#AlphaGoodness #LoveThisAuthor #NewRelease #Review #Gripping #SarahCurtis

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♠♥♦♣ All-In♠♥♦♣

River Kingston has a problem, and his name is Royal. Her brother owes one-hundred grand to the mob, and River feels it’s her responsibility to help him.

The daughter of a renowned poker player, River does the only thing she knows how to do to win that much money…
She hits the tables.

Headed to Eden Island, home of the most elite poker tournament, The Omega One, River runs into–literally–the man from her teenage fantasies.

Now she has another problem, and his name is Alec Throne. Because after the famous poker star catches her from falling, he decides he’s never letting her go.

And, as River soon discovers, when Alec Throne sets his mind to something…
He’s all-in.

***This is a full-length novel with no cliffhanger. It is part of a series, but each book is a stand-alone centering on new main characters. This is a steamy contemporary romance. Due to sex and language, it is recommended for persons over 18.*** HEA ***

🔥🔥🔥🔥 Review By TashaM 🔥🔥🔥🔥
All In

So obviously I’m sometimes stuck in my own world and miss things, Good things like this Author. Well I’m just over Joyed that I came across this amazing Snippet somewhere, somehow. This little teaser had me hook, line and sinker. Once I contacted Sarah she hooked me up and the rest is history.

All -In was new for me on so many different levels. I loved reading about poker and learning​ so much…. This book from the start grabs you.

Alec and River’s story is unique, their beginning is quirky you can’t help but wanna see how these two get on with things. Their relationship is already winning cos their Chemistry is off the charts. Alec Possessive and Alpha knows he wants this woman so he sets about gets what he wants. Yeah River puts up a good fight but her walls are nothing for a man like Alec.

He is Rich and Handsome, Dirty and Hot, what a lethal combination. Few pages in, you see how amazing and warm their personalities are and you know this is why they are perfect for each other​. They are really an amazing couple.

River is on a mission to help her brother who really is a Shitarse that i seriously want to punch. But that’s how awesome she is. Stands by family and that is another thing Alec loves about her. It’s not hard to see why he falls so hard for her so fast.

Watching him Wooo her then become something more and him wanting only the best for, was so fabulous watching because she needed that. He also protected her and put her first. This man and his time and care was so beautiful to watch.

I really hope you all give this book a chance. Low angst, Hot Hot sex and Amazing Story what more could we ask for….

Enjoy Ladies!!!!!

#blogTour #Royallyelinquished #AModernDayFairyTale #OneClick #availablenow #KindleUnlimited #Review

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Title: Royally Relinquished: A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Author Hayley Faiman

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release:  March 23, 2017

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31421901-royally-relinquished

👑❣👑❣ Review by Tasha M 👑❣👑❣

This was my First try with this Author and I must say i was pleasantly Pleased with her Writing and this story line.

Yes it was Cheesy but a Major BUT is that this is the kind of books or stories we read as we were growing up. Only difference is that this book is way Naughtier and Definitely the kind of books our mum’s kept away from us….

This book is about what a drunk night can cause and what happens when Fate and Destiny are in play. Henrik and Caitriona meet by chance. Their love story is the reason i love Fairytales.

Yes there are times you wanna smack Jenny and you may also Roll your Eyes at how over the top they are. I also promise that for some ( Definitely inlove With Dirty Fairytales) reason you will stay Glued to this book.

Looking forward to read more by this Author and will Definitely recommend this book for Dirty Smutty Romantic readers like me.

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Blurb:

A Complete Standalone

The only thing royal about Caitriona Geneva Grace is the blue of her beat-up sedan. While luxury and vanity are terms she could use to describe her everyday life, they’re not words she lives by. Rather, they’re words that keep her fed—barely. As a receptionist at a medical spa, her life is far from glamorous, but she gets by. For Cait, anything beats the life she left behind when she said goodbye to her small town after high school.

