I was looking forward to House Hunt coming out so I could talk a little bit about cars. I’m not a die-hard petrolhead, but I do like a nice V8 growl, especially when it comes from under the endless bonnet of a TVR!
TVR is/was a British sports car marque. The cars were made in Blackpool and they look like this. Really pretty, right? More than the good looks, they sound simply amazing and I used to turn fangirl every time one passed us. Really, if anyone comes up with a way to bottle that sound… I’m right there. And no, recording it on the ipod does not do it justice!
My husband, considerate chap that he is, rented one for me as a birthday treat one year. I was floored, and scared as all get out when I saw the £1000 insurance excess. But I got to drive it, in the pouring rain down the M4 and then in much better weather the next morning… and he fell in love with it!
A few years later we got our own and Arnie was with us for years. We had long holidays and short holidays and wonderful days out… and one memorable occasion where the battery was flat just as my husband had to leave for a job interview.
Going out in the TVR makes you feel special, so when I needed a car for Jack that wasn’t just your usual set of wheels… it wasn’t a tricky decision what he’d drive.
And this is how Gareth sees him for the first time:
Long, low-slung, and roofless, with sexy, graceful curves, the deep green two-seater sparkled in the early morning sunlight. Jack sat snugly ensconced in magnolia leather, a dark green fleece top and matching ball cap complementing the color of the car. Fingerless driving gloves of soft black leather and aviator sunglasses added to his rakish look. He grinned from ear to ear, revving the engine, playing with the throaty sound.
“Come on, Flynn, the morning’s wasting.”
“What the fuck is that?”
“Transport. Get your gear and get in before I wake the neighborhood,” Jack sniped at Gareth’s question. “This isn’t a sound you can ignore for long.”
It makes sense that Gareth is surprised by the fancy wheels, seeing that Jack is wedded to his bike whatever the weather and doesn’t even own a car for everyday use. But Jack loves speed as much as he loves the quirky and unusual, so going halves on a TVR wasn’t a stretch for him. And seeing how much Gareth seemed to enjoy the driving part of their day out, what happens a little while later is to be expected:
Jack stood, arms comfortably draped over the metal railing, and watched as two of Dimitri’s men pushed a bright red AC Ace into the workshop’s main bay. The overhead lights sparkled in the car’s flawless paint and bright chrome, and Jack felt a pang of regret.
During the last few weeks he’d watched the Ace transformed from a neglected husk into a gleaming, roaring bit of muscle car fun. And though he wasn’t a classic car fanatic by any stretch of the imagination, he’d even played with the idea of rescuing the red toy and taking it home to surprise Gareth.
It would be a toy, a pure summer car. Great for exhilarating days out when the weather was good, and a few runs across London at midnight each year. For racing up Box Hill on Sundays, meandering around Richmond Park or through narrow Surrey lanes at dusk. Owning a car like this would be nothing less than pure indulgence, but Jack had seen the gleam in Gareth’s eyes when he’d driven the TVR home the night they’d found the drugs stash. So when he had seen the red Ace in the workshop, connecting the dots had been easy.
It’s possible that Jack learned his appreciation of all things unusual and quirky at the knee of Jamaican ace-hacker Rio Palmer. It’s also possible that he’s always had an eye for things that broke the rules. After all, he picked Rio’s house to squat in based on the fact that it had a convertible Citroen DS in the driveway and the only bright red front door in a street of black-and-white Georgian houses.
And even all those years later, that love of the unusual is going strong. Whether it’s eucalyptus-coloured boots, venison pies with sour cherries, or a red AC Ace, Jack won’t turn it down or turn away from it just because it’s different. And that’s damned right fortunate, because the first time Gareth shows him the sales brochure for a house that’s caught his eye, Jack is incredulous.
“What’s that supposed to be? Film set for The Addams Family? Look at all those turrets!”
He was probably as incredulous seeing that house as I am looking at the small stack of books with my name on the front. Getting to this point has been a wonderful journey – for me, that is. Jack’s had it a good bit harder to make sense of all the changes in his life, but he soldiers on, doing what he does best: rescuing people and things that need it.
There’s still a bit to go until Jack and Gareth finally reach their HEA – and a release day is a good day to sit back and reflect a little – but I know for certain that I couldn’t have got here without all of you. A big thank you to anyone who believed in Jack and Gareth. A big thank you to everyone who bought Job Hunt and Ghosts. Extra-special thanks to anyone who wrote me a note or left me a review. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without all of you.
THANK YOU SO MUCH! And I hope you enjoy House Hunt.
by Jackie Keswick
Series: The Power of Zero, Book 3
Length: Novel / 97k
Release Date: 30th March 2016
Jack Horwood hates owing favors. But when a simple day out to treat Gareth to the best oysters in England leads to a discovery of drugs and counterfeit money—things that neither Jack nor Gareth have the jurisdiction to handle—he has to call in help. Help that doesn’t come cheap, and that forces him to do something he promised himself he’d never do again—walk away from Gareth and the family he’s starting to make for himself.
Three months undercover is a long time. After missing Gareth’s birthday, Jack is determined not to miss their first anniversary. But coming home and being home are two very different things. So when he is asked to assist with a corporate espionage investigation, Jack can’t say no, despite knowing it will impact his already straining relationship.
Except, of course, he’s walking into a trap….