bowl. It was kind of cute, really, like a scene from an old screwball romantic comedy. Unfortunately, Matt didn’t see anything remotely comic about either the smashed sugar bowl (a family heirloom, as it turned out,) or the bleeding head wound that resulted from the bonk. At which point the chivalrous gentleman disappeared, and the annoyed Alpha male took over. In less time than it took to ask myself, “What the hell were you thinking?”, Matt dumped me facedown over the kitchen table, hauled down my specially purchased just for him lace-trimmed panties, and began walloping my bared ass with a rubber spatula, while I shrieked bloody murder and threatened to castrate him with a pair of cuticle scissors.

After that, it didn’t seem that our relationship had an especially bright future. Not only was being spanked with a rubber spatula humiliating in the extreme, but it hurt like hell. In a futile effort to avoid as much of it as possible, I kicked and squirmed and swore, but still went home that day with my butt on fire and my pride in shreds. Once there, I added to my own humiliation by crawling up on the counter to check out my backside in the mirror. My otherwise flawless ivory derriere was still showing reddish spatula-shaped marks.��

I didn’t see Matt again for close to six months. He called a couple of times, to ask how things were going. Since this wasn’t a subject I was eager to discuss, I ended up making polite conversation until I ran out of things to say, and then said goodbye. I sensed that he was willing to try again, but for reasons I can’t really explain, I didn’t feel ready. What I didn’t mention, and what he probably would have liked to know, was that I had quit drinking right after what happened at his place. It wasn’t even hard to do. I’d never really liked it anyway, and while it had sometimes allowed me to forget for a few hours what a failure I was, I finally decided that living in a fog all weekend and going to work nauseated on Monday morning was just another stupid way to screw up my life.� I already had plenty of those without having to pay for them.

Then and there, I made myself a solemn vow. I would pull myself up by my bootstraps. I would get on the ball. I would turn over a new leaf, and get my act together�or else.

Three days after I turned over my new leaf, the framing shop that had allowed me to keep a roof over my head went broke. I showed up for work one morning (paydaymorning, naturally enough) to find the place locked up tight as a drum, and when a quick peek in the front window showed that the walls and shelves had been stripped of everything of value, I knew I’d done it again.�

I have this amazing talent, you see, for jumping aboard ships that are in the process of sinking. Even the other rats on board seem to conspire to keep me in the dark, until that day arrives when I find myself alone on deck, with cold seawater bubbling up around my ankles.�������

Two weeks later, with my apartment rent already overdue, I was saved from drowning�or so it seemed at the time, by a small ad in the local paper: “Artist wanted. Must be good copyist. High-end photographic studio. Great pay.”

I started just two days later, copying people’s wallpaper onto armoires, tables, chairs�whatever they wanted. There were dining room and bathroom murals, and a lot of baby rooms featuring Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter. Before long, I could paint Peter Rabbit and Piglet in my sleep. And when I wasn’t painting, I helped out in the adjoining photo studio. And when I wasn’t doing those things, I was expected to “help out around the house,” a rather broad job description which could entail anything from doing the laundry, to running errands. Not that I cared, at that juncture. It was a job.� My boss was a guy named Gabriel Tannhauser, whose various business cards variously described him as a fashion photographer, and an art dealer.� He was on the flamboyant side, and liked to brag about his “film industry connections,” but most of the time he was fun, and easy to work with. A little too flirtatious and touchy-feely for my taste, but since he never actually pushed it too far, what could happen, right?

What happened was that after a few weeks, I began to like it when he “accidentally” brushed my breast while pointing out the little changes he wanted me to make in a project, or when he kept his arm around my waist when introducing me to somebody. Please try to remember that I was adrift on the sea of love, so to speak, with no welcoming harbor on the horizon. Gabe was mildly good-looking, in a sort of flashy, Hollywood way, and he could be really charming when he wanted to be.�

One thing I could never figure out, though, was exactly how the guy managed to live as well as he seemed to. The art studio seemed to be successful, and I sometimes had trouble keeping up with the commissions, especially with all my other duties, but I was savvy enough about Malibu real estate to know that the art business, alone, wasn’t coming anywhere close to paying the freight on either the boss’s house, or his lifestyle. If there wasn’t a very rich mommy or daddy tucked away somewhere, the boss had a few other irons in the fire that he wasn’t talking about.

