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When, Gregg Hollister, a Department of Marine Resources agent, arrives in Robyn Cushman’s hometown of Tide Rock, Maine, undercover, to investigate a growing problem among the lobstermen, there's bound to be trouble. Especially since Robyn’s brother is Gregg's main suspect, and he thinks small towns are boring backwaters.
Secrets abound. Gregg is keeping them from Robyn. Robyn's father tries to keep them from his highly excitable wife. Robyn's sister-in-law is keeping them from her husband. Robyn's partner and best friend has been keeping one for years. And the person guilty of all the incidents, is keeping one from the whole town.
Can Robyn survive the test of her family loyalty and learn that all secrets are not bad? Can Gregg risk loving a family member of his main suspect?
Gregg had been hard at work the entire morning. He had pulled, emptied, rebaited and reset all the traps he had in Tide Rock Bay and was on his way home. Now, he was headed into Gull Bay where he moored his boat, or rather his uncle’s boat, the Fancy Lady.
In the two days since his arrival, he had taken a good deal of ribbing over the name, and wasn’t sure whether to be grateful or not. At least he had conversed with most of the lobstermen, either over the CB or on the wharf. Originally, he had planned to blend in, be merely another boat on the bay, but he quickly realized he wasn’t going to be inconspicuous. The lobstering community in Tide Rock was very tight, much smaller than in Belfast, where he had helped his uncle. Here, there were only ten or so boats operating. As a newcomer, he was easily identifiable, and the boat name was an irresistible target for every would-be comedian.
He’d have to turn it into an advantage, however. Because of his high visibility, he hoped no one would guess his real purpose. He didn’t want to become a target for these already frustrated lobstermen--or the actual perpetrator. He had placed his traps, strategically, scattered all over the place, giving him an excuse to cruise around. He trusted the other lobstermen would assume he was naive, still figuring out where the hot spots were.
Surprisingly, he had done quite well, catching a respectable number of lobsters. After two exhausting days; however, Gregg realized Uncle Ned had borne the brunt of the work during the summers Gregg had lobstered with him. Gregg had most definitely been the assistant.
Until now, he had assumed he was in good shape, but pulling traps, baiting and then lowering them, even with the help of the winch, had given him a new appreciation of the phrase ‘backbreaking.’ But it was his hands that were taking the worst beating. They were blistered and smarting from the rope and salt water. Never again would he feel quite the same about eating lobster. The effort required to put one on a plate was enormous.
Even though it was Saturday, he had already put in half a day’s work. His body was aching, and he was ready to relax. Robyn. Now why did he think of her all of a sudden? Not exactly a relaxing idea. More along the lines of stimulating. Maybe he could persuade her to go out with him sometime. Tonight?
He could take her to dinner in a small restaurant. There would be secluded seating. A jazz trio would play soft music in the background, and he could lose himself in her sea green eyes. While they sipped on French wine and shared appetizers, he could listen to her husky voice as she told him about her day. An apéritif of cognac after chateaubriand would be a perfect ending to the meal. They would stroll home along the water, moonlight blazing a trail on the surface of the ocean. On her doorstep, he could kiss those tantalizing lips.
Whoa! He was here to work, not play. Her father and, more particularly, her brother, were definite possibilities for the person stirring up trouble.
No, he’d do best to steer well clear of her. Then, again, she knew all the lobstermen. Maybe he could finesse her into helping him. If he could get her talking about people around here, he could learn a lot. He knew he was rationalizing.
No more daydreaming. He had to pay attention to maneuvering the narrow channel at the entrance of Gull Bay. Not far ahead he spied a small sail boat dancing across the water. As he got closer, he recognized a head of hair the color of ripe wheat, ruffled by the wind. Robyn. Had his wishful thinking materialized her?
Before he could reconsider, he gave a short blast on his horn and waved at her. She looked back over her shoulder, gave a quick wave of her hand, and let the wind spill out of her sail as she came about. She handled the little boat skillfully. He throttled back, carefully coming along side her.
As far back as Judi can remember, she's had stories playing in her head. When she was little, she acted them out. And when she wasn't acting out stories, or telling them to herself, she was reading someone else's. The summer Judi turned 12, when she had read every Nancy Drew she owned at least twice, and was nagging her mother to drive her to the library, her mother dug out one of her romance novels and Judi was hooked!
Growing up in a small town in Maine, although Judi did some writing in school, it was never a focus in class. Later, as a legal secretary in the days of manual typewriters, she never considered a writing career. She knew too well how much work was involved in drafting, editing and retyping legal documents. She was much too lazy to consider tackling a book.
And then that wonderful invention arrived. The computer. With that lovely cut and paste feature. Within a year of learning word processing on the job, Judi had her own computer for the express purpose of writing the next best seller. That manuscript happily keeps the dust bunnies company under her bed. However, it's where she honed her craft and began to learn what it takes to tell a story on paper.
"... an excellent love story, one you will thoroughly enjoy!" - Deborah Brent/Romantic Times
This manuscript has finaled in several regional contests and won in three: (1) Third Place in 1996 Fiction From the Heartland contest sponsored by Mid America Romance Authors; (2) Third Place in 1995 Hot Stuff contest sponsored by Romance Authors of the Heartland; and (3) Fifth Place in 1995 Great Confrontations contest sponsored by Lake County Romance Writers.
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 272
Paper Weight (lb): 11.6
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