Sampler: Bluewater Vengeance by CLR Dougherty

The vessel pitched about, breaking up and filling with warm seawater as the wave action ground the keel against the coral.

Dani Berger is at loose ends after her rescue from a human trafficking ring. Still angry from her brush with fate, she’s trying to figure out the next step in her life.

She greets the world with a chip on her shoulder until she meets another young woman with whom she has some common ground. Both looking for their way, both in love with the Caribbean islands, they buy a yacht and go into the luxury charter business.

When Dani’s former captor seeks revenge for the losses caused by her rescue, the idyllic world of yachting becomes a dangerous place, not just for Dani and her friend, but for anyone foolish enough to get in the way.

Watch what happens as a criminal bent on revenge comes face to face with a victim seeking vengeance of her own.

Bluewater Vengeance is the second novel in the Bluewater Thrillers series.

CLR. Dougherty

Sampler: Bluewater Vengeance

Liz still wasn’t sure exactly what had happened, but it appeared that the captain had fallen asleep on watch. She’d been sound asleep when Sea Serpent had struck the unyielding Cade’s Reef.

Thrown to the cabin sole by the impact, she had taken a severe blow to the head. She regained her senses as the vessel pitched about, breaking up and filling with warm seawater as the wave action ground the keel against the coral. Semi-conscious, she made her way through the flooded interior into the cockpit, registering that there was no sign of the captain.

As the wreckage settled, she managed to hold on to one of the larger sections. With full consciousness returning, she realized that the water in her immediate vicinity was only waist-deep. She quickly discovered that the current was so swift that she couldn’t stand without holding on to the firmly grounded wreckage.

In the soft glow of moonlight, she could make out a silvery strand of beach a few hundred yards away across the channel between the reef and the island of Antigua. She knew that the tidal range was only 18 inches, so she reasoned that if she could hang on, the water wouldn’t get much deeper. She could swim to the beach easily except for the vicious current; it would sweep her out to sea before she could reach the shore. She clung to the wreckage, waiting for slack water. It seemed like an eternity, but eventually the current abated. She swam to the beach, collapsing in the warm sand until the sun woke her up.

She wanted to leave Antigua, but she needed a boat.

***

Dani tuned out the yacht broker’s voice as he droned on about all the hand-built custom cabinetry. She would have been happy to explore Best of Times on her own, but she knew the broker had to do his job. Best of Times was a replica of Herreshoff’s famous Bounty, just as she thought when she saw the boat yesterday. As the tanned, carefully groomed fool yammered away, she methodically crawled through every space on the vessel, examining everything for traces of poor materials or shoddy workmanship. As she expected with a vessel of this quality, everything she found spoke to her of meticulous care in construction and maintenance. This particular execution of Herreshoff’s beautiful design was as flawless as the design itself.

Dani had started her inspection with a trip up the mast, much to the broker’s surprise. He had been expounding the benefits of the gourmet galley as they walked down the dock toward the boat.

“Wait!” he said. “I’ll get a rigger over for a rig survey. You don’t have to do that.”

“Rigger’s not going to buy the boat,” Dani grunted over her shoulder, continuing to climb. “I might, but I’ll make my own judgments. I’m the one that’ll live with ’em.”

The broker watched, worry etched on his face, as she scrambled around, free-climbing through the rigging over 70 feet above the deck. He fidgeted nervously for several minutes until she said, “Looks good aloft. Stand clear of that backstay, will you? I’m coming down.”

He stepped aside slightly, a puzzled look on his face as he watched her take a handful of rags from her pocket and wrap them around the sloping piece of stainless-steel cable that ran from the masthead to the stern. He watched, open-mouthed, as she swung her feet off the fittings that she was braced on near the masthead. Before he grasped her intentions, she locked her ankles around the backstay and was sliding toward him at a frightful speed. A few meters above the deck, she let her legs swing down and tightened her grip on the handful of rags, braking her descent to land softly beside the stunned broker as he stumbled out of her way. The rags were smoking a bit as she dropped them to the deck.

“Wha-, what would you like to see next, c- captain?”

After spending several hours scrutinizing Best of Times, Dani was still impressed with the boat.

“The widow’s asking a million, even,” the broker said.

“She might get that. Good boat, in great shape.”

“So make an offer. What would you give her, for a deal today, delivery here in Antigua?”

“Same as I’d pay for a deal next week, I expect,” Dani said, not offering him any hope. “I’ll call you when I decide.”

Before she bought a boat, she needed a crew.

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