He had no faith in love. She had no faith in men. They’ve got nine months to find faith in each other.
Since the night his life had taken a dramatic left turn, Nick Jacobs had been searching for a chance to prove he was the man he’d always wanted to be. When his old friend calls him and offers him a chance to help rebuild the Cormac University football program, he thinks this is his shot. He didn’t count on falling for Olivia or getting her pregnant. Can he juggle all his responsibilities and prove to himself, once and for all, that he’s worthy of love?
After the traumatic loss of her mother, Olivia Valenti shut herself off from the world. Running the Cormac University English department is a dream come true. She didn’t think she would ever want or need anything else. One night with Nick in Las Vegas and motherhood is on the horizon. Can she open her heart to Nick and build the home she never knew she dreamed of?
An instant attraction and a night of celebration leads to an unexpected pregnancy, which Nick and Olivia are determined to face together. Unfortunately, their pasts and present are about to collide, and old secrets will challenge the foundation they’re trying to build their family on. Can they learn to let go of the past in time to share a future?
Will they realize that love always wins?
Welcome to Shotgun Romance, the second book in the Gridiron Knights series set in King’s Folly, South Carolina, where football is king, and the locals have something to say about everything. When you come for a visit, you’ll never want to leave.

This is a stand-alone romance. It can be read and enjoyed on its own. If it’s your first taste of the Gridiron Knights, check out Second Chance Option and find out how Tess and Cade found their happily-ever-after.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that English professors should not drink tequila. It was the devil.
The bright Las Vegas sunlight filled the room and shot through Olivia Valenti’s brain causing an ache to roll through her entire body. She inched her hand to the side, hoping to find a pillow. Once she had it in her grasp, she would decide whether to cover her eyes or suffocate herself with it.
Instead of sliding on to one of the downy soft pillows that only seemed to exist in high-end hotels, her hand met flesh. Rock. Hard. Flesh. Her hand splayed on a set of taut abs that clenched underneath her wandering fingers. Warmth seemed to jump from the unfamiliar skin to her palm and up her arm.
She heard a rumble come from the warm body next to her and held her breath as she ran through the events of the night before in her mind. It might hurt to think, but she needed to get her act together.
Her friends Tess and Cade had gotten married last night. Their friends and family had joined them for the ceremony and reception at the Mandalay Bay. The hotel was across Las Vegas Boulevard from the American Ninja Warrior course, where Tess became the first woman to finish stage three.
They’d celebrated Tess’s accomplishment and her wedding to Cade the night before with amazing food and lots of booze. Olivia hadn’t gotten drunk. Her blessing was that alcohol didn’t affect her judgment or behavior. Her curse was that it did give her a hangover like she’d had enough to drink to fell an entire football team.
Olivia huffed out a breath.
Oh, right.
Tequila shots, arguing Star Trek and Star Wars with Tess’s brothers, and him. Nick Jacobs. The man who’d starred in every one of her fantasies since she’d met him three months ago.
He’d led her out on the dance floor last night and held her there for the rest of the night. A willing prisoner.
After the bride and groom had taken off, the party had split into gamblers, partiers and Nick and Olivia, who’d ended up kissing on the elevator and all the way up to his room.
In all her wildest fantasies, she’d never imagined she would actually end up here with him or that some of the things they’d done last night were biologically possible.
Oh my God, I had sex with Nick Jacobs.
She was torn between the squeals of delight coming from excited Olivia and the shrieks of fear from terrified Olivia.
Was he awake? Olivia opened her eyes and let them adjust to the bright lights before they focused on the man next to her in bed. His face was turned toward her and relaxed in sleep. She missed his beautiful blue eyes.
Olivia took the edge of the sheet and lifted it carefully with her thumb and forefinger and glanced down. The bright light shone through the sheer cotton. Even with the memories of last night roaring through her mind, she couldn’t process what she was seeing.
She was naked. He was naked. They were naked. She was naked in bed with Nick Jacobs. Naked from Old English nacod; akin to Old High German nackot naked, Latin nudus, Greek gymnos. At the sound of his snort, she dropped the sheet and turned her gaze to his face. He was still asleep.
Thank God.
The question now was, what would Beatrice do? As a Shakespearean professor, she often tried to think about what some of her favorite heroines would do in delicate situations.
Olivia had never been in a more delicate situation than waking up in a room with a naked man after a night of amazing sex. Wasn’t there a protocol for one-night stands? This couldn’t be anything else, could it? After all, he was Nick and she was…well…Olivia.

He was looking for a fresh start. She was looking for a new path. Love is what happens when they least expect it.
At loose ends after a medical discharge from the Navy, a call from Cade Maguire’s college coach gives him a new objective. Help save his alma mater’s football program. A gut-wrenching betrayal drove him from the game once. Can he finally stop running long enough to let go of the past and find his future?
Veterinarian and genius Tess Gallagher has an abiding love for home and family. She’s spent her life taking care of everyone else. Doing what was right always came before doing what she wanted. When her younger brothers enter her in the American Ninja Warrior competition, can she finally stop hiding her true self from the world?
Sparks ignite between Tess and Cade when she saves his injured dog and love is on the horizon when Cade’s new job is put in jeopardy before it even begins. Will Cade realizes Tess is the second chance he really wants? Will Tess realize that Cade has always seen her for who she truly is?
Will they both realize that love is the only option that matters?

Welcome to Second Chance Option, the first book in the Gridiron Knights series. Football is king in King’s Folly, South Carolina and the locals have something to say about everything. When you come for a visit, you’ll never want to leave.

It was a view Cade Maguire hadn’t seen in almost fourteen years. The trees on the edge of the South Carolina National Forest showed signs of spring as the branches sprouted buds. If memory served, the forest would be a riot of color in a few weeks.
“What the hell are we doing here?”
Not surprisingly, neither of his Bernese Mountain Dogs responded. Sonny and Sam were great companions but hadn’t mastered the art of speech. Yet.
Mostly black with patches of light brown and white, they were almost identical. The only way to tell them apart was the white strip of fur between their eyes. Sonny’s was a little narrower than Sam’s. Their light brown eyebrows sometimes made their expressions almost human.
He dropped the last of his boxes in the front room of his new cabin. All his worldly possessions fit neatly into the small corner between the bay window and the back wall. The boxes he was expecting from his grandfather would probably fit in the hall closet. Moving around his entire life had taught him not to hang on to things, but this was pitiful.
The year lease he signed made him jumpy. Especially because that agreement had him living in King’s Folly, a town he’d never in a million years thought he’d see again, much less plant roots in. But stubborn didn’t pay the bills and the chance to get back in the game was too good to turn his back on because things had ended badly here.
The room was bare except for the boxes. Someone had come through and cleaned recently. Hardwood floors shone in the early morning light. There wasn’t a dust mote to be seen in any of the rays of sun shining through windows so clean birds might smack into them. A fresh coat of white paint covered the walls and left behind a smell that reminded him of being transferred to a new base.
Thanks to the Navy, he’d had access to three squares and a place to sleep for the last fourteen years. Starting from scratch wasn’t new. Usually, his assignments came with furnished apartments, not bare rooms with no amenities.
Shit. I don’t even have a coffee maker.
He rifled through his duffle bag, which had the necessities and found his planner. It was an old school, leather bound, refillable notebook, a gift from his grandfather after his graduation from Officers Candidate School. A little something from one type A personality to another. The book was the one thing that had survived all his moves and deployments. The list of things he needed to make this cabin more habitable was a mile long. It wasn’t like he knew where to buy some of this shit, either. When did he ever think he’d have to buy kitchen appliances?
“I guess Maguires never say never, right boys?”
Sonny barked as if in agreement and Sam pressed against Cade’s right leg burrowing close, but careful not to put too much weight into his comforting move. It always amazed him how attuned they were to the residuals of his injuries.
He reached down and scratched them both behind the ears. They were still puppies at almost a year old, but they were big. The three of them had been through a lot together since he’d gotten them six months ago.
“On to the next adventure.”
They chuffed their agreement and followed him as he limped toward the door. Sonny and Sam danced around him, clearly looking forward to another chance to go outside and play. He didn’t blame them. The three of them had been cooped up in his truck for the last three days driving from San Diego to South Carolina, only stopping long enough to get a few hours of sleep when he needed it or a bite to eat when they all got hungry.
As he opened the door, the dogs bounced outside like they were spring loaded. He inhaled taking in the smell of pine and yellow jessamine, trying to ignore the faint hint of sea salt in the air. The sound of woodpeckers in the distance was oddly soothing.
A pair of barks signaled that the boys had found something to occupy them. The muscles in his back and side pulled tight sending an ache along the edge of his nerves. It was one of those days that he felt closer to a hundred years old instead of thirty-six. Rotating at the waist helped and he studied his new quarters as he worked out the kinks left behind by the long road trip.
He’d deliberately avoided the beach properties. Too many memories. Instead, he’d found a two-bedroom cabin at the edge of the woods. Plenty of room for Sonny and Sam to run and fewer ghosts for him to trip over. Maybe he could figure out what it meant to make a place a home.
The first notes of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” interrupted his thoughts. He pulled out his phone, then hit ‘accept.’
“Ed.” He greeted his former coach, first true mentor, and a new boss.
“You in town yet?” The old man got right to the point.
“Yeah.” Cade stretched, trying to work more of the pain and stiffness out of his right side. After so much time driving, his scars were tight. He was going to need to use that lotion his physical therapist had hooked him up with. “The boys and I got here a little while ago. Just finished unloading the truck.”
“The boys?”
“My dogs.” An itch at the back of his neck made him go taut. He took a quick look around.
Where did Sonny and Sam go?
“Right. I hate to bug you since you just got to town.”
The itching sensation intensified. “What’s up?”
“We’ve got a situation brewing. We need to meet this afternoon in Ron’s office.”
“I’ll be there.” He needed to get off the phone. Something was up.
“Knew I could count on you.” Ed disconnected the call.
Always a man of few words. It was one of the things that made the man a great football coach. When he had something to say, you listened because Ed King used his words so sparingly.
The dogs weren’t barking anymore, which meant they were sniffing after something. Probably on the trail of some local wildlife. Still, he needed to find them. They weren’t familiar with the area and there were wild animals in the forest around them and swampland not too far from here. The problem was figuring out which direction they went.
A sudden screech of tires followed by a yelp and the sound of a vehicle peeling away came from the direction of the road and catapulted Cade into action. He ran down the driveway toward the sound. His heart beat like a pair of hummingbird wings and his chest felt like it might explode. When he got to the spot where his land met the road, he found them. Sonny lay motionless but whimpering. Sam hovered over him barking at the retreating SUV as it screeched around the corner.
Cade dropped to his knees. Sonny’s breathing was shallow, and there was blood. A lot of blood. Too much blood.
“Hey. That truck just took off.” A lanky kid came out of nowhere and took a knee on the opposite side of Sonny and reached out as if to pet him.
“Don’t touch him,” Cade barked, fear coiling in his stomach like a viper waiting to strike.
“I know where the nearest vet is. It looks bad, but the Gallagher clinic is the best. If anyone can patch up your dog, they can.” The kid sounded out of breath, but confident.
Cade nodded. He knew something had to be done, but he was, for the first time in his life, incapable of action. Things were moving too quickly for him to think.
The next few moments were surreal. It was like he was watching the scene unfold through a Vaseline-covered lens. The kid hustled Sam into the cabin and locked the front door after he’d closed it. Then he rushed back to Cade and helped him bundle Sonny into the backseat of Cade’s truck. His dog’s whimpers tore through his body like the IED that had ended his Navy career.
Looking at his buddy fighting for life made his stomach turn. He’d seen more than his share of blood, but this? This much blood? Because some stupid asshole couldn’t slow his fucking car down?
Cade buried his fingers in the long black fur at Sonny’s neck, careful to avoid his obvious injuries. He curled over until his mouth was next to the pup’s ear.
“Easy, boy. I’ve got you. It’s going to be okay.”
Please, God. Please, let it be okay.
Sonny’s whimpers echoed through the cab of the Avalanche. The truck must have been moving. He heard the engine and felt the movement as the kid rocketed around corners like a race car driver.
Cade didn’t care about the truck. All he cared about was getting Sonny to help.
“We’re almost there, boy,” he whispered. His voice sounded like he’d been gargling shards of glass.
Please God, let us be almost there.
Sonny and Sam had gotten him through the worst days of his life. Recovering from career-ending injuries had taken him to the edge. The puppies had pulled him back from it and helped navigate his new normal. There was no way he wanted to map out another one. He was too old for that shit.
The viper coiled in his gut balled up tighter and settled as if waiting for the perfect moment to lash out and destroy everything. He didn’t know what he would do if Sonny didn’t make it.
Please God, don’t let me find out.

When her physics teacher gave her detention for reading a romance novel during class, Elizabeth Spaur knew she was destined to be a romance writer. Her journey from physics class to published author has gone from coast to coast and led her through multiple industries, including film and television, banking and the law. Every step along the way has enriched her life and helped her tell stories that always come with a happily ever after and, usually, a side of snark. Elizabeth writes contemporary, historical and paranormal romance. She lives with the love of her life and two pairs of cats and dogs, all of whom are named after television crime fighters.  

She enjoys hearing from her readers at





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