Get ready for another #WritingChallenge!

Writing Challenge BubbleHurrah, it’s #WritingChallenge time again!

This weekend’s #WritingChallenge is inspired by summertime – we’re in a vacation-y mood!

Your hero and heroine are going to have a summer fling…but how (and where!) do they meet?

Let your imagination run wild, and we can’t wait to read the entries next week!

Happy Writing!

The SOLD Editors x

103 replies on “Get ready for another #WritingChallenge!”

“This is crazy, I’m crazy for joining you in this stupid adventure.” Ellie flung up her hands in exasperation.

“Stop your whining, it will be fine.” Sally said striding toward the main building that housed the cafeteria of the dive resort.

Ellie, perforce, had to follow her friend and cabana mate.

They entered the main foyer, left was the Oceanside bar, right was the office for the resort, straight ahead was with dinning area with long communal tables and the buffet at the far side, set up and waiting the arrival of the evenings food and then the guests that would be partaking.

Some people had already staked out their territory at a table, the rest were at the bar indulging in a pre-dinner drink and talking over the day’s diving, and sharing pictures.

Sally headed right and stopped just inside the door.

“Is that him?” Ellie asked looking toward the table by the long, low, screened in Windows. She tossed her ebony braid over her shoulder and turned her back on the tall blonde man that had a swimmer’s build.

“That’s him.” Sally confirmed, fluffing her own blond curls at the back of her head.

Ellie didn’t know why, Sally always looked great.

“That guy is your neighbour?”

“Enough with the questions Ellie. Get us a drink and meet me over there.” Sally walked away and headed over to join her new neighbour.

Right, thought Ellie. She sized the blonde man up and down, Ellie glanced at his left hand, no ring but he sported one on his right that looked like it could be a wedding ring.

She watched as he kissed Sally on the lips and made a fuss about seating her beside him, nestled against his damp armpit. Ick.

Sally seemed to love it. Newly divorced, Sally wanted to break new ground where men were concerned.

Well good for her, no way was Ellie going to sit with them and be the third wheel to some vacation fling. Ellie walked up to the wooden bar and climbed up on a stool propping her arms on the vanished surface.

“Yes Miss, what can I get for you?” The bartender asked with smouldering brown eyes, leaning close to to Ellie as though he wanted a kiss from her.

Ellie was a bit nonplussed, she had been told the staff was very friendly but this was a bit much.

“Raymond, the lady will have a Port Royal, and send one over to the blonde over at the window.”

Ellie’s eyes flew to the face of the man next to her. “Zav, I didn’t think you were actually coming down here.”

The tall auburn hair man grinned at Ellie, she loved his smile and his easy manner. “Did you think I would let you take your Open Water certification with out me?”

Ellie grinned back, “I am glad you’re.” She impulsively layers a hand on his tanned muscular forearm. “I know it will all go well if you are with me.”

Zav placed his hand over hers and look into her dark blue eyes. “I plan to make every aspect of your vacation go well.”

Zav’s dark good looks had attracted Ellie right from the moment she had met Zav at her first scuba diving lesson back in Winnipeg. His patience with her fear of diving into deep water and showing her there were ways to tackle her fears won her heart.

Zav’s teaching and leadership skills had impressed her as well, but not as much as his stepping up and becoming her dive buddy for all the drills and taskings as she made her way through the training after Daryl, her ex boyfriend thank you very much, dropped out of the course.

Zav had help her gain confidence in her own abilities, studied and celebrated with her when she passed her written tests. When a trip to Roatan, dive Mecca, was organized by the dive club, Zav had encouraged Ellie to sign on, better to pass her open water cert in the Caribbean than wait for summer in Manitoba. She had been disappointed Zav would not be going along.

“What do you by every aspect?” Ellie accepted the clear glass bottle of beer, wrapped in from Raymond.

Zav stepped inside Ellie’s personal space, she could feel the heat rising from his hard chest and his hazel eyes were flaring green. “Do you know how hard it was for me to just swim beside you and stay professional the whole six weeks of your course?”

Ellie’s lips parted and he studied their soft natural pink colour. “I think I do.” She whispered.

“I want to spend this week with you, every second.” Zav brushed hi finger tips down Ellie’s cheek and she closed her eyes and leaned into his touch.

“We will have to go back to our old lives after this vacation.” Ellie opened her eyes and saw agreement in Zav’s. “But we have this week.”

“Yes.” Zav nodded.

Ellie glanced over at Sally. She and the blonde guy were necking at the table. Geez get a room.

She looked back at Zav. “Do you have a roommate?”

“No,” Zav gave her that slow sexy smile. “Did you bring your red string bikini?”

“Yes,” said Ellie, with a sexy smile of her own.

I’m loving Elle’s friend Sally. I think we all have that one friend like her. Zav does sound extremely yummy.

I wish we could edit these postings after they are up. But your story comes thru, even with typo’s. Well done!

Nice water-side romance, Yvonne. Refreshing scene with Zav at the helm and Ellie loving it!

Love the hint of their shared past, and how Sally’s romance allows Ellie and Zav to have some fun of their own 🙂 Gorgeous-sounding setting too!

Thanks Sold Editor, I used a real location I have been. I also dive and used some of my own experience.

