by Maggie McConnell
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It's a long way from Seattle to Otter Bite, Alaska. But if one woman can survive the trip--and the locals--she just might find what her heart has been searching for.
Her mango chutney is exquisite; her blueberry sauce is to die for. But right now, Chef de Cuisine Daisy Moon is a woman without a kitchen--and without a fiancé. Unceremoniously dumped from her place of business and her relationship, Daisy sells her belongings, plus a few of her ex's, and packs her bags. Maybe smashing all the china in her former restaurant was a bad move. Stripped of her Golden Spoon for "un-chef-like" conduct, she is now blacklisted all over Seattle. Her sole job offer is from the Wild Man Lodge…in Otter Bite, Alaska.
Too bad Daisy can't even get out of Dodge without incident. By the time she boards a ship for Alaska, she's got a trail of new troubles behind her, and suddenly Otter Bite is sounding pretty good. But the vessel turns into her own personal Titanic when a series of close encounters confirms her terrible taste in men--including one very good looking bad luck charm named Max Kendall. She vows to dedicate the rest of her days to chowders and brulée. Yet even Alaska isn't far enough away to shake the memories of the sexy shipmate who rocked her cabin--and her world. Thank goodness she's done with surprises--but they may not be done with her…
His laugh was immediate. Daisy realized how ridiculous her allegation was. Max Kendall’s particular brand of woman didn’t need lies to motivate her into his bed. His women were fun and adventurous and, unlike Daisy, didn’t have impossible expectations.
“I thought we were talking about you,” he said with a dying chuckle. “But if you think you’re helping the enemy…” With his good leg bearing the brunt of his weight, he rose from the bed. Grabbing the handles on his duffle bag, he slowly stepped toward the bathroom.
“If the lights were dim and the music soft and the wine expensive.”
Max turned at the door. “And?”
“I don’t believe for one second that you, Daisy, would be undermined by lights, music, and wine.”
“And… if I thought you were…special.”
“And what makes a man special?”
Daisy hesitated at the fork in her road. She could give Max an honest answer or… “Well, for one thing, he’s very forgiving–“
His eyes crinkled as his grin returned.
“–And he would never use all the hot water just to prove some ridiculous point.”
“I guess I’m not the only one who has trouble giving a straight answer. See you when the water runs cold.” The bathroom door clicked shut.
“And he makes me smile,” Daisy murmured, smiling.