Welcome to the Spring Training Series
by Best-Selling Author Becca Jameson.
Spring Training follows the lives of several major league baseball players as they deal with the fame and reality of life and love.
This first book in the series, Catching Zia, features the second baseman and his desire to meet a woman who isn’t after him for his money or his celebrity status.
With two strikes against him, this baseball player is desperate to make contact.
Zia’s main passion in life is art. And she’d gladly spend days on end sketching the hunky man who stops to admire her work while jogging through the park one sunny afternoon.
Brett has been ogling Zia for days. The sketch in her lap provides the perfect opening. When it’s immediately obvious she has no idea he’s a major league baseball player, he relishes the opportunity to take a gorgeous woman out on a normal date.
But what Brett doesn’t know is that Zia grew up with a compulsive liar, and his omission is more than she can tolerate. Second chances are rare in this life, and somehow Brett manages to squander that one also. He’s got an uphill battle if he wants to fight for this strong-willed woman.
Zia is a down to earth kind of girl, she loves her art and even though her job as a nanny will be coming to an end she doesn’t know if she has enough incentive to go the ‘starving’ artist route. She’s sold some of her work and her best friend has been at her to do a show, but bills need to be paid regularly.
Brett is enjoying his last few weeks before heading to spring training. He jogs every morning and has noticed a young woman on several of his runs. He wasn’t sure how to approach her, mostly women came on to him but this one was different, special, he wanted to get to know her without the stigma of being a ball player. When he stopped by the bench where she was engrossed in sketching he knew he found an opening. This is a favorite scene.
“Mmm.” He snapped his fingers. “Do you do murals by any chance? Like wall murals?”
“I have, on occasion. I did some for the kids I watch. And some of their friends.” You need some teddy bears on a wall in your house? Suddenly she jerked her gaze to his left hand to see if he was married. Maybe he had kids and needed to hire someone to paint their rooms.
Nope. Or at least he didn’t wear a ring. There wasn’t a tan line or an indentation either, but that didn’t necessarily mean anything. Some people didn’t like to wear a wedding ring.
Surely he wouldn’t have made a flippant statement about kids being confusing and sticky if he had his own, though.
Before he spoke again, he reached over his shoulder with one hand and tugged his scrap of T-shirt over his head.
Holy mother of God. He was so freakishly built. His damn chest was like a sculpture. If she had some clay, she would love to have him pose for a day and let her recreate him. Or maybe it would take two days. She might even be able to drag it out longer.
Brett wiped the sweat off his face with his wadded T-shirt. “My sister’s about to have a baby,” he beamed. “It’s a girl. She’s been looking for someone to do a mural on one wall of the nursery. Fairies or something. Could you do it?”
Ah, so there was a reason this man was speaking to her. Bingo. It wasn’t because he thought she was cute or beautiful or gorgeous or sexy or whatever men needed to think to ask a woman out. It was because he needed her services.
She blew out a breath and let her shoulders fall. This was more comfortable territory than thinking he was attracted to her.
Or maybe it was actually disappointing deep down.
He stared at her quizzically.
Shit. He’d asked her a question. “Uh, I suppose. Yes. Does she live near here? When does she need it?”
He nodded. “Close, yes. And she still has a few weeks. How long does a mural usually take?”
“Oh, it depends. But often not more than a day or two. I can do it on my days off. Usually over a weekend.”
“Cool. Do you have a card or something? I could have her call you.” This conversation was more bizarre than any she’d ever had. She didn’t know this man. He could be a serial killer for all she knew. Although that wasn’t likely considering how normal he seemed— if you overlooked his physique. That part was not remotely normal.
“No.” She felt a flush race up her cheeks. “Haven’t really needed one. But I’ve got a website if she wants to see some of my previous work. It’s not much, but it’s there.” She reached into her bag and pulled out a coffee shop receipt. Flipping it over, she wrote her web address and phone number on the back side and then handed it to him.
Who in their right mind would contact her after that most unprofessional exchange? She really did need business cards if she ever expected to make a go of her art career.
Who was she kidding? An art career? She’d been slowly accumulating pieces for the last few years. But the reality was she didn’t have the savings to take a risk and go all in. She needed a backup job to keep the rent paid. So, she’d been scouring the want ads for another family needing a nanny.
Maybe she was selling herself short? She sat up straighter, smiled warmly, and made a mental decision to expand her job focus. “I’d be happy to meet with your sister sometime to discuss the possibilities. If she’s interested.”
Brett tucked the receipt in his shorts pocket and smiled back at her.
“Perfect. I’ll let her know.”
Becca Jameson. Catching Zia (Kindle Locations 97-126). Becca Jameson.
Of course he would be at his sister’s home when she worked. He planned it so he could take her to dinner. A dinner where the attraction between them grew to be sizzling.
However his sins of omission would cause a rift undermining his attempts to further their connection.
I can’t say how many times I shook my head and said no, no, no, in this. Men can be so dumb sometimes and women can be so stubborn.
This is not a typical relationship since Brett is a ‘star’, but it’s definitely a challenging one. Steamy sex and misunderstandings make for a page turning read.
5 Contented Purrs for Becca!
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Becca Jameson currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two kids, and the various pets that wander through.
After editing for about five years she recently started writing. She is loving the journey, dabbling in various genres.When not writing or editing she can usually be found taxiing kids to and from their activities, scrapbooking, and reading!Late at night she can usually be found sequestered in her office creating fantasy with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate.