Are you ready for a GREAT 2018? I so am. And to get things started right, I’ve got a couple of freebies for you. The first is my story Sea Change, which is a sequel novella to my Oberon series. You can find it on Instafreebie between now and midnight on January 8. https://www.instafreebie.com/free/Ky3Dd
Love is supposed to overcome any obstacles—that’s what Cara always thought. But when love alone is not enough to help her overcome the trauma in her past, she knows it’s time to get creative.
Surely a change of scenery would help. A week at sea—new faces, new places, a fresh start with no expectations—how could that be anything but fun? At least that’s what her boyfriend Liam thinks when he books them on a romantic cruise vacation along the California coast.
Cara’s not so sure. Though she thinks the trip is likely to be a lot of things—memorable, life altering, a turning point. Fun isn’t one of them.
But, with so much at stake, and a New Year fast approaching, they’re both willing to try just about anything.
It was windy on deck tonight, the sky above cloudy and starless. Cara stood alone on the narrow, elevated track that ran the length of the ship, overlooking the pool deck on one side and the ocean on the other, brushing stray wisps of hair back from her face while she waited for Liam to return. She felt a small pang of disappointment as she looked out at the night. She would have liked to have glimpsed at least one star—one single star to wish upon, one tiny hint of the bright future she and Liam had been promised, so short a time ago—but all she saw was darkness ahead of her and clouds overhead. Typical.
The deck below her, on the other hand, was lit up like a freakin’ Christmas tree with strings of lights that swayed in the breeze and glittery decorations. Happy crowds of people wearing goofy hats and carrying big, ridiculous, umbrella drinks milled noisily, waiting for the countdown to the New Year to begin, less than ten minutes away. Or maybe, like her, they were just waiting for the buffet to open. God, she was starving. She’d had no dinner and…wow, she’d almost forgotten how hungry sex could make a person.
Thinking about that, and about Liam, about how wonderful it had all been, she couldn’t help but smile. He was so smart and he always knew how to make everything right. And, tonight, he’d been the perfect lover—gentle, passionate, caring—everything she’d always known he’d be. But then, as soon as it was over, he’d gone right back to being a cop, refusing her even one, little drink.
“You’re still underage,” he insisted looking tired, not that she blamed him. With another two years of the same argument to look forward to she was pretty tired of the subject too.
Still, “Oh, c’mon,” she’d urged. “Please, Liam? One glass of champagne—who’s it gonna hurt?” Why couldn’t he make an exception, just this once? Tonight was a special occasion after all; a new year, a new beginning for the two of them and—as she’d reminded him—they were still in International Waters, probably a lot closer to Mexico than they were to California—and who knew what the rules were out here?
But he just shook his head and changed the subject. “Look, you said you were hungry, right? That’s why we came up here. I’ll get you something from the buffet as soon as it’s open. In the meantime…I tell you what, why don’t you wait up here, where it’s less crowded, and I’ll just go and see if I can scrounge up something to hold us over until then? You shouldn’t be drinking on an empty stomach, anyway.”
Which was typical too, really. Why did he always think he knew, better than she did, what she needed? “I’m not a kid, damn it.”
She glanced over the rail again, envious of all the happy people. She bet no one was telling them what they needed, what they wanted, what they should or shouldn’t have. A conga line wound its way through the crowd, the dancers listing drunkenly from side to side. She’d have liked to be down there with them. She felt like Rapunzel tonight; locked up in her tower, forced to observe everything from a distance. It had never been one of her favorite fairy tales. Each time she’d read it as a kid she’d hoped it would turn out differently. That the prince would climb the tower. That the lovers would escape together. That no one would end up being cast into the wilderness, lonely, lost and alone.
“Come on down!” the dancers cried up to her as they passed. “Come and join us!”
Cara smiled and shook her head.