“Cathryn Fox writes with humor, passion, and gives you alpha heroes that will leave you breathless!” - Carly Phillips, New York Times bestselling author
Brilliant and uptight emergency room doctor Alyssa Davenport has absolutely no desire to travel to Antigua to go cockle fishing. What the hell is a cockle anyway? But it’s time for her to fulfill a ridiculous New Year’s Eve pact with her best friends. Heck, maybe she’ll meet a hot fisherman who isn’t intimidated by her and looks at her as a woman instead of a doctor. Lord knows her body is screaming for a little attention.
Former New York stockbroker Brayden Adams takes one look at Alyssa and sees that she needs to relax. He’s known the feeling himself, until he and his best friend, Tyler, left the fast life behind when they inherited a hotel and fishing business in Antigua. Now they live a relaxed island life and share everything.
Stepping out of her comfort zone, Alyssa boldly goes after what she wants. Except there’s a bit of a snag, and the discovery leads her on a sexual adventure she could have never imagined. But when vacation is over, what happens next?
Each book in the Dossier series is STANDALONE:
* Private Reserve
* House Rules
* Under Pressure
* Big Catch
* Brazilian Fantasy
* Improper Proposal
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathryn Fox is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie), pizza, and red wine. Cathryn has two teenagers who keep her busy and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. When not writing, Cathryn can be found laughing over lunch with friends, hanging out with her kids, or watching a big action flick with her husband. She is the author of the Blue Bay Crew books, including Demolished.
Read an Excerpt
The warm summer sun beats down on me, and while there isn't a single muscle in my relaxed body that wants to move, I know I have less than a half an hour to get my shit together for the cockle fishing tour. I twist sideways as Tyler goes up on his elbows to watch a cute girl in a bikini run by.
"Trade?" I ask, preferring Tyler's task of tutoring a few of the local kids tonight over clam digging with my feet, all part of the Antigua vacation experience we offer the guests who stay at our villa. I love the clambake afterward, sure — hey, I love food — but coming home covered in mud, not so much.
Tyler grins. "No fucking way. I went last week. It's your turn." He lowers himself onto the warm white sand, as laid back as I've ever seen him. Moving here has been good — for both of us — even though I'm not, and never will be, as mellow as my best friend. "While you're knee-deep in mud, I'll be here relaxing and soaking up the rays, bro."
"Fine, while you're tutoring tonight, maybe I'll go see what Jennie is up to," I say as I push to my feet. Jennie is a local, and a real sweetheart. Tyler and I have tag-teamed with her — as well as a few other women — but I backed off when I thought Jennie was becoming serious about Tyler. Not that I thought he wanted to settle with her. He's having too much fun chillin' and going with the flow. But still.
Ty shades the sun from his eyes and looks up at me. His mouth twists into a frown. "Yeah, Jennie and I, we kind of called it quits."
"You're fucking kidding me?" When he goes quiet, I kick his foot. "What the fuck, dude?"
"I don't know. Jennie is nice. I like her, but she's just looking for a good time, and I think I'm getting a little played out."
"You, played out?" I ask, shocked by that insane idea — which can't be true — as I grab my towel and toss it over my shoulder. "I actually thought she wanted more with you."
"Oh yeah? Is that why you backed off?" I nod, and he goes dead serious. I brace myself because when my carefree friend's smile disappears, I know where his thoughts have gone. "You know what's mine is yours, right?"
"Yeah, I know. Same." Shit, we've shared everything since kindergarten, and his parents practically raised me. I pretty much moved in with them during high school, when Dad's drinking became too much. He drove my mother away, and my whole life he told me I was a bastard, good for nothing. I wouldn't have gotten an education if it weren't for Ty's parents. They were teachers, strict but fair, and I feel indebted to them. Ty is my best friend in the whole world, and I didn't want to be a third wheel if Jennie only wanted him. I'd always sacrifice for Ty. Always.
He shrugs and wipes his wet hair from his face. "I guess I just want more, you know. Someone I can have a life with." He pretends to bat a ball. "Become dad of the little league team."
