All for You

All for You

by Christi Barth

NOOK BookOriginal (eBook - Original)

$3.49
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426899515
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 02/09/2015
Series: Shore Secrets , #2
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 630,014
File size: 417 KB

About the Author

  • Christi Barth writes sassy, sexy and smart contemporary romances. She earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi is lives in Maryland with her husband.

Read an Excerpt

When Casey Hobbes got an eyeful of the half-naked man emerging from Seneca Lake, she pulled onto the shoulder without even signaling. She could justify the move because he was technically breaking the no swimming after sunset posted rule, even though she was off-duty. Much of her job as a New York State park ranger comprised of reminding people that rules were for their safety. But deep down? Casey wasn't even kidding herself. It was that impossibly broad chest and shock of dark brown hair mussed over the top of the scuba mask that drew her like a moth to a bug zapper.

Moving fast now, he emerged the rest of the way from the water. It was black, the same color as the night sky above. So although he wasn't pale, his legs starkly contrasted his surroundings, making him easy to spot in the moonlight. His long, strong legs. Well muscled. Casey liked the looks of a man who worked out. She couldn't stand the over-pumped gym rats who resembled nothing more than anatomically correct balloon people. No, this guy was just hot. Yummy hot. S'mores melting over a campfire hot.

Or maybe not so hot. 'Cause he'd wrapped his arms around himself without even removing the scuba tanks strapped onto his back. Even from across the road she could tell he was shivering. See? It didn't pay to break the rules. What kind of idiot didn't wear a wetsuit, even in June, to dive in the Finger Lakes? Casey swung her Jeep into the parking lot of the lakefront park and grabbed for the emergency space blanket she kept tucked behind the passenger seat.

Sticking her head out the window, she asked, "Sir, do you need help?"

He shook his head. But his teeth were chattering so hard he couldn't actually answer. Geez. Why were the hot ones always so dumb? With a sigh, she hopped out. Hurried over, unsnapped the belt at his waist where the flashlight hung and slipped the straps of his gear down his bare arms with no resistance from him. Probably because his arms were absolutely ice cold. Now they hung limp at his sides.

So she wrapped the blanket around him tight herself. Its foil crinkling scared a flock of geese straight up into the starry sky. Casey rolled her eyes up toward the Big Dipper in exasperation. Great. What was she supposed to do with a six-foot-tall mansicle frozen in place at the edge of the lake? Knowing body heat was the quickest way to deal with hypothermia, she wrapped her arms around him, too. Tried not to notice that it brought her flush against ridged abs. Or how well her head tucked into the hollow of his collarbone.

This was strictly basic first aid. If he were a woman, or a sixty-year-old guy with a pot belly and a bad comb-over, Casey would still be responding the same way. His core temp had to be raised ASAP. But still, it didn't suck that he was a wall of sheer, solid muscle against her torso. She tucked her thighs and calves along the outside of his, almost hissing at the cold searing every exposed inch between her uniform khaki shorts and the tops of her boots.

"Thanks."

Surprised his teeth had stopped chattering already, she jerked her head up. But Casey couldn't see anything behind his fogged-over mask. Only a well-formed pair of lips beneath it. Generous. Curved up just the tiniest bit. Lips that made her want to throw caution to the wind and start nibbling.

"How do you feel?"

"Cold. Prickly, like I'm getting acupuncture from a hundred doctors all at once."

Whew. No ambulance needed, then. Just her blanket and time. "That sensation will pass. It's good news, actually, that you aren't numb at all."

"Nope. Definitely not numb."

Was that a twitch of…seriously…when most of his body still felt like an unthawed surprise from the freezer? Casey released her embrace a split second after he began to push away.

"God, I'm sorry. Really." He stumbled back a few steps, and his mouth hung open. "That was an involuntary reaction. I mean, you're beautiful, so it wasn't entirely involuntary. But it was a purely physical reaction to stimulus. To all of you pressing up against all of me. I swear I'm not trying to accost you."

Huh. His rapid backpedaling rang true. The stranger appeared to be a genuinely good guy. She'd cut him some slack. Besides, he was still shivering. Whatever little heat she'd imparted to him had all pooled in that overachieving organ tenting the front of his trunks.

