Excerpts

Exclusive: The Catch by Amy Lea Excerpt

We are so excited to bring you this exclusive excerpt from The Catch by Amy Lea!

About The Catch:

A grumpy lobster fisherman tosses a fashion influencer’s impeccably curated life overboard in the next romantic comedy from international bestselling author Amy Lea.

In a last-ditch effort to rescue her brand from the brink of irrelevance, Boston fashion influencer Melanie Karlsen finds herself in a rural fishing village on the east coast of Canada. The only thing scarier than nature itself? The burly and bearded bed-and-breakfast owner and fisherman, Evan Whaler—who single-handedly disproves the theory that Canadians are “nice.”

After a boating accident lands Evan unconscious in the hospital, Mel is mistaken for his fiancée by his welcoming yet quirky family, who are embroiled in a long-standing feud over the B&B. In a bold attempt to mend family fences, Mel agrees to fake their engagement for one week in exchange for Evan’s help with her social media content.

Amid long hikes and campfire chats, reeling in their budding feelings for each other proves more difficult by the day. But is Mel willing to sacrifice her picture-perfect life in the city for a chance at a true, unfiltered love in the wild?

Frolic-Exclusive Excerpt:

Evan is up at three in the morning. The timing makes sense, it being the Devil’s Hour and all.

Through my half sleep, I squint in the darkness as he stumbles around, opening and closing drawers in search of his clothes.

When he heads into the bathroom to brush his teeth, I curl my pillow over my ears to block out the buzz of his electric toothbrush.

He exits the bathroom after what feels like an eternity, and I grumble, “Why are you conscious right now? Go back to sleep.”

“Some of us aren’t on vacation. I still need to work,” he whispers hoarsely.

“Work?” I lurch to a seated position, swinging my legs out of bed.

Evan’s eyes rake up my bare legs before snapping back to my face, leaving a trail of erupting goose bumps in their wake. Then again, maybe it’s just the exposure to the cool air outside of the blanket. “Maybe the concept is unfamiliar, but work is when—”

I’d rip him a new one if I weren’t so alarmed. “You’re going back out on the water? Even after what happened?”

He shrugs nonchalantly. “I need to check my traps.”

You’d think after nearly dying in the water a mere day ago, one would need to work up the courage to return. Not Evan, apparently.

“You’re concussed. Dr. Chernoby said you weren’t allowed strenuous activity for days.”

He rolls his eyes like a petulant teen and spins on his heel, heading for the door. “It’s not strenuous activity. And I feel perfectly fine.”

One moment I’m sitting on the side of the bed, and the next, my back is pressed against the door, blocking his exit. Perhaps one of the ghosts at the inn has possessed my body. I’m not sure why I care so much. It must be the all-too-recent memory of seeing him go overboard. Seeing him convulsing on the stretcher. Unconscious in the hospital. I dislike this man with my entire essence, but the simple fact remains: it would be unethical to let a recently concussed individual return to the water prematurely.

“Hauling steel traps out of the water is strenuous. You’re not going,” I say, jutting my chin up in a poor attempt to match his height.

“You have five seconds to move,” he warns, pupils dilated.

I don’t budge. Nor does my eye contact.

He takes a daring step forward, his hard chest grazing mine in the process. As he attempts to reach around me for the doorknob, I widen my stance like a bouncer at an exclusive VIP nightclub for Manhattan’s elite, blocking access with my body.

We stay like this for multiple breaths. Chest to chest. Locked in a literal standoff. Like one of those cheesy black-and-white Westerns that Dad used to watch late at night, with me half asleep on his lap. All we need is a pair of smoking pistols and a rogue tumbleweed.

There’s no way Evan can get to the doorknob unless he physically pulls me aside. I half expect him to do so, because he can. He has at least seven inches on me. He also hates me. I can tell by the way his brow pinches when he looks at me. In the way his chest rises and falls in rapid bursts.

The faint scent of spearmint from his toothpaste breezes past my cheek, zinging through my entire body, culminating in a dull ache between my thighs. If I really wanted to, I could lean in. Touch his chest. Run my fingers through his thick, dirty-blond beard.

Thankfully, those errant thoughts are depleted by his death glare. He raises a hand, and I’m certain he’s going to force me out of the way, once and for all. But he just rests his palm on the door behind my head, inches away from my right ear.

“Why are you being so difficult?” His question comes out in a strained growl.

“Because,” I manage, straightening my posture. “You’re listening to the doctor. You’re resting. For at least two days.” I poke him in the chest for emphasis, pushing him backward.

He lets out a caveman grumble, turns, and flops onto the air mattress.

I settle back in bed, heart racing, body far too alert for three in the morning. The sensation flowing through me must be utter shock. Evan Whaler actually listened to me. Praise be. Hallelujah. I was victorious. Though now is hardly a time to celebrate.

Before I turn over and attempt to fall back asleep with the mattress spring burrowing into my lower back, I sneak a peek at Evan. He’s flat on his back, covers pulled to his chin, ball cap draped over his eyes, as if blocking the nonexistent light.

What a strange, strange man.

 

Excerpted from The Catch by Amy Lea Copyright © 2024 by Amy Lea. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

About the Author:

Amy Lea is the international bestselling author of romantic comedies for adults and teens, including Set on You, Exes and O’s, and Mindy Kaling’s Book Studio selection Woke Up Like This.

Her acclaimed works have been featured in USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Elle Magazine and has been long listed as a CBC Canada Reads finalist. They have also been optioned for film and sold to over a dozen foreign territories.

When Amy is not writing, she can be found fan-girling over other romance books on Instagram (@amyleabooks), eating potato chips with reckless abandon, and snuggling with her husband and two goldendoodles in Ottawa, Canada.

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