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Rings of Paradise
Rings of Paradise
by Maxine Douglas
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tags: Professional wrestling, Bret Hart, WWE, Hawaii, Maxine Douglas, Muse It Up, #amwriters, #wwe, #wrestling, Maui,
Release: August 24, 2012
Editor: Ellee Braun
Line Editor: Penny Ehrenkranz
Cover Designer: Winterheart Designs
I’m not much on putting words to paper, action is more up my alley. I’m Flame, the reigning champion in the Universal Wrestling World (UWW). So why am I here?
I grew up in a wrestling family and cut my teeth on the squared circle, which by the way is the only “lady” I trust any more.
I’ve gone and bought out a small press magazine in Madison, Wisconsin that was going nowhere fast, hired a woman by the name of Khristen Roberts, who according to the editor-in-chief is untrained and wants nothing more than to be a journalist.
Okay, I’m a sucker in helping people out, it’s my one weakness, if I have any. Problem is she’s on vacation in Hawaii. I’ve got to catch up with her somewhere along the line for her to join up with me and the UWW. I just hope Khristen is up for the ride…it’s always a trip.
The beautiful eyes of the man from the plane seemed to appear as an apparition in the deep-blue-green pool water. Thoughts of him ran wild in her mind, and Khristen felt the warm wetness of desire grow deep between her thighs. She shivered from wanton desire. Something about him seemed familiar.
No. Surely, I would have remembered if we’d met before. His eyes, if nothing else, would have been burned into my memory.
It seemed as if she’d seen them, and the challenge in them, once before—a dare to defy him in any manner.
Challenges. That’s what gave Khristen her drive. In her career, she had felt like a lamb lost in the fog in search of its home. She longed for the type of position that offered her the unexpected excitement of a contest each and every day.
Her current position at one of Madison’s once top magazines came very close to fulfilling that yearning. It offered variety in its article context, and nine times out of ten, they didn’t read like something out of Miami Vice. Plain Talk covered just about anything and sometimes everything. Still, something was missing.
She’d finally come to realize she wanted to be a staff member who did more than run around the office. She was going to spend the next few weeks thinking of a plan to convince Ric to move her up the ladder. One day, she would have her own byline.
Ric Scott, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, had become the big brother she never had. He drank too much coffee in a day for one human being and stayed at the office until well past midnight. She worried about his excesses in both areas and feared one day she would walk into his office to find him slumped over his desk.
More than once, she had wondered why their relationship had never gotten past the big-brother stage. Deep in her heart, she knew it was the lack of emotional and sensual challenges. The spark she felt with a total stranger wasn’t there with good ol’ reliable Ric.
Khristen slid a pair of red-framed sunglasses from the top of her head and perched them on her nose. She took a deep relaxing breath, leaned back, and forced the man’s image out of her brain. She knew she had to let this challenge go for what very well could be the first time in her adult life. If letting go was at all possible.
For now, one thing she knew for sure. Absolutely no way was she going to become caught up in another romance. The last one had almost destroyed her, both emotionally and professionally.
* * * *
His shadow draped across her skin. He’d known he would find her; he’d never thought it would be connected to one of his businesses. He had thoroughly enjoyed seeing her sweat earlier, looking for a place to escape the dining room. If looks could kill, she should have laid him to rest before noon.
Now it was his turn, and he couldn’t wait to see her reaction. It was going to get more interesting now that he’d decided in the length of time it took for him to reach her side that the game would start. He would have to proceed with caution before snaring her for himself.
Shadoe fought the temptation to pluck an ice cube from one of the glasses he carried and let it drip onto Khristen’s sunburned flesh. A mischievous smile played on his lips as he visualized the response he would get. It would be fun, but they had already gotten off on a bad foot, and he didn’t want to aggravate the situation further—or did he?
* * * *
“Khristen.” Someone repeated her name, and as she stirred, raised his voice, calling to her again.
“Huh?” Sleepy eyed and well-burnt, Khristen was not sure what had drawn her out of a groggy sleep.
“What’s your pleasure? Mai Tai, Piña Colada, or Aloe Vera?” Shadoe adjusted the two sweating glasses and one bottle on the tray he balanced with care.
Khristen shielded her eyes, suspiciously looking up at him. The touch of friendly sarcasm that had edged his over-exaggerated deep voice set off her warning light.
“Owweeee!” Pain and agony edged her voice, caused from the effects of too many hours in the sun and too little sunscreen.
“I’ve got just what you need.”
“Like what?” Khristen grimaced, seeing the bottle of lotion and look of concern in his eyes.
Or is it lust?
“Aloe Vera. It’s a great natural ointment with a cooling effect for skin that’s on fire.” He set the tray down on the small, round table next to her. “I could, ah, rub it in for you.” Another teasing smile played on his lips as he picked up the bottle.
Khristen smiled back and looked into his eyes. How sexy and sure of himself he looked as he gazed over the rims of his sunglasses, daring her to resist his charm, challenging her.
“Actually, I have a better idea.” She reached for the lotion and caught a look of satisfaction sweep over his face. With a crooked smile, she softly wrapped her fingers around the bottle and let them linger a moment too long before taking it into her possession.
“Mmmm, sounds very tempting.” He moved in closer to her.
“It is,” she said, reeling him in with her sweet, sexy tone, and placed her free hand on his bare chest, blocking his advance. As much as she’d love to feel his skin against hers, she wasn’t about to play on his web.
“Fortunately, there’s room for only one. You see, what I have in mind is, well...” She could see the anticipation grow in his eyes. “The ultimate total package of soothing the senses, everywhere, and all at once.”
Gathering up her belongings, Khristen walked away, in pain. After only a few feet, she turned and gave him a look of triumph.
His deep, sexy laugh did nothing to dampen her victory.
Author Maxine Douglas spends a good deal of time developing her characters. Couple that with the unique plot, and you have a romance novel you devour within a few hours. I was sad to see this book come to an end, and I would love to see either or both of these characters in another story. Perhaps some more romance on the road.
About the Author:
If it's one thing I've learned over the years of my life it's that you can never stop dreaming and reaching for the stars, because sooner or later you just may get to touch one, and it'll bring you more happiness than you can ever imagine. I've been lucky enough over the past couple of years to have been able to reach out and touch two stars...and I'm still reaching for more.
Originally from South-central Wisconsin, my husband and I traded the snowy winters for warmer days and nights. I currently am a member of such writing organizations as Romance Writers of American, Oklahoma Romance Writers of America, and Electronic Publishers Internet Coalition.
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