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By Chelsea Dorsette
Central Avenue Marketing Ltd.Copyright © 2013 Chelsea Dorsette
All rights reserved.
Kelly's shoulders slumped with exhaustion as she watched the moving van pull out of the driveway of her new home. Standing in the living room of the condo she recently purchased, she let out a defeated sigh as she surveyed all of the boxes that needed to get unpacked. It had been a long day starting at 5:00 am with the moving company packing up everything from her New Jersey condo, followed by a long drive to Hilton Head, South Carolina. She couldn't remember ever being more exhausted than she was tonight. Understanding instinctively that unpacking would have to wait until tomorrow, she quickly found the box containing her sheets and blankets and made up the bed. She was even too tired to eat. All she had the strength to do was lock the front door, take off her clothes and tumble into bed. Within less than five minutes she was sound asleep dreaming about the year behind her and the journey that had brought her to Hilton Head Island.
The past twelve months had been very difficult for Kelly. Her mother, Janet, had been diagnosed with two types of cancer and it had been close to a full year of taking her to doctor appointments and caring for her as her condition slowly deteriorated. Her dad had died thirteen years earlier and her brother lived in California, so she was the primary caregiver. She was grateful that they both lived in the same town and it was only a ten minute drive to get there. As the months went by and things worsened for Janet, Kelly never had a minute to herself. She was so grateful that her parents had been well off and her mother was able to afford skilled nursing to help when Kelly absolutely couldn't be there.
The last month before her mom died was especially stressful for Kelly because Janet could no longer walk or take care of her personal hygiene. With the help of hospice, they were able to have a hospital bed and wheelchair delivered to Janet's house. As sick as her mother was, she was not eligible to go into the hospice facility as those rooms were saved for people who were within a week of dying. Therefore it was critical that someone be with Janet around the clock. By some miracle, with the help from the skilled nursing folks, hospice and Kelly being there every night, her mother was able to die peacefully in her own home with her daughter by her side. It was Janet's biggest fear to die in a hospital or some facility that wasn't her home. As devastated as Kelly was when her mom passed, she took comfort in knowing that Janet got her wish and was now free of pain and at peace.
What immediately followed after her mom's death was nothing short of more exhaustion. Still struggling to maintain her professional life, Kelly spent the next three months grieving while trying to settle Janet's estate. This was made up of numerous trips to local banks to close her accounts and hiring a company to do an estate sale to sell her mom's things.
Once these tasks were handled, Kelly then had to hire cleaning people to get the house ready to be put on the market and get Janet's car sold. Thankfully since Kelly was a realtor, she didn't have to go through the tedious process of hiring someone to sell the house. The only saving grace during those grueling months was that she could sleep in her own bed every night and not have to cart clothes and toiletries back and forth from her house to her mother's. Kelly had given up any notion of having a personal life that year. There just wasn't any time. She barely had time to get her hair cut let alone go out on a date or hang out with friends. One of the things Kelly missed passionately during that period was she found little time for one of her biggest hobbies: writing mystery stories. She always wrote in her spare time and enjoyed the relaxing process of using her imagination. But she had no choice other than to put it on the back burner as her first priority was her mom.
Although there were many times during the aftermath of her mother's passing when it seemed like things would never calm down, finally in June Janet's estate was completely settled and Kelly's world began to return to normal. Although she missed her mom terribly, the intense grief and sadness that had strangled her over the past few months was beginning to release its painful grip and she was now able to clear her head and take some time to look ahead and focus back on herself. Kelly had grown up in New Jersey. She had always been content being a Jersey girl. However, over the past few years she had started to contemplate moving down south. She hated the long, cold winters and she especially disliked snow. She knew if she was ever brave enough to just pick up and leave her home state, it would most likely be to South Carolina. Her family used to vacation on Hilton Head Island for a week every spring and she had so many fond memories of the beaches, bike trails and all the things they did around the island. However, she had made a pact with herself that she would never move while her mom was alive. Janet would be crushed to have both children living far away and with her dad gone, Kelly wanted to stay close.
Now that Janet was gone, Kelly started to seriously rethink those old fantasies about moving. There was nothing now keeping her in New Jersey. She had all but fallen away from the few friends she had and she really wanted to take a break from real estate and try her life long dream of writing full time. The nice nest egg Kelly had in the bank along with the sizable inheritance she received from her mom would allow her to take some risks. She would also make a bundle from selling her condo. At first, the idea seemed wild and out of character for her. Kelly was not one to be spontaneous or take risks. But at thirty years old, she knew if she didn't do it now, she never would. Mustering up all of her strength, confidence and courage, Kelly set the plan in motion and just two short months later in August, the moving truck was pulling up to her New Jersey condo and she was about to start her new life in Hilton Head, South Carolina.CHAPTER 2
"Follow through, follow through!" Patrick coached as he hit ball after ball over the net to his two o'clock tennis lesson. Amy was thirteen years old and came every Saturday. She was a quick learner and very nimble moving around the court as she chased down ball after ball. "OK Amy," Patrick instructed. "Let's now do some drills on that back hand!" Watching her roll her eyes, Patrick chuckled because he knew she hated hitting the ball backhand. She was the only student he had who used a two fisted backhand, but all the coaching in the world would not convince her to change her grip.