“Are you sure your family won’t mind, Darren?” Jen glanced up at her companion as he pushed open the battered wooden door of the sprawling beach house. Three weeks of solitude after the chaos of the last few months was very appealing.
“No one uses the place in summer. Mum and dad come for the warmth in winter and my brother prefers the Caribbean when he can tear himself away from work.”
“The film director.”
“Yup. He hardly comes back to Oz since he made it big in Hollywood.” He dumped her suitcases in the hallway that bisected the old style timber building.
Jen shivered. “I can’t believe my sister is engaged to Daley Brunkhorst’s brother.”
“Big fan?”
“Sort of. I loved his early movies. Not such a fan of the action blockbusters.”
“The money is good though.”
She shrugged. “I guess so.”
“Well, I better get moving. Kez is expecting me back to take her to dinner.”
“Thanks for bringing me. It seemed pointless to hire a car to have it sitting here for weeks.”
“Bikes in the shed if you want to go into town for milk and stuff. Enjoy.”
She waved him off and took the time to unpack her clothes and the box of groceries. There seemed to be plenty of staples in the pantry and a few bits and pieces in the fridge. Presumably from when Darren and Kez came up last weekend to check the place.
Finally she went through to the back veranda overlooking the beach. It was small, enclosed by rocky bluffs at each end but it was all hers. The Brunkhorsts owned the whole forty acres between beach and road so it was totally private.
Except it wasn’t. A lone swimmer was ploughing through the crystal clear water. She’d have to go tell him he was trespassing.
Smoothing down her light summer dress, Jen stood waiting as the man shifted direction towards her.
The way he cut through the waves with his powerful shoulders, he must be a giant of a man. His long hair was tied back, maybe blonde, darkened by the water. A surfer without a board. Not even a towel if the bare stretch of the beach was any indication.
He’d gained his feet and she watched fascinated as the water level dropped, revealing a broad chest lightly sprinkled with blonde hair. It kept dropping and she held her breath, waiting for the top of the swimsuit to appear below the ripped abs. He was a god, capital G.
“Oh God.” He was naked. And better endowed than any statue of the Greek god she’d ever seen. Even straight out of water that couldn’t be that warm this early in the summer.
“Who the hell are you?”
His rough tones startled her into looking back up to his face. Uh Oh. One very unhappy camper. She sucked in a sustaining breath and dragged herself up to her not very impressive five foot two. “This is a private beach and you are trespassing.”
“Trespassing?” He halted right in front of her, hands on his hips. Nicely toned and so were his muscular thighs. She could feel heat rising up her throat and burning across her cheeks.
“I’m a guest of the family.”
“Really? I don’t recall inviting you?” His diamond bright glance swept over her. “But you’re welcome to stay. The only thing missing was a little feminine R&R.”
Jen stared in horror. How could she not have recognised the man who’d appeared all over the glossies only last week, at the red carpet opening night of his latest production?
“You’re Daley Brunkhorst.”
“Are you trying to tell me you didn’t know? Honey, I’ve fended off your type for years. I don’t know how you found me but persistence has its own reward.”
He stepped forward, one large hand wrapping around her upper arm.
“I didn’t…” Her words were lost as his mouth touched hers, salty and wet. He smelled of the ocean and musky heat. His other hand settled in the small of her back to drag her against him. The thin fabric of her dress soaked up the water from his body, cool against her skin. But it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter at all.

This is fabulous, Fiona!! I hope you’ll continue writing this one ~ it’s a winner! 😀

Love the setting, and the naked hero! Jen’s response is funny, and very believable, and the forced proximity you’re setting up has tons of potential for fireworks. Take care that Daley’s instant move in for the kiss seems realistic and sexy, rather than predatory, but otherwise, a really fun scene!

Fiona, this is fantastic. Indeed, I’ve got into the habit of looking forward to your entries.You’re great at characters and dialogue
These guys are so different, but equally as intriguing as Gabe and Anna over on SYTYCW15. Even the name Daley Brunkhorst is so evocative of someone used to adulation,

Thanks Mary. I’m so pleased you like what I wrote. I love these challenges. They are such fun and all the stories are so different just from one prompt.

FANTASTIC!!! I absolutely LOVE the way you write, Fiona! Your writing is so fresh, so vivid, it’s almost like watching your characters playing out roles in a movie, that’s how wonderful your writing is! I love the humour in your writing, always makes me smile! LOVE your hero’s name too! 🙂

Madison pointed the camera at the beautiful couple, waiting for the minister to deliver the final pronouncement. Then, the money shot – the kiss. She shifted her weight to the right, hoping to get the best angle. A roll of thunder sounded overhead, but all eyes remained glued to the romantic moment. Except his. The color of blue she wished the sky was right now, and as intense as the brewing storm promised to be – the best man’s gorgeous gaze was locked in an unnerving study of her.

She ignored the slight tremble of her hands. She was a professional. She’d done this hundreds of times. As much as those eyes, that stare, commanded her attention, she focused her lens on her assignment. She snapped the shot as a bolt of lightning cracked up above. The muted screeches of the fancy women in attendance signaled a rush for the luxurious shelter of the grand home just behind them. Madison lagged behind, bending to gather her equipment as the rain, typical for Seattle, pelted her back.

A decidedly male arm reached around her, scooping up the heavy bag as his other hand grasped hers, pulling her up, then leading her in a brisk jog to the columned veranda of the mansion.

“I’m beginning to wonder if taking this summer job was a bad idea – it’s not easy for a wedding photographer to stay busy in the rain,” Madison half grumbled, half joked as she brushed her wet hair back and looked up at her rescuer. “Thank you…” her breath caught on the words. Those eyes – it was him.

“I hope you won’t let the rain scare you off, Miss Bloom. Seattleites are used to it. And I’m looking forward to having you on board.” He held out the hand she’d clasped only moments before. The same electric current she’d wanted to attribute to the weather the first time, shot up her arm again as his warm fingers wrapped around hers. “I’m Jamie Waters, owner of The Seattle Affair. And,” he caught her shocked gaze with a wink. “Your boss.”

I was definitely waiting for more. Jamie seems so delicious. Just envisioning him speaking to her gave me chills.

Jamie is GORGEOUS!!!! Love the way you’ve set this up, Gina! Also love the building up of sensual tension! 🙂

Great use of two of my favourite hooks , the wedding and the workplace romance. It appears Ms Bloom is doing a nixer as a wedding photographer if she’s employed by a newspaper. It should be fun when they return to the office.

