This year’s RITA competiton saw 2 medical romances final in the short contemporary romance category. Scarlet Wilson’s book, The Doctor and the Princess, and my book, A Christmas Miracle.
The RITA award ceremony is held in about 5 weeks time so I thought you might enjoy a little snippet from my book. Happy reading!
Reid and Oscar stayed in for close to an hour. He was so excited to be out in the deeper water, splashing around with the rest of their fellow ocean-goers, that Reid was determined to stay as long as Oscar wanted.
His mother needn’t have worried about them being separated. For all his bravado, Oscar clung to him like a monkey, his breathing fast and excited as they’d waded in together.
Still, it didn’t stop Trinity from pacing up and down the shoreline. She was easy to spot in bathers that would have been perfectly at home at Bondi a hundred years ago. Compared to the other scantily clad women she stuck out like a sore thumb, covered neck to knee, her hair stuffed up inside her big, floppy hat totally obscuring her face and eyes.
Even so, he could feel her gaze firmly fixed on him.
Well, Oscar anyway.
Reid, on the other hand, could hardly take his eyes off her. She might not have been exposing much skin but it was the first thing she’d worn that actually showed off her body and what she actually had going on under clothes that usually hung.
It was a novelty to be able to see she actually had a waist. And breasts that looked as if they’d fill a man’s hand. He’d known they were there. Had felt them pressed to him, mashed up against him that day on her bed, but to see them… Or glimpse their outline anyway.
He’d spent an inordinate amount of time while playing with Oscar hoping she might get wet.
‘Can we go out to Eddie?’
Pops was out in shoulder-deep water chatting to some other old guy and, while Reid was confident in his own abilities, he’d promised Trinity he wouldn’t take Oscar out deep.
‘Not this time, dude.’
Oscar took it on the chin as he did everything else. He was a good kid. Well behaved, not prone to sulking if he didn’t get his way. Trinity had done an awesome job with him, considering their circumstances.
Not that he was any closer to knowing what her true circumstances actually were. She might have relaxed around him but chatty she was not.
Oscar absently traced the outline of his eagle wings tat with one pruned finger. ‘I like your tattoos,’ he said.
Reid grinned. Oscar hadn’t really mentioned them before—to him, anyway—which was unusual. Most kids were agog. ‘Thank you. Tattoos sometimes frighten kids but not you, huh?’
He shook his head. ‘No. Mummy has a tattoo.’
Reid blinked. Oh, does she now? He glanced at her staring at them from the shoreline in her neck-to-knee gear. He really, really wished he hadn’t known that. He was going to be thinking about it way more than was good for his sanity.
Already questions about where and what rose in his throat. But he was not going to pump her kid for information that was none of his damn business.
Oscar shivered and goose bumps broke out on his arms. Reid was pleased for the distraction. ‘Cold, little dude?’
Reid gave a half-laugh. He was on the cool side himself now but, on closer inspection, Oscar’s lips were a nice shade of purple-blue and he was pretty sure Trinity would bundle him straight out if she were here. Because that was what a responsible parent did.
He’d never given a lot of thought to being a parent. A father. He’d assumed he would be one day but, at thirty-four, maybe he’d missed that boat?
Oscar’s teeth started to chatter.
‘Your teeth are chattering.’
‘They’re j…just exci…excited.’
Reid laughed again. Excited teeth. Kids!
‘Yeah, I don’t think your mum is going to buy that, dude, and she’ll have my—’ He cut himself off before he said ass on a platter. ‘I’ll be off her Christmas card list.’
Oscar nodded, resigned. ‘Yeah. She always worries I might catch a bug and have to go to hospital.’
It was a natural thing for mothers to worry about, even though Reid knew no one caught a bug just from being cold. But there was a gravity to Oscar’s words that told him it was a legitimate fear of Trinity’s.
That Oscar had been in hospital before.
He opened his mouth to press for more then shut it again. He wasn’t going to ask about that any more than he was going to ask about Trinity’s tattoo. He should just man up and do it himself—the hospital thing, not the tattoo thing—instead of waiting for her to open up to him.
Maybe he would ask her. In a few weeks.
In the meantime, he didn’t want to start on the wrong foot by handing over a hypothermic child. He motioned to his grandfather to let him know they were heading back. ‘Okay, let’s go in.’
Oscar sighed and put his head down on Reid’s shoulder. It fitted perfectly. Reid’s heart gave a strange little kick and the feeling of restlessness that had dogged him since coming back to stay with Pops stilled. After a moment’s hesitation, he placed his chin on top of the snowy-blond head and strode out of the ocean with him.
If you enjoyed this excerpt you can buy the book at all good online retailers. Here is the Amazon link. Currently its only $2.99 for Australian and NZ readers via Amz Oz, Kobo, iBooks and Google!