I’m originally from a small town called Bent Creek. It’s about four hours from Shell Island and just as isolated. My dad owned a bar there and I have many happy memories of growing up and learning how to bartend from him. My mother, on the other hand, always reminded me that I was the “accident” that forced them to get married. She was content with my stepsister, Mandy, and didn’t want another child. She was cold and distant most of the time when I was growing up. I haven’t spoken to her since the altercation with Mandy just before I left Bent Creek.
Where do you live now and what do you do for a living? Is there something you'd rather be doing?
I now live on Shell Island, a tedious ferry ride across Asylum Harbor from Shoreline and the rest of the mainland. I’m the bartender at the Salty Dog—I only make the drinks so I don’t dance, thankfully. I leave that up to the other girls. I love what I do and there’s nothing else I can imagine doing, although the idea of running my own bar like my dad is tempting.
What's going on in your life right now?
I’m slowly getting settled on Shell Island. There’s not much to do on the island and I hate having to ride across the open water back to Shoreline, so when I’m not working, I try to help out Mrs. Foster, the lady who owns the boarding house on the island, and there’s always Danny to look after. Danny and I have become fast friends. He’s like the brother I never had who always needs protection.
Is there someone special in your life?
There are more women than men on Shell Island so there aren’t many to choose from. But, just between you and me, I do feel like a giddy school girl when Kerr is around. He’s the Harbor Master for Asylum Harbor but he has the tendency to be brooding when he comes into the Salty Dog.
How did you meet? What's his/her family like?
I met Kerr on the ferry from Shoreline to Shell Island. Well, I think “bumped into him” would better describe it. He wasn’t too happy about that or overly friendly. Actually, by the time we reached Shell Island, I was hoping I’d never have to see him again. Funny how things change!
The only family that I know about is Danny. Danny is Kerr’s younger brother. After Danny’s accident, Kerr and everyone else, has been very protective of him.
What's keeping you two apart?
I think we’re both guarded about our feelings and because of past incidents, we both have trust issues with relationships. There’s also Victoria and Porter. She’s a waitress at the Salty Dog who’s obsessed with making Kerr hers and to say Porter and Kerr hate each other is an understatement.
What one thing could you do that would make you feel like the relationship will work out?
Kerr is a man of few words. If we could just talk and trust each other, without worrying anyone else, I think things would eventually blossom.
Any last comments?
Thank you for letting me stop by today!
Trouble is the last thing Devon Brown needs when she leaves the painful memories of her past behind and heads to Shell Island. As the Salty Dog’s new bartender, she finds herself drawn to Kerr, the Shell Island harbormaster. But finding her happily-ever-after is difficult when dealing with an obnoxious bootlegger who supplies the bar with illegal liquor and a jealous coworker.
A standoffish loner with damaged emotions, Kerr avoids relationships like the plague. Things change when Devon catches his eye. When a simple flirtation grows serious, the coworker and bootlegger quickly become obstacles to any future Kerr and Devon may have together. As the situation worsens, Devon realizes that even the still waters of Asylum Harbor are no refuge during a storm.
“You already got dibs on this one Kerr?”
Porter shot an evil glare at the opposite end of the bar and looked back toward her. “I’ll see you tonight.” He flicked his tongue. “After work.” He raised his glass in a mock toast and chugged it in one gulp.
The lights dimmed for Victoria’s dance of the night. Devon watched Kerr, who was usually headed for the exit by now, and breathed a sigh of relief when he remained glued to his seat with his back to the stage. He wasn’t staying for Victoria’s peep show. There must have been something about this Porter character that got under his skin in a bad way.
Devon was eager for the quick break. She hustled to the back as the chords to “Simply Irresistible” began to pelt over the speakers and ran some cold water over her forearm. A red welt was beginning to show where Porter had held onto it. She hoped he would be gone by the time she got back.
Making it out before mid-song, Devon rounded the bar when someone snagged her wrist and thrust her hard against the bar, knocking the wind out of her. She could smell Porter’s alcohol-laced breath as his weight pinned her under him. One of his grubby hands shot under her shirt while the other wrestled with the button on her pants. “Let’s give them a real show.”
She struggled to reach the Equalizer, but it remained hidden, out of her grasp. Devon hoisted her knee toward his crotch, but Porter lost his balance and fell backward before she could make contact.
Kerr towered over him. “Get your hands off her.”
Coming Soon from the The Wild Rose Press
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