A ballplayer and a team owner would give anything for a championship—even their hearts…
After inheriting majority ownership of the San Francisco Goliaths baseball team, Hunter Collins wants to prove to herself—and the rest of the league—that she’s got what it takes to build a champion. Her first move is to trade for a hot left-fielder. He’s got it all, speed, power, and a desire to win. Not to mention undeniable charm.
Marco Santiago is tired of being the new player in town. After four teams in six years, he’s facing free agency at the end of the season. He wants nothing more than a long-term contract and a World Series win. Hitting on his new owner probably isn’t the best way to get it, but love may be the most powerful challenger either of them has ever faced…
Warning: Strong language, consummated love scenes, and some baseball clichés.
“Smart, fun, and sexy. A great romance read.” –New York Times Bestselling Author, Kat Martin
What does a creative writer do when they’re not creatively writing… Kristina?
What do I do when I’m not writing? The easy answer is that I’m hardly ever not writing, thinking about writing, or feeling guilty for not writing. Or I may be on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, or blogging about my books, my writing life, or baseball.
I spend a lot of time watching or listening to baseball. I now get to call it research. I even go to other teams’ games such as the Triple A Sacramento River Cats or Reno Aces games, just because I love the sport. I even went to an Oakland A’s game on the last weekend before my oldest son went back to school because my Giants were playing in New York.
My family likes to spend time enjoying the outdoor recreation that is so close to home. We live an hour from Tahoe, three hours from the Pacific Ocean. We’ve even driven to Yosemite National Park for the day.
One of the activities we’ve gotten back into is whitewater rafting. My husband was a guide back in high school and college and we now own two boats that are ancient, but still manage to get us down the river with only a few patches and duct tape. We do have to bail after the big rapids, but that’s the way they did it back in the day. There are some tactical advantages to not having an inflated bottom, but I leave the technical stuff to my husband.
On a recent trip with my family, we were having a great time until I fell out of the boat on a particularly large (and usually fun) rapid. In twenty-five years I’d never taken an unintentional swim. He always grabbed me just in time. Not this time. I fell out, shocked and sputtering, but I managed to hold on to my paddle. Instinct had me try to swim for the boat, but we were moving too fast. He was yelling at me to turn around. So I did. I kept my feet downstream as I bobbed over the rapid. But I forgot to keep my bum up.
I smacked my bottom into a rock. Granite is a very hard surface, especially when it comes up unexpectedly. I knew I was going to have a rather pretty bruise. Once I got back into the boat, I found that the tubes were not very comfortable to sit on. Especially when the boys were playing the trust game in which they stood up on the edge of the raft, paddles intertwined, and seeing how long they could lean back before falling off. There was a lot of bouncing going on, and it was almost like getting hit in the backside every time they jolted the boat.
The next day I realized it wasn’t so much the bruise on my bottom, but my tailbone that was hurt. Walking, sitting, getting up and down was painful. I don’t know if my tailbone was fractured or merely bruised. I never went to the doctor because there’s not much they could do about it.
Ten days later, I had to fly to San Antonio for the annual Romance Writers of America conference. It wasn’t so bad going out, I got bumped up to first class and the seat was roomy enough that I could lean on one side or the other or sit on my neck pillow.
I managed to get through the first couple of days on adrenaline. It’s a great pain reliever to be so excited and nervous about meeting my publicist and fellow authors, having my first book signing (other than friends and family) and just being surrounded by people who are just like me. I busted my tail to get there, literally, and I wasn’t going to let a bum bum keep me from making the most of it.
A sneak peek inside Worth the Trade?
“I’m only interested in winning the division and making a strong run in the postseason.” She turned her head to look out the window as if to show she was unaffected by the chemistry between them.
“Aren’t you a rotten liar?” He chuckled softly. Oh yeah, he was definitely getting to her. “Don’t join in the poker game at the next owners’ retreat. You’ll be wiped out.”
She whipped her head around so fast the car shook. “I happen to be a very good poker player. I can hold my own against anyone. Anytime.”
Interesting. Her strong reaction told him two things. She was insecure about her place among her fellow owners. And yes, she was interested in him on more than a professional level.
“That explains your wardrobe.” He leaned back, not ready to leave her just yet. “You dress like you do to fit in with the old boys’ club. But you can’t hide the fact that you are all woman.”
“And you can’t hide the fact that you don’t want to be here.” She dared look him straight in the eye, but couldn’t hold his gaze.
“I’m starting to come around.” He gave her one last smile.
Who is Kristina Mathews..?
Kristina Mathews doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn’t until 2010 that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing romance novels.
While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she’s remained an educator in some form. As a volunteer, Parent Club member or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books.
Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of twenty years, two sons and a black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.
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