Trouble in Paradise - A Free Read!
by Kate Hill
Heat Level: Traditional Romance
Genre/Themes: Action/Adventure, Suspense
Cover Art: RomanceNovelCovers.com
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Before cell phones and reality TV, when women had big hair and men were all about action and adventure, a girl walks into a bar searching for a hero. She finds R. C. Benson, a soldier turned grave robber wallowing in past sins. With a marriage of convenience, a pet shark and a shady butler, Grace and R. C. have their work cut out for them, but that gives them the perfect chance to fall in love.
Excerpt from Trouble in Paradise
The elevator jerked to a stop. Dropping her suitcase at her feet, he swept by her and walked down the hall.
"Jerk," she muttered, picked up the suitcase and followed him to their room. Then it struck her. Their room.
"We both can't stay here," she said.
He narrowed his eyes. "We're supposed to be getting married. And when we get to the island, do you think Van Lord will give us separate rooms? What were you thinking?"
Grace sighed. "I wasn't thinking past getting the candlestick."
"We'll get it."
"You sound confident."
"I've never failed--well. Only once when it was really important." He cast his gaze to the floor, his expression darker than she'd seen it since the first night they'd met. Making their plans seemed to have distracted him from old problems. She'd started to think he could really help her after all, but not if he reverted to the person she'd met in the bar.
"What makes you think you're supposed to be perfect?" she demanded.
"You can't screw up a person's life and explain it away. I had a responsibility."
"And it sounded like you did everything you could to keep it." She sat on the end of the bed and searched his face. She wished to offer him some comfort, and not only because she needed his help. Part of her felt genuinely sorry for him. They hadn't known each other long, but she sensed how much he'd cared about his brother.
"I keep thinking if I'd done something different. If I hadn't enlisted again I would have been there for him when our parents died. If I'd spent more time with him. If--"
"You can't take the blame for his decisions."
"He was only eighteen."
"When you were eighteen, you were in the service, not thieving."
"He wasn't me. You have to look at people like individuals."
"I'm not saying you might not have made mistakes, but I don't doubt you did your best with him. You can't blame yourself for his decisions. I know it's not easy to deal with death, but--"
"Don't tell me about death. I know about it from every possible angle. I've been near it. I've lost family and friends to it. I've sent my enemies to it and seen men, women, and--" He paused, his brow furrowing. "Even children die in ways I wish I could forget."
He nodded, dropping his duffel bag onto the bed. "Let's talk about something else. We have a few hours before the wedding. Let's go shopping."
"You don't want to get married in jeans and boots, do you?"
"Well don't expect me to wear a white gown."
He held up his arms and formed a frame with his hands through which he gazed at her face and torso. "I was thinking more along the lines of a red bikini. Just kidding. Let's get some clothes that will look nice in pictures."
Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels.
When she's not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out and spending time with her family and pets. Kate also writes under the pen name Saloni Quinby. She enjoys hearing from readers and she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her online at http://www.kate-hill.com.