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Making a Splash Mass Market Paperback – August 23, 2011


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373796404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373796403
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,199,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock turned a passion for writing into a career when imaginary characters kept her awake at night, demanding she tell their stories. Author of over sixty romances in a variety of subgenres, she enjoys writing contemporary romance and medieval historials. A former Golden Heart recipient, Joanne has won numerous awards for her stories. Learn more about Joanne and her work by visiting her website at: www.joannerock.com

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Jack's cell phone buzzed at least three times before he even got his brother's sleek catamaran into open water.

He knew it was nothing pressing, since the text messages had subject lines such as "quick heads–up" rather than "URGENT." So he ignored them, figuring Keith wanted to share a lot of details about his high–end vessel—as if Jack couldn't figure out how to steer a boat without the help of GPS gizmos. Jack had gotten this far in life by knowing when to tune out the rest of the world, a lesson his workaholic brother had yet to process.

Keith the Corporate Mogul took every incoming call as if it were life or death, assuming the world couldn't turn without his input. Jack had weathered enough storms to know plenty of problems blew themselves out without him lifting a finger. While Keith positioned himself for the Forbes list, Jack was content to invest some of his savings in local businesses, as he'd been doing since he returned home a month ago. Nothing big. He gave those struggling bars a hand up in a rough economy while he figured out what direction he wanted his career to take now that he was out of the service. Returning to the family business wasn't a direction that particularly appealed.

In the meantime, he'd started selling off a few of his personal possessions to consolidate his assets and simplify his lifestyle. Truth be told, he was glad not to be the one to hand off the vintage Pearson Triton that was full of memories for him. Alicia had helped him christen the Vesta back when his life had made more sense.

Not that he would think about her now, damn it. His brother's engagement party had messed with his head tonight, putting thoughts of her back in his brain.

But you broke up with her because she was too young… Some obnoxious voice in his head piped up. That problem no longer exists.

The fact that they'd both matured, however, wouldn't take away their bulldog personalities. Or erase the fact that she'd moved on since he'd been away. Every time he'd been home on leave in the past four years, she'd been dating someone else.

If he had any sense, he would fall for someone softer. Someone who wouldn't argue about his every decision. Someone a whole lot less like him. But first he needed to find a way to come to terms with a shared past he'd never really forgotten.

Now, at about two–thirty in the morning, he had his ropes thrown off and he'd steered through the coastal traffic into open water. He'd checked out the chart plotter and the self–steering feature enough to feel comfortable moving around deck while the boat cruised along. No doubt about it, the catamaran had every cool innovation known to mankind—the Zeus steering system and GPS position–locking features both made handling a big vessel easy.

He figured he'd put enough distance between him and the rest of the Murphy clan to settle down for the night. He was out of the main shipping lanes and his lights were burning bright, so he should be safe to get some rest.

It would kill his mother to know it, but he hated trips home. Being there brought back too many memories of a time where he'd dreamed of a different life.

Jamming the cell phone back in his jacket pocket, he tugged his tie off. The fact that, hours after leaving Ryan's party, Jack hadn't even changed out of his suit yet spoke volumes about his need to be under way, as far from Cape Cod and the possibility of bumping into Alicia as he could get. He needed to see her sooner or later, yes. But not until he figured out why her memory still affected him so strongly.

He'd stopped at a convenience store for some supplies on his way to the marina, despite Keith's assurance that the corporate toy was fully stocked. But other than the one brief pause, he'd been running nonstop since he walked away from the party.

The boat was a beauty. Keith's company owned the power catamaran and used it to entertain clients. But in between gigs to impress potential customers or long–term patrons, the top dogs passed the toy around amongst themselves.

Now that he'd cooled down a bit, he could appreciate some of the features of Keith's catamaran. Roomy as hell. laid out by someone who'd been at sea before, with no skimping on practical stuff—although there were some fluffy add–ons such as a hot tub in the front deck. Jack switched on the night–light in the hall leading to the forward cabin. He'd done a quick inspection of the hull layout before he'd left the marina, tossing his bag into the cabin that looked as if it had been recently used, with the berth still rumpled and a duffel in one corner. Had to be the space Keith had used, and was therefore the one most likely to have sheets and an alarm clock at the ready.

