Exclusive Excerpt: Game On by Katie McCoy - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Exclusive Excerpt: Game On by Katie McCoy

GAME ON BANNER

Katie McCoy’s Game On—a new sizzling romantic comedy—is out today and I’m so excited to give you a sneak peek into the novel!!!

Order Game On: Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble ✦

Synopsis

Game OnRule of reporting 101– don’t bang your subject.

Sophie Hall has just gotten the opportunity of a lifetime–to profile Nathan Ryder, the hottest baseball player since A-Rod, for her first solo assignment as a reporter. Rumor has it Nathan is going to be drafted to the Major league, and yet he still fits an intense training regime around volunteering at a animal shelter. He’s a prodigy with a heart of gold, as American as apple pie and has an ass that deserves a trophy all its own. He may be the country’s heartthrob, but Sophie isn’t going to fall for that. She just has to remain objective and cover the story.

But she didn’t bet on Nathan’s gorgeous green eyes or the way his arms flex with muscle when he’s holding a bat. And she certainly didn’t think he’d be witty and smart and caring. Nathan is completely untouchable, but she can’t help it if those lingering gazes turn into something more. How could she not fall at the thought of the hottest guy she’s ever met devoting his limited free time to saving kittens?

When Sophie’s scoop turns into Nathan’s scandal, Nathan needs her more than ever. With both of their careers on the line will they strike out – or hit a home run?

Excerpt

He was incredibly good-looking. Dressed in a gray shirt and snug, worn jeans, I knew he would have been a star even if he had been lousy at baseball. The talent was just the icing on the extremely gorgeous cake. Looking at him made my skin feel tight and tingly. Made me want to scratch an itch that had been there for the last three months, ever since I let my good-for-nothing boyfriend move in with me and he had turned into a total lazy bastard, not even having the good sense to have sex with me once in a while. Quickly I downed my glass of tequila.

“Another shot,” I said to the bartender.

“Make that two,” Nathan said.

All my reporter’s instincts were going off, but so were my hormones. God, it had been months. And he was gorgeous. And he smelled great. Like freshly cut grass. I took a deep sniff before I realized what I was doing. Oh god, now I was smelling him. Luckily the bar was too noisy for him to notice, but still, this was terrible.

The shots slid in front of us and I reached for mine, but his hand stopped me. He had great hands. Long tapered fingers, wide strong palms. He was a pitcher, so of course he was good with his hands. I could only imagine how capable they would be at removing my dress.

“Are you sure you’re old enough to drink this stuff?” he asked, his smile both playful and concerned. It surprised me. I didn’t know many guys who worried about the alcoholic intake of the women they were flirting with. Especially not soon-to-be-pro baseball players.

But it was a fair question. I looked young and, though I was probably older than a good number of tonight’s patrons, I had already been carded twice tonight, once at the door and again when I sat down at the bar.

I waved my stamped hand at him and took my drink.

“Are you?” I asked, even though I knew he was. I knew lots of things that a stranger in a bar shouldn’t know.

“Twenty-two just this month,” he said. Just another thing I already knew.

“Happy birthday,” I said, raising my shot glass. He tapped his against mine.

“And you?” he asked.

“I’m too old for you,” I told him. “I just turned twenty-three.”

“I like older women,” he said, turning the voltage in his smile all the way up.

It was the dress. I knew it was. Men couldn’t resist a dress this tight and this short. And it was my attitude. It’s not like I was cuter or hotter than the other girls in the bar—far from it. I was just the only person who had turned away the moment I realized who he was. I was the one woman in the bar not openly gawking at him. But it was taking a shit ton of effort not to.

“Another shot please,” I said to the bartender.

“Celebrating?” Nathan asked.

“Something like that,” I said, trying to decide on my exit strategy. He was smiling at me, having fun, something that would no doubt change the moment he realized I was a reporter. Especially the reporter sent to interview him. My saving grace was that I hadn’t approached him. He had come to me. He couldn’t blame me for this.

Still, I had to make him comfortable tomorrow. Never mind the fact that I wanted to make him comfortable tonight. Preferably in my bed. With me on top.

Nope. Nope, nope, nope. I was not allowed to have those kinds of thoughts about my subject. I needed to get out of there. I needed to get back to my hotel room, take a shower, and prepare to be a professional tomorrow.

The shot arrived and I slugged it back. The minute it slid down my throat, burning all the way down, I realized that I had just crossed the line between being an in-control drunk and one in danger of doing something truly stupid. Now I really needed to leave. I grabbed my bag, looking for my wallet to close out my tab, when I felt a warm hand on my arm. Electricity jolted through me. I looked up at him and I could tell from his expression that he had felt it too. His grin grew.

“You’re leaving?” he asked.

“I’ve got an early morning,” I said.

“Surely you could stay for just one more drink.” He gave me a sheepish smile. My insides melted a little. “Please don’t leave me alone here.” He put on an exaggerated pout and I couldn’t help but smile. His hand was still on my arm.