"I'm not worried. I can't imagine anyone committing to hypothermia on the off-chance that a woman might drive by, decide to try to rescue them, and then stick around to get kissed."

"Kissed? Who said anything about a kiss? Not that I wouldn't be on board with the idea." His voice turned smug, even as he tugged the blanket tighter against another round of shivers.

Damn it. Casey certainly hadn't meant to mention a kiss. She blamed the slip on working overtime three days straight. The height of tourist season here in the Finger Lakes, and yet she'd stupidly offered to cover so one of her rangers could attend a wedding over the weekend. Exhaustion was her only excuse. It had nothing to do with how she could see the leading edge of brown hair across his chest over the crisscrossed top of the blanket.

"Sit down. Pull your knees up to your chest." Casey led him to the base of a hemlock tree. Put two fingers to his neck. A strong pulse, but slower than normal. She'd better hang with him for a few minutes to be sure it picked back up. Keep him talking to be sure his words didn't slur or slow down any more. "I don't think you need a hospital, but I can take you there if you'd like."

He shook his head, which sent his air hose and mouthpiece flapping. "No way. I'm a man. I can tough this out. But your lake really ought to come with a warning sign."

Tourists. Always happy to toss blame on someone if they were in any way put out. Casey generally loved the visitors who flocked to the Finger Lakes May through October. She loved watching them be struck by the natural beauty of the area, the charm of the quaint downtown. But in her occasional role as an enforcer of rules, they tended to drive her nuts. This one was no exception. Although he was much, much better looking than the usual complainer. That made it a little easier to be patient with him.

"It does. It says no swimming after sunset." She pointed to the wooden sign clearly visible, less than ten feet away. "That's why I came over here in the first place."

"Why?" His lips quirked into another smile. "Are you the swimming police? A capeless and more stringent version of Aquaman?"

Funny. And anyone who could tease a grin out of her while this tired was a miracle worker. Or at least someone worth getting her flirt on with. "No. I'm a ranger with the New York State Park Service. Saving people from their own, nature-induced stupidity is all in a day's work." Casey sank to the grass beside him. Ran her fingers in a slow arc across the soft blades to help resist the urge to rub his arms. Or really, rub anything else within reach.

"I'm not stupid. What I am is fully certified to scuba dive. I've gone night-diving dozens of times all around the world. In open oceans. Under conditions far more treacherous than a placid lake." The smugness was gone, replaced by a generous helping of pissyness. As if her words, and strict adherence to the rules, had threatened his very manliness.

"But you've never done it in this lake, I'll bet. Seneca Lake is special. More than six hundred feet deep. So even though the top ten feet or so warm up in the summer, everything deeper than that stays right around forty degrees."

He shook his head, as if still confused. "It's the middle of June."

"Which is why the top layer is warm," she said patiently. It was a phenomenon she explained dozens of times every summer.

"You're right. I let my enthusiasm get the better of me. I should've asked around and gotten informed before jumping into a new environment. No clue it was so deep. Usually I'm much more painstaking with my research." More crinkles of the foil as he shrugged. "I screwed up."

Impressive. She couldn't wait to tell her friends about him. Not that they'd believe her. "Wow. A man who admits he's wrong? I thought those were a myth."

"I'll go you one better. Not only can I admit I'm wrong. I'm going to apologize, too." With the back of his hand, he shoved the goggles to the top of his head. "I'm sorry my stupidity disrupted your evening."

Flutter. Double flutter. Yep, that was her heart sputtering at the combination of the reveal of his handsome face paired with an apology. Wide-set eyes under straight brows gave him a disarmingly rugged look. Now that she could see his whole face, Casey was hooked. The only problem being that darkness kept her from telling the exact color of the eyes staring into hers so earnestly.

"That's okay. I didn't have any plans." Casey regretted the words before her mouth stopped moving. Way to sound both desperate and boring at the same time. On top of her lecture about the lake rules, she must be coming off about as attractive as a crotchety spinster of a frontier schoolmarm.

