Allie will be awarding a $10 Amazon OR BN Gift Card AND an e-copy of any of the author's backlist (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Harvard grad Ashton Kirk is headed for a promising law career when scandal breaks apart her family. To escape, she changes her name and rents an apartment in the small town of Paradise, New Hampshire, where no one knows who she is.
Ash hopes for solitude, but all bets are off when Eddie West, the town’s most eligible bachelor, moves in downstairs. The sexy auto mechanic loves his women and his cars shiny, sleek, and fast, and when he meets his new housemate, he wastes no time getting friendly. But Eddie is nursing his own recent loss, and the last thing he wants to do is let someone new into his life or his heart.
Can two people from different worlds find common ground and a place to fall in love? Or will Ashton’s past and Eddie’s scars keep them apart just as summer heat brings them together? 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.
The Author's Guest Post
Thank you so much for having me here today! Now, I know I'm supposed to be talking about my new book, The Promise of Paradise. But since this is a blog that features both books AND films, I couldn't help but think about one of my favorite films, which thematically isn't all that different from my book, when you get down to it. Okay, can you name it?
"What I'm saying is - and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form - is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way."
"Waiter, I'll begin with a house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. "On the side" is a very big thing for you."
"Well, I just want it the way I want it."
"I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
How long did it take you to name this classic film as When Harry Met Sally? Though it was popular when it came out in 1989 (I first saw it a couple years later, with a group of college hallmates, all of us crowded into one room with bowls of popcorn. Later on that day one of the bravest of us recreated the deli scene in our dorm dining hall. I kid you not). Since then, the movie has become almost a cult hit, with the vast majority of Americans able to wink and smile at references like "I'll have what she's having" and "Men and women can never be friends."
Why do I love it? It's about friends who turn into lovers. True, it takes them a loooonnnnggg time to realize they should be together, but when they do, it's magic. I've always been drawn to the idea of people who meet and hit it off Platonically, then share all these large and small experiences, then one day turn around and realize their best friend is the person they're madly in love with.
While I wouldn't say that I consciously used When Harry Met Sally as a model for The Promise of Paradise, I'm sure it influenced my writing, in lines like these:
Somehow in the last twenty-four hours, Eddie West had slid into Ash's life, smooth and easy as water winding its way down rocks on a lazy spring afternoon. She tried to decipher it, to understand the feeling of familiarity that emerged when they were together. It wasn’t just attraction, though some of that hung over them too. It was almost as though they’d known each other a long time ago and were now trying to make up for all the years they’d been apart. She’d never sensed anything like it, and she wasn’t sure how it made her feel. She scratched her nose and wondered if it were possible to have a soul mate.
She practically skipped the last block, thinking of the first thing she wanted to tell Eddie. Not to mention the first thing she wanted to do to him. With him. Her face burned a little, but she didn’t care. When you figured out what it was you wanted, you’d do whatever it took to get it back.
All the nights they’d spent on the porch, all the drinks they’d shared at the bar, all the afternoons eating grilled cheese and watching the Red Sox: they’d become all the little puzzle pieces that made up a love, and a life.
As many readers have said about The Promise of Paradise, there isn't any "insta-love" in this book. The hero and heroine don't fall for each other on first sight and make love on the kitchen floor ten minutes after they meet. Instead it's a slow burn, a gradual growth, all these tiny, daily shared moments, until suddenly –
Well, you'll have to read the book to find out how and when and where all the good stuff happens! In the meantime, don't you have a hankering to go watch When Harry Met Sally again?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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.
ALLIE BONIFACE – ONLINE LINKS
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