His highness, Prince Henrik Stuart, is a slave to his royal status. Bound by duty and controlled by the crown, he fears a future chained to a woman of good breeding–a match not made in love. While known as the foolhardy prince, the thought of settling down isn’t what troubles him. Rather, if he could find a woman who cared nothing of his title, he would give her the world.

When a weekend trip leads to a chance meeting, both Caitriona and Henrik feel a spark between them unlike any they’ve experienced before. To each, the other is too good to be true, but one night of fun cannot be denied.

When she said ‘yes’ to the handsome, green-eyed stranger, Caitriona didn’t know that she was stepping into her very own fairytale.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…except when it’s legally binding.

*Recommended for readers 18+ due to Sexual Content and Language.

 

Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2hExupn

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2iQlxgv

Amazon CA – http://amzn.to/2hEtbKI

Amazon AU – http://amzn.to/2iQrf1P

Royally Relinquished – http://mybook.to/RoyallyR

🏵🏵🏵🏵Author Bio🏵🏵🏵🏵

32 years young… born and raised in California, did a stint in Oregon only to return to the Golden State. Lived that life a while until the Lone Star State called to us, Hill Country, Texas is where we call home, where our boots rest and loving that country life. Living the life with one bearded power pole climbing husband, two little boys that are full of energy and drive us crazy plus a chocolate lab named Optimus Prime

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorhayleyfaiman

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Hayley-Faiman/e/B00V2AP8EU/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/authorhayleyf

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/hayleyfaiman/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10735805.Hayley_Faiman

#BlogTour #NewRelease Plus One by M.N. Forgy writing as Missy Blake #RomCom #FunFunFun #Review

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⭐⭐⭐⭐

Plus One is a super cute RomCom, fun and sexy!
After Rae is left at the altar, she decides to go out and live her own life, have some fun and do the things that make her happy. She is being worn down by her mom trying to fix her up and set her up. She would rather keep her heart protected and avoid relationships.

“I’ve got to stop buying into this cliché idea that true love exists,” I mutter under my breath. Max whips his head my way, forehead wrinkled like he’s intrigued. “I’m setting myself up for heartache because I’m always looking for something that’s not there,” I continue.
“What, like Prince Charming?” Max shrugs with a look of amusement.
“Exactly,” I point at him. He shakes his head.
“Why would you want Prince Charming when you could have Superman?”

Since Max is tired of his family pressuring him to find Ms. Right and settle down, Max and Rae decide to “fake” a relationship. Which is a great idea…until it isn’t just fun and games.

“It wasn’t until Rae walking into my construction site and turned my life upside down that I realized I wasn’t really living at all. ”

Plus One is so different from the M.N. Forgy books that I’ve read and loved. With none of the MC roughness and edginess, the author showed me that she has a soft side and I loved seeing it! Whether she signs it M.N. or Missy, count me in, I’m reading it!

“…how do I know for sure? What parts of him and I are real and fake?”

⭐⭐⭐⭐ -Diane-

Amazon: http://a.co/fVMArQr

B&N: http://bit.ly/2iRkcWE

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Plus One Synopsis:

No feelings.

No lies of calling the next day, and no empty promises of not banging anyone’s mother.

If I could act like I’ve never met a set of twins I screwed on the same night, thinking they were the same person, then I could do this.

It was the perfect set up for a fake relationship and it was simple.

We faked our smiles, we faked our laughs; hell, we even faked our love. It wasn’t real.

But that kiss was anything but fake, and the orgasm was anything but pretend.

Somehow my plus one had become more, and now I’m standing here with my underwear around my ankles wondering what in the hell to do next.

•Pre-order at 99 cents and the first 3 days after release before going to $2.99

 

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M.N. Forgy writing as Missy Blake Bio:

Bestselling author M.N. Forgy known for her suspense gritty romances has decided to take a walk on a different side of things writing under pen name Missy

Missy Blake is the perfect outlet to express her sassy, funny, romantic side of M.N. Forgy.

So with a glass of wine in her hand, she trudges forward to deliver the perfect book boyfriend in a variety of worlds.

