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Book 3: The Cruising Fiasco (Stranded in Getaway Bay® Romance)

Book 3: The Cruising Fiasco (Stranded in Getaway Bay® Romance)

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Meet the McLaughlin Sisters in Getaway Bay as they encounter disaster after disaster...including the men they get stranded with. From ex-boyfriends to cowboys to football stars, these sisters can bring any man to his knees when the cards are stacked against them.

These stranded romances are filled with clean and wholesome romance that takes place in the wilds of Hawaii.

About THE CRUISING FIASCO: He can successfully throw a precision pass, but he's dead in the water in matters of the heart...He's sure Orchid won't want to be with him once he has to go back to the public persona of Perfect Quarterback Maine Fitzgerald. Can Orchid and Maine make things work between them when they're so different? Or will their time stranded together be all they get?

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Sample Chapter 1 Now!

Orchid Stone stapled a packet of papers together, her thoughts on what she should make for dinner that night. She wondered if the other single women in the administration building at Petals & Leis had the same mundane thoughts she did.

She glanced around, though she only worked with three other people. They all looked as bored as she felt, and one of them really needed a boyfriend so they had something to talk about while they filed, answered phones, managed the huge orders that came in, and made sure everyone in the billion-dollar flower company got paid.

But yep, Orchid’s life was very, very boring.

She had Tesla, her seven-year-old daughter who kept things hopping, but not during the day while she was at school. And today, Tesla had after-school activities at the recreation center in downtown Getaway Bay, so Orchid wouldn’t see her until after dinner, as her father was going to pick Tesla up on his way home from work and take her for something to eat.

Orchid’s parents had been lifesavers since the boating accident that had claimed her husband eight years ago.

Eight long years.

She hadn’t been on a date since the funeral.

“Jordyn,” she said, getting up from her desk. “Didn’t you meet someone on that app?”

The pretty brunette rolled her eyes, though Orchid had drawn the interest of the other two women in this part of the building. Cathy and Deirdre both got up and approached Jordyn’s desk.

“It was awful,” she said with tons of dramatic effect. Jordyn was the youngest in the office, and she’d been the most active on the dating scene. Orchid watched her, a smile on her face, as Jordyn opened a drawer and pulled out a file.

“Total surfer, despite me asking him—twice—if he surfed. And you know how I feel about pretty-boy surfers.” She made a face, and Deirdre laughed.

“So he was pretty, then,” Orchid said.

“Oh, so pretty.” Jordyn smiled. “But I don’t want someone whose whole goal in life is to catch the next wave. No. My husband will have ambition. Be someone.”

“Sure,” Deirdre said. “I’m just hoping for a date.”

“There’s that new speed dating thing coming up,” Cathy said. “Have you girls heard of it?”

Jordyn shrieked, and Orchid was so glad she’d started this conversation. Anything was better than stapling together vendor packets for the carnation conference next week. Plus, once she finished that, she didn’t have a whole lot to do.

Spring was a busy time out in the fields, but in the office, summer and fall and winter were definitely their busiest times.

“Orchid, could I see you a minute?” The voice came from her phone on her desk, and Orchid walked away from the conversation still going strong at Jordyn’s desk.

“Yes, Mister Lawson,” she said into the intercom. “I’ll be right in.” She wasn’t worried or nervous. Burke Lawson was younger than her, and while he was set to inherit the entire operation one day, he hadn’t done it yet. He did spend a lot of time consulting with his father, and George Lawson did inspire a bit of fear in Orchid.

So when she walked into Burke’s office and found his father with him, she stalled. “Oh, hello, George.” She closed the door behind her and fought the urge to smooth down her skirt. It suddenly felt too short and like it wasn’t good enough as the two of them said hello and shook her hand.

She settled in the chair in front of Burke’s desk, and he looked at his father, who nodded.

“Orchid, when’s the last time you took a vacation day?”

She blinked, surprise rendering her silent.

“It’s been over a year,” Burke said for her, flipping open a folder. “You have eighty-four vacation days stockpiled.” He closed the folder and smiled.

“I’m—am I in trouble for not taking time off?”

“Yes,” he said. “You’re a great employee, and we want you to be happy here.”

“I am happy here,” she said, looking back and forth between them. “Are you firing me?”

“Of course not.” He chuckled and pushed the folder toward her. “But take a vacation, Orchid. You work too hard.” He stood and smiled her right out of the office, leaving her more confused than ever—and now out of the loop in the conversation at Jordyn’s desk.

Later that evening, she stopped by Ivy’s apartment rather than facing her house alone. Tesla wouldn’t be done with her granddad date for another couple of hours, and Orchid hated entering a dark, empty house by herself.

“There you are,” Ivy said, opening the door before Orchid had finished climbing the steps. “What’s this about a vacation?”

In response, Orchid practically threw the folder her boss had given her. “This is so stupid.”

