Ten years ago, Piper Townsend fell to her death from the top of a fraternity house, and no one on Drake Isle has ever been the same. Blake Carter’s fraternity was scandalized. Misterion College closed down altogether. And Blake’s girlfriend, Emerson Doyle, fled the island after her best friend died and never looked behind her.
Now they’re back.
Blake’s the CEO of a multi-million dollar tech firm looking to relocate to the island. Emmy owns a yoga studio in the building he wants to buy. They haven’t spoken in ten years. They’re on opposite sides of the bargaining table.
But old flames die hard.
And the more Blake and Emmy fight both the past and each other, the more they realize that coming to terms with tragedy is their only chance of finding love again…
If you love small town island romance, second chances, and unsolved mysteries, then you’ll love the emotional Drake Isle series by USA Today best-selling author Allie Boniface!
Book One, Because of You – on sale for the first time ever, just $0.99 – Available at your favorite ebook retailer:
Book Two, Finding You – releasing October 21, 2020
Book Three, Ghosts of You – coming April 2021!
Because of You
She left the “Closed” sign in place on the door. Then she walked upstairs and lit a candle in her living room. She deliberated lighting a cigarette as well. She hadn’t smoked since college except once or twice, but she still kept a pack of Camels by her bed for times like these.
Her mother was gone. Her money was gone. Her boyfriend, long gone. But all that wasn’t enough. No, the universe had decided to throw her another curve today, with a surprise guest who showed up out of the blue.
Her first true love.
Her only true love, really.
How was it possible?
Just a few hours ago, the man she’d sworn never to speak to again had been standing in her yoga studio, sitting on her back porch, looking at her with those deep blue eyes as if he was stripping off every last stitch of her clothing. Dark-haired, sexy without speaking a word, kind in the right ways, rough around all the best edges. The man who made her realize that falling in love was like jumping off a cliff. The man who made her crazy. The man who made her fly.
We thought it would last forever. We made promises to each other, the kind you make when you’re nineteen and think the rest of your life is easy to sketch out. We watched the moon move across the sky and talked about where we’d be in twenty or forty or sixty years. We made plans. We made love.
And then everything changed.
After two glasses of scotch and a baseball game that went extra innings, Blake lay awake, staring at the ceiling. This townhouse was too big for him alone, but he hadn’t gotten around to selling it after his exgirlfriend moved out. She was the one who’d wanted to live in the trendy, old-money suburb of Newton, but it was too far from the city center for Blake’s taste.
And now, to be honest, everything was too far from Drake Isle for Blake’s taste. He threw one arm over his eyes. He couldn’t get Emmy out of his mind, and he knew he’d go back to the island, go back to her yoga studio, and see her again. Weakness, his father would say. You don’t need to see her again. Just make a phone call. Make me proud. Remember your name.
One of the things Blake had loved most about Emmy was that she knew nothing about him or his name when they met. She’d never heard his family history. She had no idea his ancestors had funded the college in its earliest days. Even the fact that Carter Library was named after his great-great-grandfather had escaped her notice. When she finally connected the dots, she looked at him wide-eyed for a few seconds and then turned back to her books.
“Must be a hell of a weight to bear,” was all she said.
It is, he thought now. It always has been. No one before, and no one since, had ever made him feel the way Emerson Doyle did—like he was flying and grounded all at the same time. Like he could touch the moon, or run a mile in under a minute, or swim the English Channel without stopping to take a breath. Or make a mistake and not be judged forever by it.
He couldn’t give into that weakness in the daylight hours, not with everyone at Eastefire scrutinizing his every move, and not with family expectations sitting squarely on his shoulders. He had no choice but to move forward with the acquisition of her building, regardless of the cost.
But for now, tonight, Blake let himself think of her, and for once he fell asleep and slept like the dead, like he hadn’t in years, like he was still a Delta brother and all was right in his world.
Fourteen Years Ago
Delta Eta Chi House
“See the redhead by the keg?” Blake had been eyeing her for the last hour, downing beer after beer and trying to get up the nerve to approach her.
“Yeah.” Trey shaded his eyes, as if the lights in the fraternity house basement were too bright. He belched and sucked down a jello shot, then chased it with a beer. “Nice rack.”
Nice everything, Blake wanted to say, but he contented himself with the view. He’d seen her a few times around campus, but this was the first time she’d come to a Delta party. That in itself made her interesting. Most of the other freshmen girls sold their eyeteeth, or at least left their panties at home, to get in the front door of Delta as soon as they arrived on campus.
Not the redhead. He hadn’t seen her anywhere near the fraternity quad until tonight.
He watched her laugh at something one of the senior brothers said, and jealousy surged through him. The red plastic cup in his hand cracked, and beer ran down his wrist.
Trey laughed. “Just go talk to her.”
But that was easier said than done. She had a crowd of admirers standing around her, hanging on her every word. Blake might be a Legacy Delta brother, but right now, in this hot, damp basement that smelled like spilled beer and weed and cheap cologne, he was a tongue-tied freshman who couldn’t do anything more than lean against the wall and stare.
She’d done that, even from the start. Emerson Doyle had made Blake’s world spin out of control, and nothing had ever been the same after.
Praise for Because of You:
“A great summer read.”
“A beautiful second-chance romance.”
“The chemistry between Emerson and Blake blazes throughout the book.”
“What a great start for this new series by this very talented author!”
Allie Boniface is the USA Today best-selling author of over a dozen novels, including the Cocktail Cruise, Hometown Heroes, and Whispering Pines series. She loves writing about small towns, second chances, and all the feels that come with falling in love.
Allie currently lives with her husband in a small town in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York. When she isn’t teaching high school English or eating chocolate, she likes to travel, visit the local animal shelter and love on the kitties, or go for a run and think about her next small town story. Join her newsletter mailing list for a free novella, Angle Shot, available exclusively to subscribers!
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