 

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/M-N-Forgy/625362330873655

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/m.n._forgy_author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/M_N_FORGY

M.N. Forgy’s page: http://bit.ly/MNForgyFaceBook

Missy Blake Page: https://www.facebook.com/missy.blake.37454

#NewRelease Hate Story by Nicole Williams #ContemporaryRomance #LoveThisAuthor #Review

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#NewRelease #NicoleWilliams #HateStory #Romance #SpendYourGiftCard

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Nina can’t let herself fall in love with the man she’s going to marry. Both of them have experienced the sting and sham of love and have no intentions of falling victim to it twice. Love is expensive—hate is free.

Three years. A million dollars. A solution to both of their problems. They planned it all, from the story of their first meeting to the date of their divorce. Nothing could go wrong.

But what they didn’t consider was chemistry, and Nina and Max have no shortage of it. After too many near-kisses, Nina convinces herself that hating Max is better than loving him, and the more she gets to know this soon-to-be-husband of hers, the more she discovers just how very much she truly, madly, and deeply . . . hates him.

This isn’t a love story. This is the other kind.

Amazon US : http://amzn.to/2ig2fO4
Amazon UK : http://amzn.to/2hej76h
Amazon CA : http://amzn.to/2irK9vZ
Amazon AU : http://amzn.to/2irQmrD
Nook : http://bit.ly/2hkRN9u
iBooks : http://apple.co/2h0qYbz

#Our4StarReview :

I enjoyed this completely different story, a hate story. About two people who can’t believe in love or commitment but end up diving head first into a commitment and just hoping to land on their feet!

“This man had too much power over me. Too much sway. I couldn’t risk letting him get any closer. I couldn’t risk letting him take any more of me than I’d already agreed to. I wasn’t sure I had much left to give anyway—I’d already sold him three years of my life for a million dollars.”

Max needs a green card
Nina needs enough money to keep the house she inherited from her grandmother
Max is fighting to make her hate him while fighting his overwhelming attraction to her.
Nina is stubborn and pig-headed to a fault – – completely over the top.
Both want to completely avoid all commitments.
But when they commit to helping each other, sparks fly!

“I considered myself a strong man, a civilized one most of the time, but she brought every weakness to the surface at the same time she freed the savage within. She brought out the best in me. She brought out the worst. She brought it all out, and I was her willing victim. Her eager student. Her obedient apprentice.”

With the giant emotional baggage that they both bring into the situation, they are both so against any type of affection. Can they both keep the hate strong while putting on a loving show for the rest of the world.

“And that was when I started to wonder if maybe it would be okay if I fell in love with Nina Burton. So long as it was pretend.”

 

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“Okay. So how do you think this is going?” Max tipped the broom handle between us. “You and me?”

