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Friday, May 15, 2015

The Fling by Elle J. Lawson ♥ Spotlight & GIVEAWAY ♥ (Erotic Romance)

New Adult Contemporary Romance with **Mature Content** Recommended for 17+ due to mature language and adult situations.

Her future awaits...

Study-abroad student Amy Presgraves is full of excitement when she leaves for Greece, ready to start a new chapter in her academic life. A scenic romp to Athens is just what the doctor ordered, but she learns more than medicine from her professor, Dr. Dimitri Speros--a married man with the physique of a Greek god. Amy wants to deny her attraction to him, but, bizarrely encouraged by Lydia, Dimitri's wife, she finally finds herself unable to resist the staggering passion that she feels.

But what starts out as a breezy summer fling becomes a struggle for happily ever after when Amy and Dimitri are faced with the ultimate betrayal. Together, they must learn to trust in order for their love to survive.


MARCH 1995

I braced myself against the imminent pain. I froze in place, closed my eyes and gritted my teeth. I mentally distanced myself from my body, clinically imagining the pain signal’s route in my mind as it traveled up from my big toe to my brain and was almost exactly on target with its arrival in my neocortex. I cringed from the throbbing sensation, allowing it to somewhat subside before continuing on my path, this time carefully stepping over Brad’s various huge accounting textbooks littering the floor of his apartment.

Great. What a perfect way to start my day—with a stubbed toe.

I could have prevented the injury by leaving at dawn when there would have been at least a little light available to help me maneuver through his messy apartment. But then it would have increased the likelihood that I’d have to interact with his two imbecile roommates, which I truly wasn’t in the mood for just then. Their constant ribbing of Brad was probably just their way of giving voice to their jealousy over the fact that at least he was getting some. Regardless, I wanted no part of the repartee.

My parents didn’t like that I stayed over at Brad’s most nights, but they accepted it because they loved him; if they had it their way, we’d be planning a summer wedding. They also accepted it because they knew I was on the pill. Of course, if they had it their way, I would have remained a virgin until my wedding night. As if. I was definitely not ready for a walk down the aisle, and—as much as I liked him—definitely not with Brad. My whole life was ahead of me, and I wasn’t sure I wanted Brad to be a part of my future. Brad was all right, but not my soul mate. I didn’t feel any passion when we were together. Friendship, maybe, but not passion. Could you spend the rest of your life with someone for whom you didn’t feel passion?

At 21, there was so much I wanted to experience, and so much I wanted to do and see. Brad was finishing up his master’s degree in finance and had his life all figured out. He was happy, content. But to me, the whole of Scottsdale was like a prison and I couldn’t wait to escape. I was restless, unhappy, and incredibly bored.

“Amy?” my mother yelled when she heard me open the side door.

“Yes, Mom. It’s me.”

“Remember to take the trash down when you leave this morning, will you?” she said.

“I will.”

Living at home when you’re 21 puts a damper on your social life, that was for sure. That was another reason I liked to stay over with Brad. At least I could have some breathing space there. When I was at home, my parents nagged me constantly about one thing or another. I’d always been a good student and always made good grades, but it just felt like nothing was good enough for them. Here I was, about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and I felt like I was still seven years old in their eyes.

The problem was, though, that living at home meant I had more money for other things—like vacations for spring break, skiing trips to Aspen, and—my ultimate dream—a trip to Greece one day. Not that I had ever actually taken a trip to Aspen or gone anywhere on spring break, mind you, since such trips were considered frivolous and dangerous in my parents’ eyes.

Regardless, I kept putting my money aside, and had saved up enough to go on my dream trip to Greece, but I was nervous about it for many reasons. First and foremost, I wanted to go alone. I didn’t want Brad with me, and I definitely didn’t want my parents with me. My parents loved me, I knew, but they sometimes were suffocating. They didn’t think I could take care of myself. They thought I always had to be protected and watched after. It was annoying as hell. I was a grown woman and it was about time they acknowledged that fact.

The rest of my apprehension was due to wondering what I would do in Greece, where I would stay and if I’d have to come back home. Ever.

I took a quick shower and threw on some clothes, then microwaved a couple of frozen pancakes to eat in the car on the way to class at UA. My last required course for my degree was Nursing Leadership. I was so close to being finished with school; I was so close to being free.

When I pulled in to the employees’ parking lot at the nursing home for my evening shift that night, I noticed that Rhonda’s car was conspicuously absent. She was always doing something exciting and adventurous. So I was sure that she had called in sick and was off somewhere having a grand time. Her family had a lot of money, but they made her keep a job in order to “ground” her. It was a total joke. Nursing aides didn’t make a ton of money, but it was good enough money until I was able to get a real job with my degree. I doubted Rhonda even bothered to cash her paychecks.

The floor was unusually quiet and somber when I walked in. I put my things into my locker and changed into my uniform and found the head nurse at the nurses’ station to check in.

“Hey, Margaret,” I said.

“Hi, Amy,” she replied. “We lost Mr. Giordano tonight. His room needs to be cleaned up so the new resident can move in tomorrow morning.”

Oh, no. No wonder there was a somber mood hanging over the facility.

“Okay,” I said. “Was his family able to be here with him?”

“No, it was just me and Beverly in with him. I held his hand and Beverly was wiping his forehead with a cool cloth. He’s at peace now. I know he’s in a better place.”

I nodded, unconvinced.

I had played chess with him just last week when we’d had a light shift. I wondered if those of us at the nursing home would be the only ones to mourn him. I didn’t know many personal details about Mr. Giordano except that his wife had died a decade earlier, and that they had a daughter and son-in-law whom I had never seen come to visit.

Sometimes my job put me into a melancholy mood. Death was a fact of life—everyone knew that. But what you did with your life up until your death, now that was something you had complete control over. Or at least you should. Right then, I felt like I had no control over anything. My parents had already made up their minds about what my life would be and I had no say in any of it.

Did I want to end up in a nursing home when I was 86, never having lived my own life?

Hell, no.

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The Fling is Elle J. Lawson's first foray into fiction writing, with most of her 20-year writing career being in non-fiction, technical writing and corporate communications. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America and her local chapter, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.

Her education includes a BA degree in Communication Studies, an MA in English, as well as graduate-level certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Ms. Lawson now lives in North Carolina with her husband, son, and their spoiled Chihuahua. She loves reading, movies, and travel to exotic locations.
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