Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Love Playbook

Congratulations to "Hefley12169", the winner in Suze's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!

The Love Playbook is a young adult book about second, and maybe third chances, football, and friends. Because let’s face it—aren’t these some of the most important things in life? Oh wait…and making out. Football, friends, second chances, and making out. Football is a way of life in Hillside, Texas, and Avery is just about to single-handedly try to get her team to the playoffs to save her dad’s job. But she doesn’t realize that her side-hustle of coaching the new boy on the team could utterly upend her life.

When Avery Stone learns her dad will be fired if his high school team doesn’t make the playoffs, she has to get her head out of her day planner and do something—anything—to help him win. Even if it means secretly coaching the team’s newest player, who seems to have more game than skill.

Lucas Black just transferred to Hillside with a fake name and a big secret. The MVP of every team he’d played on since he was seven—not to mention the MVP of every post-game party—he can’t understand why since arriving at Hillside, he’s been unable to catch a single. Freaking. Ball.

Until…Avery. Amazing, kind, generous, and crazy-freaking-hot Avery.

As Lucas goes from zero back to hero and Avery struggles with just what Lucas means to her, she inadvertently sets them on a collision course with Lucas’s secret…a secret that could take down not only Lucas but her father too.

DISCLAIMER: This Entangled Teen Crush contains a football player hotter than the Texas sun, hotel cuddles, and a steamy makeout session in the rain.

Avery sat up straight and stretched her back. She’d been so tense when they arrived, but now Lucas was actually here and talking to her, her body was relaxing. It felt good. “Beggars can’t be choosers. Our school is so small, and despite the number of kids—and their parents—who want to play on dad’s team, it’s still a pretty small pool of players if we want to be competitive.” And we really do.
Lucas nodded. Silence fell between them. But before she could ask for his cell number, he said, “So. tell me. Which is your favorite Star Wars movie? I haven’t thought about much else since you mentioned it.”
She laughed. “Seriously? That’s all you could think about?” She couldn’t take the edge off her voice, although she was trying really hard to be casual. They’d shared, like, two moments together. She’d been beating herself up for thinking about them when she should have been concentrating on school, and while she was thinking about him, apparently all he’d been thinking about were movies? She knew she wasn’t all that, hell even Blaine had called her vanilla—sweet but uninteresting—in his break up text, but come on, they’d nearly made out. Kind of, anyway.
He tipped his head to one side and paused.
She looked down. Damn. Why hadn’t she kept it light? She tried to think of something to say that would cover for her mistake, but came up with nothing.
He still said nothing. When she looked up, he opened his mouth to speak, but in the dark she saw a ball flying toward them. She pointed and squeaked “Ball!”
Lucas jumped up, spilling his beer, and intercepted it before it hit her. He caught it effortlessly. A huddle of guys came running toward them.
“Run!” a voice yelled.
He peered into the darkness. “Shit!” he said, and took off with the ball. He didn’t run fast, just fast enough to stay a few paces ahead of the crowd.
Suddenly there was a shout of pain. Avery jumped up. Was that Lucas? She ran down the steps and through the huddle. It wasn’t Lucas. It was Greg. “Sprained or broken? Sprained or broken?” he asked through clenched teeth.
“Dude. You probably twisted it,” Colin said. “Come on, man. Walk it off.”
There was a pause. Yvonne ran to the cooler and grabbed some ice in her sweater and a bottle of beer. Then made her way back to Greg. “This’ll help,” she said, handing him a beer and sticking the ice on his ankle. Everyone cheered.
Suddenly there was a rumble of thunder in the distance. There was no way there was going to be a storm. Mr. Hardy said nothing about rain. It was supposed to be a windstorm, and that had passed through during the day.
Lightning flashed over by the fertilizer plant to the east of the mall. A soft wind picked back up. It was nice. She closed her eyes and breathed. Okay. So Lucas had spent the past days wondering about her movie preferences. That was fine. She should remember why she and Lucas were even talking in the first place. Her dad. His job. Those were the important things.
With that out of her mind—she hoped—she could plan what she had to do tomorrow. It gave her comfort to know that she could turn to a fresh page, pick up a pen, and plan something different. It amazed her how those simple things could change everything. It was comforting.
And then thunder crashed above them, making her eyes fly open and Claire scream.
It felt like a bare three seconds before the skies opened. There was no faint splatter of rain. It went from dry to pouring in two seconds.
Everyone dived for the coolers and coats, and ran for the nearest shelter. She was about to turn and follow them, when someone took her hand. Lucas.
“Come on,” he shouted against the roaring sound of the rain hitting the stands and the plastic that covered the touchlines. He ran, and she followed. She couldn’t see a few feet ahead of her, or hear anyone else. But he was holding her hand and that was all her brain processed. He stopped as soon as they reached the concrete tunnel that ran around the outside of the field.
She stood against the wall, catching her breath. They were both soaked. Totally drenched like they’d been through a car wash. Was her dress see-through now? She resisted the urge to look down, and just plucked it from her skin a little.
She opened her mouth to say something—she wasn’t sure what.
Lucas came up close, totally invading her space. He braced himself on one arm next to her head. Rain was still dripping down his face. Her knees felt like honey under his intense gaze. “No. Star Wars was not all I’ve been thinking about. I’ve been thinking about how you helped me when you didn’t have to. How generous you’ve been to me. I’ve been wondering what happened to your mom and how you’re even still functioning. I’ve been wondering what you do when you’re alone in your room. I’ve been thinking about the expression on your face in the hospital. Because, I can’t forget the way you looked at me. You…you looked like you wanted me to kiss you. Really kiss you.”
Avery’s breath caught in her throat. Her joints seemed to fuzz, like she’d had too much to drink. He was so close, and she’d thought about him kissing her all day. His words just about slayed her.
“I’ve been thinking about you, Avery.” His gaze roamed her face, lingering on her lips.
Her breath shook as she inhaled. She’d never wanted to kiss anyone as much as she wanted to kiss Lucas Black.
Suze is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky person leaving a comment or email entry!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST November 7th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. US residents only. 


  1. This sounds like a cute story! Thanks for giving us a peek, Suze!

  2. Ah, it feels like a throw back to the olden (younger) times... :) Congrats on the book release!

  3. I love the sound of this book! Congratulations on your new release.

  4. Wow, this book sounds really good! I love that this small town is centered around football. The secret Lucas has really has me intrigued. Congratulations on your release! Thanks for sharing an excerpt!

  5. Thanks for sharing about your book!


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