Paratus. Always ready.
Paratus. Always ready.
Coast Guard rescue swimmer Dylan Holt left Kodiak, Alaska, with his heart in
pieces. He thought Nolee Arnauyq and her mouthwatering curves were behind
him—until he’s sent to rescue the crew of a capsizing boat…including Nolee. And
Dylan is definitely not ready for the too-familiar way his body aches at seeing
always gone after what she wanted, and to hell with the risks. Now she’s a
rookie ship captain taking on the deadly waters of the Bering Sea. But out on
these treacherous waters, there’s no way to avoid the sizzling sexual tension
between them—or the dangerous pull of emotions that could leave both their
hearts lost at sea…
“You have fifty seconds and then I want you on deck, Holt,” barked Dylan’s commander. “Over.”
The sea receded and Dylan shoved his way along the slick deck of the sinking ship, propelling himself forward across its steep slant. “Roger that.”
He would get Nolee out. End of story.
Descending as fast as he dared, he fought the wind and dropped down into the hull again. Icy water made his breath catch even with the benefit of the dry suit. Nolee should have been out of here long before now.
“I’ve almost got it.” Her strained voice emerged from blue lips. Her movements were jerky as she twisted wire around the still gushing pipe.
His eardrums banged with his heartbeat.
She was losing motor function. Hypothermia was already setting in. With only thirty seconds left, he made an executive decision.
“It’s over, Nolee. Come with me now.”
He would haul her out by force if necessary. Braced himself for just that.
Yet when she opened her mouth, her head lolled. Her eyelids dropped. Reacting on instinct, he grabbed her limp form before she crumpled into the freezing water.
His throat closed, and he had to make himself breathe. He hauled her up and out of the hull and across the deck where a rescue strop dangled. Damn, damn, damn. His hands weren’t cooperating, his own motor function feeling the effects of this cursed sea. Once he’d tethered them together, he gave his watching flight mechanic a thumbsup for the hoist. The boat flung them sideways, careening over the rail.
Swinging, their feet skimmed the deadly swells. The line jerked them from harm and sped them up through the stinging air. He tightened his arms around her. Imagined them made of steel. With only a tether connecting her to him, he couldn’t lose his grip. It was the difference between saving her life and causing her to fall to her death.
As they rose, he forced himself not to look at her. He’d dreamed about that face too many times, even after he left Kodiak to forget her.
But he wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t hold her close. And heaven help him—no matter how much she’d gutted him nine years ago—he couldn’t deny she felt damned good in his arms.
author Karen Rock is both sweet and spicy—at least when it
comes to her writing! The author of both YA and adult contemporary books writes
red-hot novels for Harlequin Blaze and small-town romances for Harlequin
Heartwarming. A strong believer in Happily-Ever-After, Karen loves creating
unforgettable stories that leave her readers with a smile. When she’s not
writing, Karen is an avid reader who’s typically immersed in three different
books at a time, all in different genres. She also loves cooking her
grandmother’s Italian recipes, baking, Christmas (no need to specify—she loves
every bit of it), and having the Adirondack Park wilderness as her backyard,
where she lives with her husband, daughter, dog and cat who keep her life
interesting and complete. Learn more about her at her website.