Romance Author Ella Medler Presents Trial Run

There's a new addition to the Addicted to Love Romance Collection from UK author, Ella Medler. Trial Run has hit the stands, and it takes off running!

Description (for mature audience only):  “Trust me, he says. You’ll be safe with me, he says.”
Amelie Watts is sick and tired of being treated like a child. She might be willowy and delicate, but she has strength of the kind that doesn’t show on the outside. Plus, she learned all she needed to know so she could cope on her own. Now, if only her big brother would finally release her inheritance! She would fly to the Bahamas and kiss the backwater she grew up in goodbye.
Jason Watts is fed up with picking up the pieces of his little sister’s life. If only she would grow up already and learn to live life without stabilizers! Her latest idea is insane, and bound to be her most enormous failure to date. But how to make her understand?
Enter Rob Tyson, incorrigible bachelor and Jason’s best friend. For a laugh, they make a bet. Two people, a hastily acquired boat, and a tropical paradise. What could possibly go wrong?

Teaser Chapter
 A Bit of Rain 

“Don’t worry. We might get a bit of rain, but we’ll be okay.”

Rob’s words still rang in Amelie’s ears as she curled herself into a ball in the cabin entrance, praying she would survive being pelted by raindrops that felt the size of saucers. The wind was howling now and their boat felt miniscule in the stormy ocean.

She couldn’t understand what had gone so badly wrong. She’d checked the weather forecast herself, not that she expected any trouble. It was weeks before the hurricane season usually started.

Rob stood right in front of her, hanging onto the rail beneath the windshield, working desperately on keeping them on a stable course. They’d passed Bimini a while ago, when the wind and rain seemed like no more than a short but intimidating summer squall, a quirk of nature. If they stayed on course, they should hit New Providence soon, and then they would be safe.

Amelie peeked up at Rob, not daring to ask about time or place for fear of disturbing him at an inopportune moment. Her eyes lingered on his arms, his muscles corded as he fought for grip on the slick rail. His legs were strong and defined, like perfect stone carvings, yet when he darted from the rail to the back of the boat to check the engine, his steps were fast and agile, like those of an athlete.
The man was incredibly strong, under his air of casual indifference. She hadn’t quite expected that when she’d suggested he take her along for the trip. Maybe his job as stunt double had required him to be strong and fit. Not that he hadn’t been fit even as a teen. He was drool-worthy then, and the last ten years had only added another layer of masculine ruggedness to this already beautiful man. If she hadn’t made such a conscious, determined decision to ignore her former crush on him, she had to admit she might have just thrown caution to the wind and flung herself at him. He was exactly the kind of man that made her dreams of independence puff right out of existence and her resolve melt, alongside her heart, in a pool of lust at his feet.

Though she would have probably thought twice about getting on board a boat this fragile-looking.
The damned thing didn’t even have a proper cabin, and the small depression beneath the glass windbreaker, laughingly called cockpit, served merely as anchoring point as far as she was concerned. She hung with all her might onto anything solid – the edge around the entrance into the cabin, the floorboards, the rope tied around her middle. That had been the first thing Rob had done when the winds began rocking the boat, and she was grateful for his thoughtfulness. With her luck, she’d probably fly overboard at the first twist of the craft.

The boat bucked and shuddered, and Rob swore loudly.

She looked up at him intending to ask what happened, but his eyes met hers before she could speak. It was bad news; she could tell.

“The cable snapped. We have no steering.”

Yes, that was bad. Rob proceeded to adjust and finally shut down the engine. There was no need, no further use, to have an engine running, propelling them toward an unknown destination.

For an interminable amount of time, she concentrated on not screaming each time the boat jolted beneath her. The wind was getting worse, and the rain had turned cold and hard, denser and more painful than before. Rob planted his feet right in front of her crouched form, so even if she slipped out of her shelter, there would be one more barrier between her body and the sea.

At some point, after the darkness had become solid, like a physical wall they could smash against at any moment, Rob bent over and shouted at her something she could barely understand. It sounded like ‘land’ or ‘island’, but if that was the case, why was he scowling? He should be celebrating. She struggled to her feet, to have a look, but Rob pulled her tightly to his chest and spoke loudly right in her ear.

“I need your surfboard. It’s the only thing on this boat even vaguely useful. I just hope it’ll be long enough and strong enough to see us through the reef until we get closer to the shore.”

Amelie nodded and kneeled back down, feeling her way to the surfboard, and shielding her face from the pelting rain. She pulled it out with some difficulty, and in the process her perfectly ordered bags of provisions shifted and loosened. Now she would have to guard the entrance to the cabin for an entirely different reason.

Rob would do his best to get them to land, or at least past the worst of the jagged reef, with the boat intact. The job she took upon herself, therefore, was to keep as many of the belongings they’d packed in the boat, and preferably unspoiled. She was glad they were nearing land, ecstatic even, but she also knew there would be little chance to travel any farther than that using this boat.

For the first time in years, Amelie prayed. She prayed the cay was inhabited, or that it was close to a well-used travel route, at least. She hadn’t noticed any lights when she’d looked briefly that way, but surely they deserved that tiny shred of luck, after what they’d been through. She prayed she stayed alive, or that at the very least her body would be washed ashore and some kind soul might find it and send it home, to her brother. But most of all, she prayed for Rob. For him to stay alive, for him to stay healthy and strong… and for him to stay with her. Incomprehensible as her thoughts seemed to be at that moment, she didn’t stop to dissect their meaning. She simply closed her eyes and prayed.

Rob darted to the side and plunged the board in the sea, pushing hard. She felt the boat scrape along sharp edges, but the foaming waves quickly twisted it around the rocks and away. Rob cursed. Did he want the craft to break into pieces on the reef? She didn’t understand his reaction.

She watched, wide-eyed, as he deftly maneuvered the boat back toward the reef, taking advantage of the direction of the waves in this fickle storm. After what felt like a hundred years, and after she’d taken an unexpected dunking when her grip hadn’t been strong enough to hold her in place, they passed the first line of rocks, and she understood Rob’s plan. Being inside the reef meant it would be harder for the storm to drag them back out into the open ocean. Rob had obviously relaxed, too, because he wasn’t paying attention as much as before. He leaned over the edge of the boat at the wrong time and in the next moment he disappeared.

Amelie shrieked and lunged for the spot where he’d stood last, not caring what happened behind her. Several breathless minutes later, when she was sobbing and praying anew – praying for the end, because there was no way she was going to survive this alone – Rob’s strong hand grabbed the edge of the boat and she shrieked again, with elation this time.

He dragged himself back on board and lay there, on his back, catching his breath, uncaring of the rain pelting down. Amelie dropped to the deck, by his side, her face on his chest, gave up all pretenses and sobbed. Just all-out, deep, heart-felt sobs that felt like they were coming from within her whole body, ripping her into pieces, bringing her to her knees in more ways than one. Even Rob’s arms around her shoulders hadn’t been able to stem the flow of tears, not really.

Eventually, he pushed her gently up, got up as well, then he did the most unexpected thing, the one gesture that had calmed her more than anything else could have done: he untied the end of her rope from the boat’s rail and tied it around his own middle. Now they were connected by the same rope. She would not lose him.

And she could weather any storm, Amelie realized, as long as she had Rob standing by her side.

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