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Too Hot to HandleThe Boys of Summer # 2
By: Katie Rose
Releasing January 27th, 2015
Katie Rose’s Boys of Summer series returns for a delicious double-header—with the story of total opposites who are drawn to each other like moths to a flame.
Nikki Case is no fan of baseball. Her ex gambled away a fortune on the sport, and now her PR firm has tasked her with cleaning up the league’s most notorious bad boys. The New Jersey Sonics are known for wild womanizing and booze-fueled brawls, so Nikki expects the worst. Her first stop in the battle to win hearts and minds is star hitter Jake Baldwin—a legendary ladies man so smokin’ he threatens to melt her tough-girl armor.
Although his teammates prank her without mercy, Jake admires the way Nikki gives as good as she gets. She may be the queen of frost, but there’s kindling beneath those sultry curves—and he’s just the man to ignite it. But when a PR nightmare lands the Sonics in headlines across the country, Nikki is ready to walk. Only then does Jake realize how important she is to the Sonics’ success—and that winning the love of a good woman is no game.
“I wouldn’t say I could get girl,” Jake drawled, obviously pleased with himself. “Just the ones I go after.”
“Hey Jake, did you hear about the new—” Jimmy stopped when Ryan caught his eye and discreetly shook his head in the negative.
Before he could spill the beans about their PR rep, Ryan said quickly, “I’d like to put a wager on that.”
“On what?” Jake lazily lifted the brim of his cap.
“What you just said. I bet I could name a girl you couldn’t get, no matter what.”
Jake rose, aware that Jimmy Reilly had exchanged a secretive glance with Ryan. Even young Brian McCauley, who had just come up from the minors, seemed in on the fun. But none of that was enough to shake his confidence.
“Who’re we talking about and what’s the bet?”
“The wager is for your jersey.” Ryan glanced at Brian. “McCauley there used to be number eleven. He’d like to wear it again. You lose and he does.”
Almost imperceptibly, Jake paled. Eleven had been his number ever since he started in the majors. Like most ballplayers, he was superstitious. He couldn’t picture starting over with anything else on his back, ever. But his rep was on the line. Taking a deep breath, he nodded.
“Okay. And if I win?”
The first baseman hesitated. Jake had a lucrative contract with the Sonics. Anything he wanted, he could buy . . .
“Your locker,” Jake answered for him, and got a shit-eating grin on his boyish face.
It was Ryan’s turn to look uncertain. As the oldest member of the team, he’d been grandfathered in on the best of everything. The softest towels were his, the later time slot for batting practice, and the biggest locker. Back at their ballpark in Trenton, it was positioned right next to the showers, and easily twice the size of everyone else’s.
“Worried?” Jake’s smile grew impossibly deeper.
Ryan glanced outside. Ms. Case was talking firmly with Pete. The older man’s shoulders visibly sagged in defeat as he nodded and followed her back to the netting behind home plate.
“Not at all.” It was Ryan’s turn to grin.
“So who’s the girl?” Jake asked smugly. As far as he was concerned, the locker was already his.
Ryan nodded in the direction of the head coach and indicated the woman beside him. “Her. Nikki Case. She’s our new PR rep.”
Predictable, but still very enjoyable light romance set in the baseball world. I happen to love baseball, so I enjoyed getting a behind the scenes look at not only the players' lives, but also what it takes to run a time from a PR perspective. Jake and Nikki are likeable characters, as are the supporting characters. Recommended for contemporary romance readers looking for a light, sexy romance who don't mind some predictability.
Award-winning historical author Katie Rose makes her contemporary debut with the Boys of Summer novels, Bring on the Heat and Too Hot to Handle, which combine Katie’s true loves: baseball and romance! When not watching baseball, Katie is at her lake house in New Jersey, hard at work on her next book.