I stare at him for a moment, waiting for the punch line. This is Tyler, a natural born player, a guy who had his dick in a different woman every week when we were growing up. "Wait, you're serious?"
Ty settle down? If he told me he had monkeys flying out of his ass, I might find that easier to believe. The idea of him settling down is blowing my fucking mind.
"Don't you ever feel like something is missing?"
I glance around at the beach then at the villa and business I inherited a year ago, after my uncle passed away. As soon as I found out I owned a bed and breakfast in Antigua, Tyler and I quit our stressful jobs on Wall Street — which were going to drive us each to an early grave — and headed to paradise.
I spread my arms. "What more could you want?" I say, but as soon as I do, my mind trips back to the doctor I met last year in the emergency room when I thought I was having a fucking heart attack. I have no idea why I still think about her, yet every now and then she pops into my thoughts. Maybe it's because most girls say yes when I ask them out, but the hot doc, well, she stone cold turned me down. Or maybe it's because there was something different about her, and I just can't shake it.
"I know this place is paradise, Bray," he says, "but don't you want someone to share it with?"
"I do have someone to share it with. You."
He laughs. "Yeah, I love you, too, bro, but —"
"You're not what I want to wake up to each morning, either."
"I grew up in a big family. I guess I want the same."
"Not me," I say quickly. I like kids, but I'm too damn afraid I don't have what it takes to be a good dad, considering I didn't have much of a role model at home. And what if I really do turn out like my father, dysfunctional and abusive, and end up driving away the woman willing to give her heart to me. Better off to never go down that road. "Sworn bachelor to the end for me," I add when Ty gives me that look again. The one that says he's knows exactly what's going through my mind. I don't know why I bother to hide my feelings. My best friend knows me better than I know myself.
"Yeah, so you don't ever want to get serious?"
"No. I'm all about the uncomplicated sex." Man, I would have given my ball sack to have a little no-strings fun with the doc. My cock twitches as I envision her sliding that white coat from her shoulders and baring her naked body to me. The image is fucking hot, and so was her sweet cotton-candy scent.
"Uh, maybe you should make that happen sooner rather than later, bro."
"What?" Shit, I'd been so lost in thought, I forgot where I was. I glance at Tyler who has one hand up, blocking my hard-on from his view. "Make what happen?"
"You need to get laid, Bray. How fucking long has it been, anyway?"
I laugh and adjust my swollen cock inside my bathing suit. "Shit. Too long."
"I ran into Becca earlier. She said that she registered a group of four girls into the villa. Pick one, and get fucked already."
My mind goes to Becca, our property caretaker and cook. Thank God for her, because we couldn't have run the place without her help. "Yeah, good plan." I turn and walk toward the villa, in need of a cold shower before I meet our new guests and take them out to the salt marsh. I hurry inside and make my way to my room. After a quick rinse, I pull on a pair of long pants and a T-shirt, and hurry down to the main room of the villa to greet the vacationers who will be staying with us in our eight-bedroom home for the next week or so.
I find a middle-aged couple, as well as the four bubbly girls Tyler was talking about, all anxiously waiting for me. I take in everyone's attire, having left instructions for them to wear long pants to ward off the jellyfish, and think about what Tyler said.
Pick one, and get fucked already.
"I'm Braydon, your guide for today," I say as I look them over. The girls are all cute, with their long blond hair, and faces covered in makeup. In fact, every single one of them is my type — easy going, out for a good time. So why the fuck is the doc still popping into my brain? I fist my hands and crack my knuckles. Shit, I need to just block her from my damn mind and move on already. She's in New York, and I'm here, with no plans to ever go back. I take in the girl who is eye-fucking me. Yeah, I should just go for it, and screw that doctor right out of my thoughts, once and for all.
I pick the clipboard up from the table and do a head count. "Looks like we're waiting for one more. We'll give it a few more minutes."
A noise sounds behind me. "Sorry I'm late."
The sweet scent of cotton candy hits like a punch, and I suck in a quick breath.
No. Fucking. Way.
"I forgot I had to wear long pants and needed to run back upstairs to change," she says. "I hope I haven't held you all up."
