Excerpt for Pickleball Is For Lovers: The World's First Pickleball Themed Romance Story by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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The World's First Pickleball Themed Romance Story

Rated R For Mature Adult Readers

Smashwords Edition

by Darrell T. Grob

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Rated R This romance series contains profanity, dramatic adult situations, and expressive descriptions of sexual encounters and acts that are contextually appropriate. This is not pornography. It is intended for mature adult readers. All characters involved in sexual situations are depicted as being 18 years of age or older.

This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please return to Smashwords and purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Want to know what the people you're reading about look like?

Click here to be taken to a Pinterest cast gallery.

©2017 Darrell T. Grob and Flashworld Media

Forward – A Confession From The Author

I have to come clean with you, dear reader. I am an addict—a pickleball addict. It's a vicious jones that has grabbed onto my soul and won't let go.

Like these things always do, it started innocently enough. I was at my local community fitness center in my hometown, Denver, Colorado, minding my own business. After a particularly vigorous workout, I went to cool down on the track around the gym floor.

There were three women in the gym playing a game that I had never seen before. I stopped, watched for a few minutes, then asked them what they were playing. It was pickleball. Just like how it happened to Carol and Connie in this story, they shoved a pickleball paddle in my hands and taught me how to play.

That's all it took. From that fateful moment, I can't get enough of pickleball. And as I travel frequently, I have played at different locations around the country, much like the couple from Denver in the story. The pickleball game locator on the website of the United States of America Pickleball Association is one of my favorite and most used online resources.

Now, for those of you who are regular readers of the Unconventional Affairs romance stories and are not familiar with this form of addiction, pickleball is a court volley game. It uses a ball similar to a wiffleball, and it's played on a court the same size as a badminton court. The play style is best characterized, I think, as a cross between scaled-down tennis and scaled-up ping-pong.

In Pickleball Is For Lovers, you already know all the characters and the settings. I'm just putting your series favorites into a new and fun situation. And you should put yourself in it too. Pickleball is a great game. It's loads of fun, fast, action packed, and a helluva good workout. CLICK HERE for more information about the sport. You can also find a jillion videos about it on Youtube. Check it out.

For those of you who picked up this story because of the pickleball connection, welcome to the world of Unconventional Affairs, R-rated romantic adventures. I hope you'll like not only Pickleball Is For Lovers, but also all of the other titles in the series.

Now, I do have to warn you that you are getting dropped head first into the middle of the Unconventional Affairs universe. The characters are all established and well known to regular readers of the series. Pickleball Is For Lovers is a one-off story without any real timeline implications either before it or after it. (I, of course, reserve the right to change my mind about that.)

And who are all these wonderful people in this story? I got you covered. Click here to be taken to a Pinterest cast gallery.

Again, thank you and enjoy Pickleball Is For Lovers.

Darrell T. Grob

Ps. My bio and contact info is at the end of the story. Click, like, share, enjoy.


The Jaguar E-type sliced through the hot, humid, late night air as it zoomed down the little used back road. The South Carolina wilderness was a blur, and the on-coming dotted center line melded into one continuous stripe. And the wide open 265 horses under the hood trumpeted un-muffled.

Carol dove the car through the road's turns, straights, and chicanes with the expertise of a Formula 1 pro. Her late braking was daring, and her shifts were flawless. And when she needed to apply power out of a turn, her raw bravery and need for a rush forced her to press the pedal all the way to the floorboard.

Doug confidently sat next to her. He had been on those midnight road runs before. They were exciting, and they generally laid the groundwork for other kinds of sports: adult sports. “She's sounding pretty good tonight,” he said. “Smooth, strong, ready.”

She's feeling good too, darling,” Carol said. “How about you? Are you feeling good too?”

Doug laughed. “Of course I do. I always feel good, especially when you get behind the wheel and let her rip. Where are we going tonight?”

I'm not sure. I thought we'd just zip through here for awhile and see what happens. This is a great road. It's perfect for this kind of thing.”

And there's probably no cops anywhere around.”

Right. They can be such a buzzkill. When they busted me last month, well, that just sucked.”

How many points do you have on your license?” he asked.