Right on both counts, Mary (except it’s a magazine, not a newspaper). So happy you liked it! 😀

We like the stormy setting – a really fun way to bring these two together – and what a cliffhanger to end on! You also set up the sensual chemistry between them really nicely 🙂

“Mom,” Nicole whined as she cradled the phone in between her ear and shoulder blade. “I haven’t been on the island for more than an hour. How do you expect me to find a man in that time frame?” That was true. She hadn’t seen anyone except the workers at the airport and the taxi driver who’d dropped her off. Besides, she was in Bermuda to work; not to engage in a fling like her mother wanted. “I have to go. Call you later.” She kissed into the phone and hung up before her mother could reply.

She turned her attention back to the bustling lobby and gasped audibly. The Fairmont Southampton was just as beautiful as the travel brochures she’d seen pictures in. Paintings and sculptures of different origins hung from the walls or stood in strategically places and gave the lobby the look of a museum. The difference, however, were the inviting couches and beautiful island music, which made it feel comfy; almost like home.

With her bags in tow, Nicole walked across the gleaming marble tiled floors, inhaling the intoxicating aroma of exotic flowers and felt the tension in her shoulders instantly slip away along with her footing as the bottom of her tennis shoes slid over the floors like they had wheels. Unable to catch her balance, she dropped her bags and phone. She felt her feet and legs come from beneath her. The floors were wet, but because she had not paid attention, she never noticed the caution sign.

She braced herself for impact while emitting a piercing scream. Now airborne, she tried to turn her body to avoid hitting her head. She closed her eyes and watched as her life flashed before her. Her body made it’s descend back towards Earth. It was as if she had been suspended in air for several minutes. Thoughts of her parents and friends on her mind. Silently she said a prayer and asked for forgiveness since she knew she would soon meet her maker.

Everything was eerily quiet. No one moved. No one talked. She opened her eyes, panic swept through her. A blinding white light clouded her vision. She commanded herself to move and talk, but was unable to. Rapidly, she blinked, her eyes focused on a pair of hazel brown eyes.

“Are you alright?”

She remained quiet. Her eyes trained on his. She lowered her gaze and noticed his smooth honey coated complexion, strong, high cheekbones, kissable lips framed by a neatly trimmed goatee, and the look of worry etched on his face.

“Miss?”

Nicole shook her head yes. “Are you an angel? Because if you are then, damn, I should’ve died years ago in that car accident.” Realizing she’d cursed, she covered her mouth. “Oops, I didn’t mean to curse. Please forgive me Lord.” She drew a cross over her chest. “Thank you for allowing me into Heaven.”

The man smiled. “It’s ok and no, I’m not an angel. And this—,” he motioned with his long arms and huge hands, “—is not Heaven. Sorry.”

Nicole furrowed her brow in confusion. “If you’re not an angel and this isn’t Heaven then—” Fear gripped her as she thought of where she might be. “Is this Hell? Does everyone here look like you? Because if they do, then I still should have died years ago.”

The man laughed. “Nope, wrong again.”

She sucked her teeth and huffed out a frustrated breath. “Don’t tell me this is Limbo. I’ve live a good life. Went to church, paid my tithes, donated when I could.”

Her mystery man chuckled, a sound that she found herself easily getting used to. She wouldn’t mind wake up to it every morning, and hearing it as they shared a quiet joke.
“Sorry to inform you, but you’re not in limbo either. But the good news is, you’re not dead. You’re in Bermuda at The Fairmont Southampton.”

Realization set in when her ears caught the arguing of two hotel employees and the whispers of concerned guests, all staring at her. Her “angel” helped her up and grabbed her bag and phone. “Are you alright?”

Nicole nodded. “I’m alright. Nothing’s bruised, besides my ego, but thanks Mr.—” she glanced down at the massive span of his chest and felt a lump of desire lodge in her throat as the steamy image of her scraping her nails over the planes filled her mind. She quickly shook the thought away and snapped her eyes up to connect with his that now danced with amusement. Like he’d been privy to her innermost thoughts and dared her to touch him how she wanted to. “You’re not wearing a name badge.”

He flashed her a smile and extended his hand. “Well yeah, that’s because I don’t work here. The name is Quinton and you are?”

She extended her hand and shivered the moment his hand enveloped hers. An electrical current of awareness and desire must have whizzed through her and shocked him because like she, he pulled his hand back, breaking the contact. She stared at him for a few seconds before responding, “I’m Nicole.”

Ha! Loved the thoughts that went through her head as she fell and when she came to ~ Enjoyable! 😀 Want to keep reading…

What a fab cute meet. Sounds like someplace I’d like to go for a holiday…fling. Engaging characters.

I’m guessing Quinton is her new boss.(or maybe not).
I’d keep reading to find out. Also I’m wondering why her mother is so anxious to find her a man.
Lovely relaxing story. My sun induced headache disappeared as I read it.

Like the line “I’m alright. Nothing’s bruised, besides my ego” – says a lot about your heroine.

Like how you drip-feed snippets of Nicole’s backstory into the scene, and you’re a natural at setting up the sizzle between your couple. The heaven/hell cute meet is fun, although to keep the pace up, would suggest moving more quickly through it to get to the hero introduction!

