It was difficult not to be a tiny bit intrigued about this one! Just One Time – subtitled “a gripping and steamy psychological thriller with a shocking twist” – is the first novel by K.S. Hunter, the alter ego of an international bestselling author, whose identity will remain a secret. Released on 7th December, it is available for pre-order from Amazon in the UK and US.
Desire can have dire consequences
Two years ago, David Madden made a mistake that almost cost him his marriage. His wife, Alison, gave him another chance, but she has not forgotten, nor has she forgiven.
She is irresistible
Then David meets the alluring Nina at a theatre in London. When he loses his phone in the dark, she helps him find it, and by giving her his number he unwittingly invites her into his life. What David initially views as an innocent flirt turns into a dangerous game of deception. His increasingly suspicious wife thinks something is up, and each lie he tells pushes them further apart.
She is insatiable
Nina pursues David relentlessly, following him to New York where she gives him an ultimatum: sleep with her, just one time, and then she’ll get out of his life forever; or she’ll ruin everything he holds dear.
She is unstoppable
Of course, once won’t be enough for Nina, and what David hoped would be the end is merely the beginning.
A modern-day Fatal Attraction, Just One Time is a steamy psychological thriller that will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath until its shocking conclusion.
I’m delighted to share an extract from Chapter One:
The one-minute warning encouraged a heightened buzz in the audience’s murmurs, excitement for the play’s start filling the air.
I placed my hands on my lap, awaiting the play’s start. Then it must have been a memory muscle that struck me: the sensation of feeling empty space, touching material, my legs and nothing else. My whole body sprang to attention, my pulse increased, my breath became short and sharp.
My phone. It wasn’t on my lap any more.
The play was about to start. The theatre was poorly illuminated. Its genre was horror; lighting was key to establishing the right mood. How long did I have to find my phone? Not long, not long at all.
I bent forwards and tried to locate it on the floor, hoping it would be by my feet. It must have fallen off my lap when I stood up, I thought. But all my hand felt was worn carpet.
I had to get down there; that was the only way. So I stood up and got onto my knees. I felt around, lowered my head so that it pressed against the seat, and searched blindly. Still couldn’t feel anything. No phone, with the play about to start, I was really perspiring now. Sweat covered my forehead. The wetness under my arms, which had begun to dry after my mad dash to the theatre, now seeped through my shirt. The shirt stuck to my back. I felt eyes on me, even though I couldn’t see anyone, not the people next to me, nor those in front and behind. God, I was embarrassed.
‘Are you okay?’ I heard a voice. Female. Close.
I looked up and saw her looking down at me. She was in shadow, but I could make out her cheekbones, dark eyes and long blonde hair.
‘Are you okay?’ she repeated to my mute face, as I stared.
‘I’ve dropped my phone,’ I told her, awakening. ‘I can’t find the bloody thing.’
She seemed to smile and her dark eyes alighted. ‘Do you want me to phone it?’ She held up her own phone and wagged it like a dog its tail.
My instinct, which took over and didn’t give me time to think until after I’d responded, was to say yes. Give a stranger my phone number? only came after.
It wasn’t until I was saying the numbers of my phone number aloud that that thought entered my mind. And then, as quickly as the thought came into my head, it left, and I realised, disappointed, that the phone was on silent – I’d put it on mute in the morning because of viewings; I couldn’t be interrupted when I was with potential customers. So calling it now was futile.
But then I thought if I scanned the floor I might be able to see the screen light up while she rang it, so there was hope.
‘It’s ringing,’ she said. She remained calm through my panic.
I nodded and went back to search level, scanning the areas in front of my seat, to each side and behind me.
Shaking my head but not getting up, I said, ‘I can’t see anything. And it’s on silent.’ Sweat dripped from my nose and onto the carpet. I felt humiliated.
‘I’ll try again,’ she said, adding, ‘and maybe you’ll be able to see the light.’ A pause, then, ‘Ringing again.’
Still nothing, even though I sunk so low that I was practically part of the ground itself.
As I lifted my head, an usher appeared at the end of the row.
‘Do you have a torch?’ I said to the gormless, bug-eyed sixteen-year-old who merely stood there gawking at me.
‘I’ll check,’ was his response and he made his way towards a colleague.
‘Here,’ an unfamiliar male voice said. I looked to my right, to the seat behind mine. A man was holding out an iPhone. ‘Use this.’ The rear part of his phone was all lit up: a torch.
‘Thanks,’ I said, taking it and dropping back to my knees.
It took only a second to find my phone thanks to the torch. It was under the seat directly in front of me, partly shielded by one of the chair stumps. I scooped it up, stood up, wiped the dripping sweat from my forehead, and handed back the iPhone. ‘Thanks so much,’ I said to its owner, my forehead wrinkled, my eyebrows lifting in relief.
The man nodded as he took back the phone.
‘Thank you,’ I repeated, exhaling so loudly that I might have made an official announcement.
The usher saw I had my phone back, retreated and signalled to someone that the show could begin. I sat down again.
I looked straight ahead but felt dozens of eyes on me. Instantly, I murmured, ‘Bloody hell.’ I turned to my left and met her eyes, deep eyes, pretty, smiling eyes. ‘Thank you for trying to help,’ I said, offering a smile of relief.
‘No problem,’ she said. She smiled in return as the lights dimmed and gave me a curious look.
The audience settled down, quiet overcame the auditorium, and spooky music erupted from the sound system.
The theatre was pitch-black, the music was loud, and getting louder, a thumping, rhythmic sound, the kind to make the hairs on the back of your arms stand on end, lots of drums and strings. And I felt my personal space become less so, surprisingly not because of the increasing darkness, nor because of the atmospheric theatrics.
No. Because of her.
‘Enjoy,’ she whispered into my ear, so close I could feel her breath against my cheek.
(Ooh, all the little hairs on my arms stood up then!)
About the author
K.S. Hunter is the pseudonym of an international bestselling author. The identity of the author, who lives in the United Kingdom, will remain a mystery.