My forehead pinched together. “You and me the plan? Or you and me the surprise?”
Max’s brow answered my question.
“And this topic is what you consider not-so-deep?” I nudged him and moved to finish stocking syrups.
“All I’m looking for is a simple estimation. Since we were just talking about school, give us a grade for how you think this is going.”
“A grade? Like A, B, C, D, F?”
“Exactly like that.”
I shook my head. “Did you have a rough day at work today? Lose an Olympic-size swimming pool of money or something? Are you needing your daily ego stroking to come from somewhere else today?” When I glanced back at him, I found Max leaning into the door he’d relocked, arms crossed and waiting.
“Our relationship is unique,” he said. “Intricate. I’m asking not because I need my ego stroked, but because I care. If I need to make some changes, I’m willing to. Anything you need, whatever you want, that’s what I’ll give you. But first, I have to know how I’m doing.”
If a man could get a woman pregnant from a piercing stare and a collection of words, I’d just gotten myself good and knocked up. With twins.
“You know how it’s going,” I said, trying to focus on the syrups instead of what—or who—I wanted to focus on.
“I know how I think it’s going. I’d like to know how you think it’s going.”
My mouth went a little dry. Having these kinds of talks was hard for anyone—they were next to impossible for me. “Well, you haven’t gone and confessed your undying love or scared the hell out of me by asking me to be your baby mama, so you’re keeping your promise to take it nice and slow.” When he gave a mini bow, I rolled my eyes. “Not to mention you aren’t too shabby in the sack, you don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, and you share the remote well.”
Max’s face went flat. “Not too shabby?”
“Oh, please. You know how good you are. Stop fishing for compliments.” A flush crept up my neck as I thought of the most recent evidence to support that theory.
A slow, crooked smile spread across his face. “I want a grade.”
“Like comprehensive? Or broken down by category?” I was stalling, and Max knew I was stalling.
“You’re making this way too difficult,” he grumbled.
“An A minus,” I said abruptly. “I’d give you an A minus.”
“Why not an A plus?”
I kept my head turned so he couldn’t see my smile. Only Max Sturm would be outraged by an A minus. “Because there’s always room for improvement. And I wouldn’t want it to go to your head, that’s why not an A plus.”
The door creaked when he shoved off of it. He made no move to tame the way he was checking me out, leaning into the counter as I organized the syrups. “Something’s definitely going to my head.”
My gaze roamed his zipper region. “I was talking about the one north of your neck.”
“And I’m talking about the one at the end of my dick. My, at present, hard dick, thanks to you.” He came up behind me, fitting himself against my backside as his hands moved around to work on my jeans.
“Max,” I protested, my eyes closing a second later when his dick nuzzled deeper into my backside.
“Nina. I’m taking your body. Here. Now.” His chest pressed into my back as he lowered my zipper. “Accept that so we can move on to the next part.”

 

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Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.

#NewRelease Hail Mary by @Nicola Rendell #SportsRomance #HolyHotness

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Hail Mary is a sexy sweet sports romance. Cute banter and an even cuter dog help balance the super hot sex and sexual chemistry going on.
Mary and Jimmy meet under very unusual circumstances and with a one-two punch Jimmy is knocked out and under Mary’s spell.

“The owner of the club, Manny, steps over the ropes and drops a few packets of smelling salts onto Gillette’s chest. They look like the little salt packets you can get at Wendy’s.
“Mary,” Manny says. “We’ve talked about this. You gotta stop knocking out the paying customers. I’m trying to run a business here. You feel me?”

The story has some great twists and there was fun and entertainment on every page. This was my first book by Nicola Rendell and I will definitely look forward to reading more by her!

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SYNOPSIS
At a boxing gym in Chicago, Mary Monahan accidentally knocks out the most handsome man she’s ever met. After she wakes him up with a few slaps and some smelling salts, the very first thing he does is ask her out for ribs and beer. His name is Jimmy. He looks like a Gillette model. And he’s just too hunky to resist.

Jimmy “The Falcon” Falconi is mystified that Mary has absolutely no idea who he is. Mystified and refreshed. He is, after all, not your everyday NFL quarterback. He shops at Costco, has a soft spot for Pinterest, and is in the midst of an epic losing streak.

Jimmy falls for Mary fast and hard, the way he does everything—balls out and like it’s fourth and long. And he realizes he’s finally met his match. That stamina he’s so proud of? Doesn’t stand a chance against her Kegels.

But what they don’t know is she’s also his new physical therapist, recently hired by the Bears to work on his rotator cuff…and groin injury. If she can’t help him, he’ll be traded faster than they can say “offensive penetration.”

In spite of the thousands of internet memes featuring Jimmy’s face with captions like: “HEY GIRL, WANT TO TOUCH MY BALLS?” Mary finds herself falling for him and his unrelenting desire to make her his.

Until a toddler shows up at Jimmy’s door.

And throws their lives into total chaos.

***

To the reader: Contents includes love, sweetness, naughtiness, honey, champagne, and an HEA. Safe.

