Playing for Keeps by Alison Packard (Feeling the Heat, #6) and Giveaway

I always like stories where single parents have to go the extra mile. It’s difficult enough when you have someone with you, sharing the endless crap (and bills) that parenting brings, I can only imagine how it is facing it alone. I do understand, though, how a parent would do whatever for her/his child’s sake and happiness, even if it’s somethime many people would frown upon.

All this is why I like this story.

The book is Playing for Keeps by Alison Packard (Feeling the Heat, #6) published a couple of days ago in the Adult, Contemporary, Romance genre.

He’s riding the bench. She’s living a lie. The game of love is won in extra innings.

Following a terrible tragedy, Rick Taylor is making his comeback to the major leagues… and the dating scene. But years off the roster have left the veteran catcher a little rusty. It’ll take a special woman to heal the heartache of losing his family. But the perfect contender refuses to let him try out…

Single mom Amy Vaughn leads a double life. Between her daytime job and her nightclub gig, she can’t afford to date a famous baseball player… especially when the publicity could bring her dark secret to light. But the handsome catcher’s charms prove too strong to resist.

When old memories and new notoriety threaten to tear them apart, Rick and Amy must learn to drop their defenses, or they’ll miss out on their second chance at love.


Just past the parking garage, they stopped at the entrance to the alley that led to the staff entrance at the back of the club. Still holding his hand, Amy pivoted to face him, her boots adding enough height that she didn’t have to tip her head back to look at him. Under the golden glow of a nearby street lamp, her green eyes were a striking contrast to the smoky eye makeup she wore and the curly, dark red hair that framed her face. But despite the thick makeup and the wig, she was still Amy. The woman who’d awoken something inside of him he’d thought had been permanently extinguished when Jill died.

“I wish I didn’t have to go to work tonight,” she whispered.

Rick lifted his free hand to brush a curly lock of hair from her forehead. “Is there any way we can see each other again before I leave for Texas next Friday?”

“Jade and her mom have been so wonderful when it comes to watching Danny. I hate to take advantage of them.” She paused, studying him pensively for several seconds. “How would you feel about meeting Danny and me at the movie theater on Sunday?”

He grinned as relief surged through him. “I think the question is how would Danny feel about it?”

“Since he thinks you’re the best thing since the Weather Channel, he’ll be fine with it. He’s bringing a friend from school so I’m sure they’ll be as thick as thieves.”

“Then I’ll meet you there,” he said, and then leaned forward and pressed his mouth to hers. Her lips were as soft and pliant as he remembered, and she tasted like the coffee she’d been sipping at the café—warm and sweet. She leaned into him and everything faded away except the way she fit against him like they were made for each other. With a deep groan, he wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her closer, kissing her deeper until the silkiness of her tongue tangling with his caused every single thought to vacate his brain and travel at the speed of light to his cock.

He had no clue how long the kiss lasted, only that when they broke apart, each breathing heavily, he wasn’t even sure where the hell he was for a few seconds. With her lips slightly parted and swollen from their kiss and her eyes glazed with arousal, he couldn’t think past the thundering of his heart, and it was only the sudden blare of a car horn that shook him from his sexual stupor.

“That was…” she said, her voice barely a whisper, “…that was…something.”

“Yeah.” Something hot and something he wanted to do again. Sooner rather than later. He loosened his arms from around her and rested his hands on her waist. “Something.”

The sound of feminine laughter echoed nearby and Amy stepped back as a trio of women emerged from the parking garage and hurried past them, most likely to stake their place in line near the front door to the club.

“I should go inside.” Amy touched his arm and the luminous smile she gave him filled him with an emotion he couldn’t name. But whatever it was, it felt good. “Thank you for dinner.”

“You’re welcome. Let me know when and where to meet you and Danny on Sunday.”

“I will,” she said, then turned and headed toward the back door to the club.

He watched her until she disappeared inside, and then headed to the parking garage, his body still feeling the effects of their explosive kiss.


Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Alison now lives in Southern Nevada where she’s finally used to the blistering summers, but still finds the slot machines in grocery stores and gas stations rather odd.

When not working at the day job that pays the bills, keeps a roof over her head, and supports her book and chocolate habits, she spends most of her free time writing. But when she takes a break, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.

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