Hi Y’all! Welcome back to Cat’s Meow! May is nearly over, can you believe that? School is out, it’s time for swimming, picnic, baseball, hotdogs and apple pie!
I have with us again one of my favorite authors, Rachelle Ayala and one of her sports romances, Play Catch. This is a full length novel and man is it sexy! Before I get to the review, I asked Rachelle to share with us a favorite picnic recipe.
Savory Golden Potatoes [tastes good both warm or chilled as a potato salad] serves 6
You will need
|5-6 yukon gold potatoes; cubed|
|1 large chopped onion|
|1-2 cloves diced garlic|
|1 corn on the cob scraped off the cob (or frozen corn kernels)|
|1 package sliced mushrooms|
|1/2 tsp pepper|
|1 Tbsp. Olive oil
Salt to taste
Brown onions in oil. Add mushrooms and corn
. Stir in potatoes. Season with black pepper and salt
Turn heat to low and cover with a lid.
Cook 30 minutes until potatoes are cooked through
Title: Playing Catch
Series: A Baseball Romance
Author Rachelle Alaya
Publisher: Amiga Book (January 26th 2016)
Genre: Contemporary, heart-wrenching tale of childhood abuse and recovery,Sports romance
Add to Goodreads:
Jeanine Jewell gets her story next in Playing Catch, a heart-wrenching tale of childhood abuse and recovery.
On the field and off the field, bartender Jeanine Jewell plays, collecting one-night stands like baseball cards. She doesn’t need a man, except to curl her toes and make her scream. She’s learned the hard way that love is about control and manipulation—and the last thing she can handle is letting herself be vulnerable, or having anyone discover her shameful secret.
Scoring women is easy for catcher Kirk Kennedy—they don’t call him “Catch and Release” for nothing. He never goes back for a repeat performance. Being traded to a new city is an opportunity for new adventures—until he runs into Jeanine and she refuses to go home with him.
Intrigued, Kirk is determined to catch the elusive blonde and keep her to himself. When he proposes a wingman to wingwoman friends without benefits relationship, he’s surprised she accepts.
The no benefits clause soon falls by the wayside when neither Jeanine or Kirk can resist their explosive chemistry together. But despite the sparks between the sheets, they both refuse to acknowledge they’re anything more than friends.
Everything changes when Kirk discovers his past is the one Jeanine is hiding from …
Order Yours from Amazon for your Kindle.
Some nights, Jeanine Jewell hated herself. Actually, make that most nights.
Twenty-nine years old, part owner of her own business, she was single and definitely not available—at least for more than a night. Her blond hair, sky-blue eyes, and trim figure draped with designer clothing ensured her a steady supply of attractive and desirable men—the type who play, but not for keeps. Which suited her just fine and kept life exciting and fun—or so it seemed to those standing outside the closed doors.
Jeanine pulled on her skinny jeans and tugged her tank top in place, checking her bra straps. The man she’d hooked up with was already snoring like a mad dog. He’d been hot while he kept it up, but unlike his muscles and studly physique, he and that thing between his legs ran out of steam shortly after crossing home plate.
Jeanine plucked the baseball card from the nightstand. Sam Forster, first baseman for the New York Minutes, an expansion team who had to winter out west in Arizona instead of Florida where other east coast teams trained.
She snickered. It was no wonder they called them Minutemen, because one thing was for sure, he’d been fast. She pulled out a black leather notebook. After sliding in the baseball card, she wrote his name, dated it, and scored him. A nine in looks, but a four in bed, and that was being generous.
The hotel he stayed at was five star. His tousled dark brown hair over a chiseled Hollywood handsome face was a heartbreaker. But when it came to performance, Jeanine wondered if she’d be better off testing sex toys.
Except she had an image to keep up, and no one could ever know that she didn’t like sex.
Because she did. Right? Loved it and had the little black book to prove it.
After scanning the upscale room to make sure she hadn’t left anything, Jeanine quietly let herself out. Sam would probably wonder where she went, but maybe not. She never spent the night. Ever.
Let other women whine and moan for cuddling, or wish for after-sex conversation. Jeanine wasn’t made that way. Once the deed was done, her interest level dropped faster than a wrecking ball over a graveyard. Her main goal was to get away, to never look the guy in the eye again, to shield herself from the fake promises to call or the general awkwardness of a sober morning after once the intoxicating hormones of sex and power had dissipated.
