Series: Boys of Summer #2
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: January 27th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Katie Rose’s Boys of Summer series returns for a delicious double-header—with the story of total opposites who are drawn to each other like moths to a flame.
Nikki Case is no fan of baseball. Her ex gambled away a fortune on the sport, and now her PR firm has tasked her with cleaning up the league’s most notorious bad boys. The New Jersey Sonics are known for wild womanizing and booze-fueled brawls, so Nikki expects the worst. Her first stop in the battle to win hearts and minds is star hitter Jake Baldwin—a legendary ladies man so smokin’ he threatens to melt her tough-girl armor.
Although his teammates prank her without mercy, Jake admires the way Nikki gives as good as she gets. She may be the queen of frost, but there’s kindling beneath those sultry curves—and he’s just the man to ignite it. But when a PR nightmare lands the Sonics in headlines across the country, Nikki is ready to walk. Only then does Jake realize how important she is to the Sonics’ success—and that winning the love of a good woman is no game.
“Hey, bro!” Ryan Wakeman strode into the MIXX bar at the Borgata Casino and waved at the Sonics shortstop. Jake Baldwin was, of course, surrounded by girls. A cute little blonde hopped off the stool as Ryan approached, and she blew Jake a kiss when he made it clear he was occupied.
While not the best-looking member of the team—Chase Westbrook held that title—Jake’s little-boy looks, sandy-blond hair, wide blue eyes, and sexy smile attracted women immediately. Charm he had in buckets, and when he turned the full force of his personality on an unsuspecting female, she was done.
The first baseman grabbed the recently vacated stool and signaled to the bartender for a drink. A shot of tequila appeared before him, along with an icy draft. He gave his teammate a questioning look at the amount of alcohol even as he downed the clear liquor.
“It’s off-season,” Jake said with a grin. “We don’t start spring training for a week yet. Plenty of time.”
“Apparently not for all of us.” Ryan gestured to the couple across the bar. Chase Westbrook, their ace pitcher, sat with his girlfriend, Darcy Hamilton, and was nursing a club soda. He seemed to sense their perusal and sent Jake a grin as well as a nod.
“He has to behave himself. He’s got the wife with him.”
Ryan chuckled. “She isn’t yet, but I think it’s just a matter of time.” One brow arched and he looked at Jake speculatively. “So I’m already married, Chase is on his way. What about you? Think you’ll ever settle down?”
“Not my style,” the shortstop said, and then looked at his teammate with curiosity. “I don’t know how you do it. We’re on the road all the time, a different state every week. And with spring training in Florida, there are just too many opportunities to meet girls. Some of them are so damned gorgeous. How do you stay committed?”
“That’s easy,” Ryan said. “It really is true—when you find the right one you just don’t want to cheat. Not that I don’t like to look. But that’s all.”
Jake just shook his head. “I’ve got to hand it to you and our buddy over there.” He indicated Chase. “He’s smitten. Never seen him happier.”
“I know. The man’s done.”
Jake nodded and then gestured to the bartender for another round. When the woman approached, she gave him a sexy smile.
“Hey, honey,” she whispered, leaning closer to the shortstop. “What are you doing later?”
She wore a badge that said Desiree and her voice was rich with promise. Jake allowed his eyes to travel from the top of her platinum-blond head down.
Apparently he liked what he saw. “I’m meeting someone for a couple of drinks,” he confided with a wicked smile. “But I should be able to stop back before closing.”
“Sounds good.” She bent down to get the bottle of tequila, and Jake saw a long length of tanned thigh. His eyes met Ryan’s, and the first baseman shook his head and grinned.
As if on cue, one of the Borgata waitresses, a sultry redhead, entered the bar. She glanced around, and then spotted Jake. Waving enthusiastically, she pushed her way through the crowd and joined him.
“Sorry I’m late.” The redhead kissed the shortstop’s cheek and gave Ryan a little finger wave. Her uniform boasted a plunging neckline, which showed off magnificent surgically enhanced breasts, and a skirt so short it barely covered her bottom. “I got held up at the table.”
Jake gave her a kiss in return. “Did you win?”
“Yes, a couple hundred bucks. Drinks are on me!” she said enthusiastically and then turned to the bar. Immediately, her smile disappeared as her eyes locked on the bartender. The tension crackled between them as the cool blonde and the hot redhead sized each other up like two cats in the same barnyard.
Copyright © 2015 by Katie Rose. All rights reserved.
Excerpt reprinted by permission.
Nikki has her hands full trying to make the New Jersey Sonics into a respectable baseball team and her attraction to the star hitter, Jake Baldwin is the last thing she should be concerned with. After all he has a well-earned reputation as a playboy with a revolving cast of bed-mates and Nikki has the scars from her last tangle with an athlete – her ex-husband. However, she is down for a good time between the sheets and Jake might be just the guy to give it to her.
Jake Baldwin is an All-Star player, both on and off the field. He has his pick of women and does not even have to work for them, so seducing the uptight PR exec should be a walk in the park for him. But as he spends time with her, he finds that underneath the starched suits and librarian hair is a smart, intelligent and beautiful woman he really wants to get to know.
Jake was quite the dark horse! His carousing playboy image actually hid a caring, loyal and generous guy- one who would take the time to run errands for his mother, mentor a young boy, even keep vigil at a sick friend’s bedside. He even stepped in to help Nikki handle the team. Nikki’s hardworking and ball-breaking persona hid a vulnerable woman who was still trying to regain her self-confidence after the fiasco with her ex. Falling for Jake was definitely not a part of the plan but he snuck into her heart with his kindness and generosity.
TOO HOT TO HANDLE is a sweet, fun and enjoyable romance with very little drama, one that will put a smile on your face.
*ARC provided by publisher*
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