NEW RELEASE: Coaching the Kicker by Jacob Chance #SportsRomance #RomCom

Title: Coaching the Kicker
Series: Charleston Pirates #4
Author: Jacob Chance
Genre: Sports Rom/Com
Release Date: June 17, 2022
Cover Design: Sybil Wilson/Popkitty Design

When I purchased a home in an upscale neighborhood, I never imagined having one of the Charleston Pirates living next door.

Knox Irons knows just how to push my buttons. Every part of him rubs me the wrong way—well, not quite every part.

So imagine my surprise when Mr. Tall, Dark, and Infuriating comes to me for help with his kicking. I want to say no, but the desperation in his dark gaze has me agreeing all too soon.

Being around Knox while he’s bare chested and sweaty is challenging. But the way he listens and responds to my instruction is downright intoxicating.

I keep reminding myself, no matter how well we work together on the football field, he’s still my enemy when we’re off it.

I’m only here to coach the kicker, not crush on him.
Jacob Chance grew up in New England and still lives there today. He’s a martial artist, a football fan, a practical joker, and junk food lover.

A USA Today bestselling author of sports romance and romantic suspense, Jacob plans on writing many more stories.

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SPOTLIGHT: Bentley (Summon a Bad Boy) by Megan Slayer #sportsromance #PNR @MeganSlayer

I call on the fates to bring my love to me. As I will it, so mote it be

Natalie Harvey wants a guy who not only understands baseball, but supports her love of the game. When she meets bad-boy first baseman for the Cougars, Bentley Turner, she can’t help but fall for him. He’s sexy, strong, athletic and irresistible. He’s her perfect man, but what if he’s not interested? The spark is there, and she decides to invoke the spell. Why not?

She’s ready to summon her very own bad boy and try her luck with love.

Available Today at Changeling Press
or Preorder for June 17 at online booksellers

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Megan Slayer

“I’d like someone to take me to the ballpark and not expect me to pay to get them in or get them up close to the team. Just to watch a game with me,” Natalie Harvey said. “I thought I’d find someone by now.” She glared at her friend Sarah. Sarah could be loyal and sweet, unless Sarah wanted something.

“I can’t help it that you’re hard to please.” Sarah fiddled with her watch. “You’re too picky.”

“I am?” She scoffed. “I don’t want to be used.”

“Well… don’t have a job that entitles you to special treatment and think men won’t try to get in on said special treatment,” Sarah said. “And I don’t want to go to yet another baseball game. I mean, once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. But right now, I’m testing something.”

“You’re…” Sometimes she wondered why she even tried. Sarah could be rather self-centered at times. “I happen to like baseball.” She liked all different sports.

“You’re the only one.”

“I doubt that.” The minor-league games attracted quite a few fans, because the games were just as exciting as the major league ones. Every player was hungry to show his skills, and every play mattered because it could prove the player’s worth to the next level teams. If the front offices or coaches saw potential, the player would ascend to the next level. Plus, the games were entertaining. Spectators were close to the field, the food was inexpensive as were the tickets, and the food was better than some restaurants.

“You have to pay attention to the various scores, players, transitions and all that for your work. Why would you want to go to a baseball game on your day off?” Sarah asked

“You mean transactions,” Natalie said. “Because I like baseball.” Yes, she worked weekends on the sports team for Channel 7, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t like sports outside of work. She’d scored tickets to the game and should be pumped to go — except she didn’t want to go alone.

“Transactions, transitions… they’re moving back and forth.” Sarah waved her hand. “You knew what I meant.”

“I did.” She watched Sarah tap her phone. “By the way, what are you testing? The spell? It works. Karey got it to work and so did Mandy. It’s not a fluke.” Why didn’t Sarah see that?

“We haven’t gotten it to work in three months,” Sarah snapped. “There’s something wrong.”

“Yeah. Us.” She hated to be blunt, but Sarah needed the truth. “We keep picking up guys we know are shit. I didn’t try too hard with Dwayne and ta-da! He didn’t work. Nikki didn’t really like Callum, and that’s why that didn’t pan out. We’ve simply tried to keep you happy and have used the spell, but we’re not exactly finding our Prince Charmings because we’re not looking hard enough.”

Sarah’s glare could’ve cut through Natalie. “Excuse me?”

She’d gone this far and might as well finish. Sarah wouldn’t get the hint until someone spoke straight with her. “You’re so busy trying to get us hooked up, but you’re ignoring the choice for you. Why can’t we let this happen more organically?” Natalie asked. “Or give us the time and freedom to find our guy?”

“We have had success and will again, but I’m concerned it’s taking too long,” Sarah said and shook her head. “But there is no good choice for me.”

“No?” Natalie could think of at least one good guy. “Kurt means nothing to you? He’d give his right arm, leg and nutsack for you.”

