Third Base by Heidi McLaughlin in PAPERBACK!

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Ethan Davenport is already Boston’s most eligible bachelor. In his second season with the Boston Renegades he has set his eyes on the girl behind the visitors’ dugout.

That girl is Daisy Robinson, a journalism student at the University of Boston and a die-hard Renegades fan.

But with new found love comes challenges and Ethan and Daisy have to deal with his crazy schedule, school finals and his presence on her campus for some much needed media training.

For Ethan nothing can come between him and Daisy, until a secret that she’s been keeping threatens to destroy them both.

THE BOYS OF SUMMER SERIES

THIRD BASE, #1

HOME RUN, #2

GRAND SLAM, #3

Series Page on Goodreads

 

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THIRD BASE Release Day Blitz Excerpt

I look at the scoreboard from the on-deck circle. It’s the bottom of the ninth with two outs. Unless we go on some miraculous run, the game is over and we’ve lost, giving us our second loss in a row.

The Orioles coach calls for a time-out and approaches the mound. This gives Meyers, our right fielder, the opportunity for us to talk. Actually, it gives me the ability to stare at the girl that has held my attention all night. After my home run, I thought I could focus on the game, but each time I came up to bat or went out to the field, I was looking to see if she was staring… and she was, which really stroked my ego.

I meet Meyers halfway between the on-deck circle and home plate. Usually, we’d stand back or talk to the third base coach, but there’s no coming back from this defeat. When I reach him, I can tell he’s frustrated; we all are. We’re a far better team than what our record shows. Even though it’s still very early, our expectations are much higher, and with the road trip coming up, we have got to get out of this funk, fast… before it’s too late.

“This ump is calling shit.” Meyers kicks the dirt around his feet.

“Has been all night.” On any given night it’s either in your favor or not. Some umpires come into a game with a chip on their shoulder. They remember everything, and they don’t let you forget it. They say once the game is over, it’s over. Umpires don’t feel that way.

“Play ball!” the umpire yells.

Meyers goes back to home plate and settles in for what could be his last pitch. If he gets on base, I’m up. If he strikes out, my night is over. I rest my bat on my shoulder and watch – not Meyers, but the girl in the hat. She’s leaning forward, resting her elbows on the dugout. I had every intention of finding an usher during the seventh inning but lost my nerve. I don’t know how that’d be received if our manager was to find out, and short of going into the stands the second the game is over, I’m running out of options.

It’s a swing and foul ball for Meyers, still giving me hope. The girl hasn’t moved, and something tells me that she’s focused on me. I should be focused on the game, but I’m not.

I lean over to the usher who stands by the field and whisper, “There’s a girl in section sixty-five, row c, seat one. I’d like to talk to her after the game.”

He nods and says something into his really cool CIA walkie-talkie-type thing. When I first arrived, I asked if I could play with it. I was told no. It was a total buzz kill. I asked my agent to get me one, and he told me to grow up… not one of my finer moments.

Meyers goes down swinging and just like that, the game’s over. We lost three to eight. I wait for him to walk by before returning to the dugout, but not without one last look at the girl in row c.  Another usher is walking down the aisle toward her. I climb down the stairs and pause where she can’t see me. The usher approaches her and talks wildly with his hands. She looks around, reaches for her bag, and follows him up the steps. I can only hope she’ll be in the lounge when I get there.

Right now I’m thankful I’m not allowed to give interviews yet because it means I can shower and get upstairs quicker. The reporters call my name, asking about my home-run. They know I’m not allowed to speak with them, but they try anyway. I keep my head down, my classic move after we’ve lost, and rush into the clubhouse. There will be no after-game meeting; our manager will save that for tomorrow.

I shower quickly and slip into jeans and a t-shirt. My hair is still wet and dripping down onto my shirt, but I don’t want my third base girl waiting too long. I take the back stairs two at a time and enter the lounge. This is where the wives and girlfriends hang out, and now that I think about it, it’s probably not the best place to have sent her. It’s like vulture prey in here for new girlfriends… not that she’s my girlfriend. I just want to know her name.

As soon as I enter the hallway, I find her sitting outside the door. She stands up when she hears me coming and keeps her hands behind her back, watching me closely. I come to a halt in front of her, and all I can see is the top of her hat. She’s about a foot shorter than me, and I like that.

“I wanted to apologize for giving you the ball.” I keep my hands clasped to avoid the nervous twitch I have. The last thing I want to do is scare her away.

“Oh… do you want it back?” Her voice is soft, sweet, and completely Boston. Hearing her speak makes me feel like I have something to look forward to, like I’m home.

“What? No, I thought I embarrassed you… It’s just…”

My knees go weak when she looks at me. Her light green eyes are the color of sea glass, and she has a dimple that compliments her smile. I find myself wanting to rub my thumb over it so I can feel it.

“You didn’t embarrass me. It was nice.”

“What’s your name?” I ask, needing to know because calling her ‘third base girl’ or ‘girl in row c’ isn’t going to cut it.

“Daisy.”

Daisy, I repeat in my head so I don’t forget. Daisy… like the flowers that my mother loves.

“I’m Ethan,” I stupidly tell her but feel like I should introduce myself. “Wanna get out of here and grab some dinner?”

She eyes me and then the ground, making me wait what feels like an eternity for her answer.

The Boys of Summer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland West/Mini Schnauzer, Jill.

When she isn’t writing one of the many stories planned for release, you’ll find her sitting courtside during either daughter’s basketball games.

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Third Base by Heidi McLaughlin

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Add to Goodreads

 

**NOW AVAILABE IN TRADE PAPERBACK**

Ethan Davenport is already Boston’s most eligible bachelor. In his second season with the Boston Renegades he has set his eyes on the girl behind the visitors’ dugout.

That girl is Daisy Robinson, a journalism student at the University of Boston and a die-hard Renegades fan.

But with new found love comes challenges and Ethan and Daisy have to deal with his crazy schedule, school finals and his presence on her campus for some much needed media training.

For Ethan nothing can come between him and Daisy, until a secret that she’s been keeping threatens to destroy them both.

Third-Base-quote-graphic-1The Boys of Summer

A baseball Top 5 with the author, Heidi McLaughlin

Top 5 favorite baseball players of all time

Bo Jackson

Ken Griffey Jr.

David Ortiz

Kris Bryant

Jose Altuve

I already really enjoy sports romance, but man…Heidi McLaughlin just kills it. I will attribute this to the fact that she does follow baseball so her stories feel really authentic to me (also a diehard baseball fan).

Ethan Davenport is probably one of the most adorable characters. One of my favorite scenes with him is in the beginning, when he first is meeting Daisy. This part is one of my favorites because you’d think Ethan would have this ego and be really confident. He is confident, but he also nervous. So he makes some silly blunders with his words and as I read, I swore I could feel his embarrassment. That might sound like a minor thing, but those aspects of a story really bring everything to life.

This story was interesting because Ethan and Daisy both do some things that make me dislike them. Not hate them, but I definitely gave both characters the side eye a few times. I always want to love characters but I actually valued these two making some blunders. In reality, Ethan is 22 and Daisy is 20. That’s quite young, especially when you read on and see everything that these two are experiencing.

One character that I had a lot of respect for was Sarah, Ethan’s ex-girlfriend from back home in Seattle. When I first read her character, I thought there would be drama immediately with her. But, and this is one the reasons that I enjoy reading books by Heidi McLaughlin, she took this concept of the ex and twisted it around. As a reader, it really makes me see things so differently and I appreciate that.

If you enjoy sports romance, then you definitely would want to check out the Boys of Summer series. There is love, sex, tension, redemption, and of course, baseball!

 

Forever Mine by Erin Nicholas

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The second book in New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas’s series about three geeky girls and the hunky guys who fall for them.

Maya Goodwin doesn’t believe in holding back. Ever. As a cop, she never hesitated to throw herself into harm’s way to save someone. Even after an injury on the job forces her to retire, she’s not afraid to keep risking it all to get the life she wants. With a new career teaching martial arts to kids already underway, she’s looking forward to the future – and taking a chance on the unbelievably hot Dr. Alex Nolan.

Maya – daring and spontaneous – is the exact opposite of what Alex always thought he wanted. But when a nine-year-old daughter he never knew existed shows up on his doorstep, Maya is the one who helps them hold it together. With love on the line, will the guy who’s always played it safe be willing to take the biggest risk of all?

 

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THE OPPOSITES ATTRACT SERIES

COMPLETELY YOURS, #1

FOREVER MINE, #2

Series Page on Goodreads

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I think Erin Nicholas is living in my head. Seriously. Things I’ve often thought about, wishing other books would have them, or aspects of them, this author has. I decided she might be my author soul mate.

