Welcome! This is my first time joining a JustRomance.Me blog hop. If you came upon this post by accident, but would like to join in the fun, just click the banner to the left and you can start at the beginning. There are lots of prizes up for grabs (one of which is a copy of my novella, Tower in the Woods, when it comes out on January 14th).
I signed up for this hop a little late (i.e. the day before this post needs to go live). As such, below is a very rough adaptation of a scene from Shifting Tides - a romantic suspense that will forever be buried on my laptop. The story still holds a special place in my heart, being my first completed manuscript. But in the way of most first works, it is fatally flawed and self-admittedly quite horrible (almost all 90K words of it). Hopefully, I've managed to rescue this scene.
By the way - it's a bit on the steamier side (but I cut it off just before any disclaimers would be required):
It wasn't hard to spot the woman in the photograph. The New Year's Eve party was in full swing, with models and photographers enjoying the alcohol-drenched celebration. But his target stood out from the others. She looked real, not some puppet dolled up for the night. She wore jeans and a yellow silk shirt that brightened her face. It was all there - the ebony hair, doe-like eyes, delicate bone structure and sad smile. She should be sad. She won't be breathing for much longer.
He didn't care why his employer wanted her dead. It was none of his business. He got a phone call with a name. The man on the other end of the line wanted the reporter, Allison Darcy, to never return to Washington, D.C. alive.
She was too small to put up much of a fight. He could easily snap her neck before leaving U.S. soil. That was the beauty of these islands. In less than an hour, he could be on Tortola, outside the jurisdiction of the Americans. The police won't have much to go on. There was nothing linking him to his victim. It was the perfect murder.
He sat on his boat and watched her through the binoculars. There was a problem. He could tell by the way Rich Boy was holding her that he planned on taking the dance to a more private venue. It would be stupid to attack her with a witness present.
He breathed a sigh of relief when she left the party alone. It gave him a window of opportunity. He slipped out of his boat and followed her, making certain to stay hidden in the shadows. But Rich Boy had also just exited the brightly lit area. It didn't take much imagination to guess they had the same destination in mind. She wasn't going to spend the night alone.
Disappointed, he made his way back. He would wait for Rich Boy to get bored. A moment alone is all it would take for him to kill her.
Allie froze when she heard the knock. She knew who it was. If she wanted to back-out, the time was now. All she had to do was keep the door shut. Nicholas would go back to the New Year's Eve celebration, and she would write tonight off as a mistake that was nipped in the bud.
Closing her eyes, she filled her lungs and tried to slow down her racing heart. Who was she kidding? She had wanted this to happen from the moment she spotted him at the party. She was making this too easy. She should put him off for at least another day or two. Having sex with her childhood crush on New Year's Eve would be the ultimate cliche.
He had been ruthless in his seduction. He sat next to her at the dinner table, his hand between her thighs as his colleagues discussed business. She hadn't expected him to touch her so boldly in public. On the dance floor, she had felt his body harden against hers. His large hands had held her captive while he whispered naughty propositions against her ear. She had no doubt he will make good on every promise the moment she opened the door. Her hand trembling, she twisted the handle.
Nicholas pushed her backward the moment the door slid open. Once inside, he turned the deadbolt before grabbing her by the shoulders and pinning her against the hallway wall. His mouth sought hers, his tongue exploring as he plastered her body against the concrete. Closing her eyes, she gave in to the craving that had been gnawing at her for the past night.
"You have a thing for trapping women against hard places, don't you?" she quipped when he relinquished her lips. One hand tilted her face upwards, while the other dug into the side of her hips. The fire in his eyes made her fear she had pushed him too far.
"Just you," Nicholas answered, the tension in his body belying his casual tone. "If you want me to leave Allison, tell me now."
Her eyes widened in surprise. "You usually don't give your conquests, business or personal, an opportunity to renege."
His smile was a combination of fire and ice. "And you're not the type to have a one night stand on New Year's Eve."
But every grown woman was allowed a single reckless fling. This was the one man who had ever tempted Allie to throw caution to the wind. She looked up at him in silence and waited, her surrender reflected in the stillness of her body.
I hope you enjoyed the snippet as much as I enjoyed writing it. Happy New Year!