Bad boy and former NFL running back Patrick Guinness is tired of meaningless sex. Ever since his scorching hot one-night stand three years ago, no one has interested him. So when Max Segreti wanders into his mechanic shop—and his life again—Patrick can't stop thinking about the totally-out-of-his-league law grad and the possibility of getting him out of his system once and for all…
Max Segreti has spent his entire life doing what his father wants. But when he runs into the hotter-than-hell player he’s never been able to forget, he’s not thinking about studying for the bar. A distraction is the last thing he needs, but after an encounter leaves him wanting more, Max embraces the chaos that Patrick brings…even as he knows it can’t last. They're too different to ever have a future together.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.52(d)|
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Falling for the Player
By Jessica Lee, Alycia Tornetta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Jessica Lee
All rights reserved.
Getting laid by a hot guy — now that's something I can get behind.
Pun totally intended. Maximo Segreti smiled to himself.
However, sharing that juicy bit of info with his best friend Abbie Donovan would only result in him being set up on a string of dates with every gay man she knew in a twenty-mile radius. Mentally, he rolled his eyes at the thought. God, no.
"Come on, Max," Abbie groaned. "For once in your life, let go and live a little."
Lowering his glass of Coke onto the scratched surface of the bar, Maximo Segreti sighed. "I am living, Abbie." Going on a pub crawl with a dozen of his not-so-closest friends wasn't his idea of time well spent. He knew his friend wanted him to have what she thought of as "fun," but drinking until he ended up on his knees praying to the porcelain god ... Thanks, but no thanks.
"It's a pub crawl, not a caravan across the Mexican border."
"You asked me to come out to Charlie's, not hit every bar around here. Besides, I may be a junior, but you know I'm not even close to twenty-one yet."
"Max ... You'd be with us. We'd find a way around that little problem." She pouted, her bottom lip making its full appearance for maximum effect. Shit. He kind of felt bad for the man who finally succumbed to her charms and ended up her husband. She was hard as hell to say no to. "It'll be so much fun!"
He shook his head, refusing to be sucked in this time. "Staying right here and finishing my Coke will be all the fun I need. Besides, I have a paper due Monday. I can't afford to blow the rest of my night drinking and end up feeling like shit tomorrow."
"Jesus!" Abbie rolled her eyes. "You are such a nerd sometimes." She cupped his face, a smirk lifting the corner of her mouth. "But you're too freaking cute for me not to still love you." She laughed and planted a kiss on his cheek.
"Get outta here," he said.
"Laters." She turned to leave.
"Don't do anything I wouldn't do."
She paused and glanced back over her shoulder, her long, cinnamon curls swaying across her back as she lifted one dark brow. "Seriously?"
"Just saying ..."
"I'll try to keep that in mind." She chuckled and blended into the small group leaving.
Max still couldn't believe he'd allowed Abbie to convince him to come out when he still had so much work to finish. Sure, he imagined that for most college students a pub crawl would be a blast, if a guy didn't have to stay in the top one percent of his class so he'd be accepted into law school. He'd never done anything at an easy pace. He'd graduated high school at seventeen so he could get a head start at college. That way, law school would be within his reach even sooner.
For as long as he could remember, it had been his and his father's dream that Max follow in his father's footsteps to become a partner at the Segreti Law Firm, and they were determined he'd make that a reality sooner rather than later.
"Sometimes sacrifices have to be made, son, when it comes to taking care of what matters most." His father's voice rattled around inside his head, and his fist tightened around the cool glass. Nothing mattered more than family and the firm. And to the Segretis, they were one and the same.
"Hey, can I get a Bud Light?" a deep male voice called out from beside Max. A guy plopped onto the vacant stool, shoving his fingers into the dark auburn waves of his hair, pushing them back over his forehead with a heavy sigh.
"Bad night?" The words popped out before Max could curb his curiosity. He wasn't exactly an extrovert, but even in his peripheral vision, he could tell the other man's body language spelled misery.
"Yeah." The guy nodded and snagged the fresh bottle of brew, quickly downing a large swallow. "Try 'bad week.'"
He glanced Max's way, and recognition slammed into him along with a wave of lust that arrowed straight to his groin. He repositioned himself on the stool.
Holy hell. It was the Gamecocks' notorious running back, Patrick Guinness.
"Wow," Max managed to force out through the desert he'd once called a throat. He grabbed another swig of his drink before adding, "Sorry, man."
"Me, too," Patrick grunted, but his hazel gaze, hooded by lashes thicker than any man should have the right to claim, never strayed from Max, as if he were trying to size up how much further he should take their conversation. Reaching over, he stuck out his hand. "I'm Patrick."
Shit. He's actually introducing himself.
"Max." He slid his fingers into Patrick's grip, and the player's calloused palm grazed Max's sensitive one, firing off a weird fluttering sensation inside his midsection. What the fuck? Max didn't get flustered. But damn if that wasn't precisely what sitting next to Mr. Tall, Red, and Hot-as-hell had done to him.
