Author: Mina Vaughn
Release Date: July 21, 2014
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon Print
In this fun and saucy romance novel, all-star college basketball player Thea dominates on the courts—and off—with a rock star who is determined to win her over.
Thea is a star basketball player at UConn on track to be Rookie of the Year. That is, if she can stay focused on the game. Lately that hasn’t been going so well, as her knee has been bothering her. But that’s not the only thing on her mind…
Ever since rock star Keaton Lowe surprised her in the girl’s locker room, Thea can’t stop thinking about him. On top of his status and enticing ways, he seems to know everything about her. But some of his actions cross the line, and Keaton needs to be punished. Will Thea keep her head in the game, or get distracted by her other favorite pastime—reprimanding her rock star?
Set up: College basketball star Thea is surprised in her locker room after a shower.
The tall, gorgeous man stared at me with a smirk. Some fucking punk, sitting under my name and number and pulling a cigarette out of his thick leather jacket. He looked bad, dangerous, and delicious and my body reacted to seeing him with a jolt of fear and euphoria. I skittered back and covered my nakedness, hoping he hadn’t seen me fully naked. I peeked around the corner to get another look at him. I couldn’t help myself.
His blue eyes twinkled at me and he grinned. A lopsided, roguish grin that begged you to join him in sharing the mirth. But I wasn’t about to smile at this fool who was taking up residence in front of my locker. Especially while I was naked. He didn’t look like a student—a few years too old and a few drinks too seasoned, and from the rebellious appearance of his black-polished fingers and calloused hands. His hair, a mess of black roots and blue spikes arranged into a halo of sharp peaks, didn’t look very UConn at all. He looked as if he belonged in a tattoo parlor, not here in my locker room. For a moment, I imagined shoving him against the tile wall and punishing him for transgressing into my domain.
“It’s all right, love, I have your towel right here,” I heard him tease in a smoky, tempting voice.
My heart raced. All I had to do was scream loud enough and Matt would be down here in a flash. I didn’t want to, but it was an option. Just keep it together.
Keeping my nude form out of his sight, I shouted to the intruder. “What exactly do you think you’re doing?”
A white towel sailed my way and I stuck my wet arm out to grab it. I wiped myself off and discreetly examined the very bad boy who was about to stink up my precious domain.
“I needed a butt,” he said, placing a cigarette between his mocking lips. His sexy, curvy lips that went so well with his stubbly jaw and sharp features. Shit, what was wrong with me? He was invading my turf. He was also unashamedly checking me out from head to toe.
“Take your butt and get out of my locker room,” I growled.
With a flick of his fingers, the unlit cigarette disappeared. I assumed up his leather jacket’s sleeve, but I couldn’t be sure. His leather pants were far too tight to hide a cigarette, and I caught myself staring. Under his leather jacket was a threadbare tee that hugged his lean muscles tightly. I wanted him to take the jacket off. Hell, all of it.
“Whatever you say, Goddess,” he replied. I noted a slight accent, but couldn’t place it. Possibly British. “Is this seat taken?” he asked, looking behind him at the name on the nameplate and the name embroidered on my jacket.
I emerged, pretending to be unfettered by the whole bizarre situation, and nodded. “That’s my locker.”
“Is it now?” he asked, British accent coming through clearly now.
“Thea Papastathopoulos, future Rookie of the Year, and I need my clothes. And my lucky tape.”
His eyebrow quirked up. “Tape, eh? What’s a nice girl like you need something like that for?”
I hugged the towel closer to me and tried not to join in his contagious grin. He was such a scamp, this carefree weirdo sitting in the women’s locker room, about to light up. “What’s wrong with tape?”
I didn’t notice his hand reaching around to my supply, but within seconds he was holding my lucky roll in his right hand. “This stuff is far too naughty for a good girl like you. A goddess of war and wisdom.”
I felt my mouth dry up at the oddly accurate yet strange observation. I am a classics major, and Thea is short for Athena. “I need it for my knee,” I said, holding out my hand, keeping my towel pinned with my armpit. “I have some big games coming up. We made it to the tournament.” I nearly clutched my head with embarrassment. How would a punk like this know what the tournament was, or the significance of it? I was making myself out to be an idiot, but I didn’t care. I didn’t go for his type, the gothic, pierced, tattooed kind of guy.
“I like games,” he said, tossing the roll into the air and catching it behind him with a flourish.
“And yet you clearly don’t respect rules, given that you were about to smoke in our locker room.”
He waved his hand dismissively. “You going to show me how you use this tape, Goddess? Although I admit I’d rather see it binding my wrists rather than wrapped around your pretty knee.”
I reached forward and attempted to take the roll, but he just tossed it in the air again and caught it in his other hand before I could take a swipe. He shrugged off his leather jacket and exposed his muscular arms, which were ensleeved in tattoos. Not wanting to stare, but unable to stop myself, I admired the artwork. Swirling waves up his left arm, words spiraling his right.
I had no idea what to make of him, other than the fact that he annoyed me with his don’t-give-a-fuck attitude and absurd hotness I wanted so badly to ignore. Maybe it was just my nakedness that was making my body think this way. And by that I meant slamming him against the tiles under the water’s spray and relieving him of his leather. I felt my heart pound and I rejected the fantasy. He was an intruder. How did this guy get past security if they stopped me?
I leaned toward him. “My friend upstairs, Matt, is a security guard. All I have to do is call up to him and he’ll be hauling your punk ass out of here. But I won’t do that if you just give me my goddamn tape so I can fix my bum knee and get home to watch the game.” I wasn’t about to ask him about my clothes, so I pretended I was totally cool with being in a towel and waited for his response.
He studied me for a moment, all sexy grin and naughty blue eyes. Baby blue, like the color of clothes you buy a newborn. Powder blue, impossibly clear. Ringed with a smudge of black liner, the color popped even more. And his face, despite being in his twenties or maybe even thirties, had a youthful, almost kiddish quality when he smiled that softened the harsh angles of his nose, cheeks, and jaw. He tossed me the tape.
“What’s your name?” I asked, curiosity overtaking my anger.
“Keaton Lowe,” he said, dipping his voice an octave as he said his last name.
He looked at me expectantly.
I stared back, hot breath flooding in and out of my nostrils.
“Well,” he said, stretching his toned arms and lacing them behind his head, “this tape isn’t going to bind itself.”
I wanted to wring his neck but kiss the smile off his mouth. “What are you talking about?!”
“I might as well do it myself,” he said, and turned away from me. He spun and showed me his handiwork—his wrists were taped together behind his head. My body reacted with a flood of tingles from my hairline down to my panty line. Had I been wearing any, that is.
I looked down. My tape was no longer in my hands. My body took over my mind and I stood over him, looking down at him through a cascade of damp brown curls.
“Have a seat,” he rasped.
Some primal part of me wanted to sit my bare legs down on his lanky, leather-clad body. I wanted to get rough with him, pin him down, and have my way with him. Another part of me didn’t want him bossing me around. It should be the other way.
“No, you stand,” I replied.
His blue eyes sparked and he met my request with a smile that left me dazed and breathless. I felt the towel slide incrementally down.
“I’m glad you want to call the shots, darling.”
I placed my hand on his chest. “Don’t call me darling.”