A beautiful bride, a handsome groom, and a private cruise. What could possibly go wrong--how about a hurricane, one stranded yacht, a few useless, scantily clad bridesmaids and an equal number of horny groomsmen?

In the midst of it all, maid of honor, Gillian Marlboro, wonders if Jamie Foster could be not only the groom’s best man, but also the man for her. Would the universe be so cruel as to hand her the perfect man and then let them both perish on an island that provides no fresh water and only Mother Nature’s aphrodisiacs for sustenance?

EXCERPT (PG13 Contemporary Romance)

His glance dropped to her chest. “I should have woken you sooner.”

Her gaze followed and she gasped. She moved one strap to expose a definite white stripe surrounded by angry, red skin. Her fingertips brushed against her chest and she winced as even that slight touch stung like sandpaper.

“You’re not terribly burned yet, but it’s getting there. I think you should get out of the sun. Or at least put on some stronger sunscreen and a T-shirt.”

“Julie is going to kill me.” The heat radiated off her burn. She looked up at him panicked. “Our dresses for the wedding are strapless.”

Eyes still on the obvious strap lines, he frowned. “Come with me. We’ll take care of it.”

“How?” Instinctively trusting him, she took his extended hand and let him help her out of the chaise. “Where are we going?”

“To the galley.”

“The galley? Why?”

“I’m betting there’s something in there that will cool that burn. Don’t worry. We’ll get that color evened out before the wedding.”

She followed him all the way down the narrow stairs to the yacht’s cooking facilities. Sadly, the galley was nicer than her kitchen at home.

Jamie opened and perused the contents of the beverage fridge before reaching in and coming out with a glass bottle. “This will do.”

She frowned at the beverage in his hand. “Iced tea? Am I supposed to drink it?”

His surprisingly sexy laugh had her staring at his lips.

“No. Black tea applied topically is good for a slight sunburn and the cold liquid will cool your skin. The heat can still do damage even after you’ve gotten out of the sun, so you have to lower the temperature of the skin as soon as possible.” He soaked a kitchen towel with the iced tea and held it clumsily in front of her chest. “Um, maybe you better apply this yourself.”

Suppressing a smile at his obvious shyness, she took the towel and laid it over her hot exposed flesh. It felt cooler immediately. “Wow. How do you know about this stuff?”

“I know a lot of things.” Jamie shrugged.

“You really are a nerd.”

He rolled his eyes. “Thanks.”

“No. I meant it as a compliment. Really.” Gillian tilted her head, sizing him up again now that they were out of the glare of the sun. His glasses had changed to clear, and she could see blue eyes a girl could get lost in. “I happen to like your geekiness. A lot.”

“Really?” He smiled. “So you have a geek fetish, do you? Where were you during my lonely youth?”

She’d been trapped in geekdom herself, the studious introvert hidden in her gorgeous and talented sister’s shadow. Gillian shrugged. “I’m here now.”

“Yes, you are.” His throat worked as he swallowed hard. He glanced nervously at the case of champagne in the glass-front refrigerator, before he looked back at her. “Ah, you know, you should also drink a lot of fluids today, and not champagne either. Water. And take some ibuprofen.”

“Maybe you should stick close by and keep reminding me about that throughout the day. Drinking the water, I mean.” She moved a step closer, took the now hot cloth off her chest and dropped it on the countertop.

“I’d be happy to remind you.” He nodded and the action brought his head down a bit until his face hovered just above hers.

Perhaps it was a combination of the sun and the glass of champagne in her empty stomach, or how she hadn’t been on a date in ages. Either way, Gillian’s libido went from deep hibernation mode to burning up. Then again, maybe it wasn’t the sun, the alcohol or her lack of a sex life at all. Maybe it was Jamie. His concern for her. The way he had no clue how cute he was. How he’d bothered to RSVP, by phone no less instead of email. The way he made her heart pound.

Desire fluttered low in her stomach. “Would you think I was a total slut if I kissed you right now?”

He drew in a sharp breath. “No. Not at all.”

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Tory Richards said...

Hmmm...catchy title Cat:) Great book cover, too.