There are times when I imagine of having a private island. Or, to be more specific, a tropical paradise. It's kind of an odd dream for me because I don't like the heat and I manage to get sunburn in gray and rainy Seattle.
But there are moments when I dream of warm, pale sand trickling between my fingers and the cold blue water lapping at my toes. The scent of the vibrant tropical flowers mingles with the briny scent of the ocean. There isn't a cloud in the sky and the time to do nothing stretches before me. Life on the island would follow a gentle rhythm.
The solitude would be great for a couple of days, but then the isolation would get on my nerves. Also, as much as I would want to have the place to myself, cooking and cleaning doesn't fit into my dream getaway. There would be people taking care of me and my home. And after reading hundreds of Harlequin Presents over the years, my island home would have to be beautiful and luxurious.
So when I started writing A Deal with Benefits, it was no trouble creating the idyllic island life of Inez Key. The small community is like family. The casual lifestyle is at odds with the old grandeur of the antebellum plantation home. The calmness belies the moments of destructive weather and the tumultuous history of the island.
It's a small world for Ashley, the heiress of Inez Key and the heroine of the story, but it's her safe haven. It's the one place she can control. That is, until Sebastian Cruz sweeps in and steals it from her. But she's not giving up without a fight. After all, if you had a tropical paradise, wouldn't you do everything in your power to keep it?