- Pub. Date:
For most women, working for a sexy soccer star would be a dream come true. All except single mom Felicity Shaw. She has no interest in playing personal assistant for a stubborn, injured playboy—no matter how nice his abs are. But with bills piling up and mouths to feed, she can’t say no to the job.
That’s when it gets interesting.
The last thing Scott Gillie wants or needs is a persistent and entirely too distracting PA while he’s recuperating in his small hometown. Unfortunately, it’s not up to him. Then Felicity and her son end up temporarily moving in—all thanks to his meddlesome grandmother. Now temptation is right across the hall and it’s driving Scott crazy.
His only option is to fight fire with fire.
He never expects Felicity to do the same.
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|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love, humor, and mystery in the Midwest and beyond. Her romance novels range from sweet contemporary to romantic suspense and paranormal/fantasy. No matter the setting, Kyra employs both comedy and chaos to help her characters find inspiration and/or redemption on their way to happily ever after.
When this Hoosier native isn’t pounding out scenes for her next book, she’s likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves to read, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan.
Be sure to stop by www.kyrajacobsbooks.com to learn more about her novels and ways to connect with Kyra on social media.
Read an Excerpt
The doctor's office — Felicity Shaw could think of a million and one places she'd rather be, and 99 percent of them contained fewer germs. She held the door open at Quail Hollow Pediatrics for her sluggish six-year-old and guided him inside with a hand on his back. Tyler's headaches seemed to be getting worse, and she needed to find out why. Hopefully, her boss wouldn't give her too much grief for taking time off again this morning.
The money at Stinson Automotive was better than she'd expected, the occasional overtime allowing her to finally put a deposit down on one of the cute little rental houses by her cousin Lauren's place this past weekend. No, it wouldn't be her own, but it'd still be a million times better than the rundown duplex they were living in now. And maybe, just maybe, it'd finally start to feel like she was putting her life back together.
Life hadn't been easy since John's accident, and it became infinitely harder after he passed. But she'd refused to buckle, refused to let Tyler see how much she struggled day in and out to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. He deserved to grow up happy, to not spend his youth worrying about money or security. Her job at Stinson had been a godsend and was helping her ensure exactly that.
The cacophony that greeted them in the lobby had her struggling not to run the other way. To their left, multiple infants were crying, held in the arms of sleep-deprived mothers. To their right was a group of slightly older patients, though they weren't much quieter — one toddler was on the floor, kicking and screaming, while another was standing on the waiting room chairs jumping up and down yelling, "Wheee!" Felicity dug deep for patience and urged Tyler on toward the reception desk.
Which, she now realized, stood empty.
"Maybe they're closed."
Felicity glanced to her son, shaking her head at the hopeful tone in his voice. "Honey, I promise — you're not here for shots. They're just gonna try and help us figure out where all these headaches are coming from, okay? And I'm sure the receptionist is floating around here somewhere."
Tyler looked up to scan the ceiling, and Felicity grinned. Silly boy often took her a bit too literally. Even so, he was a great distraction from the crying, screaming, "whee"-ing ... and now the reception desk's ringing phone, which sounded like some '90s B-list video game gone wrong.
Felicity shifted from one foot to the other, pulled her purse strap higher on her shoulder, and finally leaned forward to peer around the desk. No one. A second line chimed in, the rings overlapping one another. Her right eye began to twitch.
Work. She really needed to get to work.
Beedall-de-boop. Beedall-de-boop ...
To her left, bouncy toddler's mother told him to get down, and a shrill scream of displeasure rang out, followed by crying. Loud crying. A fourth infant chimed in with the other three wailers.
Counting — maybe counting to ten would help her keep her cool. She made it to ten. Then twenty. And thirty.
"Oh, for the love of Pete."
Felicity grabbed her son's hand and marched around the desk's far end. With still no receptionist in sight, she sat Tyler in the desk chair and reached for the phone. She'd worked multi-line phones before, how difficult could it be? Ten buttons later, she found caller number two.
