Thursday, 5 June 2014

Misfortune of Birth by H K Carlton Book 3 of the Always Cambridge Series

Misfortune of Birth 
Always Cambridge Book 3
by H K Carlton 

Things are heating up!

Holly Cambridge, with the help of her FBI liaisons, has successfully infiltrated the rival Mayhue crime family. But as Holly plays the part of Randi Yates, things start to get personal with the very charismatic and stunningly good-looking, Victor Mayhue.

Can Holly resist the charming bad boy and keep her eye on the ultimate goal of shutting down the Mayhue crime family for good? Or will she surrender to her dark obsession with the second son?

And if Victor should discover her true identity in the meantime, will the consequences of her actions and deceit, take a fatal turn?

Misfortune of Birth 
Always Cambridge Book 3 

When I first started writing Always Cambridge, I thought it was going to be a stand-alone story. And at that point, Victor Mayhue, was nothing more than an arrogant, gum-chewing flirt. He still is, but in the evolution of Always Cambridge, he became an integral part of the plot and another obstacle for Holly in her quest to take down the mob.
And Victor is a real character. He is—as Special Agent Alex Orton likes to call him—an ego with feet. Victor is beyond good-looking and he knows it. He is confident and charismatic. And Holly finds herself painfully attracted to him. But it’s not just his charm that has her spellbound, as readers will soon find.

I think I mentioned in my last post, how difficult it is for me to visualize my characters. But this one, I had an image for from the moment I pinned down his characteristics and personality traits. I actually named him after a Canadian actor, VictorWebster, who I have long had a major fan girl crush on. 

Readers may know him from Days of Our Lives or Melrose Place, (the second time around); Mutant X. Any Charmed fans in the house. He was Coop. He's also guest starred on several fan favourites; Castle with fellow Canadians Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion; Criminal Minds, CSI, WhiteCollar and many others. At the moment, here in Canada, he’s on a show called Continuum. I’m not sure if they show it internationally yet, but they film in Vancouver. And it is developing quite a cult following for the sci-fi, Syfy set.

I think he’s gorgeous, and almost every character I’ve ever seen him play, he’s been this confident, cocky, but appealing guy. Even when he’s being a complete jerk, I’m like, yeah, well, I can deal with that, because holy sh*t he is fine to look at. Victor Webster is Victor Mayhue. If Always Cambridge was ever made into a movie, Victor is my hands down choice. And his image also works with the later time line of the story and how all the characters age throughout the telling, since it is a family saga. So, any screen writers out there? Victor’s not getting any younger. LOL! And neither am I.  :D

So, I'm providing some younger pics that I think show him as the perfect Victor Mayhue and also some more recent samples. Enjoy! 

 So, what's the verdict? I think God was showing off when he made him! :D 
(I swiped that line from Dallas Smith) :D Hehe! (another Canuck!)

Thank you, Nancy, for showcasing my Cambridge gang. We do love coming here!

The Always Cambridge Series - 

The Always Cambridge Series chronicles the life of Holly Cambridge through her tumultuous childhood, violent teen years into adulthood, and the consequences that stem from being the daughter of mob boss, Bill Cambridge.

Misfortune of Birth 
by H K Carlton

Holly Cambridge barely recognizes herself anymore. Pretending to be another person is beginning to wear thin. Disguised as Randi Yates, she entangles herself into the perilous life of the irresistible Victor Mayhue. 

But day by day, she falls more desperately and impossibly in love with her natural enemy. Together they explore a highly sexual, dark and dangerous relationship. The lines between right and wrong and good and evil, begin to blur. And while attempting to shield and protect Victor from the Feds and even his own family, Holly loses sight of her original goal.

Victor understands her more than anyone she’s ever met. Essentially they have lived the same life. He is her other half. But once he discovers who she really is and what she’s done, there will be no going back. Victor Mayhue is not a second chance kind of guy. And in the end, one of them will be forced to face their true nature.


