The second book in the Cutter Cay series, published August 2011.
Cherry Adair plunges into the dangerous world of high-sea treasure hunting, where one man’s greatest passion unlocks one woman’s wildest fantasies … She’s swept into treacherous waters. Princess Bria Visconti has no idea why her brother would lend money to a reckless scavenger like Nick Cutter. He’s simply too arrogant, and too handsome for his own good. But he can’t charm his way out of this one. The money her brother invested in Nick’s latest treasure hunt is the key to her country’s future, and Bria plans to make Nick pay up – even if it means climbing aboard his boat and making his life a living hell. He fights the relentless pull… Nick thinks that Bria must be deluded if she thinks he’s going to put his treasure hunt on hold for her – princess or not. But when a series of attacks puts his entire crew in grave danger, Nick begins to see Bria in a new light. The princess may be out of her element, but her strength and courage run fathoms deep. Even when their darkest secrets rise to the surface – and their deadliest enemies come after them…
Nick Cutter and his crew aboard the Scorpion, his gorgeous and very efficient ship, are busy salvaging the treasure from a Spanish ship, which sunk 400 years ago. Not only gold, silver and jewels are salvaged, also some important historical artefacts. Nick is in Morocco, doing business with some unsavoury men, when he sees a stunning woman walking towards him. He is disguised as a Moroccan himself, there is no way she can know who he is. But still, she is coming straight at him. To his surprise, he knows who she must be, and she is asking for passage to his own ship. Of course he refuses, he cannot jeopardize his disguise, or his mission for T-Flac for this spoiled princess. He has no idea what she wants with him, and is not interested in it either. His mission is helping T-Flac find out who is smuggling blood diamonds out of Africa to America. And so he is stowing them on his own ship, amongst the real treasures, giving Max Aries and his team the chance to find out who the mastermind is.
The next day, he lifts anchor early, or rather, have his captain and best friend Jonah do that, making sure the princess will not be able to reach the Scorpion by boat. But Bria has a purpose, and even though it costs a small fortune, which she doesn’t have, she is determined to talk with him. So she hires a helicopter to drop her of at his ship. Nick sure doesn’t trust her. Someone must have sent her to him, knowing his taste in women too well. To find out the truth, he gets rid of her ride back to shore, leaving her no way to get of his ship. He plans to interrogate her. The story that she wants the money back her brother Draven, the new King of Marrezzo has invested in this salvage, has to be bogus. There is a clear no-return policy to the investments, and if Draven just waits, there will be a 600% interest on his investment of 5 million dollars.
Bria is not lying though. She needs that money to pay off a large bankloan, or Marrezo will revert back to Italy. Their tiny island and all its inhabitants is very dear to her, even though she has made a new life for her self in Sacramento. And this Nick Cutter, with his icy demeanour, is making her temper soar. No man has the right to look that deliciously handsome. He turns her on like no man has ever before. Both her temper and her body! But he seems to be unmoved by her. Nick assigns Bria a small cabin for the time being, but before she can even get there for a much needed shower, she is almost murdered by one of the crewman. Luckily, Nick decided to check up on her, and even though she can defend herself, he is almost too late to safe her. Nick has the crewman locked up, while he takes Bria to his own cabin, to take care of her. But before he and Jonah can interrogate the man, he has disappeared. Much later they find out on the security cameras, which have been tampered with, that he was thrown overboard by two other crewmembers. The footage is too bad to see who they are. And so Nick decides that Bria has to stay locked in his cabin for her own safety, and can only come out when he or Jonah as time to stay with her. Which is ofcourse making Bria furious.
Nick is tormented. He has to keep the fortune in diamonds safe for Aries, until the villains are identified, but he also has this need to keep Bria safe. And when another crewmember turns up dead in the hold near the diamonds, he decides to take her back home to Marrezo, with the money for her brother. But even there they are not safe. Who are they after, Bria, or Nick? And how and where will he keep them safe?
A really action filled book. That part I loved. The lots and lots of love scenes are just too much for my taste. But if you like your love scenes steamy hot, you really should read this book.
There is one scene I really hated in this book. When her bodyguard Marvin rescued her from the coup that killed her parents when she was seven, Marv took Bria with him, staying out of the public eye, moving a lot. He also thought her martial arts and guns and everything he can think of. So, to burn of the sexual frustration, Nick and Bria hit the gym, where they start running. And when Nick makes her stop, she gets so angry, she attacks him. And he restrains her with a hand against her forehead, so she can’t reach him. I mean, come on! She knows martial arts! And that is all it takes to subdue her? And he stays icy calm the entire time? After that, of course, they screw the hell out of each other for hours.
I still don’t know if I like Bria or not. She is gorgeous and she knows it, and uses it. She doesn’t listen to anyone giving her orders, which makes her very stupid sometimes, but when in danger, she is a great companion. She is very smart and knows her things, but the passion she feels for Nick makes her forget everything, and melt instantly. Every time. And then there is Nick. A very hot man, I get that. Due to his father’s faults, he wants to stay a Mr. Spock himself, unemotional, cool. And Bria melts that ice, which is a great thing. But he is distrusting of everyone and everything, perhaps deserved, but he sure does see a lot of evil that isn’t there. And even while he distrusts Bria, he needs to keep her safe. He never is afraid that if she really is send by the enemy, she will attack/kill him.
So, I liked the story, I liked the action, but I am still not so sure about the main characters. I am convinced Jonah will have his own story someday, and I am guessing the Sea Witch captain will be his match.