Why Does it Taste so Sweet?

Also from PJ Adams:

Backstage Pass (Let's Make This Thing Happen 1)
"Tonight on stage, Ray Sandler was all those old fantasies come back to life. Emily Rivers soaked up his every move and she felt alive again for the first time in what felt like years. She never thought he would actually notice her, though."

Emily is a successful woman in the tail end of a failing marriage. Ray is the reformed wild boy of rock, back on stage again for the first time in years. As a teenager Emily had Ray's posters all over her bedroom wall so when she gets backstage tickets it's as if her dreams have come true. Actually meeting him is an unexpected highlight of the evening, but that's as far as it could ever go. They come from such different worlds: what could an international star ever see in a grounded, curvy woman like Emily?

A story of secret romance in the world of the super-rich, an international celebrity and his unlikely BBW love. Steamy and passionate and full of the twists and turns familiar to readers of PJ Adams' work, including the bestsellers
Winner Takes All
Black Widow

Backstage Pass
is available from:
and other Amazon stores.


A Hundred Ways to Break Up (Let's Make This Thing Happen 2)
"Hold me," she said. "Hold me, and don't ever stop."

Just how long can you hope to keep an affair with an international rock star a secret?

This thing between them could never work. Emily Rivers is a normal woman with a normal life and Ray Sandler is a very public celebrity... They come from such different worlds. But he claims to be enchanted by her, and insists there should be no barriers in their way. Could she believe that, though? Particularly when his life turns out to be even more complicated than she had first believed.

When tragedy and angry exes threaten to pull them apart and their secret affair is about to go spectacularly public, can Emily do anything or has it all gone way beyond her control?

A story of secret romance in the world of the super-rich: an international celebrity and his unlikely BBW love. Steamy and passionate and full of the twists and turns familiar to readers of PJ Adams' work, including the bestsellers
Winner Takes All
Black Widow

A Hundred Ways to Break Up
is available from:
and other Amazon stores.


Why Does it Taste so Sweet?

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Why Does it Taste so Sweet?
Let’s Make This Thing Happen 3
PJ Adams



Why does it taste so sweet
When all that you give me is poison?

Ray Sandler


When she’d given Ray the ultimatum she hadn’t known what would happen next.

She’d already broken up with her husband that day; she didn’t think she could handle another break-up.

But now... now, after Ray had come through with shining colors, after he’d taken her out in front of the waiting press in a statement that couldn’t be more public –
This is us, we’re together, we’re in love, deal with it
– after all that, she still didn’t know what would happen next.

It was Rake who stirred up all the doubts again that evening, when he said that thing she kept hearing from the reporters and on Facebook and Twitter. “So tell me,” he said, in that deceptively charming Irish lilt of his, “what does Róisín make of all this?”

Róisín. Still Ray’s wife, but only ‘technically’ he had assured Emily. Why did it always seem to come back to Róisín?

And why did Emily find it so easy to go from high to low in next to no time?


That afternoon at her cousin Kayleigh’s wedding, Emily’s head was rushing – everything was moving so quickly!

Her estranged husband Thom had shown up and Emily had sent him on his way. Then she’d called Ray and told him she’d hit crisis point: “Listen. I don’t know where I stand. I don’t know what we are. I don’t know where we’re going. I don’t know why you left the country or what you feel about me or Róisín or anything. I don’t
anything.” She’d paused and taken a deep breath, before continuing: “Or rather, there is one thing I do know. I know that if there’s even a part of you that really cares, if you think there’s even a chance that we might be able to make this thing happen, then you’ll get your sorry ass here as fast as you can because my whole world is being ripped apart, and I need to know whether I’m going to be rebuilding it alone or with you. It’s your choice, Ray, and only you can make it.”

He’d got his sorry ass there.

Afterwards, stepping out into the mid-afternoon sunshine on that West London street, there had been a knot of photographers and reporters waiting. All this was normal for Ray: it went with that international rock star relaunching his career territory that he was currently occupying, and the press and social media buzz was something Ray’s publicist and general sidekick Mo had been working hard to generate. But up until now, Emily had managed to keep out of the media glare.

They paused in the street, cameras in their faces, voices coming at them from all sides.

“Ray: tell us about your new love.”

“Ray! Over here. Both of you.”

And then: “Emily, would you tell us how you two met?” They were using her name now: she wasn’t just some anonymous woman appearing in blurry photos, not merely the mystery ‘curvy beauty’.

“Where’s Róisín, Ray? Does she know about Emily?”

Ray let them go on for a few seconds, then he straightened, one hand raised to quieten them, the other arm around Emily’s waist. “Thank you,” he said. He spoke normally, and that more than anything forced the reporters to fall quiet, so they could hear. “It’s always good to see some old friends.”

A couple of the reporters laughed, and Ray went on: “Listen, guys, I’d really appreciate it if you’d move on after we’ve spoken. There’s a lovely young lady celebrating her wedding in there, and she really doesn’t need the disruption. Emily and I are hoping for a few quiet days, too. We’re flying out to France in a couple of hours for a bit of a break, and there’s not really much more to say than that, so if you don’t mind…”

He stepped forward and took the door-handle of a black Jaguar that had just pulled up. Opening the door, he ushered Emily inside and then he joined her and they were pulling away.

She fixed him with a quizzical look, and his expression faltered.