Copyright © 2014 H K Carlton

In this scene Holly’s liaison, Special Agent Alex Orton watches over the proceedings of the infiltrate, from his desk back in Washington, DC. This scene is from his point of view.

     I was in Washington working on another case but I was still ever-present on the Cambridge case, via technology. I was still technically running the case. But with the delay of finding the body and the slowness of progress on anything else, we’d dwindled down to a skeleton crew. With the Mayhues protecting Holly, it had actually eased our load, if that was not the most ironic thing. But we knew we still had to be careful—if they found her out, she was dead, and we all knew it.

     I had the whole command centre in view. Holly in the midpoint working away at the office of Mayhue Excavating. She was alone. Other than that Blake kid sniffing around, there had been no other person to enter the office today. No sign of Mayhue at all. Julie had called repeatedly for him.

     It was out of the ordinary for Victor not show up at all or even call in for an entire workday. Did Holly know where he was? I wondered. Had he confided something in her that the rest of us were unaware?

     We’d watched the two of them dance around each other ever since he’d come back from Miami, Holly trying to keep up the front that she was still somewhat with Alexei and that it didn’t bother her that Victor was back with Julie. But I knew it was killing her. I could see it wearing her down. And Victor had also been keeping things from her. We knew that he’d kept his apartment. He stayed there every night. But Holly seemed to believe that he and Julie were back together better than ever. We had not corrected her assumption. We’d kept quiet, keeping a lot of information from her. But to my absolute surprise, she didn’t seem to care that we were no longer sharing information with her. She wasn’t hounding Wayne. And she was definitely not calling me. It made me suspicious of what else she was keeping from us.

     I had things set up so that I could speak directly to Wayne.

     “Hey, Wayner, you got eyes on Mayhue?”

    “No. We haven’t seen him since he drove away from his apartment around nine a.m. this morning. He’s got so much security around him that we’ve backed way off. We just watch his comings and goings. We assumed he was going to the office. He never showed up.”

     “Have the boys nose around. Check the compound. Check the coffee shop. Check his usual haunts. It’s not like him to go AWOL all day like this.”

     About an hour later there was still no sign of him.
“We still have not been able to locate him, Alex. You want us to continue searching?”

     “No, just stake out his apartment. Let me know if you find him.”

“Copy that.”

     Five o’clock came and Holly started to shut down for the day. We watched the yard outside empty of all the workers. Except for Todd and Franco way off in the distance and James staked out in front of the office, she was essentially alone.

     The radio connected to Todd and Franco on my desk sounded.
     “Command. Mayhue just passed our location. Driving erratically. Headed for the office. No sign of any security with him. Ten-four?”

     “Ten-four. Ten-twelve, stand by unit two,” Wayne answered.

     “Wayne, warn her that he’s coming.”

     “No time, Alex. Unit one, roll. Ten-twelve.”


     Mayhue’s Hummer pulled in next to Holly’s car. He got out of the vehicle and slammed the door with force. He stopped long enough to talk to the bodyguard, James, apparently dismissing him. Within minutes, James left the parking lot, driving away. Victor stomped up to the office door and threw it open.

     “You’re still here,” he said.

     “Yeah, just finishing up,” Holly answered, her back to him. “Where have you been all day, you slacker?” she said as the teasing died on her tongue when she turned to face him. “Whoa. Where ya been, Victor?”

     Her gaze darted over him. He wore a beat up leather jacket—I knew she would like that—a white t-shirt beneath it, a pair of worn jeans and a black pair of boots. Not the put together Victor Mayhue designer wardrobe we were used to. He looked like he hadn't shaved, his hair windblown.


     He gave her that devil-may-care stalker grin he liked to use on her. “Where have I been?” He sat down in the chair, behind her desk and attempted to manoeuvre his feet up onto it. A move we’d witnessed him make a hundred times, flawlessly. He snorted laughter at his lack of dexterity and gave up trying.

     “He’s drunk.” I heard Wayne convey to the rest of the team.

     She laughed at his clumsiness. I wondered if she knew he was drunk yet. She was a little naïve still, in that way, at least.

