Release Date: December 18, 2018
Cover Design: Hang Le
The best part of a happy ending... finding out it's actually just the beginning. Having someone promise to be by your side, to chase dreams with, whisper troubles to, it's more than I could have imagined.But after three seasons of Jace playing pro ball in Ohio, three long seasons, with him on the road, and me training all over the world, I’m questioning if we can really have it all. Harsh criticism of our relationship is all too familiar and uncovers old wounds. I only ever wanted to run and to be with Jace, and finding the perfect balance proves to be my greatest trial yet. We vowed not to let our love deter each other's athletic goals, but I miss him. I miss us.
The demands of our careers have us running in opposite directions, when we should be putting down roots, together. But escalating fame and an overbearing agent have me fumbling everything I hold dear, including Pepper.After years of dedication and sacrifice, I'm finally in a position to trade to my hometown team. Moving back to Colorado could be the answer to all our problems, but just when I think we're finally on the right track, we're sacked with news that turns everything upside down. News that rattles me and sends Pepper into a tailspin. It's time for me to remind the girl that I fell in love with how to fight. Until she's ready, I'll fight hard enough for the both of us. For better or for worse.
Excerpt (subject to change)
Jace is already in the weight room at Zoe and Wes’s place when I arrive. They’re on a ski trip, but left us free reign of their house. It’s still not quite pool weather but we’re taking full advantage of their gym.
I’ve got an hour of strength exercises to do and it’s excruciating being in there with Jace as he goes through his routine nearby. The music fills the air and no words are exchanged, but the tension crackling between us is nearly unbearable. I’m in my sports bra and Jace is shirtless, and though we didn’t exactly intend for this to be some kind of buildup, I’m pulsing with need by the time I’m on my last set of lunges. Jace is hovering close by. We haven’t even said anything to each other and I know by the heat in his gaze he’s as wound up as I am.
“You almost finished?” he asks, voice raspy.
I lower to one more lunge and then stand. “Done.”
“Thank fuck,” Jace growls, coming toward me and taking my mouth in his. We’re all sweaty limbs and desperation as we slip off our bottoms and tangle on the floor matt. It’s fast and hard and exactly what we need as I watch him behind me in the mirror spanning the walls on both sides. I can see his front and his back with windows on both walls and the image is so erotic, we finish together in minutes.
“I don’t think we should get a home gym,” I mumble when we collapse together in a heap.
“I was thinking the exact opposite,” Jace says with devious grin.
“We need supervision. We’d never get our workouts in. I barely made it through that session and we already had sex this morning.”
We do have to make up for lost time when we’re together, but it never seems to be enough.
“And we’ve got our own hotel room tonight so.” Jace waggles his eyebrows and I giggle.
“You’re insatiable,” I pretend to complain.
“When it comes to you, yes, I absolutely am.”
Jace gets free hotel rooms so even though we could stay with Frankie or drive back up to Brockton after the party tonight, it’s fun to take advantage of these perks. As I think that, I wonder, “Do you ever worry we’ll get caught up in the money and lifestyle like Lizzie was talking about? I figured we fell in the normal category of people she described. Or trying to be despite the fame and power and privilege and whatever of the NFL.”
Jace strokes a few strays from my forehead that have fallen out of my ponytail. “It’s hard to think of you or us as normal. We’re just us Pep. Not anything else. We have to make our own way. Fight for what works for us.”
I nod. “It is a fight isn’t it? If you ride along without fighting, you can go down the wrong path. Like with Drake for you, or today when Ray tried to tell me to come out to Phoenix to train.”
“You’re not going?”
“Nope. I understand that the runners there are faster and there are advantages to running with them from an objective standpoint. But I’m better here. Better runner, better everything. I’m just…” I drift off trying to think of the right words. “Where I’m supposed to be. Who I’m supposed to be, when I’m in Brockton.”
Jace’s expression somehow softens and darkens at the same time. Like he loves what I’m saying but it brings a cloud. I realize what I’ve done and try to backtrack.
“But I’m also where I’m supposed to be when I’m with you Jace. I know that New York wants you and I know that it’s far from a sure thing with Denver right now. I’ll go whereever you go, okay?”
Jace nods, jaw clenching. “I know.”
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About the Author
Ali is a #1 Amazon sports fiction bestseller. She hails from Vermont and now live in Colorado with her husband, boy-girl twins, and golden retriever Pancake. Ali has always loved to read, but found that there weren't enough fiction books out there featuring girl athletes. So, she decided to work on that. Like the heroines in her books, Ali is an athlete, with running and skiing her favorite sports these days. When she's not pursuing an outdoor adventure, Ali's less healthy passions include ice cream, coffee, and beer.
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