Catch of a Lifetime releases April 7 and came about because of a trip to visit a good friend in Florida. We took a day trip on a boat around the inland bay near Longboat Key and saw dolphins and egrets and tons of other wildlife. While on the boat, the captain, whose family were fisherman, told us about the life they lead and that got my mind working. In that hour or so, Catch of Lifetime was born. I really hope you love this story. It touched my heart and I hope it does the same for you.
Some moments happen once in a lifetime, and you have to catch them and hold on tight.
Arty Reynolds chased his dream to Broadway, but after his father is injured, he must return to the small fishing community where he grew up, at least until his dad is back on his feet.
Jamie Wilson fled his family farm but failed to achieve real independence. Arty is hiring for a trip on the gulf, and it’ll get Jamie one step closer to his goal.
Neither man plans to stay in Florida long-term, neither is looking for love, and they’re both blown away by the passion that sparks between them. But on a fishing boat, there’s little privacy to see where their feelings might lead. Passion builds like a storm until they reach land, where they also learn they share a common dream. The lives they both long for could line up perfectly, as long as they can weather the strain on their new romance when only one of them may get a chance at their dream.
“What are we looking for?” Jamie asked.
Arty snickered. “I think the meaning of life is supposed to be out there somewhere. But I never found it.” Not on the sea, or land, as far as that went. He turned to Jamie. “Maybe you will.”
Reginald stood, and Beck did the same. “We’ll be ready to shove off on time,” Reginald said.
“Good. We can meet tomorrow to go over the route plan.”
Reginald shook his head. “That isn’t my expertise. Your father was always the one who had the gift for finding the fish. That was his real talent. You get whatever you can from him, and then we’ll go from there.” Reginald and Beck extended their hands, and Arty shook them. Then they left the restaurant, and Arty sat back down.
“You really want to do this?” he asked Jamie, and for the first time, saw doubt flash in his eyes.
“They seem like good people, and I asked around about you after I saw the flyer.” The corners of his lips turned upward. “They said you were doing this to help your dad. That this wasn’t your life. Everyone talked about you as though you were a saint or something.”
Arty scoffed. “Nope. God knows I’m no saint.”
“Me either,” Jamie said. “But I’d never do for my dad what you’re doing for yours.” His gaze shifted slightly, looking out over Arty’s shoulder. “I need to make some money, and I want to see what it’s like out there.”
A notion occurred to Arty. “Have you ever been on a boat?” God, he should have asked that before. What if Jamie got seasick? Good Lord, just what he needed—a landlubber who spent the entire trip puking over the side.
“Yes. On Lake Michigan with my uncle a few times. But that’s not the same as it is down here. I like being outdoors. I tried working in a restaurant for a while, but got stir-crazy always being inside. Hot or cold, even when it rains, it’s best to be outside where you can see it coming.” There was something so serious in Jamie’s voice that it made Arty wonder just what he was saying. It was as if Jamie didn’t have anyone to watch his back, and that maybe the threat was coming from close to home.
“Okay, then,” Arty said, watching Jamie’s faraway expression. There was more to this man than muscles and a baby face. There was pain behind those eyes, tinged with desperation, both of which Arty was well acquainted with.
“Is there anything else?” Jamie asked, and Arty shook his head. Jamie thanked him and stood to leave the covered seating area of the restaurant. Arty found he couldn’t look away as Jamie strode across the parking area before disappearing behind a stand of palm trees.
Arty realized his heart beat faster and he was sweating under his T-shirt, though it wasn’t that warm. Good God, those eyes were nearly as blue as the clear sky. He had a type, Arty knew that, and Jamie ticked every single one of the boxes. Of course, he had no idea if Jamie was gay or even interested, but that banana joke had sure as hell been suggestive. Arty finished his coffee. He needed to get his mind away from that subject and keep it on what was important. He was here to help his dad, not get involved with guys or form any ties. His life was back in New York, and once this little adventure was over, he was returning back to his life and career… such as they were.
“Something… or someone interesting?” Milton asked as he began clearing the table. When Arty lifted his gaze, Milton winked. “I’ve seen him around a few times, and he’s a real nice guy. I think you did a good thing. And who knows? Sometimes nice guys do get rewarded.”