Let’s talk about ungovernable passion. In writing my new release, Intimate Strangers, I pondered what it would take to make a good girl flounder. Every one of us has a breaking point and vulnerabilities despite our efforts to minimize risks. Kate is no different. All it takes is one day, one devastating incident, and one specific man to show her she never knew herself and there is no going back.
I have to tread carefully because I don’t want to give spoilers, but you should know Kate is blissfully in love when she walks onto Brady Finn’s boat, Sea Sprite. She’s practically glowing with happiness and as enamored with the new rock on her finger as she is in love with her fiancé. She’s a woman with plans and a set course for her life. Then nature steps in, throwing her a heart-wrenching curve ball that can’t be undone.
Enter Brady Finn, a cross between Chris Hemsworth and pro surfer Mark Healey with a deep tan, shaggy sun-bleached hair, and eyes as compelling and unfathomable as the blue-green waters off Pelican Cay. He’s the complete physical opposite of her attorney fiancé, Mac. Brady works hard, plays hard, he gets hard, and he’s hard—if not downright impossible—to forget. When she’s falling apart and numb with shock, he’s got the force-of-will to keep her from falling over the edge of despair. Their immediate attraction is beside the point.
‘There was no way she wanted to sit anywhere near the captain. He made her jumpy and tense—far too aware of him and …what exactly? Alarmed at the direction her thoughts were taking her, she instantly shut them down, unwilling to acknowledge she could feel attracted to another man while her fiancé stood right next to her. Nope, she’d be better off where she was.’
I have to admire Kate for trying to resist, though when nature interferes, she learns she’s powerless and all her hopes and plans for a future with Mac are beyond her control.
‘It was impossible to say who moved first, but despair, raw emotional need, and suppressed desire flared between them and suddenly their mouths were locked and Brady’s hand was tangled in Kate’s dark hair. Bodies pressed together, they consumed the very air out of each other’s lungs and breathed it back in again until they were both dizzy.
‘The way he boldly touched her was heartbreaking, bittersweet, wonderful, and mind-blowing all at the same time. She didn’t know if she should laugh or cry in exaltation.'
Life isn’t something you can cast, choreograph, or lay out in easy-to-follow steps. Nor can a person predict how they’ll react when they find their screenplay changed before their eyes. How we respond to the rewrites, and more importantly, to the shifting cast is entirely personal, and as you’ll find out, sexy as hell.
Can she ever forgive herself? Will she ever forget him?
When newly engaged couple Mac and Kate, take a celebratory fishing trip off the island of Pelican Cay, they never dream their romantic bliss is in jeopardy.
What happens will test Kate in ways she never saw coming, make her question what she understands about her own heart, and lead her into the arms of another man.
This exciting short story has it all; romance, terror, passion, betrayal, and a happy ending, of course, but perhaps not the one you'd expect.
There was a spring in Kate and Mac’s steps when they hustled down the dock, clasped hands swinging between them on this bright and early morning. In truth, it could have been simply the give of the walkway under their feet, but she chose to attribute it to their blissful mood. Her skin still tingled from making love with him back at the hotel. Both wore smiles that wouldn’t quit.
Kate turned her wrist, and his, to admire her beautiful new ring. The breathtaking diamond caught the light and shimmered back at her, utterly captivating her all over again.
Mac shot her a quick glance and chuckled as he gently tugged her along. “Come on. You’ll have all kinds of time to stare at that rock once we’re on the boat.”
“I can’t help it.” She laughed, still thrown by his unexpected proposal. “I love it!”
He turned her hand so he could admire the ring himself then winked at her. “It looks good on you.” Mac craned his neck and spotted their chartered boat. “I see ‘em.” He shared a nod with a man watching them from a fly bridge just ahead.
The man chuckled as he made his way down a chrome ladder to the deck to meet them. “You beat my other crewman.” Turning, he reached for Kate’s hand, hauling her into the boat as Mac boosted her by the hips from behind. Her fiancé leaped gracefully onto the boat after her and they both faced the captain.
“Welcome aboard the Sea Sprite. I’m Brady Finn.” Still holding her hand, he gave it a hearty pump.
He didn’t look any older than they were, but his sharp features were weathered from the wind and sun. The lines framing his smile gave his tan even more warmth. Her eyes strayed to his sandy hair. Generally, she preferred men who were more clean-cut, like Mac, but the way Brady’s shaggy hair fluttered and feathered in the breeze, with the sun glinting off his natural bleached highlights, was undeniably appealing. As if saving the best for last, only now did she meet his unusual blue-green eyes. Set off by fine lines radiating out from the corner of each, they were beautiful, so striking she was thrown for moment.
No question—most women would find Brady Finn attractive. Trying very hard not to think about it, she blushed at her delayed response to his introduction. “Kate.”
As always, Mac saved the day. Offering his hand to their skipper next, he grinned. “And I’m Mac Schafer.” He looked around, taking it all in. “Wow, this is some boat.”
“Thank you.” The captain was noticeably pleased at the compliment. “Ah … here’s Rome. He’s going to help you haul in your monster fish today.”
“Rome?” Kate raised her eyebrows as she shook the Latino’s hand.
His lips tightened. “I prefer it to Romeo.”
Brady gave him a good-natured cuff on the arm and told the passengers, “He’s not as big a fan of Shakespeare as his mom.”
Chuckling, Mac clasped hands with him and brought back the man’s easy smile. “Good to meet you, Rome.”
A sigh of contentment escaped Kate as she gazed at her fiancé. Mac had a way with people, a gift for diffusing tense situations. It’s what attracted her to him in the first place.
Stepping back she was startled to catch the captain watching her, studying her. She had an uneasy suspicion he was very aware of how carefully she’d examined him minutes ago. Looking evasively away, she reached for Mac. Pressed against his side while he chatted, Kate rubbed her hand up and down his spine, in dire need of a little of his calming mojo herself all of a sudden.
Oblivious to her tension, Mac smiled at Brady. “You said there’s a bathroom on board?”
The captain pointed to his left. “Through the salon and down the stairs.”
Mac gave Kate’s waist an affectionate squeeze. “See. Told you. You’ll be fine.”
“You can’t miss it.” Brady’s eyes landed on her again. To her relief, they didn’t linger this time. “We’ll head out as soon as Manuel gets here. Excuse me. I’ll see what’s keeping him.”
Rome waved the couple into the cockpit. “How about a quick tour?”
Available NOW on Amazon
About the Author
I'm a lifelong wordaholic, contemporary romance writer, pampered wife, and proud mom. Escape with me into books.
If you like fun and flirty, saucy and sexy, exciting thrills and suspense, or simply a good chuckle, I've got a story for you.
Please visit my website, Tara Mills Romance, for more information on my titles, sneak peeks, and my quirky blog.
I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Google+
Thanks, Tara. Blog readers, keep an eye out for this and other books in Tara's Pelican Cay series