Finally recovering from a devastating divorce, Charley is given the opportunity of a lifetime when she’s offered a job shooting photographs for an Alaskan cruise catalogue.
Kyle loves his life. The ship’s playboy first officer has his future all worked out and it doesn’t involve falling for the beautiful new photographer.
The two find passion and comfort on the high seas and Charley learns the joys of being completely uninhibited when the partner is just right. But in eight short days she’s going to walk off the ship and Kyle’s going to start his next voyage without her. Can Kyle prove to Charley that they’re more than just hot sex? Sacrifice is the only way to stay together, but the price might just be too high.
Charley headed to the designated area in front of the forward elevator bank on deck eight. In case a good shot availed itself, she kept her camera bag with her. She reached inside the specially made backpack and felt her way to the camera sling. Her Canon EOS 5D Mark III was at the top and she dug for the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lens and its EW-83F hood. Her hand wrapped around it and pulled it from its snug memory foam compartment. She walked up the one deck from their cabin while attaching the lens best suited for close, low-light shots.
Even only having seen that small percentage of the ship, she had to admit it was not at all cramped or claustrophobic. When she saw an officer talking to a group of passengers, she immediately clicked off a few pictures. He was tall. His chest and shoulders filled out the white uniform and he smiled easily at the three women who peppered him with questions while batting their eyelashes shamelessly. The youngest of the three looked to be at least ten years older than the sailor.
Charley zoomed in on his bright blue eyes and neatly cropped dark, curly hair. He seemed genuinely interested in what the women were saying. If she had to guess, the handsome officer must have known the passengers. She clicked several more pictures.
His eyes turned toward her. There was a moment of surprise, followed by a slow, private smile. Inside her lens he was so close he penetrated her comfort zone. Charley felt her cheeks flush and she took the camera away from her face.
He’d caught her with her hand in the cookie jar. She’d invaded his privacy and he smiled warmly across the expanse of blue carpet. But he didn’t look the least bit offended. Normally she asked people if she could photograph them, though spontaneous pictures always turned out better. Making a conscious effort to slow her heart and ignore her embarrassment, she felt her cheeks cool slightly.
The officer said his polite goodbyes to the ladies and walked over to Charley. "Miss Ballantine?"
"Yes." Immediately her cheeks flushed again. He smelled of a musky cologne, soap and man. What the hell was wrong with her? She shook herself out of her mesmerized state. "I’m Charlene Ballantine, sorry I’m late."
He frowned for an instant. "I was told Charley."
Her cheeks were on fire and her heart beat so hard that it was a wonder he didn’t comment on the infernal noise. "Charley is fine."
He held out his hand. "I’m Kyle Macintyre, the ship’s first officer. I’m assigned the task of showing you the bridge. The captain asked that I tell you what you may and may not do while aboard."
"They sent me a list of dos and don’ts." Her voice was a bit steadier.
There was that smile again. "Yes, I’m sure the line sent you a laundry list, but since you’re not part of the crew and you have had no shipboard training, Captain Cristou likes to make certain they’ll be no trouble."
She nodded dumbly, intoxicated by the deep, warm sound of his voice. "Who were those women?"
If the question surprised him he didn’t show it. "Mrs. Jones and her two daughters. They’re taking a family vacation."
"Do you know them?"
He cocked his head to one side. "I just met them. Why do you ask?"
She shrugged, wishing she could keep her mouth shut. She supposed the question was out of context, but she was curious. "It looked as if you knew them."
Turning the digital display on her camera around, she showed him the pictures she’d taken. He stood very close as she scrolled through the dozen shots she snapped while he was unaware. Her shoulder brushed against his arm.
The warmth of his body spread through her as if she were standing too close to a furnace. She’d lost her mind. That was the only explanation. Since her divorce, men had been the last thing she wanted. She’d spent a year in therapy trying not to think of them as the enemy and she’d made progress. She’d even gone on a couple of dates that hadn’t ended in disaster. But this sailor had an effect on her that none of the men she’d come in contact with had. Her pulse was tripping wildly and she thought running away would be a great idea. In fact, better to get as far away from Kyle Macintyre as possible. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option.
He smiled brightly. "It does. You know, I’ve been doing this for so long, I’ve just learned that on a short cruise you don’t have much time to get to know people. I make friends quickly."
She took a step away from his arousing scent and warm body.
"I’ll bet you do." Sarcasm dripped from her words. She thought of looking around to see if her mother was behind her. No, it had been her. Shit.
He frowned, but was still so gorgeous she could barely look at him. "I think I should be insulted by the way you said that, Miss Ballantine, but I’m going to reserve my reaction until I know you better."
About the Author:
A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.
A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.
Multi-published in both erotic and historical romance, A.S. has 5 books currently available and three more under contract with Ellora’s Cave Publishing.
Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in the East Texas with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden.
1. What is one of your favorite Myths/legends to write about?
My first three books were about the End of Days. Researching all the Mayan myths was fantastic. Mayan Afterglow, Mayan Craving and Mayan Inferno and all filled with pre-Colombian mythology.
2. If you could live back in time, what time period would you choose and why?
I think the turn of the last century. Everything was so new and the world was changing, though not quite as fast as it does today. Still, they had many modern conveniences like indoor plumbing. J
3. Do you remember what you felt when you had your first kiss?
Wet and awkward. Thank goodness it got better. LOL
4. What do you do when you think nobody is watching?
I often have entire conversation for my characters. (Maybe I should have kept that to myself.) ;)
5. What was your favorite childhood book?
Green Eggs and Ham.
6. What is your favorite addition to chocolate?
Chocolate covered blueberries are pretty awesome but I’ll take my chocolate just about any way.
7. What does your husband/significant other say about your writing erotic stories? What about your family and/or do they read your books?
My husband tells everyone, he is the inspiration for all of my books. And of course, this is so. ;)
My mom reads my books. She says, I write great sex. I try not to think about that too much. She also tells all her friends at the Senior Center about my books and hands out promo cards. That’s pretty adorable.
8. Besides your own, what is one of your favorite series to keep up with?
Eloisa James has a series of historical romances based on fairytales. I love those. I’m also reading Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series.
9. What do you think you would be doing if you weren't writing?
I guess I would still be working in IT wishing I was writing.
10. Do you have any hobbies or activities you enjoy doing?
I love to cook and garden. My husband and I teach an Italian cooking class near our home. We also really enjoy traveling.
11. What is something you do to de-stress?
I love to cook and of course reading is a great escape from the stresses of the world.
12. We all know about muses...what do you think inspires you to allow your creative juices flowing?
That’s a good question. I’m inspired by so many things, the view out my window, the sweet things my husband is always doing, a funny story a friend tells… I never know what is going to make the muse show up. I’m blessed that she doesn’t leave me too often.
- I used to be an IT specialist and tell people to “reboot” all the time.
- I’m a Jersey girl living in Texas.
- I’m obsessed with my cat to the point where my husband knows his place. J
- I have an addiction to the Hallmark Hall of Fame.
- I’m so sappy, I sometimes cry at commercials.
- I believe that red wine and chocolate are a perfectly good meal substitute.
- I never talk about politics or religion.
- If I watch horror movies, I have nightmares.
- Yellow is my favorite color but I can’t wear it.
- I make an outstanding Cosmopolitan!
Tour Wide Giveaway
3 digital copies of Alaskan Exposure
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