So, when he suggested that I move into the small studio apartment at the back of the house for the very modest rent of four hundred bucks a month, I ignored the storm warnings and agreed. My living there would be good deal for both of us, actually. Four hundred a month less that he’d have to pay me, and four hundred and fifty less than what I was paying for my admittedly ratty apartment in an equally ratty section of Hollywood. “Why not?” said I.

And that’s how I became a crewmember on the doomed “Loveboat.”

The cruise didn’t last long, and this time, I didn’t wait for the ship to sink. It wasn’t long before Gabe’s checks to me began to bounce, and daily life in what was essentially a poor man’s Playboy Mansion wasn’t as much fun as you might expect. So, when it finally dawned on me that I was surrounded by rats, I jumped overboard. Okay, so they were well-dressed rats in designer sunglasses, who drove around in silver-tone convertibles, but they were still rats. Jumping ship seemed like a good idea at the time. What I didn’t know, then, was that I was jumping out of the frying pan, and into the fire.�

The jump was a short one, at least. On one of my shore side strolls with Benjamin, I had been fortunate enough to meet a close neighbor named Carlotta�the highly eccentric seventyish lady with whom I was still living on the day all this happened. She was the proprietress of a sort of curio/souvenir shop, and lived just down the beach from Gabe’s. By a great stroke of luck, she was also in need of an artist with flexible skills. What’s more, she had a spare room I could have�for free! It was Fate for sure, or maybe just my usual rotten luck.��

No more Winnie the Pooh, thank heavens. Nope, Carlotta had me painting toilet seats�for around half of what Gabe had paid me, when he paid me, at all.� And believe it or not, I considered the toilet seats a promotion.

* * * *

It suddenly occurs to me, dear readers, that in my eagerness to describe my dysfunctional love life to a bunch of total strangers, and share with them the gross details of the worst, most humiliating moments of my entire life, I’ve whizzed right by what caused to bring the police to my door in the first place. Allow me back up to the part where Benjamin and I found the mangled corpse on the beach, and try to explain how I wound up ass-deep in the murder of Gabriel Tannhauser, Malibu bon vivant and full-time sleazeball.

If the name Gabriel Tannhauser doesn’t ring a bell, that’s probably because you don’t make a practice of reading the Hollywood gossip columns�not the big headlines in the major newspapers, but those smudgy, smarmy little bits and pieces near the bottom margins in the ratty local rags�where everyone’s name gets misspelled or omitted for lack of space. That was always Gabe’s style�backpage and bottom line, just below the phone porn ads. And if my description strikes you as insensitive, mean-spirited, and disrespectful to the deceased, it’s because you didn’t know the deceased when he was alive.

He was called ‘“Gabe’“ by all his close friends, of whom he had, by my count, none at all. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Bupkis. I don’t like to speak ill of the dead and/or recently eaten, but I had learned that just about everyone who’d ever known him, probably since the day he bribed his way out of kindergarten, referred to Gabe as that “Rotten Little Prick.”

Anyway, there we were, Benjamin and I, strolling along the beach that fine morning, bothering no one and thinking our own deep thoughts. Ben was probably thinking about what to have for breakfast, and I was thinking about how to scrape up enough dough to get the phone turned back on.� (Carlotta was out of town on one of her mysterious and prolonged shopping expeditions, and had neglected to pay the bills before she took off, and it was beginning to look like I’d have to find a way to pay them myself.)�

I was running down my severely limited financial options when it happened. We were almost home when my reverie was disturbed by this odd little squishing noise. Benjamin had stepped in something. He looked up at me a bit curiously, apparently hoping for an explanation. Then, he took a tentative sniff of the mystery object, wagged his tail once, and massively threw up on my sneakers. And when I looked down � well, while I’m not quite as squeamish as Benjamin, it wasn’t the sort of thing I like to see before breakfast.

A body, or part(s) of one. And a familiar body, at that.

