TITLE: After The Rain
GENRE: Women's Fiction
After a rich winery heir shows interest in her at a party where Nicole Palmer felt distinctly out of place, he seeks her out at the campground where she's staying with her father.
“I was hoping I’d see you,” Joel said. “I knew it was a long shot—there’s only about a zillion campgrounds along here.” He dipped his oars and swooshed up onto the embankment beside her. He laid the oar across his knees and leaned forward on them, looking sideways at her.
“I can hardly believe you’re out here at all. You must’ve been up half the night.”
“I was up all night,” he said seriously. “Thinking about you.” He shrugged. “About what you said.”
“You came out here looking for me?” she said blankly.
Flirtation was one thing, but Nicole was beginning to feel way out of her depth. “Why?”
He shrugged, studying the waterline. “I couldn’t sleep. I kept trying to figure what would it take to get a girl like you.”
Clearly, the time for clever witticisms was past. “Well,” she said slowly, “sincerity’s a good start.”
He looked up eagerly.
“And…staying power. Because if I get into something, it’ll be for the long-term. I don’t want to mess around with anything less.”
He stared at her for a long moment, then shook his head once, slowly. “You’re not like other girls, are you, Nicole Palmer?”
She raised her eyebrows. “Not nearly as put-together, that’s for sure.”
“That’s what I like about you,” he said. “You keep it real.” He leaned toward her.
“Uh, whoa.” She put a hand up. “Speaking of ‘real.’ This is not how it works. I haven’t brushed my teeth this morning.”