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Reviews
  • Please, Doctor
  • Lena @ Rainbow Book Reviews
  • Serena does a great job of exploring the out-of-the-ordinary world of fetishes in a palatable and understandable way.
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  • The Ship Engineer (Workplace Encounters)
  • Becky @ Bike Book Reviews
  • I am so in love with the Workplace Encounters series it isn't even funny, and this book is no different!
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  • The Baker (Workplace Encounters)
  • Becky @ Bike Book Reviews
  • Read this one friends, you will love it as much as I did! Thanks Serena, for yet another fab book in this awesome series!
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  • The Cake (Elemental Superpowers 1)
  • Caitlin @ Romance Junkies
  • Warning; this story will make you hungry for cupcakes and men. In addition, I should note that this is a very steamy novel.
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  • The Bricklayer (Workplace Encounters)
  • Becky @ Bike Book Reviews
  • I love an author that can give you such a good plot and delivery in a book that isn't novel length, this is a rare talent indeed!
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  • The Model (Workplace Encounters)
  • Lena @ Rainbow Book Reviews
  • Fabio and Edwin are great characters whose devotion is tested by fire and they come out on the other side stronger than ever.
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  • The Mistletoe Phenomenon (Mistletoe Science 1)
  • Maya @ readalloverREVIEWS
  • The story was well written and utterly cute, sweet and it is oriented around family and Christmas.
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  • Aviophobia (Flight HA1710 #5)
  • Heather @ Padme's Library
  • I love how the author has balanced fear, tragedy, and love.
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  • To Find and To Keep (Keeping You 1)
  • Regina @ Coffee Time Romance
  • If you never read another m/m romance this year, read this one, you will not be sorry.
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  • The Baker (Workplace Encounters)
  • Lena @ Rainbow Book Reviews
  • Thanks, Serena, for your magical touch when it comes to giving your couples the happy ending they deserve, and for making me drool all over my Kindle while describing all of the fabulous baked goods.
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  • Araton's Destiny (Celestial Justice 1)
  • Lena @ Rainbow Book Reviews
  • 'Araton's Destiny' is an enjoyable, sweet Christmas story with passionate, wonderfully written love scenes and a great happy ending.
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  • The Chauffeur (Workplace Encounters)
  • Becky @ Bike Book Reviews
  • I love a short story that makes me feel like I just read a full length it is so good!
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  • The Baker (Workplace Encounters)
  • MelanieM @ scatteredthoughtsandroguewords
  • The Baker by Serena Yates is the first I’ve read in her Workplace Encounters series but I enjoyed it so much that I’m going to search out the rest.
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  • The Carpenter (Workplace Encounters)
  • Becky @ Bike Book Reviews
  • It is one of my favorites in this series! Thanks Serena for a series that just keeps getting better and better!
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  • The Carpenter (Workplace Encounters)
  • Lena @ Rainbow Book Reviews
  • Reading 'The Carpenter' for the second time was easy for me because even though all of Serena's men in the 'Workplace Encounters' series are terrific characters, Tom and Matt are two of my favorites, at least so far.
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  • Amethysts of Wisdom 1 (Gemstone Chronicles 2)
  • Crissy @ Joyfully Jay
  • This is a wonderful love story highlighting that differences in a relationship, when accepted, can strengthen that bond.
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  • The Ship Engineer (Workplace Encounters)
  • Lena @ Rainbow Book Reviews
  • For those of you who haven't read the story, I'd like to recommend that you do so, especially if you like a good romance with great characters, and a happy ending.
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  • The Bricklayer (Workplace Encounters)
  • Lena @ Rainbow Book Reviews
  • Serena has created an endearing love story, with two awesome men and put them together with brilliant results.
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  • The Elevator Mechanic (Workplace Encounters)
  • Lena @ Rainbow Book Reviews
  • 'The Elevator Mechanic' is a delightful, heartwarming story which I thoroughly enjoyed, and would recommend.
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  • Garnets of Destiny 1 (Gemstone Chronicles 1)
  • Lena @ Rainbow Book Reviews
  • The first tale in the 'Gemstone Chronicles' is an endearing love story, endowed with marvelous, well-developed characters, but it also has its dark side, featuring malicious villains with hidden political agendas...
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  • The Chauffeur (Workplace Encounters)
  • Lena @ Rainbow Book Reviews
  • If you are like me, you will enjoy the story even more the second time around.
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  • Eye of Scota (Dalriata 1)
  • Lilyraines @ Night Owl Reviews
  • I really enjoyed reading the book because it talks about taking chances, doing things way out of the characters' comfort zones..
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  • Aquamarines of Courage 1 (Gemstone Chronicles 3)
  • Pixie @ MM Good Book Reviews
  • Oh, this is a fantastic addition to the Gemstone Chronicles with its twists and hidden turns. Nico and Nayder are a wonderful pair.
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Aviophobia (Flight HA1710 #5)

