Celebrate Valentines’ Day with an extract from Bella Osborne’s second book in the ‘Wildflower Park’ series called ‘A Budding Romance’.
After a hearty farmhouse breakfast, the farmer announced the morning’s exercise was at a nearby reservoir, which received a mixed response. When the minibus pulled up Hudson was quick to jump in and take the seat next to Anna and she was pleased to see Liam had spotted the gesture. Sophie had also noticed and was giving Anna pleading looks to swap places.
‘I get sick if I don’t sit near the front,’ said Sophie, and she pointed at Anna’s seat.
Anna’s shoulders sagged. Sophie wasn’t helping herself with the Hudson crush if she was going to seize every opportunity to be near him. Although Anna had to admit he did smell mighty fine this morning.
‘It’s okay, I’ll move,’ said Anna, seeing the plea in Sophie’s eyes.
Sophie was about to sit down when Karl stuck his head inside the van. ‘Can I sit at the front too? I hate these things and I might have overdone it on the wine last night. Gippy tummy,’ he said, giving it a rub.
‘Sure,’ said Hudson, and he followed Anna to the back seat where they giggled like love-struck teenagers until Sophie spun around and glared at the pair of them. Anna clamped her lips together to try to stifle the giggles. She glanced at Hudson and he winked at her. For a moment she forgot they were pretending.
Carsington Water was impressive and the weather was far kinder today with a light breeze and a little sunshine glinting off the water making it sparkle and look more inviting than it should. They were introduced to Canadian canoes and got into teams of three while Karl perfected his impression of Roberta by asking ‘Who’s in my canoe?’ Anna was with Priya and Hudson and they had to work together to keep in rhythm.
‘Priya, you don’t need to keep swapping sides with your paddle,’ complained Anna when a trail of water splashed across her back for the umpteenth time.
‘Sorry. But I want to beat Karl,’ she said, lifting her paddle out of the water to point and inadvertently splashing Anna again.
The purpose of the game was to retrieve different-coloured buoys via the shortest route whilst heading off other canoes. Most went for the nearby markers meaning they all squabbled whereas Anna steered them towards the middle-distance ones to avoid bumping into other teams, enabling them to collect their buoys and return victorious. As they were making their final turn she heard a war cry nearby and a canoe came towards them at speed. She wasn’t surprised to see Karl, Liam and Raj from Finance all with clenched teeth and paddling hard.
Hope that little teaser left you wanting more!