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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Return Engagement

Return Engagement is now available from Whiskey Creek Press at Do please check it out! Also, be sure to join me here on July 15 for a cyber beach party celebrating the release of Return Engagement. There are lots of prizes up for grabs.

Right now, here's the prologue from Return Engagement.

“Stop it!” Elizabeth cried. She scrambled off the bed and put as much distance as possible between them. “It’s over, Richard! No, don’t shake your head at me. I mean it.” Her face blazed with color. “We have to end this, or I’ll be exactly what the tabloids called me. I can’t, I won’t, live with that.”

Chest heaving, Richard struggled for self-control as he faced Elizabeth across the bed, distracted by her beautiful blue eyes and disheveled dark hair. What did the sleazy, tabloid press matter? They loved each other; why did she panic over a few nasty stories?

“Honey, you’re an actress,” he soothed, his voice velvety soft and persuasive. “The tabloids won’t leave you alone no matter what you do. Half the stuff they print is lies anyway. Why are you letting them scare you?”

She stared at him with eyes stretched wide. “You’re seventeen years old! In California you’re still a minor and I’m an adult. They have a right to accuse me of cradle robbing! Don’t you know how many people agree with them?” Her voice dropped. “And that includes my mother and your parents. They’re so mad at us it scares me.”

Richard ignored the fact that his father’s reaction had scared him too. “You talk like you’re fifty,” he scoffed, “but you’re only five years older than me. You know it doesn’t matter.”

He lunged for her hand, but Elizabeth danced away from him. “It may matter to your career. Have you forgotten Senator Lovinggood’s plans for you? You dad wants you to be the president one day, but a scandal like this could ruin your chances before you even get started.”

Richard impatiently shook his head. “Don’t you get it? You’re more important to me than any career in the world! Without you I don’t care what happens to me.” His eyes softened. “We fell in love with each other the first time we met in the studio. Why would you even consider letting five lousy years ruin things for us?”

Elizabeth dropped her head and bit her lip to hold back her tears. “I know what I have to do, but why does it have to hurt so much?” she whispered so low that Richard barely heard her. She raised her eyes to his. “I love you, Richard, but we can’t keep our hands off each other. It’s only a matter of time until we do sleep together.” She made a sound somewhere between a laugh and a sob. “If we do sleep together I’ll deserve everything they’ve said about me. Please, please go.”

For a moment the issue hung in the balance. The air in the room which already shimmered with emotion now started to sizzle, but with an exclamation of surrender Richard bent and scooped his shirt from the floor. “I’ll call you.”

Elizabeth’s eyes filled with tears. “No, please don’t. It’s over; don’t you see?”