NY Times Bestselling Author
Shortstop Rafe Wilson has his routines down to a science. How he ties his shoes, what shirt to wear under his jersey, which foot touches the field first, and how to enter the batter’s box. It works for him. The proof is in his stats. No question; the routine works. Until it doesn’t. When Rafe is left scrambling to figure out what went wrong, he quickly finds the newest addition to his pregame routine. A kiss. And, not just any kiss. Ashlyn Daniels’ kiss to be exact. But, can he convince Ashlyn to be part of his arsenal of “superstitions” that keep his game going? Or will the pregame kiss trigger an even worse superstition?
The Triple Play Curse
Every member of the Strikers, San Francisco’s professional baseball team, knows about the Triple Play Curse. When one Striker falls in love and gets either married or engaged during the season, two more will fall for a total of three. And, whenever the curse is in play, the team suffers for it. More errors and injuries, lost pennant runs, you name it. No one wants to trigger the curse.
Each book in the series is a standalone plot with no cliffhangers. The series can be read in any order but readers may enjoy it best read from book one through three. These books were previously published under the same title as part of Bella Andre’s Game for Love World.
Rafe is attending a barbeque at his friend Kade’s home after having a really bad game. It’s here he comes across Ashley as he’s looking to say good-bye to his hostess Elise. She’s different than anyone he’s encountered since becoming a pro player. Not a groupie even though she does like the sport according to Kade’s wife.
Not exactly knowing why he has to, he kisses her. Then everything changes. His next game is perfect. Now he has to convince Ashley to kiss him before every game. He fails at this miserably.
Ashley confronts Elise the next day and then comes up with a plan of her own. If he messes up his game without the kiss, she’d agree but to her own terms.
This is a favorite scene.
Ashlyn twisted her fingers together, trying to decide how to explain that she wanted more than a pregame kiss from him. That she wanted pregame sex. That she wanted to experience the kind of sexual freedom she read about in her romance novels. Without any conscious thought, her eyes flitted to the bookshelves lining her living room wall.
Rafe’s eyes followed hers to the shelf and she felt the flush of red creep over her neck, her cheeks. Oh no. Before she could stop him, he was on his feet, glancing at the spines, all of which contained the names of nothing but romance novels. No textbooks left over from her time in college, no travel books or biographies of famous people.
Rafe grinned at her over one of those gorgeously tempting shoulders of his, and then turned silently back to the shelf before pulling out a book. Oh, he didn’t. Of course he did. He pulled a ménage book. On the cover, a woman was ravished by three men, one burying his head in her chest, another holding her from behind as a third knelt in front of her, hands on her thighs.
Rafe turned and raised a brow at her.
“Fantasy of yours?”
She held her chin high and looked at him with eyes that dared him to continue mocking her.
“Some things are only a fantasy, Rafe.”
He nodded slowly, as if he was thinking something through before turning and swapping that book out for another one. This one was a bit more tame. One book in a series from one of her favorite authors. It was steamy and hot and racy, but a lot more sedate than the ménage book he’d first chosen. Rafe silently flipped through the pages, stopping to read a passage here and there.
“Now this I can help with,” he said, turning back to her, that wicked gaze seeming to melt her a little each time he turned it on her.
“This,” Rafe gestured with the book and crossed back over to where she sat on the couch, “I can help you live out some of the dreams you’ve clearly been having.” He nodded to the shelf and then grinned at her. “I’m good at it. Very good.”
Laughter burst out again. “Well, you certainly don’t lack confidence, that’s for sure.”
Part of her was relieved he’d guessed about what she wanted without her having to broach the subject. Another part was just humiliated that he’d read her so easily, that he’d seen what she wanted so badly and hadn’t been able to explain. She was a grown woman, after all. Shouldn’t she be able to discuss her needs like an adult?
“Nope, confidence isn’t one of my issues,” he said with a small shake of his head. He turned the book toward her and pointed to a passage for her to read. “I can give you this, Ash. I can give you everything you’ve been wanting. If you help me before my games.”
Ashlyn forced her eyes to drop from his, down to the book, skimming the scene quickly. She was mortified to hear a small moan escape her lips before she bit down on them. Rafe had chosen a scene that involved blindfolds and silk ties on a four poster bed. Ashlyn was a confident woman in many ways. When she was teaching, she was confident. Dealing with her students’ parents? Confident. With friends? Confident.
But, she’d never felt comfortable asking any of the men she dated to experiment with her in the bedroom in this way. In fact, she hadn’t been comfortable simply expressing her most basic needs or wants in that department. And, she wasn’t stupid. She knew that was one of the reasons she was often left unsatisfied, but when it came to speaking up in bed, she just clammed up.
Talking about this kind of thing seemed to come a lot more easily to Rafe. Could she just let herself go with him? Just pretend she was someone she wasn’t? That she was someone brave and confident in bed? Could she let herself do this with him? For however long he wanted her to be a part of his ‘pregame routine’?
She glanced up to find Rafe watching her intently and the look in his eyes was shocking. It held wanting, lust, need— directed at her. Things she never thought she’d see in his eyes. Something she’d thought she would only find between the pages of her books. Of course, the wanting in her books eventually led to love, and she knew that wouldn’t happen here. But, maybe that was all right. Maybe Rafe could teach her how to get what she wanted in the bedroom. Maybe, before this ended and he walked away from her, she’d have found the confidence to tell her next lover what she wanted and needed. Then someday down the road, she could find love with the right man, someone who wanted the white picket fence and wanted her, passionately and intently.
“What if this messes with the pregame kiss?” she asked. “I mean the thing that worked was a kiss, not— you know.”
“Not sex?” he asked and she saw a hint of amusement in his eyes at her inability to even voice the word. She wanted to kick herself as the flush of heat hit her cheeks again. Why couldn’t she just say the word?
“I mean it’s always the same socks, or the same shirt, or whatever you have to do before each game. Won’t messing with what we did screw things up for your games?”
Rafe looked at her and she could tell he was analyzing what she said, and then he shook his head. “It won’t mess with anything. If a kiss is good, sex should be better. More is always better, right?” His grin was back and with it, the heat in his gaze.
She didn’t point out that his argument was flawed.
Lori Ryan. Game Changer: A Triple Play Curse Novella, Book 1 (Kindle Locations 368-409).
Lots of heat, plenty of giggles and just plan fun as this story plays out.
I can’t wait to read the other two books in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Lori!
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Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance with steamy love scenes and characters you won’t want to leave in the pages when the story is over.Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has fallen in love with writing.
She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series; the Heroes of Evers, Texas; and the Triple Play Curse Novellas, a set of novellas with sexy baseball players at their core as part of Bella Andre’s Game For Love Kindle World. She has also published in Melanie Shawn’s Hope Falls Kindle World and in Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Kindle World.
She lives with an extremely understanding husband, three wonderful children, and two mostly well-behaved dogs in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.