I got my story idea from a Halibut fishing trip I took off Homer Spit, Alaska in 2012. The deckhand on the boat was a pretty redhead with some serious skills fileting fish! She was spunky and so darned cute I had to put her into a story. And we’ve seen shows about the Coast Guard guys rescuing people in Alaska. Yummy heroes, dangerous waters—a combination that makes the heart pound!
Excerpt from “Rescuing Alaska”
A Coast Guardsman on an Alaskan fishing trip jumps into frigid waters
and dares a bear-ridden island to rescue a beautiful deckhand…
“Katie, you know I love to fish for halibut and salmon, but that’s not why I always ask for this particular boat.”
Katie Bloom reeled in a line for one of the older guests on the boat, fit the hook with a shrimp, smiled at the guest, and nodded. “Drop the line until it goes slack. Then turn the reel twice to bring the shrimp off the bottom.” She turned to Lucas Kramer, her brow raised. “I’m sorry, Lucas, but I have a job to do.”
“If you’d say yes, just once, and go out with me in your off time, I wouldn’t bother you on the job.” He gave her his most winning smile, the one he used when he wanted to charm someone into agreeing with his request. It usually worked.
Not today. Or any day, for that matter. Not with the beautiful deckhand aboard the Fishin’ is Livin’ charter fishing boat that sailed daily out of Homer, Alaska.
Katie shook her head. “I told you before, I don’t go out with customers.”
Lucas grinned. “Then as soon as we get off the boat, I’ll ask you again.”
She pushed past him to help another paying customer bait his line. Over her shoulder, she said, “I’ll just say no again.”
“Why?” he asked. “I won’t be a customer, then.”
She nodded toward his friends on the other side of the deck. “You and your friends are Coasties?”
Lucas puffed out his chest, proud of his work with the US Coastguard. “We are.”
She expertly rebaited the customer’s line, smiled, and tossed the baited hook into the water. “How long have you been in Homer?” Katie faced Lucas, her chin tipped upward, her eyes narrowed.
Lucas considered the fact she was looking him in the eye as progress. She usually ignored him. “I’ve been in Alaska now for over a year.” And he’d only discovered Katie in the past month. Ever since, he’d been on a mission to get her to go out with him.
“Coasties move around, don’t they?”
“When we get transferred.” Lucas frowned. “But I just got here.”
“Exactly.” She propped her hands on her hips. “Where are you from?”
“Montana.” He couldn’t see where she was going with her questioning but was sure she’d get there soon. He was also certain he wasn’t going to like where she went.
“I was born and raised in Alaska,” Katie said. “I have no desire to leave Alaska. It’s my home and my livelihood. I have no desire to live anywhere else.”
A passenger’s line sank deep. “I think I’ve got one.”
Katie smiled at the happy fisherman. “Reel it in. If you need help, let me know.”
“I’m not asking you to leave,” Lucas insisted. “I’m asking you to go out with me on a date.”
Her smile for the other passenger became a firm-lipped grimace as she turned toward him. “I don’t go out on casual dates.”
And there it was. Her reason for resisting his attempts to date her. The boat rocked in the choppy water. Lucas pitched forward into the red-haired spitfire who could gut and filet a twenty-pound halibut in under two minutes. He wrapped his arms around her to keep them both from falling on the slippery deck.
The woman had skills and a smile that melted Lucas’s heart. Only she rarely turned that smile on him. What would it take to get her to give him more smiles? Beneath all that skill and toughness was the soft and feminine female he now held in his arms. All curves and fire.
“Look,” Katie said, her brow creased, her hands flat against his chest. “I don’t see any purpose in dating someone who won’t be staying in Alaska.” When he loosened his arms, she walked away, leaving Lucas to bait his own hook.
“Shot down, again?” Samuel Waterson, his shipmate with the Coastguard, clapped him on the back. “Why don’t you give up and move on to a more receptive female?”
“Yeah, Kramer,” Jackson Myers agreed. “One who doesn’t smell like fish guts.”
“Shut up, Myers,” Lucas’s gaze followed Katie around the back of the boat as she smiled and assisted passengers baiting hooks and removing fish from the lines. So what, if she smelled of fish? Serving as a deckhand was honest, hard work. A harder job than most females were willing to take on. He blew out a breath as he watched her trim figure disappear. He couldn’t blame her for being picky about the men she dated.
But Lucas wasn’t ready to give up. He wanted her more than ever, and he was a persistent kind of guy. He wouldn’t be a member of the US Coastguard, if he wasn’t.
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