Filed under: New Release Aug 31, 2016
Sacred Isle by Eve Francis is now available!
After Tara Hayes’s most recent best seller, she and her long-time girlfriend Wendy go on a road trip. They soon arrive along the Florida coastline at the Sacred Isle Diner where yet another case falls into Tara’s lap. She uses her training as a PI and the notoriety from her famous book to wedge her way into the investigation of a man who appears to have been killed by a mermaid.
Though Tara knows the idea is ridiculous, the possible siren that haunts the Florida coastline is all she can think about. It’s not long before Tara stumbles on Sabrina Taylor, the victim’s sister, and forgets about Wendy entirely.
Sabrina is a blonde bombshell with an amazing voice and even more amazing touch. Tara is enchanted right away, but a shocking turn in the investigation makes her realize Sabrina may be more than who she says she is.
When they finally kiss, all Tara tastes is salt. It’s the eggs from the diner; it’s the hash browns, the fries, and the sea-side air. She tells herself these facts over and over again but none of them lodge in her mind. She’s tasting salt because Sabrina is made up of salt-water and ocean sand, sea shells and sea weed. Sabrina rocks her body into Tara’s like a wave, placing her leg in between Tara’s thighs so she can spread Tara farther and farther apart.
“Oh.” Tara gasps and inhales more salt. It’s not noxious; it’s almost sweat, like the taffy her parents used to buy on the side of the road whenever they went to Atlantic City. Sabrina chuckles as she continues to explore and lead Tara to the car. The kissing soon turns to making out as Sabrina shuts the door. The tinted windows of her car make Tara suspicious — why does someone like Sabrina need to have tinted windows in a 1998 sedan? — but she can’t focus on it long enough to form a question. Blood rushes to the surface of her skin as Sabrina sucks her neck. Tara can feel each bruise, each pinprick of Sabrina’s brightly painted nails against her body, and she only wants more, more, more.
“Are you staying somewhere?” Tara asks.
“I’m in between houses at the moment.”
Tara tilts her head, unsure what that means.
Sabrina runs a finger along Tara’s jaw until she reaches her ear. As she curls her hair, Tara swears she can hear the ocean again. Then she remembers she’s right by the ocean. So is her hotel room, too.
“Surely you’re staying someplace?” Sabrina asks.
“I am. But Wendy –“
“My girl –“
“Tsk-tsk.” Sabrina shakes her head but her smile is still there. “Shouldn’t be unfaithful.”
“I’m not. I’m … we’ve been having problems.”
“Yeah. It’s been like this for a while, you know? The same old thing. The same conversations. Same fights, again and again and again.” Tara’s chest tightens. She can’t believe here — of all places — she’s unleashing a torrent of worry and fear about her relationship with Wendy. She had kept so much of it at bay when they travelled and chalked it up to jet lag or any number of reasons why people got cranky in closed spaces. But now it all comes out, as if the lock on her secrets was never really there. “We’ve been together for a year, but it’s not going to last. I loved her. I still love her. But there’s just … we c-can’t. And I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be saying any of this aloud.”
“No, no, it’s fine.” Sabrina shrugs and still somehow manages to look sexy as she does. “Maybe we were in the middle of something, but real life always steps in the way. I’m used to it.”
“Is that why you really disappeared? Real life always got in the way?”
Sabrina smiles. She doesn’t answer. The sound of the ocean becomes louder; waves crash over the rocks and the taste of salt lingers on Tara’s lips. She knows she’ll be tasting it for weeks afterwards, even when she and Wendy leave Florida. But what does it matter if we’re not together? she wonders. For once she wants to stay in one place because staying with Sabrina doesn’t seem to equal stability or even stillness. She’s motion and sound all rolled into one, and Tara wants to taste every inch of her.
“I don’t know what’s happening to me,” Tara said. She places a hand over her chest. Her nipples are hard and taut, still on a hair string from so much contact. To her surprise, Sabrina slides a hand over Tara’s chest, too, her gaze lingering.
“You’re going through a life change. It will make or break you.”
“I’ve done so m-many of those before.” Tara grits her teeth. This is the second time now her stutter slipped out in this conversation. She’d had it under control for so long, but emotion unhinges her. Sex unhinges her. Sabrina unhinges her. “I don’t know if I can change again.”
“I never said you had to change. Only that the circumstances in your life will.”
“Aren’t they all the same? Aren’t we only our environment?”
“Maybe. But I don’t think you’ve ever really liked the environment. Until now, maybe.” Sabrina moves her hand to cup Tara’s small breasts, from right to left and back again. Her hands are persistent, firm. Not exactly meant to entice, only support, but Tara’s libido hums either way. She lets out a breathy moan and feels her wetness grow.
“I want you.”
“I know. And there are only so many things that can be decided in the backseat of a car at dusk. So let me take you to a place.”
“Dusk?” Tara looks out the windows, but only finds a black sky through the tint. She searches for the glare of the sun and notices it low on the horizon. Where have the hours gone? Time rushes past Tara like a bruise left by Sabrina on her throat. “When did …?”
“We were having fun. And I want to continue the fun.”