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Romance
(Fic)
Sea-renity on Sandy Shores (Novella): A Sandy Shores Novella
by Shirley Holder Platt


A straight-laced woman betrayed, seeking solace. A man whose defense against a cruel world is to party like there's no tomorrow. Can these two lost souls find healing in one another's arms? "Sounds interesting!"

Chapter 1 - Joan

I wiggled my toes in the hot sand of my favorite beach and wished I could stay. If ever I needed a break, this was it. The rental I’d be living in for a month was called Sea-renity, and it promised the serenity I needed after what had happened in my life recently. I’d been coming to Sandy Shores for vacation since I was six years old. Dad would load the whole family into the car and drive across country to get there as fast as he could. I remember being lulled to sleep by Disney movies I&rsqu...



Chapter 2 - Joan

I stopped at the stairway. I steeled myself with a deep breath before reaching for the handrail and taking the first step up. I told myself that the first step is always the most difficult, but I hadn’t found it any easier when I’d gone another six steps. At the top, I found the stairs opened onto the balcony with no door to impede my progress. I stepped onto the patio floor and stopped. Just as I’d decided to turn and run down the stairs, he spotted me. I saw him raise his eyebrows and...



Chapter 3 - Price

Gulls were laughing and the sun was on her face as she lay on my deck surrounded by tiki torches burning citronella to keep the mosquitoes at bay. I thought she looked like a heroine in a movie about Rome in its heyday. As I watched, she snorted herself awake from a dream. She told me much later that the dream had been about parachuting out of a World War II era plane. She sat up sharply. It was obvious that she had no idea where she was. A pelican sat on a railing a few feet from her, sunning its wings ...



Chapter 4 - Price

Rover ran into the surf to retrieve the ragged tennis ball I threw as he jogged down the beach toward the dunes. The dog shook the water off his coat and ran toward me. He nudged my calf with his wet nose, wanting to keep playing. I stopped running, using his playfulness as an excuse to catch my breath. Rover dropped the ball and started jumping and barking with joy. I smiled as a vision of Joan snoring on my porch popped into my head. She was a bristly one, but what an amazing body she had. I’d be...



Chapter 5 - Joan

My tongue was tied. I couldn’t think of a solitary comeback to his inuendo. I had stopped to admire the imaginative window display at one of the cutest shell shops I’d ever seen. Its former life had obviously been a Victorian, one-story home. The coral color scheme fit into the local vibe perfectly. The owner had removed what had surely been wood frame windows and replaced them with solid glass for optimal viewing of the goods on display. I loved the name of the shop, “She Sells Sea She...



Chapter 6 - Price

I was going over before construction began on my eighth rental. My plan was to own the twenty houses surrounding the one I lived in. I’d done the math, and along with the money from my pittance of a trust fund, the rent should bring in enough for me to live comfortably. My luck, since moving to Sandy Shores, had improved appreciably, as had my bank account. I made a couple of calls to the contractor and printed off some financials for my next trip to the bank for another loan. Rover slept at my fee...



Chapter 7 - Joan

I stood stock still wondering what had just happened. I had convinced myself I wasn’t interested in this man, but when he leaned in close, and I could feel heat radiating off his body, I lost all coherent thought. When his lips touched mine, he’d been so careful to wait for my response. And when the kiss went deeper, well, I couldn’t put words to what happened then. I’d never had a man affect me so strongly. My sudden hunger and the yearning I’d felt were new. I thought of m...



Chapter 8 - Price

I hurried to make my appointment with Susan. I had my eyes on a rental property that had just come on the market and was to meet her there soon. I ran over the conversation with Joan during the quick lunch we shared. Talking about how at peace Mitch was with his life triggered something in me that I didn’t want to deal with. I hadn’t felt peace in such a long time, I wasn’t qualified to talk about the subject.

I made the mistake of closing my eyes momentarily at the table, and it...



Chapter 9 - Joan

I wanted to scream, but I had practiced controlling my emotions for many years and couldn’t make myself let anger take over. I punched the pillow beside me on the couch with my fist, but that was the extent of my outward rage. Here I am, again. I’ve fallen into the same trap. I let myself believe I could trust a man. When would I ever learn? It was all those romance stories I’d been reading. Those people falling in love with their happy ever after endings were all make believe....



Chapter 10 - Price

Several guests lingered longer than I’d hoped, but I tried to be polite. When I put the alcohol away, the last of the hangers on got the hint and said their good-byes. I switched the music and lights off and sat in the dark, listening to the waves wash the shore. If only they could wash away memories and hurts. Rover came upstairs and put his head in my lap. His big brown eyes let me know he felt my pain. I rubbed between his ears. When he figured I’d felt sorry for myself long enough, he got...



Chapter 11 - Joan

I read my book as children screamed and played in the surf. Some teenagers were building a sandcastle that looked like a work of art. I stood around watching for a while, glad I’d brought my hat. The sun was intense. The sand took on the shape of a lovely mermaid with a face quite similar to the twin girls working on it. I sighed, wishing my sister was around to play in the sand with me. I would like to have her opinion of Price, but in reality, she would have probably already taken him to her bed....




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