The Promise of Paradise
by Allie Boniface
by Allie Boniface
Date Published: 2/14/13
Ashton Kirk, youngest daughter of a prestigious senator, fiancee of a hotshot attorney, and fresh Harvard graduate, is headed for a promising law career when scandal breaks apart her family. To escape, she rents an apartment in the sleepy town of Paradise, New Hampshire, where no one knows who she is.
Ashton hopes for solitude, but all bets are off when Eddie West, the town’s most eligible bachelor, moves in downstairs. Eddie likes his women and his cars shiny, sleek, and fast, and when he meets his new housemate, he wastes no time getting friendly. While he's looking for a no-strings romance, though, he gets more than he bargained for in Ash, who sees through his bravado to the pain of a loss too fresh to mention.
Can two people from different worlds find common ground, a place to fall in love and build a future? Is it possible to find your soul mate in the place you least expect?
“You okay?” Eddie glanced over his shoulder.
“Yeah. Just resting.” Ash reached for another chair, but this one sprung open when she touched it, and the next thing she knew, it had pinched her finger in its hinge. Hard.
“Ow! Dammit.” Yanking the finger free, she blinked back tears. “That hurt.” A blood blister welled up immediately, and she put it to her mouth to try and suck away the pain.
In an instant Eddie was there. He reached for her hand and held it under the weak light that shone out from the kitchen. “Ouch. That’s gonna sting for a while.”
He looked at her, concern in his eyes, and suddenly Ash knew she was in trouble. Big, huge, complicated trouble. She felt as if someone had pushed her out of a plane from about a million miles up, and in that moment on the roof, when Eddie held her hand in his, she fell and kept falling, past the point where she knew whether it was right or wrong, to some bottomless, buoyant space where all she wanted to do was stay in his gaze forever.
“Ash? You okay? You want some ice?”
God, she loved the way the words sounded in his mouth. She loved the way he took her nickname and made it sound like no one else ever had. Even the pinpricks of desire Colin had once stirred now seemed like long-dead embers.
“No, I think it’s—” She couldn’t finish the thought, not with his eyes on her like that. She wanted to pull her hand away, to run the finger under cold water and make the sting go away. But she couldn’t move. Eddie’s gaze traveled from her hand to her face, and in the next instant there was no more space between them: no floor, no rooftop, barely any air at all.
Thank you so much for having me here today! Welcome to my "5 Things" virtual book tour, otherwise known as "Two Weeks Getting To Know a Little More About Allie." While I'm touring with Reading Addiction Blog Tours to let readers know about my newly released book, The Promise of Paradise, I'm also chatting about my writing life (and okay, sometimes my non-writing life too). Anytime you leave a comment on one of my blog posts during these 2 weeks, you'll be entered for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate. So comment away! I'll be popping in here all day to see what you have to say :)
For today's blog post, I decided to do a little self-reflecting and look back on some of my favorite moments between the heroes and heroines in my books. If you've read the stories, you'll know what I'm talking about ;) If you haven't, now's the perfect time to take a peek at a few of those heart-skipping moments. And they aren't always the moments the characters are swept away by a kiss, but sometimes the anticipation of that kiss, the realization that Something Special is brewing between the characters. Fun, right? Enjoy :)
1. From Summer's Song: The moment Damian sings an original song to Summer on the front porch of the house he's been restoring for her...
“Do you ever write anything of your own?”
He turned toward her. The movement pressed his thigh against hers, and she thought for a minute he might kiss her. His gaze moved to her mouth and then to the place where the white skin of her breast met the vee of her sundress.
“Yes,” Damian said, his breath warm on her cheek. “Sometimes I write my own songs.”