All of you who saw the original Jaws movie will probably remember that scene where Roy Scheider finds the first victim on the beach, so I won’t need to explain to you the less attractive details of Gabe’s condition when I found him that morning. For those of you who haven’t seen Jaws, please go out and rent the movie. One picture is worth a thousand words.�

At first glance, it looked as if Gabe had been eaten, or snacked upon, by a shark and/or sharks, or maybe run over by an outboard motor of more than average horsepower. The truth is, I’ve lived in California on and off for years, and I’ve never actually seen a live shark, other than in an aquarium. I’ve never known anyone who was attacked by a shark either, but that disagreeable possibility seems to lurk just below the surface of many people’s thoughts. It’s kind of a primal fear, so my first reaction was to glance seaward for that telltale dark form and tall dorsal fin that haunts a lot of beachgoers’ nightmares. But it was only when I summoned the courage to take a second look that I knew for certain that it was, or had been, Gabe Tannhauser.

There are frequent shark sightings in this part of Southern California, of course�and even the occasional attack, but the locals seem to take them in stride, the way we do earthquakes. People here can give you the Richter scale reading on tremors about as accurately as the experts on TV do�usually by watching their swinging light fixtures. Living in paradise has its drawbacks, but people have learned to make light of them, like they did the smog until they couldn’t ignore it, any longer.

The thing about sharks, of course, is that when you live in a place like Malibu�widely considered to be a kind of paradise�the idea that a man-eating shark could be lurking just beneath the surface is like a metaphor for evil. A sunny day in paradise, marred by a frightening shadow on the water.��

I remember once, as a kid, I was swimming at a beach not far from here, called Paradise Cove. I had fallen asleep on the park’s wooden raft, around thirty yards off shore. The raft was a “captive,” in that it was anchored to the bottom, and attached by a long steel cable from the beach that kept it from completely floating away. My mother had already called me to come in, and I was about to start back for shore when people on the nearby pier began shouting with excitement.� Someone fishing off the end of the pier had hooked a large white shark, and since the raft was farther out than the spot where the shark had been caught, I was now going to have to swim ashore in the dark, through what might be�in my thirteen-year-old imagination�shark alley.

It took me a while to get up the nerve, but I finally eased myself into the water and headed for the beach, mostly dragging myself along on the cable, since it was faster than swimming. Every time I kicked my legs, though, I saw something large and white�a pale, shadowy shape, just under the water. And then, something brushed against my lower legs.

Later, of course, I realized that the ghostly white mass was nothing but churned-up water from my own frantic kicking, and that if I had actually felt anything touching me, it was probably seaweed.���

But, I had never been so scared in my life, and I’ve never gone swimming in the ocean after dark, since. And whenever I see�or think I see�something large and dark in the water, I remember that night, and the terror.

Anyway, my less than scientific conclusion that my former employer had been the victim of a shark attack was supported by certain facts:

A. What was left of Gabe was located directly in front of Gabe’s house, almost like UPS had delivered it there.

B. Gabe was known to enjoy early morning romps in the surf, sans attire.

C. The remains bore a number of what the cops like to call “distinguishing features”�the details of which I will go into a bit later.

Not being a fish scientist, like Richard Dreyfus in Jaws, I couldn’t have absolutely guaranteed my forensic analysis of the corpse’s truncated condition, but he/it certainly looked eaten to me. The sight had even upset Benjamin’s digestive tract, and Benjamin has been known to consume long-dead horseshoe crabs, rotting pineapple pepperoni pizza, and huge quantities of unattended garbage with no hesitation whatsoever. (Please don’t assume that Benjamin’s lack of culinary sophistication accounts for his rotund figure, by the way. Benjamin may not be a gourmet, but he’s not a glutton, either. I prefer to believe that Ben and I share an undiagnosed glandular problem.)

When I recovered enough of my composure to think clearly, I dashed home (two doors away) as fast as my broken toe and Benjamin’s portliness would permit, and attempted to call 911.

Did you know that dialing 911 doesn’t workwhen your phone service has been shut off?� Well, it doesn’t, which hardly seems fair to me, but then, I don’t make the rules, do I?� I ask you, though, what are the deadbeats in this world supposed to do, just stand around and burn to death? Ultimately, I had to limp next door to make the call from Barry’s place.

And so, leaving Benjamin prostrate on the kitchen floor, I limped over to Barry’s to report what had happened and call the police.� Barry Halliburton was my next door neighbor, then, a well-known screenwriter and fabulous cook. He’s also drop-dead handsome. Barry looks like a younger Richard Gere on younger Richard Gere’s best day. He also happens to be, as they say, “hung like a bull,” something I know because Barry isn’t the least bit shy, and often sunbathes in the nude during my visits. All of these things would make him perfect for me, if he weren’t gay.� Besides, Barry doesn’t care much for what he insists upon calling�with some justification�my “abysmal” housekeeping.

I had barely gotten my good foot on the bottom step of Barry’s deck when a bloodcurdling scream arose from the beach, which told me that Regina had also found what remained of our late neighbor-in-common. Regina Vanderplum was another of my close neighbors, but she wasn’t quite as neighborly as Barry. Regina lived on the other side of my humble cottage, between me and the recently deceased. Her habit, then, was to walk her poodle, Puddle, at approximately the same time I took Benjamin out each morning, and I had it on excellent authority that she spent the remainder of each day trying to get my landlady and me blackballed from lovely Encantada Cove, where we all lived, and which Regina and Barry could afford, and I couldn’t. At the time, I was a member of that social class generally referred to as the working poor, meaning I worked my ass off, and got poorer each day.

The police showed up lightning fast, which is how things usually work in wealthy, gated communities. They interviewed me at length, and expressed a good deal of curiosity about how I was able to so easily identify the victim, in the absence of his head. (Oh, did I forget to mention that Gabe’s head had gone missing?) Anyway, I was forced to admit with some embarrassment that I had lived briefly with the deceased, and was therefore familiar with certain distinctive aspects of his person. For one thing, Gabe was the only guy I’ve ever known who claimed to be Jewish, but who wasn’t circumcised. In addition to that small (Okay, not so small) anomaly, Gabe was a devotee of the art of tattooing, and shortly before we parted company, he came home with this gigantic tattoo on his back. The tattoo was the approximate size of Rhode Island, and depicted a green dragon in the act of swallowing a very pink young woman with gigantic breasts. Being an artist myself, I felt compelled to point out to him that the perspective was way off, and that the dragon was sure to choke to death on those breasts, when he finally got up that far.

Anyway, I explained to the police that while I’d once been employed by the deceased for several months as an artist, photographic assistant, laundress, housekeeper, and what he persisted in calling his “Girl Friday,” I had no reason to kill him. Yes, I had left his employ under strained circumstances, when he stopped paying me, and when his “models” started showing up drunk, disorderly and naked in my bedroom at odd hours of the night. (There were a few minor details of my business dealings with Gabe that I chosenot to divulge, for the very good reason that I didn’t care to spend what remained of my fading youth in prison.)

After I’d answered the first round of questions, I was still feeling shaky, so I wandered back over to Barry’s to watch the goings-on from neutral territory. By this time, the beach was crawling with cops, and since I was still just a witness, and not yet a “person of interest,” Barry and I sat on his deck, drank iced green tea, and chatted while Gabe was being scooped up into a variety of plastic bags and bins. The lucky guys assigned this disagreeable duty had to keep going back to their van for containers, since the shark apparently hadn’t been a tidy eater. They took a lot of pictures too, in which the usually photogenic Gabe never smiled for the camera, even once, for reasons that I mentioned previously.

“If it wasn’t a shark, who do you think would want to kill an asshole like Tannhauser?” Barry asked, with a wide yawn.�

“Get out the phone book and throw a dart,” I suggested. I knew that Barry wasn’t especially interested in what had happened to Gabe. He was just making idle conversation while he got brunch on the table, and, as always, whatever he was cooking smelled heavenly. (Yeah, I know, but I’m not as sensitive as Ben. It takes a lot to ruin my appetite.) Besides, Barry was a good pal who was always willing to feed me when I crawl to his door, flat broke and hinting for a free meal. I simply didn’t want to hurt his feelings by turning down his Chicken Masala.

Barry waved me to sit down. “I only knew him from those parties he gave,” he said, setting two plates on the table. “Remember the one where everyone had to show up dressed like silent movie stars?”

