Publication date: June 21st 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance
Dean “DeBaz” Bazner is a Professional Surfer, private about his past and quiet about his future. Like any famous professional athlete he’s got the talent and sponsors, but he hasn’t clinched a World Title since his rookie year. Now in his thirties, with a career clock ticking, he’s pushing his limits to get to number one again. When a travel writer named Azure Thomas is assigned to observe his journey between events, what seems like a dangerous diversion, both in and out of the water, forces him to accept that there’s more missing from his life than another trophy.
She doesn’t know anything about surfing. She doesn’t drool over his celebrity. And she sure as hell doesn’t ask others to haul her crap around. Azure Thomas has been taking care of herself for most of her thirty years, and this is just another assignment in the changing world of freelance journalism. What she doesn’t expect is an athlete who relates to her profound loss and has sacrificed everything except his soul to get to the top of his sport. Dean is more than the hot surfer splashed across magazines and surfing is more than a hobby. Is it possible that what she can’t live without is chasing the next big swell?
It’s clear right away which of the four men on the porch in front of her is Dean. His confidence and physique are superb. Although the Latino man could easily pass as a competitor, Dean’s bleached hair in its slightly wavy shag fits the stereotype. She wasn’t expecting him to smolder though. His jaw is too chiseled, and his chest muscles are too thick. Sure, surfers are in great shape, but she thought they were lean, vegan types. This was a meat eater. A strong, tall, carved, carnivorous man. She can feel her pulse pounding when he stands to greet her. If she lacked all self-control, his cobalt eyes would’ve sold her the moon.
Dean’s playing spades on his porch with the guys when he sees Lennox and Moses walking with a beautiful, tall brunette. Her long yellow sundress flows in the breeze like a flag waving for his attention. Even through all that fabric Dean can see her hips swaying naturally as the cotton clings to her body. Before he can survey her bare breasts underneath, she raises her eyes towards him. Even at a distance, they glow like the ocean, adding a spark to her perfect smile. It’s worse than he dreaded. He can handle pretty or attractive, but this woman is beautiful.
Moses stops to show her something, stealing those eyes away and Dean flinches. Not holding her attention stings a bit. He drops the cards in his hand, giving up. There’s no way he can deal with real distractions right now, in life or a card game.
The other guys turn and stare. The way she genuinely listens and reacts to everything is intoxicating to watch. She doesn’t carry herself like a beach bunny, but her skin is just as golden. Her long brown hair isn’t being twirled or tossed by a nervous hand, it just flows naturally, never shaking her poise. Most of the women in Dean’s past walked with a false confidence. Especially Abigail. She was always ready for a photo through a veil that sheltered her from the world’s honest eyes. This woman in yellow is different. She doesn’t need to be patronized or complimented, and her laugh is so unguarded and full.
Fuck. She’s gotta knows she’s beautiful. She wouldn’t have traveled in that if she didn’t. He stands as casually as he can manage wondering if she’s going to be a bitch. Part of him hopes she is so it’ll be easy to blow her off, but her laid back shoulders and relaxed smile hint that she’s pretty cool. He blurts out, “Welcome to Fiji,” wincing at the sound of his own voice. I sound like a fuckin’ idiot. He cracks his knuckles gently at his side until her cheeks flush a little.
A. L. Goulden has a BFA in Film Production from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Her love of a good story came way before college, but when numerous instructors and peers praised her dialogue she realized her creative writing hobby was a skill worth honing. Her 18 year career in interior design, production design and art direction for film and television have spun a unique perspective on visually emotional tales of relationships and the thread that ties all things together.