Title: Stealing Home
Author: Lynn Stevens
Genre: Adult Sports Romance
Cover Designer: The Sinful Hoarder
Publication Date: June 30th, 2020
Going home is rarely a good idea, until you discover what home really means.
After the disaster of Westland’s steroid scandal, Chuck Mathis knows his baseball dreams are kaput; so he decides to focus on his other dream: psychology. He’ll graduate from Westland University, then he’ll leave Madison to earn his master’s and PhD. Nothing is going to stand in his way. Not his overbearing father. Not even baseball.
Except maybe Sophie Tipton.
Chuck decides to work for his father and play on his father’s slow-pitch softball team over the summer. Sophie manages the team. She’s not about to let some college baseball player take over either. And Chuck wants to do more than just play ball with the fiery beauty.
Just as things are falling into place, they start to fall apart. Chuck has to choose between his love of baseball and the girl who has stolen his heart.
It’s an impossible decision.
Lynn Stevens flunked out of college writing her first novel. Yes, she still has it and no, you can’t read it. Surprisingly, she graduated with honors at her third school. A former farm girl turned city slicker, Lynn lives in the Midwest where she drinks coffee she can’t pronounce and sips tea when she’s out of coffee. When she’s out of both, just stay away.
The field wasn’t different. Then again, one softball field looks like another. I dropped my bag in the fenced-in dugout, a puff of dirt exploding beneath it. It was sufficiently dusty from sitting in my closet since my senior year in high school. That was the last time I bothered with my softball glove and plastic cleats.
“Can I help you?” a petite dark blonde stepped away from the third base line and toward the dugout. A scowl covered her face, drawing lines around her eyes. There was something familiar about her, but I couldn’t quite place where I’d seen her before.
“I’m Chuck.” I held out my hand. She stared at it and crossed her arms over her chest. “Mathis. Chuck Mathis.”
“Oh,” she said. Recognition of my last name dawned in her brown eyes, but that didn’t change her stance one bit. “Oh, well. Everything going well here. We’re ready for our first game next week and –”
“Sweetheart, I’m here to play.” I drug out each word like an asshole.
She snorted and turned around, muttering, “Ya right.”
What the hell? I hurried after her onto the infield. This chick thought I was checking up on her then when I said I was there to play; she blew me off. Several members of the team stopped to watch our little show. My buddy Joey waved from right field and didn’t bother to control his laughter. I shook my head at him.
“‘Ya right?’ What’s that supposed to mean?” I touched her shoulder, which was the wrong thing to do by the way she spun back around to face me.
“First, don’t ever touch me again. Second, I’m not your sweetheart.” Her finger jammed into my chest as each word shot from her mouth. “Third, I don’t need some hotshot college player taking over my team. Mr. Mathis made it clear I could manage this year and that’s what I plan to do. So you can pick your bag up and go back to Westland. I’m sure there are plenty of people there that wouldn’t mind having you around.”
Actually that was the last thing I wanted to do. This chick didn’t need to know that though. This chick did need to know that I wasn’t planning on taking over the team. Yeah, I’d run it in the past but that was the past.
“I don’t know why you’re here,” she said. Her stone gaze softened as she tilted her head to the side. “Just go.”
“Look, sweetheart, I’m not going to step on your toes.” I held up my hands in defeat and stepped back to put some distance between us. “I’m just here to play. That’s all.”
She rubbed her hand over her face. No makeup. Damn me to hell, if that wasn’t the sexiest thing I’d ever seen. The au natural look worked for her.
“Really.” I leaned down so she could hear me loud and clear. “If Dad told you to manage the team, then manage the team. I won’t get in your way. And having a ringer won’t hurt one bit. Especially if they’re as bad as they’ve always been.”
She smiled. All my previous perceptions about her disappeared. I’d thought she was at least in her thirties, but once the scowl was gone, I’d seen my error in judgment. She was closer to my age. Wisps of her dark blond hair framed her high cheekbones. Her eyes shone with sparks of gold mixed in with the brown. I shook my head to clear it. Amidst was not usually part of my vocabulary and it didn’t need to start either. Chicks were not in my immediate future and a horrible one was in my not-so-distant past. Nope, it didn’t matter how cute this girl was, or how sexy her lips pouted, or how much of a turn on her mischievous eyes were. None of that mattered. I wasn’t going to get involved in anything more than a one-night stand at this point.
“Fine, but you’re gonna have to listen to me. If I put on the shift, then shift. And if you call me sweetheart one more time, you’ll see what a ball buster I can be.” She walked backward away from me and shouted over her shoulder. “Hope everyone here is okay with Chuck joining the team.”
A few people said hello while Joey whooped. He waved again before barely catching a ball coming his way. The pretty brunette he played catch with didn’t even glance at me. Very well. Not every girl needed to appreciate my fine form. I didn’t need a girl anyway. That was definitely something I’d have to remind myself of every single day this summer. Once my final year in college started, maybe I’d consider it. And, like I said, a one-nighter wasn’t out of the question. Just not with anyone who worked for the almighty Charles Mathis.
“I’m not,” a deep voice said behind me. I turned around and leered at the man. Roger Dorsey didn’t stare, he glared with outright hatred. He still played the bully. It never worked on me.
“Why’s that?” the new manager said.
Chuck finds himself having to rethink his dreams for the future, so he returns home for the summer to work and play the sport he loves. He wasn’t expecting the sparks that he and Sophie, the team’s manager, would strike in each other.
Sophie isn’t about to back down from any challenge and that includes the sweet and sexy baseball player who is only home for the summer. Although they didn’t get off to a great start there is no denying the chemistry and connection between them but when faced with a choice will Chuck choose Sophie or the future he had always dreamed of?
Chuck and Sophie definitely had their obstacles and it takes almost losing each other to realize what and who they need in their future.