Story Sample Sunday: Runaway Bride (Setting Up Sandy’s Backstory)

story sample sunday

Today I thought I’d give a glimpse into Sandy, the heroine in His Abducted Bride.  I will explain tomorrow why I included this scene in Runaway Bride.  Today, I’ll let you get a better look at Sandy from her point of view.  😀  (This is in first draft form.)

(By the way, I do have more to add for Kent’s backstory, but with finishing Mitch’s Win, I didn’t have a chance to write another scene.  I pretty much focused in on Mitch’s Win for the past couple days to get it done.)

runaway bride

Sandy took another look in the mirror and groaned.  She yanked off the headband.  It wasn’t working with her long blonde hair today.  No matter what hairstyle she tried, her hair didn’t seem to want to stay in place.

How she hated being fixed up with someone!  She never knew what to say or how to act.  There seemed to be nothing but a bunch of expectations—from her end and her date’s—that they didn’t know and couldn’t share.  She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.  After she held it for thirty seconds, she slowly released it.  The simple step allowed her to restlessness to calm to the point where she could think clearly.

Opening her eyes, she examined her reflection.  Usually, her wavy hair fell nicely over her shoulders.  Usually, when she added hair mousse to it, she had no trouble styling it.  Today, however, her hair didn’t want to cooperate with her, no matter what she did.  And of course, it had to be a day when Caitlyn was trying to fix her up with Mark.  Why did this kind of thing only happen when there was a man involved?

Tapping her fingernails on the bathroom counter, she finally decided to put her hair up in a ponytail.  She retrieved a green scrunchie that matched her dress and pulled her hair back.  Afterwards, she examined her ponytail and decided it was her best option.  At least, her hair didn’t look as if she hadn’t just gotten out of bed.

The doorbell rang and she checked her watch.  Great.  In addition to having a bad hair day, she was also running late.  This didn’t bode well at all for her date.  It was going to end badly.  She didn’t know how, but this wasn’t going to be good.

She turned off her bathroom light and grabbed her purse before she made a beeline for the door of her apartment.  As soon as she opened the door, she took in Caitlyn’s immaculate appearance and shook her head.

“Why is it that you always look perfect?” she asked as she stepped over the threshold and shut the door.

Caitlyn laughed.  “Come on, Sandy.  You look awesome.”

She locked the door and grunted.  “Yeah, for a garbage bag.”

“You’re too hard on yourself.  You look fine.  Stop thinking negative.  You need to think positive if you’re going to enjoy yourself.”

“Easy for you to say.  Your prince dropped out of the sky and married you.”

Crossing her arms, Caitlyn smiled in amusement.  “If memory serves, you thought Chris needed to be hauled off to prison when I first told you he was an alien.”

“Come on, Caitlyn.  Anyone with common sense wouldn’t believe he came from a planet with no women.”

“And yet, he did, and you’ve seen how happy he’s made me.”

“That’s true, but I still think you’re nuts for having sex with him right away and then taking him home.”

“It was a bonding ceremony that made me have sex with him.  I didn’t leave the diner with the intention of doing all that.  Whatever hormone men from his planet have, it’s powerful.”

“Somehow I find it hard to believe you had to have sex with him.”

“Well, if things with Mark work out as I hope they will, you’ll find out soon enough.”

Sandy glanced at Caitlyn’s minivan.  She saw Chris in the passenger seat but couldn’t tell if Mark was in the back.  “He’s not going to try doing a bonding thing with me, is he?  Because if that’s the plan, you can count me out.  You might be okay with a stranger doing that to you, but I’m not.”

“Of course, he’s not going to do that.  And the thing with Chris was different.  He was assigned to me.  Mark has a choice.  He’s being careful, checking all his options.”

Though wary, she nodded.  “Alright.  But if he emits any hormones, I’ll use my pepper spray.  I need to know more about him before I commit to anything.”