"Quail Hollow Pedes, can you hold, please?" A tap of a button and that caller's objection was quickly silenced. Felicity pressed the one flashing to its right. "Quail Hollow Pedes."
Without hesitation, a young mother launched into a frantic tale of how her daughter had eaten an entire tube of lipstick and would assuredly die if the pediatrician's office didn't come and pump her stomach immediately.
"Okay, first, I need your name. Sally? Okay, Sally, I need to you take a breath. Nope, a deeper one than that. First child? Lesson one: next time you believe you have a life-threatening situation, you need to call 9-1-1, not the pediatrician's office. That said, one tube of lipstick isn't life-threatening. My son managed to get his grubby little mitts on at least three of mine before he was two, one of them a twenty-dollar Lancôme."
"Mom," Tyler whispered at her side.
She placed a hand on his shoulder, attention still fixed on the caller. "Heck yeah, I was mad about that one. Anyway, trust me when I say she'll be fine. Next diaper isn't gonna be pretty, but she'll be fine. Put your makeup where she can't get into it and let her go back to watching Sesame Street."
"Mom." Tyler tugged her shirtsleeve. "Look!"
She glanced up to spy two men stepping through the front door, one middle aged and a bit thick in the waist, his slate-gray suit a nice complement to his salt-and-pepper hair. He was holding the door for a second guy who was fighting to angle a set of crutches through the entryway. Gimpy wasn't nearly as nicely dressed, his attire composed of workout shorts, a fitted tee, and a worn Ohio State ball cap pulled low over his eyes. Two men and no kids. Clearly, they were at the wrong medical office — something they'd figure out on their own soon enough. She covered the phone's mouthpiece with one hand while lowering Tyler's extended arm with the other.
"It's not polite to point, sweetheart."
"But, Mom, don't you know who that is? It's Columbus's right wing!"
She nodded to placate him and leaned back, glancing down a side hall. Where was the darned receptionist? "Can we talk about hockey later, sweetheart? Mommy's trying not to lose her cool."
"It's soccer, Mom. Geez."
Hockey, soccer — did it really matter? She'd just started trying to deescalate the ringworm hysteria on line two when a shadow fell across the desk. Tyler's hand worried the sleeve of her shirt in double time now. Felicity tugged free of his grasp and shot him a warning look.
At the sound of a voice far deeper than her son's, she glanced up ... and promptly forgot how to breathe. Mr. Right Wing was standing just across the counter, a warm smile on his face and green eyes fixed on her. Sandy blond hair peeked out from under his ball cap, while his chin was dusted with stubble of a matching shade.
Not too long, not too short, but just right.
The woman in her ear asked a question, breaking the trance.
"Uh, can you hold, please?" Felicity fumbled with the keypad until Muzak replaced the caller's objections and prayed she didn't have anything from breakfast stuck between her teeth. "Yes?"
Mr. Wing's smile widened. "Good morning. I'm Scott Gillie, here to see Dr. Bedi."
"Aren't we all?"
Scott's brows furrowed. "Sorry?"
"I mean, that is why we bring our children here. To see the doctor." She peered over the counter, figuring she must have missed seeing theirs arrive. "And yours is ...?"
"No kids, just me. Here to see Dr. Bedi."
"Are you sure?"
One corner of his mouth quirked. "Positive."
Felicity wanted to kick herself. First handsome guy she'd crossed paths with in months, and she sounded like a bumbling idiot. Hard not to with him looking the way he did, that fitted tee stretched tight across his lean torso from the crutches wedged under his arms. Not that she was complaining, not one little bit.
"Right. Well, then, I'll make a note that you've arrived and —"
"Can I ... help you?"
Felicity spun to find a woman in kitten-patterned scrubs approaching, confusion on her face and a steaming coffee mug in her hands. The girl was young, maybe early twenties, and seemed far less bothered by the chaos surrounding them than Felicity would have thought humanly possible.
