Publisher: CaribbeanReads Publishing
Date of Publication: July 25, 2015
Number of pages: 292
Word Count: 85,900
When Kyle agrees to be the best man at his best friend’s destination wedding in Dominica, he has one thing on his mind: partying. But all that changes when a powerful hurri¬cane strikes the island and he finds himself trapped in a vil¬lage and falling hard and fast for the indigenous beauty queen, Alia Graneau.
Alia Graneau has goals that do not include men, least of all an immature, irresponsible American party-animal like Kyle. But the hurricane devastates more than her beautiful island; it wreaks havoc on her heart when she falls under Kyle’s spell and is forced to choose between her ambition, her love for her country and her love for Kyle Robinson.
Can their love, born in a hurricane, survive the ravages of real life?
Kyle and Alia gazed into each other’s eyes, smiling. Alia drew her eyes away and gazed up at the moon. The emotion she was experiencing was making her a little uncomfortable. Yes, it was gratitude, but there was something else underlying it. It was attraction, desire, and a kind of closeness she did not want to feel at this time.
Kyle’s voice was soothing when he spoke. “I looked at your well-groomed nails and hair and thought you were one of those ultra-feminine women who concentrated more on their appearance than on anything of substance. I was totally wrong.”
Alia smiled and looked down at the moist ground.
He continued. “You are strong, determined and have a heart of gold. I never expected you to do all the things you did today. The way you got down and dirty and helped with the cleanup, the way you climbed through that tiny chimney. And then you put your own life in danger to save Teshawn’s life. I’ve gained a whole new perspective and a lot of respect for you.”
Alia kept her head down. She twirled a pebble between her fingers, her discomfort escalating. Her mind raced as she tried to make sense of all the emotions churning within her.
Kyle placed his finger under Alia’s chin and lifted her face. He gazed into her dark brown tapered eyes and was captivated by her beauty. Her long hair flowed gently around her face. Her exotic eyes held a dreamy, sultry expression. Kyle stared at her, lost in her gaze, enthralled by her clear flawless skin, her high cheekbones, and those deliciously full sensuous lips. He whispered, “Alia, you are beautiful, on the outside and the inside.”
Alia felt her heart flutter, beating like a drum in her ears. She could hardly breathe as she gazed into his large light-brown eyes. She saw passion, desire, and felt herself slipping, falling into his romantic trap.
Kyle touched her hair tentatively. It was soft and silky. The attraction for Alia was so strong it took his breath away. Slowly he lowered his face toward hers, his eyes never leaving hers. He saw in them longing, desire, and a vulnerability that was totally uncharacteristic of the super-composed Alia. His heart raced as his lips inched closer and closer.
Alia closed her eyes. Her mind was in turmoil. A day ago she had hated Kyle Robinson. Now here they were, on the verge of doing something she had never done before. She was confused, feeling things she should not be feeling. Not for Kyle, not for anyone at that point in her life. She felt helpless. Her mind
Hurricane of the Heart by Jewel Amethyst
was telling her not to do this, but her body was ignoring it. His hand in her hair, the other on her chin lifting it for his kiss felt so right.
Suddenly a moment of clarity ensued. This man would do anything and say anything to have a good time. What happens after the kiss? Sex? And then he would be gone from her life just as quickly as he had come.
Alia jumped up from the rock, leaving Kyle seated, a strange expression on his face. “This can’t happen,” she said before dashing off to the house.
“Alia, wait!” Kyle called to her departing back as he stood up from the rock. He had no idea whether to chase after her or let her be. No woman had ever run away from him like that before. Kyle looked at Alia as she crossed the fence and headed for the house. “Man!” he exclaimed, kicking the rock he had been sitting on. He had come so close.
So close to what? A kiss? A one night stand? An ephemeral tryst? Kyle looked longingly at her disappearing back and realized one night with Alia would never be enough. She was the type of woman who would keep him wanting more.
Character Name: Alia Graneau
Character Bio: Born in the beautiful Caribbean island of Dominica, Alia Graneau is one of the few remaining indigenous people, the Kalinago, best known as Caribs for whom the Caribbean is named. Having grown up in the impoverished Kalinago Territories, Alia seeks to find a better life through education and hopes someday to be a world renowned journalist. She is determined to let nothing and no one stand in the way of achieving her dream; not even the category-five Hurricane Harriet that devastates her island, demolishes her home and destroys her place of work. That is until she meets American party animal, Kyle Robinson…
Jeanine: I’m here with Alia Graneau, sitting outside of her great aunt’s home in Silver Lake in the Caribbean Island of Dominica. The home currently has tarp covering parts where the roof was destroyed in Hurricane Harriet. Many of the homes around this small hamlet have been destroyed and a few are just being rebuilt as part of the recovery efforts.
Alia, describe yourself. What is your worst and best quality?
Alia: That’s a tough question. Hmmm, let me see. My worst quality… I don’t trust people that much. Not sure why. Maybe it has to do with my father’s untimely disappearance when I was still a child, or maybe seeing my sisters’ dreams derailed by men they love, I don’t know. Or maybe it’s because I always have to work harder than most to achieve what I want. As for my best quality, it’s tough choosing one (smiling). I guess one of my best qualities is that I get things done that I set out to do. I’m pretty focused and organized and if I set my mind to do something, I will do it against all odds.
Jeanine: What is the one thing you wish other people knew about you?
