Mistletoe Games

Mistletoe Games

by Jaci Burton

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Overview

Mistletoe Games by Jaci Burton

No one brings the sexy out in sports like Jaci Burton, the author of the New York Times bestselling Play-by-Play novels. Now, she puts together a holiday hat trick with three novellas featuring the hottest sports around: baseball, hockey, and surfing—because hard bodies are always in season...
 
Holiday Games
For the high-achieving Elizabeth and her husband, baseball player Gavin Riley, failure is not an option. So when it comes to making a baby, they’re not about to let any holiday distractions get in the way of their necessary pleasures...
 
Holiday on Ice
It’s the season for giving and superstar hockey player Patrick “Trick” Niemeyer is ready to give dancer Stella Slovinski his heart wrapped up in bow. But he’ll have to melt the ice surrounding her heart to keep her from walking away...
 
Hot Holiday Nights
Christmas in Hawaii brings sports agent Tori Baldwin two presents: a young surfer at the top of his game and his business manager. But this hot threesome has to decide if the romantic wave they’ve caught is nothing more than a vacation fling, or the kind of love that could change their lives forever...


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451488145
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/18/2016
Series: A Play-by-Play Anthology
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 189,379
File size: 747 KB

About the Author

Jaci Burton is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Play-by-Play series, including The Final Score, Rules of Contact, Unexpected Rush, All Wound Up, Quarterback Draw, Straddling the Line, Melting the Ice and One Sweet Ride, and the Hope series, including Love Me Again, Don’t Let Go, Make Me Stay, Love After All, Hope Burns, Hope Ignites and Hope Flames.

Read an Excerpt

Holiday Games
Chapter One

Not pregnant.

Liz Riley sat in her bathroom, crushing disappointment tightening her stomach as she stared at the pregnancy test.

Not pregnant. Again.

Her period was three days late. She'd been so certain this time.

Dammit. The word failure wasn't in her lexicon. She'd always succeeded, usually found a way to get what she wanted. Even when faced with a temporary roadblock, she wrangled her way around it and won. She was one of the best sports agents in the business, and always got what she wanted.

But that was business, and this was personal. For the past year, she'd tried-and failed-numerous times to get pregnant.

She tossed the stick into the trash and stared at herself in the mirror.

"This sucks."

"What sucks?"

She whirled to face her husband, Gavin, the love of her life and the only man who could have ever made her want to have a baby.

She twined her arms around him. "Nothing. Okay, it's something. I might have a pimple coming up on my chin."

He gasped. "Oh, God, no. Not a pimple. It's the end of the world."

She glared. "This is serious."

He tilted her chin up. "There's nothing on your chin. And even if there was, you'd still be the sexiest damn redhead I've ever laid my eyes on."

He pressed a kiss to her chin, then let his lips trail down over her neck. Her woes temporarily forgotten, she leaned against him, loving the feel of his body pressed along hers. He'd just gotten out of the shower, and the fresh, clean scent of him never failed to hit all of her hot buttons.

Then again, she liked him sweaty, too. After a practice or a game, with dirt and perspiration rolling down his face, he wore his work on his body, and she loved him that way.

As his former agent, she knew how hard he worked at baseball. He was the best first baseman she'd ever represented. Of course, as soon as they'd fallen in love, she'd had to bow out of representing him, but she never stopped appreciating what a fine specimen of an athlete he was.

Or what an amazing and giving lover he was.

Like now, as he set her on the bathroom counter, spread her legs, and dropped to his knees, burying his face between her thighs.

She shuddered as he slid his tongue along her sex. Gavin always knew exactly how to pleasure her.

"Oh, yes," she murmured, sliding her fingers through the softness of his hair, directing him to where she needed his mouth. And when he hummed against her clit, she arched against him, so close already she could come right now.

But not yet, not when the sensations he brought out of her with his tongue were so delicious. She wanted to wait just a little longer.

The distant sounds of knocking permeated her senses. But she was right on the edge, so close to coming that she blocked out everything else.

"I'm almost there, Gavin. Just like that."

And when he pressed his tongue against her clit and licked her, she came with a loud cry, holding his head there as she rode out an amazing orgasm that left her shuddering.

He rose up and kissed her with the same hard passion that always left her breathless.

She heard the rapping at the door again. Only this time, the doorbell accompanied the knock.

Gavin pulled back. "Was that the front door?"

Then realization slammed into her. "Oh, shit. I forgot Jenna and Tara were coming over."

