Playing for Keeps – An excerpt and pre-order links

In just a few weeks, Playing for Keeps will be released into the wild. Before release day I’ll be letting you know about a giveaway, but today I’d like to share an excerpt and the pre-order links so you can get a copy downloaded to your eReader first thing on May 1st.

Following a terrible tragedy, Rick Taylor is making his comeback to the major leagues… and the dating scene. But years off the roster have left the veteran catcher a little rusty. It’ll take a special woman to heal the heartache of losing his family. But the perfect contender refuses to let him try out…

Single mom Amy Vaughn leads a double life. Between her daytime job and her nightclub gig, she can’t afford to date a famous baseball player… especially when the publicity could bring her dark secret to light. But the handsome catcher’s charms prove too strong to resist.

When old memories and new notoriety threaten to tear them apart, Rick and Amy must learn to drop their defenses, or they’ll miss out on their second chance at love.

And now, an excerpt…..

Still in a blissful state of euphoria from Rick’s steamy kiss, Amy sat on the bench in front of her locker waiting for Cynda and Ronnie to finish getting ready before they all headed up to the VIP lounge to start their shift.

The man knew how to kiss, that was for damn sure. She’d kissed a fair amount of men in her time, but none of them had affected her like Rick had. A few weeks ago she couldn’t have been less interested in men, but in the short time she’d known him, Rick had reignited feelings inside of her that had lain dormant for years. And now here she was, thinking about him almost all of the time, inviting him to pizza and the movies with her and Danny, and wondering if maybe he was someone she could count on. Really count on. Past experience had taught her that if something seemed too good to be true, it probably was. But the gut instinct she’d ignored in the past when it came to men wasn’t sending up its red flag this time. Instead, the more she got to know Rick, the more her instincts were telling her he was exactly what he appeared to be; a good and decent man.

A good and decent man who’d been through hell. First, he’d endured an injury that cost him the last half of his rookie season. And then, the worst blow of all. Losing his wife and unborn child. What could be worse than that? Yet, despite his devastating loss, he’d found a way to rebuild his life and his career. That took courage and said more about his character than anything else ever could.

And now here she was. Tempted to forsake the vow she’d made to herself to never let anyone other than Danny close to her again. Not only was Rick penetrating her defenses, but she and Jade had become as close as they’d been as kids. Then there were Jade’s parents. The O’Briens had taken both her and Danny under their wing; treating them like they were a part of their family. She hadn’t had that since her father was alive. She’d missed it. So much more than she’d realized. And with each passing day, her grand plan to leave California forever didn’t seem as crucial as it once had.

The sudden silence in the room snapped her out of her reverie. She shifted on the bench to find Ronnie and Cynda watching her with unvarnished amusement.

She frowned. “What?”

“Did you get laid last night?” Cynda asked, arching a brow at her.

“What? No. Why would you ask me that?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe it’s the sappy smile on your face,” Ronnie said with a grin. “Or maybe it’s the way you’ve been staring off into space with that dreamy look in your eyes.”

Cynda put a hand on her hip, barely restraining her smirk. “Or maybe it’s the fact that when we walked by you and that fine specimen of a man while you were sucking face, you didn’t even come up for air. A freaking bomb could have gone off and you wouldn’t have noticed. If you haven’t gotten laid yet, trust me, it’s going to happen soon.”

Hot blood rushed to Amy’s cheeks. “It was just a kiss,” she said as if her obliviousness to her surroundings during her and Rick’s kiss was no big deal.

Cynda and Ronnie exchanged a glance and then dissolved into laughter. “Right.” Cynda snorted. “And I’m Rihanna.”

“You have much better bone structure.”

Cynda wagged a finger in Amy’s direction. “Oh no, don’t try to change the subject with flattery. Are you hooking up with the guy, or what?”

Amy stood and closed her locker, spinning the dial to engage the lock. “We’ve gone out on a couple of dates.”

“Damn, girl. I’d have been hitting that fine ass after the first date.”

“I second that. He’s a panty-melter for sure,” Ronnie said with a cheeky grin, then bumped fists with Cynda. Despite her petite stature, Ronnie was a red-headed spitfire who could be as outrageous as Cynda.

Amy smiled and shook her head. “Are you two comedians finished?”

“Oh, hell no.” Cynda grinned. “You haven’t even begun to live this down.”



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