Amazon US : http://amzn.to/2guVDto
Amazon UK : http://amzn.to/2gM24wC
Amazon CA : http://amzn.to/2fnUKqv
Amazon AU : http://amzn.to/2fF15fD

 

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EXCERPT

Chapter 1
Jimmy
She’s got a hell of a left hook, and her jab is no joke either. It’s hard to tell what she really looks like, with the big blue rubber mouth guard between her teeth and the black padded headgear covering her jaw and cheeks. But I know this: I want to get my hands on that body. Her tight pink tee is low cut and skin tight, and across her breasts are the words: “NOBODY’S PUSSYCAT.”
A cold draft blows in from the window, making goosebumps ripple up her arms. A thin stream of sweat runs down into her cleavage, and then I watch her nipples tighten. Christ. With little bounces, she heads back to her corner and bends over for her water bottle. Stretchy black leggings and no panty line.
Fuuuuuck.
The buzzer dings and we square up. She holds her gloves up to her face, ready to go. They’re bubblegum pink with white cuffs; the girliest weapons I’ve ever seen.
But never mind the gloves. It’s those eyes that have me. Shit, those eyes. This crazy deep green. Packers’ green. Jets’ green. Green like cash. Green that could make a guy go right out of his mind.
Pow goes a jab into my stomach and I double over, tasting my Gatorade from an hour ago. Before I can breathe, before I can even get up my gloves to slow her down, she pelts me hard with a cross to my sternum that knocks the wind straight out of me. I gasp for air and stagger back into the ropes.
“Jesus Christ,” I moan. “Who are you?”
Her eyes light up in this smile. This beautiful fucking smile that I feel way down inside. Then she bounces on her toes and smacks her gloves together out in front of her. Whap, whap. “I’m Mary!” she says around her mouth guard. “And you’re slow!”
Cute. But, yeah…no. Nobody talks to me like that. Nobody. I hurl myself off the ropes, colliding with her in the center of the ring, skin against skin now. I press into her sexy shoulder with my bicep, feeling the sweat between us. She nails me in the gut again; a solid, low-slung straight, and I think, I can’ t hit a girl, can I?
No. Fuck, no.
So I stretch my arm between us, the padding of my glove holding her steady right below her collarbone. She swings for me but I’m a foot taller and she doesn’t stand a chance. “Jerk!”
Obviously.
But on the upside, now I can really get a good look at her the way I want to; close up, but not so close that she’s pummeling me. Her legs are solid and I can even see that little curve of her hipbones barely showing through her leggings. I let my eyes follow the line of sweat to her inner thighs, to that wet, hot place where everything comes together. Fuck. I want my hands on that place. I want to feel the softness and the strength. I want to know the taste of that sweat. The way that softness gives under my tongue.
Ding goes the buzzer. I push her away, padded knuckles to her shoulder. She spins and gets into her corner, so I do the same.
I grab my water bottle and squirt it into my mouth, watching her all the time. She’s fucking beautiful, this one. Fucking gorgeous. The woman of dreams. Of fantasies.
From a pink Nalgene, she takes one big gulp, two, and a little water dribbles down her lips, rolling in drops down her throat. Her eyes stay right on mine. Her chest heaves. Her eyes flash. Her lips tighten. And that’s when it happens. She peels off her T-shirt and tosses it to the floor so that the only word showing is PUSSY.
Ding.
Her body is fucking perfect. I mean perfect. I moan into my mouth guard and I look her up and down. Lean but not thin. Sexy and strong. A fighter’s body. A woman’s body. A body strong enough to take everything I want to give it. And then some.
She turns to set down her water bottle, bending at the waist. And that’s when I see it. The tattoo. It’s a ribbon of black lace that runs in a beautiful, feminine line down her back from right shoulder to left hip, curving down into her pants. Tough as hell, pretty as can be. And with the sexiest tattoo I’ve ever seen in my life.
Stick a motherfucking fork in me. I’m done.
“Nice ink,” I tell her as we square up again.
“Thanks,” she says, leaning in to my shoulder.