He'd seen Patrick on campus and television. Everyone knew who PG was, although the nickname was quite ironic considering his X-rated reputation. The guy was known to be a badass player on and off the field. He was the University of South Carolina's star athlete, while Max, according to Abbie, was a nerd with his head stuck inside a book, meaning he and the running back didn't exactly move in the same circles. So he'd never met Patrick in person.
Up close ... The guy was good-looking on the TV, but less than a foot away? Patrick made him forget how to breathe. At over six feet tall, with shoulders that plowed a football across the field, he consumed the space between them. He had full lips, a square jaw, and sexy dimples that were created for a man to kiss and lick. Max's mouth watered, and his pants tightened from the fantasy building inside his head.
In other words, Patrick possessed a face Max was sure melted all the girl's panties.
He'd give his left nut for the guy to be gay.
Clearing his throat, Max cocked his head. "You're Patrick Guinness, right?"
"Oh, you recognized me, huh?"
"I doubt you'd find a person in a fifty-mile radius who doesn't know who you are." Max smiled. "Sorry about last weekend's game."
"Yeah." Patrick took another pull off his beer.
"I didn't see the whole thing, but I did catch the final score."
"We got our asses kicked," Patrick said, lowering his bottle. The longneck hit the bar's surface, the thick glass making a clunk on the wood. "Not our best game."
"Damn. That had to be tough."
"Hey, can I get another here?" Patrick called out to the bartender and held up his Bud, his bicep bulging under his short sleeve. The veins in his forearm stood out in sharp relief under the glow of the bar's neon signs, a clue to the number of hours Patrick had to spend in the gym lifting. An image formed in Max's mind of Patrick straddling a bench, flat on his back, sweat beading on his arms, his face, running a trail down his throat and onto his chest as he heaved the weighted bar. Over and over again he grunted, thrusting the heavy burden high until he cried out with exhaustion.
Max sighed. What he wouldn't give to be held down beneath all that restrained power ... a euphoric rush. His gaze roamed Patrick's loose black T-shirt, which covered his chest, hiding a narrow waist and flat stomach. Based on the size of his arms, Max knew Patrick's abs had to look like a damn topographic map of the Blue Ridge foothills.
Getting fucked by Patrick Guinness would leave a man bruised and sore, marked like prey claimed by a predator. And it would be amazing. The muscle behind Max's sternum knotted then kicked hard. His pulse surged, and the room tilted, driving him to seize the edge of the bar and steady himself. Christ. He'd never daydreamed about shit like that before. Sex? Sure, like any other guy he had his late-night moments, his fantasies for when he needed a release. But this was different. Max surveyed the athlete casually sipping on his next beer, and another spark of heat went straight to his balls, tightening them. PG was different.
"You have no idea," Patrick added, glancing in Max's direction. "I don't mean to be rude, but fuck, can we talk about something else besides football?"
"Shit." Max scrubbed a hand over his face, trying to clear his head. "Yeah. No problem."
"Tonight, I just want to drink and forget." The corner of Patrick's mouth quirked, and it had to be the sexiest damn thing Max had ever seen in his life.
Max lifted his glass in Patrick's direction. "Here's to forgetting." Their glasses clinked, and Max took another sip of his soda as the football player knocked out his second beer.
"So tell me, Blue Eyes," Patrick said. "What are you trying not to think about?"
You. Max bit his tongue to keep the word from slipping out.
Patrick's gaze roamed from the top of Max's head downward in a way that had his pulse jumping back into high gear. That's when it dawned on him. Blue eyes? The endearment looped inside his head. Patrick couldn't be ...? Max had seen him with girls. But of course, that didn't mean he couldn't be bisexual.
Mentally shaking the thought away in favor of a safer subject, Max proceeded to inform PG that he was a junior prelaw student with plans to join the family firm.
"No pressure to escape there." Patrick snorted and motioned to the bartender to bring him another.
"True." Max sighed. "But honestly, I can't imagine doing anything else." And that was the truth. Even though his father had been grooming him to follow in his footsteps since the day he'd been born, he found the field of law interesting and exciting.
"Either way." The football jock shook his head. "Law ... that's fucking hard, man."
"I can't deny that." Max lifted his glass and waved it at the room. "It's why you wouldn't normally see me here."
After taking a long pull of his fresh beer, Patrick grinned. "Then I guess it's my lucky night." He leaned in, allowing his bottle to clink against Max's tumbler.
The flirtatious gleam in Patrick's eyes sent a wave of lust barreling through Max's veins. The mouthful of Coke he'd intended to swallow suddenly lodged in his throat, cutting off his air. He coughed, somehow still managing to coerce the liquid down his esophagus without spewing it across the bar.
Patrick's large palm landed between his shoulder blades. "You okay, dude?"
Trying to recover his voice and not think about the heavy feel of the hand on his back, Max nodded. Maybe PG was drunk? But he was only on his third beer. Could such a big guy be that much of a lightweight? Not likely, given the hard-partying reputation of the football players. So, was PG actually flirting with him? His pulse raced at the heady prospect.
Think about it, dude. A jock and a book nerd getting it on?
No way could this be happening.