     “Never mind. I can see where you've been.” She knew.

     “Celebrating something?” she asked. Her eyes were alight with amusement over his condition.

     “Nope. Forgetting.”

     “Ah.” She answered as she continued to put away her paperwork.

     Unfocused, he watched her. “Do me a favour. In my desk, back of the top right hand drawer.”

     “What?” She waited.

     “Just get it.” He smiled and gave her that look that no woman seemed able to resist.
She sighed knowing full well he’d just used it on her, and she disappeared into his office returning with a flask in one hand. “You won’t get much from there,” she said as she passed it into his waiting grasp.

     “Ohh, well. There’s more at home.” He unscrewed the lid and took a swig.”

She looked out into the darkness. “Victor? Did you drive here?”

     “Yes, mother, I did.” They exchanged a look.

She turned off the copier, the coffee pot. “Wanna nasty cup of coffee?”

“Naw, that’ll ruin my buzz.”

     “I made that coffee just for you first thing this morning. And here it sits.” She disappeared into the kitchen to dump the pot.

     “I’m sure Blake enjoyed my coffee,” he said quietly to himself, like a spoiled little boy, jealous that Blake got his.

     The team laughed at his churlish tone.

     Holly came back in with the empty pot unaware of his comment. “I’m sorry. I was going to come to work, had every intention of coming to work. But I got side tracked on the way.”
“Were you coming to work dressed like that?”

     He grinned and his lids narrowed. “You’re smarter than ya let on, aren’t ya? Observant. Okay, so ya caught me.” He slurred. “I set out to get cranked. Mission accomplished. And admit it, you like the way I’m dressed right now.”

     She didn’t admit it verbally, but the smile on her face said it all. “Did I see you dismiss James?”

     “Mmmhmm.” He took another drink from the flask.

     “Let me just finish up here and I’ll drive you home. Oh-kay? Move over.” She pushed at her office chair. He scooted unsteadily back out of her way. She took hold of the computer mouse and bent slightly to study the screen.

     He strategically wheeled the chair back in behind her, clipping the back of her knees, giving me the impression he wasn’t as drunk as he would have her believe. He pulled her into his lap and laughed. “Whoops! Be careful there, clumsy.” He wrapped his big arms around her.

     Her eyes widened. “What are you doing?” She laughed and peered over her shoulder at him.

     “Just keeping you comfy, since I stole your chair. I’m being chiv-al-rous.” He slurred again.

     “Well, while I’ve got you here,” she smiled saucily at him. “What did you want me to tell Mr. Amstill about renting that space in the warehouse out back? He’s e-mailed three times and called twice.”

     “Tell him to fuck off and leave us alone.”

     “Is that a practical industry term I am unaware of?”

     “It’s an after five o’clock quittin’ time term. Shut ‘er down and let’s get outta here. We’ll take care of it tomorrow.”

     She clicked the mouse and shut the computer down. “Let me up, Victor,” she said gently.

     He held onto her for an overlong minute before he reluctantly set her free and she gained her feet.

     I let out a breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding while watching them.

     Holly took one last look around before reaching for her coat and purse. “Come on, Victor. I’ll drive you home.”

     He remained in the chair, taking another drink from the flask. He offered it to her.

     “No thanks.”

     “Right, you don’t drink.”

     She sat down in the chair opposite him when he made no move to get up. “Julie called.”

     “Yeah?” He wouldn’t look at her.


     “What’d she have to say?”

     “Not much. She wouldn’t really talk to me. She asked if you were here and when I said no, she didn’t seem to believe me. I think she thought I was screening your calls, that you didn’t want to talk to her. She thinks I’m lying to her. Again.”

     “Sorry about that.” He drank the last of the liquid from the flask, replaced the lid and laid it on the desk. “Sorry I put you in a bad spot. Again.”

     “What if it’s Ty, Victor?”

     “She would have told you if something was wrong with him and you would have reached me if that were the case.”

    “Yeah, I would have. But did you have your phone off? Because she tried to reach you on that, too.”

