MVP (Sequel to "For the Love of the Game")
by Rhonda Laurel
Publisher: Etopia Press
Release Date: June 21, 2013
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count: 35,930
The game has just begun…
Morgan Reed-Blake discovers that being the wife of MVP quarterback Seth Blake has its perks…and its challenges. Thrust into Seth’s high-profile world, she must wade through the celebrity, status, and the ghosts of girlfriends past. So when Seth takes Morgan home to his ranch in Texas and introduces her to his family and friends, she’s not surprised when his high school sweetheart comes to call. Morgan suspects she wants to rekindle the flame, and how can she blame her? Distraught over the changes their relationship has caused for Seth, Morgan wonders if maybe he’s better off without her.
Pro quarterback Seth Blake is elated that his wife Morgan is giving their “fake” marriage a real chance. But he doesn’t anticipate running into the woman who broke his heart years ago. He hasn’t told Morgan about the complicated relationship with his ex, but as he guides Morgan through the maze of his celebrity lifestyle, can he convince her the past is in the past? The MVP does not accept defeat, and he’s determined not to lose. But winning Morgan might be the most difficult game of his life…
ExcerptMorgan Blake took one more sip of her wine before placing the glass back on the silver tray. She looked out across the five-thousand-acre ranch from her seat on the veranda, but her view was suddenly obstructed by two strong hands covering her eyes.
“I’ve got another surprise for you,” Seth purred in her ear.
Another surprise? They’d only been in Texas for six hours but she’d taken a tour of the Twelve Horse Shoes ranch, met Seth’s mom, Teri-Lyn, and got her first riding lesson on her new horse, Reed’s Fire. Then Seth had suggested they stay for the rest of the week. What more could he give her?
“Will it be better than finding out the ranch hand I was talking to earlier was actually your mother?”
“Don’t worry, you’re gonna like it,” he drawled, as he led her into the bathroom. Candles surrounded a huge claw foot bathtub that sat in the middle of the room, filled with bubbles and rose petals.
“Want to take a bubble bath with your husband? Take your mind off lunch with momma tomorrow?”
“Only if you wear the hat.” The minute she had seen him wearing that Stetson on the ranch, her heart had skipped a beat.
Morgan shivered at the feel of Seth’s big, strong, calloused hands as he undressed her. Seth took his time removing each piece of clothing from her body before removing his own. He then gathered her into his arms and placed her into the tub, without getting a drop of water on his Stetson.
The hot bath felt like heaven, soothing her aching muscles and washing away the dirt from touring the ranch. But it was all worth it, especially getting to ride her brand new horse for the very first time.
“Reed’s Fire is a beautiful horse. I think we made a connection.”
“Well, that’s what I was going for, a love connection between you and the horse.”
“I read this book…”
Seth’s chest rumbled against her back. “What a surprise.”
“About animal totems.” Morgan flicked bubbles onto his nose. “It was interesting. Animals come into our lives at different times as a way to teach us a life lesson. It’s a very interesting and spiritual topic. I’ll bring a book home for you to read. Your bookcase could use a little diversity.”
“Hey! I have some pretty good biographies.”
“And they’re excellent reads, if you want to be a general in the military or a pro athlete.” Morgan rolled her eyes at him.
“I can’t remember the last time I had the time to just read a good book.” He kissed her shoulder.
“Well, you could read at night before you go to sleep.”
“Reading a book is the last thing I think about when I’m in bed with you.”
“Good point. But when you come to the bookstore, you browse around and I never see you reading anything.”
“That’s because I’m distracted by the owner. She’s really hot. Can’t take my eyes off her.”
“I’m serious. There’s so much we don’t know about each other.” Morgan sighed. She had agreed to give their relationship a chance but the nagging doubt still lingered in the back of her mind that she would wake up one day and it would all go away. Seth didn’t want to talk about their differences and insisted their whirlwind romance wasn’t a flash in the pan. She wished she had his unwavering confidence in their marriage.
Seth nibbled on her ear. “We have plenty of time to learn those things about each other.”
“What genres do you like?”
Seth thought about it for a moment. “Hmm. I like spy thrillers. And I am a history buff. What about you?”
Morgan picked up her wine glass and took another sip. “Spy thrillers, absolutely. History, yes. I also like horror but it scares the crap out of me.”
Seth chuckled. “So why read it if it scares the crap out of you?” “Because a good horror book is supposed to do that.” She shrugged.
“Well, those nights you get scared, I’ll make sure to check all the closets and under the beds.”
“What did I tell you? We have a lot in common.”
“I’m glad you like taking baths but I never pictured you as a claw foot bathtub kind of guy.” Morgan put the glass back on the tray and relaxed against Seth’s chest.
“I am not a claw foot bath guy. You love the tub in the penthouse so I had one installed here.”
“You what?” Morgan splashed water on the black marble floor with her lightening quick turn. Seth assailed her with kisses to mute her practical protests about the tub. His hands ran along her rib cage, palming her breasts, then torturing her with his thumbs making lazy circles around her taut nipples.
“Why did you do that?”
“Because I knew it would make you happy.” Seth held her in place so she’d stop squirming.
“It did but—”
“Morgan Blake, are we going to fight every time I try to do something nice for you?”
“You finished fussing with me, woman?”
“Yes,” she sighed. “That was very nice of you to have the tub installed.”
“Glad you’re beginning to see things my way,” he drawled as he continued his sensual exploration of her body.
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