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Love At Sunset
SERIES: None (Single Title)
GENRE: Romantic Suspense, Second Chance/Divorced/Widows
ENDING: HEA (They’re a couple and live Happily Ever After)
WORD COUNT: 75,000 to 99,999 (large book)
HERO’S AGE: Over 50
HEROINE’S AGE: Over 50
HEAT LEVEL: Mostly Sweet (Shut The Door, Honey)
GRAPHIC LANGUAGE: None (as in zero, or no more than 1)
Facing imminent danger and fierce opposition to love a second time around, Violet and Gordon seek a new life in Scotland, thousands of miles away from The Bahamas, but trouble soon catches up with them. The couple finds themselves in and out of one adventure after another!
In the meantime, an unscrupulous attorney appears on the scene, along with a crooked realtor. What they do and the extent they would go to leads to a shocking ending. Greed, jealousy, family secrets, and bitter grudges worm their way throughout this story!
The novel grew out of the author’s short story Love at Sunset, first published in The Lady magazine, London, England, and which later appeared in her book Sunbeams from the Heart – A Collection of Twelve Romantic Short Stories. Here, by popular demand, is the full story of Violet and Gordon and their undying love for each other, despite all odds.
READ AN EXCERPT
An elderly couple hid their cars behind a sea lettuce hedge. Then arm in arm they scurried towards the beach before anyone could see them. They only had a few precious moments together before darkness fell.
A peanut seller startled them as he rattled past on an old bike. He skidded to a halt in front of them, blocking their way. The memory of steel glinting at her in the bright sunlight outside the bank flashed into Violet’s mind. For a second, the man looked just like the one who had held her up with an ice pick. A braided goatee beard similar to the thief’s jutted from his chin, a turban teetering on top of his head like a beehive. When the police dragged the robber away from his first court hearing, he swore he would get her. Another good reason she and Gordon should flee The Bahamas.
“Peanuts?” the man on the bike demanded. A net bag of roasted peanuts balanced on his scratched handlebars. With relief, she realized this was not the robber. Her attacker would be in jail, of course. And as far as she knew, he didn’t sell peanuts. His dubious occupation had been drug dealing and stealing from law-abiding citizens.
They shook their heads. The man turned and pushed on muttering angrily.
The couple laughed and continued towards the beach. Once out of sight from the main road, they relaxed on a seat beneath a casuarina tree and kissed. Then they gazed out across the sapphire blue sea to a lone sailboat on the horizon. The sun was going down, the sky like an artist’s canvas with gold and orange brush strokes. The sweet aroma of a barbecue drifted along the seashore.
“Sometimes I wish we didn’t have to leave.” Gordon still had a broad Scottish accent despite several decades in The Bahamas.
“So do I.” She squeezed his hand. “But you know the children will always try to keep us apart. And then there’s that thief. He might get out of jail. ”
She laid her head on his shoulder, fingering the pearls around her neck. A soft summer breeze blew strands of hair back from her face. Her eyes a brilliant Irish blue, Violet’s colonial genes had endowed her with very little grey, unlike Gordon with his abundance of silver white.
A group of local teens ran across the beach towards the sea, the boys chasing the girls and the girls shrieking in mock fear. They jumped up and down in the water, splashing each other.
Violet and Gordon watched them for a while. They remembered their youth and the touch of firm wet skin in the warm waters of The Bahamas.
“I wish I’d known you at their age, lassie,” Gordon said. “I bet you drove the boys wild.”
Violet laughed. Gordon’s stocky Highland girth and eyes the colour of Scottish moss must have attracted many a lass over the years. He pulled her to him for another stolen kiss.
Shadows from the casuarinas spread across the white sand. Reluctantly, they detached themselves from each other and discussed their plans.
The teenagers had discarded leftover food under a palm tree. It attracted the attention of seagulls. The birds swarmed over it, squawking and fighting amongst themselves. Two of the gulls tugged and pulled at a chicken bone until the winner soared high in the air with the prize. Then they all dispersed as quickly as they had arrived.
“If only we could be as free as those birds,” Gordon said.
“We will be soon, darling, very soon. Be patient.”
“So we meet one last time on Monday? And the next day we’ll leave?”
“And they won’t have any idea?”
“No, darling.” Violet ran her fingers through his shock of white hair and he kissed her again.
The young people ran from the sea, the boys grabbing towels and flicking them at the girls. Even the peanut seller was nowhere to be seen. The sun had almost gone down.
“We’d better go now.” She looked over her shoulder. “It’s not safe to be here after dark.”
“So I’ll see you on Monday, lassie.” Violet smiled at the eagerness in his voice.
Like a big bear, Gordon wrapped his arms around Violet’s small body. She responded with a cheeky kiss and he laughed with delight. The sun gave one last blink of light and then disappeared beyond the sea. They rose to their feet and headed back to their cars.
As they exited the seaside car park in separate vehicles, a car with tinted windows pulled in at the opposite end. The driver opened his door and stepped out. He stood and surveyed the empty beach, stroking his braided goatee beard.
Meet Fay Knowles
Fay Knowles is a Scottish author living in The Bahamas. She has been writing since the age of nine and penned a children’s adventure book at eleven.
After leaving school at sixteen, she trained in Devon, England, as a secretary, then newspaper reporter. At the age of twenty she set off to “work her way around the world”, first emigrating by ship to Canada. She was employed as an editorial assistant for the former Canadian Food Journal and Gift Buyer, Toronto. And then, to avoid a Canadian winter and to seek sunnier climes, she took a Greyhound coach down across the U.S. from Toronto to Miami, en route for The Bahamas. She met her future husband Erskine in Nassau a month after that and they were married the following year. She jokes: “I never did travel the world”!
Fay’s short stories have been published in “The Lady” magazine, London, England, and in “The Broadkill Review”, Delaware; her poetry has appeared in “Evergreen” magazine, U.K., and articles published in British and Bahamian publications.