Aviophobia (Flight HA1710 #5)
Release Date: 17 July 2015
Description:

Richard Abbott finally overcomes his debilitating fear of flying, boards Flight HA1710 bound for Chicago, and when it crashes discovers that aviophobia isn’t the worst of it...

All his life Richard has been afraid of flying. He has no idea what caused it, but nothing and no one will convince him to get on a plane of any size. His job as a member of a major bank’s IT department in London does not require him to fly—until he gets promoted. If he wants to keep his job, he has no choice but to deal with his worst nightmare.

Camden Marsh is a certified life coach who enjoys helping people redefine their priorities and their life. He is on his way to Chicago to attend an international conference for coaches and trainers when he begins a discussion with the extremely nervous man sitting next to him.

They have barely begun to explore their mutual interest when Flight HA1710 crashes and everything comes to a screeching stop.

 


Chapter One


Monday, June 8, 2015
Crash minus 13 days


“Certainly, sir. I’ll be there in five minutes.” Richard Abbott replaced the receiver on his desk phone with slightly shaky hands. Shit! His boss’s boss never called anyone to his tenth-floor office unless it was extremely bad news like a critical comment about a project, an official reprimand, or possibly getting fired. Each scenario in Richard’s head was worse than the last, and he clenched his teeth with the effort to stop himself from screaming in frustrated anger. What had he done wrong now? Why could nothing ever go his way?


Richard might not be exposed to the frontline of global economic combat like his colleagues in trading or investment banking, but even working in IT for a major international bank like KR Aventus PLC held certain risks. After all he and his coworkers in network security were responsible for the speed and impenetrability of Aventus’s proprietary computer network. If anything went wrong with the trading software, it was a real issue, since the loss of even half a second of functionality due to some glitch or bug could cost the bank millions. Getting hacked by a competitor, some criminal, or a terrorist would be even worse and didn’t bear thinking about.


Receiving a call to see the big boss? Bad news any way Richard looked at it.


He mentally ran over a list of the projects he’d completed in the last few days trying to find any mistakes he might have made as he rose from his chair, grabbed a notebook, and made his way to the bank of elevators at the center of the office building. The few colleagues who noticed him walk past gave him curious glances, but nobody made a comment. Worker bees were not encouraged to engage in “unnecessary social exchanges,” and with more people than jobs in the current economy, nobody wanted to stand out as breaking even an unwritten rule.


The elevator ride from the seventh to the tenth floor didn’t take much time. When Richard exited on the executive level with its plush carpets, expensive artwork on the walls, and well-dressed personal assistants, he had not made any progress toward identifying what could possibly be wrong with his work. He refused to consider any other reason for upper management getting involved in his life. By the time he made it to the VP’s office, his palms were sweaty and he had to force himself to breathe slowly.


“There you are.” Melissa was one of the friendliest personal assistants in the building, and her smile calmed Richard down a little. She pointed at the heavy wooden door to her left. “Mr. Harrington is ready for you, so you can go right in.”


“Thank you.” Richard did his best to return her smile, took a deep breath for courage, and knocked on the door. Once a barked “Enter” sounded, he turned the doorknob and walked into the lion’s den.


Peter Harrington—VP Technology and Innovation, Europe—didn’t look dangerous at first glance. Of average height, he preferred dark suits and conservative ties in line with official bankers’ uniform. He was only a few years older than Richard but far more politically astute. He’d been sent to London from Aventus’s head office in Chicago, and as a consequence his actual position was less important than the fact that he was one of the up-and-coming managers being groomed for a main board position. The real problem was that Mr. Harrington had only a passing acquaintance with anything resembling IT—he was a manager, an administrator, above all else. He excelled at risk assessment and the art of managing his own career. Richard could only hope whatever he wanted to discuss was not too technical; Peter Harrington hated to feel stupid, and anything “too techie” fell in that category.


