Today, HJ is pleased to share with you Kendall Ryan’s new release: Playing for Keeps
I’ve never been so stupid in my entire life.
Elise Parrish, my teammate’s incredibly sweet and gorgeous younger sister, should have been off-limits, but my hockey stick didn’t get the memo.
After our team won the championship, our flirting turned physical, and I took her to bed. Then shame sent her running the next morning from our catastrophic mistake.
She thinks I don’t remember that night – but every detail is burned into my brain so deeply, I’ll never forget. The feel of her in my arms, the soft whimpers of pleasure I coaxed from her perfect lips….
And now I’ve spent three months trying to get her out of my head, but I’m starting to understand she’s the only girl I’ll ever want.
I have one shot to show her I can be exactly what she needs, but Elise won’t be easily convinced.
That’s okay, because I’m good under pressure, and this time, I’m playing for keeps.
Get ready to meet your new favorite hot jocks in an all new series of stand-alone novels. If you like sexy, confident men who know how to handle a stick (on and off the ice), and smart women who are strong enough to keep all those big egos in check, this series of athlete romances is perfect for you!
Enjoy an exclusive excerpt from Playing for Keeps
My entire body feels like I’ve been in a car accident—from my pounding head to the unexplainably sore muscles below my waist. My mouth is bone dry, and as I blink open my eyes, I have to focus on my breathing to calm the queasiness in my stomach.
Whose bed did I fall asleep in?
I shift to my side and it takes me several long seconds to realize where the hell I am.
Panic hits me the moment my eyes focus.
I look over my shoulder and see that a very naked Justin Brady is still asleep beside me.
His broad back with its lightly tanned skin slopes down to the most mouth-watering naked ass I’ve ever seen on a man. Firm. Muscled. Delectable.
A thousand vivid mental images crash into my brain at once. My hands on that firm, rounded ass as he thrust into me. Those trim hips snapping between my parted thighs.
I whimper, and scramble over the side of the bed in a hunt for my clothes. And my sanity, because what the hell did I do last night? What did we do last night?
I remember coming in here to use the bathroom. Remember finding Justin sitting on his bed, looking somber. Then I remember kissing him. Oh my God, the kissing. I feel weak at the memory of his hot, wet tongue sliding against mine.
I find my underwear first, and pull those on—inside out, but who cares about that right now. I toss on my bra and jersey next. The jersey with my brother’s number on the back. Oh my God, Owen. He’s going to kill me if he sees me leaving Justin’s room. Actually, he’ll kill Justin first. And it will be bloody. I can’t witness Justin’s murder this morning. Because I will definitely vomit on the floor if that happens.
My leggings are nowhere to be found. I can’t exactly sneak out of here pantless. Fuck me. What had I been thinking? I’d always lusted after Justin, but secretly lusting after him and sleeping with him are two very, very different things.
Yet I distinctly remember being the one to push things further. We’d been kissing on his bed, and I’d been the one to take off my shirt and then his hands traveled along my waist, my ribs, my shoulders. His touch had been my undoing —I’d been the first one to stick my hand down his pants. It was like throwing accelerant onto the fire quietly burning between us.
How drunk had he been? Way drunker than me, I know that much. Had I taken advantage of him?
Just as I’m about to have a full-blown panic attack, I spot my leggings. They’re tangled in the sheets at the end of the bed. The memory of Justin kneeling before me as he slowly peeled them off jumps into my head. I’d been so hot, so ready for him. I remember practically attacking his belt-buckle with gusto in my efforts to free his erection.
Oh my God. His dick.
Now that I’ve pictured it, I can’t unsee it. The memory of his steely shaft and heavy balls are not details I’m supposed to be in possession of. The helpless plea he’d made when my fist curled around him for the first time, testing the weight of him against my palm… I’d dragged my hand up slowly as he released a shuddering exhale, his whole body shivering.
My heartrate triples with the memory. I squeeze my eyes shut and pull a deep, shaky breath into my lungs. Focus, Elise. You cannot think about his dick right now. You certainly can’t think about the way it tasted, or how it felt …
Tiptoeing to the end of the bed, I reach for my leggings, and give them a swift tug. Justin shifts at the movement, rolling up on his elbow to see who’s woken him. His dark hair is messy from sleep, but his blue eyes are bright and alert. A five o’clock shadow dusts his strong jaw and his chest muscles are immaculate.
I don’t think I’ve ever used the word immaculate to describe someone before, but trust me, it fits him.
His eyes widen as he takes in the sight of me—standing at the end of his bed, naked from the waist down—and he blinks twice. “Elise?” His voice is pure gravel, and my stomach tightens.
Realizing he’s naked, Justin sits up, tugging the sheet up to cover his lap, like he’s suddenly self-conscious—like he wasn’t inside me a few hours ago.
He’s still watching me but he doesn’t say anything else as I free my leggings from the blankets and pull them on. Yeah, I really might vomit. Shit, this is awful.
He pushes one hand through his messy hair, his bicep flexing with the effort. “Last night …” Confusion is etched across his gorgeous features as he works on remembering what happened, and I swear to God, if he doesn’t say something in the next three seconds, I’m going to cry.
Tears threaten behind my eyes and I take another slow, shaky breath.
Some part of me needs him to acknowledge this mountain between us. Needs him to laugh and make some joke that we’ve really cemented our friendship now— or any lighthearted remark that will make last night mean something more than just being a colossal mistake, a huge dark mark on our friendship. I need him to say something that will make it all better. Anything but silence.
But he stays quiet, as if he’s trying to piece together what happened between us. The silence stretches on and on, and I start to grow uneasy. If he doesn’t remember last night, I’m going to die of humiliation. Was I that unmemorable?
“Nothing happened,” I blurt, unable to take his stony silence any longer.
“Right. Nothing happened,” he echoes. He looks more convinced than I feel.
My heart squeezes painfully in my chest. Does he really not remember?
His phone chirps from the bedside table, but Justin makes no move to grab it. He’s still watching me. He’s still naked. And he doesn’t look nearly as worried as I feel. Does he seriously not remember last night? Any of it? The soft grunts he made into my neck as he thrust above me will be forever burned into my brain. The feel of his body moving over mine is a memory I’ll never be able to erase. The ache in my thighs and the tingle of my lady parts will fade, but I have a feeling my tattered heart will take much longer to recover.
“Don’t panic, okay?”
“I’m not!” I snap, a little too quickly. He must have read the panic in my eyes, in my stiff posture, but I can’t help it. I am panicking. Big freaking time.
His phone chirps again, filling the awkward silence between us. An empty condom wrapper rests next to his phone and oh my God my cheeks are as red as a tomato. I can feel it.
“You should probably grab that. I’m going to go,” I stammer.
Some unreadable emotion flashes across his features, but he reaches for the phone and I scamper toward the door, needing to get away from this fucked up situation as fast as possible.
Excerpt. ©Kendall Ryan. Posted by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.
Giveaway: e-book of Playing for Keeps by Kendall Ryan
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Meet the Author:
A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than three dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 2.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world.
Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than 70 times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.
She lives in Texas with her husband and two sons.
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