I don't know. I'm pretty sure, though, one more ticket and I can kiss it goodbye for a few months. Then you'll have to take over on these things. You up for it?” she asked as she allowed her glance to shift to Doug only for a second.”

WATCH OUT!” he screamed. A deer burst through the trees and bounded once in the middle of the road right in front of them, then off to the far side of the road. Carol saw it, but it was too late for her to do anything other than to force the car into a spin. She hoped she would be able to scrub off some speed that way.

The Jag spun three or four times off of the road onto a wide gravel shoulder. It was next to a stream ten feet below the grade. But they did come to a stop with the chrome wire wheels teetering on the edge of the precipice. The two occupants were speechless, stunned by the ferocity of the incident and the horrible possible outcome if the car had slipped just a tiny bit more.

Doug reacted first. He yanked on the door handle hard and pushed the door open with his foot. He then slammed it back shut and stomped to Carol's door. He pulled the lever right off of the door when he opened it.

Carol said, “Honey, I'm so sorry. Please, don't be mad with me.”

I'm not mad at you, Carol. Far from it.”

What then? Your eyes – you look so angry.”

He laughed as he helped her out of the car. “It's not anger.”

Doug led her to the front of the car and eased her down onto the long, sleek hood. He unsnapped and unzipped her shorts and pulled them down. He then unbuttoned her blouse and opened it.

Carol said, “Ahhhh. I get it now. You little devil you. You got turned on by the excitement and danger of the accident. Go ahead, my love. Take me. Do it! Here! Now!”

Oh, there's no doubt about that. I hope you're ready.”

I am, baby. I definitely ….” He dropped his pants to reveal his hard manhood. “Oh, my god, Doug, darling.” She pulled at him until he was all the way in her. “Oh, baby. I love you. Make me scream.”

Carol, I like this kind of thing, but you need to wake up.”

No, no, no, honey,” she yelled as she pulled him over on top of her. “I'm sorry, sweetheart. I won't wreck the Jag. I promise.”


Oh, Doug, my love. I love you so much. But here?”

Carol! Wake up, honey.”

Now, Doug. Now!”

He thought about it for a moment, shrugged his shoulders, and said, “Okay. Whatever you say.” Doug pushed himself into her. That woke her up for sure.

Uh … Wha … Um, Doug, honey. What are you doing?”

What you asked me to do: make love with you, here, now.”

Carol started to laugh. “Oh my. I had this crazy dream. I was driving a Jaguar E-type down a country road and almost spun it out off a cliff. You were so turned on you threw me on the hood and … well, that's when I woke up. And lookie what I found. Here you are, just like in my dream.”

Doug's action never let up. “You then kept grabbing at me and pulling me onto you. I just followed your lead.”

Carol liked it when Doug was assertive with her when they made love. “Well, carry on, dear. Don't let me stop you … like that would ever happen.”

Later, Doug sat at their kitchen island with a cup of coffee in his hand and the weekend sports update on his tablet. It was another perfect Saturday in South Carolina, and he and Henry Tangier had a golf game set up with Bruce McCraey early in the morning. But Carol and Connie Tangier had plans too.

She bounced down with her tennis gear and bag in hand, and she immediately went over to Doug and ran her arms around him. Between her kisses she said, “Honey, you are wonderful. Do you know that?”

You've told me a couple of times,” he said as he let her rain affection on him.

And you're an amazing lover too. And, once again, you proved that this morning wonderfully.”

Thank you, dear. It does help to have a great partner,” he said.

That's sweet.” She gazed into his eyes. “I love being your partner. I love being your wife, and your friend, and your business partner, and your lover. It's the most wonderful feeling in the world. You mean so much to me, I don't think I can ever adequately tell you how wonderfully you've changed my life.”

Doug swept his arms around her and kissed her deeply. “That goes for me too. It's wonderful. I don't know how much more I can say other than that; it's wonderful.” The two of them started to caress each other more amorously, and their hands started to wander over each others bodies. Doug laughed, “Um, if we plan on doing anything today, we better cool down now.”

Geez, you're no fun,” she playfully said. “You're playing golf with Henry and Bruce today?” she asked.

Yep. I'm picking up Henry. We're meeting at Bruce's at 8:00. Tee time is 8:30. You and Connie checking out country clubs again today.”