"Um, yes." Felicity gave her son a gentle tug from the chair and guided him to the front of the reception desk beside Mr. Hottie. Or rather, Mr. Wing. Oh heck, she might as well call it like she saw it: Mr. I'll Be Starring in Your Dreams Tonight. "Tyler Shaw is here for his eight-thirty appointment. And Mr. Gillie is apparently here to see Dr. Bedi, as well."
The receptionist encouraged the two gentlemen to take a seat in the waiting area, but asked Felicity to remain so they could verify her insurance information. Why, she couldn't understand. They'd just been here a few weeks ago — how often could that kind of stuff change?
Then again, if she didn't get out of here and back to work in a reasonable amount of time, hers might very well change before their next visit, and not voluntarily. Her boss was a generally patient man, but she hated to push it. Though, if she had to miss work, she might as well enjoy the view. She cast a subtle glance back at Scott and caught him looking their way. But rather than appear apologetic, he winked.
Felicity looked away, heat rising in her cheeks. Okay, so the guy was probably used to getting stared at, as good-looking as he was. Which was exactly why she wasn't going to peek again. She'd fallen for one bad boy, and how'd that turn out?
With her a widowed, single mother, struggling to make ends meet.
The receptionist handed her a printout and asked Felicity to verify that everything was correct. She was nearly done skimming it over when Tyler piped up beside her. "Hey, Mom?"
"Hang on a second, sweetheart."
"But you're going to miss it."
"Honey, miss what?"
Her gaze shifted from the paper to find he was pointing again, this time to the other corner of the room.
"Sweetheart, how many times do I have to tell you? Pointing isn't —"
The words died in her throat at the unexpected scene on a nearby television screen. It was her factory, the place she should be now, surrounded by a mob of people with raised fists and angry faces. Police were trying to contain the crowd as a reporter stood off to the side, giving their take on the situation. From where she stood, Felicity couldn't hear what they were saying, but the banner across the bottom of the screen spoke volumes.
Stinson automotive shuts down, town in shock.
* * *
Scott scrolled through his Twitter feed, trying to focus on highlights from this weekend's MLS games instead of sneaking another glance at the cute mom and her kid. He should have been on the field this past weekend, helping Columbus stick it to Toronto. Instead, he'd spent the past two days sitting in an old farmhouse on the outskirts of Quail Hollow, listening to his beloved grandmother give every reason under the sun as to why he should pack up and move "home." Lucky for him, his agent wasn't going to let that happen any time soon. Not when there were still contracts to negotiate and money to make.
Now all he needed was to have his old friend, Evan Bedi — Doctor Evan Bedi, as everyone here apparently knew him — clear Scott to play.
He checked the time on his phone. Nine-fifteen. The team would be finishing their first run right about now, then heading to the field for passing warm-ups. His uninjured knee bounced, itching to get back out there with his team. Come on, Evan. Don't fail me now.
"Your grandmother hates me," said J.B. from beside him, not bothering to look up from the newspaper he'd swiped from a nearby end table.
Scott grinned at the thought of his bulldozer of a dealmaker agent having his feelings hurt. Then again, the greeting J.B. received an hour ago when he'd arrived to pick Scott up for this checkup had been anything but welcoming. Had he chosen a different profession, maybe it would have been.
"Hey, now, hate's a pretty strong word."
"Okay, then your grandmother really dislikes me."
Scott chuckled. "That's more accurate and not entirely uncommon. Edna dislikes a lot of people, especially ones who insist her grandson's place is on the soccer field, not playing the role of bingo chauffer."
"She must hate your entire team."
"Probably would, if she ever made it out to a game and met them."
J.B. arched a brow his way. "Not a fan?"
His fault, not hers. Scott had traded family functions for practices and games long, long ago. It'd gotten him to where he was today and laid the groundwork for the goals he still worked to achieve. Though, it'd be a whole lot easier to climb the Major League Soccer ladder if he could get back on the turf. It would also help him keep his starting position, which was why they were there.
