"He’s fighting it but he needs this as much as I do."
When Stewart Walker finds out the girl he kissed is a student at his school he’s furious and determined to keep away. But 18-year-old Alice has fallen hard and won’t give up.
She wants him to teach her body and her mind, even though a relationship is strictly against the rules. He’s struggling to resist the attraction despite knowing he could lose his job.
Throughout the illegal raves and festivals of Britain’s summer of ’92, Alice and Stewart dance closer and closer to the edge.
It was a beautiful late April day, flawlessly sunny. Warm in the sun though cool in the shade. Their tennis skirts were also extremely short and much more alluring, so Alice thought, than normal school uniform. You were supposed to wear huge regulation gym knickers underneath. But as these were only sold in the school shade of bottle green which looked awful through white tennis wear, no one ever did unless they were playing a match.
They walked together over to the school cricket pitch and sat on the grassy slope near the pavilion.
"He’s going to freak you know," Jules said.
"Maybe he won’t recognise her in different clothes."
"He’ll recognise the three of us."
They watched the play for some time. Mr Walker was focused on his job and not on any spectators around the place. Alice was impressed by how athletic he looked as he walked about the pitch. He really was stunning with his tan and his tall, muscular figure. All the First Eleven boys looked wimpy next to him.
It was when he passed near to where they were sitting that he finally saw Alice, stopped and froze. Her stomach lurched. Then he turned away and went back to the practice.
"See, he’s decided to ignore you," Jules said. "All for the best."
Alice said nothing. She hadn’t really thought about how he might react, but she still felt crushed. She picked at the grass next to her, pulling off a small flower, avoiding looking at the play.
Then a shadow fell over them. She looked up.
It was Mr Walker.
"I want a word with you. In the pavilion, now," he ordered her. His eyes pierced into hers and he looked furious.
Numb, she obeyed, walking ahead of him.
Inside it was empty and he closed the door behind them and turned to her.
"What the fuck do you think you’re playing at?"
He was absolutely incensed. He stood there, suddenly the adult, the authority, not just some guy she had kissed in a pub.
Someone she had compromised. Alice couldn’t think of anything to say.
She stood there in front of him. His scent of faint cologne and sun-warmed skin was disturbingly familiar to her, mingling with the dusty wood and sports equipment smell of the pavilion.
"Did you know who I was?" he asked.
"Yes." There didn’t seem to be any point in lying.
He glared at her and she looked back at him. His eyes pierced into her, their light grey-blue contrasting with his tanned complexion. He was one of the most devastatingly attractive men she had ever seen. All the more so now as his anger turned his face into carved steel.
As terrified and awkward as Alice felt, she also felt slightly defiant. After all she hadn’t done anything wrong or illegal.
Then suddenly he grasped her by the shoulders and brought his mouth down on hers, hard. Surprised, she initially squirmed to escape his grasp then yielded as her forced his tongue into her mouth. His lips were bruising hers, he was almost biting her yet she wanted more.
Her hands, which had pushed against his chest to try and get away, went round his neck and she arched against him.
He was trying to hurt her, devour her. Punish her. All at once. But he wanted her too. She could taste his need, raw and urgent. Feel the hotness of his breath as he nearly suffocated her with his kiss.
His mouth left hers and moved to her neck, half embracing, half biting it. She tasted blood on her lip where he had crushed it with his own. He was gripping her hard and she clung to him. She didn’t even care that he was hurting her.
He could have ripped all her clothes off right there and forced himself upon her. She had never wanted anyone so much.
Then just as suddenly he thrust her away from him. He swore under his breath as he tried to recover himself.
"Is that what you wanted?"
"No… yes… I mean…" Alice had no idea what to say. She was shaken and half in misery, half in ecstasy.
His face was like granite, its angles unyielding.
"Get out and don’t come back here again. Stay out of my way," he said.
Can you describe your book in one sentence?
A hot student-teacher romance with a very sexy, happy ending.
What makes your book so different from all the books out there?
It’s set in the UK, whereas the majority of student-teacher romances tend to be set in US high schools. And it has two epilogues!
What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why? What was the hardest chapter (or part) to write and why?
I loved writing the scene where he offers her his shirt to conceal her modesty when her t-shirt becomes see-through with water. He’s still trying to resist her at this point but the sexual tension is off the scale.
For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?
An illicit romance with lots of sexual tension, two people who really grow through their relationship with one another, and plenty of hot, erotic action.
How did you bring life to your characters?
I drew on many memories of my own schooldays, and a particularly attractive coach we had back then whom many of my friends had a crush on. (He ended up marrying another sports teacher, not a student!)
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I have an outline in terms of the two main character and what ultimately happens to them. I usually start out with some scenes already planned: major events, that kind of thing. Then as I write, I get dialogue and other scenes appearing in my head as I get to know the characters better.
Your thoughts on receiving book reviews - the good and the bad.
It’s always interesting to get feedback. When you see a reader appreciated something that you tried really hard to get right, like a particularly emotional scene, or a moment of sexual tension, it’s really amazing and it makes you want to write more for them. Many aspects of Summer’s Edge were inspired by feedback on my first novel (Forbidden Lessons). For example the two epilogues: every reader wanted a guaranteed happy ending which meant a peek into the future.
Goals for future projects?
I’d like to try writing a serialised novel on Wattpad. I think it would be interesting and useful to write it in instalments, using reader feedback to influence what I write.
Will you have a new book coming out soon? Can you tell us about it
In the New Year I’m hoping to start serialising ""Misbehaving"". It stars Marcy, a US high school senior, who discovers the hot guy she’s just met is her new teacher. She’s also struggling with her best friend moving away, her ex-boyfriend flaunting his new date in front of her, and a group of popular ""mean girls"" being horrible to her. So it’s going to be a huge year for her, but ultimately - I hope! - one with a very happy ending.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published?
When a reader tells you they loved your work. It’s what makes you want to write more!