It’s release day! Woo hoo! Today the second book in my London Legends rugby series came out. Playing It Close features fly-half (and team captain) Liam Callaghan, a man who’s always been a bit of a fame whore…until a tragedy has him seeking peace and quiet in rural Venezuela for a week.
While he’s there, he meets Tess Chambers, who’s also fleeing the limelight. After years of being harassed by her colleagues for being flat-chested (they call her Titless Tess), she launched a tell-all blog that, unfortunately, did not stay anonymous.
In this scene, Tess and Liam have just met and they’ve gone hiking together in a cloud forest in Venezuela. They’ve discovered a waterfall, and Liam has decided to go for a swim…minus his trunks.
He hooked his thumbs in the waistband and cocked a brow at her in question. “I did bring swimming trunks, if you’d rather I put them on.”
Waving her hand as if she’d seen it all before, she attempted a blasé voice. “Please, don’t feel inhibited by me.”
One corner of his lips kicked up and he swept his pants down, stepping out of them without looking away from her. Don’t look, don’t look.
She looked. Swallowed hard. Her body clenched with longing.
Water splashed against her burning hot face, shaking her from her trance. He’d jumped in feet-first and was now swimming toward the waterfall, his tight back, biceps and bum working with each stroke. When he got to the middle, he trod water and faced her. “Coming in?”
Oh yes. Before she could second-guess herself, she jumped up and whipped off her shirt and hiking trousers. She’d worn her bikini under her clothes, but that was coming off. Now.
Liam’s body moved gently from side to side as his legs scissored underwater to keep him afloat, but he watched her with unwavering interest. This is Liam Callaghan. He’s been with some of the hottest women in the world. Remember that Brazilian model—whatshername? She only has one name. Whatever it was, you don’t look like her.You’re Titless Tess.
Yeah, and? She was the one here right now, and he’d found this spot for her, so she could fulfill one of her trip’s goals. She just had to work up the bollocks to follow through. Squaring her shoulders, she reached behind her neck and yanked on the tie holding her top together. The cups fell toward her waist, and a breeze tickled her breasts as she shifted to untie the string around her ribs.
“Jesus.” Liam’s reverent utterance floated across the water to her. The tip of his tongue touched his bottom lip, and his eyes narrowed in concentration. “More. Please,” he croaked.
Confidence swept through her. He wanted this. She wanted this. She had no idea how her world had collided with his, but she wasn’t going to ask questions of a gift horse. No, she was going to turn her back on it instead—momentarily, so she could tease him a little as she wriggled out of her knickers.
His groan reached her across the water, and she slowly stood up again, tossing him a sexy smile over her naked shoulder.
“Tess, I don’t mean to be rude, but if you don’t get over here right now I’m going to have to take matters into my own hands.”
She broke eye contact long enough to step carefully off the boulder into the water—because nothing would kill the mood faster than her losing her balance and belly-flopping in front of him. The cool water came to her knees, and she took a few steps across smooth stones before lowering herself until the water lapped at her neck. Ooh, yes. She was Eve. The original woman, at one with nature. Keeping her movements slow, she pushed her hands out and swept them back, lost in the sensuous flow of water over her heated skin. She came within a meter of Liam before kicking swiftly away and twisting to do the backstroke toward the waterfall, exposing her body to the elements and to his gaze.
She wanted him. But more than anything, she wanted exactly what she had right here, right now. To float. To see the trees stretching far overhead. To hear the waterfall growing louder. To know that, for the next few hours, her life was completely her own. She owed nobody any explanations, didn’t have to lay her motives bare for the world to examine, or do anything other than whatever the hell she wanted to do.
And she wanted to do Liam Callaghan.
What do you think? I hope you can feel the cool breeze drifting over you!
I’m holding a giveaway for people who help me spread the word about Playing It Close. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Book two of the London Legends
Where do you go to escape everything when you’re one of the most famous rugby players in the world? For Liam Callaghan, that place is a remote lodge on Venezuela’s Caribbean coast. Perfect, except he doesn’t exactly want to be alone with his thoughts. Enter Tess Chambers, the ultimate distraction.
Still reeling from a professional disaster that’s made her all but unemployable, Tess understands the desire to move through life as somebody else. So when instantly recognizable Liam uses a fake name, she runs with it and creates a temporary new identity of her own.
Their time spent together in paradise is idyllic but brief—after one passionate night, Liam wakes up to find Tess gone. Returning to London, he’s shocked to learn she’s taken a job with his team’s new sponsor. As the Legends’ captain, he’ll have to not only figure out how to work with the one woman who ever left him wanting more, but also convince her that their feelings in the present mean more than any lies they’ve told in the past.
Meet Liam’s teammate Spencer Bailey in Knowing the Score, out now!