Sara's Reward

Fleeing an abusive relationship and the pain of the loss of her child, Sara returns to her aunt for comfort, not in search of a new relationship, and yet she can not resist the lure of Michael's love. Michael, a boarder in her aunt's boarding home, is fleeing his own pain, but Sara's the salve he needs to heal the wounds from his past.



Published: 09/2007
Length: Full Novel
Word Count: 80,343
Genre: Contemporary/Interracial Romance
Rating: Sensual
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)



Joan Early


© Copyright by Joan Early, September 2007
© Cover Art by Alex DeShanks, September 2007
ISBN 978-1-60394-537-0
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636


This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.


It was an easy seduction. The smell of river rot mixed with jasmine and magnolias. The beguiling warmth of a Southern welcome served on beds of lazy sexuality. It was a perfect place to forget the past.

Michael Bengalis flew from New York to New Orleans, rented a Jeep and drove to Venice, the last stop before Chaumière Isle, his final destination. He knew nothing of the tiny fishing town perched on the toe of the Louisiana boot, but there he hoped to find a time better than the one in which he lived.

In dire need of a restroom, he stopped in front of a rundown shack that advertised cheap gas and generic cigarettes for $.49 per pack. The interior smelled of fish, but three cups of airline coffee narrowed his choices to enduring the stench or heading to the woods. Remembering the dead snake about fifty feet back left only one choice. He maneuvered around stacks of beer and sodas and followed the sound of a television down a long counter that cut the room in half.

Behind the sign littered divider, a grizzled man wearing a dirty T-shirt leaned on the counter laughing up at the small TV screen perched above the cash register. Cigarettes, cigars, and a variety of magazines filled the walls behind the counter, while jars containing pickled pig feet, two-for-a-nickel cookies, and Paula's Famous Pralines covered most of the counter space. Without interrupting his enjoyment of the sitcom, the man removed a key from a metal ring at the bottom of an old Jax Beer sign, and used it to point to a door at the far corner of the room.

Saving his questions for later, Michael thanked his host, rushed into the rancid room and closed the door. A low wattage light bulb swinging from the water-soiled ceiling cast eerie shadows on the whitewashed walls. Michael hurried, ran cold water over his hands, wiped them on his pants, and returned to the counter. Before he could express his appreciation, the man held out his palm for the key and drawled through his coffee-stained mustache.

"I 'spect now you gonna' ask directions."

"Guess I look like a tourist." Michael smiled.

"You said it--I didn't."

Michael opened the cooler door, selected a soda, and placed a dollar bill on the counter. "I'm going to Chaumière Isle. Can you point me in the right direction?"

The man nodded to his right. "There's the bridge that'll take you there."

"Does the bridge lead anywhere but Chaumière Isle?"

"Not 'less you wanna drive inta the water."

Michael started the Jeep and sat, staring into the distance. In his past, a failed career and lost love united in a staggering catalogue of heartache. Before him, he hoped to find laughter and happiness. Chaumière Isle. It was magical. A peaceful paradise. He knew this because an intriguing woman named Ayeo had told him so.