Sexy. Passionate. Fierce.
Irish rugby star, Padraig O’Neale, has fecked up his life and is one angry man. When caught using a banned substance for his back pain, Padraig is excused from both his provincial club and the Irish International team. Right before World Cup selection. Out of choices, his agent convinces Padraig to play for a small American club in Michigan. Just until things settle down. But when Coach asks the team physical therapist, Gillian Sommersby, to help the newest Blues player with his issues, Padraig finds himself trying every wacky treatment out there from stinky salves to music to yoga. Like her therapies, the therapist herself is a bit…odd. The cute college grad in Converse and glasses doesn’t seem all that impressed with Padraig’s celebrity status, nor gives a shite about his excuses. As it turns out, she might be exactly what he needs…
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She hadn’t heard Padraig approach, so when he sat down next to her on the top step, she jerked up to sitting, her hand stilling a heart that wanted to make a break out of the gates.
He wore his tracksuit pants and a T-shirt with bare feet and rumpled hair. “Are you okay?”
She brushed her face with the corner of the quilt. “Ah yeah, just couldn’t sleep. I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“You didn’t. I haven’t been sleeping well the last few nights, anyway.”
Their seclusion here in the woods, the surrounding darkness as black as ink, gave Gillian the courage to ask, “We’re probably not at the right time for each other, are we?”
“Honestly, I’m not sure, but you’ve done more for me in the time I’ve been here than anyone has in my life.”
“All that means is I’m a super-sap.”
He chuckled. “You’re one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met.”
“Oh shit, this sounds like the beginning of the talk.”
“What talk is that?”
“Don’t. You know what I mean.”
“You told me once you don’t like head games and I’m telling you honestly. You are better than any other woman I’ve met, and there have been loads.”
“That makes me feel a heap better. So it’s not just sex?”
“Yes, fantastic sex, but you’re, you’re…a testosterone turd.”
“Wait a tick, that sounds naff.”
“It does, doesn’t it? Sorry, it’s what I used to call my brother and his friends.”
“I don’t get that about Americans. You guys categorize everything, put everyone in little boxes with labels, compartmentalize. We don’t really do that in Ireland. And Jaysus, we’re adults. Too old for that shite.”
“You’re so right.”
“And you’re just you, Gill, sexy as fuck, funny, smart. All the Blues think you’re class. You could have picked any of ’em. Why me? It’s not like I was much of a gentleman a few weeks ago.”
“It was the accent.”
“Thanks for being honest.”
She laughed, but it died at her next thought. “When are you leaving?”
“Honestly, I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything from my agent, and I haven’t a clue what else to do.”
“You could stay here.”
He turned, and even though the darkness cloaked his eyes, she had penetrated where she’d wanted the thought to go.
She had nothing further to say so she laid her head on his shoulder. “Are you cold? I’d offer to share, but I’m naked as a jaybird underneath.”
He wrapped his right arm around her and drew her close, both of them shuffling together in an awkward moment. “Nah, this is just a summer day in Ireland.”
“Do you miss it?”
“Not right now.”
“What about tomorrow?”
“Will you be here?”
She smiled, scuffing her foot across the worn step, pushing flecks of old paint over the edge. “I will.”
“Then I won’t miss it.”
His words warmed her through, and she bit her lip in happiness. She didn’t know what to say in return, so asked, “How are you feeling?”
He nodded, taking a small stone from the step and chucking it into the woods. “Anxious. Tense. I want the meds.”
“You will for a while, I hear. You might crave it for days, even months from now.”
“Will you be here?”
She wanted to laugh, but couldn’t. “I will.”
He kissed her on the head. “Hey, you’re not such a bad trumpet player.”
She laughed then. “Thanks.”
As part of the release of her rugby sports romance, Cd's running a rafflecopter competition for a great bit of swag!
1. Signed print copy of In Touch
2. Traverse Bay Blues rugby T-shirt (size L)
3. Traverse Bay Blues screw-top water bottle
4. 15$ Amazon gift card
Each entry for a newsletter signup and every correct guess for the tournament winner will go into the draw. Winner chosen by Random.org after the tournament final on Saturday, October 31st.
TEAM Choices (Who ya think is gonna win? :-)
I can't begin to express how much I enjoyed this book. Cd Brennan introduced me to the world of rugby in a refreshing way, without being too technical. Padraig and Gillian are at odds from the get go. She's dealing with re-entering the world of the sport after losing her brother to an addiction resulting from his days of playing. Padraig is dealing with and addiction from his own injury, and the resulting doping scandal that had him suspended from his premier level team in Ireland and banished to a small semi-pro team in northern Michigan. This captivating story chronicles how the two come together and work to overcome the obstacles life and the sport have thrown their way.
Cd has done a terrific job representing the personalities and frailties common with any type of athlete. With a sensitive touch she dealt with Padraig's struggle to conquer his addiction and his struggle to find his place with a team he'd never have giving two thoughts to in the past. I loved Gillian's quirkiness and her strong desire to help Padraig on his journey. That the pair finds love along the way is simply a Conversion Goal after a Try! (a rugby way to say icing on the cake)
Having traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. Feisty heroines with wanderlust or sexy rugby heroes who breathe passion for more than just the sport.
Aussie/Yankee twined, Cd is now settled in Michigan with a rugby player of her own and two wee sons who are still adapting to the snow. A full-time editor and mum, her and her hubby still dream of starting up a buffalo farm. And maybe some chickens and pigs, too. She loves rugby, traveling, and all things from the 80s.
Doesn’t watch TV so don’t chat to her about that, but she loves to hear from readers about anything else! Perhaps some cooking suggestions? She’s desperate in the kitchen! Find her on loads of your favorite places.