I groaned. “I’m sorry. That was Gabe’s idea for the movie crowd. I just did the decorating.”�

“Then justice has been done,” he said. “That was the worst party I’ve ever been to, even worse than that first party�the Halloween debacle? That’s where I first met you, you know, at that Vampire Barbecue, or whatever it was. I remember that Monica Howard came dressed up like a slutty bondage freak, got into a screaming match with Tannhauser about something, and then got shit-faced someone had to drive her home. And wasn’t that the party where you set the living room on fire?”

Ah, yes, the infamous Vampire Barbecue/house fire.� Looking back, a lot of what happened had actually started around that time�I think.�����

After Barry’s excellent brunch, I went back to the house to explain to Benjamin what was going on. (He always hates not being in the loop.) Our chat concluded, we had just settled down on the couch for a short nap when someone pounded on the door.

I hobbled over, only to be rudely informed by yet another cop that my defunct Kia was blocking access to the crime scene, was about to be towed, and incidentally, there were so many past-due tickets on the windshield he couldn’t see the VIN number. The Kia’s dented hindquarters were obstructing the driveway, he explained, to which I replied that since I never have company, the car situation had never before created a problem. Moreover, the only other occupant of the house besides me was my landlady/employer, the winsome Carlotta, who was rarely at home, and even when she was, normally came and went on an elderly, hiccupping Vespa.�

“Do you have the vehicle’s license and registration?” The officer’s voice was very stern, now, but he was about to discover that I am not a woman easily intimidated.

“No, but it’s had its rabies vaccination,” I said sweetly. “I can probably find proof of that, if you’ll give me a few minutes.” I pointed to the cast on my foot. “You may have noticed, officer, that I am a helpless cripple, so the document search may take some time.”

Okay, I was being rude and uncooperative, but it had been a very bad day. I was tired, Benjamin had just barfed again on the couch, and I needed to get back to work. Enough, for God’s sake!

The officer evinced no interest whatever in my tale of woe, other than a grunt. “Did you know someone slashed your tires?

I tried to register a degree of shock at this information, but the tire-slashing atrocity was old news. I suspected Regina. At a spry seventy-nine, the woman bears one hell of a grudge, and the rumor is that she works out regularly at Gold’s Gym.���

The officer droned on. “You’re in violation of about ten local ordinances, you know, starting with all these missing documents. The vehicle is unregistered, uninspected, uninsured�”

“Unbaptized, unwashed, and unloved,” I added, always ready to be helpful. “Anyway, you can’t ticket me for stuff like that. This is private property, isn’t it?” Hey, it couldn’t hurt to try.

