Today, I’ve got a very exciting extract to share with you!
About the book
This vacation is about to turn deadly.
Cora’s on the island vacation of her dreams: a private beach in paradise, a romantic proposal, and an eight-figure cheque following the sale of her new fiancé’s business.
When their island turns out to be not so private after all, Cora tries to make the best of a bad situation by inviting their strangely friendly neighbours to celebrate with them.
But it doesn’t take long for her once-in-a-lifetime holiday to take a very sinister turn…
Cora paused at the shutters. ‘You ready?’ she asked.
Jonathan was still in bed – or at least, he still had the gossamer-thin blanket covering his legs. He looked up from the laptop computer, his face tense in the bluish glare. ‘For what?’
‘You’d best get your shades on.’
Cora threw the shutters open, and the light seared the master bedroom.
The sunshine was almost too much to take at first, as if a death ray had speared their beachside room. Even though it was still early in the morning, Cora felt the heat puncture the air conditioning’s cool veil. Outside, blue was the dominant colour, both in the cloudless sky and in the calm waters below. This was a thrilling contrast to the pure white sands leading to the waterline from their beach house.
A gentle tide lapped at the sugar shore, the waves ending with a sigh rather than a roar.
‘Blue’ seemed too mundane a description for the colour of the water, as its fingers hissed across the sands and disappeared. The ocean seemed infused with sunlight, difficult to look at for too long, much as you wanted to.
Cora couldn’t help but giggle upon this sight. Apart from one or two seabirds far off in the horizon, there seemed to be no living thing around to spoil the contrast.
‘I can’t believe it,’ she said. ‘I remember having a turquoise crayon when I was a kid… I didn’t think it was a real colour. It’s a felt-tip sea. I feel like I’m in a cartoon.’
Jonathan scrabbled for his sunglasses, squinting in the flood of light. Once he’d slipped them over his ears, he closed the laptop, placed it on the bedside table, then scooted out of bed to join Cora at the shutters.
He was completely naked. Cora arched an eyebrow. ‘You gone tropical already?’
‘Totally tropical.’ He rested his hand on her waist, and kissed her impulsively.
‘I thought you had business to sort out, mister?’
He grinned. ‘I certainly do.’
‘I meant, business-related business. Real-world, work business.’
‘That can wait.’ He kissed her again, drawing her closer to him.
She peered over his shoulder into the clear water, dappled with patches of coral and darting fish, easily discernible against the pure white sand below. ‘There aren’t any sharks out there, are there?’
‘Just the one. Me.’ Jonathan flashed his teeth. ‘Hey. Did you ever dream about just running down a beach like that?’ Jonathan asked. ‘Charging right into the surf?’
Their eyes met for an instant; a fuse was lit.
Cora tore off across the beach, her sarong whipped off in the slipstream, white bikini dazzling in the light. Jonathan ran after her, giggling in her wake. Her feet were scalded by the floury sand, and she ran for a spell on tiptoes, much as a lizard might skip across a desert. The beach sloped sharply to the waterline, and then she knew the thrill of cool water between her toes.
She churned the water to foam as she went deeper. It was cool, but not cold – certainly not cold enough to draw a gasp or cause a shiver.
Jonathan caught up with her, grinning through the thatched blond beard. ‘Count that an ambition ticked off!’
‘What – running into the surf, or running into the surf nude?’
He glanced down at himself. ‘I kinda regret this now. I’ve retracted a bit.’
‘Ah. So you have.’
His arms encircled her, and he kissed her. ‘How are you liking Two Trees Island so far?’
‘I think that’s a harsh review. I’d upgrade it to three and a half trees. Maybe even a four.’
‘Daft name, isn’t it?’ He jerked his head towards the land behind the two-storey beach house, threaded with lazy pine trees. ‘Someone must have torn up the planning application, I guess. “We’re gonna need a few more than two trees.”’
‘Maybe the monkeys raised a petition. Anyway…’ She kissed the tip of his nose. ‘I hate to be a killjoy, but you said you had something to finish off today?’
He sighed. ‘That’s true.’
I hope you enjoyed that extract and would seriously recommend you follow the rest of the blog tour between now and the end of January!
Thanks, as always, to Vicky at Head of Zeus for providing me with the above extract to share.
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