Jack "Ox" Oxford is used to being alone. Granted, when you screw over your friends, being alone isn't always a choice. Playing for the Chicago Watchmen is a last-ditch effort to save his career…and right some of his past wrongs. He's not expecting a warm reception, but he's also not expecting a flat tire to change everything.Recovering control freak, single mom and semiprofessional chaos wrangler Lola Deacon McIntire doesn't need an arrogant ballplayer to swoop in and save her from anything, much less her flat tire. And she definitely doesn't need her body to betray her and decide this is the guy to wake up her rusty libido. She isn't about to upset her sons' lives for any man—much less one who so clearly doesn't think he's dad material.
Jack never thought he'd find someone who wanted to build a life with him, but the more time he spends with Lola and her boys, the more it starts to feel permanent. Even tough-as-nails Lola concedes there just might be a future here—the big, beautiful, messy future neither of them was looking for—but only if Jack will accept he deserves it.
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A big believer in happily ever afters, Jen Doyle decided it was high time she started creating some. Jen is a member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as a member of the New England, New Jersey Romance Writers and Music City Romance Writer chapters of RWA. She is represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. She has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and, in addition to her work as a librarian, has worked as a conference and events planner as well as a Communications and Enrollment administrator in both preschool and higher education environments (although some might say that there is very little difference between the two; Jen has no comment regarding whether she is one of the “some”).
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She was glad she’d chosen to wear a formfitting tank top underneath rather than one of the ratty T-shirts she typically pulled on for a morning at the house. Not bothering to move the fabric aside, he bent down and took her nipple in his teeth and tugged.
Holy. Lord. She almost came right there. If she’d been able to breathe she would have grabbed his hair and held him there. That alone would have been enough. But before she could catch her breath, he’d sunk down to his knees and begun to pull her sweats and underwear down over her hips.
If she’d been in her right mind, she might have been worried about the stretch marks—she’d carried triplets, for God’s sake—or the not-tight-enough skin or, well, everything. But none of that seemed to matter as he pushed up the hem of her tank top and placed an open-mouthed kiss on her stomach. Trailed his tongue to her hip. Brushed his fingertips down her legs as he leaned in to kiss the back of her knee, the inside of her thigh.
He pulled back slightly and for a second time stood still. She was trembling. Quivering. Tears were falling from her eyes from the sheer perfection of it all. And then, as if she weren’t already so turned on she was about to explode, he made one of those eminently male, you-are-mine growls before he leaned in and undid her.
That was the only word for it. He held her to his mouth and feasted. He lapped at her clit, thrust his tongue inside, pressed against her with his chin… She arched up into him, grabbed the sides of the dryer for all she was worth, and bit down on her lip so she didn’t give away to the whole house that Jack had just shown her the true meaning of bliss. He coaxed her through every single second of the most glorious orgasm she’d ever had. She wanted to roar. She wanted to scream and cry out to the whole world that she’d just found the Holy Grail and they hadn’t even had sex.
At what point she finally collapsed she had no idea; just that she could feel Jack bring her pants back up over her legs, pull her tank top back down, and wrap the sweater around her again. Then he pulled her into his arms and tucked her head into his chest and held her as, still shaking, she came down.
She was mentally present enough to realize he was still hard—even to register that she not just needed to return the favor, but that she desperately wanted to. Except, oh, for Heaven’s sake, she was crying.
“I’m not sad,” she said into his chest.
He chuckled. “No, babe. I got that.”
“And I’m not about to go all crazy clingy,” she added, despite the fact that she couldn’t physically remove herself from his arms yet. “I’ll let go as soon as I can walk again.”
“No rush.” The smile was still in his voice. “We can stay just like this for as long as you like.”
Using the principle of gravity, it was actually possible for her to let her hand drop down between them and at least get a little bit of a feel. Despite his appearing cool and calm, he sucked in a breath as her hand tightened around him.
“Maybe not quite as long as originally thought,” he said, his voice cracking a little.
To the contrary. “Longer.” And thicker, come to think of it.
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