Caitlyn Murray has never let on that she’s had fantasies about her brother’s friend Eli Anderson for years. She’d do anything for the sexy baseball player who walked away from stardom to stay in Sapphire Falls and take care of his family. But she and Eli are friends. Just friends.
So when her brother hatches a plan to get Eli to the pro baseball try-out for the Kilby Catfish and another chance at his dream, Caitlyn is all in. After all, what’s a little kidnapping among friends?
A spot on the pitcher’s mound for the Catfish isn’t the only tempting thing about the spontaneous road trip. Eli already knows that Caitlyn is as sweet as the candies she makes for the Sapphire Falls bakery, but alone with her overnight in the tiny motel room in Kansas, it’s impossible to resist the urge to take a little taste.
But when that taste leads to falling for the girl next door just as his front door is moving hundreds of miles away, can Eli really have it all? Or do they have too many strikes against them?
Erin Nicholas is the author of sexy contemporary romances. Her stories have been described as toe-curling, enchanting, steamy and fun. She loves to write about reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines and happily ever afters. She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they’re shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!).
Caitlyn felt her stool being swiveled. She came face-to-face with Eli.
He cupped the back of her head and covered her mouth with his.
It didn’t last long. At least, it didn’t last long enough, in her opinion. But it was … amazing. Yes, that was definitely the word for the day.
“Did you really memorize each of my tryout pitches?” he asked, resting his forehead against hers.
She nodded, unable to speak. Because she’d also memorized the feel of his lips against hers. And she wanted to keep reliving it.
“Thank you,” he said quietly.
“For memorizing them?” she managed to ask.
She melted a little at that. “I can’t help it.”
She immediately bit her lip. Crap. She had to stop with the slips. On this one she could blame her kiss-muddled brain, but …
Hey, he’d kissed her.
“You kissed me,” she said softly, pulling back just enough to look up at him.
She couldn’t help but let her gaze drop to his mouth.
“And I want to do it again.”
Her eyes flew back to his.
“There is really something sexy about you knowing all about pitching and every detail of my tryout and believing in me so adamantly.”
Oh boy, she really wanted to kiss him again. Or have him kiss her. However, whatever, it took to get his mouth on hers.
“Then I overheard you talking to Bryan. You really do think I’m amazing. You aren’t just saying that to me.”
“I’ve always thought you were amazing,” she said.
He pulled her close and lowered his head. “Yeah, the wanting to kiss you isn’t new either.”
And then he was.
It was so much more than the spontaneous good-luck kiss. It was even more than the one just a minute ago. This one was much more … intentional.
His lips moved over hers slowly, deliberately, as if he was savoring her. After only a few seconds she was clinging to him, his shirt fisted in her hands, her back arching as she tried to get closer.
Caitlyn felt his hand move to the back of her neck, holding her in place as he tasted her, his tongue sliding along her lower lip and then in against her tongue when she sighed.
When he finally lifted his head, she swore that she could still feel his tongue on hers. And in a few other places it hadn’t actually been.
“Whoa,” she breathed out.
He nodded. “Yeah.”
“We should … ”
“Do that again.”
They spoke at the same time and stopped at the same time.
He let go of her and stepped back.
“You think we should stop,” she said, trying not to show just how disappointed she was.
“You think we should keep going?” He looked a little stunned at that.
“I think I need another shot.” She raised her hand and signaled the waitress.
She was definitely going to need another, because she’d just made a life-altering decision. Do or die. All or nothing. Play hard or go home.