Sarah Jane Raymond

A New Life

In this second novel in the series we find Sarah Jane Raymond, divorced from multi-billionaire Horatio Kampen de Steen, is now a wealthy independent woman and has relocated to Europe. With the world at her feet, Sarah is discovering who she is and where she belongs. Rich beyond her wildest dreams, this freedom enables Sarah to feel in total control of her surroundings and those around her.

However, the past has a way of rearing its ugly head and contaminating pastures new. Driven, to make right the wrongs of the past, Sarah must ensure those close to her toe the line, or descent at their peril.

Chapter One

Sarah Jane Raymond arrived at Malaga airport from London, after a brief visit to her parents. She had been glad to get away from Glenville Road; she had felt herself step back in time and become the girl she once was, before it had all happened. Before she had married Horatio Kampen de Steen and moved to South Africa, before the birth of her child Charlotte, and the other one, who had been relegated to the abyss.

She wanted to shrug off her old life and start her new life in Europe, as a forty-something woman with the world at her feet. The one luxury she maintained from her marriage to Hori was a substantial amount of wealth, which she saw as compensation for the agony she had endured during the marriage.

She was free. In her prime, attractive, healthy, and wealthy. The next decade was to be hers.

Sarah opened the large patio doors of her penthouse apartment to bright sunshine and a panoramic view of the coastline of the Costa del Sol. Front row, luxurious apartments for the most well-heeled residents of Puerto Banús. She hadn’t wanted to reside in a villa, alone; she would have been isolated as she had been at Cape Fortress. She chose to be central, in the hub of life, neighbours around her, shops, restaurants, and bars nearby. Life in all its shapes and colour. She wanted to connect with a community whilst still remaining private.

The penthouse was large and spacious, open plan. Freshly decorated and furnished as she had instructed.

It was taking time to adjust to not having to account for herself to Hori, and to Portia.

She took in a deep breath. She missed no one.

All correspondence was now delivered to her new address. Hori had signed the divorce papers. He had agreed to a generous divorce settlement, in the hope she might return to him some day. Her daughter, Charlotte, was her bargaining chip. Hori wouldn’t want to disappoint his daughter by appearing to be mean to her mother. Charlotte held out that her mother would one day reunite with her father. Sarah had no intention of ever seeing Hori again. He was well and truly in her past.

She only had a place in her heart for Charlotte, who now shared her life with Alec.

She took a walk around Puerto Banús. It was lively; the restaurants were bursting at the seams, with people spilling out onto the pavements. People everywhere, the rich and famous, tourists, celebrity-spotters. The nouveau riche. Oligarchs with upmarket, glamourous call girls, prostitutes hired for the night, week or the entire summer.

The boutiques were fabulous, with up-to-the-minute designs. Laid-back casual wear that still spelt quality.

She wasn’t sure whether to buy or hire a speedboat; she had passed her sailing and navigation test and had the certificates to prove it. Probably hire for the time being.

Her next move would be to join some ex-pat association, a group of people to touch base with.

She had a private lift from the penthouse to the foyer. As she stepped out of the lift, she saw an interesting guy at the door of the apartments. He had a deep tan, flaxen hair, prominent muscles, and the bluest eyes. He turned and opened the door for her.

‘Have you moved in or are you renting?’

She stopped, surprised by his bluntness.

‘I have bought the penthouse.’

‘Fabulous views. I am two floors below you. Jake Monroe. Pleased to meet you.’ He held out his hand.

‘Sarah Jane Raymond. Likewise.’

‘Have you moved in alone or…’ He paused. ‘Sorry, that sounded rude of me.’

‘No. It’s okay. Alone, I am newly divorced.’

He smiled a twenty-five-grand smile that lit up the area.

Apart from the dazzling smile, she noticed a diamond had been placed into his left incisor.

‘If you would like me to take you out to meet some people I know, I would be glad to. Take my card.’

She took the card.

‘My lift is here. We’re going diving, see you around.’

‘Yes, bye for now.’

He jogged across to the waiting Jeep, where two other forty-something guys waited. Bleached blue denim knee-length shorts and a well-stretched T-shirt as white as his teeth.

He was an Adonis.

Sarah received a call from her daughter, Charlotte.

‘Mum, may I come and stay with you?’

‘Of course. Anytime, darling.’

‘It’s not the same without you here.’

‘Are you and Alec okay?’

‘Yes, he has asked me to move in.’


‘I thought about what you said. Living my life, finding out who I am. I said no.’

