What’s more romantic than the first date and kiss with the right guy?
This romance doesn’t go exactly as planned and Celine winds up telling a little tiny lie. She had no clue it would grow. But it grew, and life became very complicated for a young woman who thought she had found Prince Charming.
Here’s my excerpt from Christmas at Mariner’s Cove. You can find it in Baby It’s Cold Outside. It’s free to read in Kindle Unlimited.
CeCe drained the last of the coffee in her cup and stood. “I’m glad you did. As far as I’m concerned, being invited to drink morning coffee on your yacht is the most fantastic invitation I’ve ever had.”
“Then let me spoil you by asking you to share a cup with me every morning.”
She raised her eyebrows and cocked her head. “I’m afraid that invitation could be taken more than one way.”
Frank laughed as he called over his shoulder, “That’s not what I was thinking when I said it, but if that’s what it takes, I would enjoy having you.”
“In your dreams!” Celine listened to him laugh as he vanished into the bowels of the yacht. Somehow she didn’t think that’s what he meant when he’d said it. He didn’t come off as a player. Something about him screamed decent guy. She fixed another cup of coffee and looked around the kitchen. So, this is how the rich and famous live.
A few minutes later, Franklin returned holding his phone to his ear. She listened to the one-sided conversation and could tell he was setting up an appointment to see the house. His blond hair was still slightly damp. He wore dark green khaki pants with a lighter green, long-sleeved, polo shirt that didn’t hide his broad shoulders and muscular chest. He looked downright sexy. When he said goodbye, she asked, “What’s up?”
“We’re to meet the agent at eleven thirty.”
“Sounds like fun.”
“It will be. Let’s go grab an early lunch.”
They walked along the cove to the old hotel. Since the lunch menu was not yet available, they settled for the breakfast. Celine looked over the various items and thought maybe she had died and gone to heaven. Never had she seen such an array of breakfast foods. From oysters Rockefeller to lobster Newburg, the menu contained so many gourmet items.
Franklin told her to get whatever she wanted.
She chose the lobstermen breakfast, which consisted of hard-boiled eggs mixed with lobster in a Newburg sauce, topped with bacon. It was actually more than she could comfortably eat, but it was so creamy and delicious, she forced herself to eat every bite, leaving only a small piece of toast behind. The entire time, they chatted and laughed. Never before had she felt so genuinely at ease with someone. She didn’t feel as though she was on a date, she felt as though she was with her best friend, and they had known each other for a million years.
When they were done, they walked back to the yacht. Franklin brought her a helmet. “Ready to take a ride?”
“I’ve never been on a motorcycle.”
“It’s about time.”
He talked to her about how to move with the cycle and assured her that he was a very capable driver and knew exactly what he was doing. Butterflies flitted through her stomach as she climbed on the bike and wrapped her arms around his waist. He drove through town and then onto the road that would take them to the house he was considering purchasing. It was fun and exciting, unlike anything she had ever experienced.
The house was exactly as he described, cedar shake weathered to a silver gray. The back porch slipped to a deck that seemed to go on forever, and then an expanse of grass that led to wooden stairs that put them on a wide beach. The tide was out, making the beach seem twice as large. It was a quiet spot, just them and the Atlantic Ocean. She stuck her hands in her back pockets and sniffed the air. Such incredible beauty, and it would be Franklin’s – his private little place in the middle of nowhere.
He came up behind her and slipped his arms around her waist. She felt his hands, but was lost in her own delightful thoughts, until she felt his lips on the side of her neck. “I think you’re moving a little too quickly. I barely know you, and I’m not that kind of woman.”
“And just what kind of woman are you?”
“Let’s just say I’m not going to be swept off my feet by a guy with money.”
“Does that mean you’re looking for a poor one?”
She giggled. “No thanks. It’s all I can do to pay my own bills. I certainly don’t want to be supporting someone else.”
“Then let me state up front that I’m not poor. Nor am I looking for someone to support me. But I do get the feeling that there’s some sort of chemistry going on between us. Like a moth being drawn to the light, I’m feeling something… Something special between us as though I’ve known you forever. I’ve felt it since I first laid eyes on you. Except I can’t explain it.”
She turned and stared at him. “I’m feeling it, too. But I think we need to give ourselves time. I don’t want to jump into anything. Maybe I’m overly cautious?”
“I’m used to going after what I want, and I have a tendency to get exactly what I want.”
“Well, this time you’re going to have to go very slowly.”
He ran his index finger down her cheek, across her jaw, and under her chin.
She wanted to melt on the spot because his touch was doing delicious things to her. Instead, she sucked in a deep breath and watched his eyes. “I can see that you are going to have a very difficult time doing anything slowly.”
He tilted her chin upwards. His lips found hers. Her knees didn’t want to hold her as the heat from his kiss warmed her entire body. He backed away from his kiss and grinned. “Slow has never been part of my vocabulary. But since you know almost nothing about me, I’ll give you whatever time you need. I’ll also warn you, I’m playing for keeps. My days of looking for a good time are over. I put an end to them a long time ago. I want one woman and a lifetime commitment.”
Celine swallowed. Had he just said everything that she ever wanted to hear from a man?
Yes, she lied! It shouldn’t have mattered. They were both far from home. What difference would it make?
It was a just a little thing, and it really should not have been a problem… What if you had fallen madly in love and didn’t want to be separated from that person? Would you lie so that you could stay together? Leave your answer for a chance to win an ebook copy of Baby It’s Cold Outside.