What can go wrong being stuck on a cruise ship with your ex and entering into a fake relationship with a sexy coworker? It might not be the Titanic, thank goodness, but Eve Richard’s heart is sinking by the minute and love is definitely going down.
Pulitzer-prize-winning war journalist turned small-town newspaperman, Adam Seager, has given up a lot for his work, country, and family, but not this time. He knows what he wants, and it’s his coworker, Eve. Her smile is the brightest part of his day and a daily reminder that more adventures are yet to come. When they are both assigned a travel feature on board a new cruise ship, it’s the perfect opportunity to let his feelings set sail.
Eve will never date another coworker or writer again. Been there, done that. Time to pursue her own writing dreams, even if it means bunking with the infuriating and complicated Adam Seager. So what if the butterflies he sets off in her belly can rival the waves outside their cabin. She intends to keep things strictly professional … that is, as much as they can be while also pretending to be a couple. Their relationship might be fake, but the pull to get to know more of him is real. Her reporter’s gut says there is more to uncover than meets the eye. But what will happen when they are back on dry land?
Fueled by an IV of green tea and Prosecco, Tara is finally writing the happily ever after tales she’s been dreaming about. Proud mom to twins and four cats, she also blogs over at When Tara Met Blog @tarametblog, a lifestyle and parenting blog of 16 years.
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“Never have I ever been to all fifty states,” he supplied, reaching automatically for his glass, but she did not.
“You’ve been to all fifty states?” she questioned, looking skeptical.
“You’re not the only one with wanderlust,” he replied with a shrug. “Only my wandering has been domestic-based. I took a year off before college, living out of my car, writing about the people I met along the way and seeking out small-town charm.”
“Is that why you settled in Old Naples?”
He made a buzzer sound. “Sorry, that wasn’t in a Never Have I Ever question format.” Her blue eyes flared, and he found himself grinning at her short-lived flash of anger. “What states are you missing?”
“Hmm.” She scrunched up her nose as she counted to herself before listing them out. “Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Alaska, and West Virginia.”
“Not too bad. We’ll have to work on kicking those out for you.” Her eyebrow lifted at his use of we. “Maybe pitch an Alaskan cruise next,” he rushed out, plowing through the temporary awkwardness.
“As long as you’re my guide,” she said quietly, and his pulse raced at her invitation. He didn’t have a chance to dwell on the feeling, though, before she started the game up again. “Uh … never have I ever smoked cigarettes.”
He grumbled and reached for his drink. “Just socially here and there when I was younger,” he explained after his swallow. “Never have I ever gotten a tattoo,” he supplied, throwing her a softball and taking another drink in admission to his arm bands. He almost choked when he saw that she did the same. “You have a tattoo?” He’d seen a lot of her already in a binkini, so where the hell was this tat?
“Something I did on spring break in Vegas,” she admitted, clearly pleased with herself for surprising him. “And my parents still bring it up.”
“I bet,” he said absently. “Are you going to share what it’s of, or better, where it is?”
“You’re cruel,” he said, shooting back his entire drink even though he wasn’t supposed to. Bad enough he was dying to see her naked, but now he desperately had to discover this tattoo. “If it says Hugh, I’ll pay for your tattoo removal,” he grumbled.
She chuckled and shot back her drink, too, with only the slightest grimace evident, then smacked the empty glass on the counter. He wanted to lick her glistening lips and envied the back of her hand when it wiped across the moistened flesh. “I didn’t even know him then,” she said with an amused shake of her head.
“Is it any guy’s name?” he asked, hating himself for sounding jealous. It was unreasonable, but he breathed easier when she shook her head again. His relief turned playful. “A girl’s name?”
Her laughter was contagious. Sliding his keycard over, he signaled for the waiter to give them another round. Not only did he want to get to know Eve better by playing this silly game, but it was also his chance to prove himself, too. “Never have I ever cheated on my partner,” he stated.
Neither made a motion to grab for their drink, which was also a good thing since they hadn’t been refilled yet anyway.