Sarah paused.

‘I thought you would be pleased,’ Charlotte said.

‘It’s your decision. I don’t want to influence you.’

‘I don’t want to go down that road just yet.’

‘Finish your course, work for a while and then see where you are in another three years.’

The divorce had been finalised; Sarah was officially a free woman. She had already assumed her maiden name.

Out with Jake one evening, Sarah was introduced to the owner of a nightclub. There was an instant attraction.

‘Sarah, may I introduce you to Kane McBride, a business associate.’

Kane’s eyes bore into her. She was unnerved by him and surprised by how she reacted towards his presence.

‘Sarah, hello. I haven’t seen you around before?’

‘Sarah has moved into the penthouse at the apartment building.’

‘Nice, very nice indeed. Jake must bring you over to the club one evening.’

‘You have a nightclub?’ She ran her fingers through her hair.

‘Yes. Why not come over this evening? I’m not always around, but tonight you will both be my guests. You can’t possibly refuse such an invitation?’

She looked at Jake and shrugged.

‘I’m game if you are.’

‘We will come over about 11pm,’ Jake said.

‘See you both later.’

Kane walked away.

‘How do you know him?’ She was keen to know all about him.

‘I have invested in his club. He owns many bars along the coast of the Costa del Sol. Everyone knows Kane.’

‘Is that what you are into? Investments?’

‘Amongst other things.’

Jake and Sarah shared another bottle of Spanish white with their fish dish.

‘I am glad I met you. I am starting to feel less like a stranger.’

‘You will be fine here. The crew are a friendly bunch.’

‘The crew?’

‘A tight-knit group of business associates and friends, we look out for each other.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Nightclubs and bars, restaurants. There is always someone trying to move in on your patch. There are the drug peddlers, who try to deal in the bars and clubs – we have to weed them out.’


‘Yes, a lot of security. We don’t tolerate any nonsense.’

She took a large gulp of her wine. This was a different way of life completely.

After dinner they took a stroll around the harbour. He introduced her to more of his acquaintances as they busied themselves on their enormous sailing vessels. She remembered Hori’s vessel, the palatial African Prince, moored in Saint-Tropez. These were big and bold, but they would have to go a long way to compete with the size, exterior and interior of Hori’s boat.

The Ferraris, Porsches, Aston Martins all cruised slowly along the harbour. Beautiful women, many Russian and other eastern European hookers, out with their clients for the duration of the summer. The amount of make-up these women wore must mean they kept it on all night. Enhanced, silicon breasts spilled out of expensive clothing. Long extensions in their hair, very long legs that had been God-given – they were stunners and knew it.

She wondered what they were expected to do or perform behind closed doors. Would they be high on cocaine and champagne? Threesomes, orgies? They knew the score. Some were very young, in their teens, others were seasoned pros.

‘Jake, I will nip back and change into a different outfit.’

She went to the wardrobe and pulled out an emerald slinky number that sat about three inches above the knee. A pair of Manolo spike-thin heels enhanced and lengthened her lovely tanned legs. More make-up to emphasise her green-gold eyes. She brushed her golden brown, highlighted hair over to one side. Transformed into a nightclub babe.

Jake waited by the apartment entrance.

‘My word, you look fabulous.’

She knew it.

They walked slowly to the club. At one point she considered carrying her shoes and walking barefoot.

‘I might need a piggyback home.’

‘So might I,’ he joked.

The deep base beat thudded and could be heard from the club long before they reached the doors.

Two heavies on the doors checked everyone out before admission.

‘All right, Jake, come on through.’ The red rope was lifted for them to walk straight in without joining the queue. She had missed out on all this when she was a young woman in her late teens and twenties.

The music was loud; it was impossible to hear each other speak, so lots of gestures and sign language took place.

They made their way to the bar. She felt some one’s warm hands on her bare shoulders; that sent a shudder down her spine. She turned and raised her face to look into Kane’s intense brown eyes.

‘Come with me.’ He led them to the VIP area, a table with a bottle of champagne chilling in a cooler awaited.

He took hold of her hand. ‘Anything you want, you ask. Okay?’

She nodded.

Kane disappeared into the crowd. She hoped he would come back soon.

‘Jake, who is the lovely lady?’

‘Sarah, meet Ronnie.’

‘Pleased to meet you, Sarah.’ Ronnie was a flash guy, with a paunch, and was very loud.

‘This is my good lady wife, Chantelle.’

The two women smiled at each other. A few conspiratorial whispers between the men.

