Trial Run: Addicted To Love Romance Collection

BOOK: Trial Run: Addicted To Love Romance Collection
10.38Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
 
Trial Run

 

Publisher Information

 

Trial Run

Published in 2014 by

Ella Medler

 

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior written consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published, and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

 

The characters and situations in this book are entirely imaginary and bear no relation to any real person or actual happening.

 

Copyright © Ella Medler, 2014

 

The right of Ella Medler to be identified as author of this book has been asserted in accordance with section 77 and 78 of the Copyrights Designs and Patents Act 1988.

 

Cover by: Patti Roberts, Paradox Book Cover Designs & Formatting

Editing: Ella Medler, Paper Gold Publishing

Proofing: Ella Medler, Paper Gold Publishing

Formatting: Ella Medler, Paper Gold Publishing

 

Ella Medler is a U.K. author and free-lance editor. She writes fiction in more than one genre, in a seemingly vain attempt to slow down her overactive brain enough to write non-fiction on subjects she knows a thing or two about. She also does not believe in the starchy use of English, and ignores the type of rule that doesn’t allow for a sentence to be finished in a preposition. Her books are action-driven, and well-developed characters are her forte. Loves: freedom. Hates: her inner censor.

 

To keep up to date with her current writing and future projects, visit her website at
http://ellamedler.wordpress.com/

 

By the same author:

 

The Martin Little Series
(fantasy satire):

Martin Little, Resurrected

(published by Andrews UK

2011)

 

The Hunter Series
(contemporary action thriller):

Blood is Heavier –
2012

Blood is Power
– 2013

 

The Eternal Series
– in collaboration with K.S. Haigwood (paranormal suspense/romance):

Eternal Island –
2012

Eternal Immortality –
2013

 

The Fly With Me Series
(time-travel romance)

Frozen Heart
- 2014 (Prequel to the series – released as part of the
Flights of Fantasy Anthology
)

 

The Addicted To Love Romance Collection:

Not Juliet
– 2014

Trial Run
– 2014

 

Future work in the
Addicted To Love Romance Collection
:

Safe Haven
– December 2014

To Catch A Guy
– December 2014

 

Other future work:

 

Blood is Final
(working title – book three and last in the Hunter Series)

Deal With It! –
Tequila’s Story

spin-off from the Hunter Series, by popular demand

Martin Little Takes Epic Action
(book two in the Martin Little Series)

Eternal Illusion
(book three in the Eternal Series) – 2014

Pariah
(book one in the Unwanted Series - drama)

Retard Ed
(Sci-fi)

 

 

Dedication

 

To Victoria Hemingway, a book lover

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

 

A huge thank you to all of my many author and blogger friends. Your love and unconditional support have given me the strength to keep going when the going was tough.

My undying love to my fans, many of whom continue to hound me for new material. Your confidence in my abilities humbles me every single day.

My only beta reader for this book – Dottie, who has nitpicked all the Britishisms out of it… How could I ever repay you? You lived this story to the end, and you guided me with humor and witty remarks until the manuscript sparkled with life. I owe you so much!

Victoria Hemingway, you gave me reason to keep going. Hugs and a belated Happy Birthday!

Million thanks to my angel-on-my-shoulder, Patti Roberts, for without the cover she created this story wouldn’t exist.

Moreover, the whole indie authors and freelancers’ community – you have no idea how much your resilience and genuine ability to regenerate, learn and progress is helping everyone. You are my heroes.             

             

             

Book Description

 

“Trust me, he says. You’ll be safe with me, he says.”

Amelie Watts is sick and tired of being treated like a child.
She might be willowy and delicate, but she has strength of the kind that doesn’t show on the outside. Plus, she learned all she needed to know so she could cope on her own. Now, if
only her big brother would finally release her inheritance! She would fly to the Bahamas and kiss the backwater she grew up in goodbye.

Jason Watts is fed up with picking up the pieces of his little sister’s life. If only she would grow up already and learn to live life without stabilizers!
Her latest idea is insane, and bound to be her most enormous failure to date. But how
to make her understand?

