Who needs safe and boring when you can play with a pirate on the French Riviera?
Burned-out author Rachel Conklin sparks her creativity on the French Riviera as a fishing boat cook. Things are smooth sailing until she’s thrown overboard into a storm-tossed sea. Rachel awakens to find herself staring into the eyes of a sexy pirate-looking hunk who changes the course of her life forever.
Dr. Henri Bernier is an analytical man with a quiet life and a job he loves. The last thing he expects to find when he anchors his treasured fishing boat in the sheltered harbor of a small island is an accidental mermaid washed ashore. He soon learns his perfect life leaves much to be desired.
Will desire save them or drown them in a perfect storm from their pasts?
About the Author
Award-Winning author Sloane Taylor is a sensual woman who believes humor and sex are healthy aspects of our everyday lives and carries that philosophy into her books. She writes sexually explicit romances that takes you right into the bedroom. Being a true romantic, all her stories have a happy ever after. Her books are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. They also bring more than lust to their men’s lives. Taylor was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. Studly, her mate for life, and Taylor now live in a small home in Indiana and enjoy the change from city life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog http://sloanetaylor.blogspot.com/ every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy. Taylor currently has five erotic romance books released by Toque & Dagger Publishing with more releasing in the near future.
Read an Excerpt
Steel needles stabbed into his bare skin. The pain registered, but there was little he could do to ease his sunburned arms. He grabbed the slick wheel with all his strength to fight the raging hell beneath him. His heart pounded, echoing in his ears, as yet another wall of icy water crashed over the helm. The salt water blinded him, but he was too afraid to let go and rub his burning eyes.
His white knuckles ached from the cold while an ungodly heat tore through his tendons. The trawler rocked under another whitecap that crashed starboard side. Acrid bile rose in his throat, and he swallowed hard.
How stupid could a man be to take his fishing boat out alone today? Even more idiotic, he had not bothered to check the weather report, despite knowing full well unpredicted squalls were normal in the Ligurian Sea.
He tried to remember the prayers his mother taught him years ago. All that ran through his mind was rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub. He vowed if God let him live, he would never lust after another woman, nor trick his young patients into believing their inoculations would not be painful.
"Merde. Shit," and every other curse word he could think of shot out of his mouth, only to be swallowed in a clap of thunder.
And why the fuck had he been such an âne sage not to have worn his life vest? They can engrave Wise Ass on his tombstone if his body ever washed to shore.
A small break in the weather allowed him to relax his grip enough to shut the wheelhouse windows, but he continued to search for the petit island that should lay just to the east. If only the sky would lighten so he could makeout the minuscule blot of land.
His left foot slipped on the gritty deck, and the wheel shot out of his hand as he ducked to clear the fishhook sailing past his head. The damned rope had broken loose, he realized, as the massive spear banged into the iron railing before it shot into the sea.
Everything he had known as a boy and man flashed through his mind, but the memory of his father stood out over all. The man was a giant with muscles that bulged when he lifted the full tuna nets from the sea. Yet, his arms never trembled under the immense weight. Henri had always been proud of his gentle father, even when he had pushed him too far. A smile wrestled with his mouth as he realized that were his papa still alive, he would have filleted Henri for being so stupid--or worse, garroted him if he sank his father's prized boat.
A thunderclap rattled his teeth as dual lightning streaks shot up out of the whitecaps. Purples and greens flashed an eerie glow that burned across the sky, and for a brief instant the barren island came into sight. He seized the wheel tighter, shook away the nostalgia, and swore he would keep his promise to God as he steered the aged craft toward safety.
Relief washed over Henri as the squall did a sharp jag west. Now all he had to do was make it to land and check out his damage.
Her lungs ached, but her body lay calm, nestled in blessed numbness that not even the surrounding ruckus could disturb. Wind howled as something icy splashed against what should be her legs, but it required energy to open her eyes and check. No way would she let go the euphoric feeling of finally being free from harm.
Pain raced up her arm, like a hot dagger, destroying her sleep. She cocked open an eye as lightning flashes streaked up from the sea, and all the horror rocketed back into her mind.
The storm hurled the ship like a wiffle ball in a tornado. She fled to safety inside a cabin below--the captain's cabin. Feet pounded on the stairs. Men cursed. The stench of unwashed bodies and vile Portuguese words collided in the narrow room. Dirty hands clawed at her, tearing her skin. Arms choked the life from her lungs. She flew in the air. Screams. Freezing water sucked her down.
Hot tears flooded her cheeks, blurring her vision, but not her mind.
Her body shook as the hideous pictures flashed behind her eyes, the images rampant and too real. She coiled into a tight ball, unable to shut off the unwanted projector.
Rachel choked on what had to be an ocean of crap rising from her stomach. Coughing hard, she turned her head into the sand and spit out the vile salt caked against her palate. The slight movement took all her strength, leaving her drained. Rain pelted her back, plastering her soaked hair to her skull. A volley of shivers ran through her pain-filled body. Instinctively she knew she had to find shelter or die.
Thunder boomed, splitting the night in two. She gulped back a scream. Fear clutched her heart as she dug her broken fingernails into the mushy sand.
Please, God, don't let it happen again.
With all her strength, Rachel crawled farther up the beach.