Publication date: September 24th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Mila Quinn is ready to finally move out of the college dorms into an apartment with her longtime boyfriend, Ethan Lowe. But when Ethan reveals a big secret, her world is suddenly turned upside down, stirring up old memories of love and loss. Completely torn apart, she boards a plane to Hawaii to escape for the summer.
Even though Mila wants to spend her time in paradise in isolation, fate has other plans when it drops sexy local Gage Madden in her lap. Hesitant at first, she agrees to let him take the reins on her island exploration. As Mila discovers the wonders of Oahu with Gage, it becomes harder for her to fight the budding attraction between them.
But behind the curtain of island adventures and undeniable chemistry, trouble is brewing where Mila least expects it. Secrets begin to bubble to the surface that could destroy her all over again. Will Mila find her paradise? Or will she leave Hawaii with another broken heart?
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Gage pulls my lips to his again. This time, full unabridged passion from his mouth seeps fully into me. I’ve given him permission to take me away and he’s taking full advantage of the opportunity. He kisses me with an urgency to make use of everything he has for me, darting his tongue in and out of my mouth. A moan vibrates in my throat, encouraging Gage even more. I am his and he is mine, even for an instant. I know this can’t last forever. Eventually, this day will end, the summer will end, and we’ll have to figure out where to go from here. But those are problems for another day. Right now, I want Gage’s lips and Gage’s tongue and Gage’s entire body. Technicalities can wait.
Gage is my safety net, my happy place, every cliché that I can think of. Giving in to him is lifting an enormous weight from my body. My heart soars the longer his lips are caressing mine. It’s everything I hoped it would be and more.
By the time he lets me go, the sun has fully retreated into the sea and the moon is reflecting its mirror image on the water. Gage leaves his hand caressing my cheek. The corner of his mouth rises into a lazy smile and my mouth follows suit. He pulls me slowly to my feet and wraps his arms around my waist. We sway to the music still coming from Duke’s outdoor patio: softer sounds of a ukulele and a gentle voice singing a beautiful version of ‘Over The Rainbow.’
“Ku’uipo,” he whispers against my hair.
I repeat the sound in my head. Koo-oo-ee-poh. “What does that mean?”
He pulls back to search my eyes as I fall deeper into his. “My sweetheart.”
At that moment, amongst all the tourists, amongst the music and the sunset and the magic, I let myself completely fall for Gage Madden.
V.P. Ortiz lives, works, and breathes in sunny/snowy/beautiful Colorado with her loving husband, their two beautiful children, and their three fat cats. While her home may be in the Rocky Mountains, she left her heart somewhere on the island of Oahu, where she plans to retire someday in a tiny house with an avocado tree and free-range chickens. Besides reading any book in sight, her hobbies also include eating, dancing, lip syncing, and occasionally running until her husband has to pick her up eight miles away because she got lost and has a leg cramp.
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