Joanna Price is a city girl with the perfect life. She loves her job as a book editor, she just married Liam, high profile bestselling author and the man of her dreams, and she’s headed to the Caribbean to enjoy two weeks of paradise for her luxurious honeymoon.
Connor Duffield is a gruff, grumpy rancher from the Midwest. He is a country boy who has a no-nonsense approach to life, more scars than he’d like to admit, and he hates city girls.
So it’s just a misfortune they have to sit next to each other for a six hour plane ride. Even more so when their flight is caught in the perfect storm and Joanna wakes up stranded on a desert island with Connor, the very man she hoped she would never have to see again.
Why are they alone on this forsaken island? What happened to Joanna’s husband?
When her dream honeymoon turns into a hilarious tropical nightmare, Joanna’s first thought is survival. However, she and Connor will quickly discover just how boring paradise can be. As the days turn to weeks, and then months, this mismatched pair will have to learn how to coexist and how to resist the sparkles of an attraction they weren’t prepared to feel.
When they are finally rescued will Joanna’s marriage be saved as well, or will the life she knew and loved be in ruins?
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—♥ CHAPTER ELEVEN ♥—
Pride, Prejudice, and Naked Trolls
And with these words he hastily left the room, and Elizabeth heard him the next moment open the front door and quit the house.
“What are you doing?” Connor’s accusing voice comes brusquely from somewhere above me.
“Huh?” I reluctantly tear my eyes from the screen to look at his dark silhouette towering over me. “Reading a book.” Why did he question me as if he had just caught me skinning baby seals?
“Have you made lunch?” he asks impatiently.
“Who said I was supposed to make it?”
“You’re the woman. I skin the fish, and you slice the fruit.”
I consider reacting to his sexist comment by starting a feminist sit-in. But his statement actually makes sense as I will never be able to skin anything, knife or no knife. And since I don’t mind preparing the fruit instead… I look at him directly, extending my hand for him to pull me up. I say “Deal” as our eyes come level, and abandon Miss Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy to go cook—or, rather, peel and slice.
“So, are you from Chicago?” I ask a while later as we eat lunch “inside”.
Grunt, negative kind.
“Where do you live, then?”
“At the border.”
“With Canada?” I ask hesitantly.
“Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. I’m in Dubuque, but I have lands in each state.”
“Oh, it must be fun when you’re paying taxes.”
Grunt in the sarcastic affirmative.
When we’re done eating, he extracts two short, thin wooden twigs and peels the bark off the tip of one, revealing a white, soft-looking core underneath.
“Here.” He passes it to me. “Chew on the tip.”
“What is this?” I take it from him and sniff it, uncertain.
“Chewstick. It’s a natural toothbrush. They use it to make toothpaste—it will keep your teeth healthy.”
“Oh, okay. Thanks! So why were you going to the Caribbean?” I tentatively bite on the thingy. The tip is fibrous, kind of frothy, and tastes slightly bitter. But it’s not too bad, and it’s definitely better than having my teeth rot.
“Meaning?” I mumble while I keep chewing my stick.
“I was going to South America.”
“Damn, it really is hard to talk to you!” I burst out.
“Huh?” He looks at me sheepishly.
“When I’m lucky and it’s not a grunt, you reply with monosyllables. It’s unnerving.”
“What do you want me to say?”
“Like for example adding why you were going to South America. Or you could ask about me.”
“I already know everything about your honeymoon drama as you kindly provided every little detail about it on the plane—twice.”
Fair enough. I did blab a bit too much maybe, at least considering he was a perfect stranger at the time.
“I was going to South America to check on some fields we own there. They had some problems with the last crop,” Connor elaborates.
After this short comment, it’s silence again.
“And then you go on and tell me what the problem with the crop was,” I prod him. Conversation 101 by Joanna Price, part two.
“Nah, you wouldn’t want to know. You’d get bored.”
“More than I already am?” I push my finished leaf plate aside and lean on my elbow next to him. “Plus, it’s siesta time, so there’s nothing else we can do besides talk.”
For a split second I see something flash in his eyes, as if he thought there could be a lot of other things we could do besides talking. However, the look comes and goes in a blink, so much so that I wonder if I’d only imagined it. I’m sure my face is tomato red right now; I hope it doesn’t show in the dim light of the hut. Anyway, if he had any naughty thoughts you wouldn’t be able to tell from the tone of his next statement.
