Love Bats Last by Pamela Aares
Summary: Veterinarian Jackie Brandon is eluding her aristocratic past and memories of a soccer star who jilted her just before their wedding. She devotes herself to a marine mammal rescue center on the northern California coast, where hundreds of seals and sea lions are washing up dead.
A chance meeting in a midnight storm brings Alex and Jackie together to rescue a stranded whale. Watching her work, he realizes she’s the passionate, courageous woman he thought he’d never find—he just has to overcome her deep distrust of jocks. Jackie’s passion and courage lead her to discover what’s killing the sea mammals. The culprits want to silence her, and Alex is the only one standing in their way. What will he sacrifice to save the woman he loves?