In this season of love (only 2 days 'til Valentine's Day!), it's only fitting we should celebrate romance – and how better to do so than with a brand new release?
Actually, The Promise of Paradise isn't a brand new release. It's a new special e-book edition of a story released way back in 2007 as Lost in Paradise. I loved this book back then (it features my all-time favorite hero in rough-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside auto mechanic Eddie West) and I'm even more thrilled to see it newly released this week with an updated cover, characters, and scenes (and don't you just love this cover?? Big shout-out to my cover artist)
Here's one of those new scenes, where friends and housemates Eddie and Ashton are planning a Fourth of July party...and you know what happens when friends look at each other and realize they've become more than friends, right? Sneak peek at a brand new scene (which also features brand new character Lucas Oakes):
“Lucas, it’s perfect.” Ash wrapped her arms around Jen’s younger brother. “Thank you so, so much for coming up and helping out.”
“Aw, didn’t do much,” he said gruffly. The six-foot-seven giant turned three shades of red as Ash released him.
“Yeah, you did.” The porch still smelled of fresh paint, and all the loose boards had been fixed, along with the leaking toilet and the stuck window in Ash’s bedroom, which he definitely hadn’t had to do.
Lucas ran one hand over a head full of curly dark hair. “It’s a nice apartment.” He leaned against the railing and stared at the street. Always solemn, he seemed quieter than ever today. Broken hearts tended to do that, Ash supposed.
“Yeah,” she agreed. “Hey, you’re gonna stay for the party, right?” She was almost positive Eddie had some single friends she could steer in Lucas’s direction.
“Naw, I gotta get back.” He pulled a baseball cap from his back pocket and stuck it on lopsidedly. “Mom an’ Dad are havin’ a barbeque later. Told ‘em I’d try to make it.” He grinned. “It’s always hit and miss with Dad and the grill. I’d rather see him keep his eyebrows tonight.”
She laughed. Such a good guy. She still couldn’t believe his girlfriend had cheated on him. In another life, Ash might have considered letting Jen set her up with Lucas, the way she’d been trying to since about the second week the two of them had lived together. Ridiculously tall, seriously built, and sweet down to the core – what woman in her right mind would cheat on someone like that?
Ash straightened the tables in both corners of the porch roof as Lucas planted a kiss goodbye on the top of her head. Guess you never really knew the thoughts in people’s heads. Secrets hid, lies grew, and sometimes the very people you thought you knew best were the ones burying their knives in your back. Or their hearts in someone else’s.
She shook away the thought. Not tonight. No sadness, and no regret. She glanced into the street below. A few cars already lined the curb in front of the house, and the sun hadn’t even begun to set. Apparently, thanks to Eddie, half of Paradise had been invited to their housewarming party.
A few minutes later, he poked his head through the window, looking out from the kitchen. “Ash? Everything good out here?”
“I think so.” She and Jen had spent most of the afternoon decorating. Now red, white, and blue lights twisted themselves around the porch railing. Flags perched in buckets of ice, while picnic benches and tables bowed under piles of food and soft drinks.
“Jen’s brother’s not staying?”
She shook her head.
Eddie rested both arms on the sill. “Seems like a nice guy.”
“You and he ever…” He didn’t finish the question, but she read the look on his face.
“Me and Lucas? God, no. He’s like – I mean, he’s Jen’s little brother.”
“So nothing.” She propped one hand on a hip. “Are you jealous?”
“Nope. Just curious.”
She grabbed a handful of ice from the nearest cooler and tossed it in his direction. “Whatever.”
“I’m gonna run out and get the beer,” he said. He picked up a few slivers of ice, already melting, and palmed them. “Like it wet, huh?”
The Promise of Paradise officially releases on Valentine's Day, and if you follow me on Twitter or 'like' my Facebook page, you'll have all the up-to-the-minute details on contests, blog hops, and fun giveaways I'll be running to celebrate the new life of this story!!
Happy (early) Valentine's Day, everyone!