Ivy took the folder, clear amusement and bewilderment in her eyes, and opened it. A moment later, she sucked in a breath. “Orchid, are you going to do this singles cruise? I’ve always wanted to go on one of these.” She danced in front of Orchid, everything sparkling in her now.

Orchid worked hard not to roll her eyes. “Of course I’m not,” she said. “A singles cruise? I can’t imagine anything more demeaning. And the fact that my boss gave me that pamphlet? Humiliating.” She sank onto the couch, wondering where her afternoon had gone. Once she’d gotten the folder and opened it, all she’d been able to do was stare.

Ivy giggled and flipped pages. “They do fun things on these cruises, Orchid. You should totally go.”

“Who would watch Tesla?”

“Uh, Mom and Dad,” she said. “Eden. Now that she’s married, she certainly doesn’t need to work. Heaven knows she could take a break from that shed where she’s always tinkering.”

“I don’t want to go on a singles cruise,” she said.

“Uh, holy sharks and pearls, Orchid. Did you see this?” She lifted a piece of paper out of the folder.

Orchid had not made it past the first page. “What is that?”

“It’s a certificate,” she said, her eyes scanning the page. “This cruise is paid for.” She exploded to her feet. “Holy shipwrecks, Orchid.” Ivy’s eyes met Orchid’s, and the excitement there was undeniable. “It’s. Paid. For.”

Orchid couldn’t believe it. “That can’t be true.” She snatched the paper from Ivy, who started hopping around like someone had poured hot ants in her pants. She read the paper too, and sure enough, it certainly looked like she could book a two-week singles cruise free of charge.

“Wow.” She lowered the paper, so many emotions battling inside her. “Doesn’t mean I have to go.”

“Oh, you’re going.” Ivy took the paper back and pressed it to her chest as if in bliss. Her eyes snapped open. “If you don’t want it, can I have it?”

Something about that irked Orchid, and she took the paper and the folder back. “No, Ivy. You’re dating Brooks, and he’s going to propose any day now. You can’t go on a singles cruise.”

“I’ve always wanted to go,” she said, a whine in her voice.

“Tell me why,” Orchid said, glancing at the closed folder on the couch beside her. She couldn’t really go on a singles cruise. Could she?

Ivy started talking about how “super fun” they were, with “all the activities” they planned for people. “It’s so much more than laying by the pool,” she said. “They have themed cruises, and dances, and trivia, and paint nights.” She sighed. “You really should go. I can’t believe I haven’t suggested this to you before.”

Orchid could. She’d made it clear to her sisters that she wasn’t interested in dating. Period. The end.

But if she went on a singles cruise, wouldn’t that be like dating? Why had her boss given this to her?

Ivy kept talking, as Ivy was wont to do, and Orchid pulled out her phone and texted Burke. You gave me a singles cruise? What are you trying to say?

A singles cruise? His response did not inspire confidence in her. I don’t think so.

There’s a certificate for a singles cruise in that folder you gave me, she typed out, her thumbs moving like lightning over her screen. What does that mean?

She hoped she sounded offended and angry, and she must have, because Burke called.

“Yeah?” she answered, not even caring that the word came out like a bark.

“That was an honest mistake,” Burke said instead of leading with hello. “I said we should give a few of our hardest working employees a bonus. We looked up who hadn’t taken time off in a while, and your name came up. My father said he’d get vacations for each of you, and I didn’t think twice about it.”

“Who else got one of these?” Orchid asked.

“Leslie in accounting,” Burke said, gasping in the next moment. “Lizzie in maintenance. She’s married.”

Orchid started laughing, and Burke joined in. “I’m sure my father didn’t know what he was buying. What’s the name of the cruise line?”

“StarMatch,” Orchid said, their horrible logo branded on the backs of her eyes.

“It was an innocent mistake,” Burke said. “I’ll see what I can do about it in the morning. Unless, of course, you want to go on a singles cruise….”

Orchid didn’t know what she wanted. She ended up telling Burke she’d let him know, and she hung up. Turning, she caught Ivy saying, “Yes, of course. Eight a.m. on Thursday. She’ll be there.”

She hung up the phone too, and when she looked at Orchid, Orchid knew exactly what had just happened.

* * *

Thursday came, and Orchid kissed her daughter good-bye while Ivy took her suitcase out to the car. She’d tried everything she could to get out of the cruise, but once Ivy had booked it, Burke couldn’t get his money back.

“It’ll be good for you,” Ivy had said in the three days since turning Orchid’s life upside down.

“You need this.” That was another one her sister had said several times.

Even Eden and Iris had gotten behind the idea of a singles cruise. Eden had come over last night and packed a backpack for Orchid with all the emergency supplies she’d need. She’d hugged her sister and told her to have fun.

