Heating Up Hawaii
by Carmen Falcone
Publisher: Breathless Press
Heat Rating: 3
Word Count: 38240
Release Date: May 3, 2013
After a long separation, will Penny and Luc’s sizzling attraction be enough to surpass their startling secrets?
There is just one person standing between Penny Ashbrook’s dream of opening her own PR business or being stuck at her job: the formidable Luc Leoni – her first lover, and the man who lets nothing and no-one get in his way. Seeing him after so long brings all the hidden emotions after a life altering break-up to surface. Pain, denial…and lust.
Luc has made many sacrifices for his career, including Penny Ashbrook, the woman who set his aspirations back a year. But now she has returned and is more alluring than ever. After all these years, he thought a self-made billionaire like himself could master everything, but to resist the strong pull toward the one woman he can’t have is an impossible task.
When this unlikely pair is reunited they will have to face the many challenges set in their way, especially an attraction that has only heightened with time and a deadline quickly approaching. Can their new bond surpass old—and new—fears?
Romance Novels & the Seasons: Which one is your favorite?
No, I don’t mean Four Seasons the hotel chain. Although, if you know them well enough to have a favorite, stand by. I might need your insider’s info for research in the near future J
I just realized that most of my works in progress are set during the summer. Coincidence? I don’t think so! Heat has always been a part of my life, and I’m not just talking about the title of my latest release, a sexy contemporary romance novella called Heating Up Hawaii. A Brazilian by birth and a Texan by home address, I’ve always lived and visited places in the peak of summer.
Both writing and reading, I love all the senses that summer evokes – the sweat trickling down the back, the dreaded humidity curling the heroine’s hair, and the hero looking ever so yummy in those dark blue swim trunks! J Things that normally sound gross in real life take a different turn on paper. I’ve even sent my characters deep into the woods in searing broad daylight for a hike. It’s just great to use their surroundings and the rising temperature to raise the stakes and inject some good old-fashioned sexual tension.
I’ll share with you an excerpt from Heating Up Hawaii. My hero, Luc, and my heroine, Penny, have been sightseeing Maui all day, and as they bathe in a lavish waterfall, old fears lurk. Even the lush nature surrounding them doesn’t keep them from tackling the issues that kept them for eight years.
“This is amazing.” Penny glanced around in complete awe as they approached the huge waterfall dropping amid the green paradise. Once the water hit the rocks, it generated a lot of small, adjacent pools.
Visitors took pictures and bathed in the water.
This is the closest to paradise I’ll ever get.
“Come this way.” Luc held her hand in his. Of course, he probably did it because they walked on rocks. The gentleman inside of him wanted to make sure she didn’t trip or slide like she almost had a few minutes ago as they’d made their way to the waterfall from a reinvigorating hike.
Her rationalization did nothing against the jolt of electricity that skated up her arm, warning her hormones against him. What was there to fear? For the past few hours, they had sightseen, visited and learned about historical places, taken pictures of national parks, and she’d filled her eyes with breathtaking panoramic views of primitive beaches. They had even shared an innocent lunch at an outdoors sandwich joint.
He hadn’t mentioned her past at all, and she doubted he would. Thus after an exciting but tiring half-day, a dip inside the cool waterfall waters didn’t seem like a bad idea.
Though the closeness to him threatened a response of volcanic proportions. The touching started to get to her. Luc offered his hand whenever she got off the motorcycle. He touched her elbow for a moment longer than needed as he led her through the crowd that was gathering around a picture-worthy attraction. Luc patted her back to guide her through the hike.
Each time his fingers made contact with her skin it affected her more than before, which prompted her to take an even longer breath and make a bigger effort to overcome the rumbling of her body, and the pulsating spot in between her legs.
The area where he took her consisted of a small pool, with water streaming from the big waterfall. The loud voices from tourists and families became lower and lower as they ventured further to a very secluded pool, surrounded by the raw nature of a luscious greenbelt.
She smiled when she saw a small turtle on the gravel, lazily moving its head. “This is gorgeous.” She let her big tote fall onto the rock.
“Let’s go inside.” Luc took off his shirt and removed his shorts. She almost gasped when she noticed he had dark blue swim trunks underneath.
Penny hesitated. She had chosen a black two-piece bikini because her plan had been visiting places and beaches with Brad, her gay co-worker, and let’s face it, she could use a tan. If she’d known Luc would be the one joining her, she’d have chosen a diver’s wet suit instead. Something that covered my big butt.
He dove into the pool, and she took advantage of the smack of his body against the splashing water, to quickly bring her sundress to her feet, wiggle out of the flip flops and follow suit.
She dipped right in and to her surprise, although the creek was small, it was deep and the current, fairly strong. The cold water brought an instant shiver to her body. She dunked her head, and when she emerged, an excited giggle escaped her quivering lips.
Penny exhaled, and brushed the hair off her face with both hands, then mimicked putting it up in a ponytail when she saw him.
Luc Leoni treaded water, his hair wet, with droplets dripping from his handsome face. Whew. His sexy mismatched eyes drilled into hers, and a heat wave coursed through her body. Silence descended upon them, bringing with it the kind of awareness she tried to fight. The way his eyes trailed down her, searing every part of her body in their wake.
Although the water covered her up to her shoulders, it was clear. He could see how the triangle bikini top left little to imagination, not to mention her bare, fair skinned stomach. He arched an eyebrow once he saw her hips.
Penny took a deep breath. Why did she think she’d be somehow sheltered in the water, when in fact she had never felt more exposed?
“I didn’t know the current would be strong.” She stretched her hand to hold onto a rock for support, as her legs treaded inside the water, making invisible kicks.
“Why didn’t you marry him, Penelope?” Luc asked, his voice slicing the tension.
Question — Is there a particular season about which you like to read or write?
Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters and places beat doing Math homework any day. She traveled the world, achieved a B.A. in Tourism in her hometown in Brazil and was soon invited to work in the USA, where she met her Swiss husband. She’d always dreamed of becoming a published writer, and after her daughter was born, she revisited that dream of writing – this time, unwilling to give it up. Her debut romance A Vengeful Affair released in July 2012 from Entangled Publishing. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family and three high energy pugs.