~Synopsis~Pitching phenom Bruce "Jilly" Gillette has a hard time talking to women. His hulking presence of tattoos and muscles is what makes him an intimidating closer on the mound, yet off the field, he's painfully shy, uncomfortable in his own skin.
Desperate to revamp his loner image, the New York Kings hold a dream date contest, granting the lucky winner a night on the town with their surly reliever, doing whatever it takes to force Jilly out of his comfort zone.
Hailey Halpert enters the contest on a whim, looking for answers as to why her high school relationship with Jilly hit the skids. Now she’s a popular romance author writing under a pen name, and her reappearance in Jilly's life is no accident. It turns out that her novels are all about the sexy players on the Kings, and Jilly has no clue that he's about to become her new leading man.
A clap of thunder echoes above us and the heavens open up, pummeling us with rain, but he doesn't stop. He keeps kissing me hard and fast. We quickly become drenched as he brushes my sopping-wet hair away from my neck. I feel droplets of rain fall off his face onto mine, but it only seems to intensify the way he’s kissing me. His tongue opens my mouth, and he eagerly explores every inch of it. I never imagined that he'd be so good at this. I whimper again, and he wraps his good hand around my waist, lifting me up against the building, pressing himself against me.
I don't even know what I'm doing as I open my legs to him. He lowers his hand, finding the back of my knee and hooking one leg around him, and I follow suit with the other, our wet clothes weighing heavily on our overheated skin. This time, his hands aren't staying in those designated 'safe' areas like they did that night on the couch, and it's almost too much to handle.
The only thought in my head is that I need to get him alone and continue this somewhere where I can have him all to myself.
I throw my head back, freeing my lips from his, needing to breathe.
He chuckles softly. "Was that what you wanted?"
"Uh huh," I somehow manage to respond. "Even better than chocolate."
He smiles, shifting my body in his arms until he's cradling me against his chest. “What do you say we get outta here?” he asks, reading my mind.
I nod, and he smiles again, teasing my lips with his while walking slowly toward the street. He raises his hand to hail a cab, and I slide my arms around his neck, pulling him closer. He starts kissing me deeply as the rain hits us full on. I can feel his heartbeat pounding through his wet T-shirt that’s now clinging to his hard, muscular body, and I sigh, knowing this has to be, hands down, the sexiest moment of my life.
Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball's biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette's impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.
Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as many games as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she's not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She is the author of NIGHT GAMES and GAME CHANGER.