Monday, October 14, 2013

Start Your Week With Romance: 'Touchdowns & Potions'

Welcome to Monday!  It's a great day...I hope.

Today, we're looking at Touchdowns & Potions, a fun book with some 'different' characters.  Enjoy!




Blurb:
Real estate agent Jenna Steele has been chosen to sell professional quarterback Andy McKnight's huge home in order to make enough money to send her adopted sister to a prestigious university. But she hates professional athletes, considering them lazy and playboys in real life while making millions for entertainment purposes. When he convinces her he does have a heart and a conscience, she falls in love with the man who drives her crazy and doesn't wear a watch. There's only one problem—Jenna's wrists have been splashed with a home remedy love potion by an older client, and now all men are falling at her feet, willing to kill to date her. She knows that once the love potion wears off, Andy will be gone and she'll be forced to find a job out of state just to survive the bombardment of the paparazzi and Andy's friends.


~~~~~


Excerpt:

"Will you look at that stud? If he's the owner of this mansion…" As Jenna Steele turned off her air conditioning and parked her car in the driveway, she licked her lips and stared at the sexy man on the porch in awe, taking in his huge, well-defined muscles and adorable face. He looked like he'd just gotten out of bed, wearing only dark blue shorts in the morning August air.

Although she'd sworn off the good-looking macho type of man, she wished she could make an exception—he was that incredible.

The man's dog ran out of the house and off the porch, barking, then jumped up on Jenna's car door. His vicious teeth were bared, making Jenna move toward the passenger's seat.

Jenna wound her window down an inch and shouted toward the man, over the loud animal. "Are you going to help me?"

The man shook his head. "No, he's my watch dog and you're a stranger."

What a scummy man. "Very funny." She looked out her window. "He's scratching my paint!"

"Killer. Down," the man said, not even raising his voice. The dog dropped to the ground, sauntered to his master and sat beside him. "You can get out now."

She still didn't trust the monster beast, not wanting to get out of her car. They could turn on strangers at any time, from what she'd seen in the past. "Are you sure he's not going to eat me?"

The man laughed, bent down and stroked the dog's fur. "No way. Killer's no killer."

The whole situation made her angry, but she let it go. If he was the owner of the home, she had to remain professional. She was a real estate agent and he was her potential client. Her job depended on this sale, considering she'd lost two other sales that week. The company's new 'three strikes and you're out' policy was getting too close for comfort.

Jenna grabbed her purse, day planner, and client portfolio, then opened the door and got out of the car. While shaking her head, she studied the scratch on her door, running her fingers over it. What was she going to do? She didn't have the cash to fix the thing, nor did she have the time. However, she couldn't get angry, because he was, in fact, a potential client.

After smoothing her blue skirt, she shook back her hair and approached the man. "I'm looking for Mr…" She opened her portfolio and glanced at the name. "Andy McKnight."

"That's me," the man said with a grin. "You must be from We-Sell Lincoln Realty."

"Yes, sir." She reached out and shook his hand, the heat from his fingers searing her skin. Even sexier up close, he made her catch her breath while staring at his brown hair and very blue eyes. His chiseled face was bronzed with slight stubble on his chin, his smile revealing his incredibly white straight teeth.

She took a small breath, unable to shake the power this man had over her. "I'm Jenna Steele. It's nice to meet you."

His face turned puzzled. "Do you know who I am?"

"Sure. You're…" She checked her portfolio again. "Andy McKnight." Turning her gaze to the mansion sitting in front of her, dollar signs danced in her mind. "You want to sell this beautiful home, right?"

"Yes, I do. I'm building something further out and need more space."

She jerked her head toward him. "More space? Do you have a family?" The place was already enormous.

"No, no family, but I have goals for my future and need more space."

She wanted to ask him what he was talking about, but kept it to herself, wanting to see the inside of the home before she asked more.

His warm hand gently took her elbow and directed her toward the house, making her feel uncomfortable, so she moved away from him. His hot touch was more than she'd bargained for. She had to keep her distance and keep her eye on her goal—getting the commission from the house and keeping her job.

"Do you know who I am?" he asked.

Didn't he ask her that before? What was his problem? "Andy McKnight."

"At least you didn't have to check your files again," he muttered. "Have you ever heard of me before?"

