Secrets—and safety—melt under a midnight sun…
Liv Chandler is running for her life, and the cops haven’t been able to do a thing to help. But there’s one man who makes her feel safe, no matter what…rugged charter boat captain Rafe Brodie.
To Rafe, Liv is a beautiful mystery, one he can’t ignore. He means to unearth her secrets, and in the process, if luck is on his side, maybe the spark between them will ignite.
But Liv’s past is more dangerous than Rafe could guess, and when his first mate turns up dead, she fears that she’s next. That there’s something else coming she can’t see. That even Rafe and the remote village of Valdez, Alaska can’t protect her forever…
About the Author
Kat Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty books across multiple genres. Sixteen million copies are in print and she has been published in twenty-one foreign countries, including Japan, France, Argentina, Greece, China, and Spain. Her books have been nominated for the prestigious RITA award and won both the Lifetime Achievement and Reviewer’s Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews.
A resident of Missoula, Montana, Kat is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. She and her author husband, L.J. Martin, spend their winters in Ventura, California. She is currently writing her next Romantic Suspense. Visit Kat at www.katmartin.com. Or join her Facebook page. (www.facebook.com/pages/Kat-Martin/322579975013firef=hl)
Read an Excerpt
Against The Tide
By Kat Martin
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2015 Kat Martin
All rights reserved.
The piercing ring of the cell phone lying on his nightstand didn't bode well. There was no such thing as good news at three o'clock in the morning.
With a sigh, Rafe rolled over and grabbed the phone, scrubbed a hand over his face as he pressed it against his ear. "Brodie."
"Police Chief Rosen here. We've got a problem, Rafe, and it's a bad one. I need you to meet me down at the harbor. How soon can you get here?"
Rafe swung his long legs to the side of the bed and sat up. "Ten minutes. What's this about, Chief?"
"It's Scotty Ferris, Rafe. I'm afraid he's dead. I'll fill you in when you get here. I'll be waiting on the dock next to the Scorpion." The police chief hung up the phone.
For several long moments, Rafe just sat there. His chest felt tight. Scotty Ferris was twenty-four years old, a handsome, hardworking kid who was engaged to be married. His June wedding to Cassie Webster, one of the local girls, was only three weeks away. Cassie was going to be crushed.
Rafe swore softly. What the hell could have happened?
But in this rugged country where the climate, wild animals, or just bad judgment could get you killed, accidents happened all the time.
Shoving himself up from the bed, Rafe grabbed a pair of worn jeans off the chair and jerked them on, drew a sweatshirt over his head, pulled on his heavy socks, and shoved his size-thirteen feet into a pair of high-topped, rubber-soled boots. Since the temperature at night even in late May was still in the thirties and it had rained during the night, he grabbed his jacket as he headed for the steps down to the garage.
The boat harbor wasn't far from his house, a brown bilevel with an oversized two-car garage that sat a few blocks north on Mendeltna, a street off Hazelet Avenue there in Valdez. Sea Scorpion was his flagship charter fishing boat, a thirty-eight-foot Mac, his pride and joy. It was the boat he usually captained himself, one of three that made up his fleet. Scotty Ferris was part of Scorpion's crew.
Rafe thought of the young man as he parked his dark green Ford Expedition in a spot in front of the harbor, climbed out, and closed the door. Puddles from last night's rain sloshed against his boots as he made his way toward the dock. The occasional streetlight burned into the darkness, but quiet surrounded him, along with the familiar salty tang of the sea.
Ringed by the snowcapped Chugach Mountains, gleaming white glaciers, and the turquoise waters of Prince William Sound, Valdez was considered one of the most beautiful places on earth.
But the climate was a major drawback for most people, being wet, cold, and snowy much of the year. Rafe couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
Which brought his thoughts full circle to Scotty. With year-round residents numbering less than forty-five hundred, everyone knew everyone who lived there. And everyone knew and liked Scotty. The kid had been born in Valdez. He thrived on the rugged lifestyle, planned to marry and raise kids here, probably never would have left.
What the hell had happened? Rafe thought again as he walked toward his boat.
And why did Chief Rosen want to meet him at the Scorpion?
A few spaces down from where he'd parked, Rafe spotted a black-and-silver Ford police SUV. In the distance, the familiar antenna above the wheelhouse of the Scorpion marked where the boat bobbed near the middle of the dock.
Rafe started down the long wooden walkway, his gaze on the group of people gathered next to where the Scorpion was moored. The area was cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape, the boat clearly off-limits until the police were finished collecting evidence.