This story is contemporary romance. There isn’t a billionaire, there isn’t a kink, no one is a virgin. Please don’t get me wrong; I personally enjoy those books A LOT! But sometimes, I want a couple to just fall in love. Erin Nicholas is quickly becoming my go-to for this desire.

Maya Goodwin was cop but an injury forced her to retire early. Now she teaches martial arts and defense classes. Dr. Alex Nolan slips into class because he’s desperately trying to align with his ten year old daughter that he has only recently discovered.

Many parts of this story were appealing to me, so I’ll touch on a few of my favorites.

This author makes characters who are direct and I cannot praise that enough. For example, from the start, Maya and Alex are attracted to each other. They don’t try to hide it, or play games. The attraction is so easy to see. Then we have the interactions with their friends and families. Again, its direct. Maya has questions about Alex and she’s able to communicate with her friends, Sopie and Keira, about them. Its not like a gossip fest either. Its three friends doing what friends do.

Another aspect that I appreciated is that Alex and his daughter, Charli, both have hemophilia. I could align with a lot of Alex’s thoughts and concerns about himself and his daughter. I never really noticed it before but I don’t see a lot of books covering characters who have long-term health concerns. It was interesting to see how this tied into the story but also the research that went into making the condition portrayed accurately.

I would absolutely recommend this book. Stories from Erin Nicholas are such a treat because she puts just enough twist on the characters, their backstory, and their current story to make it refreshing. We can get a common theme but have it flipped around and turned inside out to make it brand new.

**GIVEAWAY**

Win a paperback copy of Forever Mine

**EXCERPT**

Alex laughed. He liked Maya. The thought hit him directly in the gut.

Maya smiled brightly, and he admitted that he was intensely attracted too. Now fast attraction—that he’d experienced before. But it had been a long time since even that had happened.

“I’m Dr. Alex Nolan. I’m on staff at Boston Children’s Hospital. I’m on their website if you want to look me up.”

Maya suddenly frowned. “I can’t believe I didn’t think of that.”

“Of what?”

“Googling pediatricians and finding out who you are after the mall the other day,” Maya said.

Alex raised an eyebrow. “Wouldn’t that be a little creepy?”

“Probably,” she agreed. “Maybe that’s why I didn’t do it.”

He laughed. “Well, to further decrease the creep factor, I do have a kid,” he said. “A daughter. Charlotte. We call her Charli. She’ll be ten next month. She’s very into superheroes, GR, and swords, and I know nothing about any of that. I liked the demonstration at the mall and thought I’d come check out your studio.”

“So you’re wanting to sign her up,” Maya said with a nod. “Okay, not creepy at all.”

“Uh…” Alex knew this was going to sound strange. “Actually I want to take the class myself.”

Maya frowned. “These classes won’t teach you about superheroes exactly,” she said. “They are kind of a combination of stage fighting and martial arts and self-esteem workshops.”

“I know.” He’d been on the website. Which is how he’d found out more about the studio. And where he’d stared at Maya’s photo before going in to look up more about her on the internet. Which was how he found out that her classes had won some local awards, she’d been a brilliant cop—who had not, incidentally, been fired for beating someone up—and that she regularly blogged about superheroes and their fandom and the psychology of that fandom. He’d bookmarked her page immediately.

“And the things you do in class sounds like the perfect bonding activity for Charli and me. I’ll take the class and then go home and teach her.”

Maya looked puzzled. “Why not just bring her to class?”

“She…” He swallowed. Charli would love Maya. Hell, if she saw Maya with those pointy-weapon-things, she’d want to be Maya.

But Alex had only seen Maya twice, and he’d already witnessed her get hit with a Bo staff, punched in the ribs, and cut with some kind of sharp hand weapon. Which reminded him that she’d been bleeding.

He looked down, but the bleeding had already slowed or stopped. Which was what happened when a person with normal blood got cut. But Charli didn’t have normal blood. She didn’t bleed faster, but she would bleed longer—because of the genetic mutation he had passed on to her.

He’d told her mother that Charli should be able to try whatever she wanted. But he’d also told her he’d keep Charli safe. If Charli took classes here, he would have to fill Maya and her staff in on the hemophilia and precautions and treatment…

“She has some special needs,” he said, cringing a little as he said it, knowing that Maya might easily jump to conclusions that were not at all correct. But it didn’t matter what she thought. This was the right thing for Charli.

