This is how it began. My sister Anna, a brilliant and witty writer, suggested that we should try to write a romance novel according to the guidelines published by Mills & Boon. Not as easy as it sounds, apparently. She created a finely judged opening paragraph and sent it to me. And, intoxicated by the stylistic possibilities that are simply not offered by my usual literary output of press releases on Bedfordshire’s latest social housing project, I have taken up the gauntlet. The idea is that we will take it in turns to develop the story, in full view of you, dear reader.

We are taking this project seriously, but I am already acutely aware that writing about simmering desire with one’s own sister might be possible only with tongue tentatively in cheek. We have agreed not to discuss our plot ideas, so the novel will unfold as unpredictably to us as to our readers. This could lead to trouble later on, but for now it seems a very liberating way to start.

Who knows where this project will take us? To the dizzying heights of publication by the world’s leading romance brand? Probably not. But wherever we end up, it should be fun getting there…

Monday, 31 October 2011

Part 8 – The Heat is On

Crikey, this is getting a bit near the knuckle. Womanhood? And curved?? I’ve always known, I suppose, that Sex will have to come into it at some point, but I was hoping we could put it off for a bit longer.

Siblings don’t normally talk about this kind of thing, especially when one of them’s a vicar’s wife. We’ve often said that Anna has got a lot smuttier since she married into the Church, although she calls it being a Woman of the World.

Part 9 (by Anna)

‘No need for words,’ growled Cleft, striding purposefully towards a tangle of bushes some way from the Jeep. Glancing over his  rippling shoulder she saw Terence a few yards behind struggling to extract his brogue from a rut. The same rut that had catapulted her into Cleft’s arms was now keeping her fiancé mercifully at bay as she was borne off to realms where she knew he could never follow.

A rock protruded from the middle of the bushes. It had a flattish top and Topaz noticed a flash of emerald as a lizard, disturbed by Cleft’s thrusting tread, darted for safety. With startling gentleness Cleft laid her down on the sun-baked stone. She closed her eyes, briefly blinded – whether by the beating sun or the raw maleness of the figure who bent over her she couldn’t at that moment tell.

Unseeing, she was aware of a hand sliding softly over the curve of her womanhood, fingering the flimsy cotton barrier of her sundress. She felt her flesh rise up in welcome. Time, place, future – all had melted into a single urgent flame that...

‘I say!’ said a voice. A checked sun hat prodded through the foliage, Terence’s perspiring face peering puzzled from beneath it. ‘I say, is anything up?’

Cleft straightened, his figure massive against the azure sky.

‘Checking her pulse,’ he drawled smoothly. ‘Your fiancée seemed a little overheated.’

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