Enter Rob Tyson, incorrigible bachelor and Jason’s best friend. For a laugh, they make a bet. Two people, a hastily acquired boat, and a tropical paradise. What could possibly go wrong?

Chapter 1
All Men Are Trouble

 

Amelie watched, helpless, as Rob struggled to steer the out-of-control boat between jagged, barnacle–swaddled underwater rocks, with only a surfboard for help. Without a working motor, they were completely at the mercy of the freak storm. They might as well have been floating about in a cracked nutshell for all the good the aged glass fiber hull was doing them.

Rob plunged the surfboard over the side and shoved down hard against a lump of stone just in time, his muscles coiling in tight knots under the soaked t-shirt. The boat rocked and banked sharply leeward. Amelie lost her grip and skidded over the port side, her fingers clutching the rope tied around her middle with a death grip.

Just before becoming completely submerged, she felt a tight hold on her wrist and in the next moment her feet touched the deck once again.

“You okay?” Rob shouted over the howling of the wind, water running down his face in torrents.

Amelie nodded, too shocked to speak, and wedged herself as best she could in the cockpit entryway, her back pressed snugly against their bags of provisions, knees bent and head tucked between them. She let the tears flow freely now. Who was there to see them, anyway? Her brother, Jason, was back in Boca Raton, probably playing golf at the Country Club without a care in the world.

She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand, and looked up at the relentless sheets of rain. When was it going to let up? It wasn’t even supposed to be stormy; she’d checked the weather station herself, right before Jason began to assemble the supplies for their trip on the sun-bleached wood decking that linked their house in Delray with the side of the canal.

The bright Florida sun shone just enough to dispel any threat of rain for the foreseeable future when Rob moored his boat alongside their property and hopped on the wooden decking to give them a hand. It took ten minutes to throw the packs on board. Then Rob stood by, watching, on edge, as she leapt gracefully from ground to glass fiber, probably waiting for her to make a fool of herself and land in the water. Ha! He didn’t know her very well, not anymore.

Amelie shielded her eyes and leaned against the edge of the minuscule cockpit, staring shamelessly at Rob. What a fine specimen of a man he was! He wore his white t-shirt untucked, a little detail that made her think he probably planned to take it off later. She suppressed a small, involuntary smile as her eyes continued to rake over him. The thin material draped over his shoulders fluttered gently in the breeze, in sharp contrast with his tanned arms and strong hands, which were now propped lightly on a tight pair of hips covered in designer board shorts in shades of white, blues and sea-greens with a thin black trim.

Her gaze lingered for just another moment on the black ties knotted across Rob’s lean lower abs, then she bit her lip and turned away from him, searching for a part of landscape plain enough to cool her heated thoughts. Boys were trouble, always have been and always would be, she reminded herself. That was precisely why she was doing this – this trial run to the Bahamas – so they could see she would be perfectly fine running a business on her own. She had no doubts she could live independently, with no male interference whatsoever, but it seemed the males themselves needed further proof.

So male-like, this belief that the world could not exist without them! Well, she could; she’d made sure of that. And if, at some later date, she grew bored of being alone, she could always buy company. Plenty of people did that. But she wouldn’t
need
anyone. Not in that gut-wrenching I’ll-die-if-you-leave-me kind of way.

A sigh slipped through her lips, and she turned once more toward him, a trance-like, unconscious action.

Rob Tyson, her brother’s best friend, had been a permanent fixture in their youth. She didn’t remember a time without him, not until Rob and Jason had graduated and Rob moved away. Her crush on Rob had been short and wild, back before any notion of love was as unattainable as it was incomprehensible to a child her age. What boy of eighteen notices an awkward eleven-year-old? In
that
way? Of course, he’d laugh when the ketchup shot out of her burger bun and landed on her clean shorts, and he was always there to pick her up when she got lost and Jason was ‘busy’ with one of his girlfriends, but that was all she’d ever been to Rob: the awkward little sister of his best friend.