“The damned car is sticking out two feet onto the Coast Highway,” he snarl

gail on 10/16/2015 08:11am
could not understand this story too much but lots od spankings to keep one happy.
gail on 10/16/2015 08:11am
could not understand this story too much but lots od spankings to keep one happy.
Denise on 03/02/2015 02:35pm
This was definitely a longer story and i agree with another reviewer about not really liking Gwen. She was too flippant, sarcastic and down on herself, it made you not really like her. I did like Matt, a lot, which helped the story. It must be love to stay with a person like that. I did like the twists in the story, and never thought it was the person it was. Was also glad to see Gwen get her act together in the end. Matt definitely deserved better.
Denise on 03/02/2015 02:35pm
This was definitely a longer story and i agree with another reviewer about not really liking Gwen. She was too flippant, sarcastic and down on herself, it made you not really like her. I did like Matt, a lot, which helped the story. It must be love to stay with a person like that. I did like the twists in the story, and never thought it was the person it was. Was also glad to see Gwen get her act together in the end. Matt definitely deserved better.
Jackie Koel on 12/14/2014 05:30pm
I just love how April Hill writes her books! They all just make me laugh at all the “extras” she throws in there to make her story stand out! I really enjoy all the mystery and murder solving involved in them and of course the spankings! This is full of good ones our little heroine definitely deserved!! Excellent job!
Jackie Koel on 12/14/2014 05:30pm
I just love how April Hill writes her books! They all just make me laugh at all the extras۝ she throws in there to make her story stand out! I really enjoy all the mystery and murder solving involved in them and of course the spankings! This is full of good ones our little heroine definitely deserved!! Excellent job!
Redrabbitt on 12/10/2014 08:01pm
This story will keep you trying to figure out who is the murderer and why kill these two people. I thought Gwen was eccentric, irresponsible and snarky and didn't know when to keep her mouth shut. The plots twist kept the story in constant suspense. Until the killer reveals them self to Lt. Matt O'Connor, it was questionable as to who and exactly why. The relationship between Gwen and Matt keeps her upended and with a blistered bottom and often. The spankings Matt administers are so often and for every little thing that they are over the top. This story is over 50% POV told by Gwen and sometimes the dialogue just seems to drag on when Gwen is telling the story.
Redrabbitt on 12/10/2014 08:01pm
This story will keep you trying to figure out who is the murderer and why kill these two people. I thought Gwen was eccentric, irresponsible and snarky and didn't know when to keep her mouth shut. The plots twist kept the story in constant suspense. Until the killer reveals them self to Lt. Matt O'Connor, it was questionable as to who and exactly why. The relationship between Gwen and Matt keeps her upended and with a blistered bottom and often. The spankings Matt administers are so often and for every little thing that they are over the top. This story is over 50% POV told by Gwen and sometimes the dialogue just seems to drag on when Gwen is telling the story.
Juliette on 12/03/2014 09:54pm
A crazy, fast paced tale that matches the main character perfectly. It is hard to believe that one person can get into so much trouble. Yet, this IS fiction, and exactly the type of enjoyable story I expect from April Hill. Lots of laughs, sex and spankings with a bit of mystery thrown in.
Juliette on 12/03/2014 09:54pm
A crazy, fast paced tale that matches the main character perfectly. It is hard to believe that one person can get into so much trouble. Yet, this IS fiction, and exactly the type of enjoyable story I expect from April Hill. Lots of laughs, sex and spankings with a bit of mystery thrown in.
Elizabeth on 12/02/2014 02:30pm
Great read! I loved the main character she was spunky, sassy, and needed a bit of a filter. Overall this made for some fun and well deserved spankings. The leading man was firm, caring, and patient (but not too patient). This book was written in the first person which makes for excellent insight into the thoughts of the leading lady but I often wondered what our hero was thinking. Overall a great read that left me wanting more.
Elizabeth on 12/02/2014 02:30pm
Great read! I loved the main character she was spunky, sassy, and needed a bit of a filter. Overall this made for some fun and well deserved spankings. The leading man was firm, caring, and patient (but not too patient). This book was written in the first person which makes for excellent insight into the thoughts of the leading lady but I often wondered what our hero was thinking. Overall a great read that left me wanting more.
Kathy on 11/30/2014 07:41pm
I wish I could give this review a higher star value but Gwen tended to annoy me more then she didn't. She just seemed so argumentative and went against anything that may told her. I did like the story itself. A crime to be solved is always a good read.
Kathy on 11/30/2014 07:41pm
I wish I could give this review a higher star value but Gwen tended to annoy me more then she didn't. She just seemed so argumentative and went against anything that may told her. I did like the story itself. A crime to be solved is always a good read.
flutterby35 on 11/29/2014 04:49pm
This story is full of spankings, murder, and mystery. Gwen is an artist who paints lighthouses both real and made up on household items, but mostly toilet seats. She lives with an colorful older lady and her dog Benjamin. The story begins with Gwen finding her past employers body on the beach. This brings in the the handsome police detective Matt. Gwen is kinda irresponsible and lets her temper decide things for her and it usually isn't the best choice for her or her backside. Matt cares for Gwen and it makes him crazy that she doesn't do what's best for her and he tries to keep her safe and in- line with lots of spankings. This book was alright, I liked the characters and the story, though it was a bit long-winded for me.
