Title BODY HEAT
Author Adam Mann
Publisher Phaze Books
Jennifer, an accountant in Thailand, watches a television programme about two strangers, a man and woman, who spend twenty one days in a remote area with only a machete and a flint between them. They have no clothes, food or water but have to survive. They manage to build their shelter, and find water but only little food.
Jennifer lives in Bangkok and gets cross when the man on the TV programme who stupidly refuses to work in cooperation with the woman, especially when they get cold and wet in their shelter at wet at night.
She challenges some of her friends on the social media network, determined that she could to a better job than either of the contestants, and her challenge is accepted by a farmer, Charles, living near in East London in South Africa.
They see what each other looks like from the photos on Twitter, and they exchange backgrounds. They start planning their adventure, and try their hardest not to cheat, but they have no back-up team and have to organize everything themselves, and initially without their families knowing.
She has just recovered from a divorce, and he is single, and they chose a remote area in the highlands between Thailand and Laos.
The remote area randomly chosen by them does provide them with a small stream and a variety of plants and vegetables. Charlie manages to catch a fish and they both use the local resources based on their life experiences, but neither is a survival specialist.
It is fortunate that they liked one another, but the trouble starts as they begin to fall in love.
The reply from Charles startled her:
Jennifer, could you please arrange to take four weeks off, preferably next month, and tell me the dates so that I can arrange to travel.
I’ll fly to Bangkok, but I don’t think that we should meet there. Make your own way to Nan, and I’ll suppose we’ll have to meet there and travel to the site together.
I’ll hire a small car in Nan so that we can leave our clothes and possessions in it until the end of the twenty-one days, unless you have a better suggestion.
That means we’ll organize our own drop point and our pick up point ourselves, again your comments would be most welcome.
We have to cheat a bit, as we need some maps.
Please tell me what you think we should each take.
Jennifer was amazed at her own compliance with Charles’s suggestions. This sort of adventure holiday was just what she had wanted to do for years, but at this stage she had overlooked the lack of clothing factor!
At her office the next day, she completed the form for annual leave, and her boss signed it without reading it. She filed it with the Personnel department. They did not read it either before they filed it.
Her email back to Charles amazed both of them:
Four weeks leave starting1st November.
I’d like to meet you in Bangkok, so that we can recognize one another.
Car hire good idea, but my family may have a better suggestion.
I’ll buy a sharp machete, with a saw-tooth back, locally made are good.
Please bring the fire lighting equipment yourself.
I’ve got some local maps, which are a bit out of date.
I look forward to meeting you,
Jennifer typed: I’ve got two locally made hessian bags.
The next evening she heard from Charles:
Flying Thai Airways to Bangkok, 31st October. I’ll buy a local SIM card for my mobile phone when I get there. Please find me a reasonable hotel near to your flat. Please book two seats for a flight to Nan either 2nd or 3rd November. If we cannot get a hire car in Nan, perhaps we can hire a motorbike with a locked seat? Please advise how far we should travel from Nan before we can start. I look forward to our trip together. Charles.
Jennifer was so excited. The next few days flew by until Charles arrived. He had asked her not to meet him at the airport, and he would travel to the small family hotel she had booked for him, almost next door to the Green Room, by coincidence.
She had spent hours in the local market inspecting their machetes, and she decided on a big, heavy one. After all, they had to make a shelter and cut through big logs. The handle had been fashioned from local wood, and for an extra charge, the stall owner agreed to bind the handle with string and tape. She hoped the string would not be considered cheating.
Adam Mann has written twenty-four romance books all based in parts of the world where he has lived and worked. As a result, five are in sub-Saharan Africa, eleven are in South or East Asia, and only seven based in the UK or Europe.
Adam has been married four times, his first wife died, the second divorced him, the third marriage was annulled as that wife had forgotten to get divorced, and the fourth wife is fit and well. They have between them seven children and four grandchildren. As a result, Adam thinks he knows a bit about life and loving.
Adam has lived and worked in Vietnam since 1997, where he lives in a provincial city with his wife, and has constant stream of visitors from the families of their seven adult children.
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