“Right,” Sarah said. “He’s an annoyance, and he’s not that invested.”

“I suppose you’re right. He does have a girlfriend now,” Natalie said, intentionally annoying Sarah. “I saw them together two nights ago.” He’d been out with his sister, but Natalie wasn’t about to tell Sarah that.

“What?” Sarah paled. After a moment, she regained her color and smiled. “Good. He should move on.”

“Uh-huh.” Sarah still loved him, but her pride prevented her from giving him another chance. One day Natalie would ask what Kurt had done to make Sarah turn on him, but that day wasn’t today.

“This isn’t about me. It’s about you and Nikki. How about instead of going to the game, you come to the bar with us?” Sarah asked.

“I already have tickets, and I’m not wasting them.” At least not wasting one of them.

Sarah rolled her eyes. “You get tickets for free because of your job.”

“So?” That didn’t mean she should waste the chance to go. “I do have to keep tabs on the players.”

“Would you happen to be looking to hook up with one of those players?” Sarah folded her arms. “Some of those soccer players are pretty hot.”

“Baseball players are, too.” She shouldn’t have said that. “But they’re like other guys. They find out I’m a sportscaster and want things from me that I can’t give them. I don’t seem to find any decent guys. I meet athletes who want to get noticed and drunks who spill things and also want to get noticed.” She’d been kissed three times because she’d been caught on the kiss camera. Why did the person running the camera insist on putting her on the spot? The guys who’d kissed her weren’t attractive and none had her permission.

“I need to find someone for you for the spell,” Sarah said. “There has to be someone.”

She hadn’t heard a word Natalie had said.

“I need to go. Nikki’s waiting on me.” Sarah left the table and strode away.

“Thanks.” Natalie sighed. She’d been left at the table and with the bill… again. Next time, she’d tell Sarah to shove it instead of meeting her for lunch.

Natalie waved down the waiter who returned a moment later with the bill. She paid, then finished her tea. Fine. She’d go to the game by herself. It wasn’t like she’d never done it before. Most of the time, she tried to get in on the spectator play afterward. She’d played softball, soccer, basketball and run track in high school, then run track and played softball in college. She knew what she was doing on the sports field.

She walked out of the bistro, and her thoughts turned to Sarah’s dismissal. The spell. Sarah swore she’d hook up every member of their friend circle with their perfect guy because of the magic. The spell worked for two of the women, but they weren’t going to find high-class men by hanging out at a bar.

She shook her head as she started her car then drove across town to the baseball stadium. Of the many things she liked about having a minor league team so close was the ample parking. She never had to walk more than a few hundred yards, and the lot was well-lit. She locked her car and hustled up to the ticket window. Once she showed her credentials and ticket, she gained entrance to the facility.

Natalie strode over to the first-base side and located her seat. When she was on the clock, she liked to sit right at the edge of the field to better take in the action. Since she wasn’t working, she’d sit four rows up and simply enjoy the game.

She loved the atmosphere of a ballgame. The sounds of the crowd, the smell of the food, the excitement in the air. The Cougars scored quickly in the second inning, and she made a few notes on her phone. The sensation at second base, Dalton Cohn, had made three great catches and even managed two double plays with the first baseman, Bentley Turner.

Natalie watched Bentley Turner in action and couldn’t help but sigh. He had a temper at times, looked like he’d stepped out of a bar, and could swear a blue streak, but he moved with grace and had skills on the field. If he hadn’t injured his shoulder defending first base last season, he’d still be in the majors and probably racking up good stats. Instead, he’d been relegated to the minor leagues to rehab. She’d spoken to him a few times and loved the deep blue of his eyes and his easy smile. He could be cocky and pushy. Rumor had it he’d bedded women in every city and left a string of broken hearts in his wake. It could all be rumors, but…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on various e-tailer sites.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

Release Blitz: Rule Breaker by Stacey Lynn #sportsromance @staceylynnbooks

 

Rule Breaker by Stacey Lynn is now live!

 

Spending the night in jail isn’t exactly how I planned to spend Christmas, but I’ve had worse holidays…

Now that I’m out, it’s time to accept my real punishment. Coaching ten-year-old terrors on the ice, in my non-existent free time. My Coach thinks it’d be good for me. Remind me where I came from. He should know I’ve tried every day of my life for the last ten years to forget.

The youth hockey league is a hell I didn’t plan on and the worst penalty possible…

Until the day a sweet, single mom cracks a joke about her kid, and then all bets are off.

I’m the best defenseman in professional hockey, but I didn’t see her coming… now what in the hell do I do? I’m not equipped for a relationship. I’m definitely not ready to have a kid depending on me, but I can’t deny she makes me feel things— want things I never imagined I could have.

I should save us both the trouble and stay far away from her. But rules were made to be broken, and I was never good at following them anyway.

Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Gs0J6f

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3IAHUyd

Nook: https://bit.ly/3qTIRf7

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3fQrtBF

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3tUlAeZ

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fiuF8L

 

Meet Stacey

Stacey Lynn likes her coffee with a dash of sugar, her heroes with a side of bossy, and her wine a deep shade of red.

The author of over thirty romance novels, many of which have been best-selling titles on Amazon, AppleBooks, and Barnes & Noble, she loves being able to turn her vivid imagination into a career that brings entertainment and joy to her readers. Focused on sports romance and emotional, small-town romance, she also loves stretching herself in different genres.

Born in Texas and raised in the Midwest, she now makes her home in North Carolina and loves all things Southern. Together with her ultimate tall, dark, and handsome hero, she has four children. Her life is a chaotic mess that fights with her Type-A, list-making, neurotically organized preferences and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Connect with Stacey

Website: www.staceylynnbooks.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6995826.Stacey_Lynn

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stacey-Lynn/e/B00CD6VVQG/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/staceylynnbooks

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/staceyssultryreaders/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/staceylynn.author

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/staceylynnbooks

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@staceylynnbooks

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/stacey-lynn

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/staceylynnbooks/_created/

BOOK BLITZ: One-Timer by Teagan Hunter #RomanticComedy #SportsRomance @thunterwrites @valentine_pr_

One-Timer by Teagan Hunter is now live! 

“I’m pregnant.”

That’s what my teammate’s sister-in-law told me after our one-night stand.

I didn’t expect to see Hollis again, let alone end up raising a child with her.

We set some ground rules–we’ll raise the baby together, but that’s it.
No relationship, no future, and definitely no kissing.

But the more time we spend together, the harder it is to keep track of where the lines were once drawn.

I’m known for my one-timer on and off the ice, but this game with Hollis just got a lot more complicated…

  Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3qDUsyO

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/OneTimer    

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3rAhCoU

Meet Teagan


TEAGAN HUNTER is a Missouri-raised gal but currently lives in South Carolina with her Marine veteran husband, where she spends her days begging him for a cat. She survives off coffee, pizza, and sarcasm. When she’s not writing, you can find her binge-watching various TV shows, especially Supernatural and One Tree Hill. She enjoys cold weather, buys more paperbacks than she’ll ever read, and never says no to brownies.

Connect with Teagan

Website: www.teaganhunterwrites.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13263928.Teagan_Hunter

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Hunter/e/B00TEYOSTC

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/teaganhunterwrites

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TeaganHunterReaderGroup

Instagram: instagram.com/teaganhunterwrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thunterwrites

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Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/teagan-hunter

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Verve: https://ververomance.com/app/TeaganHunterWrites

Release Blitz: Ex’s & Oh’s by Hazel Parker  #ContemporaryRomance #RomanticComedy #SportsRomance @greyspromo

Ex’s & Oh’s by Hazel Parker is now live!



The best man is actually the worst.

My best friend is getting married, and I’d be remiss as the maid of honor and a successful event planner if I didn’t make sure she has the best wedding ever.

My biggest hurdle?

The best man. 

He’s my worst nightmare all wrapped up in a suit—an old ex’s best friend and an arrogant playboy who thinks he’s God’s gift to womankind.

The problem is, he’s not entirely wrong. As a professional football player, he has plenty of experience getting women. He’s sexy, flirty, and charming—when he wants to be. And also aggravating and irritating and in my business far too much of the time.

Our attraction is—unfortunately—undeniable. I know giving into him is a bad idea, but he convinces me anyway. Just once, to get it out of our systems.

Except when we end up stranded together on a remote island, once might not be enough …

And maybe he’s not the worst man after all.
 
Ex’s & Oh’s is a steaming hot enemies to lovers romance featuring a straight-laced events planner who knows exactly what she wants and the playboy athlete who shouldn’t want her but does anyway. Lust, laughs, and an HEA guaranteed!



Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
http://mybook.to/exesandohs

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3FFXojt





Meet Hazel Parker



Hazel Parker has been writing romance for almost a decade after an extended ongoing love affair with the genre since her teens. 
Most days you will find her in her office with a hot cup of coffee doing what she loves most: concocting ultra-sexy, juicy romances for her fans.
 