{It isn’t in shy, Trinny McAdam’s DNA to ever consider taking an uncalculated chance on anything—that is until she meets her cousins soon-to-be ex, Nate Harrington. Somehow, a summer fling becomes more than appealing…}

‘Denise sent you to–to dump me?’
Under the majestic white marble portico of The Old Flame Restaurant, property magnate Nate Harrington rubbed his chin.
‘She couldn’t get hold of you earlier, apparently.’
So, about now he should be feeling something. Resentment, humiliation, even embarrassment, but…nothing. His head was blank.
Zero.
Maybe it was the effect of Miss Plain Jane’s stunning violet eyes that numbed his senses.
‘I’m Denise’s cousin, Trinity McAdam. This comes with—with a message.’ She paused, dropping the small silver box in his palm as though it were a hot potato. ‘To the tall, dark–’ She cleared her throat. ‘Iceberg. Sorry those were Denise’s exact words.’
*Ice berg*. Not an unfamiliar term of endearment to his ears. What arrangement he and Denise had was no business for anyone else. Still, on the surface, her method of opting out was insensitive to say the least.
He swiped a finger around his too stiff collar, thinking he should look away and avoid the expected flash of blue disdain. But it wasn’t there. Instead he caught a spark of mischief in her eyes.
‘Not that its any business of mine but maybe you just need what my brother calls, a decent dose of anti-freeze.’
Normally he’d feel slighted, but he was secretly amused by her quirky wit and bemused by her oversized raincoat, one shoulder weighed down by a large leather bag. ‘Anti freeze?’
With a confident toss of her head, her hood slid away giving him a better view. Except for a few flyaway curls at her forehead, her dark auburn hair was severely pulled back from a flawless, almost make-up free face. For a second, her faint perfume lingered in the space between them. Exotic. Mysterious. Almost gypsy’ish.
‘The anti-freeze effect comes when you meet *the* right person, apparently,’ she said.
‘And this has been you’re experience?’ He couldn’t see a ring on her finger.
‘No. Not yet.’
‘Denise and I weren’t–’ He didn’t finish.
‘Sorry, you don’t have to explain anything to me. I know this is awkward. My opinions probably aren’t appropriate or appreciated at a time like this. Sorry.’
‘You say sorry a lot.’
‘Bad habit. Loyalty to Denise aside, I think it’s a rotten thing for her to do–not coming herself. I wouldn’t have agreed to do her dirty work if–’
‘If what?’
‘I owe her and–I always pay my debts.’
‘Admirable.’ Nate grinned, failing to keep his expression as serious as the situation deserved.
‘Yes, admiral Trinny. Always doing exactly what’s expected of her. One day I’ll, surprise everyone and break out of the mould.’
He felt his eyebrows pulling together. What a curious thing to say. ‘Don’t worry, I won’t hold this against you.’
Her tight expression loosened and she gave him a killer smile that almost knocked him sideways but like a magnet, hauled him right back in line.
He felt a malfunction coming on. The tool he relied on to make sure he engaged his brain properly before opening his mouth. For some reason it wasn’t responding. ‘Come inside and help me drown my sorrows—please stay for dinner. Denise and I were meeting to plan a holiday –her idea, of course.’
*No you aren’t. Just because she isn’t falling at your feet, you can’t resist the chase. You didn’t want to go on vacation with Denise, now you’re having second thoughts. You’re being an idiot.*
He watched the corners of her mouth lift slightly.
‘Now you’re patronising me. Shouldn’t you be heartbroken or are you being too macho to show it?’
Damned. He just wasn’t heartbroken in the way she was expecting. Instead of explaining⎯he placed a flattened hand against his heart. ‘Different stroked for different blokes.’
Trinny narrowed her eyes until her lashes were two dark lines almost resting on flushed cheeks. ‘Why aren’t I convinced?’ She smiled wryly as though reloading for her next shot and at that moment, Nate imagined an invisible scoreboard flashing between them.
One all. Had he met his match, at last?
He watched her scanning her surroundings. ‘Look, I’m not dressed for this sort of place.’
‘Oh, I don’t know. I like the way you swim in your oversized coat, squelch in those sensible shoes, and⎯‘ He decided against passing comment on her up-tight hair do. That may be a comment too far. He wasn’t about to admit she looked like she could do with some pampering, a holiday. He was just thinking… No, a ridiculous idea. Suddenly he was full of them.
The look she gave him made him feel like a pesky moth bent on reaching the light. It was time to admit defeat and back off because he clearly made her uncomfortable.
Dare he admit her indifference irked yet intrigued him and even more strange, turned him on? ‘Okay. You’re busy, I won’t hold you up.’ Despite a twinge of regret, he stood aside to let her pass.
At last he was back on track, making sense. She’d leave now and that would be the end of it. IT. But what was, *it*? *It* wasn’t in the offing. They didn’t have an *it*—did they?
She didn’t move. Nor did he.
‘So, what are you doing for the summer, Trinny McAdam? I’m interested in hearing more about your brother’s anti-freeze theory…’

What a great set-up, Margie! And the anti-freeze line is classic. Wonderful writing, as usual! 🙂

THANKS for the encouraging comments, everyone. Sorry I can stick around and comment on others, on limited internet access for the next three months (housebuilding). xxx

A unique way to bring these two together! Introducing the hero as he’s being dumped is always a risk – he needs to be very heroic to emerge such a scenario with his dignity and his charisma intact, but there’s a definite spark between them which promises well for their future holiday!

“Get your passport girl, we’re going on a Summer vacation!”
Logan grimaced wearily. “Frankie, it’s three in the morning…”
“Who cares!”
“Where are you planning on having this vacation?” She asked resignedly, closing her tired eyes and sinking back against the pillows.
“My brother’s villa in Tuscany.”
Logan’s eyes flew open, all traces of sleep now gone.
“I’ve heard he’s going to have a party and we’re going to gate crash it!”
Logan felt stricken with horror. Nobody dared to mess with Vittore Carlevaro, except his little sister, Francesca. Unlike the rest of the world, she didn’t fear the ruthless billionaire. She had met Francesca at the exclusive boarding school they had both attended during their teens and had remained best friends since. Her own mother had had to work every minute of every day in order to pay for the fees whereas Frankie, with her wealthy aristocratic background didn’t have to worry about money. Logan had met Vittore only once during a brief visit home one weekend. At the age of sixteen, when she had set eyes on the tall and incredibly sexy Italian, she knew no other man was ever going to make her feel the way he did. Although he had barely noticed her, she hadn’t been able to forget him since. Now, eight years later she was being given a chance to meet with him again.
“Logan? Are you there?”
“Yes. I’m still here.”
“I thought I’d frightened you off! Well, what do you say?”
An unfamiliar impulsiveness took over her. “You’re on!” she stated throwing back the covers.
There was a long pause. “Really? You’re not going to put up a fight and try to make me act sensible?”
“Nope.” Logan smiled into her cell phone. “I’m done with being sensible!” An insane part of her decided that she wanted Vittore Carelvaro to notice her, even if for only a moment.
“Whoohoo!” Cried Frankie. “I’ll text you all the deets!”

