Bubbly: An erotic contemporary romance for New Years
By Anne Holly
Beth’s had the best of everything and the worst of everything. From the outside, a poor little rich girl, hounded by the press, but, on the inside, bruised by dark memories. When she seeks escape from her suffocating world on New Years Eve, she accidentally gets a taste for how the other half lives. Rough bartender Tig Riley offers her a whole new outlook on life in his arms and maybe even a brand new future, if only she can trust him. Can he really help her heal herself?
Beth said nothing, and scanned the crowd. It wouldn’t do for any of the entourage clingers to snap a picture of her standing too long at the open bar with their phone. Pictures of celebrities falling off their various wagons always went for prime prices these days.
“No one’s watching,” he tempted her. “I think you could sneak off.”
“What?” Her eyes widened, and she realized how wonderful that sounded. “It’s my party.”
“It’s your party and you can hide if you want to?” he joked.
She didn’t respond right away. She watched the tiny columns of golden bubbles fight their way to the surface of her soft drink. He made it sound so easy. Was it that easy for people who weren’t raised to be elite in some old-fashioned, capitalist sense?
“I won’t tell,” he said with a smile and snagged his little white apron off. “Join me for a break outside?”
Her eyes were drawn to where the apron had been. His waist was tapered so nicely, emphasized by the crisp, blindingly white tuxedo shirt tucked into the sleek black cut of his trousers. When he reached down under the bar to deposit the cloth, she got a hint of muscled thighs and the coiled strength of his buttocks.
Despite the headache and her usual reserve, somewhere inside she heard a voice squeal something that could only be interpreted as, “Yum! I want some!”
She pulled her eyes away from him and peeked at the crowd again. Suze was more than capable of handling the staff for a while, and some outside air would do her headache good. Or was she just making up reasons to follow him someplace private?
“Sure,” she said, finally. “Thanks.”
“I’m Tig, by the way,” he said as they passed out the back way, through the kitchen. “Tig Riley.”
“Tig?” she asked. She watched him pull on a gray fleece jacket and toss his nylon coat to her, which she gratefully pulled on over her party dress. It smelled of tobacco smoke, winter air and the most appealing after shave she’d ever encountered.
“My mother was Norwegian,” he said. “I think it was supposed to be Trig, but my dad had a bit of a celebration after I was born and got it wrong on the paperwork.”
“Really?” she laughed.
“Yeah,” he confirmed with a grimace. “Why would any grown man lie about having the name Tig?”*
For more info, please visit http://annehollyholiday.webs.com/newyearstales.htm
Anne Holly is a Canadian writer of romance and erotic-romance, as well as a mother and teacher. She has found a particular niche in holiday romance. You may visit Anne at her blog or website, or find her on GoodReads, Facebook and Twitter (@anneholly2010). Sign up for her newsletter here. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.