Romance writer Sydney Barry can't stay in her small town once everyone knows her husband is cheating on her. A year in New Zealand, on the other side of the world, offers her an escape from the gossip and a chance to write in peace and quiet. But when her car breaks down on a lonely New Zealand road, handsome young marine biologist Daniel Reilly rescues her and peace and quiet are a distant memory. The heat she feels around Daniel has nothing to do with her middle-aged hot flashes! But will the age difference destroy their love, or will Sydney find happiness the second time around?
Sydney Berry was an accomplished romance author. As a matter of fact it would be more appropriate to say that she was the writer of erotic fiction. The name Lucy Lockhart, her pseudonym, was a household word, not only in the little town of Awesome where she resided, but throughout the world, where she was known for her romantic, sizzling and racy stories.
Held in high esteem in her conservative community, Sydney chose the pseudonym as a cover for her titillating novels. The citizens of the little town of Awesome had no idea that behind that prim and proper persona was a woman whose writings were raunchy, saucy and highly erotic.
For all that she had written about these sizzling romances, Sydney envied her heroines. She was jealous of their carefree lifestyles, their freedom to take what they wanted from life and to fly with it. She longed to throw caution to the wind and be like her favorite heroines, Romy Baron and Sofia Butterflake, who enjoyed a romp between the sheets, not giving a damn what other people thought about them. She’d fantasized about their sensual experiences behind closed bedroom doors, in the back seats of cars or sometimes in the open, sprawled across a car hood with some dashing stranger. Her erotic novels had revived many a marriage and could be found on the nightstands of couples hoping to spice up a dull relationship, or beside a lonely damsel hoping to capture a willing hunk for a few hours of blistering passion.
Her biggest fan was Darcy Berry, her husband of ten years, although he yammered constantly about the amount of time Sydney spent in front of the computer putting her vivid imagination to work. He was, however, always the first to soak up every word on the pages of her torrid tales. He seemed to have no hesitation putting into practice any of the things he had read in her books, but sadly, not with her.
She was still sitting at the computer one evening when she heard the door open and she could sense his presence behind her, staring at her. She spun around and glared at him.
“What’s on your mind, Darcy?”
“I thought that perhaps you’d want to see a movie with me or maybe dinner?”
“Now you’re scaring me, Darcy. Is it your guilty conscience at work here?”
“No, sweetheart. I know you must’ve been sitting here all day and you could probably do with a break.”
“Why the sudden change of heart? Why don’t you take your lover with you if you are looking for company?”
“It doesn’t matter what I do. It’s never enough.”
“You should’ve thought about that before jumping into the sack with Rachel Thorne. Take her to the movie or dinner or wherever it is you want to go.”
“I’ve already apologized, Sydney. Why are women so difficult?”
“When you stop dropping your drawers with everything you see in a skirt, then you can start talking about women in that tone. You’ve made a mockery of me. The whole town knows about your indiscretions and there’s no forgiveness for that,” she shouted, as she marched out of the room.
In the quiet of her room, tears streamed down her face, but she hid them. She vowed she’d never give him the satisfaction of seeing her cry, because as far as she was concerned, he wasn’t worth it.
It was not the first time that he had been caught with his pants down, if you’d pardon the pun. She had forgiven him, but this time it was really the last straw. She made up her mind that staying with him was only prolonging the agony, and one of them had to go.
She pictured him whispering all those lustful and sinful quotes from her books into his lover’s ears, stealing her words to satisfy another. Her only fear in leaving him was that he would expose her to the community as the writer of those wicked and erotic novels that the town’s inhabitants either shied away from or stood in line to buy—or secretly purchased from the Internet the moment they came onto the market.