I’m Vanessa North, and I’ll be sharing some of my thoughts throughout the week on writing the second book in the Lake Lovelace series, Rough Road. Join the conversation by commenting on the posts and you’ll be entered in the drawing for a $25 Riptide Publishing gift certificate. Thanks for reading!
You can find all of the Rough Road tour stops at http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/rough-road
A deleted scene from Rough Road
Sadly, not every scene we write ends up in the final version of the book. One of my favorite Lake Lovelace locals is young Ridley Romeo—Davis Fox’s younger brother and a very young pro wakeboarder. Ridley’s grown up in a privileged but homophobic home, and this is a scene that shows the lengths he’s willing to go to be there for his big brother.
Spoiler warning: some readers may find elements from this scene mildly spoilerish.
Late that afternoon, a knock on the door to my office drags my attention from an awkwardly-worded email from Ben about Ronix sales versus Liquid Force sales. Relieved to have a break from trying to decipher a misplaced modifier, I glance up, and for just a moment, it’s like going back in time twenty years and I’m looking at Rodney Romeo. My gut clenches instinctively, but then I see the freckles.
Ridley, in khaki shorts and a polo shirt with a popped collar, could be his daddy’s doppelganger if it weren’t for those freckles. I really wish some fashion trends had stayed in the eighties where they belonged.
“Hello, Ridley. To what do I owe the pleasure?”
He shifts from one foot to another, and then his face sort of crumples. He’s not crying, but he looks like he would. Oh dear.
“Come on in, shut the door, sit down. Would you like a Coke?”
He shakes his head, but he shuts the door and sits down.
“Dave’s getting married in less than three weeks, and Mom and Dad won’t let me go.”
“I see.” Well, that’s certainly not unexpected, but I can understand why the kid’s upset. Dave would be heartbroken. “Does your brother know?”
Ridley nodded. “He said I have to do what they say, but I want to be there. I should be there. I’m the only brother he’s got—” He breaks off and blushes. “And that means something.”
“Of course it does,” I soothe. “So what do you want me to do? I don’t think your parents are likely to listen to me, you know?”
He smiles, a feral little smile that again reminds me of his father. “Well, I could probably talk Dave into helping me sneak out for the weekend, but if Mom found out, I probably wouldn’t be allowed to see him anymore. But you . . .”
“She already hates.” I finish for him. “So if I help you, it’s just more of me being an asshole.”
His grin widens. “I can pay you back, afterward. I won a lot of money in that championship in Orlando last month. But Mom has access to my bank statements, and if she sees hotel reservations and a suit rental on there, she’s gonna figure out what I’m up to.”
Devious little shit already has a plan.
“Okay, Ridley, I’ll help you, on two conditions. First—we do nothing illegal and if you’re caught, you do as your parents say. Agree?”
“Second, there’ll be no talk of paying me back. Use your prize money for college. Think of my assistance as a gift to your brother.”
He looks like he’s going to protest, then nods. “Okay.”
Ah, glee. A chance to stick it to Rodney Romeo and do something nice for my best friend and his fiancé. Clearly the universe loves me.
“Okay, Riddles. Tell me, how are we going to get around your old man this time?”
Eddie Russell is many things: A wealthy pillar of the community. An outrageous flirt. A doting best friend. A masochist with a kink for brawling with his bedmates. But he is definitely not a man who invites intimacy. His friends are close but few, his lovers rarer still.
When Eddie runs his Mercedes off the road on a hot July afternoon, Wish Carver comes to his aid—and leaves his number in Eddie’s phone. Wish, a road crew worker half Eddie’s age and sexy as sin, seems fascinated by Eddie’s different sides. Mutual attraction and compatible kinks ignite the sheets, but it’s their connection outside the bedroom that Eddie begins to crave.
When the two come down on opposite sides of a local issue, Eddie finds his growing feelings for Wish at odds with his business interests and his devotion to his best friend, local wakeboarding legend Ben Warren. Torn between old loyalties and his new love, Eddie is reluctant to make a choice. But he knows he can’t make Wish wait too long to make up his mind.
Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.
Connect with Vanessa:
Facebook profile page: facebook.com/AuthorVanessaNorth
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for $25 in Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 3rd. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to leave your email so we can contact you if you win!