Happy Thursday, my friends! Today is the publication day of Team Player, a new book by Julianna Keyes. I ADORE Julianna Keyes' books, and I'm really enjoying this one. Get ready for the baseball season with this new sizzling romance!
About the Book:
Team Player by Julianna Keyes
Book One of the Charleston Thrashers series
Publication Date: March 28, 2019
Summary (from Goodreads):
Gwen Scott wants to love her job with the Charleston Thrashers, the MLB team she’s worshiped since she was a kid, but she can’t. Hateful colleagues and mind-numbing work make her days unbearable—until her head for baseball gets her exclusive access to the Thrashers’ clubhouse and she comes face-to-face with Tyler Ashe, the team’s sexy shortstop and baseball’s most ineligible bachelor.
Ty has sworn off relationships in order to focus on his all-star career, but with his best friend gone, his team struggling, and the press blaming him for every loss, the most recognizable man in the majors is in a slump. Until he starts spending his time off the field with a stern blonde who recites baseball stats for kicks and sees through his arrogant façade.
As the Thrashers’ season gets into full swing and Gwen adjusts to her new job, their fun banter and friendly teasing turns into stolen kisses and countless steamy nights. The team’s strict policy against player-staff relationships throws a curve ball into the mix, but they can’t hide from their feelings any more than the most famous man in baseball can hide from the spotlight…
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Swoon Thursday Excerpt:
He smiled, then hesitated and said, “Your parents weren’t around at that age. Did kids bother you about it?”
Gwen shrugged. “A few times. And I’d never win in a fight, but Marge was intimidating. She once got arrested at a Thrashers game and her picture was on the front page of the paper. After that, everyone was very respectful.”
“She sounds great.”
“She was. When I first got here, I cried every night. Then she started to come into my room and read Thrashers stats to put me to sleep. I still recite them to relax sometimes. 158, 620, 122, 184, 41, 123.”
Ty’s jaw dropped. “Those are my numbers from three years ago.”
“I knew you memorized your stats.”
“Well, yeah, when they’re that impressive.”
She laughed. “Don’t get big-headed. I know everybody’s. I can’t help it.”
“Gwen, I’m a superstar athlete with five major endorsement deals—why would I be big-headed?”
She laughed again, and now so did he, the laughter fading when the commercial ended and the show returned. Ty reached for the remote and paused it. “Speaking of feelings…” he said, turning more fully to face her. “Are you still nervous?”
Gwen swallowed. “Me? Nervous?”
He smiled, not fooled. “We can just binge watch the show if you want. Hang out. I’ll go home when Todd dies.”
She managed to shake her head. “That’s not how this show works, and I don’t want you to go home.”
“Anything you do want me to do?”
Gwen finished her wine. Liquid courage. “Whatever you did on the golf course. And in the arcade. And whenever we’re within ten feet of each other.”
“That’s me? I thought it was you and your feminine wiles.”
“I don’t have any feminine wiles, Ty.”
He put down his glass and somehow slid closer, until there were just inches between them. Until she was sure he could hear her heart pounding against her rib cage, like it was trying to beat through her chest and toss itself into his hands.
He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “I think you do, Gwen.”
“I don’t even know what wiles are, actually—”
“Shh,” he said. “It’s working.”
Then he kissed her.
As with both times before, she forgot everything but the kiss. The world around them blurred and faded until it was just her and Ty, lips and tongues and heated breath. The world took her nerves with it when it left and all that remained was the fire in her belly, the one stoked by each glance of his tongue, his fingers cupping her jaw, his lips murmuring nonsense against the soft skin of her throat and making her shudder with each word.
His hair was impossibly soft, his lips more so, a sharp contrast to the strength and tension he radiated. It was impossible to decide where to touch, his hair, his biceps, her fingers slipping between his shoulder blades and holding on. They fell backward on the couch, her legs sliding open and Ty filling the space between them. The hem of her dress rode high enough that she could feel the fabric of his pants on her inner thighs.
He felt incredible. He tasted amazing. He smelled fantastic. Everything about him was so much more than any fantasy her mind could have conjured, and in recent weeks she’d done plenty of ill-advised dreaming. There was no way to describe how much he was, how big, how hot, how hard. How much better.
His hand inched its way down her body, stroking over her breast lightly so she arched into the touch, wanting more. She was not meant for eight months of celibacy, no matter what she told herself. And neither, if the erection pressing against her belly was any indication, was Ty.
She moaned and he kissed her and dropped his hand lower, covering her over her panties, the contact so combustible she almost came on the spot, and nearly cried when he stopped.
“We have to get away from the window,” he said, breathing hard. “I’m used to crowds, but…not for this.”
Gwen’s eyes flew open and she twisted her head to see. There was no one lurking outside, but she knew what he meant. With the curtains open and the late afternoon sun pouring in, anyone scrutinizing her horrible garden would find a much better show happening on the other side of the glass.
“My room,” she said, nudging him so she could get up. “We’ll go—”
“No need to stop,” Ty interrupted, standing and scooping her so her legs fit around his waist, their new natural habitat. “Just point the way.”
She considered protesting about the weight, but it was obvious he not only didn’t mind, but didn’t care. And, when he settled her more tightly against him, quite liked it. She opened her mouth to give directions—straight down the hall and to the left and anywhere is fine, really—but he was already moving, so she gave a half-hearted wave of her hand and kissed him instead.
He smiled against her lips, and with each step he bumped right between her legs. She was ready to explode by the time they reached her room and he lowered her onto the bed. Lying there, looking up at not just the sexiest man she’d ever been with, but, according to one magazine, one of the sexist men alive, it was tempting to give herself a quick pinch to make sure it wasn’t actually a dream. And then, when he unbuttoned his shirt and shrugged out of it, she really did pinch herself, because there was no way that six-pack was real. Until he crawled up the length of the bed to straddle her hips, and what she was feeling was very much real.
What do you all think? Be sure to pick up this book TODAY!
Thanks to Julianna Keyes, I have a paperback copy of Team Player to give away! Open internationally, ends on April 11th. Good luck!