He reached out to tug at the end of one of her long, blond braids. "A beautiful woman like you? That's hard to believe."

"That's a line," she countered. "And not a particularly good or inventive one."

"My brain's still thawing out. Give me five minutes and I promise I'll do better. Much better."

"I'll give you ten. But you'd better not disappoint me."

"How about we start with something simple? When I write a letter to the New York Park Service commending your swift work to prevent me from hypothermia, who do I name?"

Anything in excess made waves, made her get noticed. Even praise. And getting noticed was something Casey avoided more scrupulously than even poison ivy. Seeing as how she'd been hiding from the national media since the age of twelve, when her stepmom rescued her from an infamous cult. So out of long habit, Casey demurred. "You don't have to do that."

His thumb stroked back and forth over the stub of her braid sticking out from the elastic. Casey couldn't feel it, of course, but she imagined she could. Imagined what it might feel like if he repeated that motion on the inside of her wrist. Or across the back of her hand. Watching the hypnotic motion also meant she could avoid looking at him.

"Is it that horrible I want to thank you?" he asked in a slow, low voice.

"What I did wasn't special. See that campground across the road? There was just as big a chance that someone would've noticed you on their way to the bathroom and come to your rescue. Or another person in town driving by. We take good care of our tourists. And lots of people know basic first aid."

"That's a whole lot of obfuscation and backpedaling when all I want is your name."

Oops. Now she'd attracted more of his attention by the very act of trying to avoid attracting any attention. Most of the time Casey was pretty darn happy with her life here in the Finger Lakes. She had a great job. Wonderful friends. But every once in a while, like right now, a situation popped up that filled her with unhappiness.

No, that wasn't quite right. A mix of sadness and anger, all directed at the father who'd tangled her up in a whacked-out cult. A cult that famously imploded one day after she'd gotten out. One that still had people beating the bushes to talk with "survivors" and get the inside scoop.

The media had put a price on her head. Like a felon. When all she wanted, more than anything, was to live a normal life. To be able to let a handsome man send a letter of praise up the ladder to her big boss without any worries that it might make the paper and suddenly bring a barrage of cameras and media to her peaceful town, all aiming their bright lights at her. Casey wasn't sure she'd ever fully forgive her dad for putting her in this position. Or that she'd forgive herself for still, after all this time, wanting to protect him.

It had gone on for seventeen years. Casey was so, so tired of hiding. Tired of always being on her guard. It was a beautiful summer night. A warm breeze stirred the leaves overhead. The throaty burble of a frog rumbled from the shoreline. A nearby honeysuckle scented the air. And a hot man was all but in her lap, asking her name. What could the harm be in one memorable summer night of fun and flirtation?

"I'll tell you if you promise not to nominate me for Ranger of the Year." She waited until he nodded, and then stuck out her hand. "Casey Hobbes."

Deep grooves that told of a man who smiled easily and often bracketed his mouth. "Professor Zane Buchanan."

"Professor Buchanan? I guess that explains the fancy, ten-dollar words like obfuscation"

"Sorry. I've spent a good chunk of my life behind ivy-covered walls. I forget sometimes that it makes me come off like a pretentious ass."

"Not an ass," she assured him with wide-eyed innocence. "Just pretentious."

He barked out a laugh and let go of her braid. Huddled his arm back beneath the blanket. "Fair enough. And you don't have to call me professor. Unless you've signed up for my class and want to start the inevitable ass-kissing-for-an-A early. Zane's good enough."

Zane. A solid, strong and sexy name. It fit him. "You're teaching a class at Hobart?"

"Just Hobart? Is that what the locals in the know call it?"

"Well, Hobart and William Smith Colleges is too big a mouthful most of the time." Big mouthful. Had she really just said that to him? Slutty-flirty was totally not her style. Casey wanted to lean forward far enough to bang her head into the tree trunk. "Did you start this summer term?"

"Not exactly. I teach there, but I don't work there.

Yet."

Casey might not have a string of letters after her name, but she did have one degree. In forest resources management. From the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at SUNY. Not the hallowed halls of the Ivy League, but she'd worked hard. Written a slew of papers. Researched and memorized and analyzed. So how come she couldn't understand what on earth he was saying? It put her back up just a little. Was he being cryptic on purpose?

"What—you give away your knowledge for free as a public service?" Yeah, she sounded snarky. But she really hated being made to feel less than somebody. Less smart, less fun, less interesting. Casey liked to be on equal footing.

All he did was chuckle, like he hadn't even noticed her snark. "You could call it a six-week-long job interview. Hobart and William" he corrected himself, "is giving me the opportunity to teach a single, sample seminar. Meanwhile, I'm here interviewing to become full-time faculty in the fall. This gives me the chance to see if I want to stick. Gives them the chance to be sure they want me."

Her emotional barometer swung from snark to swoon. Zane sounded like he was trying to be modest. The way Casey interpreted it was that they were wooing him. Trying desperately to get him to fall in love with Seneca Lake. Because no way would the college trust him with any of their students if they weren't already sure. That made him easygoing. Self-effacing. The more he thawed out, the more he talked, and she liked hearing it.

"With only one class, you've still got lots of lazy summer time. So do us both a favor and lay off the nighttime diving, okay?" She skimmed a hand down his arm. Before she got to his wrist he'd jack-rabbited his other arm out from the blanket to hold her hand. It felt heavy and nice. Finally warm, too.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

All for You 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JillianReadLoveBlog More than 1 year ago
All For You is the second book in author Christi Barth’s Shore Secrets series, a series I fell in love with in the previous book and my love continued with this next installment. Two amazing characters drawn together with a secret that could tear them apart just as they begin their relationship? Yep, I was totally hooked and loved every minute of Casey and Zane’s story. Park ranger Casey Hobbes and new-in-town professor Zane Buchanan meet under less than ideal circumstances, thanks in part to Zane’s misadventure with diving in their local lake in colder temps than he’s used to. Luckily, Casey has seen it all before and didn’t make Zane feel worse than he already did about the whole “I’m almost a bona fide mansicle” situation. Zane knew better than to dive when it was too cold but he can’t even be angry with himself since it was this situation that introduced him to this gorgeous park ranger. The heat and attraction between them is immediate and unable to ignore. Luckily Zane would be in town for a little bit, interviewing for a position at the university, and with a little bit of luck, would get a chance to explore things with Casey. But what seems to be a delicious match on the surface may prove to be a match that is doomed from the start. Zane’s life’s work has been studying cults and the dangers and darkness within them, specifically The Sunshine Seekers. A group of extremists with only one lone survivor left and that survivor is the person he has his sights set on. Zane had no idea that he was closer to that survivor than he ever imagined…and Casey had no idea that her secret, the one she’s kept for so many years, was the closest it’s ever been to being revealed. Were Casey and Zane destined to lose what they have just found between them? Oh, how I love this series. There is something so wonderful with this town and all of the characters it holds. I have loved Casey since meeting her in the previous book and I was so happy she would have a chance at love. And who better than with the sexy newbie, Zane? He’s everything a gal could want. Smart, sexy, curious, and witty. Casey is also smart and witty on top of dedicated and caring. The banter they share is fantastic and beyond enjoyable. I love that between a hero and heroine. Adding to that is the smoldering heat that sparks between them almost immediately and continues to grow and at a delicious pace. Oh, my, only a few pages in and I was hot for teacher. Of course, as I read, I realized what Casey was keeping secret and that it had every potential to ruin things between them and I was so worried! It was s secret that could make Zane’s career, his life’s work, and solve a mystery that has been plaguing him for years. I just kept worrying that this whole thing would end in a crash and burn, with Casey hurt. Luckily, Christi writes some pretty amazing men and Zane was no exception. (I can’t give anything away but trust me when I say the ending was “dreamy sigh” worthy). And it’s not without a lot of emotion along the way! Adding to their story is the continuing appearances of all of the people in the town I adore. It was like visiting with old friends! Thank you, Christi, for another wonderful addition to the Shore Secrets series and I cannot wait to see what you have in store for us next!
PansyPetal More than 1 year ago
