A Bird in the Hand
by Cynthia Terelst
Love Down Under
She yearns for the past. He wants a better future. Can they learn to love the present together?
When thirty-something Makayla’s long-term boyfriend breaks it off, she is left broken hearted. Her best friends seize the opportunity and book a bus tour up the west coast of Australia. They hope distance will give her perspective, but she can’t see past what she’s lost.
Tyler needs a break from work and seeks something more fulfilling, even if he has no idea what that is. When his mates plan the trip of a lifetime he decides to tag along. He’s sure it will get him out of his rut, and in turn, help him set a course for his future.
No one is prepared for the planning mishap that finds Makayla and Tyler sharing a room. They are opposites in just about every way and are definitely not interested in each other. Add a fouled mouthed cockatoo to the equation and the perfect trip is not so perfect. Or is it?
**This is a standalone romance with medium heat**
Message from the Author
A Bird in the Hand was a fun book to write. Along with my characters, I visited parts of Western Australia I have never been to and others I have explored before. Even though I visited them nearly twenty years ago, they still hold a place in my heart.
From the start, we could see the differences between Makayla and Tyler, even if they were subtle. I enjoyed watching them change over time, where their attitude changed from ‘no way’ to ‘this could be a thing’. It was their bravery and their patience with each other that allowed that to happen.
The cockatoo in the story, with a most unfortunate name, was based on a pet cockatoo when I was a child, Old Bugger. I also asked people to share their cockatoo stories with me and formed this foul-mouthed character. Cockatoos are very smart and CM’s colourful vocabulary certainly showed that.
I like to bring awareness to social issues in my novels. This time, I chose inequality and diversity. I only touch on these in the novel, but I hope it opens my minds of readers and perhaps begin important conversations.
I looked up as Makayla came traipsing through the campsite, her clothing wet. “What on earth?”
I got up and followed her into the tent.
“Are you OK?”
“Do you need some help?”
“I said I’m fine.”
I took a step back, holding up my hands.
She turned on me as fast as a competitor in a takeover negotiation. “Why do you always have to be so nice?”
Being nice was a bad thing? I tilted my head. “You don’t want me to be nice?”
I’d never heard of someone not wanting people to be nice. “What would you rather me be?”
“Not nice. Unlikeable.”
My body felt light. “You like me?”
“No. I don’t like you.”
“But you said I was likable.”
She stamped her foot and stared at me, her jaw set. “It doesn’t mean I like you.”
“So, I’m likable, but you don’t like me?” I tried to hold my smile in.
She took two quick steps and was right up in my body space. “I don’t like you. I’m not interested in you.”
Her arms wrapped around my neck and her mouth crashed with mine. As quick as the kiss started, it finished.
Her wide eyes stared at me. She smoothed her top down which just made it cling to her body more. “Right. OK. Yep.”
I opened my mouth but before I could say a word she whipped around and escaped from the tent. What had just happened? I stared after her as she walked to the edge of the campsite and paused. What an idiot. I should have kissed her back.
She spun around and marched back to the tent. When she stepped inside, she smoothed her top down again. The wetness exposed the top of her breasts. I’d be jerking off to that sight for a very long time.
“Sorry about that.” She looked up at me and gave me a small smile.
Slight movement caught my attention, she was flexing her fingers.
I pulled her towards me. As my lips met hers, she sighed. My dick went hard as her lips opened to mine. Her warm mouth invited me in as if it was a haven and I was lost at sea. She pressed against my body and I held her there savouring every morsel of her sweet taste.
Her hands pushed against my chest. Our bodies separated and then our lips. I breathed heavy as I stared down at her.
“I like it when you express yourself,” I said, smiling.
She took a step back. My stomach dropped. Had I said the wrong thing?
Cynthia Terelst is a project officer by day and a writer by night. She is a contemporary romance writer who likes to share a little bit of history, some Australian scenery and a whole lotta love. Cynthia does not shy away from difficult topics, as she feels that they should not be ignored.
She lives in Queensland, Australia, where the sun shines at least 283 days a year.
Social Media Links
Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Terelst/e/B07ZCTX8SB/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/cynthiaterelst
Linktree – https://linktr.ee/cynthiaterelst