I was born to play and bred to win.
My priorities were instilled in me early on—family and football. Those ideals led me to TGU and a coach whose ironclad principles mirrored my own.
With one last college season to play, my goal was singular—get drafted. By realizing my NFL dream, I could save my family, our ranch, and the only home I’d ever known.
Two birds, one ball.
Playing hard was my only option, but there’s always a wild card.
For all of my planning and hard work, I never anticipated falling for the coach's daughter. Harper was a fair catch, but who knew loving her could be the one play to throw my career before it started or that the weight of our secret would change the game.
*The Guy in the Middle is a stand alone novel in the Underdog Series. This is Lance's story.
“I’ve missed you, you know? More than you can imagine.”
“Can’t imagine it at all,” he says, picking through a book he’s not reading.
“Can I help you two?” One of the store sales associates asks, and I shake my head and smile. When she takes her leave, I look over to Lance who stands fuming on the other side of a table filled with loose items. We’re in a mismatch shop full of mostly cheap junk, and I can’t imagine him finding anything for his mother here.
“Lance, I have missed you. Horribly.”
“Could have fooled me.”
I can only take so much. Irritated, I lift a designer coffee mug from the table.
“You like this for your mom?”
“How about this?”
“Nope.” He’s not even looking at what’s in my hands.
“You sure? It’s a hide purse. Cute for a rancher’s wife, don’t you think?” This gets his attention, and stormy eyes lift to mine.
“Would you buy that for you?”
I look it over and shake my head. “Not really my style.”
“Bet it’s not.”
I can feel my ears reddening. Fuming, I eye a box on the shelf, snatch it and shove it into his chest. “How about this giant fucking purple dildo and matching anal plug!? Think mom will like that?”
He looks up completely unaffected, “Nope.”
“I don’t think we’re in the right place,” Tossing the box down, I stalk out of the cluttered shop and into the department store next to it. He’s hot on my heels.
“Got that fucking right.”
I turn back to see he’s spoiling for a fight and release a stressed breath. Fighting with him is the last thing I want to do. “Look, lets, just…” I search around and pull a sweater from the closest rack. “How about this? Simple, elegant.”
“You think Mom’s simple, huh? I’ll give her your regards.”
“That’s it.” I hook the sweater back on to the rack and close the space between us, forcing his eyes to mine. “God, you’re still a brute, aren’t you? You haven’t changed a bit. Still pig-headed as hell.”
“Pig-headed?” He opens his mouth in mock shock and covers his chest with his hand. “How dare you.”
I’m in between fight or flight, but I’ve been dodging this long enough. My heart can’t take more confrontation. I missed him too much. His eyes flare with satisfaction at my irritation. “Misery loves company, right, Lance?”
“Never said I was miserable.”
“You don’t have to. Did you come to New York just to torture me?”
“Rub it in on what I’m missing out on?”
A voice sounds from next to us. “Is there something I can help you find today?”
We both turn to the woman with lasers in our eyes, and she swallows. I clear my throat. “We’re fine. Thank you.”
Lance winks at the woman, his eyes scanning her form. “Maybe you can help me?”
“You son of a bitch,” I hiss, before walking away from the table. His voice rings out next to me as I rip through a rack of scarves.
“Good to know you care, Priss, gotta admit, it’s surprising.”
I reel on him. “Don’t you dare! Leaving you was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I had to make a clean break. I had just lost everyone that mattered to me. I was losing my mind.”
“I got pissed for one day, and you went off the grid.”
“And you let me go because you knew no matter how much we wanted it to work, it couldn’t. You have no idea what I went through!”
“What you went through? Do you know I spent six months ranting to an Uber driver named Dave because everyone on my team hated me when the truth came out?” He stomps after me as I pull sweater after sweater off the rack. “Troy jumped ship after he got drafted. I had no one but Tony and those fights.”
I turn to him with twenty sweaters in my arms. “Jenner? When did y’all get so tight?”
“When shit got tough, and my fucking girlfriend bailed!” He glares down at me, his breaths coming out fast.
“Guys, we’re going to need you to take this outside.” A woman whom I assume is the store manager approaches us cautiously.
I look around the store and see all eyes are on us, especially the women sizing him up. “He’s available ladies,” I snap, laying the sweaters on a nearby table, “I’m willing to bet he comes really cheap.” He’s on my heels as I push through the glass of the department store.
“Oh, was I supposed to wait for you? Must have missed that memo. That’s it, you must want a saint. That’s why you didn’t stay.”
“I was twenty years old and alienated from a place I didn’t want to be anyway.”
“Good to know.”
“That’s not the way I meant it. And you know damn well until you, I was only there to appease my Dad, who I barely speak to now.”
“I’m sorry about that, I am, but that’s on him. And what in the hell are you talking about ‘alienated’?”
“Forget it.” I pull on my gloves as heavy snow starts to come down. “I think we’ve concluded our tour for today.”
