Title: Cruising With Danger
Author: Robyn Rychards
Genre: Romantic Suspense
After the stress of working in a busy Chicago ER, Sage Brady reinvented herself and enjoys her job as a doctor on a cruise ship. Until she takes over the position of Chief Medical Officer and learns the previous doctor was murdered. Then she discovers narcotics being smuggled through the ship’s dispensary. But it’s the hot detective assigned to the case that threatens her peace of mind most of all. Detective Dace Langdon hates his undercover assignment as a cruise ship security guard, but it’s better than the vacation his boss suggested. Having the ship’s captain assign the sexy Chief Medical Officer as his partner is a complication Dace doesn’t need. Trapped on the open ocean, they race to find the identities of the smuggler and murderer before Sage becomes the next target. Will their attraction to each other complicate their investigation or lead to something lasting?
“Sage, forgive me for being blunt.” His eyes flicked to Dace Langdon. “Mr. Langdon has informed me that Dr. Roberts’ death wasn’t from natural causes. He was murdered.”
She felt the color drain from her face and blurted out the first thought that came to mind, regardless of tone or professional courtesy. “Forgive me, Captain, but why the hell is a security guard the one to inform you of this fact? I thought Eric died of a heart attack, which is a natural cause.”
She looked at Dace Langdon and didn’t bother to hide her suspicion. When her gaze collided with his icy blue one, she had the sensation of a fast downhill ride on a roller coaster.
“I’m sorry for your loss, Dr. Brady.”
“Thank you, Mr. Langdon. I didn’t mean to be rude, but this is as much of a shock as when I learned my friend was dead.”
Expression momentarily sympathetic, he nodded. “Maybe you should take a deep breath and give the captain a moment to explain.”
All she could do was nod for fear her voice would betray her. He didn’t need to know his voice, with its hint of roughness and trace of a southern accent, had her insides turning to mush. It certainly didn’t help when he raised a hand toward her in a gesture of comfort and her skin tingled in anticipation of his touch.
She grabbed desperately for her usual emotional distance, a necessary part of being a physician who didn’t always have good news to deliver and forced herself to focus on Captain Southerby.
“For your ears only, Dr. Brady,” he said. “You haven’t been assigned to work on the same ship as Eric Roberts for quite a while, and weren’t part of his staff when this happened. Mr. Langdon is a police officer, joining our cruise on assignment. He'll be acting as a security guard, which will allow him the access he needs to find out what he can about Dr. Roberts’ death without alerting anyone who may have been involved. It’s also less of a disruption to our passengers’ enjoyment of their cruise if they see him as one of the many security guards on board.”
The captain looked at Dace Langdon, which only drew her attention to the man all over again. It would be easier to pretend he wasn’t there because when he spoke she imagined his voice saying things that could never be said in front of her boss. Scary, really, since the actual words were so far removed from what she imagined.
“Suspicious circumstances called for an autopsy on Roberts,” he said in a slow, dark way that made Eric and his autopsy the last thing she was thinking about. “The results came back yesterday.”
Impatient, and wanting to be a million miles away, she fought the urge to squirm in her seat. “And the results are?”
“He was injected with a poison which made it appear he died of a heart attack.”
Folding his hands, the captain leaned forward, his expression serious. Sage no longer felt the urge to wiggle. “So, Dr. Brady, Detective Langdon will need information from you about the medical staff. Since you’ve been the staff doctor for the Caribbean Seas Cruise Lines up until now, I’m sure you’ll be able to provide helpful information.”
Translation: spy on her coworkers. Now she was irritated. It would’ve been nice to know that was in the job description before she accepted the position. “What kind of information?”
“To start, he needs a list of everyone Dr. Roberts worked with during his last assignment on board this ship. Since you’re not a suspect, I want you to help him with whatever he requires, so I can focus on running this ship.”
As her blood heated, Sage resisted the urge to fan herself. Detective Langdon? She’d done more than her share of detective work with members of the Chicago police force, but it wasn’t of the criminal variety. Investigating this particular officer held more appeal than all those other cops combined. Which only made her want to run screaming from the room in self-preservation.
Instead, she focused on the shiny buttons of the captain’s uniform, and concentrated on his words. “Keep me in the loop about what you discover, Detective, but leave me out of the day to day things. Sage, it goes without saying that as far as the rest of the crew is concerned, other than the Chief of Security, Mr. Langdon is simply one of our new security guards.”
She couldn’t help it, she looked at Caribbean Seas’ newest security guard again. Then he looked at her, snaring her with the heated gaze of those unusual eyes.
And his words. Good God, his words. “I’m looking forward to… working with you, Dr. Brady.”
She fought the old Sage Brady battling to get out of the box she shoved her into when she’d packed up and moved to New Orleans. Helping the sexiest police detective she’d ever run across with a murder investigation was the kind of thing the old Sage thrived on.
New and improved Sage was seriously screwed.
What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?
Two things are my go-to remedies: reading a good book or binge-watching British television. I love being taken away to a different place and time in my imagination!
Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?
Escape the cold dark days of winter with a cruise on the Caribbean. Add a hot police detective hero, a classy doctor for a heroine, a mystery to solve, and what more do you need to forget it all?
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Runs March 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on April 1.
Robyn Rychards grew up in the granola bowl of the United States, Boulder Colorado, a town filled with fruits, flakes and nuts. She considers herself a Jack-of-all-trades, Master-of-none and has taught herself to sew, paint, play the piano, garden, cook... The list goes on. She feels her active imagination is a blessing and a curse, with the blessing far outweighing the curse since it's led her to fulfill her dream of being a Harlequin author. Robyn started writing when she was a teenager because she didn't have enough books to read and finds it hard to believe that people are willing to pay her to do something she enjoys so much. And a job that means you can stay in your jammies as long as you want? Priceless.
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