I glanced around the room. All eyes were on us. “I’m sure any one of the women here would be happy to join you.”

He grimaced. “Yeah, well, that’s the problem. They all want something.”

They all want you naked, I thought. The same as me.

“Please,” he said, his tone softening. “You’d be doing me a favor. Just be my bodyguard for one more drink.”

He sounded so earnest that I couldn’t say no. Not that I would have. He was so handsome. And his eyes. They were a beautiful shade of green. None of the pictures I had seen had done them justice.

I put my purse down, careful not to move the hand he was still holding. His palm felt warm and solid against my skin. It felt good.

“Fine,” I said. “But if you want me to fight any aggressive fans, that’s going to cost extra.”

“I doubt it will come to that,” he said and then leaned closer, his voice tickling my ear. “Though, I’d give quite a lot to see you try.”

“Well, I take my payment in Coffee-Mate Café Mocha, just so you know,” I said, trying to diffuse the tension. It didn’t work.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” he said.

“Good. Because I’m stronger than I look,” I said, meeting his hot gaze.

“So am I,” he said, his eyes dropping down to my mouth. I couldn’t help myself. I licked my lips. A low groan rumbled through his chest and my body ached to be touched by him. This was bad. This was very bad. I leaned back, away from his suggestive looks and perfect mouth.

“So why am I guarding you from all these beautiful women?” I asked him, even though I knew the answer. He began absentmindedly drawing patterns against the soft part of my arm. I shivered and he smiled.

“You’re not from here, are you?” he asked.

I shrugged, trying to focus on him, not on the way his touch was making me feel. Because it was making me feel dizzy and hot. In a way that had nothing to do with the alcohol I had consumed.

“Well, I’m kind of a big deal,” he said. Somehow he made it sound kind of cute and not obnoxious. “I play baseball.”

“You must be really good,” I said. The understatement of the century. I hoped someone was appreciating my Oscar-winning performance of pretending I didn’t know who Nathan Ryder was.

“Yeah,” he said, but it wasn’t bragging. He ordered a beer. I liked men who drank beer, especially longnecks, wrapping their fingers around the top. There was also something really sexy about watching someone’s mouth around the lip of a bottle and good god, if Nathan didn’t have a completely delicious mouth.

I thought about what I would do if he was just a guy that I met in a bar. If I didn’t know who he was, if I didn’t need to interview him tomorrow, if I didn’t need him to give my career a necessary boost.

If I didn’t know him, if he was just a stranger, I would have taken the beer from him. I would have taken a nice, long sip and run my tongue around the top of the bottle. I would have left a lipstick mark for him and then handed it back. I would have stood, given him a nice long look at my dress, how short and how tight it was, and then I would have held out my hand and led him all the way back to my room where I would have made good on his claim that he liked older women.

I was starting to feel really warm. Drunk warm. Dangerous warm. I stood up, but stumbled, falling promptly into Nathan’s arms. Obviously he had good reflexes. I also heard about half the population in the bar sigh with jealousy. And they were right to be jealous. His arms were fantastic. Fucking fantastic. Lean but muscular, and I could feel the heat of him through his shirt. What I wouldn’t give to be that cotton, stretched tight over his perfect shoulders and chest. I had to get out of there.

“I don’t think I can guard you tonight,” I said.

“No?” he asked, clearly disappointed. I tried to remind myself that he wasn’t interested in me, not really. He was interested in the illusion of me –the dress and the attitude. His interest would be gone the minute he realized who I was. “But maybe another night? Tomorrow maybe?”

Oh, he was good. And I was feeling bad. Really, really bad.

“I don’t think you can handle me,” I said. I meant for it to sound dismissive, but the tequila had burned my throat and it just sounded husky. His eyes went hot and my insides did a flip and then caught on fire.

“I think you’d be surprised at exactly what I can handle,” he said, his hands around my waist.

“I, uh—” I needed to get out of there before I did something stupid. Because right now I was too drunk and too close to his mouth to think straight. “I really should go,” I finally said.

But he didn’t release me. Instead his grip tightened and he leaned closer.

“Never let go, Rose,” he intoned, doing a pretty decent Leonardo DiCaprio impression.

I couldn’t resist a laugh. “I’ll never let go, Jack,” I told him, doing the best Kate Winslet I could muster.

“Here,” he said, grabbing a napkin and scribbling something on it. “You said you’re not from around here, so if you’re going to be sticking around, I make a great tour guide.” He flashed me that perfect smile and handed me his number. This time I heard a chorus of gasps from the bar behind me. Any chance I had to be inconspicuous while in town seemed shot to hell.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I said, handing the napkin back. The room was starting to spin. This had gone too far.

His smile dimmed but didn’t disappear. “It’s not?” he asked.

“No,” I said, slinging my purse onto my shoulder, grateful that I didn’t wobble. “Besides, I already have your number.” I held out my hand. “I’m Sophie Hall, and I’ll be interviewing you tomorrow.”

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