Yanking off his jacket and belt, Jack trailed clothes like a stripper, too wasted to hang things up. He didn't even bother turning on the light before he slid into the queen–size bed, liking the dark just fine. oblivion couldn't come soon enough after the day he'd had.

He was happy for Ryan finding The one. Truly, he was. But seeing that promise of a future on both their faces had poured acid in an old wound, reminding Jack of the way Alicia had started to think long–term with him when he'd been embroiled in a family drama that had needed his attention. Those days should have been too long ago for him to remember their breakup in such vivid detail.

Unfortunately, he remembered all too well.

On the plus side, he'd put some serious nautical miles between himself and the woman he'd walked out on, before he finally drifted into exhausted sleep…

Alicia LeBlanc could almost swear Jack Murphy was back in her arms.

An annoying rational voice—inescapable even in her dreams—told her that was because she was on board a Murphy–owned boat. Dealing with Keith had put his whole family back in the forefront of her mind after all these years, and that's why her subconscious had concocted a delicious nighttime fantasy about her ex.

"Jack… " She sighed his name in her half sleep, resenting the practical side of her that insisted she was just dreaming. Why couldn't she simply enjoy sexy dreams like the rest of the population?

Because dreaming about him makes you weak! her cranky ego shouted.

Undaunted, she pressed her cheek to Jack's broad, bare chest. Her dreams added muscle and weight to his younger body, altering her memories of him to account for the navy–hardened form he sported these days. She'd caught sight of him on the beach earlier in the week, when she'd been giving kite–surfing lessons to tourists—one facet of the water sports business she'd started to save money for her own coastal bed–and–breakfast. Nothing big like Murphy Resorts owned all over the Cape, but something small and personal, where she could entertain all the time and share her love of the water with travelers. She'd been hooking up the safety harness on a couple of college kids who wanted to catch big air on the water when she had heard Jack's voice carrying from farther out in the surf.

Sure enough, he'd sailed into sight on the Vesta. She might have taken a moment's pleasure in knowing he'd kept the boat even though he'd dumped her. But he'd probably just been too busy saving the world to ditch the sailboat the second he'd ousted Alicia from his life.

Damn the man.

Still, he was hot and hard everywhere in this dream moment that would be over all too soon. She kissed his chest, her tongue darting along one flat pectoral to steal a taste of him. He was salty with sea air, just the way she remembered. Turning her cheek against him again, she absorbed his warmth, her fingers finding the silky hair at the center of his chest. She followed the path lower, savoring the way his skin tightened at her touch, his muscles twitching in response.

Greedy for more, she rubbed her breasts against him, arching into his body so she touched as much of him as she could. The friction had her heart racing. Pleasure simmered in her veins and she wondered why her brain insisted on maintaining the reality of her tank top between them in the fantasy.

Ditto Jack's boxer shorts.

She'd slid a thigh between his at some point and she resented the presence of lightweight cotton, no matter that the fabric was soft. What she wanted throbbed behind the fly, and she had every intention of enjoying it. Enjoying him.

"Jack," she murmured, liking the feel of his name on her tongue, loving that he felt so real.

Smoothing her fingers over his face, she encountered deep stubble that would sting her cheek if she rubbed it against him there. The strong, square line of his jaw remained as stubborn and immovable as ever, broken only by a dimple centered in his chin. For old time's sake, she touched the depression, but the contact was too full of past emotions when she wanted only passion.

It had been so long for her. No one else compared to this man, even though she'd searched for someone to fill the void in her heart.

But right now, she could have him again.

"Alicia?" His voice warmed her ear, his lips coming alive as she undulated against him.

"Yes," she confirmed, wanting to be the only one he thought about. There'd been a time she'd been certain she was the only woman who mattered to him. "I'm so ready," she whispered, rocking her hips against his.

Heat blossomed between her legs and she palmed his thigh to keep the pressure of him right where she wanted it.

"Alicia." The cold bark of his voice knifed through the dream like a pin to a balloon, deflating all that sexed–up heat.

The warm body beside hers scrambled away. Hell, he scrambled right out of the bed. She blinked in the darkness, her pulse racing as her knee fell against the empty mattress without his thigh to prop hers up. What...


