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The Winning Season

The Winning Season

4.1 13
by Alison Packard

Kelly Maxwell has finally landed her dream job as publicist for the San Francisco Blaze. But the team's newest member, handsome bad boy catcher Matt Scanlon, is refusing every interview. She's got to get him to open up before the season ends, or she may not be back next year. And after everything she overcame to achieve her dream, Kelly's not about to let that


Kelly Maxwell has finally landed her dream job as publicist for the San Francisco Blaze. But the team's newest member, handsome bad boy catcher Matt Scanlon, is refusing every interview. She's got to get him to open up before the season ends, or she may not be back next year. And after everything she overcame to achieve her dream, Kelly's not about to let that happen.

Matt Scanlon just wants to be left alone to rebuild his life and his career. After a year of masking the pain of a recent loss with hard partying and fast women, he finally hit rock bottom and was traded to a team he's loathed his entire life—a team with little to no chance at the post-season.

Butting heads is getting Kelly and Matt nowhere but annoyed, and with the team's schedule on the road, they can't avoid close quarters—or their surprising attraction to one another. As the season winds down, Matt finds his growing feelings for Kelly have brought his numbed emotions back to life. But when betrayal shatters their fragile trust, winning it all seems more impossible than ever.

95,000 words

Product Details

Carina Press
Publication date:
Feeling the Heat
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File size:
375 KB

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Read an Excerpt

"Hey, Maxwell, rumor has it you like it hard and fast."

Kelly Maxwell tightened her batting glove around her wrist and gave the opposing team's smart-ass catcher a smirk. "Actually, I like it slow and delivered with finesse. Something you know nothing about." She pulled her favorite bat out from under her arm and stepped up to home plate. "Rumor has it," she added with a grin.

"Come on, Kel. Get a hit." The feminine voice belonged to her roommate, Stacia Lindstrom, who, while not on Kelly's coed softball team, occasionally tagged along to—in her words—supply moral support to the team. In reality, though, the only reason Stacia bothered to show up was to meet hot guys.

"Who's your friend?" the catcher, Kevin, an investment banker who worked in the financial district, asked after casting a lingering glance at Stacia, who, despite the cool San Francisco summer evening, wore a skimpy top that left little to the imagination.

"Out of your league," she said, getting into her batting stance as Kevin crouched down behind home plate.

"Ouch. Seriously, can you introduce us?"

"I'm not a matchmaker." Kelly looked at the pitcher and met her hard stare. Not intimidated, she continued, "But if you're interested, we usually head over to Kamu's after the game."

"Thanks for the tip. I owe you."

"Don't mention it," she said as the pitcher went into her windup and delivered. The trajectory of the ball looked high so she took the pitch. She had a good eye—the umpire standing behind them called it a ball.

"By the way, I'm going yard tonight," she said after digging the toe of her spikes into the dirt and then smoothing it out. There was no particular reason for doing this. It was just a part of her at-bat ritual. A ritual she had performed since she was a kid playing in the peewee league. Even back then she took the game seriously.

"Still as cocky as ever, I see." Kevin glanced at her after he threw the ball back to the pitcher. Through his catcher's mask she could see the amused glint in his eyes. "No one's hit a home run off Beth so far this season."

Recognizing a challenge when she heard one, Kelly shot him a confident grin. "There's a first time for everything."

Two hours, three hits and one home run later, Kelly sat amongst her teammates at Kamu's Tavern enjoying the sweet taste of victory. Sipping her beer, she watched—bemused—as Kevin tried his best to get Stacia's phone number.

Stacia was to men what catnip was to cats. In a word: irresistible. The proof of that was Kevin wasn't the only guy from the opposing team who'd shown up at the restaurant after being annihilated on the baseball diamond this evening.

"I see your roomie is fending them off once again." Kelly shifted in her chair as her team's pitcher, and her coworker, Angie DeMarco, sat next to her. "I hate her." Angie wrinkled her pert nose.

"Would it make you feel better if I told you she snores so loud I can hear her from my bedroom?"

"Extremely," Angie said with a devilish grin. "I'd hate to think she's as perfect as she looks." The remark made Kelly smile. With long dark spirals of hair most women would kill for, and bright blue eyes, Angie wasn't any less attractive than Stacia.