Planning on meeting with Vittore was one thing but actually doing it was another! Tingles of fear crept all over her slender figure which was clad in a silk dress. The soft material sexily clung to all the right places. She had brushed her thick shoulder length hair until it was gleaming and had applied a light touch of make-up to her beautiful features.
“Are you ready?” Whispered Francesca, with her hand on the door handle.
Logan couldn’t speak, so she nodded. Francesca swung the door open and led her into the stunning villa.
“Good evening Pino.” Frankie greeted the butler.
“Good evening Miss Carlevaro.
If the butler was surprised to see them, he didn’t show it.
Logan felt her heart was going to beat its way out of her chest as they entered the reception room. Amidst the crowd of people she sought out Vittore with her eyes which wasn’t hard to do because his dark good looks and mesmerizing charisma made him stand out from everyone.
Logan felt her breath catch as she watched him slowly look in her direction as if compelled to do so by some inexplicable force. As their gaze locked, the smile which had been playing on his sensuous mouth, slipped. Something flared at the back of his dark eyes as they trailed over every inch of her, before trapping her blue eyes with his again.
Logan felt as though her body had been set on fire. That was it. That was the look she had been waiting to see for so long.

Wow ~ love this, Calida! That’s the look we have all been waiting for, isn’t it? 😉 *sigh*

Awww! Thank you SO much Gina! True 🙂 I wouldn’t mind a look like that coming my way! 😉 xoxoxo

Definitely Presents. As I read, I try to put them into the series. I love the way you’ve given Logan and Francesca a really different speech pattern. Francesca uses what she considers cool slang.(probably to appear less posh.). There’ll be some fun when Vittoro discovers she gatecrashed her friend into his party.

Oooh – Can just imagine Frankie dragging Logan into all kinds of boarding school mischief – love their interplay 🙂

We love how even the thought of Vittore gives Logan the courage to take a risk and gatecrash the party! And it looks like her courage is going to be rewarded… 🙂

Door to His Heart

Grant Harper’s garage door fell with a crash. He turned, his mouth agape.

“Murphy’s Law always hits at the worst times,” he muttered, turning off his car’s ignition. A deep sigh escaped him as he stepped closer to the downed, buckled door. Surveying the situation, he wondered about the cost to have everything fixed.

“I don’t know, it just fell,” Grant told the home-improvement specialist on the telephone. “It’s all wrecked. Can you get right over here?”

Three days later, Grant still had not heard from the installer. He was supposed to have given Grant a courtesy call by now, to provide him with a better window of when he’d be stopping by to check the job site.

“Two-bit outfit,” Grant scoffed, searching for the paper on which he’d penned the company’s information. When he couldn’t find it, he went online.

But just as Grant located the company’s number on the Internet, his doorbell rang. Looking through his front-door peephole, he noticed a woman standing on his stoop holding a clipboard.

“Not another call for signatures,” he sighed, unlocking the main door. “I just signed an election petition yesterday,” he said through the screen door.

“Petition?” asked the woman, bemused. She pushed up the sun visor of her baseball-style cap, shifted her booted feet, and added innocently, “I’m uh, the…garage-door installer, Mr. Harper. Here for a…site inspection.”

Grant’s face contorted, his eyes glancing down over the woman. How cute she looked in a brightly-colored T-shirt, tan shorts, tube socks, and brown work boots.

“Not what you expected, huh?” she toyed, her green eyes stealing a glance at his handsome face.

For lack of better words Grant said, “They told me you were going to call first.”

She offered him a simple smile. “I tried, but your phone was busy. And by the time I was going to call again, I was here.”

“Busy?”

“You must not have Call Waiting or Voicemail.”

“But I do.”

“Oh, then, I’m sorry,” she giggled. “I must’ve dialed the wrong number.”

“Yeah…must…have,” Grant said, mesmerized by her perky charm, stepping outside, sharing in the laughter.

“I’m Tori Clarke,” she said, extending her hand.

“Grant Harper, ‘as you know,’” he replied, shaking it.

A twinkle sparkled in Grant’s eyes; a flutter skipped Tori’s pounding heart. What was happening? Grant had never fallen for a repairperson; Tori had never had eyes for a client.

Then again, Grant had never had a female repair specialist visit his house who turned his legs into Jell-O. Likewise, Tori had never answered a service call for someone who stirred her inside like Grant.

“The uh…garage is out back,” he said through waning laughter.

“Okay. Lead the way.”

We love a heroine who’s comfortable working in a man’s world! These two instantly strike sparks off each other, which is great, but would suggest we see them fighting it a little more – just to keep that will-they-won’t-they tension high. Would love to know how their vacation romance starts from this point too!

Thanks, Editors! Yes, fighting it a little more would benefit. I thought of this and decided to post, even though it’s after the fact. Happy vacation Sold Team! 🙂

Door to His Heart (con’t)

Grant watched as Tori measured the garage area, all the while wondering how he had never envisioned a woman answering his distress call.

“I hope it’s not going to be expensive,” he said. “Home-improvement funds are tight.”

Tori waved off his concern. “This door’s a standard size. To save money, you could do it yourself.”

“I’m flattered by your confidence in me, but I’m afraid that my brother out west is more mechanically inclined. I’m what you might call ‘book smart.’ That’s why I started an editorial business. Still, sometimes I think it was a crazy idea. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation can be tricky.”