     “No. It was on. I just didn’t want to deal with her today. I would have answered if you’d called. Ya know, you’re ruining my buzz.”

     “Are you calling me a buzz-kill?” She smiled.

     He chuckled. “No. I was glad to see you were still here. Why didn’t you try to reach me today?”

     “I would have if there had been something that I couldn’t handle. Everything else I just left aside if it wasn’t pressing. You’ll just have to deal with it tomorrow. Come on, let me take you home.”

     “I can get home. You go ahead.”

     “No, you can’t drive. I wouldn’t feel right. Where are your guards, Victor? Why aren’t they driving you around in your present condition?”

     “I told them to fuck off hours ago.”

     “Oh-kay,” she answered slowly. “So, they are probably now either hunting you down or staying just far enough away that you cannot detect them but close enough to help you if you do something stupid.”

     “Yep. You’re probably right. You seem to have caught on to how things work.”

     “I guess I’ve just learned from James following me around. He’s like a shadow.” She stood. 

     “Come on. Let’s go.” I could hear in her voice that she was getting impatient to leave. She held out her hand to him. He sighed and took it reluctantly. Unsteadily he gained his feet. She dropped her coat and her purse in an attempt to balance him. And again, I was convinced he was less inebriated than he was letting on. He ended up draped all around her, laughing his fool head off.

     “Wayne, I don’t like this. Think about sending someone up there,” I ordered.

     “She can hold her own, Alex. Besides, his detail is around. Our units have pulled back.”

     I felt so far away, and not in control of my own operation.

     Mayhue stopped laughing and they became especially still. He mumbled something that we didn’t catch.

     “What was that?” I demanded. Wayne shook his head.

     She responded, but they were so wrapped up in one another that her voice was muffled as well. His head remained down and I could not tell if it was just on her shoulder or tucked up against her neck. He mumbled and she swivelled her head to the side and I could see her face. She closed her eyes and her mouth opened. I’d seen that expression on her face before. When we were intimate. He was getting to her.

     “Let me take you home.” She clung to him, making no attempt to move.

     He chuckled deeply. “How ‘bout I take you home.” His deep voice penetrated the silence. I heard the telltale smack of his lips slobbering against her skin.


     “Alex. I’m in charge. Either be quiet or I’m turning off your feed.”

     Suddenly Victor spun Holly around and pinned her against the cabinets. He dove at her mouth and he kissed her roughly. At first, she fought with him, pushing at his shoulder. Then just as quickly the tempo changed and she gave in, kissing him back. I felt like I was watching a movie in the theatre and the villain had just seduced the heroine. Was this just strategy on her part, or had she finally given in to the charismatic bad boy?

Buy Links

Buy it now @ eXtasy Books ~ (expected Amazon launch June 8)

H K will provide more links HERE as they become available.

Follow the saga from the beginning…

**Author note**
The books should be read in sequence. The first five instalments end with To Be Continued

***Publisher Note***
This is an on-going saga: each book may not have and HEA/HFN, but the series culminates with an HEA/HFN in the final book.

Like Always Cambridge on FACEBOOK and keep up with the AC news, excerpts and cover reveals.

Author Bio

Image of HK CarltonH K Carlton is a multi-published Canadian author of romance and its varied sub-genres, including contemporary, paranormal, historical, family saga and erotica.

Where can you find H K???

AllRomance eBooks

Thanks for stopping by today H K and thanks so much for sharing book 3, Misfortune of Birth, in the Always Cambridge series. I can't wait to see what trouble Holly gets into in book 4.
Until then, I wish you the best of luck.



  1. Thanks for having us back, Nanc!

  2. I can't express strongly enough how much I'm loving this series.

    I agree that it would make an excellent movie had the same thought last night as I finished Misfortune of Birth. I don't think I can survive the wait for book 4 :)

    Well done HK Carlton you're a genius.

    1. Thank you, Donna, I'm thrilled you are enjoying Holly and her harem of hunky men.
      I don't know about genius, but perhaps a crazy woman. LOL!