“This year we had a bad case of soybean rust—it’s basically a fungus that attacks and destroys the leaves of the plant.” He starts telling me his crop troubles, and I pretend to be an interested listener. “We lost more than half of our projected yield. I wanted to make sure they got control practices right for next year, as we can’t afford to…”
Open eyes. Where am I? Honeymoon? No. Hut, desert island, shipwrecked. What happened?
The last thing I can remember is Connor talking about crop bugs and other boring stuff. Oh my, I must have fallen asleep while he was talking! If he was difficult before, now he will never talk to me again. I’d better go apologize.
I crawl out of our shelter and stand on all fours on the threshold to look for him. I spot him walking up a sand dune in the general direction of the jungle. From where I stand, I can only see his naked torso. He’s holding something that looks like a spear in his left hand, and his body is shiny in the sun. He must have just come out of the water. Primitive fishing technique? I’m about to get up and wave when the rest of his body emerges from behind the dune and I see that he’s butt naked. I quickly cover my eyes with my hands and flatten my body against the hut floor, barely suppressing a squeal. My face feels so hot I’m sure there must be steam spewing out of my ears and nostrils.
After a while I can’t help but peek from between my fingers. Mr. Naked Ogre has already passed the hut, and he’s moving towards the jungle path to the lake. All the while presenting me with the spectacle of his white buttocks rhythmically bobbling as he walks. They make for a hypnotic sight; I don’t seem to be able to tear my eyes away from them. Good thing I don’t have a secret fantasy about sex on the beach, or naked, tall strangers, or primitive men in their naked glory, or whatever.
I shake my head, as if by doing so I can make the image of his nude body fly out of my mind, and decide I’d better apply myself to some handiwork. I pick up Manny and head to the opposite side of the jungle to collect some more wood for the fire and some more fruit.
About the Author:
Hi! I’m a writer of romantic comedy, cat’s lover, coffee addict, and shoes hoarder.
Besides writing, I love reading (surprise, surprise), cooking—and eating—especially pasta, going to the movies and obviously ordering a gigantic bowl of popcorn, and watching too much TV.
I understand that mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem as a part of other animals’ diet, and I don’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but I could really live without them.
Find her here:
Visit all the stops on this tour:
Grass Monster/Selina – @Lost801_Oceanic – Review
Live, Laugh & Love Books/Rebecca – https://livelaughandlovebooks.wordpress.com – Excerpt
Literary Chanteuse/Margaret – www.literarychanteuse.blogspot.ca – Promo
Around the World in Books/Melissa – http://www.aroundtheworldinbooks.ca/ – Excerpt
Chick Lit Central/Melissa A. – http://chicklitcentral.com – Review
Bookmyopia/Ishita – http://bookmyopia.wordpress.com – Review
Calico Gifts Blog/Laura – Www.calicogiftsblog.WordPress.com – Review
Judging More Than Just the Cover/Amber – www.judgingmorethanjustthecover.blogspot.com – Author Q&A – Review
Pretty Little Book Reviews/Elle – http://www.prettylittlebookreviews.com – Review
Just a Book Lovin’ Junkie – http://jabooklovinjunkie.blogspot.com – Promo
Bookish Escapes/Leah – http://bookishescapes.weebly.com – Review
T & L Book Reviews/Tammy – http://tasz1976.wordpress.com – Promo
Romantic Reads and Such/Julie – http://romanticreadsandsuch.worpdress.com – Review
Boundless Minds/Shouryaman – www.boundlessminds.org – Author Q&A
Ali – The Dragon Slayer/Alison – http://cancersuckscouk.ipage.com/ – Review
Hello…Chick Lit/Aimee – http://hellochicklit.com – Review
On My Bookshelf/Agi – http://www.onmybookshelf.blog.pl – Review
Liz Ellen/Liz – http://lizellyn.com – Review
The Nest of Books Review/Petra – http://thenestofbooksreview.blogspot.com.au/ – Author Guest Post
ItaPixie’s Book Corner/Fede – https://www.facebook.com/itapixiesbookcorner/ – Review
I Heart Fictional People/Cheryl – http://iheartfictionalpeople.com/ – Review
Vvb32 Reads/Velvet – http://vvb32reads.blogspot.com/ – Review
One Book at a Time/Bethany – http://Booksandwinearelovely.blogspot.com – Promo
A Writer’s Ramblings/Corinne – https://www.corinnedesjardins.wordpress.com – Excerpt
Book Groupies/Jazzy – http://bookgroupies2.blogspot.com/ – Promo
Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’/Peggy – http://stormynightbloginandreviwing.blogspot.com/ -Promo
Hey Said Renee/Renee – http://heysaidrenee.blogspot.com.au – Review