"Oh, shit is right." He looked down, and she followed his gaze where his erection bobbed hard and tempting against her leg.

She let out a rueful sigh. "So much for the hot sex. I guess I'll get the door."

"Good idea. I'll be here thinking about what we could have been doing. No. Bad idea. I'll think about on-base averages, and then I'll get dressed."

She laughed, slid off the counter, and hurriedly threw on some clothes before running downstairs to get the door.

Jenna arched a brow. "What the hell? I was about to call you. Were you in the shower?"

"I'm sorry. I was upstairs getting dressed. I'm running late this morning."

"Are you sure this is a good time?" Tara asked, giving her a hug.

"It's a perfect time. Come on in."

Jenna brushed by. "You were probably having sex with my brother."

Liz followed them into the living room. "And if I was, you so wouldn't want the details about that."

"You're right. I wouldn't." Jenna laid a bag next to the sofa, then turned back to Liz. "Your face is all flushed. Oh, my God, you were having sex. Geez, Liz, you could have called us and told us to come back later."

"No way. It was an impromptu thing."

Tara crossed her arms, a serene smile on her face. "So, a quickie, huh?"

"More like half a quickie."

"Ouch," Tara said.

"You have lousy timing, Jenna," Gavin said as he sauntered downstairs and into the living room.

"Hey, Tara's here, too, you know."

"Yeah, but you're my sister, so I'll blame you."

He gave both Jenna and Tara hugs and asked, "Who wants coffee?"

"I definitely do," Jenna said.

Tara nodded. "I'd love some."

"Tea for me," Liz said.

"Since when do you not drink coffee?" Jenna's eyes widened. "Are you pregnant?"

"No. Just working on putting healthy stuff into my body just in case it happens someday. Which, so far, it hasn't."

Jenna squeezed her hand. "I'm sorry. I should stop asking you all the time about it. I'm as excited for you to have a baby as you are."

Liz looked into the kitchen, then returned her attention to her sisters-in-law. "I took a test this morning because I was a little late. It was negative."

Tara frowned. "I'm sorry. That has to be frustrating to want it so badly. But you just need to relax and give it time."

Liz gave her a look. "When have you ever known me to relax?"

"Good point. But maybe if you did try to relax a little, it might happen?"

"I don't know. We've been trying for a while. And I know I'm not in my twenties anymore, so maybe there's something wrong."

"Did you ask your doctor?"

Liz waved her hand. "She ran tests on both of us. Gavin's fine. She said I'm fine, and that there's no reason I can't conceive. And she also said I should relax."

Jenna laughed. "Okay, so just enjoy the sex thing and let it happen."

"That's the problem. It's been a year. I'm not pregnant. Clearly I'm not trying hard enough."

Jenna gave her a look. "I can't imagine there's anything you try to accomplish that you don't give your all to. Even this."

"Maybe."

Gavin came in with drinks for all of them. "Thanks, babe," Liz said.

"My pleasure. What were you all whispering about in here?"

Jenna gave Gavin an innocent look. "My wedding stuff, of course. Do you want to take a seat and hear all the details?"

Gavin looked horrified. "God, no. It's bad enough you're putting me in a tux and making me take part in it. Do I have to hear details, too?"

Liz loved the terrified look on his face. Like Jenna would ask him to go over invitations or something. "No. You're dismissed."

"Thank God. I'm going to the gym."

He grabbed his gym bag and kissed Liz good-bye.

After he left, Liz motioned to the bag sitting next to the sofa. "So, what's going on with the wedding stuff?"

Jenna grinned. "Tara brought over the place cards the other day. I thought you might want to see them."

"You know I do. I can't believe the wedding is only a few weeks away."

"I can't, either. Ty and I put it off for so long. The whole wedding thing just wasn't important, because we love each other and are committed. I really wanted to just go to city hall or maybe to Vegas for a quickie wedding."

"But then there's your mother," Tara said. "Who would have never forgiven you."

Jenna nodded. "Exactly. Denying her a wedding, especially for her only daughter, just wasn't an option, especially after the two of you married Mick and Gavin in such elaborate ways."

"Uh, sorry?" Liz said with a grin. "I never thought I was the fancy-wedding type. Or even the marrying type. Until Gavin came along."

"I can relate, believe me. I never believed in the whole commitment thing until Ty. And marriage wasn't all that important to me, but I loved Ty and he wanted to get married, and then there's Mom. So I caved." Jenna took a deep breath. "And so here we are."

