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Going for “The One” — Author Russ Underwood

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Local author Russ Underwood recently self-published his first romance novel, The One. “My background, until about a year ago, was confined to the business world,” he says. “I graduated college with a degree in accounting and spent the first 45 years of my professional career in business.”


About a year and a half ago, Underwood’s wife Mary encouraged him to write a book. “I had written several poems, Christmas cards and letters for her, and she really felt I had a gift and should write a romance book,” says Russ. The result is The One, and an excerpt appears here by permission of the author.


You can pick up a copy of The One at Sundog Books in Seaside, and online at and


As Ethan enjoyed his wine and was observing all the people on the busy street, suddenly his attention was drawn to his left. There, gliding down the hill, was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She was average height and had a perfectly curved body and the face of a goddess, which he could not look away from. Ethan was immediately in a trance.


He’d seen many beautiful women in his day, especially since his divorce, but none ever held his attention. This woman captivated him. Her long, flowing dark brown hair gently bounced up and down from her graceful gait in the black high heels she was floating down the sidewalk in. Her stride was smooth and elegant with each passing step. He could even pick up the clicking sound of her heels as they struck the pavers.


The black cocktail dress the woman wore molded to her perfect figure and subtly revealed every curve of her sexy body. The dress gently danced around her frame with each fluid stride. Her light tan complexion, completely without wrinkles, appeared so soft and supple. Ethan could also see her rich, full lips even from a distance, with light red lipstick inviting him to come kiss her, he thought. Then there were those eyes, those gorgeous, deep brown eyes. Even from fifteen yards across the street he couldn’t miss them. They were mesmerizing and so trusting. She was an angel from heaven, he decided.


“I must be seeing things,” Ethan stuttered quietly to himself, still unable to look away from her. This was the most alluring woman he’d ever seen, and he couldn’t take his eyes off her. Had she been watching him, she would no doubt have run for her life, fearing he must be a stalker to stare her down like that, Ethan thought, yet he couldn’t stop gazing at her.


As she made her way down the street and was almost directly across from Ethan, she glanced up and looked across the narrow thoroughfare directly at him. For a moment Ethan lost his breath, and his heart seemed to stop. She instantly had a power over him just by looking at him, then just as quickly, she turned back to gaze in front of her and continued her glide down the street. In an instant, she was gone.


After a minute or two had passed, Ethan came out of his trance, but was left feeling like a Star Trek alien that Mr. Spock had performed a mind meld on. His brain was mush, and all he could think about was her. After a few more minutes of dreaming about her and replaying what he saw, he slowly began to regain his mind and emotions. Even though he’d never met her, she somehow seemed familiar to Ethan.

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