It was a little after one in the morning, and the plush burgundy carpeted corridor appeared empty. Jeanine strode briskly toward the elevator. As she turned the corner, a man came out of another hotel room and shut the door slowly so that the lock barely clicked.
Holy hot tomato. Jeanine’s breath caught in her throat.
He was a hunk in tight stretched pants that outlined his fine ass and muscular thighs, and the build? Over six feet tall and broad shouldered without an inch of fat to soften the chiseled marble of his physique.
He ran his sturdy hand over his dirty blond hair, smoothing it back and put on a baseball cap. Rattlers, the hometown team, who’d beaten the Minutemen in tonight’s first spring training game.
Jeanine swallowed her drool, considering. Perhaps this Rattler would rattle her cage and make her scream longer than a minute. But then, even she had standards, and sleeping with another man so soon after her rather forgettable encounter was gross.
“Calling it a night?” She asked, since there was no way to avoid him. She owned the Hot Corner Bar and Grill where many of the Rattlers hung out at, but she’d never met this ballplayer before. Even doing his walk of shame, he looked fresh and peppy.
His too gorgeous blue eyes raked her with a spark of reignited heat. Oh yes, he knew exactly what she was doing skulking down the corridor of a five-star hotel shortly after midnight. Her makeup was off, hair rumpled, and despite smoothing her tank and draping it with a well-worn chambray shirt, she still had that freshly romped look.
But then, it was obvious what he’d been up to. Covering his bed head with a baseball cap? His white shirt was not buttoned correctly and one tail was tucked into his slacks while the other hung out, as if he was advertising what he’d been doing. A buttery, leather jacket was slung over his shoulder, and if it hadn’t been for the misbuttoned shirt, he could have stepped out of a magazine ad for fine men’s wear.
His lip twisted with a confident smirk, he extended his hand for a shake. “Care for a nightcap downstairs?”
Yowza, was he fast. But then, her quickie had left her with plenty of time to kill. One in the morning was still early for a bartender. It was her night off, and she could definitely go a second round—at the bar.
“Why not?” She shook his warm, firm hand, noting the well muscled forearm. Yep. Definitely a ballplayer. “How about we hop back to The Hot Corner? I’m Jeanine, the owner, and I haven’t seen you around.”
“That’s where my new teammates hang out. Kirk Kennedy, catcher. Just got traded to the Rattlers.”
“Ah, I figured you’re new in town. You know Brock Carter? Ryan Hudson?”
“Yep, but I don’t hunt where my teammates hang, if you know what I mean.” Again, he seared her with those clear blue eyes. “I know this great Mexican joint open until three. Hottest tamales in town.”
“New in town and scoring hot tamales already?” She quirked an eyebrow at him, amused that he’d recommended her rival in baseball bars, the unimaginatively named Home Plate. “Sure. I don’t mind checking out the competition and doing a little mystery shopping.”
He offered her his arm, an incredibly gentlemanly gesture, considering they met on their walks of shame.
Jeanine wet her lips and broke into a grin. Maybe, just maybe this night was salvageable.
# # #
Kirk Kennedy was feeling like a couple of million bucks—the numbers on his contract and a new town meant plenty of new faces, figures, and fun.
He loved women, loved their smiles, their stimulating scent, their luscious bodies, and the way they felt beneath, on top, in front and around him, but only for a single night. No expectations and no repeat performances.
Tonight’s pickup hadn’t left him satisfied. What had appeared sexy and hot at the bar turned into a woman who wanted the lights off. So he’d gotten the job done, groping in the dark, but couldn’t wait to hightail out of her room. She was some sort of sports reporter, not that he really cared to find out more.
When she went to the bathroom to clean up, he’d hastily pulled on his clothes, buttoning his shirt in the dark room and snuck out.
The gods must have been smiling on him, because pow! A hot, mussed up blonde still glowing and breathing rapidly from her own encounter strolled by on her walk of shame—or the way she wore it, he’d have to say walk of pride.
She was fairly tall, slender with well-rounded boobs, and legs a mile long—legs that would feel at home wrapped around him or kneeling over him as she rode him hard like a bucking bronco. The lean, well cut clothes and the BMW key fob dangling from her fingers showed her to be a woman of substance—one who played on her own terms without the need for gold digging.
Yep, the gods were smiling.
After chatting her up, he’d asked Jeanine to have a post-sex snack with him. He offered her his arm, and she slipped her elegant hand around the crook of his elbow.