Here I am again, starting in the middle of a series.  Not so bad really.  Did very well as a stand-alone.  I will be reading book one, but only because I want to read Ella and Gray’s story.  From what little was told here, it sounds like a fun read too. Yes, I did enjoy this book.  I loved looking at this area through the eyes of a park ranger.  Not just any park ranger, but the head park ranger, Casey Hobbes.  I liked Casey.  She was feisty.  Snarky.  Could hold her own in an intellectual conversation.  Could handle a bowie knife.  Loyal.  Caring.  Gave great first aide.  Yes, she had her issues, but really?  Who doesn’t?  But I must say, she had very good reasons for every one of her issues.  I was amazed that she was as strong as she was.   Professor Zane Buchanan – I mostly liked him too.  He was sweet.  Genuine.  Just had his books made into a mini-series.  Went looking for non-existent submarines in an inland lake.  I wasn’t sure about his total belief that the truth had to be told so it can help others.  He made it sound too easy, like as long as it was truth, it didn’t matter if there were those that didn’t want to tell it or that it might hurt someone too.  That was my biggest problem with him.  He was right!  He didn’t seem to want to hear someone else’s point of view.  Seemed rather narrow minded to me.   The lovely small community on the shores of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes district of upstate New York was utterly charming.  They had the most unique way of communicating, or would it be more accurate to say keeping a running journal of activities.  It was fascinating to the sociologist in Zane.  I was surprised he didn’t want to write a book about that.  But, he was more tunneled into finding the “Lone Survivor of the Sunshine Seekers cult.”   I liked the romance between these two.  In spite of the fact that both of them were the “love ‘em and leave ‘em” types, they took their time.  They got to know each other.  They dated. Zane figured out right away that Casey was special and he wanted more than a summer fling.  He wanted a relationship.  Casey was harder to convince, but Zane hit all her hot points.  So she played along.  When they seriously butted heads, I was of two minds as to who I was rooting for.  I could see both sides so well.  I liked the way they backed off, thought about it for a couple days, and then came together and resolved things in a most satisfying way.   I thought the author did an excellent job of storytelling.  She drew me into this community and made me feel like part of it.  I wanted to stay at Mayhew Manor.  I wanted coffee at Cosgrove general.  I wanted to hike the trails.  I wanted to hang out with these people.  I look forward to the next book. All for You will appeal to lovers of contemporary romance – Harlequin style.  It is sweet and flirty with only a bit of sex.  I was enchanted. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
All for You by Christi Barth is the 2nd book in her Shore Secrets series. In the first book of this series, we met Ella and Gray and their friends in this small town sweet romance. All for You begins with one Ella’s friends, Casey, who is a park ranger, as she notices a man come out of the freezing ocean after hours. Going to his rescue, she meets our hero, Zane, who has just arrived in town to start a class at the local college. The attraction between Casey and Zane is immediate, but Barth does a wonderful job of taking this romance slow, with Zane determined to gradually win over Casey, without rushing the sex. Zane is not only a professor, he is also a successful author, who is obsessed with writing about cults. There is one cult, The Sunshine Seekers, who came to a dramatic end, that he has not been able to bring to a final conclusion. Zane feels he is close to finding the truth right here in this small town, and is determined to find the truth, so he can write the story he has dreamed of all these years. Who is the Lone Survivor of The Sunshine Seekers? Casey’s friends, whom we met in the first book, play a big part in this story. Besides Ella, Gray, we get to spend more time with Dawn, Ward, Piper, Joel, in this wonderful lighthearted romance, that has a little mystery. Casey and Zane begin to realize that they are falling in love with one another, and they made such a hot and sweet couple. Will there be a future for them? Without giving spoilers, we learn early on that Casey, Dawn and the town have their own hidden secrets that they will protect, which will put Zane fully in the middle. Secrets will be revealed, relationships put at risk, as we worry if love will prevail during this crisis. As I have said before, Christi Barth always writes wonderful sweet lighthearted romances, with wonderful couples, and great fun friendships. All for You was an enjoyable, charming, and fast fun relaxing read. I recommend you to read this wonderful series.