“I’ve never seen one like it.” I hook my arm around her again and pull her in. I smell something familiar. I can’t place it. She slips free and moves behind me. For one second, all I can hear is her shoes on the mats.
“I rebelled when I turned 30. It was either this or a tramp stamp.”
“Of what?” I pivot so my face is close against hers.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” She smiles tight around the mouth guard. Her glove comes through the air, cutting through the noise of the gym. Whooosh.
I get my right hand up just in time to block her with my glove. The impact rolls down my forearm like I’m nothing but Jell-O.
She lets another jab fly but misses me—barely—and I slip around behind her. The hair at the nape of her neck is curly and wet, and a long dark braid runs down her back. That strip of wet fabric at the top of her pants, dark with sweat. “Why are we fighting?” I growl as I get closer. “Why aren’t we out drinking? Making trouble? Fucking around? Let me take you out.”
She spins to face me, her eyes wide open, surprised. “You wanna drink with me?”
“Hell yes, I do. And a lot of other things.”
“You want me? Fight me.” She fires her bubblegum pink cannons at my stomach with a one-two combination that makes me feel like I’m nothing but a 283-pound heavy bag.
I try to get in a left cross, but she’s way faster than I am and comes up from under with a hook straight out of Manila.
That one got me in my brainpan, in my marrow. “Fuck that,” I snarl.
“Atta boy!”
No way. Nobody atta boys me. I’m Jimmy Goddamned Falconi. I’m nobody’s boy. Never.
“Atta girl.” I nudge her in the shoulder with my chest.
Around her guard, she says, “You fight like you’re in molasses. But you’re strong. You some kind of athlete?”
At first, I’m about to laugh. For about one second, I think I might be on Candid Camera or something. I mean, I can’t walk to the bathroom on an airplane without someone asking me to sign a cocktail napkin. I can’t get through Costco without someone asking me to sign their shopping list. Some kind of athlete?
I’m Jimmy “The Falcon” Falconi. Quarterback for the Chicago Goddamned Bears. I’m somebody.
But there’s zero recognition in her eyes. No flicker of the fangirl. No sign she’s playing it cool either. To her, I’m just a guy getting his ass kicked by a girl in pink gloves.
“Hello?” She presses into my chin with a slow uppercut from the right.
I snap out of it. I don’t even know how to answer her. I play quarterback for the Bears. Ever heard of them? Or maybe, Ever heard of football? America’s Game? Fuck. I wouldn’t even know how to start. I’ve never had to explain it. People just know. “Yeah, I like to work out.”
“Then act like it,” she says, all piss and vinegar, and puts her guard back in her mouth. Wham comes that jab into my gut. Pow goes the straight to my pecs. I loop one arm around her and pull her body in close, hooking the back of her neck with the crook of my elbow. I pull her closer, tighter, both arms around her, to get a feel for her…but also to give myself a goddamned break.
She struggles a little, trying to squirm free, but I see the smile on her face, the crinkle of the skin at her eyes.
I pull her head closer to mine. I must be twice her weight; no way is she going to get free now. We are the welterweight and the super heavyweight. Wrong class totally. But then she wedges her forehead in against my chest. I watch her wind up, her biceps flexing, and, boom-boom-boom.
Every time she connects, I lose a little more air and groan, “Fuck-fuck-fuck!”
“Atta boy!”
Fuck. That.
So I keep her pinned and she starts fighting harder, which makes me want to hang on to her more. I press my nose against her head. In her thick brown hair, I can smell her shampoo, her conditioner. Coconut.
While I’m distracted by that smell, thinking of sunscreen and ukulele music and drinks with umbrellas and her on a beach, she slips out from under my arms and pops up in my face.
Well, shit.
“What, you chicken? Gonna hit me back? Or do you want to dance around for an hour or two? Because I can totally do that. I just have to go home to feed the dog.” Whap-whap go her padded fists.
Oh no, no way. No way am I going to let a pretty little thing talk to me like that. I sniff hard and man up.
I give her a jab. A hook. A cross.
And she blocks me every damned time. Blocks me like she’s fought me before, or like she’s known all along what I’ll do when it comes down to it.
