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New Release | Any Fin For Love by @authorpetie #romance #newrelease #bookboost
Title Any Fin For Love
Author Petie McCarty
Genre Contemporary Romance
Might be time to kiss or cut bait . . .
Cody Ryan’s father never missed fishing the annual Loon Lake tournament until his unexpected passing. So this year, Cody packs up her how-to fishing videos and her dad’s old johnboat and gives him one final entry.
Gage Connor needs some R&R away from his coast guard deployment catching drug smugglers along the Louisiana coast, so he borrows a bass boat from his buddy and heads to Loon, Alabama to do some fishing.
When Gage and Cody meet at Loon Lake, their attraction is immediate and intense—until the two discover there is only one boat slip left on the lake and they both need it, and there’s only one vacant hotel room left in Loon and they both want it. Thus, their competition begins. Both vow to keep their distance from the other to fight the temptation, but fate has other plans. The tournament pairing party picks the two-man teams and chooses Gage as Cody’s partner.
For two days.
Alone on a boat.
Working as a team.
Be careful what you fish for . . .
Cody had no sooner tied off her bow line to the dock cleats when the red bass boat materialized out on the lake and dashed for the boat ramp. Gage must have been in one of the nearby inlets, and she paused to watch him angle into the marina’s crescent-shaped cove. With dark shades covering his eyes, his ball cap on backwards, and a peeved expression on his face, he exuded the consummate masculine package of looks and strength. Or maybe that was just her alpha fantasy imagination run wild? But then he had to go and ruin her perfectly crafted image when he deftly swung the boat in tight to the T-dock, and the resultant waves rocked Cody’s johnboat so hard she lost her balance. Bouncing hard on the middle seat, she slipped over backwards into the watery stream of nasty fish leftovers sliding up and down the center crease in the bottom of her boat.
“Eeeewww,” she squealed and pitched herself up on her elbows.
Gage loomed overhead on the dock, bow line in hand. “Guess you don’t have your sea legs yet.” His startling green eyes gave her a long lazy once-over. “You dried out I see. Or you did until you fell over.”
By the time she reached a sitting position, he stood in her johnboat and held out a hand to help her up. She stared hard at the proffered appendage, wanting to be angry at him for knocking her onto the bottom of the boat yet wondering if she would sizzle from grabbing his hand.
“I don’t bite,” he said softly.
Softly enough and sexy enough her stomach jittered like a pan of half-set Jell-O.
He didn’t wait for her response. Latching onto her hand, he yanked her upright, pulled her over, and drew her close. The move took a single second but felt like slow motion. Her body warmed in several places she’d never mention to anybody.
“I didn’t mean to knock you over. I was just in a hurry to make sure you were all right.”
She blinked, tried for air, and gave up. His sheer masculine perfection stole her breath because the man didn’t have to try. He just exuded manly confidence, manly strength, manly everything.
“I spotted those two rednecks from last night out on the lake,” he was saying.
His lips were so close all she could think of was their morning kiss—for the hundredth time—but she managed a, “Yeah, I saw them too.” And dang if that didn’t come out more like a squeak.
“They didn’t bother you, did they?” he asked. Or was it growled?
She shook her head. The rumble of his voice set certain parts tingling. He still held her hand, warmed to a sizzle in seconds. Couldn’t he feel the heat sparking between them?
He dropped her hand with a simple “good,” climbed out of her boat, and strode for the marina office. Thank goodness his back was turned. She hit the middle seat again with a thud, careful not to fall over backward. Every time that man did something that made him a jerk, he followed up with some random act of kindness. Or sweetness. Really, that’s all this was—him helping her up—and she shouldn’t read too much into his effort.
Gage’s bright red boat rocked against its mooring across the dock. Should she hurry and gather her tackle and vamoose before he returned? Or should she piddle around to see what happened when he came back to get his boat? She had always been an excellent piddler, and she did need time to get her wind back after that fall. Taking a deep breath, she caught an acrid whiff of the damp blouse clinging to her back. Surely that odor couldn’t be her! She yanked the shirttail up near her nose.
Her shirt smelled like the half dozen too-small-to-keep fish that had flopped around on the bottom of her boat earlier in the day. She glowered at the murky stream of water easing in and out of the v-shaped opening under the middle seat where she had landed.
“That’s just great. He grabs me, and I stink. First and last time he’ll make that mistake.” She stared off at the marina market where Gage had disappeared. “No wonder he dropped my hand and scrammed out of the boat.”
Snatching up lures, spent plastic baits, and rolls of fishing line, she crammed them into any compartment she could reach.
Hurry up and scram yourself. Before he gets another whiff.
No way did she want to provide him an olfactory memory to carry with him to the end of time. She turned at the high-pitched roar of a bass boat engine getting closer. One glance that direction gave her another good reason to hurry and get out. The big black boat with the two local bullies raced straight for the marina.
Worried by their sudden effort at speed, Cody’s fingers fumbled everything she touched, dropping lures, missing compartments she aimed for, and trying but failing to get her tackle box closed. Lumped-up lures kept the fold-down trays from seating properly, and the black boat sped closer. Twice she had to shift lures to get the trays to fold down and finally got the lid close enough to attempt the latch, right as the black boat skated into the marina and aimed straight for her slip.
With a gasp, she attempted to force the lid closed, gripping the side of the old tackle box with her left hand and leaning hard on the lid. She got the latch up and over and promptly drove the tip of a hook into the meaty part of her left palm. The pointy reprobate had squeezed unseen through the crease between the lid and the box bottom.
Yelping in pain, Cody snatched her hand back and gouged out a narrow strip of flesh, sending blood weeping from the shallow groove left behind. Finding nothing clean close by, she grabbed for her backpack and the travel pack of tissues inside to staunch the seepage. Clutching a tissue against her palm, she rummaged in the zipper pocket for a Band-aid.
“Well, well, well.”
Cody’s whole body stiffened at the sound of Zeke’s drawl.
“What do we have here?”
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Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World—"The Most Magical Place on Earth"—where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her "day" job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time-travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.
Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband and an opinionated Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in No Angels for Christmas.
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