Today I have an excerpt from the recently released humorous romance story The Cruise – All That Glitters by Jaye Frances, as well as a giveaway for a Kindle copy of the book.
It’s love on the high seas for Dean, a thirty-something bachelor taking his first cruise, hoping for a shipboard romance. On the prowl for the elusive hard-body, he quickly becomes disillusioned, wondering if his expectation of a boatload of beautiful sea nymphs is something found only in travel brochures.
Until he meets Angel.
She is the girl of his dreams, brought to life as a bewitching goddess, ready to engage in every sensual delight. Quickly lured into submission by Angel’s seductive charms, Dean is ready to surrender his heart and soul to this provocative beauty.
Until he meets Marcie . . .
About Jaye Frances
Jaye Frances is the author of the paranormal-occult romance novel The Kure, the first book in The Kure series, and The Possibilities of Amy, a coming-of-age story of high school romance. Her upcoming works include The Beach, a sci-fi fantasy about a man who is given the opportunity to receive his ultimate wish and lives to regret it, and Journeys From Above and Below the Belt, a collection of adult short stories, both scheduled for a Summer 2012 release. She is also a featured columnist for the NUSA SUN magazine. Born in the Midwest, Jaye readily admits that her life’s destination has been the result of an open mind and a curiosity about all things irreverent. When she’s not consumed by her writing, Jaye enjoys cooking, traveling to all places tropical and “beachy” and taking pictures—lots of pictures—many of which find their way to her website. Jaye lives on the central gulf coast of Florida, sharing her home with one husband, six computers, four cameras, and several hundred pairs of shoes.
A note from Jaye:
Thank you, Sarah, for hosting me today on Workaday Reads with my new romantic comedy, The Cruise – All That Glitters. I really appreciate the opportunity to give your readers a sneak peek.
Love can be a tricky concept – especially when one is blinded by illusion and fantasy. We’ve all experienced them—moments of truth, when the bubble of make-believe receives a sudden and swift kick from reality. The fallout can be brutal, especially when you had no idea it was coming, and you’re sure your own momentary slip of naive vulnerability is at least partly to blame.
In the following excerpt, the main character, Dean, has been waiting for the new love of his life, Angel, to meet him in his cabin. She’s two hours late, and his frantic insecurity has his imagination running wild. Finally, she arrives . . .
It was light, but with the door still unlatched, the impact was sufficient to move it a couple of inches.
In the time it took to draw a breath, I was on my feet, pulling the door wide.
Without a word, she stepped forward and centered herself in the doorway. She looked incredible. Her black spandex dress was cut low, revealing nearly half of each breast, the thin fabric barely able to contain her as it followed every curve and contour.
She smiled and quickly turned full circle, clearly wanting me to see.
The dress plunged open and wide to the small of her back, the shiny material easily surrendering to the sheer splendor of the body it framed. I felt a familiar dull pressure below my belly.
“I was worried.” I reached out, placing my hands high on her sides, feeling the round, unfettered softness of each breast. I moved lower, following the inset of her waist until my fingers rested on the firm swell of her hips.
She gave me a quick kiss and drew back, her face reflecting a split second of confusion. “Oh, you mean about the time?”
“Yeah, I was looking for you around eight. I was beginning to think you had been shanghaied again by the cook.”
My throat began to tighten, my gut twisting into a fiery knot. I could feel my arms surging with enough energy to easily pummel the f**king cook into a bloody pulp.
“I’m kidding,” she purred as she stepped inside. “I guess I don’t remember setting a specific time.”
I took a deep breath, trying to regain control, not wanting her to see the kind of power she had over me. I wouldn’t bring it up again. I would start fresh, from right now. “So there must have been something really great on the menu tonight, huh?”
“I don’t know. I missed dinner.”
Her words hit me like a hammer-blow to the head. She had insisted. It had been so important to her. “You didn’t go to dinner?”
“I guess I wasn’t that hungry.” She half-shrugged her shoulders and then added, “I met some people in the Port Side lounge, and we decided to order appetizers.”
It was all I could say—all I could think of. Something was wrong. She was still friendly, even politely affectionate. But it seemed to come from courtesy, as if she had stopped by to settle a regretted obligation, the way someone does when reason casts a shadow on a hastily made commitment. I slumped back on the bed, too confused to try to hide my disappointment.
“So you were in the lounge all this time?”
She glanced down at her watch and nodded. “All this time.”
A quick flash drew my attention to her opposite wrist. The facets of her new bracelet had caught the light from the overhead fluorescents.
“I had some wine delivered to the cabin. I’ll pour a couple of glasses.”
She threw me a tiny, cursory smile. “None for me thanks.” The change was obvious, her tone suddenly cold and indifferent—almost business-like.
I tossed the corkscrew back on the tray. “It’s not important. We don’t need anything but each other. You can’t imagine how much I’ve been looking forward to—”
“I can only stay a few minutes,” she interrupted. “In fact, I came by to see if you wanted to join us in the casino.”
I felt the room closing in around me, the air thickening in my throat. I tried to manage a neutral expression, hoping to hide my growing frustration.
“I thought we were going to spend the evening together—just you and me.”
“And like I told you, I met some people this afternoon. And now they’re waiting for me in the casino. And you’re welcome to come too. If you want.”
If I want.
Had she forgotten that only a few hours ago we had promised to raise our children on an island paradise? I stared into her eyes, waiting, desperately needing to hear her say it—that it was all a joke, that she was kidding and was here to stay. With me. Forever.
She looked back at the door, shifting her weight on strappy black heels, and then shook her hand to reposition the bracelet. It inched slightly lower on her wrist.
I ached to tell her how ready I was—to move, to change jobs, to give up everything familiar to me. I was willing to do it all—for her.