Hello loves and Welcome to My Blog Tour Stop for The Love Playbook by Suze Winegardner hosted by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours. I’ll be sharing a fun excerpt so scroll down to check it out now!
Published: November 4, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush
Genre(s): YA, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Ebook 200 pages
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.
She’d forgotten how much she liked this. Puffs of warm air seeping out of their helmets in the damp, chilly evening, the yellow tinge to the air from the floodlights, the tense atmosphere in the stands… It was almost other-worldly.
The whistle blew and Colin and the other team’s QB did the coin toss. The Hammers won, and elected to start.
“I can’t bear it,” Lexi squeaked.
Colin took the ball and ran to the left, dodging the linebacker, planted his feet and pulled his arm back, and threw. It was a Lincoln five play. And Lucas was right there where he was supposed to be. The ball spun, suspended in the air, as Lucas ran with his back to the ball.
“Oh my God,” Avery whispered.
Lucas stopped and looked over his shoulder, plucking the ball out of the air like it was just hovering there waiting for him to take it.
Avery saw him check the defense, and run toward the touchline. He made about twenty yards before a safety touched his shin and sent him rolling to the ground. It was a great start.
Lucas jumped up effortlessly and left the ball on the grass.
“Holy hell. I’m not sure we’ve ever started a game so well,” Lexi said. “Did you see that throw?”
“Uh-huh. Did you see that catch?” Avery said. Why was her voice so breathless?
Lexi and Avery looked at each other and almost-but-not-quite squealed.
She looked down at the sideline to watch her father. His clipboard was tucked under his arm as he calmly watched the players. He looked confident.
The whole team looked confident.
This was going to be a celebratory night, she could feel it. No one was out of place; it was like a magnet was keeping everyone exactly where they were supposed to be. Colin and Lucas ruled the offensive plays. Lucas didn’t drop a ball. And Colin couldn’t seem to miss. No one came close to sacking him. It was like they’d been playing together for years instead of weeks.
The score wasn’t even close. And by the time the final whistle blew, Avery almost felt bad for the home team.
They waited in their seats for most everyone to leave before getting up. It usually took a good hour for the team to get out of their gear and have everything accounted for and packed away. It was ten by the time everything was in order.
As they boarded the bus to take them to the hotel, Avery’s dad shook every player’s hand, and gave them a few words about their performance. Except Colin. Colin he pulled in for a hug.
The team was raucous. LeVonn leaned over the front seat and high fived everyone as they walked on. Lexi and Avery were the last.
The bus pulled out and Avery’s dad stood up. The laughing and shouting continued.
“Shut up!” her dad yelled over the noise.
Immediately silence descended on the bus.
“You did good guys. We live to fight another day! What are we going to do?”
“Keep fighting, keep fighting, keep fighting!” the players chanted.
The guys all cheered.
“But let’s get real. You’re excited and happy—rightly so—but we are unloading here at a hotel. There are guests here who need a good night’s sleep. I know you’re going to want to celebrate, but after eleven you do it silently. No alcohol. I’ll be checking rooms.” He gave a meaningful look around the bus, catching everyone’s eyes.
“Did you bring your swimsuit?” Lexi asked.
“Of course. But I’m not sure I’m going to put it on.” She was having second and third thoughts about wearing a swimsuit in front of Lucas. She wasn’t sure why.
“I get you. But it’ll kinda seem stranger if we’re fully clothed hanging around the pool. I mean, when have we ever done that?” Lexi asked.
She had a point, but they’d all just been friends before. She’d never looked at any of the guys on the team as boyfriend material. Ever.
Her dad doled out the keys. Most guys were sharing two or three to a room. Lexi and Avery had their own twin room next to her father’s.
They went up to their room and changed into their swimsuits, but put on shorts and tees as a cover up. They raided the bathroom for towels and headed down to the pool, where they could already hear the guys celebrating. She wondered how she’d get the chance to speak to Lucas with everyone around.
Excitement built in her, and she couldn’t tamp it down. She felt like she was teetering on an edge. On one side was her father keeping his job, and Lucas being the miracle they’d needed, and the other side was Lucas. Lucas kissing her like he had in the storm. Had he forgotten? Hadn’t he felt how much she wanted him to kiss her more? It was the beautiful agony of not knowing. The possibility that she’d get to kiss him again that night, and the possibility that she wouldn’t.
They were barely noticed when they arrived. Everyone was laughing and dragging beers out of the cooler that Digger had hidden in a big gear bag. Pizza boxes were already stacked on various tables by the sun loungers. A lot had already been torn into.
When she caught Lucas’s gaze, he tipped his head to one side and subtly raised his beer bottle to her. She grinned, and doffed an imaginary hat to him. He laughed silently, throwing his head back for a second.
Excitement built in her stomach.
Suze Winegardner is a British YA writer, currently living overseas with her military husband, and lovely Lab. She loves Buffy, Fray Bentos pies, Archer, cheese, and the serial comma. Wait – Cadbury Flakes too. And naps. Wait, what was the question? Anyway, she thinks her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny…and if you get that reference, she already considers you kin.
Thanks for stopping by sweeties. Happy reading and have a fantastic day!