Police Chief Clifford Rosen, a stout man in his fifties, bald head ringed by thinning gray hair, stood next to a figure lying on the dock, covered by a long, white cloth. Knowing Scotty Ferris lay under the cloth made Rafe's stomach burn.
Two other officers quietly conversed while a doctor he recognized as Karen Ward, a woman who worked at the local clinic and served as medical examiner, knelt next to the sheet-draped body.
"What happened?" Rafe asked the chief.
"Looks like he was robbed," Rosen answered. "Wallet's missing, jewelry's gone. Car keys. Cell phone's missing. Single blow to the back of the head. Blunt instrument. Baseball bat seems the most likely, something that size that would be easy to handle."
"I asked you to come down because I need someone to identify the body. With his parents both dead, I figured better you than his fiancée. Soon as you do that, I'll break the news to the Webster girl."
Rafe just nodded. Cassie was going to be devastated. She and Scotty were crazy in love, the kind Rafe figured had a good chance of lasting. Sometimes fate could be a real bastard.
"Who found him?"
"Young couple wandered out this way from the Fisherman's Catch Saloon. Found him lying right there. Shook 'em up pretty bad."
"Two a.m. The M.E. makes preliminary time of death between eleven and two."
One of the officers, a red-haired young cop Rafe recognized as Rusty Donovan, leaned down and lifted the edge of the sheet. As the cover rolled back, Rafe's gaze fixed on Scotty. The boy's brown eyes were open, staring sightlessly into the black night sky. His handsome face was frozen in a look of surprise.
He was wearing a jacket but it was unzipped, revealing a long-sleeved blue T-shirt that read FISHERMEN DO IT DEEPER. Rafe could almost see the grin on the kid's face when he'd put it on.
"It's him," he said darkly. "Scott Ferris."
"You know what he was doing down here?"
"No." But once he got his head wrapped around Scotty's death, he intended to find out.
"As soon as we check for any forensic evidence on the boat, I'll want you to take a look inside, see if anything's missing. At first glance, there's no sign of a break-in. Probably took him out before he went aboard."
Rafe just nodded.
"That's it then," the police chief said. "We'll wrap things up here and I'll talk to Cassie Webster."
Rafe looked down at Scotty and clenched his jaw.
"You're going to catch the sonofabitch, right? You're going to find the guy who killed him?"
"If he's in town, we'll catch him. If he's some loser just passing through, might be a whole lot harder."
Rafe frowned. "You don't think he was killed by a local?"
"Wouldn't be my first guess. Hell, we haven't had a murder here in years. But violent crime's been creeping up lately—assaults, thefts, burglaries. These days anything's possible."
"Either way, you're going to get him," Rafe repeated, making it clear there had better not be any doubt.
Rosen just nodded. "Thanks for coming down."
"Keep me posted, will you?" When the chief made no reply, Rafe shoved his hands into his jacket pockets, turned, and started back the way he'd come.
It was almost dawn. If he had a fishing charter today, he'd be at the dock by five, getting ready to take the boat out at six. He did half-day cruises; nine hour; or full-day, twelve-hour charters that lasted till six p.m.
He wasn't taking a group out today, which meant he wouldn't be seeing Jaimie Graham, the nineteen-year-old girl who crewed for him along with Scotty. She dressed like a man, worked like a man, but under her determination to prove herself in the world of men, Jaimie had a bad crush on Scotty. She was going to take the news damned hard.
Rafe got into the Ford and started driving toward the house Jaimie lived in with her parents. He needed to speak to her, break the news before she found out from someone else. He hated to wake up her folks, but he didn't have any choice.
Rafe sighed into the darkness. He wished he could just go back to bed, get some badly needed sleep, but there was no chance of that.
Not with his mind circling around, going over what had happened, trying to make sense of the senseless murder of Scotty Ferris. Trying to think why Scotty might have been down at the Scorpion in the middle of the night. Wishing he knew who had killed him.
Thinking how much he'd like to wrap his hands around the bastard's neck and squeeze till he paid for what he had done.CHAPTER 2
The breakfast crowd at the Pelican Café had begun to arrive, as people did every morning when it opened at six a.m. The café had opened its doors in the fifties and been going strong ever since. Of course, it had passed through a dozen different owners, had its ups and downs, and been near financial ruin more than once.
Having purchased the restaurant six months ago, Olivia Chandler was the most recent person to step into the driver's seat. Unlike the previous owner, who had let the place sink into disrepair, Olivia had been making changes, most of which had been heralded with great enthusiasm by the local customers.