flutterby35 on 11/29/2014 04:49pm
This story is full of spankings, murder, and mystery. Gwen is an artist who paints lighthouses both real and made up on household items, but mostly toilet seats. She lives with an colorful older lady and her dog Benjamin. The story begins with Gwen finding her past employers body on the beach. This brings in the the handsome police detective Matt. Gwen is kinda irresponsible and lets her temper decide things for her and it usually isn't the best choice for her or her backside. Matt cares for Gwen and it makes him crazy that she doesn't do what's best for her and he tries to keep her safe and in- line with lots of spankings. This book was alright, I liked the characters and the story, though it was a bit long-winded for me.
Meg on 11/25/2014 09:33am
Gwen is an artist who barely makes ends meet painting lighthouses on toilet seats and living with an eccentric woman named Carlotta. When Gwen is out walking her dog, Benjamin, she discovers the body of her former employer - and is instantly reminded of the movie Jaws! The murder brings LAPD Detective, Matt, back into her life. She certainly doesn't want to renew their relationship as the first time they'd met, she'd gone across his lap for a spanking! Of course, she can't seem to get him out of her life and he is more determined than ever to convince her that he cares for her - even if she is more often wailing as his hand and other convenient implements land on her upturned backside than not. This book is a combination spanking story as well as a murder mystery. It is entertaining and will have you smiling and shaking your head - I mean, really - how many spankings does it take? Evidently a lot and all are deserved. I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy read with some smart mouthed repertoire by Gwen and the alpha male dominance of a cop that has fallen in love.
Meg on 11/25/2014 09:33am
Gwen is an artist who barely makes ends meet painting lighthouses on toilet seats and living with an eccentric woman named Carlotta. When Gwen is out walking her dog, Benjamin, she discovers the body of her former employer - and is instantly reminded of the movie Jaws! The murder brings LAPD Detective, Matt, back into her life. She certainly doesn't want to renew their relationship as the first time they'd met, she'd gone across his lap for a spanking! Of course, she can't seem to get him out of her life and he is more determined than ever to convince her that he cares for her - even if she is more often wailing as his hand and other convenient implements land on her upturned backside than not. This book is a combination spanking story as well as a murder mystery. It is entertaining and will have you smiling and shaking your head - I mean, really - how many spankings does it take? Evidently a lot and all are deserved. I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy read with some smart mouthed repertoire by Gwen and the alpha male dominance of a cop that has fallen in love.
Miss contrite on 11/25/2014 05:16am
April Hill is one of my favourite writers her books always have me glued from start to finish her plots are extremely good and the characters are strong, the women always feisty the men patient but dominant. In this story failing artist Gwen finds the body of her former neighbour/boss then is reacquainted with the man she loves detective Matt O'Connor. It's not long before she receives the first of many spankings all of them thoroughly deserved . A great book highly recommended
Miss contrite on 11/25/2014 05:16am
April Hill is one of my favourite writers her books always have me glued from start to finish her plots are extremely good and the characters are strong, the women always feisty the men patient but dominant. In this story failing artist Gwen finds the body of her former neighbour/boss then is reacquainted with the man she loves detective Matt O'Connor. It's not long before she receives the first of many spankings all of them thoroughly deserved . A great book highly recommended
sl on 11/24/2014 12:50pm
5 stars I love April Hill. There is always a snarky woman who is too mouthy for her own good. There is a man that loves her even though she is a handful. The stories are always full circle with a murder plot that keeps you interested as well as entertained with snarky humor. Gwen is spanked often by belt, switch, hairbrush, bath brush. She is a devil may care spirit that steps outside the law more times than not. Matt is a patient loving Lieutenant with the LAPD that tries to keep her safe as well as trying to keep her from being arrested for all her shenanigans. It was a quick enjoyable read with a happy ending.
sl on 11/24/2014 12:50pm
5 stars I love April Hill. There is always a snarky woman who is too mouthy for her own good. There is a man that loves her even though she is a handful. The stories are always full circle with a murder plot that keeps you interested as well as entertained with snarky humor. Gwen is spanked often by belt, switch, hairbrush, bath brush. She is a devil may care spirit that steps outside the law more times than not. Matt is a patient loving Lieutenant with the LAPD that tries to keep her safe as well as trying to keep her from being arrested for all her shenanigans. It was a quick enjoyable read with a happy ending.

Add Your Review


Your Name:
Email Address:
Review:
Note: HTML is not translated! Your email address will not be shared with anyone.
Your Rating: 5
Your Name:
Your Email:
Friends Name:
Friends Email:
Subject:
Message:
SKU: bd344