Connect with Hazel
Website | https://kgpublishing.co/hazel-parker/
Goodreads | https://bit.ly/3EhBP7w
Amazon | https://amzn.to/3FlGM0b
Facebook |https://bit.ly/3FAEOsV
Newsletter | https://bit.ly/3sGdDtk

Release Blitz: Olympic Crown (Bellerive Royals) by W. Million  #sportsromance @Wendy_Million

Title: Olympic Crown

Series: Bellerive Royals Book 1
Author: W. Million
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Sports Romance
Release Date: February 16, 2022
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Posey Jensen is a friend collector, boyfriend avoider, and thrill seeker. When someone posts in a group chat looking for a wedding date to Bermuda, Posey jumps on the chance to prove to a new friend that she’s the reigning queen of adventure. But even she’s not prepared for Brent Faulkner: Olympic swimmer, Northern University star, and the only guy she’s ever thirsted after.
Brent Faulkner has a +1 for his friend’s wedding he can’t fill—and zero desire for another relationship. He’s married to his sport, and girlfriends are never happy mistresses. When he posts in Northern University’s group chat seeking a seat filler, someone named Jensen replies, and Brent figures a bros weekend will be just what he needs.
Little does he know, Jensen is Posey Jensen, and she’s diving into his life to change his priorities forever.

My phone chimes in my hand with a text from Monica.

Check the group chat I sent you. A sweet weekend away. 

Opening the chat, I scroll to the post from a BF with a Captain America avatar. Inside I release an ugh before I read the post.

Weekend wedding in Bermuda. Flight leaves at 10 pm. Back Monday at noon. Looking for my +1. Those with drama need not apply. Pay own flight. Hotel is all inclusive.

Instead of texting Monica back, I hit call and press the phone to my ear. She’ll be in the car with her boyfriend, but I’m not replying to this post. The guy sounds like an idiot.

“Do it,” Monica says when she answers.

“Two initials and a Captain America avatar? He’s going to be the worst. A sleazy, misogynistic jerk.” 

Monica cackles over the phone. “You’re judging that hard over initials and an avatar?”

“‘Those with drama need not apply,’” I say. “He might as well scrawl ‘I’ve got issues’ at the end of his post.”

“Oh, I see what it’s like,” Monica says. “You’re all talk.”

“What?” I sit up straighter on the couch. 

“In class you were all ‘I seek adventure’ and ‘my extravert-loving heart,’ but when an opportunity drops in your lap, you’re not taking it?” She tsks. “Something better than a trip to Bermuda come up?”

“I have to pay for my flight.”

“That’s a bonus—you can leave early if he really is a sleazy jerk.” She hums over the phone. “Never mind. Someone else replied. I gotta go. Devon doesn’t like it when I talk on the phone when he’s driving. He wants his tunes cranked.”

“Have a good weekend,” I say again before hanging up.

I click into the chat and stare at the exchange of messages. Shared hotel room, but separate beds. 

They’re still hashing out details. 

I’ll come.

I send the response before I can second-guess myself.

The bubbles pop up under my response. 

DM’d you.

In my private messages, I find a picture of flight details and a link to purchase. Other girl was wasting my time. If you’re serious, book this and screenshot as a reply. 

Once I’m on the airline page, I grab the credit card that my parents still pay out of my wallet. There have to be some perks to being abandoned on a long weekend. I don’t allow my brain to engage as I type in all my details and press on the pay now button. While the payment processes, a brief shot of panic spikes in me. This guy could be anyone, and not in a good way. 

A boarding pass appears on my screen and a thank you for my payment. 

God, that was expensive. It’s a good thing he’s paying for everything else. At least I can justify it to my parents that way.

I screenshot the transaction and send it to BF in our private chat. He sends me another picture of the hotel name and location. Immediately, I save it to my phone, and then I text it to Monica.

In case he’s a murderer. This is where I’m supposed to be for the weekend.

Monica responds immediately with an LOL and heart eyes. One of us is a bad influence, and I’m starting to think it’s not me.

When I click back over to the chat with BF, he’s left another message.

I’ll text you at the airport. Glad you’re a dude. So tired of the drama!

I frown at the message. He thinks I’m a dude? Why would he think I’m a guy? On my chat profile, the other shoe drops. My avatar is a J in Bellerive blue, and the only name visible is my last one: Jensen.

My fingers hover over my keyboard. I’ve already paid for my flight. Do I tell him I’m a drama-rama girl or leave him to be surprised at the airport?

My lips twist into a smile. 

See you tonight!

W. Million is a Watty Award winner whose contemporary romances about strong women and troubled men have captivated her loyal readers. She is the author of the romantic suspense series The Donaghey Brothers, the NA sports romance Saving Us, and the contemporary second chance romance, When Stars Fall.
 
When not writing, Wendy enjoys spending time in or around the water. She lives in Ontario, Canada with two beautiful daughters, two cute pooches, and one handsome husband (who is grateful she doesn’t need two of those).
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Book Blitz: Fumbled by Lizzi Stone #SportsRomance #RomCom @XpressoTours

Fumbled
Lizzi Stone
(A Chesapeake Commanders Novel, #1)
Publication date: January 11th 2022
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance, Sports

Hawk Florence has always been the football star, the guy that can make any girl fall in love with him- and then break their heart. And that’s exactly what he did to me way back in high school. Now I’ve been assigned to do a puff piece on him for a national sports journal, and I’m more than ready to get my revenge.