The bell above the door rang as a young mother and her little girl walked in and headed for one of the light blue vinyl booths. Melissa Young, Olivia remembered, was her name. Liv made a point of getting to know her customers—just not too well.
While Melissa grabbed a child's high seat and settled one-year-old Suzy in it, the waitress, a slim little blonde named Katie McKenzie, grabbed the coffeepot off the burner behind the counter and headed for the booth. Katie smiled as she filled Melissa's mug and handed her a menu.
"I'll give you a minute to decide," Katie said, hurrying off to another table to refill an earlier patron's cup.
One of the changes Liv had made was to hire a new cook—one who wasn't high on marijuana half the time. Wayne Littlefish was Alaska Native, reliable and great in the kitchen. An older man, Charlie Foot, worked the dinner shift.
Liv had also hired two part-time waitresses instead of one full-time worker, which gave each of the girls a more flexible schedule and made taking time off easier for all of them, including Olivia and long-time employee, Nell Olsen.
A buxom woman with thick, silver-streaked black hair, Nell had worked at the café for more than ten years. She was as much a fixture as the sky-blue interior, the ocean theme, and the anchors and fishing nets on the walls.
Nell had been invaluable in helping Liv take over the business since, aside from waiting tables for the past couple of years, being a fairly decent cook, and a very fast learner, Liv had almost no experience in running a restaurant.
Still, in the last six months she had managed to keep the old clientele happy and add new customers. The tourist season was just starting, so business was getting even better.
"Well, look who's coming," Nell said, staring out the window at a tall man in jeans and a sweatshirt crossing the outside patio. The brick patio was empty now while it was still cold, but with summer approaching, soon would be noisy with people. "If it isn't Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome."
Katie walked past Liv just then, a platter of bacon and eggs riding on the flat of her hand. "I just call him Mr. Freakin' Hot."
"Shame on you," Liv teased. "You just turned twentyone. Rafe Brodie's got to be at least a dozen years older."
"Just means he's a man not a boy. And I like a guy with a little experience."
"From what I hear, he has plenty of that," Liv said dryly as Katie sailed off to deliver the food.
Nell chuckled. "I'm fifty years old and that man can still make me swoon."
Olivia busied herself wiping off the long Formica-topped counter as Rafe shoved through the door, ringing the bell above. Seating himself in his usual booth, he stretched his long legs out in front of him. Rafe was a regular in the café, which sat on North Harbor Drive right across from the boat dock.
"Katie's busy," Nell said with a matchmaking glint in her eyes. "Why don't you wait on him?"
Olivia shook her head. "I'm busy, too. You go ahead."
Knowing there was no persuading her, Nell sighed. "Probably better you don't. Everyone in town knows Rafe's a dedicated bachelor."
As the owner of the café, Olivia caught most of the local gossip. According to Cassie Webster, the other part-time waitress, Rafe Brodie had dated a woman named Sally Henderson for nearly three years, until she dumped him four months ago because he refused to marry her.
Apparently, he'd made his intentions—or lack thereof—clear from the start, but Sally hadn't believed him, poor girl.
Dedicated bachelor or not, Nell and Katie were right. With the thick, dark brown hair curling just over his collar, the faint shadow of beard that usually lined his hard jaw, and those hot, whiskey-brown eyes, he was one of the best-looking men Olivia had ever seen.
Which was exactly the reason she had avoided him since the day she had met him.
Oh, she'd been pleasant enough when she had to be, spoken to him for a moment when she'd been introduced to him at a chamber of commerce mixer right after she'd bought the café, but she always managed to be too busy to wait on him.
No use putting temptation in her path. It was simply too dangerous.
Still, as she worked taking orders and delivering meals to the patrons at the counter, she couldn't help an occasional glance in his direction. He had always reminded her of a dark-haired lion, powerful and dangerous yet fascinating in some primitive way. He looked different today, the shadow along his jaw darker, as if he hadn't had time to shave, his handsome features set in grim lines, and faint shadows under his eyes.
She watched as Nell chatted with him a moment, then Liv watched the easy smile Nell usually gave him slip from her face.
The coffeepot wavered. Rafe grabbed the glass pot to keep her from dropping it and spilled hot coffee over his hand.
Olivia didn't hesitate, just grabbed a towel, wet it with cold water, and hurried in Rafe's direction. He was sitting down again, Nell fussing over him, relieved to see Olivia approaching.
