Authors: T A Williams
Devastated after losing her job, eternal pragmatist Alice leaves London for a new start in Devon. It’s there that she meets Danny.
Then she meets another Danny.
And then she meets Daniel – Danny to his friends…
In fact, there seems to be a Danny at every turn! Her neighbour’s a Danny; there’s little baby Danny; there’s a vicar, a windsurfer, even a dog called Danny! And whether it’s laughter, comfort, a flutter of romance or a walk along the beach, they each bring something special to Alice’s new life.
You might say it’s a coincidence. Alice certainly would… at first! But when she suddenly risks losing not just one Danny, but all of them, she begins to wonder: might there be more in a name than she ever guessed?
‘I loved the idea for this book. It is written with a dry wit that had me laughing out loud on occasions… [and] turning the pages right till the end.’ 5 stars from CB
is a very entertaining story with an intriguing plot. T A Williams manages to hold the reader’s attention not just with his amusing depictions of lust and lingerie, but also with the gradual development of love and affection between the main characters.’ 5 stars from Ian Muirhead
‘Those looking for a good read, a good chuckle and a good time… have come to the right place. I look forward to the next title by T A Williams.’ 5 stars from Roger Syrat
‘I really enjoyed this book! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it turned out to be lovely. A group of very different people find themselves writing an erotic novel together, and there is sex drama galore, complete with some really cute love stories.’ 5 stars from Jackie at Goodreads.com
is a very funny story… a story with a real plot, and characters that have that real feel to them.’ 5 stars from Lexxie at unconventionalbookreviews.com
The Room on the Second Floor
‘Another most enjoyable read from this author. Not too taxing, just a great deal of fun. Put your feet up and have a good read. You’ll find a smile on your face as the plot twists and turns.’ 5 stars from Mike Hoare
‘Witty, clever and enthralling. I found myself laughing out loud on numerous occasions’ 5 stars from CB
‘Aside from a great story this book is full of memorable characters. It’s also bursting with proper English humour reminiscent of P. G. Wodehouse and Jerome K Jerome.’ 4.5 stars from Sylvia Ashby, www.chicklitreviewsandnews.com
Review taken from Amazon
The Room on the Second Floor
When Alice Met Danny
T A Williams
lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He has taught people from all over the world, among them Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, live fish and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. He has written historical novels, humorous books and thrillers. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing. You can follow him on Twitter, @TAWilliamsBooks, find him on Facebook:
or visit his website:
With thanks, as ever, to my editor, Clio Cornish.
To Mariangela and Christina, with love
‘So, you see, we have no choice but to make cuts.’ All she could do was stare at him across the huge slab of glass that served as his desk. She was still trying to take in the significance of what he had told her.
‘You mean, we are going bust?’
‘Well, that’s a very emotive way of putting it.’ He gave a slight grimace. ‘Of course the firm is still financially viable. All that we have to do is make a few cuts and economies.’
‘Starting with me?’ It was beginning to sink in.
‘We thought it better to prune a few of the high earners, rather than chop away a whole host of lower paid staff.’ He could see from her face that she had understood. ‘Of course, we will be offering a very generous severance package.’
She just sat there. Of all the things she had expected Nigel to want to discuss at this morning’s meeting, her dismissal had certainly not been among them. ‘But the Tianjin contract?’ She had only just got them that. ‘It’s worth twenty-three million for crying out loud. Doesn’t that justify keeping me on?’
‘I know, Alice, I know. And if it were up to me, you would be the last to go. I put up a good fight for you, you know.’ He glanced hopefully in her direction, but stopped short of meeting her eye. ‘But the decision has been made at board level. It’s out of my hands.’
She stood up. Her mind was whirling.
Out of his hands?
For a moment she had a powerful urge to overturn the glass desk into his lap, but she took a deep breath and headed for the door.
‘Alice, I’ll see that you get details of our severance offer. It is a very, very good package. You won’t have to worry about money for a long time to come.’ He stood up and attempted a smile. ‘Think of it as an opportunity for a complete change.’
‘Nigel.’ She spun round and looked hard at him. He instinctively took two steps backwards. ‘I came here straight from university. I’ve given G&B seventeen years of my life. This
my life. And now you are offering me the opportunity to change? To what, Nigel, to what?’ Before he could attempt a reply, she turned on her heel and left the office, resisting the impulse to slam the door behind her.