The plan is simple. First, sit him down and flatter the shit out of him. Laugh at his crappy jokes. Touch his arm, let it linger. When he asks me out, I’ll flutter my eyelashes and shyly accept. Then, make him fall in love. And devour him. I’m ready. I won’t fail. But there’s one thing that I didn’t plan for: he doesn’t ask me out. Instead, he calls me out on my BS. He’s not wrong, but that’s just one of the ways that my plan has already gone terribly wrong before it even begins.

When he does finally ask me out, it isn’t much of a date. Instead, it’s a few agonizing hours of going back and forth about why we hate each other. But there is one interesting thing that came out of our brief time together: the bet that Hawk makes with me- that he will make me fall in love in 3 weeks, in love for real. If he fails, he’ll give me every exclusive for the season. Of course, I accept. Why wouldn’t I? This will help my career, and it’s not like he has a prayer anyway. This jerk broke my heart in high school, and there’s no way that I will fall for the same trick twice. Or will I?

All bets are off when it comes to the heart. Fumbled is a standalone sports romcom that will make you wonder what to do when love- and football- gives you a second chance….

Other books in the series (so far):

Sacked- Chase’s book

Tackled- Bam’s book

Huddled- Ollie’s book

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

“How do I look?” I smiled brilliantly, and batted my eyelashes.

“Like you’re ready to knock off his socks and shoes and leave him to walk home on his bare-ass feet,” Grace replied, as only a best friend can.

“I was going for ‘crawling home on hands and knees,’ but it will do,” I joked. Okay, half joked. I wanted him to look at me. Really look at me, like he hadn’t in high school. Maybe it was petty. I was doing well for myself. I worked at National Daily magazine’s headquarters here in Norfolk. I owned the part of my apartment the bank didn’t own, which was approximately a fingertip of space in the bathroom. Maybe the whole toilet. I didn’t need to impress any guy.

Any but this one.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to come with you?” Grace picked up the lipstick tube and slipped it into my bag.

“In case I get tongue-tied?” I asked. “What’s the worst that could happen?” All right, I might march in and declare myself to be the proud owner of a toilet. I’m pretty sure even I wouldn’t be that awkward.

Author Bio:

Lizzi Stone is the pen name for two USA Today Bestselling authors who love sports, sexy men, strong women and coffee, lots and lots of coffee! For giveaways, new releases and deals follow Lizzi on Facebook @lizzistoneauthor.

Facebook / Instagram

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Release Blitz: No Easy Catch by Jaqueline Snowe #enemiestolovers #eroticromance #sports @firstforromance @totally_bound

No Easy Catch by Jaqueline Snowe

Book 4 in the Cleat Chasers series

Word Count: 81,189
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 308

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
ENEMIES TO LOVERS
EROTIC ROMANCE
SPORTS

Add to Goodreads

Book Description

A jock and a party girl teaming up—makes total sense, right? Actually, maybe…

Ambar Henderson is a senior communications major who has no idea what she wants to do in life. She spends most of her time working on her blog after gaining a lot of readers with a story she wrote junior year and…never followed up on. The last thing she expects is an angry jock accusing her of involvement in a scam that could shake the college to its foundations.

Jeff Maddow should be focused on his senior season of baseball and not the suspicious activity happening on the team. It’s his time to shine and get drafted, but after seeing incriminating evidence, he can’t not investigate. And his first lead is the campus blogger…who’s related to a name in the document he saw.

Ambar’s been coasting, writing about campus fashion and hook-ups rather than politics and economics, but when Jeff shows up at her place spouting wild accusations, she agrees to help him just to prove the stubborn athlete wrong.

Long nights, impassioned arguments, close quarters…both Jeff and Ambar find opposites more than attract when things heat up.

Publisher’s note: This book was previously released by Finch Books.

Excerpt

Convincing the hostess to let me into the second semester sports fundraiser was easier than it should’ve been. With one little promise of featuring her on my blog and bam, the young girl ushered me into the ballroom where the school’s biggest and best athletes mingled with coaches, alumni and the press.

Ah, the things people do for attention.

I tapped my pen against my lip while I took in the surroundings. It wasn’t black tie, but it was fancier than a casual get-together and I sent a prayer of thanks to my roommate who’d convinced me to wear a sleek black dress. It was a little tight and I kept running my hand down to the side to make sure my love-handles weren’t bulging out. My coordination was abysmal and I tripped over my own two feet sometimes, but at least I didn’t stand out—which was the goal.

I needed a new story to boost views on my blog or I would be shit outta luck. No views meant no affiliates, which equaled less money, and with my less-than-stellar first two years at school, I had no internships or job opportunities waiting for me at the end of the semester. The real world was knocking with graduation looming and I hadn’t a clue what I wanted to or could actually do.