More About the Author

Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock turned a passion for writing into a career when imaginary characters kept her awake at night, demanding she tell their stories. The author of over sixty books in a variety of subgenres, she enjoys writing contempory romance and medieval historicals. Her work has been reprinted in twenty-six countries and translated into twenty languages. In 2013, Joanne celebrated the release of her first-coauthored title, CAMP BOYFRIEND, a Young Adult romance under the pseudonym J.K. Rock written with her sister-in-law, Karen Rock. Joanne is a frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences, and she enjoys giving back to a writing community that nurtured and inspired her early in her career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville and continues to guest lecture at the college level. When she's not reading, writing or teaching reading and writing, Joanne enjoys taking in an occasional baseball game with her former sports editor husband.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tessie T on March 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved the premise of the story and the characters were amazing. I spent the whole book wishing I knew them in person, yet feeling like I knew them already. Joanne Rock paints such wonderfully flawed people they jump right off the page. The story was good and I loved the chemistry. I can't wait to read Riding the Storm (Harlequin Blaze) and find out what happens with his brother on the other boat! Even greater news, there are more Murphy Brother's books coming! One Man Rush (Harlequin Blaze) and Her Man Advantage (Harlequin Blaze)!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 24, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Chatham, Massachusetts, Keith Murphy worries about his older brother Jack who has just completed his obligation to the Navy. Since returning from Bahrain Jack is very taciturn and refuses to return to his VP position at the family owned Murphy Resorts. Jack even scowled at the party celebrating his sibling Ryan's engagement bash on the Cape. Keith knows his sibling does not have PTSD, but instead has a female woe whose name is Alicia LeBlanc.

Keith has a plan as he has been providing environmental consulting services to Alicia who hopes to open up a B&B in Bar Harbor, Maine. He has Alicia on his boat waiting to meet with him. Instead Keith swaps boats with Jack. As Jack and Alicia see each other for the first time in years, their spark remains equatorial hot. He ran from love once before and she fears he will break her heart again. This time he runs towards love, but must persuade her he will never run away from her again.

This is an engaging second chance at love contemporary romance. The lead couple is a fine duet as he has plenty to make up for in the trust department, but has the edge of believing she loves him. With a strong New England backdrop and a warm caring family for support, fans will enjoy this at sea Wrong Bed Again and Again tale and look forward to Keith sailing Jack's boat to Charleston.

Harriet Klausner
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By SkinneBritches on June 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought it was a cute story. I feel like it ended a little abruptly, like it was cut off. But overall a decent read.
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By Amazon Customer on November 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love the books that have the family and brothers involved - always more fun and mischief not to mention the sexual tension between the characters. could have been a lot better - was a little too predictable and a little to blah blah for me but good for an easy read kinda day - like you have an hour to sit out in the sun, light reading!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Making a Splash by Joanne Rock
In this Murphy family series, Jack is back from his Navy military service and he has been thrown together with the woman he left 5 years ago, just walked out on her and joined up.
She has had some dates with others but nothing that lasted. She wants a B&B in Bar Harbor, Maine-to get away from all the family. They've been nice to her over the years including her in
with other family activities. She also plans to survive by running her water sports business. She had wanted Keith's input on the B&B but he though Jack could do with a vacation by taking the yacht up to Maine while he takes the sailboat down south to try to sell it.
Love the family activities: the men sports and how they joke around with one another.
Love the water travels and it does sound like a trip I'd like to take someday.
Alicia LeBlanc grew up next door to the Murphys and was romantically involved with Jack before he joined up with the Navy.
They are becoming sexually involved on the trip up north. She just wanted a second opinion not a love affair.
She just wants to get on with her life. He offered to loan her the money for her dreams.
He finally opens up to her and explains why he joined the military...
He was going overseas and visiting influential people while disguising it for company business of global properties. Now that he's back his dad is trying to persuade him to work with the family resort business again.
They make a deal on their journey that the other has to answer all the questions posed to them. He's not told her his plans for all the bars he's been buying up and she's not telling him why she wants to buy the B&B 3 states away. Winner takes all.
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