I turn slowly, convinced my mind is playing tricks on me. I'm only conjuring up Doctor Davenport because I'd been thinking about her, right? But when I turn and meet honey-brown eyes that go wide when they clash with mine, it's all I can do to keep my brain working and my cock from bursting through my pants.
My heart thunders, and I pinch my eyes shut, sure I'm seeing things, but when I open them again, the most beautiful woman I've ever set eyes on is still standing before me, checking me out. I have no idea what I did to deserve this, but goddammit, I'm not about to pass up a second chance with the doctor. She might or might not have been interested in more than a patient/doctor relationship before, but from the hot flush on her cheeks to the heated way her gaze is moving over my body, it's clear she's interested now.
"I ... you ..." she begins, equal measures of panic and shock on her face.
I can practically hear the wheels spinning inside her brain as she blinks up at me, a gamut of emotions in her eyes: surprise, curiosity ... interest.
"Braydon's the name," I say, wanting her instantly, unequivocally. Truthfully, she's the opposite of what I normally go for in a girl. Face devoid of makeup, hair wild and loose, a T-shirt and baggy pants, not out to impress anyone. That's when it hits me — she's not a girl, she's all woman, and it has me wanting her in the worst fucking way. My gaze slides lower to take in her V-neck T-shirt and creamy cleavage. The doctor in a white coat is one thing, but seeing her here, her nipples poking through a lace bra that is doing jack-shit to hide her arousal, is something else altogether.
Flames flicker in her eyes when I meet them again, and it's all I can do not to cancel the trip and take her straight to my bedroom to play doctor my way.
"Braydon," she says on a breathless whisper, and the second I hear my name on her lips, the vision of her saying it when she's coming hard for me flashes through my mind. Oh yeah, that's definitely going to happen, sooner rather than later. My cock throbs in anticipation.
I watch the long sexy column of her throat as she swallows, then she darts a glance around the room like she's still trying to make sense of it all. I take a small step toward her, and her chest rises and falls as I invade her personal space and hold out my hand. I lean toward her, my mouth close to her ear, and say, "I never did get your first name."
She squares her shoulders, her wits back about her as she glances at the offered hand. "Alyssa," she says, and when she slides her small palm into mine, I'm impressed at how quickly she's recovered from the shock of meeting up with me again, here in Antigua, no less. I close my fingers around hers. Jesus Christ, her skin is so fucking soft, and that first sweet touch sends heat charging through me. My cock responds and presses harder against my unforgiving zipper.
"Alyssa," I say, trying it out on my tongue, wondering how it will sound when I'm balls-deep inside her. "Aly," I say.
"No one calls me that," she answers quickly.
Good. It will be my own special name for her. "Even better. What brings you to Antigua?" I ask.
"I ... I'm on vacation." Her brows pull together, confusion dancing in her honey eyes as she looks at me. She opens her mouth, and I'm sure she's going to ask the same of me, but she shuts it again when someone gives a bored huff from behind me.
"Can we go already?" one of the bubbly girls asks.
I hold Alyssa's hand longer than necessary, then brush my thumb over her flesh as I slowly let her fingers slide from my grip. "Looks like we're all set," I say.
I step around her and guide the group outside, going through the door first so they don't see my damn hard-on. I nod toward the van. "It's open. Everyone climb in and buckle up." The blonde who'd been eye-fucking me slides into the passenger seat, as I check the back to make sure Tyler put the buckets and nets back after his last trip to the marsh.
Once everyone is settled, I slip into the driver's seat and adjust the mirror. I catch Alyssa flickering glances my way, and I can't help but grin. My pulse picks up tempo, excited by this unexpected yet fan-fucking-tastic turn of events. Alyssa said she was on vacation, and I know this is a small island, but what are the odds she'd end up at my villa. Pretty goddamn slim, if you ask me. So, what's really going on here? How did she wind up booked into my place? I'm not sure, but I damn well plan to find out — and take full advantage of it.