"No, sir. My boss handed me your file and now I'm here. I'm to assess your home and see who can sell it for our company." She had to give herself an out in case she was out of her league. She'd been with the company for only a few months, and given the size of the home, she may not have the connections to sell the place.

As they climbed the steps to the porch, the dog followed along. Andy opened the front door and they entered the foyer off the kitchen. With cathedral ceilings, light wood and dark trim, the house was gorgeous, originally, but, at this moment, it was a disaster. What seemed like hundreds of beer cans littered the floor, with pizza boxes and trash of every type strewn everywhere. It looked like no one had cleaned for months. The dog went right to work, sniffing and hunting for any stray food.

"Sorry for the mess," Andy said. "The maid hasn't been here for two days."

"Two days?" Jenna glanced around the room. "You did all this in two days?"

His hand touched her back, directing her away from the open door. Jenna stepped over a black lacy bra, turned to Andy, then pointed at the bra. "I take it this isn't yours."

He laughed as he closed the door. "No, not mine. That belongs to a friend's—"

"A friend of yours?" She lowered her voice and glanced around to see if a woman was nearby. "I can come back at another time if you want." She had to remain professional, giving her client some space. At least that's what she'd been taught.

Andy laughed again. "No. You don't understand. A friend of mine has someone in one of the bedrooms in this place. It's not what you think."

Jenna crossed her arms over the brown leather portfolio she was holding. She hated people like this—no ambition, no drive, and no schedule. He let someone else entertain a woman in his house and didn't seem to care. It was horrible to waste one's life, playing all day. For most people, she'd dive right in and try to help them, but this man seemed to be a spoiled brat. She made a mental note not to be the one to sell his house. They couldn't fire her for refusing to even try, could they?

He ushered her into the living room, and with the sweep of one arm, pushed everything from the couch onto the floor. "Have a seat. Want something to eat or drink?"

"In this place?" Jenna answered, wrinkling her nose. "I mean—no thanks." She wiped crumbs from the dark gray leather couch and sat on the edge so she wouldn't get anything stuck to her skirt. How could anyone live like this?

Andy sat in a chair across from the couch. "You're going to be my real estate agent, right?"

Jenna looked around the room then sat in her seat. "Like I said before, I'm to assess your home then see who can sell it. From what I see in this place, I'm not sure We-Sell Lincoln Realty can deal with your living habits. Do you always keep it this messy?"

Andy glanced around the room. "It's what I pay the maids for."

"How many maids do you have?"

"Three. They come once a week and were here two days ago."

"Once a week, and they were here already?" The place was a pigsty.

"I'll call them to make a special trip today. This is worse than usual. The guys—"

She looked around to see if anyone else was nearby. "Guys?"

"Yep. We had a late night last night and were just blowing off some steam."

"On a Sunday? A late night?" Her hand pointed to all the junk. "This looks like more than just some steam to me. Sir, if you want us to list your house, you'll need to keep it cleaner than this. I can't risk my job because you're a slob."

He tilted his head and studied her. "How long have you lived in Lincoln?"

Why would he want to know that? She didn't answer right away, utterly confused. "Well, I've lived in Nebraska all my life, but only in Lincoln for three months. I'm originally from Omaha. Why do you ask?"

"Oh, that's why you've never heard of me." He gave her a knowing look.

"Are you an egotist millionaire? Is that why you want me to recognize who you are?"

He grinned, shook his head and cleared his throat. "Not at all, except for the millionaire part. I've just never found anyone who didn't know Andy McKnight before. So you don't have me on some sort of pedestal? You just think I'm a slob."

"Pretty much." She glanced at her watch. 8:15 a.m. She'd only been in the home for seven minutes and she knew exactly what she thought but had to remain professional. "Look. I have work to do. Can we move this along, please?"

"Sure. But first, I want you to guess what I do for a living."

These games were going to make her late.

She sighed, then glanced around the room. "You're a professional pig?"

"Ah, very close," he said, grinning. "But not quite. Try again."

She thought for a moment. "You don't have a job that requires a schedule because it's after eight and you're not at work."

"I'm usually at work by seven but because we worked late last night, I have the morning off."

"Oh, so this is kind of like a vacation?" she asked, now understanding him better.

"No, I have a vacation beginning in the late winter or early spring. That's when I go on real vacations, away from Nebraska."

"Hmmm. So you're not a teacher, or you'd have your summers off." She looked all around the room. "You're in an expensive house, worth at least a half million—"

