Tradition by AlTonya Washington
New Island has been quiet for a long time-too long. Now, the time has come to return to a place where a tradition was born. Some will return to honor it. Others will return to destroy it.
Off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina New Island was home to many things-among them stories of resilience and rebirth. New had been home to Frayzer Guthrie before the depraved events of a night 16 years prior removed him from his home and the girl that he loved. When business motivates his return, Fray finds that the girl is now a woman and that his feelings for her have remained unchanged.
Ellia Taylor was still very much in love with the boy-now man-she’d dreamed of spending the rest of her life with, but how could they ever go back to what they were? Things had changed and that fact was about more than the passage of time. New Island was a place of resilience, rebirth… and revelations that would scandalize the names of many powerful families. New Island’s dark tradition was an ugly story that was at last ready to be told.
Watch the “Tradition” Book Trailer on YouTube: https://youtu.be/IxOTvLX2XYc
Review Written by Edwina Putney | 5.0 out of 5 stars
Tradition by AlTonya Washington is an amazing story that shows how family traditions of horrific acts and the ensuing cover-ups can destroy lives in those and future times. The destruction of the teen love and lives of Frayzer Guthrie and Ellia Taylor, as well as the relationships and lives of his cousins, Warwick and Zyon, and her cousins (their girlfriends) Seela and Moira. Hideous, secretive acts, reminiscent of those perpetrated by slaveowners against slaves, were performed on Ellia and her cousins, which caused hatred of and estrangement from Frayzer (Fray), Warwick (War), and Zyon (Zy).
But sixteen years later, the guys have never stopped seeking revenge against those responsible for the dark legacy handed down and perpetuated in an updated, yet still despicable, version. And then there is knife-toting Ellia, who nurses the anger and betrayal, yet knows deep down that her love for Fray never truly died. When he returns to New Island, apologizes and romances her, then gets her help in uncovering buried evidence, we see the truth in ‘a thin line between love and hate’. It’s not an easy path to recover from feelings of guilt on his part and betrayal on hers. So the question is, can they?
AlTonya Washington does an amazing job with fusing the historical and present-day, showing the cycle of romance, and the depths to which people are willing to sink to preserve their ill-gotten gains. Then, even after resolving the mystery, Ms. Washington ends the story with a “wow” moment from the past which will definitely affect Fray, War, and Zy in books two and three of the trilogy. I can’t wait! Kudos to AlTonya Washington for a good beginning to another promising series.
Excerpt from Tradition by AlTonya Washington
Fray judged he’d gotten about three hours of sleep the night before. Not bad, considering 4 was usually all he needed.
Besides, he didn’t think he was in the mood to hear anyone tell him everything would be alright. He couldn’t believe that-not after last night. The way El looked at him when she’d pulled away- it hadn’t been fear.
Well…it had, but not fear toward him, he surmised. What he saw in her eyes last night was something deeper, closer to despair. More than anything he’d wanted to stay with her- to refuse to leave until she told him what had put that look in her eyes.
Of course it could’ve only been one thing. Memories of the branding ritual had taken their toll on his concentration more than a few times over the years. He’d trained himself to get by on little sleep because when his mind was at rest, all he could see was El’s face. Her lovely face terror-stricken. He could feel her bracing against his hold and hear her shrieking his name- begging him to help her- to make it stop before she’d gone silent and refused to beg anymore.
Fray rubbed his fingers over his head and kicked the tangle of covers from his feet. He wanted a shower and was stalking naked into the bath when his room door came alive with the sounds of impatient knocking. Frowning, he switched courses and went to peer through the privacy window. Finding El on the other side, cleared his mind of everything including the state of his dress-or undress as it were. He whipped open the door.
“Are you okay?” His rough voice had turned softer in the wake of concern. The gray-flecked depths of his eyes mirrored that concern as they fixed on her face. He spared a moment to appraise the cut of her dress, but he forbid himself to think about what he’d give to see her out of it.
Ellia didn’t notice his reaction to her clothes. Her eyes had already drifted below his waist.
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