Uh huh. I'm picking her up soon. We're going to have a quick breakfast then Connie has an errand to run before we go over to the club. I'm not sure what the name of this one is. Connie's been keeping track of all that. I do think that this is the last one though,” she said. “It's called something like Hanging Fern or Branches or Vines.”

Whatever it is, it's hanging, huh?”

Yep. It's been fun though. So, it's okay for me to sign us up when Connie and I decide which one to join?”

That's fine. We'll take care of the paperwork together. You say you're picking up Connie?”

Yes. Hey! Can I drive your Jaguar?”

Doug laughed. “After your dream last night? I don't think so.”

Walt and Shirl

There was a popular society and gossip blog in Charleston called “TheCharlestonBirdie.com”. It was a light read and amazingly up to date with all the goings-on in the higher social circles in town. Connie and Henry Tangier, as well as Carol and Doug Palmer, did not fly in those circles as a rule. They did though occasionally dabble in high society for special events and fundraisers. However, as far as their day-to-day lives went, they were normal and didn't attract too much attention. But their latest movements made “the birdie chirp”, as the site promoted.

THE TANGIERS AND PALMERS ARE CULLING THROUGH THE COUNTRY CLUBS” a posting was titled. “All the country clubs in the entire Charleston region are on red-hot, super-duper, high alert for visits from some very important VIPs. Henry and Connie Tangier, Charleston's mega power couple, and Doug and Carol Palmer, the recipients of so much attention over the last several years (and the subject of the blockbuster book, The Unconventional Affair), are in the market to join a country club here! Word has it that the gentlemen have deferred to the ladies the task of choosing which one to join. And according to our secret sources, Connie and Carol have embraced the duty wholeheartedly.

And what is on the must-have list for a club to be considered? Rumor has it that a variety of cuisines—from French to barbecue—be available. There must be tennis facilities for the girls and golf for the boys. There needs to be a fitness facility and spa. But most important, there must be a swimming pool with lots of kid friendly fun, undoubtedly for the Tangier's adorable twin grandkids, little Caroline and Douglas, the children of son Gabriel and his wife, Monica Tangier. They also prefer, it's said, that teaching pros be available for coaching in their favorite sports.

(Ed. Note – You surely remember Monica. The local girl, the former Monica Kessel, swept Gabriel off his feet. He's the only son of Henry and Connie Tangier and the likely heir of the Tangier fortune said to be in the billions!)

The two ladies seem to be enjoying their visits immensely. Reports are they are very cordial and friendly. They enthusiastically allow the club's membership directors to give them a guided tour of the club's facilities. They then change clothes and try out the tennis courts. (Observers report they both know how to slam from the baseline quite nicely!) They then have lunch, with cocktails, then shower and move on. It is reported that they are very congenial and pleasant to other members and staff. They're also very good tippers.

The next time there is any news about this story, The Charleston Birdie will be the first to chirp about it.”

It was true. Both couples were very active in all kinds of sports and recreational activities. Tennis, golf, hiking, bicycle riding, baseball, swimming, boating, anything active and fun. But their luxurious homes in the South of Broad neighborhood of Charleston didn't have a footprint other than the homes themselves. There weren't any yards or room on their own property. If they wanted any kind of space at all, they needed to join a country club.

Having the Tangiers and Palmers as members would be a coup for any country club. Every club of any status made a pitch to them, and Connie and Carol took advantage of every invitation. Each club bent over backwards to press their case to be chosen. The food was always the best, the drinks were always strong, and the service was always exceptional.

The last stop on their list of possible candidates was a beautiful, serene, somewhat isolated club south of town. It was nestled in the lowlands that stretched from hammocks of trees inland (near the clubhouse) to a private beach on the ocean. There were two eighteen hole golf courses, tennis courts, and an extensive network of walking paths. It had a beautiful pool with a fully equipped kiddie amusement area. There was a first-class, shore-style club house with several restaurants and bar choices. There was also a spa, a gym, and much more. It fulfilled all of their wants. Carol's confusion over it's name was innocent and not unusual. The club was called Hanging Moss.

