Paradise. What images does that word conjure up for you? I immediately envision a tropical island with lush foliage, pristine beaches, and azure waves lapping against a white shoreline. When I started writing Almost Perfect, I decided I wanted my couple to be abandoned in one of the most beautiful, most romantic places possible: an island paradise.
When Pam Kimball set up her One Perfect Night fantasy adventure, her movie-buff mind automatically turned to one of the major romantic tropes: pirates. She expected a Pirates of the Caribbean adventure at sea to include a gorgeous, sexy man, a pirate captain who would sweep her off her feet, making her forget the trauma of her divorce. As her writer, however, I decided what Pam needed to fulfill her fantasy instead was another cinematic trope—a fantasy island.
Many women—me included—would love to be stranded on a deserted island with a hot hunky guy. The movies have been showing us this desire for decades: Father Goose, Blue Lagoon, Six Days Seven Nights, Castaway. According to msnbc.com, the island paradise of Hawaii is the number one honeymoon destination, followed closely by Jamaica and the Bahamas. There’s just something totally romantic about standing on a moonlit beach, feeling a warm gentle breeze beside the one you love. The perfect recipe for a happily ever after ending.
“If you’re skinny dipping, you forgot to remove one very important piece of clothing.”
She shrieked and whirled around.
Roger stood on the beach behind her, a green bottle of Perrier in one hand. His gaze played up and down her naked torso, and his salacious grin widened. “Mind if I join you?”
She gasped, wrapping her arms across her chest to shield her breasts from his hot gaze. “What the hell are you doing back here?”
“I came to make peace.” He waved the bottle at her. “Thought you might be thirsty by now.”
Her gaze fastened on the green glass, her mouth suddenly dry as sand. She stepped toward him then froze as she glanced at his face.
Roger stared at her, his eyes sparkling with excitement. He wiggled the bottle, challenging her to take it.
She’d be damned if she’d accept anything from him. Not here, anyway. That would make her feel weak, dependent. She eyed the condensation on the bottle. A single drop ran down the side, hung for a second at the bottom then plopped into the sand.
Shit. Right now, she was weak, dependent, and thirsty.
“Come on, Pam. It’s only water.” He still held the tempting thing out to her. Hell. She marched up to him, her steps as loud as she could make them on the packed sand. Stopping an arm’s length from him, she peeled one hand away from her breasts and shifted her other to cover as much as possible. For once, she thanked God for a B cup. She snared the bottle and shot him a look of triumph, only to realize the bottle was capped. To open it, she’d have to use her other hand.
Furious, she shifted her gaze from the tantalizing object to his gleeful eyes. “Would you open this for me, please?”
“Suddenly lost all your strength, have you, hon?” His eyes took on a hunger she remembered. “It’s not as if I haven’t seen your breasts before.”
“Then you don’t need to see them again, do you?” Heat rose in her cheeks. He was enjoying this way too much. “Come on, open it. You said it was a peace offering.”
“And these are part of the peace negotiations.” He stood, arms crossed over his muscled chest, better looking than she remembered.
“I’m bored, Pam. My date still hasn’t turned up, so I thought I’d come harass you a while. I’ll tell you what.” He reached for the Perrier and unscrewed the cap, but didn’t offer it to her. “You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.”
“And why would I want to see yours again?” She fixed her gaze on the bottle resting at his hips, watching the carbonated bubbles rise to the top, willing herself not to let her gaze stray toward his crotch.
“For old time’s sake?” His eyes flashed with mischief as he tipped the sparkling water up and started to drink.
She stared, her parched lips opened in outrage. Glug, glug. He was making that sound on purpose. Was he going to drink the whole damned thing?
After swallowing at least a third of the contents, he came up for air. “Ah! Hits the spot every time.” He grinned. “Still can’t take a joke? Too bad. Here.” He thrust it toward her.
Pam grabbed the bottle with both hands and shoved the end into her mouth so quickly the glass clicked against her teeth. Greedily, she sucked in and almost choked. The exquisite lime-flavored water rushed into her body to hydrate parched cells. Three more guzzles, and she breathed deeply, satisfied for the moment.
She wiped her hand across her chin where she’d dribbled and held the bottle out to him, but his slack-jawed attention was riveted on her chest. Which meant….
“You still look fine, Pam. Mighty fine.” Her ex-husband licked his lips, his grin reaching almost ear to ear.
“Damn it, Roger.” She wrapped her arms around her breasts so fast she hit herself with the bottle. If there hadn’t still been some water left, she would’ve brained him with it.
He reached down and slipped off his sandals then untied his drawstring, all the while grinning like a fool. With one swift movement, he shucked his pants to reveal a hard, tanned body, complete with a seriously large erection.
She hadn’t seen that coming.
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.
Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as President of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. Her debut novel, Only Scandal Will Do, is the first in her House of Pleasure series, set in Georgian London. Only Marriage Will Do, the second book in the series, is set to release in June 2015 from Kensington. Her medieval serial novel, Time Enough to Love: Betrothal, Betrayal, and Beleaguered, is a Romeo & Juliet-esque tale, set at the time of the Black Death.
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.
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