Friday, 16 September 2011

Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No 19 - Bouquet!

This week I've selected a snippet from a previously published novel: paired down to fit within word count of 400 max. 
Brief: An awful lot of drama, angst and stark realisation between a bride and groom has preceded this snip, and things are not going according to plan for the big day. There is so much more to this piece, what with the bride's mum convinced the wedding is definitely off and already repacking wedding gifts, while the man of the house is convinced the florist's box is a peace offering from the bridegroom. I guess one could say it's a steamy hunt'n shoot'n rom-com, and believe it, the fires of lust are stoked big time when the cast attend a hunting weekend in the West Country. 

398 words: code MPA.

The florist’s box lay on the kitchen table, and it was just like Suzanne to be late down for breakfast when such as this sitting and awaiting her personal attention. Were they from Phil? Was the wedding on again? Temptation kept eating away at Geraldine, and about to prise the lid enough to peep inside Suzanne burst through the door.
     Nuance of guilt etched on her face Geraldine stepped back from the table, declared, “For you, according to the florist’s delivery girl.”
    The suspense was unbearable, as Suzanne unravelled the ribbon and finally opened the box. “Wow,” she said, leaning forward, “and scented as well.”
    “Twenty-four,” exclaimed Geraldine. My goodness, they must have cost . . .” She sensed air of trepidation: a little envelope now between fingers as Suzanne extricated a card from within. “Well?”
    “I’ll stand them in water for a while,” said her daughter, heading for the sink with the box, “and arrange them after breakfast.”
    Geraldine then knew Suzanne had no intention of revealing the identity of the sender, and it was obvious the wedding presents would have to be returned. She angled her head and strained her eyes to read the card:
Nelson. 11 a.m.

Two minutes to eleven. She was early when she had intended to be a few minutes late rather than appear too keen to meet him. There was no denying a spark had ignited mutual flames of desire, each knowing they would end up meeting like this. She kept walking, and spied him, his back to her as he scanned the square: one hand in grey suit pocket and rolled up magazine in free hand. He could hardly turn up in full dress cavalry uniform, as much as she would have liked that.
    Talk dark and handsome her mother had said, and will make for a dashing best man. If only she knew how true those words. Once the intended best man, he now had the bride all to himself. The bridegroom was no better, and on a date with a stable girl.  
    Her heart double somersaulted as Nick swung round and glanced her way, for he immediately came striding across from his vantage point beneath Nelson’s column. Face lit with a smile, his hazel eyes laughed as he slipped one hand inside her unbuttoned coat and drew her close: his lingering kiss a silent hello.

To see entries by other participants go here.     


Donna Hole said...

A secret love, ahhhh. Love the suspense of who sent it and what the intensions are.


Adura Ojo said...

The wedding that never was...and a rival/hero to ruffle some feathers.

Beverly Diehl said...

I always though the bride should marry the BEST man. Love the scented long-stemmed roses.

Ruth Madison said...

I love the mom angling to see, wanting to know everything!

Talli Roland said...

Ooh! I love the hand inside the unbuttoned coat! Great excerpt.

Francine Howarth said...

Hi Donna & Adura,

Nothing like an upcoming wedding for things to go wrong in a novel! ;)


Francine Howarth said...

Hi Bev and Ruth,

Ha ha, Bev, sometimes the best man is the right one but some women can't see that until it's too late! ;)

Me too, Ruth, I love nosey mums in novels. ;)


Francine Howarth said...

Hi Talli,

Thanks for stopping by. Loved your shoes! ;)


J.L. Campbell said...

Oh boy, seems like the engaged pair were never right for each other at the outset.

L'Aussie said...

I totally feel for poor mum - sending back all those pressies! Obviously not a modern non-traditional wedding where all you have to do is show up and plonk some money down, lol. You've created lovely tension and take us on a bit of a fun ride as you reveal...Great use of 'bouquet.'


Anna said...

Dear Francine,
This is exciting! Will the bride marry the best man instead of the groom? I like the curiosity of the mother of the bride. Poor woman, if she has to return all of the gifts. Lots of tension and suspense here.
Nice snippet for the bouquet-theme!

I'm very late and have just started my round of visits to others now.

Have a good weekend!

Anna's 'An Unusual Bouquet' RFWers challenge No 19

Roland D. Yeomans said...

The devil, the sexy devil, is in the details. Great entry, Francine. Have a great, fun weekend. Roland

Francine Howarth said...

Hi J.L.

Hee hee, the one she was supposed to marry is a bit of a one for the ladies! ;)

Hi D,

There's a lot of fun things in this novel, serious too. It gets a bit iffy later on when the new man is caught in a compromising situation. ;)


Francine Howarth said...

Hi Anna,

Ah yes, poor mum, but she's happy too about the new man when she finds out who it is! ;)


Francine Howarth said...

Hi R,

Yep, always read the small print and in between the lines! :o


Nadja Notariani said...

Aha..romance and mystery. Great pairing, Francine. I just submitted an entry, too! Good luck with this gem! ~ Nadja

Francine Howarth said...

Hi Naja,

I'll be over to your blog ASAp. :o


Madeleine said...

Thanks for the chuckle as Geraldine strains to find out who Suzanne's flowers are from and the inference that trouble lies ahead. Very intriguing.
I loved the kiss hello in the second part,

I noted a typo: Talk dark rather than tall.

Great pieces :O)

Francine Howarth said...

Hee hee, thanks for spotting that, Madeleine. ;)