Amelie may have been a romantic at heart, but stupid she was not. So she’d patched up her broken heart, erased Rob out of her mind and concentrated on growing up. And while she did that, she spent quite some time observing the way the males of the human species treated the so-called weaker sex. Over time, she decided that would be one thing she would never be accused of being: weak.

While other girls in her class concentrated on their tan, she chose activities that would achieve multiple goals, like tennis, for example. She could get fit and tanned at the same time. She took care of her appearance and would proudly wear the latest fashions, but at night she took online classes on everything from plumbing to car mechanics. She would rely on no one but herself to fix her car, and she most certainly wouldn’t need help to change a fuse or fix a leaky tap.

She’d been sixteen when her parents died in the helicopter crash, and Jason twenty-three. Without complaint, he’d looked after her like the loving big brother that he was, but soon his ‘care’ began to feel more and more stifling to Amelie’s independent nature. He would agree to fund any courses she fancied under the justification that it was all education, and therefore inherently useful, but any time she wanted to invest in a new venture, he became fiercer than Cerberus, insisting she didn’t know what she was doing, and refusing to allow her access to the inheritance her parents had left her in their wills.

She knew exactly what she would do with the money when it became hers, at twenty-five. Unfortunately, until then, she still needed Jason’s signature to get to the cash. And Jason was taking his role of guardian to the extreme. Not only was ‘no’ becoming his favorite word, but he was also shadowing her steps wherever she went, insisting on knowing where she was going and for how long, and checking up on her whenever he thought she’d been away from home for too long.

True, Jason didn’t know she’d taken martial arts classes in business school, as well as weapons training, so now she not only had a good understanding of business in general and the hospitality industry in particular, but she felt perfectly confident that at no point in her life would she need a male, other than to satisfy that most common, primal, human urge to perpetuate the species. And
that
she would address as and when necessary, without getting tangled in complicated relationships. Coping on her own was her specialty, and she was proud of it.

In the few months since she’d returned home, she’d presented to Jason business proposal after business proposal, and the great oaf only sneered and turned them down.

“Sure,” he said during one of their more heated arguments. “You can build a café at the bottom of the sea, just as soon as you get your inheritance.”

“So help me get it!”

“Ah, no. You’re not gonna have anyone to blame this on, when it fails. I refuse to be the one who picks up the pieces when this goes wrong for you. Have you even considered the public liability lawsuits? Look on the bright side,” he added when she’d opened her mouth to argue. “At least you won’t have to listen to me saying ‘I told you so’!”

Week after week, they had the same discussion. She’d come up with a great business venture idea, and Jason would shoot it down. It was driving her insane. Almost a year after graduation, she’d made no progress at all. The only thing that was good about the passage of time was that she was now that much closer to being able to cash in her inheritance and finally follow her dreams.

In the meantime, she kept herself busy by acquiring even more skills, having a life, and if she could combine those two with a way to irritate Jason at the same time, so much the better; maybe he’d finally get tired of her and chuck her out. He’d have to let her have some money then, so she could rent or buy a place to live.

When Rob knocked on their door out of the blue, two days previously, she’d celebrated. Not because she still held a flame to him – no, that candle had blown out long ago – but because she was certain any normal, unbiased person could see the value of her business ideas, and a second opinion might –
just might
– persuade her brother to let her stretch her wings.

So, despite the awkwardness of the moment when she’d felt Rob’s eyes on her naked body in the back room of the Black Tulip, and the flash of annoyance at her brother’s possessive, controlling attitude, she gritted her teeth and decided to play it cool.

Rob Tyson was a dark horse, but a comfortable one, friendly and familiar, one that she could use to her advantage.

BOOK: Trial Run: Addicted To Love Romance Collection
10.38Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Fame Equation by Lisa Wysocky
Worthy Brown's Daughter by Margolin, Phillip
Pet Sematary by Stephen King
Spark - ARC by Anthea Sharp
Chasing After Him by Lynn Burke
The Good Sister by Wendy Corsi Staub