Today I am so pleased to welcome Allison Temple to Joyfully Jay. Allison has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, Honeymoon Sweet (which we are reviewing later today). Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
As the line crawls ahead, I scan the assembled crowds. So many people. But everyone is smiling and having a good time, and it strikes me that—out here anyway—everyone seems to know the people around them. No one out here is alone. Cruises are not meant to be done alone.
And so, of course, that’s when I spot Doug.
He’s in one of the hot tubs tucked behind the round poolside bar. He looks adorably awkward, if I’m being honest. His skin is pasty and flushed from the steam, and his short hair has gone spiky at the edges where it’s wet. He’s almost up to his chin in the water, which is funny, because he’s not a short guy, and everyone else is only in water up to their chest. I wonder if he’s self-conscious about his body. I love his shape. His torso was round and sturdy in his T-shirt this morning, and I love it when a guy like that wraps himself around me.
I shiver and look away, because I’m not supposed to be perving on poor heartbroken Dougie. If I want to find a cute cub to help me get over my breakup with Liam—which technically hasn’t happened yet, but I think we can all agree this cruise is rapidly becoming a very expensive life lesson—when I get home, I can do that. But it won’t be Doug. I should steer clear of him and let him heal.
Except, as the line keeps shuffling forwards—these drunken coconuts better be fucking magical—the woman sitting next to Doug in the hot tub starts to creep closer to him. She’s got to be at least in her late seventies, if not her eighties. Her grey hair is all frizzy in the humidity and she’s wearing a purple bathing suit with neon-coloured macaws printed on it. And the longer she talks, the lower Doug sinks in the water, until it’s lapping at his nose, and she doesn’t seem to notice at all. She just keeps talking to him with an animated smile. When I’m second in line, she pulls out her phone and starts scrolling through something, showing it to Doug, who keeps nodding politely, while everything about his body language screams “Get me out of here!”
Except that fucker Calvin said, “Never mind,” and now Doug has no one to save him.
I get to the front of the line, and the bartender asks what I’ll have. Screw the mystical coconut. They’re going to be fussy for what I have to do next.
“Two piña coladas with an extra umbrella in each please.”
The glasses are tall and frosty. I thank the bartender and march across the deck.
If Doug sinks any lower, he’ll drown himself. The woman is still talking. With my biggest smile, I swing one leg over the edge of the hot tub and plop myself down with my most aggrieved sigh while I juggle the two drinks.
“Oh my God. That line was a nightmare.”
Doug has popped back out of the water like a wide-eyed cork.
“You—” he starts to say, and he’s about to give the game away, so I do the only thing I can think to do.
I shove the two piña coladas at him, and when his attention and hands are occupied, I haul him in for a kiss.
Doug is a cheese pizza kind of guy. A honeymoon cruise around the Caribbean is the most adventurous thing he’s ever done. Going on that honeymoon alone is unthinkable, but here he is, with a luxury suite and a broken heart.
Tripp is a hopeless romantic. He’s in a sinking relationship that’s been taking on water for months. He’d throw in the towel if he had one, but he’s naked and locked out of his room.
No one should be on a cruise alone, and Tripp has a simple solution: he and Doug will pretend to be husbands and enjoy everything a week of sea and sun has to offer. But as the days and nights heat up, can a cheese pizza kind of guy be brave enough to give love a second chance?
Honeymoon Sweet is a 63k contemporary MM romance. It’s sweet enough to require a trip to the dentist, and hot enough you’ll need a swim to cool off when it’s over. HEA guaranteed.
Allison Temple has been a writer since the second grade, when she wrote a short story about a girl and her horse. Her grandmother typed it out for her and said she’s never seen so many quotation marks from a seven-year-old before. Allison took that as a challenge and has gone on to try to break her previous record in all her subsequent works.
Allison lives in Toronto with her very patient husband and the world’s neediest cat. She splits her free time between writing, community theater stage management, and traveling anywhere that has good wine. Tragically, this leaves no time to clean her house.