Patrick loved being a tennis instructor and he had worked at Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center since graduating from college. He loved his job and couldn't think of anything more rewarding or satisfying than being outside most days of the year in shorts and a T-shirt, teaching both locals and tourists. He gave many individual lessons every week and he also taught a handful of clinics. For such a tall, striking young man Patrick had a delightfully soft coaching style and easy going sense of humor. Even if one of his students couldn't do something particularly well, he would always find something complimentary to say. The men respected his skill and the women adored him. Patrick looked every bit the tennis pro. He had dark sun-soaked skin, brilliant green eyes, shoulder length blonde hair which was often tied back, and a body that very clearly demonstrated that he was an athlete. Although Patrick, or Pat as some people called him, was on the tennis court every day, he didn't get much exercise from teaching. However, he played tennis with friends as often as he could, did a lot of long distance running and enjoyed riding his bike all over the island when he wasn't working.
Patrick turned heads everywhere he went. He was drop dead gorgeous and had a rocking body. But he was shy by nature and didn't let it go to his head. Over the years of being an instructor at the club, he was hit on numerous times by his female students ... more times than he could count! But most of the women who flirted with him were just there on vacation and he wasn't into one night stands. As a matter of fact, Patrick couldn't remember how long it had been since he had a serious relationship. He had a ton of guy friends and between hanging with them and spending so much time at the club, he found his life very fulfilling. Immediately after graduating from Princeton University in New Jersey, he moved to Hilton Head Island because he knew he wanted to make tennis his profession. He had been on the Princeton tennis team all four years and was one of their top ranked players. He knew from having visited Hilton Head a few times over those college years that this was the Island where he wanted to make his home. It wasn't long after arriving with not much more than a couple of suitcases, that he got a job as an instructor at the tennis center located in the Palmetto Dunes subdivision.
Everything had fallen into place for Patrick and he eventually saved enough money to buy a condo within walking distance to the club in a development called Center Court. Prior to moving to the island, he had read that Palmetto Dunes is known for its eleven mile lagoon system and he was thrilled that the unit he bought overlooks it. When he learned that the development also had tennis courts, an outdoor pool and a clubhouse, that just made everything even better. It was perfect and he loved going home at night just as much as he liked waking up and going into work.
Watching Amy's face scrunch up in frustration after sending a backhand shot into the net, he called out, "Bend those knees Amy. That's what happens when you stand up straight and don't bend your knees!"
Glaring at him she grumbled, "There's so much to remember!"
In usual Patrick style he called back, "You're doing great. Oh and by the way, your new tennis outfit makes you look like a tennis star!" As he watched her smile and flush from his compliment, he was once again reminded why he loved his job so much. Giving her a sly wink he picked up a handful of balls and said in his back to business tone of voice, "All right now. Let's work on that overhead shot."CHAPTER 3
The following week after arriving on Hilton Head Island was nothing short of unpacking and more unpacking for Kelly. Thankfully she was close to finally being done and it was now time to set up a game plan. She loved the condo that she bought located in the middle part of the island called Palmetto Dunes. She thought it was cool how the island is shaped like a running sneaker. When you first come onto the island, you are at the ankle. Palmetto Dunes falls in the middle of the island where the arch of the running shoe is. Then a few miles down toward the toe is a development called Sea Pines. When she vacationed here every year with her family, they stayed in Sea Pines. As much as she liked the Sea Pines subdivision, Kelly preferred Palmetto Dunes because of its location. She had found the perfect two story condo in a development called Turnbury with her unit overlooking a golf course. Although she was not an avid golfer, she loved watching the golf carts from her living room window. Having turned the upstairs bedroom into her office, Kelly was finally all set up and ready to begin her life-long dream of writing full time.
One of the biggest concerns Kelly had about embarking on a full time writing career was making sure she had a regular exercise plan in place. Her real estate career had her constantly moving. But sitting down all day without a regular exercise plan could be devastating to her figure. Kelly had never had weight issues. She took after her mom that way. She was five feet six inches tall and had strawberry blonde hair, a dewy complexion and big blue eyes. Her frame was shapely and slim and she wanted to keep it that way.
Prior to moving to Hilton Head, Kelly really never had to have an exercise plan before. While she spent the first week unpacking, she took time to contemplate what she would enjoy. The obvious choices were walking and biking on the beach. Her condo was very close to the portion of the beach that hugs the Palmetto Dunes coastline. She considered taking up running, but thought it would be too boring. Golf was too slow a game for her and many of the area courses didn't allow players to walk the eighteen holes. Taking a cart would defeat her goal for getting exercise. It amused Kelly greatly when it finally occurred to her that tennis would be a fun way to get in shape. With tennis facilities all over the island, she didn't know why she didn't think of it earlier. It would also be an opportunity to meet some people. As luck would have it, there was a tennis center right in Palmetto Dunes. With the majority of her unpacking done, she headed out and made the short walk to the club.
