|Buy Fractured Paradise HERE|
I’ve heard writers say that choosing a favorite of their own books is like choosing a favorite child: impossible. I admit it’s very difficult to pick one when so much of ourselves goes into every single story. I’ve found that I love each of my 3 published stories (and my 2 contracted Tease stories!!) for a different reason. But if I really, really had to choose just one as my absolute favorite, I’d have to choose my second story, Fractured Paradise.
Fractured Paradise became my 2nd published story and it was released last November. Yes, I had an online party for its release and Decadent Publishing sent me on a blog tour, but I don’t feel I gave Fractured Paradise all the attention it deserved. Like a middle child, this story was pushed aside because I was prepping for my December release, the “baby of the family”, if you will.
But Fractured Paradise has so much to offer readers. It was my chance to bring to life my mother’s hometown of Sunderland, England. I honored my heritage by describing my views of the picturesque town and giving my own thoughts about the place to my American heroine, Rachel. It has a great community and a comfortable, growing romance from the first page.
Fractured Paradise is also my favorite story for another reason. I think, in my heart, that the hero, Aidan, is the one hero most like the man I’d want in real life. He’s a sweetheart, he’s honest even when Rachel doesn’t want to hear it, and he’s got a good soul. (And of course he’s hot!) In all my stories, I have to “cast” my characters before I can truly get into the scenes and the real-life guy who helped shape Aidan is actually my favorite football (or soccer to Americans) player. He’s a good player, a smart player, and a solid team player. He’s not the most handsome (except to me and his wife, probably!) or the youngest or the most outspoken. However, he leads by example and has earned the respect of many players, coaches and reporters as well. That’s the kind of man I wanted Aidan to be.
I haven’t reread Fractured Paradise since I was working on its edits, and now that my new babies (my Decadent Tease books) will be released in the next few months, I have a lot of work to do for them. But Rachel and Aidan deserve their story to be read. Maybe I’ll take the virtual trip back this weekend to my extended family’s village and fall in love with my favorite characters again. (But don’t tell the couples from my other stories! They might get jealous.)
Technical analyst Rachel Grant arrives in Sunderland intent on tidying up her grandmother’s cottage, but the disaster she discovers requires more than a gentle sweep of a dust rag. Determined to please the most important person in her life, she trades her computer keyboard for a hammer and nails to make the repairs. She doesn’t count on the chilly reception from the locals who want to claim Nan’s home as their own.
Tour guide Aidan Camden wants to buy the cottage. He’s determined to acquire the property no matter how attractive he finds the current occupant. However, when tragedy strikes, throwing them both into a tailspin, he discovers he wants more than the house. He longs for the sexy American as well. Can Aidan put his own ghosts to rest in time to save the woman who’s claimed his heart?
“A bit of a disappointment, I expect.” A rich, deep voice with a twinge of an English accent drifted from behind her.
She whirled around. Her hair whipped against her cheeks and made her wish for the hundredth time today she hadn’t packed all her hair clips.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”
The stranger paused beside the edge of the clearing, and her heart stuttered. Although no one would mistake him for a Hollywood leading man, this guy could command attention by stepping into a room. Or onto an island.
“That’s okay. You didn’t.” She permitted her gaze to wander over him.
He kept his hands stuffed into the front pockets of faded jeans. The wind tore at his gray long-sleeved shirt, outlining the contours of a well-defined chest. Unruly light brown hair touched his collar. High cheekbones accented his deep-set eyes. Not friendly eyes, but no threat lay behind them either, at least none she could uncover.
He pulled a hand from his pocket and held it out. “Aidan Camden of Dawson Tours, your neighbor from across the water.” He tipped his head toward the way he’d come.
Camden. His name sounded familiar, but why? She shook his hand with a hint of hesitation. “Rachel Grant.”
His fingers warmed her skin, his grip strong and confident. Awareness trailed along her arm. Then again, it could be the accent that made her skin tingle. British accents never failed to stir her emotions.
A trace of a smile danced on his lips. “Aye, the American.”
Huh. “You know of me?”
A low rumble of laughter slipped from his mouth, the sound relaxing her from deep within. “Word travels fast here. I saw you paddling your way out.”
Paddling? No, he’d seen her fighting with the oars. Until today, she’d never set foot on a boat, much less held an oar. But she would consider swimming across the Atlantic Ocean if it would make Nan happy.
“Tell me, Mr. Camden, are you in the habit of following foreigners?”
“No, lass, but you’re all the talk of the Roker area. The mighty Grant descendant, come to see about selling the family cottage.”