Elements/Tags: baseball, New Adult, sports, billionaire hero, small
Publishing Date: July 1, 2014
Series, #: Book Five in The Philadelphia Patriots Series
He’s a billionaire ballplayer…
Noah Cade, pitcher for the
Philadelphia Patriots, has big problems. He’s recovering from a serious
injury and he’s just been saddled with his sick aunt’s crazy dogs. Then there’s
his dad, a wealthy oilman who wants Noah to retire from baseball and step into
his shoes as CEO of the family corporation. All Noah wants is to pitch
again and help his team win the World Series, but his family keeps dragging him
in the opposite direction.
She’s a small town girl…
Teddy Quinn moved to the city to
start a dog walking business for rich people, hoping the income will pay for
law school and help her fight the oil corporations drilling the county where
she grew up. When Noah Cade hires her as a full-time dog sitter for his
high-energy pets, it seems like the answer to Teddy’s financial woes. But the
boundaries get blurred when she starts falling for her boss, who uses all his
formidable charm to lure her into his bed.
When Teddy discovers Noah’s father
owns Baron Energy, she’s devastated. How can she work for—or love—a man
whose family stands for everything she hates?
Teddy glanced down at the middle finger
of her left hand—or, actually, the mostly empty space where there had once been
a middle finger. When she was six, an old, unguarded grain auger had lopped off
that finger and badly injured two others when she was stupid enough to stick
her hand in the chute. There had been no hope of re- attachment since the
finger ended up somewhere in her father’s silo, surrounded by about fifteen
tons of grain.
Now, that had been pain. This little
scrape was nothing.
She took a couple of quick swipes at
her jeans to knock off some of the dirt and dust and then jogged toward the
park entrance. A young woman—almost certainly a nanny— was pushing a
big-wheeled double stroller the size of a small car. She gave Teddy a curious
look as she approached.
Teddy managed a quick smile. “Hi, I’m
looking for my dog.” She pointed toward the west, the direction from which the
woman had apparently come. “Did you see a Siberian Husky running loose by any
The woman, a pretty Hispanic in her
mid-twenties, about the same age as Teddy, shook her head as the blond twins in
the stroller gazed up at her. “No, miss, I didn’t see any dog. I’m sorry.” Her
eyes zeroed in on Teddy’s bleeding arm. “Are you all right? Do you need some
Teddy ignored the pain radiating from
her elbow and smiled. “It’s just a little scratch. But thank you.”
“I’ll watch for your dog,” the woman
“Thanks.” Teddy crossed to the other
side of the road and picked up her pace. She’d made up her mind to ignore the
injury for now and focus completely on the search for Buster, so the sooner she
got back to her car, the better. But she’d only made it about twenty yards down
the road when she caught the purr of a car approaching behind.
“Hey, lady—want a lift?” Mr. Hot
Neighbor gave her another panty-melting grin.
Teddy hadn’t thought she’d see him
again so soon. And before she could answer him, she heard a woof and a dog’s
head poked into view from behind the man’s broad shoulders. Buster was sitting
on his haunches in the passenger seat, a look of demented excitement on his
face. His long, pink tongue was hanging out of the side of his mouth as he
panted, and his blue eyes seemed to be saying hey,Teddy—isn’t this is the
best day ever?
She should be furious with the mutt but
instead she started to laugh, going weak with relief. The laugh came out
sounding kind of hysterical, but she figured she’d earned it.
“He’s one happy dude,” the guy said
with an answering grin. “He just keeps licking my face like I’m his long-lost
owner or something.”
kind of envy him, since that’s exactly what I’d like to do to your face, too,
right about now.
In gratitude, of course, she told
His gaze zeroed in on her arm and he
frowned. “It looks like you banged yourself up a bit. Are you okay?”
Teddy had tried to keep her elbow
turned away from him so he wouldn’t ask what happened. She felt like an idiot
for stumbling on what was pretty much level ground.
“It’s nothing. Where’d you find the
escape artist?” She moved closer to the idling car, tucking her injured arm
“Not that far away, really,” he said,
giving Buster an affectionate muzzle rub. “I kept on going past the tennis
club, then wandered around a bunch of crescents and courts until I hit South
Roberts. When I was passing by the Presbyterian Children’s Village, I spotted
him meandering across the grounds. By the time I made it up their long drive, a
couple of girls had already corralled him.”
Buster crawled over into the guy’s lap,
trying to hang his head out the window.
“Aw, he wants you to pet him and tell
him it’s all right,” the guy said. “Don’t you, pal?”
Hot Neighbor didn’t seem the slightest
bit perturbed by having a big, panting Husky crawling all over him. He was
clearly a dog lover, and that only added to his considerable appeal as far as
Teddy was concerned.
“You know he’s the Bennetts’ dog,
right?” she said.
“Sure, and you’re their dog walker. I
noticed you out with the dog a couple of times.”
noticed me? Teddy instantly gave herself a mental slap down for her
She gave him a weak smile. “Sorry about
Buster using your lawn as a potty.”
“He’s a dog, after all.” He nudged
Buster off his lap. “Come on, get in and we’ll get you two back home.”
“Thanks, but I’ll just meet you back
there.” The last thing she wanted to do was leave blood and dirt in his
expensive car, and they were just a few minutes’ walk from the Bennetts’ house.
When he shrugged his broad shoulders,
her gaze helplessly zeroed in on the biceps that bulged out from his tight
black T-shirt. Suddenly, she barely noticed the pain searing her elbow.
“See you there,” he said and sped away.
Teddy watched him go, telling herself to stop drooling like some teenage idiot.
She broke into a jog again. Though she
and her pal Emma had been doing the home pet care thing for a couple of years
now, she had to admit that nothing topped the last half hour for the most
interesting incident of her career.
Meet Author V.K.
V.K. Sykes is really two people –
Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write USA Today
Bestselling contemporary romance and also romantic suspense. Randy excels at
plot and characterization, but tends to fall down on the job when it comes to
that pesky old thing called emotion. That’s where Vanessa steps in. She usually
writes the sex scenes too, since Randy is a bit uncomfortable when it comes to
that sort of stuff. Vanessa also writes award-winning Regency-set historical
romance for Kensington Zebra under her own name.
V.K. also has a new contemporary
romance series in the works called Seashell Bay, set on a pretty little island
off the coast of Maine. Book one, Meet Me at the Beach, will be released by
Grand Central Publishing in February, 2015.