Release Date: June 21 2018
Cover design: Letitia Hasser / RBA Designs
Photographer: Lindee Robinson Photography
Models: Travis Bendall & Ali Abela
Genre: College Romance
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Parker Kent . . .
Complete and utter jerk
I made a vow—a vow to steer clear of guys like Parker. But when he shows up every Monday night at my workplace, that vow is torn to shreds. As much as I’d like, to I can’t ignore a customer.
At some point, a friendship forms. It’s not what I expected; he’s not what I expected. Those walls I put up are being torn down piece by piece, allowing Parker into my heart. Am I setting myself up for disaster, or is my Monday-night guy just the antidote my wounded heart needs?
I race back to the dorm, quickly change, and grab the basketball from my cupboard, along with a water bottle. I take off to the basketball court to clear my head.
I enter the basketball building. It’s quiet. Lights fill the arena. I look around; it appears no one is here. Fantastic! Placing my water bottle down, I bounce the ball, and it echoes around the room. I stand at the three-pointer line and shoot. Shot after shot go in.
“Why didn’t you try out for the girls’ team?”
I spin around. Parker stands there with a ball tucked under his arm.
I shrug, turning back toward the ring and taking another shot. Damn it. This time I miss. “Basketball isn’t my life. When I was younger, Dad and I would mess around a fair bit, and it was good because Devon, my brother, became attached to the game and he’s even better than me.” I remember Devon trying again and again to get the ball in the hoop. His determination’s phenomenal. I’m sure he could easily get into college and play basketball.
Parker stands across from me on the line, taking shots and, of course, not missing any. I can’t help myself; I watch him. The muscles in his arms flex, and when he goes to take the shot, he jumps a little. Even though it’s a small jump, when he lands his muscles tense, defining his physique.
“Want a game of one-on-one?” he asks as he releases another shot.
Already knowing he’s going to win, I figure, why not? “Sure. First to five wins?”
“Yeah, but I have other stipulations.”
This isn’t going to end well for me. “What are they?”
He’s silent for a moment. “If I win, you have to be nice to me. Stop assuming I’m some jackass—”
“I thought that was what you were?” I cut in. Innocence chimes in my tone.
Parker chuckles and holds his hand up to stop me from continuing. “I wasn’t finished, little mouse.”
“Go on, hot shot.”
“Now, as I was saying, you have to be nice to me, and you have to let me take you out.”
I eye him skeptically. Is this some joke or trick to get back at Stacey or Hayden? I’m not in the market for revengeful dating. In fact, I should stick to my decision not to date guys like him. “Sorry, I can’t do the date. I’ve decided to refrain from the dating scene.”
“Well, don’t look at it as a date then. It’ll just be two friends heading out.” The last part of his sentence causes my stomach to plummet. Friends. He takes another shot, then holds the ball. His stare grips me, and somehow, I find myself nodding in agreement to his terms.
“What if I win?”
Parker erupts with laughter. “Don’t worry, little mouse. I’ll be sure to at least let you get one shot in,” he teases.
“Bring it on.” I place my ball down beside my water. I can feel the smile on my face—it’s one I haven’t worn in a long time. It’s as if there’s a brightness coming from within me. I love sports, but I’ve never really done anything with it, never joined a team. I know I’m sure to lose against the basketball captain, but what’s a bit of fun?
Parker tosses the ball to me. “Here, you can start. It might be the only shot I allow you to have. I’ll take it easy on you.”
“Not too easy, I hope,” I respond playfully. A smile that I’m sure mimics my own sits on Parker’s face.
“Stop stalling,” he says. I take a sneaky advantage.
I dribble the ball to the hoop. Parker comes toward me. I balk him to go one way, and instead, I go the other. He’s back on me within seconds. I hit the three-point line and take the shot. I don’t miss.
I toss the ball to him. He takes it back out to halfway then comes driving back in, only he’s coming right at me. I don’t move. Instead, I hold my arms out, and when he comes near I manage a sneaky tap on the ball and collect it from him. “Watch out there, Parker. You might just lose to a girl.” I laugh before running in, dribbling the ball.
Parker wraps his arms around me, stealing the ball. I become warm. My body craves his touch. He’s lit it up, and now my stupid body is betraying me. Yet again.
Parker releases me and dribbles the ball away, I say, “You can’t do that. I call foul ball.” Before I register what’s happening, Parker’s taken a shot, and through the hoop it goes.
“I’ll give you two foul shots then. Here,” he says.
I catch the ball he tosses me. I align myself on the foul shot line. Parker comes around from behind me. He’s stripped his jersey off. It appears the gods decided they would give him a body like theirs—one of pure perfection. He won’t get to me, I chant in my mind. I give my head a shake and keep my focus on the job at hand: kicking his ass.
Parker’s heat hits my back. My senses light up like a Christmas tree. A finger slides down my arm. I swallow the hard lump in my throat. Each and every part of me wants to turn and plant a kiss on his lips. I must refrain. It’s like the devil tempting Eve all over again. Parker’s lips are the most forbidden fruit.
I bounce the ball twice, bending slightly to take one of my two free shots. My ass hits his crotch. Parker’s hands land on my hips seconds later.
Oh, he’s so good at this. What a tease.
But two can play at this game.
One of Five ARC’s for Monday Night Guy
About the Author
Liz Lovelock is from bright sunny Queensland in Australia. She is the mother of three little monsters, a wife to an amazing husband and very much a lover of everything books and reading. Liz has always loved books and, from a very young age she began reading comic books and then in high school her passion grew. She was given Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden for an assignment but, when that was done she continued to discover new books to fall in love with.
Liz always has a book she is currently enjoying and, a notebook beside her bed for in her hand bag for when inspiration hits at those crazy times. She is a stationary addict and will buy more notebooks and pens then what she needs. Her one click finger likes to go crazy as well.
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