Alia: Beyond my external beauty and my stoic exterior is a very caring loving person. Even though I’ve been in multiple beauty pageants and even won a few, I simply hate it when people refer to me as a model, a beauty queen or address me as Miss Dominica or Miss DA or anything related to pageants or modeling. It seems so superficial and doesn’t embody my personality.
Jeanine: What is your biggest secret something no one knows about?
Alia: (chuckling) If I tell you, it won’t be a secret any more, would it?
Jeanine: What are you most afraid of?
Alia: Uncertainty. Kyle has been asking me to come back to the United States with him. I wish the decision was that easy. Even though my country is in chaos, even though I no longer have a home or a job and I really want to be with Kyle, I don’t know what life will be like in the States. What if his family doesn’t like me? What if I can’t find a job or be independent? What if I’m just a passing fancy? Even worse, I’m really afraid that Kyle will go back to his womanizing ways and I will be stranded in a strange country alone with a broken heart. Moreover, Tanti, my aunt who helped raised me is old and frail and living alone in a partially destroyed house. What would become of her if I leave? The what-ifs are killing me.
Jeanine: What do you want more than anything?
Alia: (Shaking her head and smiling). If you asked me this a month ago, I would immediately answer: to be a world class journalist. Now, that Kyle’s in the picture, I really want to be with Kyle, but I still want to be a journalist. Gosh I hope I don’t have to choose between the two.
Jeanine: What is your relationship status?
Jeanine: That’s not a hard question, why the laughter?
Alia: (Smiles and shakes her head while blushing). What’s my relationship status? (clucks tongue and looks up to the sky). Do I have to answer that question? I’m definitely in love. But if Kyle goes back to the U.S. and I stay here… you see my dilemma? I guess committed… for now.
Jeanine: How would you describe your sense of fashion?
Alia: Before or after the hurricane?
Alia: I have always had a rather contemporary chic sense of fashion. Though I enjoy dressing elegantly, I much prefer shorts and t-shirts. But as you can see from how I’m dressed currently, with the hurricane destroying just about everything, my attire now comes from a barrel of second-hand clothes. But I rock the ’80s and ’90s style really well, don’t you think?
Jeanine: Yes you do. That ‘80s style lap skirt looks very chic on you. How much of a rebel are you?
Alia: To be honest, I’m not much of a rebel unless I see unfairness or oppression. Then the rebel comes out.
Jeanine: What do you considered to be your greatest achievement?
Alia: One of the things I’m very proud of is achieving my Associates degree at the State College. It’s probably not a big deal for people living in the capital of this island, but for me, it meant leaving my family back in the Kalinago territories and moving into the capital city of Roseau. And I still have a long way to go to achieve my goals. But all that pales in comparison to what I’ve achieved here in the last few weeks. My single greatest achievement has been working with Kyle to rebuild our community that was destroyed by Hurricane Harriet just a few weeks ago. We still have a long way to go, but we’ll get there.
Jeanine: What is your idea of happiness?
Alia: (smiles) Finding love. When you’ve found love, you’ve found home.
Jeanine: What is your current state of mind?
Alia: Right now I’m ambivalent. I really want to be with Kyle. I really would like to go with him wherever he goes. But I want to stay here with my people, with my country and rebuild it. They need me and I really don’t know what to do. I’m torn.
Jeanine: What is your most treasured possession?
Alia: This may sound trivial, but my most treasured possession is a photo of my father and me on his fishing boat when I was seven. A year later his boat disappeared with him.
Jeanine: What is your most marked characteristic?
Jeanine: What is it that you, most dislike?
Alia: Hmmm. I dislike people who judge others by their outward appearance rather than getting to know them. And I dislike people who tell me I can’t accomplish something.
Jeanine: Which living person do you, most despise?
Alia: I’ve never been someone to harbor hatred or hold a grudge against another. We’re all God’s children and I like some people more than others, but I don’t know of a person, alive or dead who I despise.
Jeanine: What is your greatest regret?
Alia: I try not to live with regrets. I could say that I regret that Hurricane Harriet has derailed my plans for attending university, a first step to achieving my career goals, but if not for the hurricane, I would not have met Kyle and known such wonderful… you know what I mean.(smiling coyly).
Jeanine: What is the quality you most like in a man?
Alia: I like a man that respects a woman enough to allow her to be herself, to soar, to rise to the pinnacle of her career without impediment.
Jeanine: What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Alia: Humility and graciousness.
Jeanine: Who is your favorite hero in fiction?
Alia: I guess it would be Superman. Although he was the strongest man on earth, he took the persona of a humble reporter who no one would ever suspect of having super powers. He never let his power get to his head.
Jeanine: Which living person do you most admire?
Alia: My aunt, Tanti. She’s ninety-two years old and very independent and very wise. I know I can always count on her for comfort, for great advice and to listen to even my most trivial problems. Right now she is my anchor in this whole tumult. She saw something special in Kyle when I’ve doubted his intentions and his feelings, and goodness me, I hope she’s right. She sees beyond the superficial. I hope when I grow old I can be just like her.
Jeanine: If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
Alia: (finger under chin, deep in thought) I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s all part of me, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Jeanine: What is your motto?
Alia: Don’t let anyone define who you are. Regardless of where you start, dream big, aim high, reach far, work hard and you can achieve your dream.
Jewel Amethyst is the author of two mass market romance novels, Marriage of Convenience and From SKB with Love one of three stories in the Holiday Brides’ romance anthology. Hurricane of the Heart is her second full-length romance novel. Jewel was born and raised on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and currently resides in Maryland with her family.