Today, we have the release day of Carrie Aarons's Grasping Air. Check it out and get your copy today!
We were the seconds after a grip released the bar, body floating through the air with nervous wonder. Would we successfully grab it again, or would we hit the mat, shattered and defeated?
Peyton Adams learned a long time ago that selfish and detached is the only way to be in life. What most people call shameless or obnoxious behavior, she considers key to getting where she needs to go. Most disapproving of all? USA Gymnastics’ golden boy with an eight-pack, Jared Hargrove. After being cut from the women’s team right before Rio, Peyton is back on the post-Summer Games tour. Not only is she the only one without a gold medal, but her history with Jared won’t stay buried for long.
Control and good manners; the two things drilled into Jared Hargrove’s head from birth. As a four-time gold medalist, he’s always obeyed the rules and reaped the reward. Well, except for the whirlwind week four years ago in London when wild-child Peyton Adams finally got under his skin, and into his bed. She broke his heart, and he hasn’t removed the ice wall around it since. Now she’s back to redeem herself to the world of gymnastics, and it seems, to push his buttons more than ever.
After years of resentment and heartache, can they repair a relationship so badly broken that most people wouldn’t even try? Or will they continue to fall, grasping at any last emotion before they finally collapse?
Team sports were never much my thing. I compete in a sport that is solely about my performance, I can’t play defense or sabotage my competitors. So, I’ve never really taken an interest in the traditional big time sports in America.
But, watching this hockey game, I wish I had.
“Rip his throat out!” My lungs burn as I scream, urging the player’s down on the ice to get more violent.
This game is whip fast and intense, with the guys shoving sticks at each other and body slamming into the boards.
“Now you’re getting it.” Jared’s quiet southern rumble sounds beside me as I sit back down.
“This is incredible! Wings and guys hitting each other? Feels like I’ve had a really long orgasm.” I lean back in my seat and lay my arm across the back of Julia’s seat next to my own.
Jared’s eyes heat and I bite back my smile. I know we’re being civil, friendly … that I’m not supposed to push his buttons. But, come on, this is me we’re talking about.
And even though I shouldn’t be out with him, even with a group, I couldn’t help not coming. He broke my heart a million ways from Sunday and I should completely avoid him … but Jared Hargrove is my Fourth of July sparkler. He’s shiny and beautiful, a forbidden kind of magic that is impossible not to get close to.
Until I get too close. Until I touch him. And the pain is so searing it feels like my world is melting around me.
“You’re still so vulgar.” He shakes his head, but doesn’t say it with malice.
“Zebras don’t change their stripes, Hargrove.” I flash him a smile.
This is nice, sitting together without slinging insults. The whole night has been nice. Hanging out at a bar, having a meal … these were things we never really did together when we were in the thick of it. Everything had been so intense, so fast. Maybe that’s why we tumbled out of the sky and came crashing back to earth so harshly.
“So, have you ever been to a hockey game before?”
Suddenly, I feel nervous. It hits me we’ve never done this “normal” stuff. I’ve never actually done this normal stuff with anyone, and it’s not my forte. I’m a flirt, a tease … and sometimes I even follow through on those promises. All of my relationships with men, if you could even call them relationships, are so transactional. So surface. I have only been wined and dined on the assumption that I’ll take my clothes off afterwards. I’ve never been spoken to like an equal, never been respected for my opinions or thoughts.
Well, except with Jared.
Author of romance novels such as Red Card and the Captive Heart Duet, Carrie Aarons writes sexy, swoony and sarcastic characters who won't get out of her head until she puts them down on a page.
Carrie has wanted to be an author since the first time she opened a book. She loves spinning tales that include dapper men, women with attitude, and the occasional hunky athlete.
When she isn't in what her husband calls a "writing coma", Carrie is freeing up her jam-packed DVR, starting her latest DIY project, or planning her next travel adventure. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, who is more than happy to watch sports while his wife plots love stories.
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