But, I did have a clue about what the student body loved to gossip about more than any other topic—the latest on the hot jocks. Girls, guys, scholarships and walk-ons. Readers loved hearing about the latest flings or scandals and this fundraiser was hot-jock central.

“Ambar Henderson?” A familiar voice caught my attention and I glanced at my left to see Peyton Gentry smiling at me. “What are you here for? Sneak in for the free booze?”

“Ha ha.” I plastered on a fake smile despite the flash of hurt. Peyton and I had become friends freshman year—right in the smack of my party days—and he always brought it up no matter how much I had changed since then. “I’m here for a story, not the booze.”

“Right.” He smirked and lowered his voice. “Is it a juicy one?” He slung an arm over my shoulder in a quick hug and, while I didn’t dislike Peyton, I was glad when he removed his arm. “Heard there’s something weird going on with the volleyball team with one of their new freshmen.”

“Yeah?” I waited for him to respond, but his attention drifted elsewhere and he gave me a weak wave before heading off. “Great to see you too, Peyton,” I mumbled to myself. He was an average player on the soccer team but always managed to make himself seem bigger, better, more handsome. I snorted to myself at the headlines I would love to write someday.

Athletes and their egos—size does really matter

The bigger and not better—egos exposed

I took a deep breath, gathered as much courage as I could and walked about the event searching for anything that could be of interest. There were a couple of girls I recognized from the volleyball team, but they seemed normal, laid-back even. Each table had a large tented sign with the sport listed and it amazed me to see how much attention was given to athletes at our Division I school. Were there events like this for scholars? For those who made the Dean’s List year after year? Doubtful.

Schools spend money on sports, not smarts

Yeah, that headline wouldn’t sell shit. I derailed those thoughts and tried to ignore the tinge of jealousy weaving its way through my body. All these athletes had futures after college. They had tutors, scholarships, teams that supported them and, as someone who came from the opposite end of the spectrum, it was easy to envy them.

A loud cackle exploded near the front where the baseball players sat talking to what I assumed to be the coaches. They wore polos with the school logo, were significantly older than them and had the whole coaching vibe with the hard face and knowing eyes. Zade Willows, Tanner Johnson and Aaron Hill all wore suits and smiles and a part of my stomach fluttered. They were so handsome and such decent human beings I wished I could’ve written a million stories on them. Their faces alone would get readers. But I’d already done a story on Aaron and his girlfriend, so that well was dry. Plus, they were my friends and I refused to cross that boundary.

Moving on to another sport, I weaved through tables, trying to listen to conversations for something to spark motivation. Fifteen minutes passed without any luck and the familiar sensation of failure washed over me. How can I pass my senior classes when I can’t even write a stupid blog post without getting writer’s block?

God, I wish I could drink.

It wouldn’t hurt anyone if I snuck one bottled water and I blended in with the crowd as I approached the refreshment table. That was the good thing about being average-looking. No one really noticed me like they did my beautiful and tall roommates. I undid the cap and took a huge gulp when I felt someone staring at me.

Water spilled down my mouth and onto my dress when I found cold, unamused gray eyes narrowing at me. Jeff Maddow. He defined my perfect male specimen with his honey-brown hair styled just enough to be cool, his massive broad shoulders that went well with his defined pecs—perfectly showcased in the dark-gray dress shirt plastered across his chest. Good lord.

Shit, did he say something?

Did I?

His light gray eyes were framed by perfectly dark eyelashes and, God damn, those cheekbones were enough to make me forget my own name. He blinked and tilted his head to the side with impatience as he approached me. “Ambar Henderson, how the hell did you get into this event? You are neither an athlete nor a sponsor.”

“I have my ways.” I jutted out my chin and ignored the sweat pooling down my back.

“Did you sneak in? No, wait, let me guess. You bribed someone.” He smiled like it was a joke, but his tone made it clear he was not happy. “I should call security.”

“Really, Jeff? Come on.” I hated how my fingers shook when I ran them through my hair, trying to act nonchalant. “I didn’t bribe anyone.”

“I wouldn’t put it past you.” He brought up a glass of champagne to his mouth and held my gaze as he took a sip. It was annoying to be attracted to someone who thought so little of me, but, alas, that was life.

“What do you care if I’m here? I’m not bothering you or anyone for that matter.”

“False.” He finished the glass and took a step closer to me. For one stupid second, I wondered what it would be like to feel his full lips against mine, but the look on his face sobered that thought. “You are a known campus blogger who finds out information about people to get views. You’re no better than a tabloid magazine for a college. Athletes have enough to worry about with how hard we have to work. They should feel safe here, celebrating and networking, not worrying about being featured on a girl’s pathetic blog to get attention.”

“You know that’s not what I do, Jeff,” I defended myself but my voice lost its gusto. “I’m here for ideas…more like motivation. Nothing more.”

