Docked by Rachael Wade
Publication date: May 26th 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary,
A new, sensual Adult Contemporary Romance from author of the Amazon bestselling PRESERVATION SERIES, THE REPLACEMENT, and LOVE AND RELATIVITY. Coming to e-readers everywhere May 26, 2014.
It’s not water that paralyzes Anya Banks—it’s the ocean. Tumultuous and powerful, sleek and unpredictable, it’s just like Tanner Christensen, owner of Trident Voyager, the cruise ship she’s been talked into boarding by her vivacious, foodie fanatic best friend and co-worker, Lana. Tanner exudes confidence, and his raw masculinity is hard to resist. But Anya came aboard to work, face her demons, and then get the hell back to dry land.
Until Tanner convinces her to take the plunge.
She quickly dives into a fun, carefree arrangement with him and embraces her goal to be brave, no matter how loudly her shaky knees tell her to abandon ship. For twelve days, Tanner’s all hers. For twelve days, she’s his goddess. Once the cruise is over and the ship docks, she won’t be the same. But being brave always costs something, and this time, it might cost her heart.
A soft breeze tickles my shoulder, waking me from my serene, sleepy haze. One glance at my watch tells me it’s time to head back to the room if I expect to be ready for this rendezvous with Lana and Mr. Blue Eyes. She’s right, of course. She’s convinced me to go. But only because it really does sound like fun, and I’d much rather let Lana humor herself than spend my first afternoon on a cruise ship by myself.I collect my things and hurry down the deck, veering around a corner to catch the elevator. The hallway is bustling with people getting on and off, many of them opting to take the stairs instead of waiting for the next lift. After waiting patiently for a few minutes, I decide to follow their cue and start for the stairs. I’m cutting it close.I jog up two flights, sighing when our stateroom door comes into view. The hall is quiet, except for the faint sound of hushed giggling just a few doors down. I insert my room key and crane my head toward the noise, my fingers stilling at the sight. There at the end of the hall, a curvaceous brunette is entangled with Mr. Blue Eyes. I almost don’t recognize him, but his baby blue tie immediately gives him away. His tall frame is pinning the brunette’s petite one to the wall, one hand pushing up her skirt, fingers gripping her upper thigh. He playfully bites her bottom lip and she giggles again, hooking her leg around his waist. The scene is entirely intimate, not to mention unprofessional for Mr. Owner of the Ship, and yet here I am, watching like a total stalker.I can’t look away.“Tanner,” the girl moans against his mouth, “take me inside.”“I’ll take you right here.”“Someone will see,” she whispers, gripping his forearms. He subtly rocks his hips, pushing her tighter against the wall, and I realize I’m gaping again, my jaw slack as I watch his hands roam over her body.“No one’s around,” he whispers back. “Everyone’s headed up to the lounge for the party.”“Don’t you have to be there?”“I have fifteen minutes.”“That’s it?” The girl whines, her face turning pouty.“Oh, it’s enough, baby.” His hand travels higher up her skirt, and I see a flash of red lace before my clumsiness gives me away. The room key fumbles in my fingers and drops from the doorknob to the floor. I quickly bend to swipe it up, bonking my head on the doorknob in the process.
“Shit!” I quickly stand, frantically attempting to open the door. I risk a side-glance toward them.
I wish I hadn’t.
Tanner clears his throat, and his eyes lock onto me like missiles. As soon as I meet them, he looks away, back to the brunette, mumbling something I can’t quite make out. It involves a string of F-bombs. Adjusting his groin and tugging at the sleeves of his suit jacket, he quietly directs the brunette to open their stateroom door. She’s amused and embarrassed, covering her mouth as she struggles to unlock the door. Tanner and I exchange one last glance before both of our doors open, saving the day. He and the brunette hurry inside, and I hustle into my room just as quickly, exhaling in relief the moment the door shuts behind me.
I work to collect my wits. I’ve just made a complete fool out of myself, and in less than fifteen minutes, I’m supposed to face the man I just caught manhandling his girlfriend. Hell, more than that. He would have fucked her right there in the hallway had I not ruined the heat of the moment. I fall back against the door and hang my head in exasperation.“Lan?” I call out, pushing myself off the door and moving toward the tiny bathroom. She’s not there, and the rest of the cabin is empty. She must have left for the lounge already. Hurrying to my suitcase, I dig around for my little black dress—the one Lana suggested I wear—and then begin washing up. I take a few minutes to freshen up my loose, brown curls and apply some smoky eyeliner to enhance my hazel brown eyes. I feel fresher, but no amount of primping will prevent the big ol’ pile of awkward I’m about to walk into.
Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment.