by Madelle Morgan
This month I wrap up the rewrite of Seduced by the Screenwriter, Book 2 in the Hollywood in Muskoka series. Then it will be sent off to beta readers in September and my editor in October. If all goes well, the book will be published on Amazon in November!
Seduced by the Screenwriter is the most roller-coaster-emotional and hottest romance I've ever written. It's fun—the heroine gets to dress up in movie costumes—as well as serious. Catrina has PTSD and Chett is afraid of dogs. The theme is "love conquers fear."
Beautiful police diver Catrina Turner abandoned her career after a traumatic underwater dive and moved to Muskoka, Canada's upscale vacation destination for the rich and famous. She and her retired police service dog Titan provide security services to wealthy celebrities.
When Hollywood screenwriter Chett de Groot invites Catrina to role-play love scenes in costumes from old movies, she discovers how satisfying acting can be. Soon she's ad libbing passionate lines in scorching "performances." But then Chett returns to Hollywood, and Catrina realizes the emotional pain from her past is nothing compared to the agony of a broken heart.
Here's a taste from the chapter entitled The Seduction of Miss Prudence Maxwell.
Set up: Catrina is dressed in the demure floor-length skirt and jacket, hat and gloves that Chett sent over to her place earlier. She has arrived at the luxurious lake house for dinner on a frigid January evening.
Catrina followed Chett into the Great Room. Drafts ruffled flames of stubby white candles in glass holders on the fireplace mantle, on the round table in the dining nook set for two, and on every flat surface in the room. Green-tipped flames leaped in the wood-burning fireplace. Enchanting flattering light gilded the space, not quite reaching shadowed corners.
“There was no electricity in Virginia City, California in the 1880s,” Chett explained as he handed her a glass of chilled chardonnay.
“Virginia City. The setting for tonight, I presume.” She sipped the wine and held the cool glass to one cheek. “My, it’s warm in here.”
“Your comfort means everything to me.” He lifted her free hand and pressed the back to his lips. Her heartbeat quickened as cocky blue eyes met hers. “Big Joe Grifter, ma’am, at your service. Itinerant gambler, rustler, and all around rake.”
She pressed a hand to her heart in a decorous pretend swoon. Deep within, her blood heated in anticipation. Ohhhh, a bad boy. “And I am—?”
“Until today your name was Miss Prudence Maxwell, innocent daughter of an impecunious gentleman who regrettably fares poorly at poker.”
“My father’s broke.”
“Not only that, in his most recent game he bet his daughter’s hand in marriage. And lost. Or rather, it was my lucky night at the card table.”
Catrina tossed her curls. “Ahhh. I expect I am not terribly keen on becoming the wife of a stranger who is patently a blackguard.”
“Precisely, my dear Prudence. However you no longer have the option to refuse me. Despite tears and protestations on your part, your papa dragged you to the preacher this afternoon and we were married to pay his considerable debt. Tonight is our, ah, wedding night.”
He raised his glass to her in salute. A self-satisfied grin curled the corners of his mouth. It was the smile of a man who’d won the girl and was primed to enjoy the spoils. The arrogant confidence he wore like royalty had nothing to do with the part he was supposedly playing.
“Prudence” sipped her wine to moisten a suddenly dry throat. Assuredly, she’d have a difficult time pretending to resist the advances of this handsome new husband of hers. She’d have to rely on her lines. “May I read the script?”
“Naturally.” He handed her a few sheets of paper and returned to the kitchen to check on the meal. She placed her wine glass and script on the coffee table and arranged the bulky skirt to sit gracefully on the white leather sofa.
While he gathered dinner plates and cutlery, she scanned the typed pages. It only took a minute. She turned them over. Blank. A seduction scene was nowhere to be found. “The dialogue ends right after dessert.” She tried and failed to keep disappointment out of her tone.
“You taught me to believe in improvisation,” Chett called from behind the granite counter. “If at any time you draw a blank, the words ‘more’ and ‘again’ are useful.”
Her lips twitched and she lay the script down. Delightful anticipation squelched hunger. The tight corset left little room in her stomach for food anyway. The sooner Big Joe and Prudence dispensed with the preliminaries, the better.
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Madelle Morgan is a Canadian author who writes romance with heat, heart and humor. Her 2016 release, Caught on Camera, is a Hollywood wedding romance set in Muskoka, Canada—summer playground of the rich and famous. Diamond Hunter, a romantic suspense, is currently in Kindle Unlimited.