For Amanda Wright--new reporter on the pro baseball block--this rule is harder to keep than she had thought. Especially with the team's star pitcher, gorgeous Brad Rogers, sending signals her libido can't possibly miss. How can she indulge her craving for Brad and still prove she can play with the big-league journalists?
From their first illicit kiss, their private ball games lead to delicious pleasure. Then she discovers Brad is hiding a big secret that could make her career--or blow his. And suddenly she has to choose: the best story of her life... or the best sex!
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August 01, 2007
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Excerpt from Hard and Fast by Lisa Renee Jones
Amanda Wright was living a dream.
New shoes. Expensive outfit--also new. Press pass around her neck allowing entry into a professional baseball players' locker room--a room certain to display hot male bodies in various stages of undress.
It was the perfect female fantasy come to life.
Or it should have been.
But right now, Amanda felt as if she were about to walk into the lions' den and those lions--aka ball players--were going to eat her alive.
Her high heels clicked on the concrete floor of the tunnel leading to the Los Angeles Rays' locker room, her toes pinched and her mind raced. Her journalistic instincts buzzed with the thought of the after-game activity on the other side of the door. Still, she hung back, wishing like hell she could tap her heels together and transport herself back to Dallas, Texas.
Dallas, the place where she'd had a position reporting high school sports for one of the daily newspapers. It didn't matter that her work had lacked any semblance of challenge and leaned dangerously close to boring. She'd had job security. And her parents and her sister. She'd had her comfortable little downtown apartment overlooking White Rock Lake--she really loved that view.
Nerves flooded her system, and she stopped. For a moment, Amanda stood, watching people pass. What would she do if she went into that locker room and made a fool of herself? What would happen if she didn't impress her editor with her first column? Or didn't attract readers?
What had she been thinking? She must have been insane to leave her comfortable life behind. And for what? A sports column with her name attached? Didn't seem like such a sweet deal at this moment.
She took a deep breath. A dream column, she reminded herself. On game days she got space in the paper no matter what, just as she had back home. But now she'd hit the big time. Twice a week she had her very own feature in the sports section. And this wasn't high school baseball. This was the majors. An opportunity she'd fantasized about for years.
But, of course, the job had come with extreme pressure. There was one tiny condition she hadn't shared with her family because they'd only worry more than they already were. Her new boss, Kevin Jones, had given her a short time frame in which to build a readership or she'd be gone. Seemed her predecessor had left and taken many of his fans with him. When she'd asked Kevin how short, he'd simply said, "Short."
The ringing of her cell phone offered a welcomed excuse to continue to stall. She shoved a wayward strand of long, auburn hair behind her ear and reached inside her purse, a petite Louis Vuitton bag her sister, Kelli, had given her to celebrate the new job.
The minute Amanda hit the Answer button, her sister's voice snapped through the line, a lightning rod of reprimand. "I knew it."
Kelli ignored the question. "Why are you answering your phone?"
Amanda rolled her eyes. "Why are you calling if you don't want me to answer?"
"Because I knew you would," Kelli retorted. "I didn't want to be right, but I knew I would be. Shouldn't you be in a locker room full of hot bodies, drooling enough for the both of us?"
"How do you know I'm not?"
"Like you'd answer if you were." A pause followed and in her mind's eye, Amanda could see Kelli shaking her head. "You've worked yourself into a state of self-doubt, haven't you? Why do you always do this to yourself?"
"I'm not doing anything," Amanda said, lying. Kelli was right. Amanda tended to let big events work her into a ball of nerves, so much so that she often would get sick. Every year, the first day of school had been greeted with a horrible cold and a red nose. Before a swim meet, she'd have abdominal cramps from the knots in her stomach. It was a miracle she'd managed to perform so well, time after time.
"Right," Kelli said. "I wasn't born yesterday.