Excerpt: In It To Win It by Morgan Kearns

Today we’ll read more about one of our prizes for the Romancing Christmas Giveaway!

In It To Win It
by Morgan Kearns

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May 3rd 2011 by Goodnight Publishing

Sportscaster ‘Plain Jane’ Alexander was a late bloomer. Back in the day, she blended into the background, content to watch from the sidelines while Grayson Pierce soaked up the spotlight. Content until he broke her heart. Bitter, hurt and angry Jane did the college thing, came out of her shell, and never looked back. Grayson loves baseball. It was his pastime in high school, his passion in college, and now … his career. However baseball isn’t the only thing in Grayson’s heart. The problem is that Grayson has the reputation as a bad-boy. He likes fast cars and loose women and expensive liquor. All things that make him deplorable in Jane’s eyes, throw in his hot and cold attitude and she is ready to scream. When the promise of an exclusive interview brings a very reluctant Jane to Grayson’s home, she realizes that not everything is as it appears.

“Author Morgan Kearns does it again … In It To Win It will fast become a ‘keeper book’ for any romance reader.” -Kari Thomas, author of Spell-Kissed.

Amazon

***

Grayson, surrounded by his cheering team-mates, entered and her heart nearly stopped. It had been years since she’d been so close to him and the effect he had on her was the same. Tears stung her eyes and she blinked. This was not the appropriate time to get emotional.Come to think of it; never was the appropriate time to get emotional over Grayson Pierce. He didn’t deserve her tears.
The one she recognized as Xavier stopped in front of her. His brows rose. “Hey, sweet thing. You lookin’ for an interview?”Instead of slapping him—which is what she really wanted to do—she stuck the mic in his face. “Great game.”

“Thanks. Standing at the plate with men on the corners puts a lot of pressure on a guy, ya know?”

She bit down hard, grinding her molars to keep from rolling her eyes. “I can imagine,” she said through gritted teeth, urging him to continue.

He did. “But doing it with a full count is enough to make you sweat.” He chuckled and lifted his hat to wipe his forehead with the back of his hand. “It’s a good thing I don’t buckle under pressure. I thrive on it.”

“You’ve had a decent rookie season—”

“Decent?” He laughed, looked over his shoulder and hollered, “Yo, Pierce, this chick says I’ve had a decent season.”

In that moment Jane wanted to drop to the floor and dig herself a hole to hide in. The situation only got worse as Grayson lifted his chin and laughed. The sound was low and deep and—damn her straight to hell—sensual. He waded through the crowd straight toward them. Jane gulped and ignored the fact that he’d taken off his jersey. His navy uniform pants were so low on his hips she wondered if his cheeks would show if he turned around. His abs were damp with sweat and Jane felt the sudden urge to trace them with her tongue.

Which was absurd … because she hated him.

Grayson’s eyes met hers and he lifted a brow. Damn! Surely, he didn’t know what she was thinking.

“Thanks for the interview,” she mumbled, trying to get away without having to talk with Grayson.

Surely there was another ballplayer that wouldn’t thrive on trying to humiliate her. No doubt when Grayson showed up that’s what would happen. And she didn’t need those kinds of problems.

The news industry was highly competitive and challenging, but being a female sportscaster made it all the more grueling. Most athletes were respectful. A high percentage flirted relentlessly. She’d been given more than one hotel room key—all of which were placed where they belonged … in the trash.

Molly, her best friend since her college days at USC—Go Trojans!—insisted she wallpaper her bedroom with them. Or better yet, just hand ‘em over to her. She’d be happy to use a pompous, egotistical man.

“Hey! Where you goin’, darlin’?” A hand the size of a ham bit into her arm and roughly urged her to turn back around. She slapped Xavier’s hand away.

“I am not darlin’. The name’s Jane Alexander. If you’d like to stuff your testosterone where the sun don’t shine, I’d be happy to put your ugly mug on TV. If not … we’re both just wasting our time.”

Nate snorted, but didn’t react further, professionally keeping the camera on the arrogant face that seemed momentarily stunned. But only momentarily.

“Listen, honey—” Xavier raised his hands in mock surrender. “—I didn’t mean no disrespect.”

“Listen, honey, if you can’t call me Jane, then don’t call me at all.”

Xavier laughed and jerked his thumb in her direction—but the red tint to his cheeks revealed that he was embarrassed. “This one’s a livewire. For real! Pierce, I think I’m in love.”

Grayson finally made his way to stand before her. Those shoulders of his were even broader than she remembered—his body more toned with a wider chest, a narrower waist and more powerful thighs. The boy she’d known had become a delicious man. His dark hair was in a sweaty dis-array, his cap having been removed, a dark curl rested against the tanned skin of his forehead.

He was sporting a goatee these days, trimmed close to his face, probably to hide the thin scar that she’d given him junior year. It was only fair; heaven knew that she wore enough scars from him.

Hers were emotional—and still raw.

His heated gaze slowly roamed from her pink-painted toes, pausing at her hips and breasts, be-fore coming to a stop on her face. Those perfect lips of his formed a smirk and her knees nearly gave out.

He stuck out his hand. “Hi. Grayson Pierce.”

Wow!

Of all the reactions he could have had to seeing her after so many years that was by far the last one Jane would have expected. It hurt—an honest to goodness dagger to the heart—that there was no recognition in his dark brown eyes.

She glanced down at his hand, but didn’t take it. She forced herself to make eye contact as she said, “Jane Alexander, KHB, can I get a comment on the win?”

His grin widened and he shouted, jabbing his fists into the air, “Rockets—all the way to the Series!” He winked at her. “And you can quote me on that.”

***
Morgan Kearns survived the intense and ever-changing insanity of television news for nearly 10 years before retiring to enter the jungle ofraising four children. She writes novels that are ‘a real page turner’ and ‘couldn’t put the book down’ reads. She does an ‘amazing job bringing her characters to life’.
Morgan loves to meet new characters as they step out of her imagination, introduce themselves and keep her up all night telling their stories. Morgan lives in Northern Arizona with her wonderfully supportive husband and her four great kids—and her bulldog, Gus.
 

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