Tara dipped her hand into the bag and pulled a place card out, handing it over to Liz. "With these."

The place cards had a purple border, matching the color of the tips of Jenna's hair, and the ink was in Ty's hockey team color. The upper quadrant had a musical note and a hockey stick coming up through it, signifying parts of both Jenna and Tyler, with their initials woven through it.

"I love these. So much," Liz said.

"Me, too," Jenna said. "You don't think they're hokey or stupid?"

"Of course not. They're you. And Ty. And perfect."

Jenna grinned. "Thank you. I love them, too. Tara helped me with the design."

Liz slid her glance over to Tara. "It's what you do best."

"Thanks. I'm ridiculously excited about this wedding. At least this time I'm not pregnant."

"And how is our gorgeous nephew?"

"Pulling himself up to stand."

"Oh, my God. Already?"

"Yes. Mick thinks he'll be walking soon. He said when he was a baby, he walked at ten months, so he thinks Sam will walk early, too. I'm not ready yet. I want him to stay my cuddly baby as long as possible, though he can crawl through the house like a speed demon. I have to watch him every second, or he disappears. We've already got the gate up across the stairs."

"He's adorable, Tara. And where is he?" Jenna asked.

"With your parents. When I told your mom I was meeting with the two of you this morning, she asked if she could have him for a couple of hours."

"Figures. She's always grabbing Sam."

Tara leaned back on the sofa. "You know you can have him whenever you want. Or come over whenever you want."

"Sure. In my spare time, when I'm not overseeing the bar, or working at the club."

"Oh, cry me a river," Liz interjected. "I never get to see him, either."

"I never thought the two of you would be fighting over my baby. You are the two least likely women I'd ever have guessed would have motherly instincts."

"Hey," Jenna said. "I love your baby. Not that I want any of my own right now. Too busy. But your kids? Love them madly."

"That's because one is in college, and the other you can love and cuddle and spoil, but you don't have to keep him."

Jenna nodded. "Exactly."

Liz laughed. "Speaking of the one in college, how is Nathan doing?"

A streak of motherly pride crossed Tara's face. "He's doing so well. He's putting his studies first, which I insisted on. And of course as you know, Texas ended up winning the Big 12 Conference championship this season. I'd like to think Nathan leading the team at quarterback had a lot to do with that."

"He's an exceptional quarterback, like his father," Liz said. "I watched every game. He has a natural talent, very much like Mick's."

"Agree," Jenna said. "In some ways, he's better than Mick, because of the way he runs. He confuses the hell out of the defense."

Liz nodded. "I'm eager to get my hands on him and get him an NFL contract."

Tara looked horrified. "Oh, God, don't tell him that. He'll want to come out next year, and Mick and I want him to stay in school and finish up his degree."

Liz laughed. "My lips are sealed. And I tend to agree with you. Some of these boys leave school too soon, the lure of the big contract and big money too much to resist. The longer they stay in college, the more experience they gain. At least that's what I always advise them."

"Obviously, they don't always listen."

She shrugged. "Bottom line is the choice is theirs to make. Many of them go on to have highly successful careers, but it's my hope they all get their degrees. Or at least stay through their junior years, then finish up their degrees later."

Tara nodded. "We're going to push for Nathan to stay in school as long as possible, but you're right, it's his career and his choice. We just hope he makes the right one."

They went over wedding planning, then went out to lunch. Liz parted ways with Tara and Jenna, then headed home, hoping to find Gavin there. Instead, he'd left a message on her phone letting her know he was going for a tux fitting, and then lunch.

Which was fine with her. She had some work to do, anyway, so she opened her laptop and answered a few emails. When she was done, she reviewed her calendar.

It was going to be an extremely busy holiday season. Not only was Jenna getting married-with Liz taking a very active role in that, which she was very excited about-but in addition, she and Gavin would be hosting Christmas for the Riley family in their home this year. Since this was the first time they'd have the entire family over for Christmas, Liz felt the burden of doing everything just right.

Not that Gavin's family put high expectations on Christmas or anything. His parents were the kindest people she'd ever known. Kathleen and Jimmy Riley had been family to her-more parents to her than her own-since before she and Gavin had ever gotten together. She loved them so much, and they were genuinely warm people. So there was no pressure, other than the normal pressure she put on herself, which was always high.

But still, there'd be a lot of coordinating to do. The Riley family was formidable, and now that there were wives and kids and significant others in the picture, Christmas was going to be huge this year. And Liz intended for this to be the best holiday ever.

