The first book in the Cutter Cay series, published December 2010. And I totally love this cover! Do you think he wears anything?
Teal Williams is content with her career as a ship's master mechanic - until Zane Cutter, the 'Casanova of the Caribbean,' makes her an offer she can't refuse: to climb on board with him for a real-life treasure hunt. Teal must help him dredge up a shipwrecked vessel containing an abundance of gold, silver, and emeralds - and she'll claim part of the prize.
HE'S BLOWN OFF COURSE.
Zane needs a mechanic - not a lover - and Teal, who can also dive, is perfect for the job. So it suits him just fine that Teal is completely immune to his charms, or so he tells himself. But with a deadly enemy in their midst - one who's silently edging closer - Zane and Teal sink into troubled waters. Trapped in the middle of a perilous sea, they have no one to turn to but each other as they face down a danger that runs unfathomably deep - and a passion that runs even deeper.
Teal Williams has just divorced her abusive husband, when she gets a job offer from Logan Cutter as their ships mechanic. It will also take her to her father, who is terminally ill with cancer. She used to live for those two weeks a year when she was with him on the Cutter’s island. She learned everything from him about engines, but she never got a good relationship with him. As a child, she was extremely shy, and in love with Zane Cutter, the youngest brother. So Teal grabs the job offer with two hands. What she didn’t plan was going out to sea with Zane, as she is awfully seasick, and she doesn’t want anyone to know about it. Of course, even on a ship the size of the Decrepit, she cannot escape her shipmates. Beside Zane, there are several more people on board, to help with the diving, the cataloguing and security.
Zane has spend 4 years tracking down the shipwrecked Dutch ship Vrijheid, and now that he has found it, he is going to salvage its treasures.
But as soon as they reach the site, and start the dive, other ships keep appearing. Some are just curious, wanting to know what is happening, but of course there are other people, like the Sea Witch, who want to steal as much of the treasure as possible without getting caught. Even though Zane has the exclusive salvage rights, there is not much he or the authorities can do about it, even though it makes them all furious. Some really good pieces are disappearing, not only from the site at night, but even from the ship after they have brought it aboard. Is there a traitor on board? But Zane has knows all of his people for years, and he trusts them all.
He is very much attracted to his mechanic, and it really bothers him that she wants nothing to do with him. He is not used to having a woman say no to him. He is handsome, charming, rich, likable. He falls in and out of love with great regularity, it never lasts long. So why does he keep thinking about Teal, want to know everything about her?
What he doesn’t know is that he has already slept with Teal once. She came to him on the night of his fathers funeral, months ago. To comfort him, and that lead to them spending the night together. The next morning, without even opening his eyes, he send her out. And broke her heart. So no, she won’t risk it again. And he does not even remember that night, he was so drunk that time.
Zane does his best to make Teal jealous by flirting with the scantily clad woman from the other ships who just want to party, but that is working not as he plans. She flees to her engine room the first opportunity she gets, as the smell of the diesel is working wonders on her stomach.
Then a huge storm is coming, and they will have to leave the salvage place and seek safety on shore at Sint Maarten. Zane doesn’t really want to go, and leave the Vrijheid unprotected, but he has no choice. He takes Teal for a last dive, and they stumble upon some strange divers, stealing their treasures. Zane fights with them, but then Teal has disappeared. Zane is frantic, he is sure she is kidnapped by those man. He doesn’t want to believe the sharks got her, even though she was bleeding. He is positive she will be aboard the Sea Witch and takes his security team over there, to find her. But the woman who captains the ship claims to know nothing, and though they find lots of treasure aboard her ship, there is no sign of teal. So will she be on the other ship, the one with the old ladies aboard, after al?
Of course, Teal gets rescued, and a lot of stolen treasure retrieved, but that is just the beginning of the adventures. I won’t spoil the rest of the story. Let’s just say, it is very exciting, suspenseful and dangerous. There are also some very hot love scenes between Zane and Teal.
I did like the suspense part of the book very much. I liked Teal, but I thought she gave in too easy to Zane. He really did not deserve that yet. Did he want her just because she didn’t want him? Or did he really like the real Teal? Of course the danger brought them quicker together, but she still did not really make him work for it, earn her trust. It was totally new for Zane to put an effort into seducing a woman, and he is also the kind of man who cannot turn down a bet. Look at the bet with his brothers: the one who brings in the most treasure, gets 10.000 dollars from the others, and the CEO job of the company. Zane wants to win very badly, but he would never want to do the job of CEO, all the paperwork and stuff. He is only happy on board his boat, hunting down sunken ships and salvaging what there has been hidden for centuries.
Then there is the underlying story with Teal and her father, how she had to take care of her drug addicted mother since childhood, and her really bad marriage. That really shot her self esteem down the drain, and she only picked Denny because he reminded her of Zane so much, the charm, the great looks. Yes, she never did stop loving him, but he really is a womanizer and a charmer. So why make it so easy for him, not even get mad at what happened before.
But I really am looking forward to the next books in this series, as the suspense is great, as I am used to with Cherry Adair. I want to know who can tame the other Cutter brothers. The oldest one is aloof, and the middle one can be charming, but I do think he works for a secret government agency. Like Michael Wright … nice meeting him again.