Kelly loved the look of the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center immediately. It was beautifully maintained and there were twenty-five well manicured clay courts. Taking her time, she walked around the outside of the club and thoroughly enjoyed watching the people who were out playing. She chuckled at the occasional grunts and outbursts from the players as shots were missed and she loved hearing the steady rhythm of the balls being hit back and forth. As she climbed up the stairs to the clubhouse she knew there was no doubt she was going to sign up for a membership and take lessons. After talking with the ladies behind the counter, she set up two lessons a week. That would get her started and on off days she could walk the beach or bike ride. After purchasing a couple of tennis outfits, visors and a tennis racquet, she walk out of the club more excited than when she walked in. She could hardly wait until her first lesson.
After two days of writing non-stop, Kelly was ready for her first tennis lesson. Her body was stiff from sitting and she desperately wanted to move around. Arriving promptly at the courts at 10:00 am, she checked in and was told to wait at court 2 for Pat, her instructor. Walking out to the designated court, she hoped that Pat was a nice woman and that they'd get along well. Placing her tennis bag on the bench, she leaned over and dug into its contents rummaging around for her visor. As she retrieved the visor and straightened back up, she jumped when she turned and saw a man standing there with a racquet and a big basket of tennis balls. "Oh my gosh!" she cried. "You scared me! I didn't hear you!"
With an apologetic smile he said, "You must be Kelly. I'm Patrick." Kelly felt like she was moving in slow motion. She was completely mesmerized by this gorgeous man and had trouble reaching out to shake his hand. His eyes held onto hers and for a few seconds, all they could do was stare at each other. How in the world was she going to be able to be with this man for the next hour? Better yet, how was she going to be able to move when her feet felt like they were cemented to the ground? This was not the Pat Kelly had envisioned as her instructor. She was expecting a woman. Standing face to face with a gorgeous man had her completely taken aback.
With a nervous giggle, Kelly said apologetically, "I wasn't expecting a male instructor. They called you 'Pat' and I just assumed ..."
"That's OK," Patrick interrupted. "A couple of the ladies in the clubhouse call me Pat, but I prefer Patrick."
Regaining her composure somewhat, Kelly snapped herself back to attention and answered the questions he asked about why she was taking lessons and what she wanted to achieve. Having all his questions answered to his satisfaction Patrick gave her a heart-melting smile and said, "OK then. Let's get to it!" Walking over to her side of the court she couldn't help but think, Easy for you to say!
It took every bit of Kelly's concentration that hour to keep her eye on the ball and not on Patrick. His arms and his legs were muscular, his stomach flat and his chest broad. She thought she had won the tennis instructor lottery! Asking her to come up to the net, Patrick explained that he wanted her to hit some volley shots from there. Kelly didn't have much net experience and many of her return shots were going out. The next thing she knew, Patrick put down his racquet and came over to her side of the court. She had no idea what he was up to or why he was coming around. Stopping next to her he explained, "Let me show you how you should be hitting this shot." Positioning himself behind her so the front of his body was up against her back, Patrick reached his hand around and grasped her arm that was holding the racquet.
Excerpted from Match Point by Chelsea Dorsette. Copyright © 2013 Chelsea Dorsette. Excerpted by permission of Central Avenue Marketing Ltd..
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 out of 5 for this reader folks! Match Point by Chelsea Dorsette is a short story with elements of erotica/BDSM, a love match meant to be, two “I want to throttle” antagonists and a big side of tennis. Kelly is our heroine who after taking care of her dying mother has decided she is in dire need of a change. She packs her home up and sets off to pursue a dream of becoming an author. She decides she is going to join a local tennis club to stay in shape and this is where she meets her soon to be soul mate. Patrick is the tennis pro who soon becomes Kelly’s trainer. He is a light hearted guy, loves his job, is quick to smile and put up with all the ladies who want to dig their claws into him. When Kelly shows up for her first lesson, the sparks ignite, they soon are falling for each other and ticking off two spiteful employees that secretly want them apart. Okay, so this was a quick read and because of that, character development kind of lacked a little for me. It is so hard for authors to write a short story and give the reader the natural build up many of us crave in our stories. I was a little disengaged and being an emotional reader that kind of sucks. But with the negative, there is always a positive. This was a HOT read, and I was pleasantly surprised to come across a few scenes that I have never encountered before in a BDSM novel. I loved that! I also loved the tennis background. I think that Chelsea has lots of promise in this genre, and I will certainly check out anything she has written! So again, a short read, and if you need a quick erotica fix, Match Point will certainly scratch that itch. HAPPY READING! :)