TOMORROW 7 PM PST. REBECCA CROWLEY AUTHOR OF: CROSSING HEARTS SEE EXCERPT
7 PM PST.
New to the U.S. soccer scene, not to mention the English language, compact yet explosive Chilean soccer legend Rio Vidal is driven to define a role on his new team, Atlanta Skyline. But he must also adapt to a new culture—and accept that he can’t do it alone. His beautiful interpreter, Eva, has been his voice, his refuge. But she is becoming so much more. If only he could convince her he isn’t like the other men she’s worked with, players on—and off—the field.
As a translator for pro athletes, Eva Torres is used to dealing with self-interested superstars. But Rio seems different, and she’s blindsided when he locks eyes with her across a church pew. By now, after weeks of close contact with the endearing athlete with whom she shares a language, her thoughts are far from holy. She must remind herself flirtation is probably just his default style. Plus, she’s the only one he can really talk to. But when his ambition threatens to derail his career—and their deepening connection—they’ll both have to lay their hearts on the center line.
Rio leaned in more closely, flattening his hand on the top of the page as he angled it for re-reading. She was suddenly acutely conscious of everything in the moment: the squeak of leather as he moved on the chair, the fine black hair on his wrist where it emerged from his sleeve, the more intimate scents of shampoo and soap she could pick up beneath his cologne. He had the slow breathing of a professional athlete with a low resting heart rate, and she thought of the speed he’d shown on the pitch that week, the height he’d obtained during jump training.
Her nipples tightened inside her bra. She swallowed hard, praying he wouldn’t notice.
“Looks good. I just want to add one more thing.”
She cleared her throat and picked up the pen. “Go for it.”
“I want to thank you for helping me communicate with everyone.”
Her cheeks were on fire. “That’s kind of you, but not necessary. It’s my job.”
“And you’re very good at it, so you deserve recognition.”
“Not in front of the whole team.”
“I hate being the center of attention.”
Without warning he lifted a lock of hair from her shoulder and rubbed it between his thumb and forefinger. She froze, afraid to move – afraid she wouldn’t able to control her reaction if she did.
He let her hair drop, smoothing it against her back. Then he traced a lazy line over her shoulder, down her arm, finally covering her hand with his.
He brought his mouth close to her ear. “Do you really have a boyfriend?”
“No.” The single syllable scraped out of her throat, harsh and primal.
Rio didn’t move. His peculiarly slow breaths lightly stirred her hair as she filled her lungs with his scent and heat.
Kiss me. I won’t stop you.
A sharp rap on the door echoed around the room, and they jolted apart less than a second before a waiter leaned in.
“Sorry to interrupt,” he said mildly. “Dinner is served.”
Defending Hearts (Book #2, releasing September 19)
Atlanta Skyline’s star Swedish wingback Oz Terim—or as the fans call him, the Wizard—has an airtight plan for his life, his career, even his meticulously renovated house, but he barely gives a thought to the Islamic faith he inherited from his Turkish parents. So no one’s more surprised than he is when he’s the victim of anti-Muslim hate crime. Refusing to take the threat seriously, he resists the security detail Skyline insists on . . . until he meets Kate Mitchell. There’s no room for her in his plan and she’s the exact opposite of what he wants. Then why can’t he keep his hands off her?
After ten years in the military—and getting fired from her first post-Army job in Saudi Arabia—Kate Mitchell has slunk home to her Georgia roots. Private security isn’t the career she dreamed of, nor is she thrilled to work with an uptight professional athlete who plays a sport she has no interest in. She never expected to be attracted to him—or for him to fall for her, too. As their opposite lives tangle up—and the threat against Oz grows more serious—Kate has to decide who she wants to be in life and in love.
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