Rock the Boat

By: Lib Starling

A Griffin Bay Novel

Jordan Griffin has worked hard to make her charter sailing business a success. But years of catering to rich, entitled clients have finally worn her down. She’s on the verge of giving up when she gets a request for a mysterious charter… and it’s accompanied by a suspiciously large payment. The money will set her up for a year, allowing her to figure out where her life is headed. But payments that large don’t come from pleasant clients. Jordan braces for the worst… but the worst doesn’t even begin to describe what she finds waiting at her slip.

Davis Steen is a world-famous rock star, but his fame is fading. His manager sends him on a ten-day sailing vacation with one clear directive: use the time to figure out exactly where his career is going or the record label will drop him. But the last thing Davis wants is contemplation. The serenity of the San Juan Islands only amplifies his doubts—and Davis would rather sail away from his problems than confront them head-on. He’s eager to have a good time the only way he knows how: with booze, loud music… and debauchery.

Davis clashes hard with the sexy but straight-laced captain. Despite her irritation with his party-boy image, Jordan finds Davis’s alpha personality and gorgeous body impossible to resist. The fire that flares between them is stoked more by fury than affection. But when they can no longer deny their attraction, the captain and the rock star must learn to see eye-to-eye. If they can chart a course together, they’ll turn hate into love… and find unexpected passion filling their sails.


Jordan came around the corner of the old, rough-hewn limestone building too fast and nearly collided with a herd of tourists making their way up the gentle slope of Spring Street. Stifling a curse, she hoisted her paper coffee cup over her head so it wouldn’t spill and picked her way step by step across the crowd. She’d learned from a lifetime of experience that tourists this close to the ferry landing seldom paid attention to anything other than the town’s quaint, inviting main street—its old-time shop fronts; its warm, welcoming vibe. She couldn’t blame the tourists for staring, for being oblivious to everything but Griffin Bay’s magical charm. The town’s cozy, enduring feel was what she loved best about living in Griffin Bay. Nothing in the nearby cities of Seattle and Bellingham, Washington, could compare to Griffin Bay’s soft, soothing glow. Its distinctive peace was the feature that drew large crowds every summer, as the city dwellers of the Northwest came looking for a little slice of paradise to take their minds off the hustle and bustle of their day-to-day lives. But Jordan knew that when the ferry was in and the crowds were in flood tide, the coffee had better go up over her head, or she’d soon be wearing it on her shirt. None of these mainlanders could watch where they were going—not during those first blissful moments in Griffin Bay.

She squeezed through the crowd and stepped over the curb into the street. Better to walk in the road from here; the sidewalks were just too packed, with the offloading ferry only a block away. She sighed with relief and took a sip of her latte the moment she was free of the crowd. Then she hurried downhill toward the marina, skimming along between the angle-parked cars and the slow-driving vehicles that disgorged from inside the cavernous ferry.

Jordan knew she really ought to feel a bit more welcoming toward all these summer visitors. Griffin Bay, positioned on the leeward side of San Juan Island and isolated from mainland Washington by an hour-long ferry trip, relied on tourism to keep its quaint little wheels turning. There was almost no one Jordan knew who didn’t depend on a busy summer season to carve out a living. She herself was heavily invested in the tourism trade—a fact that only made her grit her teeth today as she forced herself toward the marina—toward her job. But lately she had found herself longing for a much simpler life.

The mere thought made her snort a laugh into her latte. Life didn’t get much simpler than in Griffin Bay. It was the only town on San Juan Island—and though the whole moss-covered rock didn’t even have five thousand year-round residents, Griffin Bay somehow managed to be the largest town in the archipelago. There wasn’t even a stoplight on San Juan. And I want a simpler life than this? Jordan knew she was being unreasonable. And yet, life had gotten unbearably complicated for Jordan in recent weeks. She couldn’t deny that… and she didn’t know what to do about it.

That’s not true, she told herself sternly. You do know what you need to do. You need to quit—give up the business and move on to something that actually makes you happy.

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