He repositioned the instrument, curved his fingers into place and began to play. The melody was simple, a sweet tune that rose and fell without lyrics. It reminded Summer of a butterfly in the morning or dawn above the ocean. The notes dropped honey-like into an endless pool of longing. In the middle, it changed, became low and sensual with guttural chords that hovered and hung in the air. Damian’s shoulders hunched, and his arms tightened with intensity as he played on. A pause, and then the first melody returned, sweeter than the start, if that was possible. The sun coming out after a brilliant summer storm. A baby waking with a smile to a brand new day. It faded, grew, then faded again to nothing. With the final chord, the notes vanished into the night.
2. From One Night In Napa: The moment when runaway vixen Kira lets down her guard and allows Grant, a local reporter, to photograph her...
Grant kneeled on the sofa and started with her face. Heart-shaped chin. Round dark eyes. No smile. He zoomed out for a view that took in her entire delicate frame. She sat with her arms wrapped around her knees, drawn up to her chest. Protecting something, he thought. Keeping out the camera, even though she’d been the one to suggest the photos in the first place.
He changed angles, moving to her far left side, until all he could see was her sharp profile and the darkness beyond. His throat tightened. God, she was beautiful. His fingers twitched. He continued to shoot, changing position an inch or two at a time. He stopped only once, to switch to black and white film. The minutes passed, and she relaxed by degrees. By the time he found a place to balance on the opposite side of the fireplace, she’d loosened her grip on her ankles. Her smile became true again.
He took a few more, of her face only. Long lashes. Smooth brows. Cheekbones that might cut glass if given the chance. Her gaze smoldered down at him in the viewfinder. He swallowed and felt himself grow hard again, but he didn’t try to fight the longing anymore. He laid the camera to the side with one hand and reached for Kira with the other.
3. From One Night in Memphis: The moment when sports journalist Ethan meets his match in debating sports "greats" with Dakota at a blues club on Beale Street...
“Hello? Earth to Ethan.”
“Sorry. Quarterback? Joe Montana, naturally.”
“Oh, naturally,” Dakota grinned. “I say Dan Marino. Broke every passing record in the books.”
“No way. What about Montana’s four Super Bowl rings? Marino couldn’t even manage one.”
She winked. “Call it a tie, then. Hockey?”
“Tough call. I’ll go with Gretzky. Mario Lemieux a close second.”
“Greg Maddux for pitching, Hank Aaron for hitting.” Ethan leaned forward on both arms. “Soccer?” he asked, before she could say anything else.
Dakota paused a moment and looked startled. “Easy. Pelé. Though I’ll take David Beckham if we’re talking marketability.”
He laughed out loud. “Impressive. I give up. How do you know so much about sports?”
“Please. I’ve waited tables for the last six years. Only thing that’s on TV in the restaurant is ESPN. All the time.”
Ethan's fingers twitched, and suddenly the desire rushed back, whole and hot, and all he wanted to do was reach across the table and touch her. Work that halter-top away from her skin. See how that collarbone tasted.
4. From One Night in Boston: The moment when Maggie and Jack, lovers who split up ten years earlier and never forgot each other, reconnect at an upscale charity ball...
“I never thought I’d see you again.”
He chuckled. “That’s an understatement.”
Maggie began to wind her hair into a knot.
“Don’t.” Jack raised a hand to pull her fingers away. “I thought you might have cut it short. You threatened to.”
“We threatened a lot of things back then.”
“We were kids.”
“You make it sound like it was a hundred years ago.”
“It feels like it was.”
Inches separated them, and the fabric of her dress brushed the one hand he pressed to the bench. “I wish things could have turned out differently,” he said, shifting and moving closer to her. “You have no idea how much I missed you after I got to London.”
Maggie nodded. She looked at her toes, the floor, the collection of flowers by the door. After a long minute, she dared herself to meet his gaze again, to fall into the memories that lay there and return the desire Jack wasn’t bothering to hide. The lights from the ballroom cast shadows inside the arboretum; the music, muted, floated inside.
“Mags, I…” He stopped. Raised one hand to her face. Ran his thumb across her bottom lip. And kissed her again.
