Determined to overcome a dark and tragic past, college student Everly Wallace is only months away from earning her degree in physical therapy. She’s consumed with school, caring for her ailing grandfather, and figuring out how to pay the next bill. The last thing she wants is a relationship, but it just might be the one thing she needs.
Major League pitcher Cole Parker hasn’t fought for anything in his life. He went from a privileged upbringing to a multimillion dollar All-Star career. But when his pitching shoulder starts to give him trouble at only twenty-four years old, he faces the possibility of his injury becoming public knowledge and costing him everything.
In a desperate bid to save his career, Cole decides to hire someone to treat his injury, someone who will keep things off the record and out of the media. He finds the perfect solution in Everly. As mysterious as she is beautiful, she provides an enticing distraction from his pain. Soon, physical therapy is the last thing on his mind.
When an act of betrayal brings the truths they both fear to light, Cole will have to fight for the first time in his life…not just for his career, but for Everly’s love.
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She folded her jeans and set them on the lounge chair. Taking one final deep breath, she pulled her top over her head, then set it neatly by her jeans.Her gaze shifted to Cole, who was suddenly silent. She realized he was staring at her with a rather strange expression on his face. Had she somehow managed to shock the world-famous Cole Parker?She didn’t speak, but walked over to the stairs. His eyes followed her every move. He had yet to meet her gaze. He was honed in on her body. Something about that was empowering.Liberating.Although she had no experience with playing the temptress, the situation felt right to give it a try. Dark, seductive lighting…clear, warm water…a hot, transfixed male. Yeah, she was pretty sure the circumstances were right. She just didn’t know if she had it in her.She slowly descended the steps into the water. “So, Mr. Parker,” she said in a casual tone, “what shall we do in this magnificent pool of yours?”“Um…”He didn’t move as she walked from the shallow end to where he stood with the water lapping at his waist. She allowed her gaze to move over the hard muscles of his upper body as she approached. Even as she fully appreciated his fine physique with a woman’s eye, she felt pride for helping him maintain it.“The water feels wonderful,” she said.She walked to his side until the water reached her belly button, then came to a stop less than a foot from him. His gaze finally moved to hers. For the first time, she read stark desire in a male’s gaze. Her pulse raced.What in the world was she doing? Temptress? Yeah, right.“Everly,” he said.His voice was low. Ragged. He closed the distance between them. Her nerves shimmied.Oh, God. Was he going to kiss her? What should she do?He paused. His eyes swept over her face. Whatever he read there had him backing up. Once again, she felt both relieved and disappointed.Why was she so awkward with guys? With intimacy?“You’re not nearly wet enough,” he said then.Her mouth fell open. Then he grabbed her and leaped with her into the deep end. When they surfaced, she laughed and splashed him for dunking her. She realized the pool was filled with saltwater instead of chlorine as she pushed her hair out of her eyes.“I’m totally getting you back for that,” she said, fighting a smile.The chase was on. He was a strong swimmer, but she was lighter and sleeker. When he would have powered his way across the pool to evade her, she zipped along beneath the surface and paced him. After several minutes of pursuing him, she cornered him near the waterfall that spilled in from a spa off the far side of the pool. They were both breathless and laughing like idiots.“I think grabbing my swimsuit to drag me back was playing dirty,” he said as he caught his breath.“Sure it was. Serves you right.”“Remind me not to dunk you again unless I want to skinny dip.”She laughed again. His back was turned to her, the position in which she’d finally caught him. Only then did she register that her arms were still around his waist.The feel of his body pressed against hers…his taut skin beneath her fingertips…it was—“Tell you what,” he said, turning around to face her. She didn’t want to move her hands, and since he didn’t try to escape her touch, she didn’t. “That was too easy. I’ll find you with my eyes closed.”“Oh, yeah? Marco Polo style?”“Something like that. And when I do, I want a reward.”She could only echo him as she held his intent gaze. “A reward?”“Yes, Ms. Wallace. I want a real kiss.”
About the Author
Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of a series of YA Fantasy/Romance novels about the Estilorian plane, including the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy and the Firstborn Trilogy, and a New Adult Contemporary Romance, For Everly. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of America and is a contributing blogger to The Writer's Voice. When she isn’t planning weddings, writing, or glued to social networking sites, she can usually be found on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches with her husband and daughter or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.
Raine Thomas is hosting a Release Giveaway of (2) signed paperbacks of For Everly, a custom For Everly inspired bracelet worth $35, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card. This is open to the U.S. and Canada. To enter, fill out the Raffelcopter below!
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