“Right.” He shook his head and tensed his jaw as he scanned the room. “Motivation to find out who’s sleeping with who? Who has a better batting average when they’re in a relationship versus being single?”

I gritted my teeth and willed my skin to not turn red. My cheeks burned when I attempted to defend my reasoning for writing those blogs. “It was for entertainment, Jeff. Plus, the stats didn’t lie.”

He gave me a look like many of my professors had. Disappointment. “Do you ever think about writing something credible or for a good cause?”

“The story about Hilly and Greta was—”

“Fine, sure.” He waved a hand in dismissal and gave me a look that made me feel even smaller than my just-over-five-feet frame. “But you could actually spend time writing stories that matter. Not dumbass pieces that exploit athletes and encourage cleat chasers to come after us.” He pressed his lips together and let out an aggravated sigh. “Stay away from my team, Ambar.”

Then he stalked away to the front of the room, his stiff shoulders telling me everything I needed to know. He wasn’t a fan of what I did or who I was. It wasn’t news, but his words hit one of my deepest insecurities. What am I even doing with my blog? My life?

God damn it. Find a story! I finished the water and tossed the bottle into a trash can when a familiar deep, masculine laugh caught my attention. That’s my Uncle Martin. My mood lifted instantly and I headed toward him. He was dressed in a three-piece suit and had his hand on a shoulder of a middle-aged man I didn’t recognize. He finished telling a joke—a specialty of my favorite family member—before he noticed me and ushered me over. “Ambar Henderson.”

“Martin Rhett,” I replied, mirroring his hugging stance and smiling into his chest when he wrapped me in a bear hug like he had since I was a child. “I don’t even know why you’re here, but I’m so glad.”

“Business partners in the community. We love supporting athletes!” He kept his arm around me and introduced me to the gentlemen around us. “This is my favorite niece, fellas. She’s a senior this year and is a hell of a writer.”

Various hellos and greetings echoed around me and I relished my uncle’s words. A hell of a writer. He never made me feel stupid or unremarkable. He’d encouraged me my entire life and seeing him at the event gave me the necessary boost of confidence.

“Nice to meet you all,” I said, looking all five of them in the eye and shaking their hands. There was a brief moment where I faced the direction of the baseball table and met Jeff’s gaze, but I forced myself to not stare or think about why he was watching me. “Anyone have a good story for me? I’m looking for a topic on my senior project and could use some ideas.”

“Ah, my girl is always working.” Uncle Martin laughed and led me away from the group with a smile that had taken years to practice. Once we were out of earshot, he changed his expression. “How did you get into the event, Ambar? I thought this was for athletes only.”

“See, the thing is… I was on my way out.” I gave him a cheesy smile. “Lunch next time you’re in town?”

“Of course.” He pulled me into another hug. “Stay out of trouble, okay? You have four more months of college and I don’t want anything more to happen. You know?”

Like my little drug and drinking binge freshman year?

Or my academic probation?

“I know, I know.” I frowned and felt every ounce of shame in my bones. “I’ll head out. I really did come for ideas. Nothing more.”

“I believe you. Now go through the side door. I’ll cover for you.” He indicated the large black double-doors and winked. “While I can’t condone you sneaking into an event, it does bring me joy to know you do have a little Rhett in your blood.”

“See you later, Uncle.” I smiled and snuck one more glance around the ballroom before leaving. It didn’t mean anything when Jeff continued to stare at me with an unreadable expression on his face. If anything, he should’ve been happy I was leaving his precious party. Ugh.

New headline.

Jeff Maddow should pull the stick out of his own ass to get a better batting average.

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About the Author

Jaqueline Snowe

Jaqueline Snowe lives in Arizona where the ‘dry heat’ really isn’t that bad. She enjoys making lists with colorful Post-it notes and sipping coffee all day. She has been a custodian, a waitress, a landscaper, a coach and a teacher. Her life revolves around binge-watching Netflix, her two dogs who don’t realize they aren’t humans and her wonderful baseball-loving husband.

You can take a look at Jaqueline’s Website and Blog and you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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New at Changeling Press: Own Goals by D.S. Dehel #sportsromance #agegap @ddehel

India Jackson’s star is on the rise. It’s taken forty years and a drawn-out divorce, but she’s finally proud of who she is and how life is treating her. Now, she’s setting her sights on the future. There is big snag, though — how people react when they find out her boyfriend Matt, one of the year’s hottest soccer talents, is only twenty-seven. She wonders how long it’ll be before he’s had enough of the gossip and call it quits.

The second half of any game is fraught with tension, and errors are likely. In soccer — and in life — an Own Goal happens when you screw up and score for the other team. When Matt racks up a personal one, India wonders if her future is with a different man… or if she’s making an unforced error of her own.

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 D. S. Dehel

“Aargh.” India chucked her pencil across the room, and Matt ducked, even though it came nowhere close to where he perched on the sofa.

