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First Page: Paranormal Humorous Romance:  Surviving America’s Sweetheart

First Page: Paranormal Humorous Romance: Surviving America’s Sweetheart

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.


Meet America’s Sweetheart

I’d been dreaming of this moment for ages. While other girls planned their wedding to boy band singers or movie stars, I rehearsed my rose ceremony with my stuffed animals.

“Will you, Mr. Binky Boo, accept this rose?”

My teddy never answered but I could see the relief in his eyes and excitement in his plush paws as I dropped the satin flower in his lap. Of course, he wanted the rose. They always wanted the rose.

Nobody ever said no to America’s Sweetheart. It was a dream that could happen for one special woman, the chance of a lifetime to be wooed by twenty five handsome men and at the end, be engaged to one’s true love.

It was perfection.

As all things that seemed perfect, someone had to come along and screw it up but I wasn’t going to think about that. I was standing on the steps of a beautiful house in paradise (that being Hawaii and not actual Heaven), my bachelors were due to arrive any minute and Tino Thomas was next to me getting his make-up touched up.

“Don’t forget,” Tino was instructing the crew, “my left side is my best side so keep the lights dimmer when I turn right. And Riley, honey, smile. Nobody wants a sweetheart looking serious.”

“Got it.” I smiled widely to show I did indeed, have it. The swipe of Vaseline the make-up lady had put on my teeth for shine and slide was moderately disgusting. But it made my smile better and this Sweetheart was going to be the best they ever had.

My attire was couture. I felt like a princess wearing it. A gorgeous gown, shoes I would have killed for (and they gave them to me!), actual diamonds winking around my throat and wrist (borrowed but still amazing) and I knew I looked like a million bucks. My stiletto was strapped to the back of my thigh and the slit in the dress allowed easy access. They didn’t allow guns until the actual one-on-one dates but knives were encouraged for the group portions.

“Okay,” Tino said as people scattered, “the first car is coming. Keep the smile going. Don’t kill anyone on the steps despite their appearance. You survive this and you might really find true love.”

And if not, you’ll have a wonderful televised burial.

“Are you ready, Riley?”

I smiled. “I’m ready.”

“Let’s make some television history.”

First Page: A Tale of Two Houses – erotic contemporary romance

First Page: A Tale of Two Houses – erotic contemporary romance

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.


“I live with two guys,” the librarian said. She gave David a cheerful grin and bent to admire a five-year-old’s artwork. “Great job!” Small children clustered around her, one holding her arm and swinging to and fro, others thrusting books and construction paper masterpieces at her.

David tried to put the disconcerting image her words raised out of his mind. What the hell had he said that had produced this response? His memory was blocked by a series of disjointed stills from self-generated porno movies, but he concentrated. Hard. No, not that way, dear God. He’d said, yes, that he’d moved into the Old Mill House with his daughter and she’d said something about living in the house at Mackin Corner and … and so she said…

She said she had housemates.

Perv.

She looked altogether too wholesome for what he imagined. A corn fed girl, his dad would have called her, tall, with a braid like a thick gold rope hanging halfway down her back.

Statuesque. The brief moment of lust subsided, as they did these days.

He looked around for his daughter. She sat against a rack of books, reading, ignoring the friendly chaos. He sighed, trying not to feel resentful that he’d arranged his schedule around this kids’ event at the library.

“Some kids don’t join in right away.” Librarian Kate—so her nametag proclaimed against a background of cheerful balloons–plucked a tissue from a box on top of the nearest bookcase. She administered a firm wipe to a runny-nosed child pushing against her leg.

“She’s shy.” David said,

“Ah.” She nodded and turned her attention briskly to the kids. “Okay, then. Story time’s over. Why don’t you guys show your moms your pictures.”

The children swarmed toward the bank of moms who sat at a nearby table and who cooed over pictures and books. Most of them headed for the checkout, a few lingering to look at David. He was fairly sure that he had been the subject of their whispered conversation—the new guy, the single dad, marital status unknown but speculated upon, renovating the Old Mill House. He had browsed the new book section during the program, in view of his daughter, allowing her to join in and not cling to him. Except she hadn’t joined in.

His daughter unfolded herself, clutching books to her chest.

“Want to check those out, honeybun?” David asked.

“No. I read them all. Can we get ice cream?”

David glanced at the window where sleet rattled against the glass, the Blue Ridge Mountains obscured by low clouds.

“The kids in the book got ice cream,” she insisted.

“Choose some other books, then,” David said. He stopped himself saying And then we’ll see.

“It’s a bit cold for ice cream.”

She gave him a curious look as though he were an alien. “Okay. And then we get ice cream?”

“We’ll see,” David said, wincing. He didn’t even know where they’d be able to buy any in this unfamiliar town.

Steph wandered off between the shelves.

“She’s a good reader,” Librarian Kate said gathering Steph’s discarded books. “Gordon’s sells ice cream. Nothing fancy.”

“The general store on Main?”

She nodded and smiled, a goddess tossing a favor to a mortal. “That’s it.” She reached out a hand and plucked off his nametag.

He took an involuntary step backward at the slight contact.

“Sorry,” she said. “Sometimes people get embarrassed if they find themselves outside still wearing one.”

“Thanks.” He watched as she folded the nametag and threw it into the trash with the snotty tissues and broken crayons.