12 Hours in Paradise by Kathryn Berla
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: April 19th 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Twelve hours, thirty-six questions, and a chance to fall in love…
It’s the last day of Dorothy Patmont’s family vacation. Soon, she must head back to Reno, where all that waits for her is the cold and the snow. To top it all off, her brother, Chester, acted like a little jerk and ate one too many cookies from the sample jar in the cookie store. But his antics have an unexpected benefit—attracting the attention of an intriguing boy who could change her life forever.
Treats can be sweet, but love is sweeter still…
Arash Atkinson, fluent in four languages and an adventurous soul, is in Waikiki for a high school band competition. When he meets Dorothy, he realizes their time together is limited. “Come out and play,” he texts her. A night of romantic adventure ensues, and Arash discovers an app that claims it can make people fall in love after answering thirty-six questions in each other’s presence.
With each question asked, their stories and feelings continue to unfold. But with every hour that passes they’re more at risk of being found out—Dorothy, by her parents; Arash by his school chaperone. And then Arash gets the dreaded phone call—he has been discovered missing from his room, and must return immediately. Can they finish the questions before facing their consequences?
When time is running out, true love cannot wait. What Arash and Dorothy have is beyond special, something that comes along once in a lifetime, and begins with Twelve Hours In Paradise…but can it survive the trials of the real world?
I remember all the little things, but I don’t remember the biggest thing.
How long after I finished packing before I mentally said good-bye to Hawaii and crawled into bed? How long before Mom knocked on the door to the room I shared with Granny to say good night and tell me lights out because we had to wake up early the next day? How long before I heard my granny’s heavy breathing, signifying she’d gone to sleep? How long before I drifted off myself?
And was I thinking about Arash when I fell asleep? The way he told a story that felt like he’d never shared it with anyone but me. The way his soft, dark eyes trapped me in a blink, as though preserving me inside his picture. The way he listened to the whole of me, not just the Dorothy I conjured up for the world.
I don’t remember.
But I do remember when my phone buzzed me awake. Hidden under my covers and muted so as not to wake Granny.
Ari: Come out and play.
Me: Are you crazy? I’m sleeping in the same room as my granny. We leave tomorrow morning.
Ari: Granny won’t miss you. But who knows what we’ll miss if we don’t go out and explore the city together. What might happen? We’ll never know unless we go see for ourselves.
And another one.
A sleepy smile inched across my face. This boy is crazy.
The seconds ticked by.
Ari: Have you made a decision?
Me: Meet me outside the elevator on the street.
Just one hour, I thought. How wrong could it be to grab one more hour of vacation before going back to cold and snow? If anyone noticed, which I knew they wouldn’t, I would say I went down to the lobby to read. Didn’t want to wake Granny.
I dressed in the dark by feel. I couldn’t sleep with any hint of light, so the room was as black as could be. Granny slept with a flashlight by the side of her bed in case she ever needed to get up.
I turned the door handle slowly, pulled it open and stepped through, grabbing the handle on the other side and releasing it only when the door was shut behind me. Then there was the slow creep past my parents’ room where Chester also slept.
Nobody heard me.
I knew they were sound asleep.
And then a silent but decisive sprint past the lobby elevator to the one that went down to the street. I was hoping for a companion to share the ride with me. When none came, I took a deep breath and counted backward by threes’ until the elevator lurched to a stop, chimed to signify I’d arrived, and kindly opened its door.
There he was. Was there any doubt he would be?
Kathryn Berla graduated from the University of California at Berkeley as an English major. She has lived in many different countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.