She made a few notes about food. Catering was out, unfortunately, because the Rileys just wouldn't go for that. Nothing but homemade at Christmas. Kathleen would help her, of course, and so would Tara, along with Kathleen's sister-in-law, Cara. They'd all have to get together and discuss options.

This would totally work.

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Mistletoe Games 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
This is books 6.5, 8.5, & 10.5 from the Play By Play series. These books are holiday stories that go with the rest of the series. They can be read as standalone novels. For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading in order. We revisit this amazing 5* series with 3 books in this anthology of holiday goodness. First up is Elizabeth and Gavin and where the Riley family is and how they are spending the holidays together. Second is Patrick & Stella and whether he can keep her close. Last is Tori and a vacation full of surprises. These were fun books to get back into this series with a quick read. I found that the money is worth it just to even read the first story. All books are spicy and hot! There is plenty of sparks flying off these pages.
julieford More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC of Mistletoe Games in a Goodreads contest from Berkley Publishing. I have not been asked for anything in return for this win. That being said, this is the first book that I have read by Jaci Burton and I am a new fan. This is a compilation of 3 novellas previously released in e-format. All three stories are hot, steamy, full of Christmas cheer and extremely well written. Holiday Games is about Liz and Gavin Riley who have been trying to have a baby but it hasn't happened yet. Liz doesn't accept failure so they keep working at it which involves a lot of steamy sex scenes. Holiday on Ice is about Trick and Stella. Last year they hooked up for a while but eventually went their separate ways. Now that they have reconnected Trick realizes that Stella is a woman to spend his life with but she is extremely resistant to relationships. While the sex is hot, they have to work past the fear to create a life. Hot Holiday Nights is about Tori, Alex and Ben. Tori is vacationing in Hawaii for the holidays. Alex is competing in a surfing championship and Ben is his promoter. The three of them enjoy the sexual sparks and the attraction. None of them were looking for love but they can't deny what is growing.
BooksnKisses More than 1 year ago
Holiday Games: (4 1/2 hearts) Liz has baby on the brain. Which means she needs to convince her husband that they need to have more sex. But with the holiday’s and a wedding there is not much time. But that is not going stop Liz. Oh, how I love Jaci Burton’s Play-by-Play series!!!! Since Holiday Games is a novella and don't want to give too much away just know that it will not disappoint. It was so much fun to read about Gavin & Liz again. I so can’t wait for the next installment in this series. Holiday on Ice: (4 1/2 hearts) Loved. Simple as that. I loved this book. Trick & Stella we have met before. I think we all know then that something was going on with them. But we just didn’t know what or how deep it ran. That being said since this was a novella I am not going to give you more. ;) Except that I loved Trick and Stella and you should read this novella. If you are a fan of the Play-by-Play series you will love this novella. If you have not started this series never fear you can pick up Holiday on Ice and read without being lost. Hot Holiday Nights: (4 hearts) In Hot Holiday Nights we get to follow sports agent Victoria Baldwin on her holiday trip to Hawaii. And it just happens to be the same time as a huge Surfing contest. Which brings some hottie surfers. Alex is a surfing super start and a very sweet guy who is looking for a good time will he is in Hawaii. Ben is Alex’s agent, best friend and was once a competitive surfer until he was hurt. This was a very quick read and boy howdy it was spicy. Victoria is a woman who knows what she wants and when she wants it. Alex, Victoria and Ben make a great team!!! I don’t want to give you too much but if you like the Play by Play series you will love this novella. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley & Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
ReadingInPajamas More than 1 year ago
Spotlight, Review & Giveaway: MISTLETOE GAMES by Jaci Burton http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-6MB Publication Date: October 18, 2016 Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Donna Rated 4 Stars REVIEW: Three lovely stories revolving around Christmas and sports. HOLIDAY GAMES brings us to the world of Gavin and Liz as they get involved with the preparation for Ty and Jenna’s wedding. It was light on the baseball angle and more about the couples each dealing with big changes and love. Nice sexy little story. HOLIDAY ON ICE is of course hockey themed and I admit, I love hockey players. This was a fun and sexy romance that made me smile. Trick and Stella made a good couple, even though I wanted to throw a snowball at Stella at one point. HOT HOLIDAY NIGHTS brings us to the sexy world of surfers and a hot romance between Tori and Alex. I read this novella before and it was just as much fun this time around. Overall, the book was a pleasant read with each story the perfect length with a fun story. *Review copy provided by Pengiun in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Roland