Fucking wax-on-wax off, one-two-three.
Pow-pow go her gloves into my side, and fuck. I think I feel those it in my spleen. Enough. Enough. Anger boils up through me like cheap vodka after a long night.
I’m Jimmy Falconi. And I’m gonna make this girl know my name.
I crack my neck side to side and get serious. I suck air through the holes in my mouth guard and get my fists up. I edge her into the corner and those eyes flash at me. She’s sweating hard and her mascara is smudged. Her hair is mussed and her skin is slick. It makes her look dangerous. Angry. I’d like to smudge that mascara a little more. In bed. Immediately.
But first, I’m going to show her who’s boss.
The more she works herself up, the hotter she gets. That’s when something catches my eye. There’s something written on the white cuffs of her gloves. All fuzzy, written in black marker:
On the right glove: HERE COMES…
On the left:…TROUBLE!
Whomp.
She nails me in the jaw with a haymaker, and my molars shake. “Come the fuck on,” I growl back at her, with my glove pressed to the side of my face.
She smacks her gloves together, and lowers her chin. “Are we sparring or chatting? Hit me!” Bounce, bounce, bounce. Butterfly, bee. Whap, whap, whap. “I’m not going to break!”
I work my jaw open and closed a few times thinking, Okay. Fine. Fine. I didn’t think it was going to go like this, but I can roll with a hostile defense, sure. Wouldn’t be the first time. I give her the old elevator stare—up, down, up again—and get stuck on her belly button for a little too long. But then I get a game plan together. I figure I can hit her in the stomach. Not too hard, not hard enough to hurt her, but hard enough to let her know who’s in charge here.
Which would be me. Me, pussycat. Me.
Nudging the edge of her shoulder with my glove, I drive her backwards. Our eyes lock and I get this…this…prickle all through me.
This woman.
This one. Right here.
I want her. So fucking bad.
The fucking gym with its ten phones playing mariachi goes silent. The guys by the cooler egging her on go silent. It’s just her and me and the sweat dripping between us. Soft skin, sparkling eyes. She smells like a summer day and she’s looking at me in a way that no woman has ever looked at me. Ever.
Like she’s gonna own me and she knows it.
Which is bullshit.
She gives me a little lift of her chin and tightens her lips around the guard. She wipes her nose with her glove and then lowers her head. “Come on! You going to fight or are you just going to screw around?”
With my left hand, I jab her softly in the stomach. With the right, a play-hook to the jaw. I raise her chin on my glove so her eyes come up to mine. Then I pull her close, my arm around the back of her neck again. “You wanna screw around?” I say into her ear.
Bam, another hit to the stomach. “I haven’t even gotten started,” she answers.
Fuck it.
She wants to play? Fucking fine. I’ll play. I’ll play hard. I square up. But she gives me this eye. This champion eye. A winner’s eye. Cocky like no eyes I’ve ever seen before. Tom Brady doesn’t have anything on this kind of cocky right here. My luck, this girl’s some UFC champion. Christ.
But I can take her. Yeah, I sure fucking can.
Probably.
I decide on a straight jab; a no-fail straight jab that I plan just hard enough to send her reeling but not hurt her, not actually injure her. I know the punch. It works in bar fights and brawls on the field. An all-American move. As I wind up, everything slows down. I’m 6’6”, 283 pounds, and I throw a football for a living. When I wind up, I wind up. As I do, she ducks, fast as fucking lightning. Greased. Elegant. Lethal. So as my arm is powering through the air, as my momentum gets caught behind 12-ounce training gloves, she pops back up like a goddamned whack-a-mole.
Those eyes flash again and she smiles so hard I can see her dimples.
Dimples. Oh, fuck.
I watch her shoulder tighten, her tricep pucker, and that’s when she lets me have it for real.
The punch comes from left to right, blocking out my view of everything. I don’t see the Mexican flag on the wall. I don’t see the graffiti mural over the windows. Nope. The universe turns bubblegum pink.
It doesn’t hurt, not at first, and as I’m flying backwards, airborne, I have just enough time to think to myself, I wonder if this is what a knockout punch feels like…
Before everything flickers to black.