“I... I mean. I hope that’s okay?” he said. “France, I mean. We could go anywhere.”

And she knew they could. That wasn’t the problem.

“I need to get my things,” she said. “My passport, at least. They’re at Marcia’s place, only...” They’d fought at the wedding after Marcia had revealed she’d once slept with Emily’s husband. “Well, it might get awkward.”

Ray shrugged. “I can handle awkward,” he said, and smiled.

“Thank you.” Finally, her thoughts were catching up with events. He’d come for her. She hadn’t blown it all with her demands. He was here. “Thank you for coming back for me, and for putting up with all my dramas. I don’t know what you see in me or why you do it, but thank you.”

His finger pressed gently on her lips, silencing her. Then he turned his hand, cupped her chin, drew her into his kiss.

“I couldn’t do anything
,” he said, pulling slightly away. He turned and addressed the big black guy in the driver’s seat. “Hey, Mo. Can we swing by Marcia Chapman’s place on the way to the airport?”

“No worries. I’ve already called ahead and spoken to Ms Chapman and she tells me she has business elsewhere: the place is empty, Ms Rivers.”

She could have kissed the top of his shaved smooth head right then. It wasn’t that she never wanted to see Marcia again, but simply that she didn’t know. The revelation about her and Thom was too fresh. Sure, her marriage to Thom was already over, but Marcia had slept with him at some undisclosed time in the past, not now, and she had kept it secret: her best friend had cheated on her.

She needed time to process it all. She needed time to think about it, but also time
to have thoughts about it tumbling through her head.

She needed time to breathe.

“You okay?”

She glanced across and met those dark eyes and suddenly... “Yes. Yes, I think I really am.”


They talked about the wedding, and about how Emily’s manager had taken her aside at work this week and instructed her to take time off to deal with all the distractions. They talked about Ray’s time at his chateau in the Loire region of France, about how he had been working all hours in the studio there stripping back all the over-produced tracks from his new album, getting back to the raw energy that had made him write and record it in the first place.

“It was talking to you that made me understand I had to do that,” he said.

“I only asked why you were recording again.”

“You make me see everything differently.” She hit him on the arm, at that. She didn’t have that kind of effect on people; she was just Emily Rivers, that was all. She didn’t think she’d
made Thom see anything differently.

They talked about working with Rake again. He’d played bass in the Angry Cans, the band that had put Ray on TV and magazine covers right around the world fifteen years ago. He and Ray had barely spoken in the ten years since the band had split, but now Rake had stepped in late in the day to help fine-tune the album.

“How is it with Rake?”

Ray grinned. “I wouldn’t trust anyone else to do what he’s doing,” he said. “We’re throwing away so much from the recordings, paring them right down to the bone. There’s a real buzz in the studio. It’s like we’re eighteen again. And having him around is like your ex-girlfriend has moved back in, only there’s no prospect of make-up sex, you’ll be glad to know. And it’s like two big cats who find themselves in the same territory, prowling around each other, always knowing where the other one is but pretending they don’t care. And do you know what? It’s the best fucking thing!”

They talked practical matters. Emily had moved out of the house she owned when Thom had tried to hit her that time; and now she’d fought with Marcia, and didn’t really have anywhere to go... “I have plenty of space,” said Ray.

At first Emily thought what an odd way that was of putting it, then she realized it was a combination both of him being sensitive and that he did, actually, have lots of options.

“You might feel awkward about just moving in,” he went on. “You might think it’s too early. Whatever. But moving in with me is an option. I have other places, though. There’s an apartment in West India Quay. A penthouse flat in Soho. A house in Henley-on-Thames – that’s nice, and it’s not too far from Ronnie’s place.”

As he spoke, he started to interrupt himself with laughs, realizing just how ludicrous this was.

“There’s probably more,” he said, now managing to look apologetic. “I lose track. You know how it is. I was a twenty-something rock star with more money than sense. Back then I could buy a place in London with cash, no problem. What I’m saying is this: you don’t need to worry, Emily. We’ll get your stuff and you’ll have somewhere to stay, on whatever terms you want.”

She did that thing he’d done to her. A finger on his lips to silence him. Then, moving to cradle his chin, the scratch of stubble on her hand sending weird little thrills through her, she leaned against him, kissed him.

She pulled her head away and rested it against his neck, coiled up against him as best she could against the restraint of the seatbelt. Listening to his heart. Breathing him in. Letting him kiss her on the crown of her head, letting his arm loop around her, his hand on her ribs, the side of his thumb pressing against the swell of her breast.

She shouldn’t feel so good. Her marriage now officially dead. Kayleigh’s wedding repeatedly interrupted by Emily’s dramas. And Marcia... well, she needed time to digest what had happened between her and Marcia.

She really shouldn’t feel so good.

So. Damned. Good.


She still couldn’t get used to the fact that she could walk hand in hand with Ray Sandler through somewhere as public as an airport. She couldn’t get over the fact that she didn’t need to worry about all the eyes following them, or the people holding their phones up to take photos.

But she could certainly get used to the way Mo just dropped them off at the City Airport entrance and they walked on through, no worries about baggage or security. Straight through Customs and into a VIP lounge where waiters hovered discreetly with champagne and canapés.

She could get used to flying first class, too.

They drank more champagne and talked. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d talked so much that her voice started to go, and she had to drink more champagne just to soothe her vocal cords.

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