Fractured Paradise by Alexa Bourne
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (79 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aster
Technical analyst for the International Protective Network, Rachel Grant arrives in Sunderland intent on tidying up her grandmother’s cottage, but the disaster she discovers requires more than a gentle sweep of a dust rag. Determined to please the most important person in her life, she trades her computer keyboard for a hammer and nails to make the repairs. She doesn’t count on the chilly reception from the locals who want to claim Nan’s home as their own.
Tour guide Aidan Camden wants to buy the cottage. He’s determined to acquire the property no matter how attractive he finds the current occupant. However, when tragedy strikes, throwing them both into a tailspin, he discovers he wants more than the house. He longs for the sexy American as well. Can Aidan put his own ghosts to rest in time to save the woman who’s claimed his heart?
Rachel Grant is a young computer geek sent by her grandmother to fix up the old family cottage. When she discovered the state of disrepair, Rachel began second guessing herself despite her determination to protect her grandmother’s legacy. Then she was approached by Aiden Camden.
Aiden is a young widower clinging to the hope of purchasing the small cottage-his late wife’s dream. He’d repeatedly tried, unsuccessfully, to acquire the property, but had always met resistance. When he met Rachel, his hopes rose, along with his long-buried feelings of desire.
The two were rivals, making a relationship between them impossible. Or was it?
This story had many things I liked: excellent pacing, steamy sex, an air of mystery, and a palpable connection between well-defined characters. Much was packed into a few short pages. Not too complicated, it was easy to follow and had a satisfying, happy ending.
That said, in some parts it was a little too simplistic. There were only a few characters introduced, so figuring out the cause of the mysterious noises outside the cottage was not difficult. Since the mystery was not the focus of the book, however, it was only a minor disappointment. The love story between Aiden and Rachel was front and center, and definitely kept me rooting for them from the very start.
The author does a very nice job painting a picture with her words. She’s able to pull the reader into the story, making it feel as if I was a silent observer in the room while the action happened. If you’re interested in reading how two people who should be adversaries, yet cannot fight their attraction, this is one to pick up!