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.
“So who’s the girl?” Jake asked smugly. As far as he was concerned, the locker was already his.
Ryan nodded in the direction of the head coach and indicated the woman beside him. “Her. Nikki Case. She’s our new PR rep.”
Jake sat up and surveyed the pretty brunette. She was standing outside, furiously taking notes. Even from a distance, he could see that her hair was pulled tightly back without a hint of flirtatiousness. Her posture was ramrod straight, and she actually wagged a finger in Pete’s face as she made a point.
He tried not to smile. He’d seen her type before: the uptight, frigid career girl who cared more about the stock-market performance than a roll in the hay. Easy peasy.
“You sure? Last chance to chicken out.”
“Like taking candy from a baby.” Jake’s cocky grin was back. “Girl like that? You better believe she’s not used to a man sweet-talking her, at least not one that knows what he’s doing. I’ll have her panties off in no time.”
“Not good enough.” Ryan shook his head. When Jake looked at him in confusion, he grinned. “Sure, you might be able to sleep with her. But can you keep a girl like that, make her fall in love with you? That I gotta see.”
Jake shrugged. “You’re on.”
He extended his hand to seal the deal just as Pete ventured back into the dugout, the woman marching behind him. Jake got to his feet and joined the team, prepared to take his position on the field.
Pete’s eyes fixed on Jake. “I guess you didn’t get the memo.”
The head coach turned to the woman who was now at his side with her clipboard and to Jake’s stunned surprise, deferred to her.
“You’re benched,” she said. “Show up late again, and don’t bother to show at all.”
Her voice held all the warmth of a New Jersey morning in January, and when her eyes met his, he found himself falling into a pool of crystal-blue ice. From a distance, her hair had appeared brown, but now he could see it was much darker, almost ebony. Black Irish. The combination was stunning.
The head coach cleared his throat. “Jake, I’d like you to meet Ms. Case. She is our new PR rep.”
Jake extended his hand, and she was forced to shift her clipboard to accept the gesture. As soon as he touched the softness of her skin, he felt a shot of pure sexual energy so strong that he was glad he wore a jersey over his pants. Her shirt was unbuttoned to a deep vee, and he discovered she had a hot little body beneath her conservative suit. Her breasts were high and firm under her blouse; he could easily imagine peeling that perfect white cotton away and seeing her wearing only that string of pearls, and maybe white lace panties . . .
She snatched her hand back and straightened, squaring her shoulders as if for protection. Bright pink painted her cheeks in a delightful blush that was as revealing as it was attractive.
“She’s right, Jake,” Pete continued gruffly. “You can’t play today. Or tomorrow if you aren’t on time. You weren’t here at the start of our meeting, but things are going to change. The owner wants it. I want it. Starting now, no more lateness. Ms. Case is here to fix our image, and I’ve made it clear that I want everyone to give her full support.”
Nikki Case turned her back to him and was now giving Brian a dressing-down about his nose ring. Jake’s head swiveled back to Ryan, who had assumed his position at first.
He could almost hear the man laughing.
Award-winning historical author Katie Rose makes her contemporary debut with the Boys of Summer novels, Bring on the Heat and Too Hot to Handle, which combine Katie’s true loves: baseball and romance! When not watching baseball, Katie is at her lake house in New Jersey, hard at work on her next book.