Jennifer Wright, you are my winner! I’ll be in touch to get your mailing address so I can send you your gift box! Thanks, everyone, for stopping by and commenting! I love having you here!
Yup, it’s time for another River’s Edge story, my children. The second book in the Weaver Sisters trilogy is currently available for pre-order and I’m so delighted to bring you Jo Weaver and Alex Briggs’s story. They were fun to write because they are pretty much an opposites-attract kind of love story. Except that deep down, they weren’t opposites at all.
Here’s the scoop and below that are links to pre-order Meet Me in River’s Edge, and be sure to read all the way to the bottom of this post–there’s a fun surprise for y’all at the end!
Jo Weaver loves her job as a boat mechanic for her family’s marina in River’s Edge, Indiana. But when she’s pulled away from her high school reunion with her sisters to fix a stranded yacht, she can’t restrain her irritation. Jo doesn’t like wealthy men who think they can have whatever they want, and she has no intention of falling for rich and charming again.
Born into the international Briggs Hotels empire, Alex Briggs has never felt comfortable with his life of privilege. Abandoning his family’s business to pursue medical research, he’s far more at home in his lab. When the yacht he restored himself breaks down on the way to an important conference, Alex begrudgingly goes in search of a boat mechanic and falls, literally, into Jo Weaver’s arms. The fireworks he feels are impossible to ignore.
Jo does her best to keep Alex in the business zone, but he keeps slipping into something more. Can she trust her fragile heart, especially when Alex and his life-altering research are so far from River’s Edge?
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Setting the scene, Alex Briggs has just pulled Jo Weaver away from her high school reunion dinner dance because he needs her to fix his boat that is stranded out on the Ohio River…
Slowly, she drove down the drive and turned left to head toward town. “Where’s your dinghy? At the showboat dock?”
“Yes. Hopefully, they could get around my disabled boat when they went out.” Alex’s lips twisted as he squirmed in his seat.
Jo fought an urge to grab and still the hand that was tapping restlessly on his knee, but she kept both hands on the wheel as she steered down the curvy road into town. “Don’t worry. Dan Shafer’s the best pilot on the river. Your boat won’t cause him any worry.” His look told her he didn’t believe her. “What kind of a motor do you have?”
“A Cat diesel.”
Jo glanced at him in disbelief. “A what?”
“A 600 horsepower 3176 Caterpillar diesel.”
She snorted. “Really? You’ve got an actual yacht out there?”
“Yeah. A 1996 Offshore Pilothouse 58.” She glanced over at him in the dim truck cab, and his expression was completely ingenuous. His eyes were wide and a shock of blond hair fell over his forehead as he nodded.
Stopping at the light at Harrison and 7th Streets, Jo really looked at Alex Briggs for the first time. He was tall, with broad shoulders, and even in the baggy board shorts and T-shirt, he clearly had a lean, athletic body. His eyes shone gray blue in the streetlights and his light brown-to-blond hair was mussed. He’d been raking his fingers through it since they got in the truck, although it was obviously well cut and styled, so she’d already figured out he probably had money. But a yacht?
Not that Jo wasn’t familiar with yachts and the people who owned them—she and her dad had rescued more than one river rat, as she called them—although most of Weaver’s Landing Marina’s repair work was on ski boats, pontoons, jet skis, and other smaller craft. She glanced at Alex in the seat next to her and her stomach turned cold. He was one of those.
Definitely a river rat.
Briefly, she closed her eyes against the memory that washed over her and made bile rise in her throat and fought the urge to scoot closer to her door. This guy was harmless. Most of them were just uber-wealthy young men and women who partied, cruising the Ohio from Pittsburgh to St. Louis, sometimes even going way down into the Mississippi or up into the Monongahela Rivers.
The man beside her cleared his throat. “The light’s green.”
She took a deep breath, opening her eyes to the light changing, and drove on, managing to keep her voice cool. “Did you leave plenty of lights on so other craft can see you?” She pulled onto Main, which turned into Riverview Road.
“Yes. There are other people on the boat, too, and they’re keeping watch.” Alex’s knee was jiggling and he was clenching and unclenching his fists.
“Don’t worry about it, then. Barge pilots are pretty aware. They won’t ram you.”
He didn’t respond, merely craning his neck as the river came into view and rolling down the window to stick his head out as they passed the drive into Aidan Flaherty’s River Queen showboat lot. “Looks like the showboat is gone. They must have gotten past me okay.” His teeth—gleaming white in the dim cab of the truck—worried his lower lip. “Should we maybe contact them? Make sure everything is all right?”
She held back a snicker. Yeah, this guy was most likely harmless, just entitled, which irritated Jo no end, but didn’t surprise her. “No, we don’t need to do that. I imagine Clyde gave them a heads-up after he dropped you off. I’m sure they’re fine and I’m sure your boat is, too.”
He touched her arm. “Don’t you want to turn there so we can grab my dinghy?”
She jerked away from his light touch. “No. Look at me. I’m not getting into a rubber dinghy dressed like this. We’re heading to the marina—I’ve got a coverall and deck shoes there; we can go out to your boat in our MasterCraft.”
“But my dinghy’s tied up at the showboat landing.” His tone wasn’t whiny, not at all, although the slight undercurrent of anxiety that he’d clearly been trying to stave off since he’d fallen into the party at the winery was starting to show.
Jo’s sympathy grew slightly since his concern seemed to be for other boaters and not strictly himself, and he was a customer—a potential customer—so she gave him a smile. “Chill. It’s safe there, and I’ll take you to get it once we figure out what’s going on.” She pulled into the gravel drive and then stopped the truck in the parking lot by the marina shop.
Alex’s brow furrowed as she opened her door. “Are you going to call the mechanic to come out with us?”
She held back the retort that immediately rose to her lips and instead merely replied, “The mechanic is already here.” He had no way of knowing, after all.
Alex hopped out of the truck. “I don’t see any other cars and the place is dark.”
“I’m the mechanic, Mr. Briggs.” Jo slammed her door harder than was probably necessary, but it eased her urge to smack him.
His jaw dropped. “You?”
She hit the remote locks on the truck and strode to the service door, punching in the key code and tapping the light switch before giving him a cool stare. “I promise it’ll be more believable once I get into my coveralls and hat and collect some tools.” She turned, deliberately not holding the door open for him.
Alex had to rush to catch it before it shut in his face, which gave her a smidgen of satisfaction. “Look, I’m sorry. I got no problem with a girl mechanic. I’m a millennial—we’re open to anything.”
Jo stopped in the middle of the shop and spun around, hands on her hips. This guy was something else. “A girl mechanic? Did you seriously just say you had no problem with a girl mechanic?”
Defensively, he raised both hands, managing to look innocent as a lamb and rocket-hot all at the same time. Damn him. “Don’t shoot me. I’ve never met a woman boat mechanic before. It’s . . . unexpected, that’s all.” Somehow, his open expression reminded her of a golden retriever, all eager and wide-eyed and trying desperately to please, so he could get what he wanted.
She shook her head.
Don’t try to disarm me, buddy. I’m immune to river rat charm.
“Well, that’s who you’ve got tonight.” She held up her hand. “Wait here. I’ll go throw on my coveralls and grab some tools.”
Giveaway! I’ve got a cool gift box for one lucky commenter that includes a signed print copy of Book 1 in the Weaver Sisters trilogy, Home to River’s Edge as well as a handmade necklace, a $10 Amazon gift card, and some other fun swag. Just tell me if you enjoy a story where the heroine has an unusual, out-of-the-box job like Jo Weaver’s?