“I’m annoyed that Bayern Munich missed the shot, but even I’m not throwing things.” She could hear the tease in his voice. “What’s up? Can’t find the right shade of pink?”

She appreciated that he was trying to coax her out of her mood, but it wouldn’t work this time. Maida had delayed their meeting yet again. At this rate, she would never get the singer’s gown done in time for the award ceremony, and with it went her best chance of launching a new career. “Luella just texted that there’s a problem.”

“Uh-oh. Another cancellation?” He pointed the remote at the television and the cheers of the German fans faded.

“Yeah. Probably.” She put her head in her hands. “I can’t believe this.” She could feel her dream slipping away.

Arms circled her. Matt must have come over. “I’m sorry, babe.”

He’s never called me that before. Having nothing to say, she shrugged.

He knelt down beside the chair. “Tell you what, tonight I’m going to cook you dinner.”

She stroked his face, enjoying the scratchy stubble. “You don’t have to do that. We can cook together.”

“Okay, we can do that, but I choose the recipe.”

“What are you up to?”

“I want to make my favorite dish.” He put his hands on her knees. “It always made me feel better when I had a bad day.”

“That’s really sweet.” She kissed his cheek. “Thank you. I will gladly be your sous chef.”

He gestured toward the kitchen with his head. “I’m going to go see what you have and make a list of what we need. Then we’ll go shopping.”

Shopping was always an adventure with him. Last time, he’d nearly gotten them kicked out of the store by insisting they race carts down the frozen vegetable aisle. “I’m going to put the finishing touches on this.” She pointed at the sketch in front of her. In fact, she really should probably leave it alone and quit fussing.

Within twenty minutes, they stood in the vegetable aisle of the nearest market searching for the best carrots and turnips. “Turnips?” India wrinkled her nose. “Ugh.”

“Well, you haven’t had mine.” He held up two small purple and white globes, waggling his eyebrows.

“I am quite familiar with your turnips.”

He smirked. “And we need little ones because they’re sweeter.”

“I’m not going to touch that.”

“Not touch my turnips?” He pretended to pout as he held them out.

“You’re incorrigible.” She grabbed the vegetables and put them in the basket. “What else?”

“Carrots.” He dug through the stack, rejecting them one by one. “Too small. Too thin.” He gave a wicked glance over his shoulder. “You can only really cook with big, thick ones.”

India rolled her eyes, and was summoning up a witty riposte when her phone vibrated. She pulled it out of her pocket, and once she read the message, she nearly dropped the phone on the floor. “Oh!”

Matt turned, a look of alarm on his face. “What?”

“She still wants to meet.” India’s heart was pounding. “Maida wants to have a video conference this afternoon.”

“That’s brilliant. When?”

“Three.” She glanced at her phone. “We have an hour.”

“I guess we better get a move on.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D. S. Dehel is a lover of literature, good food, and the Oxford comma. When she is not immersed in a book, she is mom to her kids and spoiling her rather pampered feline, Mr. Darcy or her equally pampered puppy, Jameson, and her slightly psychotic Australian Shepherd, Piper. Having finally retire, she spends her days dreaming up new plotlines. She adores literary allusions, writing sex scenes, and British men. Actually, make that hot men in general. Her devoted husband is still convinced she writes children’s books. Please don’t enlighten him.

Cover Reveal: Ice Angels by Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood #LGBTQ #sportsromance @RyanTaylorandJ1

Ice Angels

By Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

Cover Created by : Cate Ashwood

Release Date: Oct 29th 2021

Available to Preorder at Amazon

Drew and Cleevs love hockey, but they love each other more. How can the men find a way to save what matters most?

Todd Cleever and Drew Simon are crazy about each other. They started dating three years ago when “Cleevs” was a rookie defenseman for the Chicago Ice. Drew, the team’s captain, was a few years older than Cleevs. Both men were deep in the closet, but it didn’t take long for them to fall in love.

Cleevs was traded to the Bethesda Barracudas a year later, causing a heartbreaking separation. Ever since, they’ve skated around the problem with occasional stolen nights together and brief vacations under the guise of “friends,” but two years of living apart have taken their toll.

As the holiday approaches, Drew and Cleevs decide things have to change. Still, with their careers and two professional hockey teams in the way, how can they score the game-winning goal and save everything they cherish most?

If you like fierce love, a smallish age gap, exciting hockey, and a steely determination to make things work—not to mention enough steam to fog up all your windows and a fantastic HEA—this is the book for you. The novella contains about 43,000 words of sparkling holiday romance.

About the Authors

Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood met in law school and were married in 2017. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh enjoy travel, friends, and advocating for causes dear to their hearts. Ryan also loves to swim, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. The romance they were so lucky to find with each other inspires their stories about love between out and proud men.

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