“Glad to see you’re on time.” Peter nodded briefly and pointed at the visitor’s chair in front of his imposing mahogany desk. “Please take a seat.”


“Thank you.” Richard sat, forcing himself not to fidget.


“You know I’m not a man of many words.” Peter’s grin looked artificial, not reaching his eyes. Richard suspected Peter regarded it as a “tool” some management course or HR guideline had taught him to use to make employees feel at ease. “So I’ll come right to the point.”


Richard swallowed and nodded. He still had no idea what this was all about, and he felt more nervous by the second.


“We like your work. All your evaluations since you joined us three years ago have been stellar, and your performance on the recently completed design stages of Project Maroon has caught Chicago’s attention.” Peter even managed a real smile this time.


What the hell? Someone in head office noticed me? That can’t be good. All Richard was able to drag up was a timid smile in return, a little unsure what this effusive praise was leading up to and more worried than ever.


“Let me be the first to congratulate you.” Peter rose and held out his hand across the appropriately busy-looking desk. “Effective immediately, you are promoted to team leader level with a focus on implementing Maroon globally.”


“I-I…. Promoted?” Richard shook Peter’s hand on autopilot while his mind went a hundred miles an hour trying to comprehend what this meant for him. More money—check. Focus on his work rather than being a jack-of-all-trades—check. International responsibility—oh shit!


“Well done.” Peter retracted his hand and sat on his executive throne. “The kickoff meeting is in two weeks, at head office of course, and representatives from all the major offices will attend. You have plenty of time to prepare, and I expect nothing less than a perfect result. I know you can do it.”


Richard opened his mouth to reply, but what was he going to say? This was a brilliant opportunity. He knew Project Maroon inside out, and he’d wanted to be involved in the implementation phase of a major project as long as he could remember. There was only one problem. Chicago meant air travel—and probably not just for the kickoff meeting. And if there was one thing Richard hated…. The mere thought of getting on an airplane made him shudder. He’d only ever told one person about his biggest fear. At the end of his degree course, his best friend from uni, Theo Rayder, had suggested they take a holiday on a tropical island to celebrate. Richard had been forced to admit the truth to get Theo to give up, but had sworn him to secrecy. So far Richard had managed to avoid any and all air travel.


There was a name for his condition.


Aviophobia.


He could easily avoid flying for pleasure—as if!—since there were plenty of nice holiday spots in Britain. And with no need to fly for job-related reasons, his “condition” hadn’t seemed like a problem he needed to worry about. But now? What the hell was he going to do? Jeopardize his career by admitting he had a mental condition most people either didn’t know existed or would laugh about? Aside from not wanting to admit he was a coward in front of his colleagues, any sort of weakness like that would disqualify him from further advancement with his employer. Not officially, of course, they were too clever for that. But there were ways of getting rid of “unwanted” employees….


“Richard?” Peter was frowning at him.


“Yes.” Richard forced the abject terror he could feel rising into a back corner of his mind for now. “Thank you. I’ll get right on it.”


“That’s the spirit.” Peter cast a longing glance at the papers on his desk.


Richard knew a dismissal when he saw one and rose.


“I look forward to your first status report. Be sure to tell your boss to let me have a copy. I’m taking a personal interest in this one.” Peter nodded briskly.


“I’ll remember that.” Richard refused to let more panic into his thoughts. He could have a meltdown later. To have a VP interested in his work added another level of stress to an already horrible situation. “Thank you again.”


Before Peter could say anything else, Richard raced out of his office, barely nodded at Melissa on his way to the elevators, and entered the next available car. He kept telling himself to keep calm, but it was an uphill struggle. He sagged against the wall as the elevator’s doors swished shut and closed his eyes. He needed to find a solution to his problem, and fast. Rather than admit defeat and look for a different job, maybe he’d better man up and follow Theo’s advice.


It was time to get help.

©Serena Yates, 2015
All Rights Reserved

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