“I know. I was never the best at writing,” she said. “My sister’s the one with book smarts; I’m the mechanically-inclined daughter — work too much my parents say.”

“That’s what mine say about me.”

Tori’s palms started to sweat. Her eye twitched. Were they a match?

She glanced down at her clipboard and pretended to read her estimate sheet — it was the only way to calm the butterflies in her stomach.

“Uh…too bad my…sister’s married,” she managed to say, not yet believing her luck for meeting a man who opened the door to her own heart. “You two would…make a nice couple.”

“I’m not so sure,” he said, realizing her forced words. “Don’t…opposites attract?”

A uneasy silence fell between them.

“So they say,” she managed, her eyes locked on his.

Grant cleared his throat and hesitatingly took Tori’s written report.

“You can see it’s reasonably priced,” she said, quickly. “You don’t need to reframe the door, because everything’s still intact. You’ll need weather stripping, but I wouldn’t charge you for that. You can get another estimate if –”

“Don’t need one,” he interrupted, stepping closer to her. “What do ‘you’ say about helping me with the door?”

“That would be best for petty cash,” she answered.

“I was thinking more in terms of it allowing additional funds for dinner and a movie tonight…for two.”

Tori’s face beamed with delight. “I’d really like that.”

My 450w entry displays for me after I hit “Post Comment,” but then tells me “…awaiting moderation.” My apologies if my scene ultimately posts more than once.

Sara walked across the pool deck swinging her beach tote as she made her way past the lounger to the beach walk-way and targeted a pair of chaise lounge chairs under an umbrella.

She was aware of the looks the pool people gave her as she strode by them. She knew they weren’t looking at her trim form in the fuchsia pink sting bikini that matched the tie back in her ebony hair, even though she had worked long and hard on her abs, butt and legs in rehab. Especially her left leg.

That’s what they were looking at she was sure, the scars from the IED shrapnel and the surgeries to pin the bones back together along with the skin graphs for the burns. Both legs had taken the hit, but the left was the worst with its combination of white and pink scars.

Let them look. At least she had kept her legs, and her life, others in the same ambush were not as lucky.

But damn it, she was proud of her abs, even if she didn’t have anyone else to appreciate them. Sara straightened her spine and continued on to her the beach.

Sara unloaded her book, sunscreen and various item on the table then spread her towel on the lounger and seated herself at the best position to watch the ocean roll gently in, hushing over the blinding white sand.

The resort had the perfect set up on the beach, slight breeze and an unimpeded view of the water.

“Miss, may I get you something from the bar?” And excellent service.

“Yes please. I’ll have a virgin Caesar.” Sara smiled at the young man in khaki shorts and t-shirt with the resort logo embroidered on it.

“Right away Miss.” And the waiter was gone.

Sara turned back to the view. She didn’t want to look at the empty lounger next to her.

“Mind if I join you, Sergeant?”

A crisp accent tickled her ear and Sara’s eyes cut over to the man now seated in her second chair.

He was long in body with large hands and large bare feet. His dark chocolate hair was cut extremely short, except were it dusted his wide forehead.

The tell-tale beret mark showing a difference in tanned skin on his face as did his muscular arms were his fatigues shirt cuffs must start.

The rest of his skin was a uniform, and nice skin it was with a dusting of that chocolate brown hair covering his chest and trailing down enticingly in a dark to his green trunks and appearing again on the sexiest pair of male legs.

Sara looked back up at his face and knew sapphire blue eyes were hidden behind his sunglasses, and that they could be electric when he looked at her.

“I see your leave pass came through Major.” A smile quirked one corner of her mouth.

“Indeed,” He said, picking up her sunscreen. “I think I need to spread some of this all over your body.”

Rolling on her firm abs, Sara said, “I think so too.”

From the beginning I’m supporting Sara and wonder what happened to her. There’s a nice friends to lovers hook here. They seem to have some past history. I’d suspect Blaze for this one.

What a brilliant heroine! We love how she owns her body, including the scars – she’s really inspiring. So she certainly deserves to have some fun with the hero! Would have liked to discover more about their history, as it certainly sounds like their chemistry has been sizzling for a while 🙂

Thanks Sold Editor! This is a work in progress, I have military females and males in the family and that is the source of my muse.

“I’m back,” Jade Simmons smiled. For the past one hundred years she’d been trying to talk the boss into allowing her to go back to earth. She’d had one, okay two, lightening cracks opening a cloudless blue sky giving a teeny glimpse into the hereafter. Nobody had really noticed. The news blamed it on Global Warming so it all worked out.

It wasn’t as if she’d done anything to awful. Fine, so there were those five mess-ups on earth. A few changes in history and just because it wasn’t actually Atlantis that was supposed to become the lost city she still thought everything had turned out okay.

The pocket of her navy jacket began to buzz. Taping the wings on her collar she said, “Jade here and ready to save the lost come hell or high-”

“Stop already with the theatrics. The boss doesn’t know I sent you. If you do exactly what your manifest says you’ll be back in a few days and then maybe He’ll grant your wish.” Harry, second-class travel angel said.

“Yeah, about that manifest. Do you think you could send me a new one? I think I left it up there.”

“No can do. Without it, you’ll never be able to do this job, but for the sake of our college days, here’s what I know. Anthony Raphael, your assignment, is inside Our Lady of Eternal Mercy, sitting with his grandmother on the left side. He shouldn’t be too hard to spot. Besides being the best-looking man in the church, he’s also the most nervous.”

“No.” Jade paced around the park bench. “You of all angels know I can’t go in there.”

“You have to. It’s the only assignment that I could snag for you.”

“But that’s where I died. Did you forget I was killed there? What is he waiting for? A bride to waltzing down the aisle.”