A whimper escaped her lips as Jack moved his mouth to her earlobe and down one side of her neck. He whispered something into the hollow of her throat, burying his face in her hair. For a crazy moment, she wanted to tear off her dress, peel away his tuxedo, feel his bare skin against hers and remember the way they’d moved together a hundred times. A monumental ache consumed her.
5. From The Promise of Paradise: The moment when housemates Eddie and Ash dance on their rooftop and realize they're falling for each other...
Their fingers met and twisted together, as if they’d done so a hundred times before. He spun her under his arm, and strong fingers moved across the small of her back. They guided her away and then back to him. They pressed into her palm, burning her skin a little. The music bled into her veins as they danced around the roof, and for a few minutes, Ash forgot everything. It was just she and Eddie and some silly song. Nothing else mattered, except being in Paradise with someone who wouldn’t judge her or expect anything from her. In that instant, she wanted to stay twenty-six, laughing and dancing on rooftops, forever.
So there you have it – 5 swoon-worthy moments! Hope at least one has teased you into wanting to read more!
Allie Boniface is a small-town girl at heart who's traveled around the world and still finds that the magic
and the mystery of small towns make them the best places to fall in love and find adventure. From the
New England coast to Rocky Mountain hotels to tiny European bars, she's found more character and
plot inspirations than she could ever count. Currently, she's lucky enough to live in New York's beautiful
Hudson Valley with her own "Hometown Hero," a guy who can fix, build, drive, and grill anything and is
the epitome of the strong and silent type.
When she isn't writing love stories, Allie is a full-time high school English teacher who gets a kick out
of helping her teenagers negotiate the ups and downs of writing along with the ups and downs of life
(because, really, she's still trying to do the same thing!). And while she'll continue to travel far and wide,
Allie knows there's really nothing like coming back to the place where the people who have known you
forever welcome you home with open arms.
Twitter - @AllieBoniface1
Loved this story - Just what I needed to get me out of my reading funk :)
Ashton Kirk is the daughter of the Senator of Boston - But it looks like The Senator has been taking advantage of his hi status in the world, because he was caught with drugs, in the back of his car with a 19 year old prostitute while heavily drunk -
we all know the news makes things out more than what they really are, but Ashton hated everything that was going on. She didn't know what to believe.
She is a Harvard Graduate for Law, but she doesn't want to be a Lawyer... Her boyfriend of 3 years left as soon as her dad's publicity got out - what's a girl to do?
So she headed out of town , got herself a top apartment in a small town in order to get her life back on track.
When she got there, she had learned about her new Housemate , Eddie – she was anxious to meet him, but dreading it as well.
Her BFF Jen thought meeting someone hot would take her mind off things – but Ashton just wanted time to think… time to settle.
When she met her new neighbor, she introduced herself as Ashly Kirkland (Because that’s SO FAR OFF from Aston Kirk….. )
So her new life begins. She gets a job at Blues and Booze ? The local restaurant/jazz club that was so popular.
Eddie - sweetheart of a guy, but a player - doesn't believe in deep meaningful relationships. He just wants to have a good time, but there is something about his and Ash's friendship that makes him want to know her as a friend before anything else.
But getting Ashley to talk about herself is like trying to pull teeth.
When Eddie caves in and tells Ash about himself, his brother, and why he's really living out here, Ash still couldn't bring herself to let Eddie know about her father. She knew that he would be mad she lied to him all this time...
This was a cute story - but felt really rushed. And I'm not sure why Ash felt like she really lied a lot to Eddie when to me, it was JUST A NAME - and I kind of think Eddie blew the whole thing out of per-portion when he DID find out... Yeah it was pretty bad timing, but still - She had told him about her break-up with her ex, and about getting away to think - it seems like her name was the ONLY thing she lied about -so I didn't truely understand Eddie's full reaction -
BUT that's just me - maybe you'll get more of it out of this book - i thought it was a cute story - I enjoyed reading it and I'm excited to read about Lucas's story that comes out in May (excerpt is in the back :)