Talk about a wild day… As if being summoned to the deathbed of a grandfather she didn’t know existed wasn’t enough––Isla Bennett meets the man of her dreams. Spends an amazing day playing tourist around Nashville with him. And then finds out she’s inherited the Nashville Slammers major league baseball team. Oh, and her new dream man? He’s the Slammers’ star power hitter. Isla just went from amazing first date to holy heck I’m your boss in the span of a day.
Liam Cruz can’t believe how refreshing it was to spend a day with someone who didn’t know his batting average, the size of his last contract, or heck, even that he’s a baseball player. Now Isla’s thrust into the spotlight, and though she’s more than capable of handling herself professionally, he takes it upon himself to teach her everything he can about the game that is his whole life. But they’ll have to keep it on the DL.
Because doing what’s best for the team means they can never be together––and that might be the toughest play of all.
His broad shoulders and short cropped hair made him look a little dangerous and a whole lot capable. Of many things.
“What’s going on in that head of yours, Red?” He tugged on a lock of her hair and gave her a smile that shot fireworks through her blood.
“I was just thinking that I don’t want to waste the day or two I have here thinking about my brother, my dad, or anything else.”
Liam stepped closer. “Seems like you could use a little break from them.”
She laughed at his dead-on assessment. “How is it that you hardly know me and you see things other people don’t?”
In her professional life, everyone had the utmost respect for her father and brother. The dynamic duo of the fitness center world. Never mind the long days and nights and hours that Isla spent making things come together. Things like the deal with Conroy Hotels. Her father’s gyms were going to be a part of ten Conroy properties starting in the new year. Thanks to Isla. Only, no one had thanked her, except Jonathan Conroy, who she’d struck the deal with. He’d been gracious and kind. A great negotiator. He’d treated her as an equal.
“Maybe it’s because I’m looking so close,” he said, his voice lowering. Had she moved? Did he? She wasn’t sure, but the front of each of their bodies was touching, and despite the chill in the air, Isla’s skin warmed beneath her layers.
“Hmm. You are looking quite close,” she said, not intending for her voice to come out so husky.
Liam ran his thumb over her cheek, then back, down over her lower lip. Her knees went loose and she pressed her hand to his chest. It was hard and solid like the brick wall at her back. But so much hotter. With his jacket open, she pressed her hand to his soft shirt and felt the sleek muscle beneath.
“I like what I see,” he said, his face coming closer.
“Me too,” she whispered. A little too much. Could she blame her overtaxed emotions? Probably not. There was something about Liam.
The first touch of his lips pushed thoughts of anything other than him, of getting closer, out of her brain. One of his hands threaded through her hair, anchoring her where he wanted so he could slant his mouth over hers, teasing and testing, before diving all the way in.
Isla’s fingers fisted in his shirt, curling the material in her palm as she arched to get closer, to take more. Liam gentled the kiss, slowing it down before he leaned back, enough so he could speak but so they were still sharing the same air, their breath mingling and intertwining sort of like their bodies.
“Wow,” he whispered, pressing his brow to hers.
“Yeah. Wow.” Two or three days of doing exactly that didn’t seem like nearly enough.
Liam’s hands ran down her arms, back up, over her shoulders, and then he pulled her close and wrapped his around her, hugging her tight and pressing a kiss to the top of her head. Isla sank in. If she could only have a couple days with him, she was going to enjoy every second of it. Which meant blocking out all of the questions and the uncertainty.
When he pulled back, Liam’s eyes were a mix of desire and sweetness. “You like Johnny Cash?”
Isla laughed at the quick change of subject. “The Man in Black? Sure.”
“I was hoping you’d say that,” he said, taking her hand again. “Come on.”
Such an adorable read!
I really enjoyed Liam and Isla’s story. I’m not a huge fan of baseball–neither is Isla, before she inherits a baseball team!–but of course you don’t have to be to enjoy a baseball romance 🙂 Isla and Liam have incredible chemistry together, and even when they know and you know that they really shouldn’t be together it’s hard to argue with exactly how good they are together. Even when you know it’s all going to blow up at some point…
And blow up it does, of course. The black moment is really, really black, and for a while there it does look like all is going to be lost. But Ms. Holford has a few things up her sleeve and manages to pull an HEA out of the depths of despair, giving us an absolutely adorable ending and epilogue.
I can’t wait to see where the rest of this series is going!
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
Jody Holford is a multi-published author who has a soft spot for happily ever after. So much so, she tattooed the words on her arm. She’s a mom and a wife, a friend, sister, daughter, teacher, and book-lover. Her stories have a little heat and a lot of heart. And maybe, some swoon-worthy moments that will make you smile.a Rafflecopter giveaway