"Here—wrap this around your fingers." She handed him the wet towel. "It's cold enough to ease the pain and keep the burn from getting worse."
"I'm all right," Rafe said. "It's no big deal." But he accepted the wet cloth and looped it over the back of a big, suntanned hand.
The man was all of six-four, two-hundred-plus pounds, with a solid, athletic build and very wide shoulders. Liv was five-nine, but Rafe was more than half a head taller. She tried not to stare at his mouth, which seemed harder this morning without the smile he always had for Nell.
She glanced in her friend's direction, sucked in a breath as Nell's pale blue eyes filled with tears.
"Oh God, what is it?"
Nell blinked and the tears rolled down her cheeks. She wiped at the wetness with a trembling hand. "I could tell something was wrong. It was stamped all over Rafe's face."
Liv glanced from one to the other, saw the same grim expression on both of their faces. "Tell me what's happened."
Nell swallowed. "It's ... it's Scotty. He was killed last night."
Olivia felt the blood seeping out of her head. She found herself sinking down on the bench opposite Rafe. "Oh God. That's why Cassie didn't show up for work this morning." The reason Olivia had had to call Katie.
Rafe's towel-wrapped hand unconsciously fisted. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said anything. I figured since Cassie works here, Nell already knew."
"I'm glad you told me," Nell said. "I need to go to her, make sure she's okay."
"I'll cover while you're gone," Liv said. "We'll be fine."
Nell wiped fresh tears from her cheeks. "This is going to break her heart. She loved Scotty so much. Everyone loved him."
"I can't believe he's dead," Liv said, aching for the young woman whose future had been shattered. "What happened?"
"The police think it was a mugging," Rafe said. "Whoever did it stole his wallet, jewelry, cell phone."
"Where did it happen?"
"On the dock next to the Scorpion."
Liv frowned. "What was he doing down at the dock at night? He's usually home with Cassie."
"I don't know. I talked to Jaimie Graham before I came over. She had no idea what he was doing down there."
"Jaimie had an awful crush on Scotty," Nell said. "She must have taken the news real hard."
"Jaimie isn't good at hiding her feelings," Rafe said.
Excerpted from Against The Tide by Kat Martin. Copyright © 2015 Kat Martin. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Heart stopping! Dreamy, Hot, hold your breath excitement! Can't put it down, can't hardly wait until the page turns!
It tok awhile to get it started
Kat Martin has three novels about three brothers in this series: "Against..." The title of this review can be used for all three of these books even though the plots are quite different. Each one is unique in setting, character personalities, and plotlines. Lessons in psychology of relationships and trust are Available to readers looking for depth
Perfect story, sex, fights, tears, and happiness! Now back to the B. O. S. S. Stories keep them comming!
Kat Martin continues to entertain and thrill with her Brodies of Alaska series. Against the Tide is an edgy, thrilling romance. This is the story of Liv Chandler who owns the local diner and is secretive about her past. Rafe Brodie runs a local fishing charter and is attracted to Liv. When Rafe's first mate is murdered, he and Liv work together to find the murderer. While working together, they give into the attraction and a true love develops.
**I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review** Rafe got a call from the police chief. Scotty Ferres was 24, engaged to be married, and dead. He was found on the dock near a chartered fisher boat, The Sea Scorpion, which was owned by Rafe. Scotty was part of Rafe's crew. Rafe was called to identify his body. Jamie was his 19yr old crew member who had a crush on Scotty. Rafe's business was Great Alaskan Charters. Scotty had been Rafe's right-hand man and very good friend. Liv owned and ran the restaurant, The Pelican. Rafe was attracted to Liv and vise versa, but she was determined to keep her guard up. Liv was a caring, kind person. She had a lot of secrets but she had to keep them to survive. Liv is very mental strong, stubborn and determined at times, but after all the twists and turns of this story she finally found love. I liked her character a lot. Rafe was mentally and physically strong. He cared about the people he knew and he cared about his crew. When Rafe had a gut feeling that things weren't right, he followed that feeling until he got answers. Through the twists and turns in the story, he healed from a tragic love and found a second love. I loved the characters and plot. I recommend this book to anyone that likes this genre. I look forward to reading more from this author.
I really like these stories. I like the Brodies very much and really like the Alaska background.
I was fairly disappointed in the conclusion to this series...portions of the plot were a bit of a stretch. Nice to close out the series, but other choices of this author were much better.