"I still think you're putting too much hope into this plot of yours," J.B. said. "We need a plan in case Evan's opinion doesn't vary from your team trainer's."
"You're not really bringing up this personal assistant idea of yours again, are you?"
"As much as I love driving you all over God's green earth, I simply don't have that kind of time. You're going to need help."
"Funny, I've done just fine the past three weeks. On my own, in case you've forgotten."
Columbus was a progressive city with virtually unlimited resources at the ready. Need a ride? Call an Uber. Need food? Have it delivered. Need help around his apartment? Definitely no need there.
"Besides, Evan and I have been friends since high school travel ball," said Scott. "If anyone knows how fast I recover from dings and bruises, it's him."
"Too bad this injury is neither of those things." J.B. glanced toward a cluster of chairs set before a large television mounted high on the wall. "If he doesn't clear you, we're going to need to find you a personal assistant."
"What could I possibly need one of those for?"
When J.B. didn't answer, Scott followed his gaze ... and found it fixed on the cute mom and her shaggy-haired son. Of course, leave it to his agent to be wowed by the woman who'd taken it upon herself to start answering phones at the pediatrician's office; J.B. always had been a fan of assertive females. Lucky for Scott, he was perfectly capable of answering his cell all by himself.
Even luckier, she likely lived around here, three hours from Columbus. Threat averted, he allowed himself to enjoy the view a moment longer. She was rocking a pair of worn skinny jeans and a long, fitted tee that failed to hide a single curve. Her light brown hair was pulled into a messy bun, mirroring her son's unkempt look. The boy was in shorts and a Manchester United practice jersey that appeared to be a few sizes too big. While her attention was riveted to the screen, the boy's kept alternating between it and Scott.
When he realized Scott was looking, he offered a tiny wave. Scott tipped his chin as a hello. The boy's eyes went wide, then he ducked his head with a giggle. Cute kid. And way quieter than the others in here. Man, how did Evan survive this day in and out? Scott couldn't imagine doing anything besides soccer. Heck, he didn't know if he could. College degree or not, soccer was his life, his love. Without it, he'd be lost. Being sidelined these past few weeks had only reinforced that.
His attention shifted back to the cute mom, whose gaze remained locked on the television screen, and felt the tiniest bit of envy. Sure, soccer was his everything, and he had yet to reach his lifelong goal of making the U.S. Men's National Team. But some nights when he sat before his own TV, alone, he longed to have someone there beside him. Someone like she probably had, to curl up with and share stories from their day. To raise a family with.
Eventually, he told himself, but not now. Now when he was at the top of his game with no time for distractions. Because that's what women had been to his career in his past: a distraction. If anyone knew that, it was J.B.
"Look, Evan's going to clear me, so you can stop with this PA nonsense. We're not gonna need it."
He waved to the nurse who'd called for him and reached for his crutches, hoping and praying this would work. "Come on, let's go get that 'all clear.'"
"You go ahead." J.B. handed him a folder containing the team trainer's notes and Scott's X-rays. "I have some work to do." There was something in his voice that made Scott pause. He started to ask what J.B. was up to, but then a toddler nearby sneezed, and that got him moving once more. The last thing he needed was to get cleared to play, only to come down with pneumonia.
"Fine, but we're tabling this discussion. Hopefully, indefinitely."
After explaining to the nurse that there was no Scottie Jr. joining them, he followed as she led him back to an examination room. Once inside, she motioned for him to take a seat in one of the grown-up size chairs rather than try to climb onto the elevated, cushioned patient table. Fine by him. He'd had enough climbing this weekend trying to navigate the stairs in his grandmother's two-story. Two trips up and down those creaking old steps, and he'd taken to scooting up backward on his butt and dragging the damned crutches along.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Soccer Player and the Single Mom"
Copyright © 2019 Kyra Jacobs.
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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