Iris had sent her a list of ways to flirt with a winky face, and Orchid had been mortified. Her sisters knew what she’d been through. They knew she hadn’t dated in eight long years. They knew her better than anyone.

And that alone was what had her boarding the ship along with twenty-five other thirty-and-flirty-somethings, her flip flops pinching between her toes.

Orchid had a hard time determining age when she looked at the men and women already onboard. She certainly felt older than all of them, and she wondered if any of them had children. Had been married before. Had buried a spouse.

Her emotions spiraled, but she put on a smile, the way Ivy had told her to. She turned toward the closest man, determined to talk to him. That way, when Ivy messaged her and asked her how things were going, Orchid could say she’d at least tried.

Maybe that was all she needed to do. Try.

“Hey,” she said to the impossibly tall man in front of her. His brown hair seemed like it needed a cut, but the shaggy locks looked good on him. He wore a full beard too, and Orchid tried not to swoon.

So maybe this would be good for her.

“My name’s Orchid,” she said, finally drawing the man’s attention to her.

He didn’t smile. Didn’t even act like he heard her. Maybe he hadn’t. He was quite a bit taller than her. Wider.

Another blonde joined them, creating a little triangle. She also wore little triangles of fabric over her private parts—and not much else. “Hey,” she said. “I’m Amber.”

“Maine,” the man said, and it seemed like every female on the ship flocked toward him then.

Orchid took a step back, disgusted by him. He couldn’t even acknowledge that she’d spoken to him? Sure, maybe she wasn’t as pretty and perky as Amber, but she had a cute swimming suit on too—underneath her clothes.

“Jerk,” she muttered, deciding to get out of the sun for a little bit. She didn’t have to tell Ivy she’d only tried one conversation.

She’d tried—and that was more than she’d done in eight years.

As she locked herself in her room, she couldn’t help feeling like this singles cruise was a bad, bad idea.

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Orchid and Maine are so cute, I love the way they met and it started, all the way to end. This is a cute and fun romance that is clean and no cliff hangers! I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a quick read and doesn't like all the swearing and scandalous parts. E.J. is a fun writer who writes her stories with a lot of twist and differences. I love Orchid and Maine's story and will for sure read it again.” ~Shelley

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Elana Johnson is probably my favorite author! I love how real her characters are with all their fears and insecurities. Maine and Orchid are perfect examples. They struggle to show who they really are and to allow someone to get to know them even though they want someone special in their lives. When they’re rescued, they slip back into who they were before being stranded, but it doesn’t work for either of them. Their lives were changed on that island and being alone just won’t work any more!” ~Kenni F.

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Get stranded in the wilds of Hawaii with these hot heroes! 

There's no better time to fall in love than when you're forced to rely on someone to stay alive. Join the McLaughlin Sisters as they each find their One True Love while stranded in Getaway Bay with the man of their dreams...even if they don't know it yet!

You’ll get swept away with a billionaire, a Navy SEAL, a quarterback, and a cowboy billionaire in four love stories that will leave you breathless.

Each book can be read as a standalone, with a happily-ever-after ending, and clean, sweet-without-losing-the-heat romance! 

  • Book 1: The Perfect Storm

    A freak storm has her sliding down the mountain...right into the arms of her ex...

  • Book 2: The Overboard Mistake

    A pod of killer whales. A limping cruise ship. All reasons Iris finds herself stranded on a deserted island with the handsome Navy SEAL... Will she risk her heart for the tattooed SEAL? Or will Justin have to fight as hard for her as he did in the Navy?

  • Book 3: The Cruising Fiasco

    He can successfully throw a precision pass, but he's dead in the water in matters of the heart... Maine is scared of the man he'll have to be once he leaves the island. He's sure Orchid won't want to be with him once he has to go back to the public persona of Perfect Quarterback Maine Fitzgerald. Can Orchid and Maine make things work between them when they're so different? Or will their time stranded together be all they get?

  • Book 4: The Sand Bar Misstep

    Tired of the dating scene, a cowboy billionaire puts up an Internet ad to find a woman to come out to a deserted island with him to see if they can make a love connection... Will Ivy and Mason make the love connection they both want? Or will the forces of nature—and a faulty server—pull them apart?

Stay in Getaway Bay for a while with these billionaires!

Ooooh, get ready for some billionaire beach romance! Join the members of the Nine-0 Club at the Sweet Breeze Resort - and they're not all men! 

The Getaway Bay Resort Romance series is exactly what you need in your life. It's sunshine, sand, and sexy billionaires - and all sweet-without-losing-the-heat romance!

Read this series if you like:

✔ Beach reads

✔ Hidden identity

✔ Billionaire romance

✔ Gender flip stories

✔ Friends to lovers

✔ Rivals to lovers

✔ Workplace romance

✔ Single dads

✔ Perfect small town beach settings

✔ Sweet & Steamy kisses