"Probably more, and my new house will have a pool and be much, much bigger. They've already started construction, and it should be done in the next month or so. I'm going to move my furniture to the new place as soon as it's ready."

So he really was a millionaire. If she didn't need the money or her job so badly, she'd be out of there, not willing to deal with guessing his occupation just to make him feel superior. "Let's see. You don't strike me as the doctor or lawyer type, and I know surfer dudes don't make millions."

He laughed. "You think I look like a surfer dude?"

She raked her eyes down from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. "You're the spitting image."

"That's hilarious. I wanted to do that for a living, but Dad told me to go to college, so we compromised. I went to the University of Southern California."

"In what?"

He lifted a finger and grinned. "I can't tell you until you guess."

More games and the clock still ticked. "Let's see. What other professions make someone worth millions of dollars so they can sit around in filth?" She glanced at him for a moment. "A movie star?"

"Nope. I'd probably be in California or near a movie shoot for that."

"Right. I should've guessed. That only leaves sports, as far as I can tell, because I highly doubt you have any sort of professional job like an executive or a thief. They don't take vacations in the late winter."

"You're right about that one," he murmured. "And you're right about sports. Now, which one?"

"Not golf, because you'd be taking the whole winter off. I doubt you'd be training in the summer for any type of winter sport, and you probably wouldn't be worth millions. Baseball is out, because you'd be working in springtime. That leaves—" Oh no. Not that. Please not that. "—football?"

Andy grinned. "Yes, ma'am. My favorite game and I'm with the Lincoln Goldsparx. In case you didn't know, that's a professional football team."

"Oh, I've heard of them. My dad watches sports, but I don't follow it at all."

He winked and grinned. "Now, what position?"

Jenna clutched her blouse closed at the neck. "Excuse me? I'm not that type of girl!"

He shook his head and chuckled. "Not sexual position. What position on the field?"

She moved her hand off her blouse. "Oh, a stupid jock question."

"Stupid jock?"

"Yeah. I hate jocks, and always have. Especially football jocks—no offense."

"No offense? Normally, I'd be offended, but in your case…" He glanced down over her. "I'm intrigued. Why do you hate football jocks?"

"I've hated them ever since high school, when the ditzy cheerleaders flaunted their bodies to the stupid football jocks and they fell for it. They could've cared less about brains and were only after one thing."

Andy moved to sit beside her on the couch, making her feel rather uncomfortable. If he weren't handsome to begin with, it would mean nothing. But he was the type of man most women swooned over, and the sensual heat radiating from him was almost more than she could bear.

"Brains are my favorite," he said. "I never liked cheerleaders because there was nothing to them. I went for the college-bound girls because they were more interesting." He lifted his hand and stroked her hair, making her jump at his touch. "Did you go to college?" he asked, amused.

Her eyes widened as she stared at him. "Sure did, why?"

"I love college girls." He leaned closer, nuzzled his nose into her hair, then kissed her cheek and moved down her neck. "You smell so nice."

She closed her eyes for just a brief moment because it felt so good. As soon as she realized where he was headed, she got her wits about her and moved away to the far end of the couch.

He shifted closer to her, making her face him, unable to move. She really wanted to run out of the room, but his blue eyes seemed to melt her heart for some reason, and she couldn't break that grip.

"Brains, ambition, desire…" His warm hand reached up and stroked her cheek in small but deliberate movements, his eyes glancing toward her lips then returning to her eyes. "Such pretty and soft brown hair, beautiful green eyes, curves in all the right places…" He moved his lips closer so she could smell his minty breath. She stared at his gaze, unable to pull away, as he peeked into her soul and his lips inched toward hers.

Her heart beat double-time and the butterflies in her stomach seemed to take over. His touch was warm on her lips, controlling her every movement with his tongue and making her want more. She wanted him to touch her everywhere, not stopping until she'd had her way with him. His arms surrounded her back and she desperately wanted to return the favor, but kept her arms still.

When he moved down to her chin and her neck, it was almost more than she could handle. Jenna reeled to her senses, hopped to her feet and faced him, her hands on her hips.

"Mr. McKnight! I'm a professional and I'd appreciate it if you'd treat me as such!"

Andy looked surprised. "I'm sorry?"

"You're right, you're sorry. Now, do you want to sell this house or what?"

"Yes, I do."

~~~~~
Buy Links:
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Have a great week!
Markee

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