‘Catch you later, Jakey boy.’

‘Is he one of the crew?’ Sarah asked.

‘Not the inner core.’ Jake smirked.

Sarah decided she should keep her nose out of the business affairs. The less she knew the better. These guys seemed sophisticated and reasonably well-mannered but choir boys they were not.

The place was buzzing. At 1am, Sarah left the VIP area and hit the dance floor. She had not enjoyed herself so much in a long time. There were people of all ages, from teens to eighties, but the average age group was twenties and thirties.

Sweaty and parched, she made her way back to the bar, which was at least three deep with people waiting to be served. Someone took hold of her arm and escorted her to a booth. Amidst the crush of bodies around her she managed to glance up and see it was Kane.

He nodded to one of the female staff.

‘You must be thirsty after all that dancing.’

‘I am. I haven’t ever let my hair down as I have tonight – thanks for the invite. I would never have come here alone.’

‘You should let your hair down more often, it suits you.’

The female member of staff appeared with a tray. On it was a jug of water and two glasses.

‘How did you know that’s just what I wanted?’

‘I can read people. You don’t spend your life in this business without knowing how to suss out people, their characters, temperament, who’s trouble. I could go on.’

She drank a full glass of water.

‘It is 1.45am, I think I will head back.’

‘Alone, in those shoes? I don’t think so. I’ll get you a lift home.’

‘That would be great, thank you.’

Kane stood and nodded for her to follow him. They went outside and he walked towards a Mercedes sports car.

‘Get in.’

He was her driver. The bars and clubs still throbbed with loud music and lots of hen parties and stag parties staggered along the road.

‘It’s lively tonight.’

‘High season. This is when we make a killing. Price hike on admission, drinks. It covers us for the lean times out of season. The club closes in October until the end of April.’

He pulled up outside the apartment.

‘Thank you for the lift.’

He got out of the car and opened the passenger door for her to alight.

‘I will see you inside?’

‘Fancy a coffee?’ she asked.

He checked his watch.

‘Maybe another time.’ He kissed her on the cheek. ‘Sleep well.’

He waited until she was securely inside the foyer and then left.

Sarah took her private lift to the top floor. She was high; her adrenaline was on full pelt. What an amazing night. She took a shower to cool off and wash off the sweat from dancing and the heat of the club. Her hair stank of booze so she shampooed and conditioned, before wrapping herself in a big fluffy towel.

She wished there was someone she could call to say what a brilliant time she had had. It would be too late to do so, even if there was someone to tell – 2.30am was way past the acceptable time for calls.

She lay on the bed with the towel partially around her; she thought about Kane. Was he married? Living with someone? In a relationship? Probably was. He appeared to like her. He escorted her home, didn’t try it on. Watch this space, she thought.

It was ten o’clock in the morning. She was dehydrated, her head thudded, and her body ached – she would have to pay for the excesses of the previous night. The sun was rising in the sky. She opened the balcony doors and sat at the table, her eyes sore against the bright sunshine. It was already warm, another hot day ahead.

To the rear of the penthouse, she had a private pool. Still half asleep she opened the rear door and, naked, slipped into the warm, soothing water. She swam with her eyes closed for at least four lengths. Then she dived under the water and swam back and forth totally immersed. Her achy, stiff muscles began to relax as she swam the toxins out of her system. No alcohol for the rest of the week. She drank so much last night. She wasn’t used to partying, but it had been worth it.

The intercom buzzed.

‘Sarah, it’s Jake.’


‘Kane told me he had dropped you off. He rang me this morning. Would it be okay for me to give him your number?’

‘Sure.’ Sarah gave her mobile number over the intercom.

‘See you soon.’ Jake had gone.

She smiled. He was going to call her. Life was certainly on the up.

Overview & Preview

56 Chapters

438 Pages

Sarah Jane Raymond, divorced from multi-billionaire Horatio Kampen de Steen, is now a wealthy independent woman and has relocated to Europe. With the world at her feet, Sarah is discovering who she is and where she belongs. Rich beyond her wildest dreams, this freedom enables Sarah to feel in total control of her surroundings and those around her.

However, the past has a way of rearing its ugly head and contaminating pastures new. Driven, to make right the wrongs of the past, Sarah must ensure those close to her toe the line, or descent at their peril.

Published in 2022 by Julie Conrad

© Copyright Julie Conrad

ISBN: 978-1-913898-27-4

Also available as an Ebook


Also available by Julie Conrad