She walked across the hallway in a daze. She pressed the button and waited the few seconds that it took for the lift to arrive. The doors hissed open and she saw it was empty. She felt a sense of relief. As the doors closed behind her, she came as close to crying as she had ever done in her professional life. In the few seconds it took the lift to drop smoothly down to the fifteenth floor, she had time to collect herself. Or at least to try.
As she stepped out, she saw Danny waiting to get in. Something in her face told him all was far from well. He ignored the open doors and gave her a smile. ‘All well up in the realm of the gods?’ She made no reply as the doors slid shut behind her. She just stood there, as if uncertain what to do next. Indecision from Alice was so unusual as to be worrying. For a moment he wondered if she were ill. ‘Alice, are you all right?’
‘I’m fine, Danny.’ But she clearly wasn’t. As she set off towards her office, he turned and walked alongside her. By this time he had realised that something major had happened. He accompanied her to her door. She paused, her eyes fixed on the sign:
. After a few moments, she stirred, shook her head and went inside. He followed her and closed the door behind them. She stopped by the window and stood there, staring out over the grey waters of the Thames far below. She looked like she needed a hug. He thought long and hard, but then restrained himself. He did, however, walk up close to her and lay a hand on her arm.
‘What is it, Alice? What’s happened?’ His voice was deeply concerned.
So she told him.
‘So what are you planning on doing?’ Sally was the closest friend Alice had in London.
‘I’m not really sure.’
‘With your track record, surely you could just walk into any number of other well-paid jobs, couldn’t you?’
Alice nodded absently. ‘Mm. I suppose so. I’m just not sure I want to go back into that world again. It’s all about money, money, money. There’s no loyalty, no trust; just profit. I think I’d be better off out of it.’
‘How far out of it, Al?’
‘A long way, I think. Ever since I got the news, I’ve been mulling over what that slimy toad Nigel said to me. He called it an opportunity for a complete change. Although I still think he’s a despicable reptile, or should that be amphibian, I’m coming round to thinking he may be right.’
Sally caught the waiter’s eye and pointed to the empty bottle. It was going to be a long evening. ‘I’ll tell you this, Al, you could do worse. Try living like a normal girl instead of a career woman for a change. Get yourself a social life again. Meet a few nice people, cultivate a selection of eligible bachelors, jump into bed with some of them. That should take your mind off things.’
The waiter returned with another bottle of Pinot Grigio. Sally waited until he had retired before continuing. ‘Sex, my girl, that’s what you need. That’ll take your mind off things.’
Alice looked up, a hint of a smile on her face. ‘Sex, Sally, that’s your answer to everything.’
‘Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.’
‘Of course I’ve tried it.’ Alice sounded piqued. ‘I had a whole heap of boyfriends at university.’
‘And that was… fifteen, sixteen years ago?’ Sally kept her voice gentle.
‘Seventeen, but who’s counting? Anyway, I’ve been out with men since then. All right, nobody really special, and no long term relationships, but I was working so hard.’
‘That’s the whole point, Alice, it’s time to think of yourself, not just G-and-bloody-B. Isn’t there something you would really like to do? Apart from having sex with some young stud, of course.’
Alice sipped her wine. Alcohol wasn’t going to be the answer. And neither was sex. She allowed herself a moment’s reflection. Sally was right, of course. She really had sacrificed her personal life for her career. Not that she had lived an entirely monastic life. There had been men, admittedly not that many, but her job had always been her first priority. Now she could change all that.
‘Do you know what I’d really like to do?’ Sally looked up with interest, pleased to see a smile on her face. ‘I’m thinking about going back to university.’
‘What, as a postgrad?’ Sally sounded genuinely surprised.
‘Yes, I thought I might try and do a Masters.’
‘Something to do with finance? An MBA, maybe?’
Alice shook her head. ‘Nothing to do with work. No, something very, very different.’
Alice gave her a smile. ‘History. Don’t laugh. I’ve always been interested in history.’
Sally looked surprised. ‘So what period of history?’
Alice began to look less sure of herself. ‘I don’t really know. I’ve been reading all sorts. Everything from the Egyptians to the Cold War. There’s got to be something in between that gets my juices flowing.’