And there went his rational mind, slapping him back from his quick trip to fantasyland. The damn thing was such a cockblocker.
The fact that he hadn't gotten laid in more months than he cared to think about probably had his imagination working overtime.
"Yeah. I'm fine," Max finally said. "I don't know what went wrong there."
"Shit happens, man." Patrick returned to his drink, his fingers easily wrapping around the bottle and then some. Max couldn't stop an image from forming in his mind of that same hand curling around the running back's thick shaft, his fingertips straining to connect around the circumference. Oh, yeah. What he wouldn't give to taste him. Ride him.
Max swallowed a groan. If the heavenly Father was kind and just, He'd blessed the ripped player with a dick in proportion to the rest of him. At least that was Max's prayer.
Geez ... who prays about the size of another guy's cock?
I'm going to hell for that one.
"Don't worry about it."
Max's erection throbbed once more behind his zipper, and he eased a little farther beneath the bar's overhang to better block the view of his lap. Time to change the subject.
"Not that I'm complaining, but why aren't you commiserating with the rest of your team?" Something about the tight hold Patrick had on his drink, and the strain around his eyes, said there was a lot more going on with him than the loss of one game.
"That's exactly why I'm here and they're wherever the hell they decided to hang," Patrick said. "I just needed to be somewhere else. Clear my head. Got a lot on my mind, you know?" He sighed, and then stabbed his fingers through his hair again, pushing it back. That move needed to be illegal. "Like I said, I don't want to talk football."
And that was fine with Max. He was more than happy to sit next to the hottest guy on campus and chat about whatever the hell he cared to, for however long he wanted. So for next couple of hours, they rehashed the entire last season of Grimm and Elementary, then engaged in a heated debate on when and if the producers should allow Joan and Sherlock to hook up. Patrick, of course, was a rabid supporter of Sherlock "tapping that" as soon as possible, while Max felt that if they allowed them to become a couple it would change the whole chemistry of the show.
"No, dude," Patrick groaned. "You got it all wrong. Don't you realize that the only reason everyone is still watching is for the moment those two finally get naked?"
"Or at least for a shot of Sherlock's bare ass," Max blurted out. Oh, shit! He closed his eyes, his pulse a ticking bomb inside his head. "Did I say that out loud?"
"Yes, you did," Patrick said, and the deep, masculine vibration of the three words licked up Max's spine.
He glanced over at the redhead, apprehension coiled like a spring in his chest.
"Are you gay, Max?" Patrick had his elbow on the bar with his Bud dangling between his fingers.
"Yeah," he said, his heart stuttering. Everyone in Max's circle knew he was gay. He didn't make a habit of hiding who he was from his friends, and he wasn't about to start now. So why the hell was he shaking on the inside? "Does it matter?" Max snagged his Coke from the counter, more to do something with his hands than because he needed a drink.
"Only if I wanted to hook you up with a girl." A sly grin formed on the player's mouth. "But why the hell would I want to do that?" Patrick's eyes narrowed on him, his hazel gaze wicked, as if taunting him for a response.
What the hell is going on?
"I have no idea?" Max whispered and shook his head. Gooseflesh lifted every hair on his arms, and the urge to two-fist the other guy's shirt, pull him in, and crush his mouth with his own hit him hard. Instead, he gripped his glass harder and stared at the ice swirling around in the caramel-colored liquid. Throwing caution to the wind had never been his style. Besides, there was no way that someone like Patrick was into him. No way. Right?
"This was really great," Patrick said. "I mean that. But I should head home before I end up wanting to take a hammer to my head in the morning." Straightening from his stool, he pulled out his wallet and plopped some cash on the bar.
"How are you getting home?" Max stood.
"Uber." Patrick tapped the screen of his cell.
"You don't need to do that. I can be your designated driver." He had no idea what the fuck he was doing, offering to drive Patrick home. All he knew was he wasn't ready for the night to end. Not until he understood what had just happened between them.
"You don't even know where I live." Patrick stared down at him, the corner of his mouth quirking up.
"I bet if you gave me the address, I could manage to get you there." Max grinned. Shit. Patrick was too damn hot when he smiled like that. And he was about to drive him home.
"You're a nice dude, Max. I can tell you're smart." Patrick nodded. "You're going to make a great lawyer."
"Thank you." He chuckled. Funny how intoxicated people always got the urge to spout revelations and predictions about others. "Now, let's go." Max led the way to his Jeep Cherokee.
"An SUV," Patrick said, rounding the hood toward the passenger side. "How very civilized and ... domestic of you, Segreti."
Max couldn't help noticing how steadily Patrick managed to maneuver across the gravel parking lot, despite the half dozen beers the guy had in his bloodstream. The athlete's mouth might be loose, but he seemed to be in complete control of his senses. Max clicked the remote, unlocking the doors. "Bite me, Guinness."
They slid into their seats and the doors banged shut.
Patrick turned to face Max, pinning him with heated scrutiny. "Would you like it if I did?"
Excerpted from Falling for the Player by Jessica Lee, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2017 Jessica Lee. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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