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This is my stop for the A League of Her Own blog tour which is being hosted by Lola's Blog Tours. You can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours
Author: Karen Rock
Publication: December 1, 2014
By: Harlequin Heartwarming
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He was attractive, talented…and way off limits.
Heather Gadway may have been a world-class college pitcher and a top university coach, but she's a rank amateur when it comes to managing the Falcons, her father's struggling minor league team. And when it comes to managing her aggravating attraction to Garrett Wolf, their talented new pitcher. It's going to be difficult enough to make it as the first female manager in the league and prove to her overly critical father she's worthy. No distractions. No missteps. And certainly no romances with players. Everything stands between them—including their troubled pasts—even as Heather's world falls apart and Garrett's the one who's there to catch her…
~ Excerpt ~“I liked working with the kids today,” he said into her ear, his mouth so close to her flesh that the fine hairs on the back of her neck rose. She relished the sweet brush of his knuckles against the side of her throat as he flipped her ponytail over her shoulder.
“I know how hard that must have been for you,” she said, doing her best to appear cool on the outside. Inside she was a web of conflicting emotions.
“You’re getting me do a lot things I promised myself I wouldn’t.”
When she pulled back, he met her look with grave intensity. “Like what?”
Then came the silence. The long, long silence. Their eyes met until she dropped hers, her heart thumping faster. Red lights flashed. Stop! Leave! Retreat! But her tangled emotions wouldn’t let her wriggle free.
His hand caressed the sensitive spot beneath her chin, and with a gentle pressure, Garrett raised her head until she stared into his deep blue eyes again.
Without waiting for permission, he brushed his lips gently over hers. Ohhh…a shiver went through her entire body. The gentle caress melted the last of her defenses into a gooey heap.
His fingers slid along her jawline, and the warmth of his touch radiated past her skin and into her bloodstream. Goosebumps rose on her arms and legs, and her ears rang with the staccato thrum of her heart. He slipped his hand from her jaw to cradle her head. His fingers pulled her ponytail loose and tunneled through the hair that fell down around her shoulders.
He pulled back slightly, his eyes heavy-lidded. His lips hovered above hers, tantalizingly close. The blood pounded so wildly in her veins that she feared he’d sense the vibration. A magnetic pull took over the small distance between their lips. An energy she couldn’t resist. So why was Garrett holding back? Her fingers were wrapped around the back of his neck, running through his hair.
And then it hit her. He was giving her a chance to return his kiss. To show him that she wanted him, and the truth was…more complicated than that. Cold reality doused her, and she leaned back.
She’d kissed Garrett. A player. And worse, a recovering alcoholic who might one day relapse. Someone she could, if she wasn’t more vigilant, become addicted to herself. She couldn’t let that happen.
Scrambling to her feet, she saw the wounded look in his eyes before he covered it with a coat of indifference.
“That was wrong,” she blathered, backing away. “I should never—we should never— We’re not right for each other, I—”
He held up a hand as he got to his feet in his fluid way that was stunning to watch. “I get it. We’ll pretend this never happened.” His gaze roamed in every direction but hers.
It was obvious from the way he braced his body, his tense face, that he was taking this wrong. It wasn’t as though she didn’t want him. She just didn’t trust him with her heart. It was too bruised to take another beating. Even if she wasn’t his manager, his past alcoholism and his uncertain future sobriety were things she couldn’t look past.
She opened her mouth to explain, but his mouth twisted, and he held up a hand.
“Really. It’s fine,” he said, the gravel in his voice denying his words. “Would you like me to take you home?”
She shook her head, wishing his eyes hadn’t turned into mirrors, reflecting only what was outside, keeping her from seeing what he was thinking or feeling.
With a small salute, he turned. “See you, Skipper,” he called over his shoulder as he took off farther down the path, leaving her slumped against the tree in the gathering gloom.
There it was. The respectful address she’d wanted from him on and off the field. Only now she knew that she no longer deserved it. Not after how she’d behaved.
The chaos in her mind cleared. She was under a lot of pressure, thinking with her body instead of her head. In other circumstances, she wouldn’t have let Garrett get that intimate with her. He was a member of her team, nothing more.
~ About the Author ~
Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer. Currently she writes for Harlequin Heartwarming and her first novel for the line, WISH ME TOMORROW, has won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2014 Golden Quill Contest and a finalist in the Published Maggie Awards. The first novel in her co-authored YA series, CAMP BOYFRIEND, has been a finalist in the Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards.
~ GIVEAWAY ~
~ $100 Amazon gift card (INT)
~ A set of signed paperback of Wish Me Tomorrow, His Hometown Girl, Someone Like You and A League of Her Own (US only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway