Excerpt Monday

No featured authors this week, although I do have  another great line-up of guests and giveaways coming up in July.  So this week on the blog I’ll be doing something a bit different.  I’ll be posting some excerpts from my new contemporary romance, Hardball, co-authored with my husband under our pen name of V.K. Sykes.  Although obviously not historical romances, I can assure you that my contemporary romances as just as fun and sexy as my historicals!

Here’s the blurb for Hardball:

After years of hard work and keeping her nose firmly to the grindstone, Dr. Holly Bell has finally achieved her dream:  a position as a pediatric surgeon at a prestigious teaching hospital.  Children’s lives rest in her skilled hands.  That means total dedication to her work and her patients without letting anything or anyone get in the way.  And a hot affair with a superstar athlete is most definitely getting in Holly’s way.

Nate Carter, star pitcher for the Philadelphia Patriots, has the world in the palm of his baseball glove.  He’s at the height of his game, a west coast team is about to lure him with even greater riches, and the most gorgeous women in town are in full pursuit.  Nate has everything he wants, or at least he thinks he does, until he meets the beautiful and brainy Dr. Holly Bell.  He’s totally up for a hot affair, and Holly turns out to be the hottest.

But will Holly be willing to play his game?  When the lovely doctor starts changing the rules, Nate realizes he just might be playing for keeps.

And here’s the excerpt, when Nate meets Holly for the first time:

Nate entered the room.  Two steps inside, he stopped short, brushing up against a woman in a white lab coat.  She must have been standing at the foot of the bed, fully hidden by the door.

The woman took a small step backward, clearly startled by the brief physical contact.  As their eyes met, Nate felt all the air sucked from his lungs in one whoosh.

Sweet Mother of God.

He had to pull in a deep breath.  What a babe.

The woman’s brow creased.  “I’m Dr. Bell.  Can I help you?”

He couldn’t stop his gaze from quickly traveling the full length of her body, from her face to her ankles and all the way back again.  Though not nearly as tall as he was, this doctor was one seriously long drink of a woman.  Close to six feet, he reckoned.  Her unbuttoned lab coat revealed a lean but curvy figure, and long, elegant legs.  She had a naturally beautiful face, too, with big, hazel eyes, a full, sexy mouth, and a peaches and cream complexion.  Still, he suspected she tended to hide her light under a bushel.  She wore no makeup that he could see, and her auburn hair was pulled back into a ponytail.  Glasses were perched on the end of her nose, secured by a fine gold chain around her neck.  They added to her unadorned, resolutely professional look.

The doctor extended a slender hand.  Her fine eyebrows arched as she waited for him to find his voice.

Her outstretched hand finally registered in his brain and jolted him into action. “I’m sorry,” he apologized, “I was a little surprised for a moment.  You were hidden by the door.”

He took her hand and held it a few seconds.  It was long and fine-boned, but her firm grip told him it was strong, too.  The kind of hand he’d like to have doing surgery on him.  In fact, he mused, he wouldn’t mind that hand doing all sorts of things to his body.

He introduced himself.  “I’m Nate Carter.  I come around whenever I can to visit with the kids.”

She still looked puzzled.  It dawned on him that she had absolutely no idea who he was.  It didn’t bother him, though.  Actually, it felt like a nice change of pace from the constant fan recognition.

“I’m a pitcher with the Patriots,” he said.  “You know.  Baseball.”

Her mouth relaxed into a half-smile. “Oh, I see,” she replied.  “You’re one of our celebrity visitors.”  Her crisp tone told him she was far from awed by his presence.  Looking down at the little girl, she said, “Mr. Carter, this is Morgan McDaniel.”

Morgan shyly put her little hand in his big one.

“Dr. Holly, I know who Nate Carter is,” she said in a whispery voice.  “He’s the Patriots’ best pitcher.  Everybody knows that.”

Dr. Bell seemed to hold back a smile as Morgan skewered her.  “I don’t think I’ve told you yet how new I am to the city, Morgan,” she said, her serious voice at odds with the amusement in her eyes.  “If I’d been here for more than just a few weeks, I’m sure I would have recognized a man as famous as Mr. Carter.”

Nate smothered a chuckle.  What a perfect response.  She validated what the little girl had said, and made him feel good at the same time.

“That’s why I didn’t recognize you, either,” he said.  “I’ve met most of the doctors here over the past few years, and I know I would have remembered if I’d ever seen you before.”  He made no attempt to keep the appreciation out of his voice.

“Well, then, I suppose we might run into each other again.”  Her smile was hesitant but intriguing.  “Since you’re a regular visitor here.”

“You bet,” he said.

As if he didn’t already have enough motivation to keep doing this“Doctor Bell,” he continued, wanting to keep the conversation going, “do you mind my asking where you’re from?  I detect a bit of a southern accent.”

She sighed, her expression conveying rueful resignation.  “You’re probably hearing the north Florida in my voice.  I grew up in Jacksonville.  But for the last nine years I’ve been studying and working at the University of Virginia.”

“You’re from Jacksonville?  No kidding?  I’ve got a condo in Ponte Vedra Beach, and I’m in Jax all the time when I’m down there.”  He looked over at Morgan, staring at the adults with big, round eyes, and winked.  The little girl giggled.

Nate glanced back at the doctor.  “That’s got to be some kind of karma, right?”

Dr. Bell registered his flirtation, and her eyes widened in surprise.  A slight blush colored her smooth cheeks.  He could feel his smile broaden as she somewhat defiantly returned his look, and it occurred to him that perhaps the good doctor was issuing a challenge.

Well, he’d be more than happy to oblige her.  He knew without a shadow of a doubt he was going to find out just what this lovely doctor was all about.

Hardball is available in e-book format from Amazon and Smashwords for just $2.99.

Have a great day, everyone!

 

6 thoughts on “Excerpt Monday

  1. I always like seeing a “playboy” get beat at his own game. Of course it’s a win-win situation when both players find love. Thank you for the excerpt. It must have been fun working with your husband on Hardball 🙂

  2. Vanessa –

    I met my husband in Jacksonville in 1969 when I was working for Procter and Gamble and hee was stationed at NAS Cecil Field. I was curious what convinced you and your husband to use Jacksonville as the setting for Hardball and if you had ever lived there as well.

    I was curious in that both you and your husband wrote this together who got the final say on the cover model shown on the cover!

    • Jeanne, most of the novel takes place in Philadelphia because I was raised in the Philly area. Some scenes take place in Jax because my dad lives in that area on Amelia Island. PLUS he was a naval pilot stationed at Cecil Field during WWII. We love that part of the country.

      And we both wholeheartedly agreed on the cover!

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