But Maya didn’t even blink. “Okay,” she said. “I understand. Maybe…” But she trailed off while watching him thoughtfully without completing the sentence.

“Maybe what?” he asked.

“Maybe I could teach you and your daughter a private Super You class.”

He was surprised at her offer, but more—he was tempted. Which meant he had to say no. The timing for meeting a gorgeous, intriguing woman couldn’t have been worse. “I think a class with lots of other people, especially kids, would be better.”

“Why?”

Maya was direct. He liked that. And he could return the favor. “Because you look just as good in workout pants as you do in leather.”

Her eyes widened in surprise just a beat before her smile widened. “And that’s a problem?”

“It is when I’m trying to give all of my extra time and attention to my daughter.”

She studied him for a moment. “Okay,” she finally said with a nod. “And once you see the class, if you change your mind, she’s always welcome.”

Alex relaxed. “Thanks.”

“You’re not going to feel funny taking a class with a bunch of kids?”

“I love kids,” he told her.

“What about the tights and cape?”

“Tights and cape?” Alex repeated.

“The costume,” she said with a nod.

“Thought the participants all helped create their own character,” he said, realizing she was messing with him.

“They do.”

“Well, there’s no way in hell I would create a character that would wear tights.”

Maya’s gaze wandered over him, head to toe, before she said, Too bad.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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!).

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Four Letter Word by J. Daniels

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Four Letter Word by J. Daniels

Fate. Hate. Love. Lies.
Which four letter word will change their lives forever?
 
Sydney Paige was never so mortified to hear the words “wrong number” in her life. She meant to tell off the guy who broke her best friend’s heart, but unleashed her anger on a perfect stranger instead. And now her world is turned upside down by the captivating man who wants to keep her on the line.
Brian Savage is living a life he’s quickly come to hate-until Sydney’s wild rant has him hooked and hungry for more. Soon the sexy woman on the phone becomes the lover in his bed. But Brian has secrets, and the closer he lets Syd get, the harder it is to shield her from the devastating mistakes of his past . . .
Well…I just finished this book. I’m officially hungover. Does anyone have some advil?
Just to start off, I won’t be saying a lot about the story in an in-depth level because I do not want to give spoilers. So I’m not being vague to be a jerk, I just don’t want to ruin this story for anyone else.
This book, and Brian and Sydney’s story, was incredible. I want to find a more elegant and fancy way to say it, but this book was so good.
Sydney and Brian initially meet because she calls his number by accident, and basically rips his head off. Her best friend, Tori, had a man screw her over royally (by being married and having a baby that he never told her about), and Sydney is trying to call him and let him have it. But she misses by one number and gets Brian.
Even though Sydney is yelling at him, with some incredibly awesome choice words, mind you, Brian is actually turned on by Sydney. Thus, their text exchange begins, then phone calls, etc.
One thing that I really liked about this story was the dialogue between all of the characters. Everyone felt like they were real. For example, when the guys are talking to each other, its a very different vibe than when we see the girls out on the town for ladies night. I appreciated this because it made the characters seem more authentic to me and really helped them come to life.
Another aspect that I loved about this story was the supporting characters. We get Tori and Jamie (they get their own story in “Hit The Spot, coming in December 2016), and then Cole, Shay, Stitch,  and Kali. It was fun to see the role that these friends play and I think it was especially important for Sydney. I say this because as the story starts, Sydney is helping Tori as her own marriage has just fallen apart. Sydney knew her marriage wasn’t in great shape, but when we learn more about her ex, Marcus, and some of things he has said and done to her, you start to realize how alone Sydney has been.
My favorite character of this story has to be Brian. I was enamored watching him bring Sydney back to life. Let me clarify: Sydney isn’t just lost and then she finds Brian, and *poof*, her life is better. But he does help her confidence and he actually listens to her. We see this throughout the story. There are things that Sydney talks about from her past, or a dream she has always had, and Brian listens and tries to make every dream of Sydney’s come true. If Brian could make Sydney happy, he would do it. Even in the beginning, when Sydney doesn’t know, Brian is making moves because he’s serious about her.
I won’t give away the ending of this story, but I will say I loved how the story ended. Just from the synopsis, one can assume that Brian’s secrets and Sydney will collide, but when they do, its actually somewhat beautiful because of the way the characters handle it.
I would absolutely recommend this book. I actually read this in paperback (My local Barnes and Noble had it out a few days early) and I could not put it down. I actually forced myself to put it down and come back, because I was trying to drag the story out.
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