Availability date: 01/22/2016
FIRST place winner in the BOOKSELLERS’ BEST AWARD 2017
SECOND place winner in the International Digital Awards 2017
Nikki Lambert’s husband purposely stalls his truck in the path of the midnight freight on the same day her eldest son, Jack, is diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder.
Injured NFL quarterback, Ramsey Delaney is benched from his starting position leaving him ample time for more hands-on involvement in The Good Sports Club, a community center he established where Nikki’s sons, Jack and Rocky are enrolled.
Jack’s deteriorating motor skills concern Ram’s employees who bar Jack from attending the club without Ram’s knowledge. Nikki wants nothing but normalcy for Jack and she heatedly confronts Ram for depriving her son of a beloved activity. Ram immediately reinstates Jack forging the fateful bond between Nikki and her boys’ number-one sports hero. Ram is instantly attracted to Nikki. He wants to win her heart more than he’s ever wanted to win a game. But after her husband’s terrible abandonment will Nikki trust Ram’s motives and open her heart to love again?
Shoving his office door wider open, Nikki tromped into view, and Ram could almost see steam blasting out of her ears. He grinned—not the most effective strategy, since she narrowed her eyes and regarded him as if calculating the most vulnerable spot on his body to land a punch. He must have had an insane death wish because her formidable expression and combative posture tickled him and he busted up laughing.
“Exactly what is so funny?” she spit out stopping in her tracks a few feet away from him.
“You.” He lowered his eyes and stared at the floor for a moment smiling to regroup. “You look so adorable right now. All full of piss and vinegar.”
He had anticipated the inevitable confrontation because he had sent the construction crew out without consulting her first. Ram had deemed taking lumps for that decision the lesser of two evils since she’d likely refuse the help otherwise.
“It’s not funny, Ram. How dare you hire people to tear up my house without my knowledge? What the hell were you thinking?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. That I’m helping you?”
She dragged her fingers through her hair. His stomach tightened as he yearned to thread his fingers through her silky hair, too. In the next second he questioned his motives, something he had done repeatedly since she had stormed his office the first time. Ram still remained satisfied that he wasn’t trying to buy or to manipulate her affections. Whether or not she’d ever see him the way that he saw her, Ram had to help Jack. The compulsion had become near obsession. He’d spend his last dime and would have fought anyone who had tried to stop him, including Nikki.
Nikki pinned him with a penetrating glare, tense and unsmiling.
“Say something,” he said.
“I can take care of my son.”
“I never said you couldn’t. No one could give Jack better care than you. I just want you to let me help you.”
She wagged her head, no. “It’s too much, Ram. I can’t accept it.”
“I think it might be a little late to refuse.” He smiled, but the dark stare she gave him had him back stepping. “Look,” he said, holding his palms up in supplication, “Let’s be honest. I have been paid an obscene amount of money to play football. More than I will ever need. I have the money to fix up your house for Jack, and you don’t have money to spare. It’s nothing. It’s what friends do for each other.”
“You’re out of your mind.” Her chest heaved.
She sighed and he detected a slight softening in her eyes and a minuscule slackening of her shoulders.
Encouraged Ram paced a step closer. “What can I say? I’m just a dumb jock.”
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