Tristan Hurst is tired of running. He’s spent every day since he was 16 trying to escape the consequences of one inexplicable, horrible night. So when his cousin buys a Caribbean resort and offers him a job away from the family firm, Tristan jumps at the chance to leave behind his intolerable father and the life he barely lives.
Tessa Armstrong has a plan and moving to a tropical island isn’t part of it. But when she lands the position of head pastry chef at a luxury hotel, she can’t pass it up. A new country, a new kitchen. And a fresh start far away from the secrets that are becoming harder to ignore.
On an island where neither expected to end up, Tessa and Tristan discover something they’ve always wanted: a safe haven. And when friendship becomes something more, they think they’ve landed in paradise.
But there’s a storm coming, and the secrets they’ve worked so hard to escape aren’t far behind. And with them, a truth that has the power to wash away a love they never dreamed to find.
A standalone contemporary romance from the author of After the Island and After the Fall.
Tessa covered her stack of crêpes with a kitchen towel then waved. “Hey. Looking for something?”
He turned towards her, hand still on his neck. His eyes hit her face.
They were wary, almost hesitant. But oh, so blue. Not deep and dark, but bright and icy. And watchful.
“Yes.” His voice came out scratchy. Unused.
“Okay…” She scanned the kitchen, checking to see if there was anything out of place. Or something that looked like it belonged to him.
Tessa was about to ask what he was looking for when he saw something behind her. He came forward and, without thought, she stepped out of his way. “Did you find what—” Tessa turned and stopped. She watched in horror as he stuck one long finger into the bowl of whipped cream.
Her cream. For her cake.
“Excuse me!” She yanked the bowl away and hugged it to her chest. And told herself not to stare when he casually pushed that finger into his mouth and sucked it clean, his eyes narrowing as he watched her hands flex.
“Give it back.”
Tessa turned, shielding it from him. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Those black brows dropped, the line between them deepening. “Eating.”
“Not this, you’re not.” Tessa swallowed back a crazy laugh. This guy was nuts. Coming into her kitchen, taking her food. Sucking on his finger while looking at her like that.
With his attention on the whipped cream, the intruder took one step forward. Just one. And it practically had Tessa pinned to the counter. Her head fell almost all the way back as she watched, astonished, as he reached around her and dipped his finger—the same finger—back in, scooping up a huge dollop.
Tessa closed her eyes on a gasp. What the…!? She couldn’t believe he’d done it again. And she definitely couldn’t watch him lick it off.
“Stop,” she squeaked. Tessa glared at the black-haired giant and summoned all of the command she was used to wielding in a kitchen.
“That’s enough. You need to leave.” She looked pointedly at the door.
He didn’t pay any attention. Instead, he retrieved a drop of cream from the corner of his mouth with his tongue and propped his hip against the opposite counter. “You really should share.” He wasn’t looking at the bowl anymore. Those hypnotic eyes were on her.
Tessa wasn’t getting into a staring contest. Not with him, not on her first day. Not in her kitchen.
“You really should ask permission before taking things that don’t belong to you.”
“So I’ve been told,” he said, shoving both fists into the pockets of his dark jeans.
Katy Ames has spent most of her life on the East Coast and hopes to spend more of it in the UK. In part, so she can indulge in her serious plaid obsession. There isn’t a teenage drama on the CW or a period British TV show she hasn’t binge-watched at least twice. And she can be persuaded to do most things with the promise of bourbon, coffee, chocolate, or a nap, not necessarily in that order. Katy is mom to a small human who has an obscene amount of energy and a blissful ability to ignore swear words, and wife to a man whose reading habits are far too serious. Katy and her family reside in Washington, D.C., a city she where never planned to live and loves so much she’d be happy to talk about for hours. Just ask.
Katy writes contemporary romances that feature heroes who are strong but not so silent, heroines who aren’t afraid to kick ass, and stories that get a little messy before they end happily ever after.