I exit the driveway, and when I see Mrs. Jackson on the deck of her beautiful house overlooking the ocean, I slow down. "Hey, Mrs. Jackson," I call out. She's been so lonely since she lost her husband last year. I can't imagine what it must be like for her in that big old homestead alone. Her kids have moved away to the United States for their work, and though they visit, most of the time she's alone. "How are you today?"
She smiles and waves me off, playfully, but I know she likes it when Ty or I stop in to visit her. "Stop fussing about me," she says.
I laugh. "Come on, now. You know my day wouldn't be the same without seeing you."
"Sweet-talker, you." She adjusts her broad-brimmed hat. "I'm fine. Now get on out of here and stop fussing."
"We're headed to the marsh. I'll bring you back some cockles."
A ghost of a smile plays on her mouth. "You're a good man, Braydon."
I put my finger to my lips. "Shh, don't let that get out."
One of the girls huffs impatiently, and I wave to Mrs. Jackson and start down the road. As I drive the short distance to the marsh and take a sharp corner, the blonde leans in to me. "I'm Josie," she says.
"First time in Antigua? I ask.
I grab the stick shift, and she adjusts the radio, purposely brushing her breast against my arm. "Yes, I'm really looking forward to experiencing everything local," she says, putting emphasis on that one word.
I smile and nod. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that I'm the local she wants to experience. I can't believe that only ten minutes ago I was considering that. But now, well, I have more important things that need my attention — like getting the sexy doctor into my bed. I glance in the rearview mirror again, and when my gaze meets Alyssa's, she quickly turns away. I can almost hear the wheels turning as she tries to figure this all out. If she's anything like me, she doesn't believe in coincidences.
I pull the van over near the marsh. "We're here."
I catch the confused frown on Alyssa's face as she glances out her window toward the muddy salt marsh. Guess it's not what she was expecting. It usually isn't. I hop from my seat, and as everyone piles out, I grab buckets and nets from the back.
As the group of girls whispers — about me, judging from the glances they keep casting my way — Alyssa stands there looking puzzled. I step up to her, and her body stiffens when I dip my head and ask, "Everything okay?"
She blows a wispy strand of hair from her face, and desire twists inside me. "I ... I thought we were going out on a boat."
"Didn't you read the brochure in your room?"
"No, actually, I didn't."
"Cockles are clams," I explain. "We catch them in the marsh."
"Oh." Her mouth forms a perfect little O, and need surges through my veins. Great, I have a group of tourists waiting for me, and all I can think about is pushing sweet Aly to her knees and sliding my cock between those lush lips.
"We catch them with nets?" she asks, looking over the supplies I'm holding.
I clear my throat. "No, we catch them with our feet."
Her honey-colored eyes widen. "Are you serious?"
"As serious as a heart attack," I tease.
A blush moves across her cheeks. Is she thinking about the day in the hospital when I was high on happy pills and groaning with pleasure as she touched me? Was that why she never went out with me? She thought it was the drugs talking? Wait, shit. Maybe she never agreed to a date because she's married. My glance darts to her ring finger to find it empty. But that doesn't mean she doesn't have someone special. If she does, could he be here on the island with her?
With that shitty thought racing through my brain, I say, "Okay, shoes off, everyone."
I grab a plastic tote and gather up all the shoes and put them in the back of the van. When I see Alyssa's pink-painted nails, my blood burns hotter. What is it about bare feet with painted nails that gets to me? Too bad cockle fishing is going to ruin her pedicure.
"Walking can be tricky, so you should pair up." As Josie makes her way toward me, I reach for Alyssa's hand. Josie scowls and folds her arm, but I know she'll get over it — probably as soon as she sees Tyler. He says he's getting played out, but he'd never turn down an opportunity with a girl like Josie. I make a mental note to text him about her later.
"I ... uh ... think she wanted to partner with you," Alyssa says.
"Yeah," is all I say, and I guide Alyssa to the marshy water. I'm used to women wanting me for one of two things. Back in Manhattan it was for what I had in my wallet. Here in paradise, it's for what I have between my legs. I'm not complaining. Hey, I know the score, and I was happy to play along.
Excerpted from "Big Catch"
Copyright © 2017 Cathryn Fox.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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