A chorus of boos erupted at the bar. Both she and Angie turned to look behind them at the flat-screen television mounted on the wall over two rows of lighted shelves that held a variety of liquor bottles. "Damn it," Kelly muttered, looking at the box score on the screen. "The Dodgers won again."

Meet the Author

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Alison now lives in Southern Nevada where she's still getting used to the blistering summer heat and the slot machines in every grocery store.

When not working at the day job that pays the bills, keeps a roof over her head and supports her book and chocolate habits, she spends most of her free time writing. But when she takes a break, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family.

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The Winning Season 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
Gina04 More than 1 year ago
This was a lovely romance that involved characters who had to deal with their personal demons, characters I was able to connect with. I really did like this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RomanticReadsandSuch More than 1 year ago
Packard has a fun, tight writing style that brings to life characters who will touch your heart and your funny bone.  If you love stories about big, strong, hot, and troubled athletes, then The Winning Season is the book for you.  I had a hard time putting it down and was looking for more when it was over.  Full review available at RomanticReadsandSuch on wordpress and Booktrib's website
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MsRomanticReads More than 1 year ago
A home run for romance! Kelly Maxwell was a great heroine with many layers to her personality. As the person who handled all aspects off public relations for the San Francisco Blaze MLB team, she had a reputation to upkeep. She was tough as nails, she was very dedicated to her job and she loved the game itself. She even played on a softball team, and she was damn good at it. On a more personal level, she had quite a temper when riled up, she could swear like a sailor, she was competitive and she was four years along in her recovery from an eating disorder. For the most part, her body image wasn’t that much of an issue for her, but once in a while an old insecurity would rear its ugly head. The mentions served to show just how far she’d come, but it also showed the her continuous struggle not to fall off the wagon. I liked that strength in her. Matt Scanlon wasn’t a hero I instantly fell in love with. At least, not at first. Getting traded from his beloved L.A. Dodgers to the rival team was just the tip of the iceberg that made him come across as a jerk. From poster boy to bad boy. A tragedy, a secret kept out of the media’s eye, caused him to hit rock bottom. It was when he was at his worst that he met Kelly for the first time, and the sparks went flying, but not in a good way. A few choice insults back and forth, and it was a match made in hell. I liked the contrasting portrayal of his character throughout the story, especially with the hints that he hadn’t always been self-destructive. On a good day, he was cocky, confident, and he was learning to accept his place within his new team. I absolutely loved Kelly and Matt as a couple. This couple invoked so many laugh out loud moments with their dialogues and great lines. He loved riling her up, and she gave back as good a she got. It wasn’t always a form of verbal foreplay but rather two incredibly stubborn individuals not willing to give an inch. Finding a reason to call a tentative truce seemed almost impossible, until Matt was chosen by a precious little girl, Lily, as her hero. The relationship eventually morphed from animosity into attraction, and I loved that Matt began to see her in a different light after watching her play. Their bond continued to grow and strengthened over their mutual concern for Lily, and with the awareness of the sexual tension between them. When they finally came together, it was so worth the struggle to get to that point. There were so many lovely moments between them, but what really stood out to me where the times when they didn’t beat around the bush when it came to opening up. That was a sign of maturity I often find lacking in other books. The story and the development of their relationship was nicely and evenly paced. There were a lot of other things happening on the side, but I never got the feeling that they slowed the story down in any way. In fact, they served to provide a more well-rounded view of Kelly and Matt’s lives in the business as well as in their personal lives. The glimpses of Kelly’s family were a really sweet addition. The drama portion of the story was a little predictable, but in the end, I loved how our couple came by their epiphanies on their own. I will undoubtedly be reaching for this book repeatedly in the future. Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book captures multiple story lines like no other book I have ever read... If one story doesn't move you another or yet another will... Ms. Packard has woven a very complex story of addiction with a beautiful and meaningful love story, baseball is incidental... Add in heartbreak, elation, faith and redemption... It's all here in this book... I rarely read a book twice but this is a book that I am sure I will read over and over and get something from with each reading... Truly a standout offering... Should be required reading...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago