Juliette Smith, star tennis player, is starting over at a new university. Traumatized by hazing at her last school, all she wants is to attend classes, win tennis matches, and be left the hell alone. She should have known her coach, Drew King, would be a problem from the moment he flexed his sexy-as-hell forearms. What happens when you mix a pissed-off woman with a bunch of snooty teammates and a hot coach? A heated match, complete with team politics and a forbidden game of singles with the coach.
It’s reckless and hot until one of them taps out. Unable to admit she may be better off as a double, Jules is convinced she needs to play the game of life alone. Then life throws her a lob and she runs smack into her past. Coach King is back, and he wants to take control of the game. But she’s not certain she wants his advice when it comes to the life she’s built.
The power struggle is on, but this time off the court.
I remained still, my arms wrapped around my knees, my jean shorts digging into the space where thigh met crotch as my red hair was whipped around my face by a passing breeze. I breathed in and out, counting backward from a hundred. Taking deep breaths and closing my eyes, I allowed positive energy to burn through me and eat away at the bad.
Giggles wafted from the benches below, near the fountain, and then drifted off as the other girls made their way out of the sports complex. Reality returned. It was present day, not back then when I was helpless.
Today I was in control.
Only after the others left—not that it mattered, I was invisible to them—did the coach nod in my direction and motion for me to come down.
That simple gesture felt like something more. Like I meant more to him than was appropriate for a coach and his student. His head tilted to the side for a beat too long, his gaze rested on me more thoughtfully than it had on the others, and he squinted at me in a way I liked very, very much.
“Think you can keep up with them?” He jerked his head back toward the gymnasium, a smirk twisting his mouth.
I zoned in on his lips and became a sailboat slicing through the sea, jumping into the blue ocean that was his eyes as I made my way down the stairs.
That’s your coach, Juliette. Let it be.
“I play singles, so I’m pretty sure I’ll hold my own with or without them,” I said from the bottom step, allowing my natural confidence to make an appearance. Hello, ego, my good friend.
“Yeah, I know. I meant, think you can hold your own with that crowd? In general?”
“I’ll be fine. I’m looking forward to it,” I lied. I wasn’t looking forward to dealing with them. Not today. Not tomorrow.
Though, now that I was in the presence of Coach King—up close and personal, outside, shouting, coaching, wearing shorts—I was more excited than before. His forearms fascinated me all over again. They rippled with strength when he moved, making me wonder what they would look like braced over me.
I pulled my hair back into a messy knot at my nape, allowing the breeze to hit my heated neck. “Thanks for asking me to come and watch.”
Pre-Order now for the January 9, 2017 release: iBooks
Rachel Blaufeld is a bestselling author of Romantic Suspense, New Adult, Coming-of-Age Romance, and Sports Romance. A recent poll of her readers described her as insightful, generous, articulate, and spunky. Originally a social worker, Rachel creates broken yet redeeming characters. She’s been known to turn up the angst like cranking up the heat in the dead of winter.
A devout coffee drinker and doughnut eater, Rachel spends way too many hours in local coffee shops, downing the aforementioned goodies while she plots her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end as lusciously as her treats.
When she isn’t writing, she can be found courtside, tweeting about hoops as her son plays, or walking around the house wearing earplugs while her other son, the drummer, bangs away.
To connect with Rachel, she’s most active in her private reading group, The Electric Readers, where she shares insider information and intimate conversation with her readers. The Electric Readers