IRR Romance Read: Harbour of Refuge by Aliyah Burke


Reader Advisory: This book is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone

and in any order.

This is book two in the In Aeternum series.

Beyond Black and White feature

Thanks so much for having me here today. I was asked how I come up with how my characters look and how I decide to describe them when I put it down in the story.
I have to say, I’m not one of the people who goes out searching for a celebrity or hot man/woman to break down a description of a hero/heroine. There have been times when I’ve seen someone’s eyes and I will save the image so I can pull it up when I’m describing that particular part for the first time in hopes I can get across what it was that snared my attention when I first saw them. Or sometimes a hairstyle but that is about the extent for me.
The characters themselves tell me. When I am beginning a story and the hero/heroine sees them for that first time in the story, even if they’ve known one another previously, it’s that one instant in the story where I am allowed to see what they look like from the other’s point of view. I may begin with an idea of what they look like, especially if it’s a series and they’ve made appearances in other stories. But for the breakdown, like a bump in the nose from a previous fight, or the mole on the lower lip in the right corner. That type of thing wouldn’t come out until their opposite looks at them.
I write down how they tell me they view this person. What they equate their skin color to. If it’s a nut brown or the color of brown sugar—light, dark, or even melted. Personally, I’m a very visual person so when it pops in my head that way, it’s easy for me to see and picture what the hero/heroine does when they are letting me know.
As I stated before I will have a general idea of what my—let’s say hero—looks like. For example: tall, muscular, former military. Then it goes from there and I get the heroine to fill in the rest of the details.
I’m not a plotter and that goes along in my character descriptions as well. I can’t go into a brand new story (non-series related) where I’ve never met this person before and tell them what they are going to look like for their mate. Some of my characters are more drawn to eyes, some lips, it all depends on them individually. So some of my stories have more focus one way or another on a specific part. Since it’s what they notice more, it’s mentioned more.
Our world is full of such a variety of people, it’s so amazing to just sit, and people watch. We come in all shapes, sizes, colors, everything. And each one of us is beautiful. Being able to put down on paper how my hero/heroine feels about their counterpart, especially when they don’t feel particularly beautiful/handsome, allows me in some way to reiterate how you don’t necessarily have to look like what magazines portray as beauty to find someone who will treat you as a king/queen, the way you deserve to be treated. In addition, when you find that one person, if it’s that your skin, reminds them of warm honey, or dark chocolate, embrace it. Embrace them. There are no rules for how you have to look in order to be loved.
Back to my characters, like I said, to me it’s how they view one another that gets me to describe how I do. I may know from the beginning it is going to be an IR story but that is about as much detail as I will know. I hope my readers can notice how I make them appear and can create their own image in mind so they can envision the hero/heroine in the stories. As well as the secondary characters.
In Harbour of Refuge (book 2 in the In Aeternum series, I spoke to you before about book one, Casanova in Training), when Enzo Cassano first lays eyes upon Halyn Jennings her skin reminds him of pecan shells. Her hair, natural curls in numerous shades of brown from light to dark. She was an understated beauty. For a man who’s used to the women who flash in attempts to try and snare his affections, Halyn is the one who does the snaring. From the other end, Halyn easily recognizes the Italian playboy aspect, good looks and doesn’t deny he is fine. What she has to learn to see is there’s more to him than what shines on the surface. So much more.
Again, thank you so much for having me here today. I’m humbled to have been invited.
Happy reading,
~Aliyah Burke


Blurb for Harbour of Refuge:
What happens in Monte Carlo stays…with you forever…well, if you’re one of the lucky ones.

Enzo Cassano is the driver of a powerboat team, used to the fast life and all it includes—women, parties and popularity. Until the race in Monte Carlo when he meets a woman who is unlike any he’s met before. Her small town values and almost innocent ways charm him beyond everything. He discovers, however, that beneath her exterior she’s very firm in her beliefs and won’t budge.
Halyn Jennings maybe from a small town but she knows a player when she sees one and Enzo is definitely that. She doesn’t mind—she still likes him and enjoys spending time with him, well aware that what is happening between them is most likely temporary. She’s not the supermodel type he’s accustomed to being with.
Enzo’s life is turned upside down by an unexpected visitor from his past, he has to learn to accept racing isn’t everything and not everyone wants to be the centre of attention. Halyn’s own past comes to light in a most harsh revelation and he discovers things aren’t always so easy. Will he be able to find a way to break back through her barriers and prove to her she’s the one he wants, for forever?


From Harbour of Refuge

She watched him in the lights as he tucked some hair behind her ear, his knuckles skimming her cheek—the move so profoundly intimate her breath caught.
“You’re beautiful.”
Words she wasn’t inclined to believe, coming from a player. “And you hand out compliments like candy.”
“So you don’t believe me?”
“Can’t say that I do.”
His expression seemed oddly perplexed as he led her down the street. They paused by a bench overlooking the harbour. He brushed close when he encouraged her to sit and she blew out a breath as she strove to rein in her out-of-control sexual impulses.
“Your first time?”
“Excuse me?” She glanced at him. Sure, she might be nervous but surely he didn’t think she was some untried virgin.
A lazy, sensuous smile lifted his entirely too kissable lips. Damn it all, why couldn’t she stop imagining what it would be like spending a night in his arms?
“To Monte Carlo.”
Grateful for the night, which kept her flushed cheeks better hidden, she nodded. “Yes. Mila has always wanted to come for the race. She’s fascinated by powerboats, so when she got her tickets she said I was accompanying her.”
He leant back, stretching his legs out, keeping his stare upon her. “Not into powerboats then?”
“Never really paid them any mind.” Her response was honest.
“Would you like to see one up close and personal?”
He was talking about the boat, right?


Buy Link: https://www.totallybound.com/harbour-of-refuge


About Aliyah Burke:



Aliyah Burke is an avid reader and is never far from pen and paper (or the computer). She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached here.

She is married to a career military man. They are owned by three Borzoi, and a DSH cat. She spends her days sharing time between work, writing, and dog training.


Also available from Totally Bound is book one in the In Aeternum series. Casanova in Training



Casanova in Training by Aliyah Burke




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