There's so much going on with the story, there's never a dull moment! I pretty much inhaled the book at once after I started reading it. The little town, Valdez, Alaska is charming in a rugged way, the people pulling together and supporting each other. The murder of one of their own devastates the whole town, and they are determined to find the person responsible for the murder. Rafe, the oldest brother of the bunch, is a true alpha: fiercely protective, supportive, loyal, stubborn, a bit bossy, and lot of hot and handsome. Liv is trying to keep a low profile, to hide the secrets she is keeping, but the murder in town brings back old memories, making her want the justice to be served. Together they are burning hot, the attraction tangible, something neither of them can't hide or deny. Their teamwork is seamless, the trust slowly but surely building in between them, feelings getting deeper as they get to know each other. With Scott's murder, Liv's secrets, several romances developing, possible terrorist in town, and attack against Liv, the different plots tangle together, keeps the story moving, the action fast and constant. With addition of strong, capable, adept, and complex characters, the story is just what great romantic suspense is all about ~ Five Spoons
Against the Tide is the third book in the Brodies of Alaska series and the story opens with Rafe’s first mate found murdered. Rafe is the oldest of the Brodie brothers. He has his own charter fishing business. He has had his eye on Oliveria (Liv ) Chandler and she is a mystery to him. She is the owner of the local diner that he just happens to frequent often. The book is a balance between the heartbreaking death of Scotty and the impact on those he loved, the sizzling romance developing between Rafe and Liv and the intense mystery around the murder. Throughout the book we learn more about Liv’s past and why she is hiding in Alaska. Rafe and Liv both had great relationships with the people in town. I loved that Liv would run with her guard dog Khan. I also loved how the author sprinkled in the different caps that would complement Liv’s mood. Against the Tide vibrates with tension, passion, and mystery. Kat knows how to make the sparks fly. Each of the books stand alone in the series. His brothers from the other books are mentioned briefly and we get to meet to new characters that I would love to get their own books. You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.
J: I just down rated this story from 3 stars. I have read over 230 pages and this story is still way too slow. I keep hoping it will get good but I have not developed any connection with the main characters nor to the actual plot. It just seems like a long romance drama. The suspense not suspenseful enough, the excitement not exciting enough and I am so disappointed! I think I'll have to let this author go for a while. I have not enjoyed several of her books lately.
This was a polished, enticing read that I was quite excited about. Martin brought Alaska to life in a big way that really allowed me to experience it alongside her characters. It was emotionally turbulent from beginning to end. Martin developed a low-key suspense that really packed a punch. I found this novel quite enjoyable, but the pace was a bit slow. Until the end, of course, when it raced forward. It was a great read but for me was missing that ‘can’t put it down’ quality. Olivia is a very linear character who wants everything to fit into neat boxes. Life just doesn’t work that way so she takes to avoiding things that don’t conform for her. Paired with Rafe, who goes for exactly what he wants, readers are in for some intriguingly comical and extremely romantic moments. These two were actually a real joy to get to know. The parallels between Liv’s past & present lives add a lot of context to the story as a whole. Overall, this was an enjoyable read that I’m definitely glad to have read. Martin brings Alaska & suspense to life in a big way, along with some explosive romance. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
There are plenty of secrets and lies to keep you wondering how it was all going to play out, even though as the reader you know who the players are. The chemistry between Rafe and Liv is great and the way their relationship progresses is believable. Both Rafe and Liv are likeable characters from the start and remain likeable through the end. As with all small town stories, they have friends and family to help them along the way. Although this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a standalone. Overall, a solid romantic suspense, look forward to the next Brodie finding love when least expected. ARC via NetGalley
Olivia is on the run and ends as a café owner in a small town in Alaska. There she meets Rafe Brodie, and sparks fly. When someone ends up dead. Olivia realizes she can’t run any longer. Fast paced and exciting. I love the chemistry between Rafe and Olivia. Great Read!
Kat has given us another great story. She has come up with a really believable story line. I will warn you that you should have tissues nearby. I needed some near the end. She has really shown us a busy story. This is not a dull read! It is set in Alaska. Rafe has a charter business taking tourists on sightseeing tours and fishing excursions. A young man is found dead and the whole town rallies to get the killer. Spoilers. Then there are men who just don't seem like tourists. Rafe and friends "help" to close this with the police. Spoiler. Rafe has liked Olivia for awhile as she is the new owner of the Pelican Cafe. She has a hidden past. She won't get close to anyone. Spoilers. Rafe works his way into her life. This story will stay with you after you finish reading it. I hope you want to pick this book to read. I couldn't put it down. It makes you think. I hope you enjoy reading it! I have this book for an honest review for NetGalley.