“He wants nothing to do with relationships. That’s what got him in trouble in the first place. He’s sort of in the witness protection program and is here meeting his community service counselor, Her name is Jade Simmons”

“No, I can’t. Just bring me back. And what do you mean sort of in a witness protection? You either are or you aren’t. There’s no sort of in that one.”

Crackling flooded her ear. “Look I know your signal isn’t lost. Bring me back.”

“Sorry Jade, no can do. He needs you as much as you need him. Turn around and go inside.”

The doors to the church swung open and Jade stumble forward, catching herself just in time to keep from falling face first onto the white marble floor. She made her way to the last row on the left where she knelt, made the sign of the cross and sat on the rich burgundy padded pew.

Three rows in front of her sat an elderly woman whose hat rivaled anything seen at the Kentucky Derby. Beside her sat a man with raven hair. Even from where she sat Jade felt his struggle to stay in his seat. He wanted to bolt. Being in the church was more than uncomfortable for him. He was downright scared.

“Go in Peace.” The Father presiding over the mass spoke. Everyone replied, “Thanks be to God.”

Jade stood and watched as the woman and the man moved from their pew. He gently held his grandmother’s arm as she knelt and made the sign of the cross. Her kind smile towards him as he did a slight kneel and made some sort of a cross, made Jade chuckle.

She stood in aisle and put out her hand before they could pass her by. “Hi, I’m Jade Simmons and I believe I was sent here to meet you.”

“Grandmother, why don’t you go visit with your friends. I’ll be out in just a moment.” Anthony never took his eyes off of Jade as he spoke.

“She seems lovely.” Jade said.

“She is not a part of this.” He said. “Now how about you tell me how this relationship of sorts is going to work.”

Jade stretched her hand out and waited for him to do the same. “We’ll take it step by step Mr. Raphael”

Their hands connected and a series of heat rushed through her. Closing her eyes for a moment, she opened them to see Anthony staring deep into hers.

“Do I know you?” He asked.

Did he, she wasn’t sure. Maybe he did. The connection she felt holding his hand said he did, but she couldn’t remember ever meeting him. Joy and a little fear replaced the heat inside her. The kind that you felt as a kid stopped at the top of a Ferris wheel.

“That’s not what your there for Jade. Don’t mess this up.” Harry spoke in her head.

“I wouldn’t mess this up for the world.”

“Excuse me? Mess what up?” Anthony asked.

“Nothing, I was just thinking this was going to be one of the best summers ever.”

What a wonderfully unique spin on the ‘holiday fling’ angle! Not only that, there’s also some real emotional intrigue being set up too – really interesting characters, great stuff!

Tamara Goode was in paradise. Literally. A new job brought her to Lanai, Hawaii to be exact. How she enjoyed the cool breezes kissing her skin, the sunlight dancing through the palm trees, the roar of surf crashing around her while she dipped her toes in cool crystal clear water that made her feel relaxed to the point of pure joy. And then she heard his voice. “Yo, good and plenty, get over here!” She sighed. Paradise loss.

That was the delightful nickname that her new boss moniker her with. He thought himself very clever since her last name was Goode and fed her that line that she was sweet like the candy Good & Plenty. She trudged through the warm sand to where the shoot was and her boss, Chaz Deangelo. In all honesty, if Chaz wasn’t the obnoxious, demanding, spoiled, arrogant, brat of man she might like him. Many a woman would instantly swoon over him. 6’ foot. Jet Black Hair. Sapphire blue eyes, a killer smile and perfect abs you could bounce a quarter off of. Perfect, but not for Tamara. She needed more substance than a handsome face or a glowing personality.

Finally, she reached her destination-she was right in front of Chaz while the make-up artist and hair stylist was cooing over him. Chaz Deangelo, the face of ManTV. He was the star of their top rated reality show Sweet Rides! Chaz Deangelo had the knack of changing a dilapidated car into a sweet ride. When Chaz broke off his engagement to Gracie Cavanaugh the tattoo artist, who also had a popular show called True Ink, on ManTV, his producers thought that it would be a marvelous idea for Chaz to have a Holiday special called “Chaz finds love”.

Twenty beautiful women vying for a chance to be his arm candy what else would spell Christmas perfectly? Especially when it’s the middle of July. Tamara chuckled to herself.

Chaz lifted up a questionable eyebrow and gave his automatic causal grin in her direction. “Is that a smile actually on your face, Good and Plenty? I may have to post this to Instagram for prosperity!”

Warmth filled her cheeks as she stammered. “It’s not that I don’t smile-I’m just-“

She turned her reddened face away from him to finish her thought. “Shy.”

“Shy? That’s what you call it now?” Chaz smirked as he got up from his chair. “Walk with me, I have a new assignment for you.”

Tamara cringed a little thinking about the last assignment. It was to tell the second director that Chaz Deangelo under no circumstances goes into the water. It also meant no hot tub scenes with the girls. Chaz Deangelo doesn’t swim. After a heated discussion back and forth, and one call to his exasperated agent, the second director left the project the next morning.

Chaz led Tamara back to the pool side of the hotel where the production staff was staying. There were times that Chaz would surprise Tamara in a nice way like sending a birthday bouquet to her room. Giving Tamara off in the morning after she’d worked very late into the wee hours for him. And now, he pulled out a chair for her, he could be very chivalrous at a drop of a hat. She notice on the table there was a binder, she assumed this would be the next assignment.

He sat next to her, his cologne, a delicious mix of earthy musk and citrus invaded her senses. She couldn’t get a handle on why he could unnerve her with just a glance or like now just being near her. She cleared her throat trying to ignore the insane yearning to locking lips with him.

“So, what’s this new assignment?”

He chewed on his lip for a second before opening the binder. “We need to trim the ‘she-herd’ from 20 to 10 tonight.”

“We?”

With a sheepish grin he moved to binder to her. “Actually you’ll need to trim the list down by ten tonight.”

