The absolutely best part of Quite the Catch is the pace of the story. It begins with Joshua–gorgeous Joshua–running for his life, pursued and desperate. Murphy’s novella seizes the reader and holds you completely enthralled, start to finish. You’ll find your own heart racing… Tina, in the midst of a sad memorial, is jolted unexpectedly into Joshua’s desperation. She can’t immediately understand the depth of the problem. She’s involved too quickly, and she involves her cousin as well. There’s something compelling about Tina; she’s a nurse, she’s committed to help from the first, but she’s also willing to mislead to get others to help, too. Her commitment to provide aid–right from the beginning, in dubious circumstances–makes her an incredibly admirable character. She takes a risk for someone she doesn’t know. Is it her innate kindness we see at work, or does she feel a connection to Joshua from the start? The author doesn’t give us a moment to contemplate; events keep coming at us quickly. The impact is largely in the unpredictable nature, so, to avoid spoiler, let’s say neither thriller readers nor fans of hot romances will be disappointed. I would have liked some reference that made it clear from the start that this was in a contemporary setting. There is something so ‘yesteryear’ in the opening, I was almost disappointed to find, later in the story, that it was set in present-day. Quite the Catch is quite the exciting, quick read!
Cherokee Federal Marshall Joshua Jericho Jenkins had a split second to choose his fate. When he jumped from a railroad trestle into the river below, he could have died but if he hadn’t leapt, the men chasing him would have killed him for sure.
He’s rescued from the water by a nurse, Tina Barlow, who’s out scattering her grandfather’s ashes. She takes him home and tends to his injuries. He’s also suffering from hypothermia and she does whatever’s necessary, including using her body heat to warm him. As Joshua recovers, they’re falling in love fast.
Some short-term memory issues rise but once he remembers who he is and what he was doing, things take a dangerous turn. Without time to properly prepare, Joshua and Tina face a gang of criminals and by the time the gunfire ends, lives will be lost. Whose and what the future holds is anybody’s guess.
Aware of her touch, his skin became ultrasensitive. Joshua wasn’t sure he could manage to have her touch him any further without his cock coming to attention. He could feel the heat rippling between them and the slightest brush of her fingers against his body turned him on with incredible force. With his emotions engaged even reluctantly, Tina’s close proximity presented temptation he wasn’t sure he could resist.
“Maybe I’d better do it,” he mumbled.
She dampened a cotton ball with witch hazel and dabbed it across a large bruise on his left shoulder. Joshua shuddered with an erotic chill, delicious as it rippled down his spine and through his body. Tina paused. “Are you cold?”
Like an idiot, he stammered. “No, I’m good.”
“I’m not cold.” He snapped the words out, short and harsher than he’d intended.
Her frown wrinkled her forehead. “Then what’s wrong? Am I hurting you?”
“No,” he said. “God, no.”
“Then what is it?”
Truth or lie? He debated for a long moment. It would be easier to lie and say he had suffered a chill but he hadn’t. He burned with desire, hotter than summer pavement. She might not want to hear the truth but he chose it. “I, uh, want you.”
Her eyes doubled in size. “What?”
“I want you,” he said. Damn it, she couldn’t be so thick-headed she failed to understand his meaning. On cue, his dick stiffened, something she surely couldn’t miss.
Tina’s frown faded as she glanced down. “Do you want me to stop?”
He should say he did and offer to finish applying the witch hazel. But Joshua didn’t.
She paused with one hand in midair. “I can, if you’d rather I did.”
Then she dabbed the cotton ball over the bruises on his chest and side, moving dangerously close to his nipples. Her hand brushed the right one in passing and he smothered a moan. Joshua’s fingers captured hers and held them still. “Maybe you don’t get it,” he said. “I want you. I’m about ten seconds from tossing you onto the bed in the other room, then fucking you until you scream.”
Something shifted in her eyes and he figured he’d made her angry. Next she’d screech like a panther and scold him, remind him she’d opened her house to him out of kindness. Joshua wished he’d said nothing or lied, certain he’d put his foot into it until Tina spoke. “So, why wait?”
Common sense vanished faster than smoke in the wind. He jerked the cotton ball from her fingers and tossed it, then lowered his mouth onto hers with the fierce precision of a snapping turtle. Her soft lips melted against his fiery attack and yielded as Joshua pulled her against his nude body and wrapped one arm around her back to hold her there. Her mouth gave back what he took and he savored her taste, sweeter and richer than chocolate. He didn’t know if she’d really scream, but he intended to find out and fast.