The Cobalt Star
Graham Hargrave only plans to attend his aunt and uncle’s anniversary cruise when he makes a stopover in Portland, Maine, not become entangled in Whitney Duschene’s escapades- or have his heart entangled somewhere along the way. Coming off the ship one afternoon to visit the quaint city, he bumps into lively, high-spirited Whitney and is oddly intrigued, but embarks again that evening, if with some regret, without thinking they’ll ever meet again…
Yet through a wicked prank gone awry, much to their surprise they are thrown together under highly irregular, if not alarming circumstances when Whitney finds herself an unintended passenger on a luxury cruise ship. Being an enterprising young woman with plenty of spunk, however, she’s up to the challenge, as she tries with impressive ingenuity not to get caught- either by the crew or two gentlemen of dubious criminal designs, inevitably involving Graham Hargrave, of course, against his will. One a very serious matter indeed concerning a discovery her first night in the bowels of the ship. But being- and knowing- an ambassador comes in handy (he is kind of cute too) as they and the enterprising ship’s crew sail their way over the Atlantic and into feelings quite as unpredictable as their voyage thus far.
By now her hair was not only tendrilling about her neck but giving every appearance of tumbling down. “Why- are you staring?” very conscious too of its tendency to curl at the tips of every inch with any dampness in the air, and shiny was out of the question, trying to flatten it down on the sides with two fingers.
Ignoring a certain troubling quality in the air, or perhaps within himself, to brusquely treat her as a younger sister again, he took her hand briefly. “Not going disappear on me again, are you?” sternly, then punctually dropping it with a skeptical air.
“No,” she promised soberly. “I wouldn’t dream of it now that everything’s all straightened out and I have a real bed to sleep in.”
“And another thing, I explained everything, quite satisfactorily- So should you bump into the Captain tomorrow, don’t go- er- messing it up, will you, or adding anything to it.” Grinning suddenly, “The truth, for instance.”
She gave a small groan. “Not likely. I’ll avoid him like the plague. I’m still a little embarrassed about it all- Even though none of it was my fault.”
“Quite. But comfort yourself on one count- Apparently a valet’s gone missing, so they’re on extra alert.”
“Re-ally,” trying not to choke, and going slightly white in the dim lights…
A fun-loving romp at sea. After all, Whitney wouldn’t put up with a bunch of excessive, bothersome minutiae, either for herself or anyone so unlucky as to fall into scrapes on an alarmingly regular basis (which aren’t ever her fault)… Yet with the same character-driven story you’ve come to expect- Because Graham Hargrave wouldn’t stand for anything less.
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