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Cults, the members see a feeling of belonging and being wanted, outsiders see a group of followers under the spell of a charismatic leader who poisons any thought of leaving with lies or fear. For successful author and college professor Zane Buchanan, studying and exposing the truths around cults is a way of life, a passion, a crusade. One cult in particular has gotten under his skin, although gone now, someone got away, there is a survivor, someone who could shed invaluable light on cult living. Casey Hobbes, intelligent, beautiful and very secretive about her past is in charge of the Park Rangers in her town. The temporary, new professor in town is handsome, but their initial meeting is less than normal and they both push the limits of social and professional propriety, sparks flying! Casey backs away from this endearingly and frustratingly inquisitive academic, having no plans to get too close. Who would think he would be in this tiny town, on a mission to find the one person she does not want him to find? Having spent so much of her life hiding, repelling closeness, how can Casey understand what she is feeling? How can she keep her heart and her past safe against this man who bulldozes through life, living it to the fullest? Will the special journal the town residents have kept for decades reveal her secrets or will the town close ranks to protect those they feel are their own? Can the budding relationship between Casey and Zane withstand lies by omission? All for You by Christi Barth may be one of my favorites from her so far! Ms. Barth has taken great care with making a one-in-a-million chance meeting completely believable! After all, isn’t finding real love also a one-in-a-million event? Wonderful character development, a professor that both embodies the academic persona and the hot love interest. Casey is warm, yet guarded, almost too much so, but her reasoning is completely understandable. She is strong,, intelligent and cares about those around her, but has she also kept romance at bay through her choices? Fast moving, with intrigue and romance, Christi Barth has kept things reasonably light while making this tale completely enjoyable.
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kim for Read Your Writes Book Reviews I’m a fan of Christi Barth and she writes wonderful characters (if you give them a chance). I say that because while All for You is the second book in the Shore Secrets Series, it’s the first book I’ve read. The first book, Up to Me came out on the heels of her Aisle Bound Series, which I loved. I didn’t give the characters in Up to Me a chance and I was determined to give Casey and Zane the chance I never gave Ella and Gray. Casey and Zane actually made it very easy. Casey Hobbes seems to live a carefree life. Her love of the outdoors drove her to earn a degree in Forest Resources Management and she ultimately became a Park Ranger with the New York State Park Service. She loves her small town of Finger Lakes, her step-mother Dawn, and her three best friends. Casey likes to have a good time, but she doesn’t do committed relationships or allow others to get close to her. For Casey, she prefers to go unnoticed by people. Zane Buchanan has a thirst for knowledge, sometimes to the extent that he becomes obsessed. He’s an expert in human behavior. He studies people and sees what others don’t see. Zane Buchanan actually happens to be Professor Zane Buchanan, famous cult expert and author of several books on the matter. The stars align to bring these two together. Very few people know about the secret Casey and the town of Finger Lakes, NY are hiding. Upon discovering the town’s wonderful little stash of journals (written by the citizens for advice and what not), Zane discovers that a member of the Sunshine Seekers, the one cult that’s been eluding him is close. This knowledge puts the two at odds, since Casey is the lone survivor of the cult and she can’t afford to have people find out about her or her step-mother, who could face prison time for kidnapping Casey. I loved Casey and her step-mother Dawn. But at some point, I have to say that I grew a slight dislike for Zane because he started to come off as arrogant and self-righteous. Zane believes that knowledge is power and the world has a right to know about cults and what they do to people. He doesn’t seem to care about what this exposure can do to someone’s life. One of the themes that I find in Christi’s books is that the characters all have this amazing bond of friendship that nothing can break. I LOVE that!!! It’s one of the reasons I love her series. There is a side romance going on in this book. I don’t know if it was in the first book, but I found it surprising and very sweet. However, I’m left wondering what happened with it. Now, I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Back to Us. **Received a free ARC in exchange for an honest unbiased review.**
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
I was given an ARC of this story for an honest review. Casey is keeping a secret from Zane. The story centers around this secret and the way this secret affects the two main characters {Casey and Zane}. Ms. Barth can take a story and write it in such a way that a subject that is faced within society becomes an entertaining and heartwarming journey.