Somehow, Kirk didn’t feel as tawdry leaving the hotel with this woman on his arm. Despite the circumstances, she held her head high and looked classy. She wasn’t dressed fast and loose, but classy: wearing a sedate pair of jeans, a soft work shirt over her white tank and hand-tooled white cowgirl boots. He nodded at the doorman and stepped into the cool Arizona night.
“Mind if we walk?” he asked. “I only have my bike here and no extra helmet for you.”
“I’ve a car,” she said. “I never leave myself without a way out.”
“So, you drove him here?”
“Did you ride her here on your bike?”
Kirk took a closer look at Jeanine. She wasn’t early twenties and stupid, but she was definitely not a cougar. If he were to guess, he’d say she was in her mid to late twenties, and yes, it was smart for a woman to take care of her own travel.
“I met her downstairs at the bar. That’s her hotel room, not mine,” he explained.
“Same here. I mean. That’s his room. I never bring them back to my place.”
“Smart.” He draped his leather jacket over her shoulders. “If we’re walking, you have to stay warm.”
“How about you? Don’t you have to keep your muscles in tip top shape? You boys are playing every day, with only one day off the whole month.”
He put his arm over her shoulder, trapping the jacket on her. “Back where I’m from, it’s still snowing. Besides, the hellfire hot tamales will warm me right back up again.”
And if he were lucky, he’d get a taste of that tamale between her legs.
She giggled, shaking her head. “Or have you on the run—to the john. Seriously, you ought to try our nuclear wings—on the house.”
“Still trying to get me to your corner?” He pulled her into a brisk walk down the sidewalk.
“They don’t call it The Hot Corner for nothing.” She nudged him with her elbow.
Yep, he’d bet all her corners were hot and spicy, but he had a rule. He avoided running into anyone he bedded. Which worked great in New York City, but not so great if the hottest woman in Phoenix owned a bar where all his teammates hung out at.
Things could get complicated fast, and Kirk Kennedy did not do complications.
[END OF EXCERPT. To read more, please order Playing Catch from Amazon]
4 meows and 4 purrs ( lots of heat)
I am going to warn anyone with emotional triggers this story deals with Child abuse and rape, I will add that it is well written and handled tastefully with a happy ending.
Jeanine appears to be a strong independent woman. She is part owner of a Bar with her best friend Marsha and is supermodel beautiful. All men want her which makes it easy for her to have her one night stands. She has rules. She never plays in her home territory ( her bar or the home team), she never sleeps over, never brings a man into her home, and never sees him twice. Everything is fine. Until she meets Kirk doing the same walk of shame she is.
Kirk has his own issues and never sees the same woman twice, doesn’t want a family or children because he doesn’t want to chance bringing a child up like he was, left at baby sitters while his parents have flings. Until he meets the beautiful Jeanine and wants to know what makes her tick.
This is a fabulous story of two broken people finding each other and falling in love. It is not instant love, but a slow burn that has many obstacles. There are lots of twists and surprises. Some rather shocking.
I will say one thing threw me off. There were a few things that happened towards the end that threw me off and I would have liked a little more on that. It didn’t really have a bearing on the story was just a couple characters and also Kirks brother. There was a mention od Marsha and Brock getting treatment and I am like where did this happen and why was it brought up? The story seemed to get rushed at the end. Other than that it was awesome.
If you like strong women, baseball players, stories dealing with surviving child abuse and emotional abuse, and a great love story this is for you!
Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book.
Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, and A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award.
She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.
Message from the Rachelle
Hello, everyone. I am a writer who loves to combine romance with suspense and humor. My foremost goal is to take you, the reader, on a shared emotional journey with me as my characters grow and become more true to themselves. I believe stories are the means for us to connect and experience life in new ways. As a writer, I’m privileged to share my private dreams and visions with readers. I’m a romantic. I believe in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feel that everyone should find love as often as possible, even if it’s within the pages of a book. Happy reading and loving!
You can stalk—oops—follow Rachelle-
Download a FREE surprise ebook by subscribing to her newsletter: http://bit.ly/RachAyala and find her books at online retailers Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple iBookstore, Google Play, and Smashwords. Borrow her books at Scribd.
Books by Rachelle Ayala
Intercepted by Love [Parts 1 – 6]
Jewells in Love
I hope you try the recipe if ya do let me know how you liked it. I am going to try it soon. I have read a few of Rachelle’s books and loved them..this one included.
Remember…If you can Dream if ~~You can do it