“He won’t do anything you aren’t ready for.  I promise.  Now, let’s go to my sister’s engagement party before my mother calls to make sure I didn’t forget.”

Noting the way Caitlyn rolled her eyes, she grinned and joined her friend as she headed for the minivan.  “At least you won’t be the focus of the party.”

“Yeah, but I expect her to give me ‘the look’ since I appear further along in my pregnancy than I actually am, and I can’t tell her that babies on Chris’ world progress faster in the womb than they do here on Earth.”

“If she gives you that look, tell her you think the decorations on a certain table are crooked, and she’ll go running off to fix them.”

Caitlyn giggled.  “That’s a good idea.  I’ll keep that in mind.”

They reached the minivan, and Sandy saw that Mark was, in fact, in the car.  Since he was sitting behind the driver’s seat, she got in on the other side.  She tried to ignore the nervous pounding of her heart.  If nothing else could be said about him, he was good looking.

“Mark,” Caitlyn said after she slipped into her seat, “you remember Sandy from my wedding, don’t you?”

“Sure.” Mark offered her a polite smile.  “You were Caitlyn’s maid of honor.”

“And you were Chris’ best man,” Sandy replied.

“I am the best, but I try to not let it get to my head,” he joked.

“What does being the best man have to do with your head?” Chris asked.

“It’s an expression, sweetie,” Caitlyn told him as she pulled out of the parking spot.  “And he’s not serious.  He’s just kidding.” Glancing at Sandy, she added, “He’s not an egomaniac.”

“I’ll never learn all the strange phrases you have on this planet,” Chris muttered while Caitlyn drove onto the street.

“You should watch more TV,” Mark advised.  “They use idioms all the time, especially in sitcoms.”

“I have better things to do with my life than to watch a lot of TV,” Chris replied and gave Caitlyn a wide smile.

Sandy sighed.  What was it like to be loved to the point where the man practically worshipped the ground you walked on?  No doubt, Chris would give up anything to be with her.  Sandy didn’t often envy others, but in this case, she couldn’t deny the slight twinge of jealousy over Caitlyn’s good fortune.  True, Chris’ method of securing the marriage to Caitlyn left a lot to be desired, but he loved her above everything else.  Sandy thought of how easily Josh ended their engagement twelve years ago and wondered why he hadn’t been willing to give up more to be with her.  Because his love wasn’t unconditional.  Even though she knew the truth, it still stung.


About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to other genres, but her first love is historical romance. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and a couple of children. To find out more about her books, go to
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4 Responses to Story Sample Sunday: Runaway Bride (Setting Up Sandy’s Backstory)

  1. Now I have to read the first in the series to find out about that bonding thing. *giggles*

    • The men from Chris’ planet developed an ability to emit a hormone that rendered the female of his choice unable to resist the bonding ceremony. This was done after the women on his planet decided they no longer want to reproduce with men but had all their children in labs (so they could genetically manipulate them). In defense to keep their own genetic line going, the men created the hormone that became a part of their genetics. The hormone initiates the ceremony, which is a wedding ceremony. It requires the man and woman to have sex, and when they do, they are linking themselves to each other for life. The only way to break the bond is if one of them dies. It’s a serious matter on their world. But the ceremony itself drives the woman to overcome all her inhibitions and throw herself at the man in wild abandonment. 😀 The ceremony is what the men used to ensure a lifelong commitment with their women. It was done more for practical reasons than romantic ones, but when the men fell in love with the women and they resented being trapped into marriage, the women found a way to prevent the hormone from affecting anymore of the women. This led to a virus in their genes that ended up making women extinct. (That’s probably a confusing way of stating how it all came about.) But on the fun side, the bonding ceremony is a lot of fun. 😀

  2. cbailey1 says:

    Sandy seems so very likeable. I can’t wait for her book.

    • I’m glad you like her. 😀 At the moment, I’m about 1/4 of the way through her book. After the poor girl finds out Mark wants Lexie instead of her, I had to give her a hero so she could have a happy ending.

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