SECRET LOVE MATCH is up for best cover in the YOU GOTTA READ COVER CONTEST. Red Rose Publishing cover artist, Nika Dixon, did a magnificent job using elements of my story to come up with a beautiful cover for my sensual story about a tennis ace with her sights set on an Olympic berth. Please VOTE for COVER #8 AT
then come back and read the blurb and free excerpt, below! Thanks!
Rebecca Delacourt has played and taught tennis for the last three years. At twenty-one, she knows what she wants. Without help from her wealthy parents, she buys a condo in Glen Cove, NY and plans to be on the Olympic Tennis team.
She has no time for men, marriage, or children. Her mother gave up her acting career when she became pregnant with older sister, Laney, whose illegitimate son is mute due to recent emotional trauma. She does charity work for breast cancer in Baltimore every year.
Taylor, a former TV actor, notices Becka. She knows him—she’s dreamed of his TV persona for years. They meet at her parent’s country club. He thinks he’s found gold in the athletic blond. After beating him at tennis he meets her parents. Too bad he knows them—a former co-star, and the man helping get him auditions.
Her sister moves in—thwarting any privacy. She’s hiding out and is attacked. Taylor finds himself falling for Becka. Will he change his arrogant ways, save her nephew from kidnappers, and realize she’s the one? Becka wonders if dreams can still be reached with someone beside her. Will they reach their dreams together?
“Hi,” he said. He stopped opposite the low bench, not intruding on her space. His hands lay motionless at his sides. One fist gripped the borrowed tennis racket against shorts that suddenly grew tight. He slid his other hand into his front pocket to camouflage a growing bulge before taking a slow, steady breath. She might not approve of a rampant erection making its presence known so early in their relationship.
“Could I challenge you to a set?” Taylor kept his voice calm while his chest pounded from a sudden desire to run the other way. What the heck was going on? Where had his macho Hollywood persona, built to perfection during cattle calls and late night parties, gone?
With another deep breath, he watched her thinking. He could almost detect her mind as it quickly evaluated the man standing in front of her.
“I see you’re considering my request before answering.” He hoped he wasn’t out of his league, here. Yes, he might be twice her age, but he kept his body trim and healthy with daily workouts. He jogged wherever he happened to be, no matter where he traveled. He’d cut out smoking long before it was in vogue to do so and had slowly cut out the drinking. His friends might not agree with that statement.
Yeah, I still have a way to go with that problem.
He hadn’t joined Alcoholics Anonymous. He didn’t follow their teachings. He’d take a drink now and then, but he no longer drank to excess.
He towered over her. Her eyes flashed with desire as she checked him out. Is she staring at my hair?
During his show’s run, the studio added white-blonde highlights. He’d detested the look, but the fans loved it. Gray hairs had so far refused to make an appearance.
Her gaze settled uneasily on his face. Supermarket tabloids touted his eyes as his best feature. They described them as “The deep blue of the night sky just before sunset.”
He fought the urge to laugh aloud. Contacts kept his vision going strong. The blue-tinted lenses made the color even more intense, but he didn’t wear tinted ones due to vanity. In all honesty, they were easier to find when he dropped one.
He took pride in how his skin pulled tight across his jaw and he still had all his hair. His slightly crooked grin was legendary due to the show. His smile, perfected on his television show, had turned women’s heads for years. He hoped it worked on this cute blonde.
“I was going to have lunch with my parents, but…”
Why did she hesitate? Listening intently, he waited to see how she’d finish her sentence. Surely playing with him would make better use of her time than a family get-together. Maybe the little beauty is hungry.
Hopefully she is hungry for more than just food.
He didn’t want her to starve, but he could certainly persuade her to get to know him better. After that, who knows where they may end up?
“Could you delay fifteen minutes or so? Won’t they wait? It’s such a lovely afternoon. My host is attending to business. I came here to play tennis, but if my partner-in-crime doesn’t show up soon, I’ll have to leave without my exercise. Please?”
Crap! Now he sounded desperate. She gazed over his shoulder at someone before returning her attention to him. Then she smiled. His heart thumped inside his chest.
“Okay. I can give you one set. Then I have to eat before I leave for an afternoon appointment.”
Her bright smile flashed a heated spark straight to his groin. She set her water bottle back down on the bench and grabbed two tennis balls. She tossed them his way and Taylor caught both then stuffed the balls in the back pockets of his tennis shorts. She grabbed two more.
“As a guest of the country club, why don’t you serve?”
“How do you know I’m not a member?” he asked. “Am I wearing some kind of sign across my chest?”
“You mentioned your host is off somewhere.”
Dropping her gaze to his waist, she walked to her side of the net. Was she admiring how he filled out his shorts? Their cut left little to the imagination. Only fair since he had quite the imagination concerning her. As he made his way to the service line, he smiled at her quick deduction that he didn’t belong here. Nodding to her, he bounced the ball twice, set his feet by the right-hand serve box, and swung the racket. Relief flooded his body when the ball made it over the net and landed on his opponent’s court. It wouldn’t do to embarrass himself in front of her so early in their relationship. They hadn’t even exchanged names, yet.
In a flash, she flew across the court and the return volley sailed past his racket. He watched as the bouncing bit of yellow hit the court inches inside the fault line.
She got me.
*any idea why I updated my blog with autumn leaves? First correct answer earns a prize. Make sure you leave your e-mail address so I can contact the winner.