The two women were both in their early fifties and were at the same athletic level. Carol was, perhaps, more fit all around, but Connie was taller and had a longer reach. That made them a fun tennis pairing. They were also extremely competitive.

Their match at Hanging Moss was a good one. Typical for their play, they both shot missiles from one baseline to the other. And, as usual, there was plenty of smack going on between them, especially between sets.

Give it up, Palmer,” scoffed Connie.

Shut it, Connie. You're going down today,” said Carol. “It's over, babe.”

My ass! Your shots have been weak today. What happened? Did Doug keep you awake all night … again?”

Not exactly,” Carol said. “We went for a drive, I guess you'd say.”

What do you mean you went for a drive?”

Never mind. You haven't been blistering them either. Henry must be feeling pretty frisky.”

Of course. We had warm ups together this morning. Remember when you came in the house to pick me up?”


Let's just say you almost caught us In Flagrante Delicto.”

In fragrant … What?”

'Caught in the act.' You almost caught us in the act. Sheesh.”

Carol laughed at her friend's embarrassment. “Sorry. Let's change the subject. What do you think of this club?”

Connie said, “It's the best so far. It's really nice. What about you? Is this up to snuff for you and Doug?”

Oh, yeah. I think so. Heck, a few years ago even the idea that I'd be a member of a country club was wild and unbelievable. Frankly, it still is. What about you and Henry?”

We try not to be too indulgent. Heck, we didn't even belong to a club back in San Diego. The snobbery was too much for us.”

Well, I like it here,” Carol said. “It's the last set. You ready to get your butt beat?”

Fat chance, Palmer,” scoffed Connie. “Your serve.”

The two friends went to their respective sides. After they got back into their competitive mindsets, Carol reared back and served. It was low, fast, and right down the center line on Connie's backhand. She dove hard to her left and made contact with the serve. But it hit the rim of the racket and ricocheted off to her left. Connie fell to the court's surface hard, and she groaned even harder. She took a violent bounce on the asphalt surface and lay motionless face down.

Carol dashed to the side of her friend. “Connie!” she cried. “Are you okay? Are you hurt?”

Connie took a moment and collected herself. “Am I bleeding anywhere?” she asked.

I don't see anything. Nothing on your face or your arms. You're knees aren't scraped. You scared me, Connie. Quit diving for those kinds of shots. They're not worth it.”

With Carol's help, Connie stood up and brushed herself off. She then looked at Carol and said, “You know what? We're getting too old for this shit. There has to be a better way to stay in shape. There has to be another way to kick your ass at some game.”

If I knew what it was, I'd be all for it. But there's nothing ….”

Pok! Pok! Pok! A light breeze came up from the south and carried a strange sound with it. Pok! Pok! Pok!

What the hell is that damn noise?”

Pok! Pok! The noise came from past a line of young, recently transplanted pine and palm trees. It wasn't very loud, but it was there. Pok!

There it is again,” said Carol.

Connie said, “God, it grates my nerves.” She pretended her racket was a hatchet and chopped at the air. “All Henry would have to do is bug me just a little....”

You're hearing those voices in your head again, aren't you?”

Nah, they're quiet today. But that sound is irritating. It's just right at that level of audibility.” Pok! “There it is again. Where's it coming from?”

Carol turned her head to aim her ears in the general direction of the hammock of trees. Pok! “There! Down that path, past those trees. I have to find out what it is. It's driving me nuts.”

And to tell you the truth,” Connie said, “if that noise is around here all the time, that might be a deal breaker on this place. And that's too bad; I really like it here.”

Me too. But let's go see what the hell is making that Pok! sound.”

They grabbed their tennis gear and towels and headed down the path. It was a good walk, a hundred yards or so, and as they got closer they heard the mysterious sound louder and more frequently.

Pok! Pok! Pok! Pok! Pok! Pok!

Past the tree line, the path turned to the east a little. And in another hundred yards, they came across a set of what looked like mini tennis courts. They'd never seen anything like them before. There were six courts, all surrounded by a tall chain link fence. There were short grandstands and a granite and marble pavilion similar to the buildings in the main campus of the country club. It had a barbecue pit, bathrooms, a water fountain, what looked like a wet bar when they needed one, and lots of picnic tables. There were also another six courts under construction on the other side of the pavilion.

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