And for #samplesunday here's some skinnydipping from the beginning of Love On the Vine...
A naked woman swam in his lake.
She floated on her back, offering her lissome body to the sky, silver shards of light reflecting from her pale skin. Long blonde hair drifted like an exotic water plant around her head.
Etienne Durand stilled at the lakeside, leaned against one of the huge redwoods circling the hidden paradise, and watched. He should be angry to find a strange woman taking advantage. The lake hidden in the forest was his property, after all. Prominent notices posted everywhere proclaimed the lands as private. But somehow the sight of the woman luxuriating in the clear water soothed his rotten mood rather than exacerbated it. He breathed in the scent of damp woodland and let his mind wander free.
In this hidden idyll, she looked like a nymph, a truly beautiful creature at one with the magical surroundings.
Dry leaves crackled underfoot as Etienne pushed away from the tree. A creature who’d invaded his land. Without permission.
Whatever her motives, she must have climbed the fence into the forest from the vineyard.
His shoulders tensed as he stepped forward. “Get out of the water,” he called.
In an instant, the nymph jackknifed. Her arms flailed as she swallowed a deep mouthful of lake water. She came to the surface spluttering. “I…”
“Get out.” Etienne pointed to the lake shore. “You’re trespassing.”
“I’m not,” the female shouted back. “And there’s no way I’m getting out, not while you’re watching.”
Etienne pulled in a deep breath. “You are trespassing. And I’m serious. Either get out of the water or I’ll come in and drag you out.”
The blonde blushed beet-red. “I can’t. I’m not…I’m not wearing anything.”
Holding back his amusement, Etienne crossed both arms across his chest. “I know.”
She trod water, watching.
“Well, which is it?” He undid the top button of his shirt.
Her eyes widened.
“Are you coming out on your own, or…” Etienne smothered a grin at her horrified expression. He slowly undid another.
“All right.” She swam closer. “My clothes are over there.” A wet hand, index finger extended, pointed to the lake shore.
Glancing to his left, he spotted a small bundle of discarded clothing.
“You need to turn around.”
Etienne crossed his arms and glared. “I don’t need to do any such thing.” No one dictated to him. As new owner of the St. Clair Durand Vineyard on the outskirts of the Californian town of Almendra, he was the master of all he surveyed.
She smoothed back her hair with a wet hand. “Please.”
The word hung in the air between them.
Some women would play the situation for all it was worth—walking out of the lake naked, with swaying hips and a knowing look in their eyes. He’d met plenty of those. Or pretend modesty in an attempt to manipulate. Bitter experience had educated Etienne in the wiles of women.
“I can’t get out until you turn around.” The flush crept down her neck. She rolled in her bottom lip and worried it with her teeth.
Etienne shoved a hand through his hair. The flush couldn’t be faked. Maybe the innocent act was real. If so…
He paused for a long moment, then, with a curt nod, turned his back.
A rustling noise behind him indicated she had picked up her clothes. Etienne hadn’t noticed a towel in the little bundle, which meant she’d have to climb into her clothes with her skin still wet from the cool water. Passion stirred at the thought of her wet body, and he silently cursed the inappropriate response.
“I’m dressed,” she said in a voice no louder than a whisper.
He swung back to catch his first close-up look of the stranger standing an arm’s length away. She was tall for a woman, the top of her head just about level with his nose. Long wet strands of dark blonde hair hung to just below her breasts, and her eyes were clear vibrant green, like new grass after rain. Like the shoulders he’d glimpsed, her face was pale, with a light dusting of freckles across the bridge of her nose. Whatever makeup she might have been wearing had long washed away, and yet she still looked… Etienne blinked. She was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. And he’d seen plenty.
His gaze swept her head to toe. High small breasts, slender hips, and legs which went on forever. Soft lakeshore sand stuck to her toes, and cherry red polish painted her toenails.
Mon Dieu, what was he doing, gazing at her toenails? Etienne cleared his throat. His gaze flicked to her face. “So, who the hell are you?”