He glances around the sidewalk. “Well, no need to show me more, I hate this fucking place!”
“And why is that? Not enough free-range chickens?!”
His eyes flare. “You digging on the ranch now, Priss? I saw a fucking rat the size of a cat on my run this morning!”
“Probably has better manners than you, shit head.”
“Pulling out the big guns now, huh? There’s that backbone. I was wondering where it went.”
“Go home, Lance, you hate it here. And you obviously hate me.”
“Just the opposite. It’s impossible, and believe me, I’m trying!”
“Well, I hope you succeed! Thanks for stopping by, Mary Poppins. Best Christmas ever! Make sure to bulldoze the nativity scene on your way out!”
“Fuck this.” He throws his hands up and eyes me warily before turning and walking away.
“Merry Christmas to you, too!”
She shouldn't get involved with the cowboy next door...
Laid off from her teaching job in the city, Jemma Monroe takes a job teaching in a tiny town and rents a house on the outskirts. A visitor soon shows up at her door—a horse. His owner, a handsome neighbor in boots and a cowboy hat, comes by to collect him.
When single dad Wyatt Langford meets Jemma, it’s the first time he feels interest in a woman since his wife left. But she’s his daughter’s new teacher, so they both know they should keep their distance.
Nonetheless, Wyatt keeps finding excuses to spend time with Jemma, and Wyatt’s daughter becomes more and more attached to her. With them, Jemma discovers the good things about country life, from starry skies to s’mores cooked over a fire. But she still misses her past life in the city. Is there any reason for them to dream of a future together?
Country Hearts by Cindi Madsen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Jemma has an upheaval in the middle of the school year. Luckily she ends up in the most heavenly small town. When she meets her neighbor, she decides he must hate helping her.
Wyatt cannot believe how attracted to his daughter's teacher he is. He knows she should be off limits. She is not planning to stay, either. If he could just turn the attraction off enough to be just friends.....
This story just grabbed me from the start. The characters are witty, charming, and seriously attracted to one another! With this story, I eagerly turned the pages. Humor, surprises, and even bits of whimsy appeared.
***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.
View all my reviews
Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she'd be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they're sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband, three children, an overly-dramatic tomcat, & an adorable one-eyed kitty named Agent Fury.
You can visit Cindi at: www.cindimadsen.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on her books.
Follow her on Twitter @cindimadsen.
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Just Ten Seconds by Jeannine Colette! Available on Kindle Unlimited!
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Just Ten Seconds
That’s all it took for my life to change forever.
I left my posh life in Manhattan and escaped to the Hudson Valley in hopes of a fresh start. It wasn’t until I happened upon a bereavement group when I finally found a place I felt understood. I told them my husband was dead when, really, I was the one who had died inside. It was also where I saw the smoldering gaze of Dean Delgado, the single father whom I’d helped just days before.
Just Ten Seconds
That’s all he wishes he had with his late wife.
Despite Dean’s widowed status, he has a robust thirst for life. He’s a protector and a giver. A man who fixes things with his hands, is devoted to his child, and wants to spend his days with me. I try to avoid him, knowing a woman with my past has no business being in this man’s life. With every run-in, he makes me laugh. With every touch, he ignites me. And with every second, he makes me feel like myself again.
Just Ten Seconds
That’s all it took for me to fall in love with Dean Delgado.
I'm in too deep and my secrets are about to be exposed. I only hope he can forgive me for the lies I never meant to tell.
About the Author:
Jeannine Colette combines angst and humor in her sexy, standalone romance novels. Her stories feature dynamic heroines, and swoon-worthy heroes, who have to abandon their reality in order to discover themselves . . . and love along the way.
A graduate of Wagner College and the New York Film Academy, Jeannine went on to become a Segment Producer at CBS News and NBC. She left the television industry to focus on her children and pursue a full-time writing career. She lives in New York with her husband, the three tiny people she adores more than life itself, and a rescue pup named Wrigley.
Tour brought to you by:
A mature YA/New Adult contemporary rock star romance by Ginger Scott
Arizona Wakefield was a beat without a melody. Living a half-breathing life in a half-finished neighborhood with parents who always wore half-hearted smiles, the high school senior only had one thing that let her color outside her family’s perfectly drawn lines—her drums.
Jesse Barringer was a song without a chorus. The son of a washed-up rock star who’s also one hell of a deadbeat dad, he was given two things from his father—musical genius and a genetic link to the bipolar disorder that drives him mad.
One night in a garage at the end of a cul-de-sac in the middle of a bankrupt California neighborhood, Jesse’s melody found Arizona’s rhythm. An angry boy with storm-colored eyes found a blonde angel in Doc Martens with missing lines in her own story. Where her rhythm stopped, his words took over, and together, they wrote one hell of a story.
** Drummer Girl is a mature YA/New Adult romance that touches on mental health, drug abuse and includes mature sexual situations.
About the Author:
Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.