Pitching phenom Bruce "Jilly" Gillette has a hard time talking to women. His hulking presence of tattoos and muscles is what makes him an intimidating closer on the mound, yet off the field, he's painfully shy, uncomfortable in his own skin.
Desperate to revamp his loner image, the New York Kings hold a dream date contest, granting the lucky winner a night on the town with their surly reliever, doing whatever it takes to force Jilly out of his comfort zone.
Hailey Halpert enters the contest on a whim, looking for answers as to why her high school relationship with Jilly hit the skids. Now she’s a popular romance author writing under a pen name, and her reappearance in Jilly's life is no accident. It turns out that her novels are all about the sexy players on the Kings, and Jilly has no clue that he's about to become her new leading man.
Then Jilly does something I don't expect. He slings his arm around my waist,
lifting me straight off the ground. I gasp when I feel my feet hovering in midair and
immediately clutch at his shirt. He gives me a sultry smile, the kind I've never seen
him give me before, like there's a naughty side lurking deep inside him that I'm only
now getting to see, and it thrills me beyond belief. It's like he's finally comfortable with
showing me just how much he wants me. He doesn't care who's watching. He intends to
put on a show.
He dips me back as far as I can go so that all I see is him. The noise from the
street falls silent. Even the rays of sun are hidden overhead. All I hear is Jilly's labored
breathing in my ear. All I feel is the curling of his massive bicep as he holds me
effortlessly above the ground. All I see is the darkening desire in his lust-filled eyes as his
lips get closer to mine. But when he kisses me, it's soft, gentle, showing me that he still
feels the need to be careful with me, unsure of his own strength, like he doesn't want to
take the chance of hurting me. To him, I'm still something delicate and fragile he needs to
But I'm not going to break. I kiss him back more forcefully, letting him know that
I can handle whatever he can give me, that there’s no need to hold back. He moans, his
hot tongue finding its way into my mouth. I hear a few car horns beep as they drive by,
but I block them out. I close my eyes and surrender to what he's doing to me.
He readjusts his footing, holding my body against his as he stands up straight,
pressing me as close as he can to his massive chest. I feel the drumming of his pulse as
my fingers skate across his neck, and I reach up to hold on to him even tighter.
I reluctantly draw my swollen lips away from Jilly's. He gives me that sexy grin
again before nuzzling the tip of my nose. Taking his time, he slowly and seductively
lowers me to my feet, making sure I can feel him straining against me. I whimper, biting
my bottom lip to keep from crying out, resting my hands on his hips, trying to catch my
"I can't wait for our date tonight," he whispers so that only I can hear him, aware
that people are standing around us, taking our picture.
"I don't think I'm gonna make it till midnight," I pout, pressing my forehead to his
chest, not wanting to share this moment with anyone but him.
"The anticipation will only make it that much better." Jilly kisses the top of my
head, sighing as I withdraw myself from his embrace.
"I intend to hold you to that." I grasp his hand, stretching my arm as far as it will
go, not wanting him to leave.
I watch sadly as he ducks into the car, cramming his body into the back seat. Last
night, I could've been with him, but I turned him down, and I can’t shake this helpless
feeling that our time together is running out.
About Collette West
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 many games 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
She is the author of NIGHT GAMES and GAME CHANGER.