“What? Why do I have to do this?” She said mystified as she started to open the book.

He huffed in annoyance. “Because I really don’t know them and the producers are breathing down my neck to choose someone.”

She gave him a wizen glance. “Isn’t it your job to pick? After all you’re supposed to find Love in paradise, right?”

He guffawed and shook his head. “Oh, Tamara please tell me, you’re not that naïve. This is just a rating ploy pure and simple. Besides you’re spending more time with them than me. Trust me, it’s better if you pick.”

“Really?”

He got up from his seat. “Yeah, it’s better this way.”

She leaned forward with her hands barely touching the binder. ‘You know some of these girls are going to be heart-broken.”

He retorted back. “And most of these girls are just in it for the fifteen minutes of fame. They’re grown-ups and they know what they’re getting into. “

“I don’t know, I kind of feel a little sleazy doing this, Chaz.”

With impish grin he replied. “And I don’t feel sleazy about signing your paycheck. Please do this Tamara.”

Then as he was ready to leave he added. “I want you to meet me for a late dinner at nine we’ll discuss the Lucky 10!”

She groaned as she flipped through the pages. “Fine, I better get a raise for doing this!”

He chuckled and winked at her. “I think you know what’s best for me. Right, Good and Plenty?”

As he walked away, Tamara was a bundle of emotions. Annoyance with a tad of indignation. Horrible guilt for the girls who would be left behind. And the other emotions she really wanted to suppressed. Curiosity. Passion. And an overwhelming need for Desire. She muttered to herself.

Damn that Chaz Deangelo!

This is a really fun set-up, and we like the tension buzzing between these two already! As Tamara has pretty mixed feelings about Chaz, it would be lovely to see a little more of how and why she finds him so attractive, just to the desire feels 100% convincing. But you’ve set up their story really nicely!

Hero swung down from the Landrover into the searing African heat, taking care not to touch the blistering metal of the chassis, his eyes glued to the lone blonde head bobbing amongst a mob of excited, clamouring raven-haired kids. She was admiring pictures they had drawn for her and, he noted with interest, talking to them in more-than-passable Swahili.

They had to be joking, right? *She* was the doctor he’d ostensibly been sent here to protect?

Suddenly, as if aware of his scrutiny, she jerked her head up and pinned him with startling gunmetal-grey eyes, a scowl clouding stunning features as she glared directly at him over the children. Then calmly and comfortably, she began to move in his direction, controlling the barging melee with a presence which – even from here – exuded quiet authority, a focus and determination he hadn’t anticipated.

As old and battered as the vehicle was, at least the air-con had offered some degree of relief during the twelve hour journey from Dar es Salaam. Now, in the full glare of the sun, he could already feel the rivulets of sweat pooling in the small of his back – and he had the distinct impression that it had less to do with the heat, and more to do with the doctor ahead of him.

He’d seen her file, her photo, of course. Up until now he’d had her pegged as an idealistic new doctor, a pretty enough girl, who had treated coming out here like some kind of extended summer holiday – as many of the volunteers back at base camp did – and who had allowed herself to become caught up in something bigger than she realised. So he’d planned to play the role of bodyguard easily, gather the evidence he needed, set her straight and be on his way. A cut and dried mission which would top up his dwindling funds and enable him to get back to his own operation of finding the son-of-a-man who’d framed him., caused him to be dishonourable discharged from the only life he’d ever known – or loved.

So why did he get the impression this woman – clearly neither naive and idealistic, but focussed and driven – was going to get in the way of that?

Stamping down a ripple of unease, Hero tracked the square. At least three armed men dotted had emerged, showing just a little too much interest in their exchange. Rebel sympathisers, or even Rebel forces themselves. He snatched up his Bergen from the back of the 4×4, and slung his own rifle over his shoulder as a clear sign.

It couldn’t hurt. Especially when the doctor herself was now suspected to be one of those sympathisers.

“Hero,” he smiled and held out his hand as she approached. “I’m your new bodyguard.”

“I told them I didn’t need a new bodyguard,” she bit out under her breath, those arresting eyes flashing and sparkling like some magnificent fireworks display. “And I sure-as-hell don’t want one.”

Nevertheless, conscious of their dangerous audience she was compelled to shake his hand in feigned greeting. Hero opened his mouth to respond but wasn’t prepared for the jolt of awareness which ripped through his body at her touch. The wind was knocked from his lungs, leaving him momentarily unable to speak. It was small consolation that, by the way she snatched her hand back, her eyes widening slightly, she had experienced it too.

“I’ve been out here over a year now,” she snapped, but he didn’t miss the new shake in her voice. “The threat level hasn’t changed but HQ never bothered before now? Come on.”

His body, still thrumming from their contact, abruptly tensed at the idea of her spending the last year feeling threatened and vulnerable, even if she hadn’t realised why. He shook his head, what was *wrong* with him? He’d played bodyguard to several beautiful women in the past and never once been even tempted to overstep his bounds.

But this time was different. This woman was different.

If she didn’t want him around as her bodyguard – hardly surprising if was caught up with the Rebel forces – then he was going to have to give her another reason to want him around. She had no idea what these men were capable of. But he did. He’d been fighting Rebels for as long as he could remember. And if saving her meant saving her from herself, then he was prepared to do whatever was necessary, even if that meant exploiting their attraction to make her fall for him. He would just have to remember that whatever his own, uncharacteristic, desire for her might be – he couldn’t afford to fall for the ruse himself.

He had a feeling it was going to be one long, hot, summer.

We heart bodyguard heroes! Another great twist on the ‘summer romance’ theme, with a sexy brooding hero and a lovely feisty heroine. Would take care about relying too heavily on real-life external scenarios (rebel forces etc) for tension, but the heat and tension between these two is very strong!

Thanks for all these fab entries – now we just want to go on holiday too! This #WritingChallenge is now shut, but we hope you can swing by for the next on 31st July!

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