by Collette West
Stockton Beavers #1
Publication Date: April 22, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Underdog Luke “Single” Singleton is yearning to make a comeback. After getting hit in the neck with a pitch—an injury that nearly cost him his life—he has one last chance to play for his hometown team, the Stockton Beavers. But his mom has Alzheimer’s, and he’s all she has to depend on. How can he pursue his career, much less someone special?
Personal care aide Roberta Bennett is done dating baseball players. Having had her share of heartbreak, she heads to Stockton hoping for a fresh start. But after she finds Luke’s mom outside, lost, and alone, she can’t refuse when he hires her on the spot. Unbeknownst to Luke, Roberta is all too familiar with the violent tendencies of the pitcher who hit him.
Now that they’re living under the same roof, the last thing either of them is looking for is a relationship. But it’s not long before they find themselves drawn to each other. And right when Luke is thinking about finally making a change to his single status, a secret from Roberta’s past emerges with the power to tear them apart.
But I’m not about to let her blow me off so easily, not when we were finally starting to enjoy ourselves. This time, I pull on the corner of her scarf and end up drawing it down over her shoulder, spinning her around. I have her off-balance, trying to find her footing, when she falls into my arms.
Her eyes never stray from mine when her hand comes to rest on my neck at the exact spot where I got hit. I swallow hard, never believing anything in the world could feel as good as this. If given the choice, I’d go through all the pain and rehab all over again just to have her do what she’s doing to me now. She glides her fingers along my jaw and across my goatee before lightly skimming them over my lips, making me shudder with pleasure. I lean in, and she lowers her hand, her eyes burning into me. Intent on capturing her lips with mine, I’m close enough to feel her warm breath on my face when suddenly she pushes me away from her, taking a step back.
Holding a hand to her forehead, she’s unable to look at me. “Sorry… I tripped and—”
“Roberta,” I gasp, struggling to catch my breath. “It’s okay. I—”
Yet all she says is, “C’mon,” before turning and leaving the alcove.
I run a hand across my face, trying to make sense of what just happened. I almost kissed her… And for a split second, I could’ve sworn by the fire in her eyes that she’d really wanted me to. God, could she possibly have feelings for me? No… That’s just crazy. She probably didn’t want to hurt my feelings, and to save me the embarrassment, she graciously backed away before anything could happen. Yeah, that sounds more like it. Now we can just pretend like she tripped and I caught her and go on our merry way. My fingers stray to my neck, right where hers were. Because that’s what she wants, right?
If you’ve read Collette West’s series, New York Kings, then you are somewhat acquainted with Roberta. But not exactly in a favorable light. However, this is her story, so you get to see the ins and outs of her and I promise you, you will adore her! 🙂 The caring nature behind Luke’s character is also a winning point for me. The man had heart. HUGE heart. And it really made for a really romantic read overall. But I must say … Roberta stole the show lol
This was a ridiculously sweet and emotional read, not only due to some of the subject matter, but mainly due to our characters development and journey. I was sucked in from the beginning with a huge smile on my face. This was definitely a *happy sigh* book times 100!!
Collette West has skill. She takes unexpecting characters that you would not think could be redeemed and turns them into angels. It’s an absolute wonder to read. I couldn’t get enough of this story and I truly did not want to see it end.
ARC provided for blog tour review
Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball’s biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette‘s impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.
Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as manygames as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she’s not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at email@example.com.
She is the author of the New York Kings series which includes: NIGHT GAMES, GAME CHANGER, GAME ON, PERFECTGAME, INSIDE GAME and GAME WINNER.