A virgin, an athlete, a fake romance,
and only one bed in the hotel room.
Following rules shot me to the top of my game as an all-star baseball player, and the golden rule is this — don’t hookup with your teammate’s sister.
But ask her to be your fake date when you desperately need one for a family wedding? Nothing in the guy code against that. Plus, the flirty, feisty Sierra’s my friend too, so why the hell not pretend we’re madly in lust for two days in Hawaii?
No hardship in a make believe kiss here, a fake smooch there, as long as we don’t cross any dangerous lines.
Then, the hotel books us into the same suite. Which means she’s showering near me, putting on itty bitty bikinis in the same room, sliding into that king-size bed wearing only a black lace cami.
But I resist…until the night she tells me she’s been waiting for me to be her first. And there’s nothing fake about my desire to say yes, even though that’s definitely against the code. But, maybe only if someone catches feelings? And neither one of us will.
Until I do…
THE VIRGIN REPLAY, the third standalone novel in the Rules of Love series by NY Times bestselling romance author Lauren Blakely.
The Virgin Replay by Lauren Blakely
SERIES Rules of Love | GENRE Adult Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER Independent | PUBLICATION DATE September 24, 2021
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THE VIRGIN REPLAY
A Rules of Love Novel
© 2021 Lauren Blakely
I’m pretty good at reading people—comes with being a bartender. But there’s one customer I haven’t been able to get a read on in the last year.
The guy who’s putting the pool cues away in the game room at my bar.
At least, I can’t get a read as to whether he’ll ever ask me out.
Or ask me to go home with him.
With everyone else gone for the night and The Spotted Zebra already closed, I steal a moment to check out Chance Ashford as he lifts his multimillion-dollar right arm to place the sticks in the holder on the wall.
I’m enjoying the view of him a lot. Every time he comes by, I enjoy the view a little more. And then I wonder . . .
When he’s done, the tall drink of a man turns around, wipes one palm across the other, and flashes me a winning grin. “That’s done.”
Best to keep things friendly, as they’ve always been, till I know where we might go from here. “Watch out. I just might enlist you in mopping and cleaning up,” I say breezily.
His chocolate-brown eyes twinkle. “I just might say yes.”
I laugh, then hook my thumb in the direction of the door. “Hit the road, Chance. You’ve got playoffs to rest up for.”
Chance is the closing pitcher for the San Francisco Cougars, my second-favorite baseball team in the city. Since my brother became their starting catcher, the team has grown on me. Some of the guys on the team have become close friends over the last few years, stopping by my bar after games.
Like this man.
Chance is obviously far and away my favorite of the guys who stop by. He’s easy to talk to and so damn easy on the eyes.
“I don’t mind helping. Our first playoff game isn’t for a couple days, so I don’t have an early bedtime tonight. Besides, I’m still amped up from clinching.”
I reach for a couple shot glasses left on the pool table. “But it’s late, and star closers need their beauty sleep.”
“That is true. Sleep is a beautiful thing. But I’ll still help you finish up.”
I can do it myself, but the team stayed late. The crowd was boisterous, and I won’t turn down an extra pair of hands at this post-midnight hour.
And those hands . . .
As he gathers the beer bottles from the pool table, I study his long strong fingers and big palms that can wrap around a baseball. And perhaps a woman’s hips.
Mmm, I like that image.
And what are you going to do about it, Sierra?
“Take these to the kitchen?”
I blink. Look up. Meet his eyes. A flush crawls up my chest as it takes me a few seconds to process his question.
“Yes, thanks,” I say, my throat a little dry.
Good thing he didn’t entirely catch me staring.
Chance takes the empties to the kitchen, places the bottles in the recycling, then sets the glasses in the sink. As we make quick work of washing and drying, I do my best to reroute my thoughts.
I can’t keep crushing on him like this.
Or is it lusting?
Probably a little of both.
Chance finishes setting the chairs on the tables, and I decide that tonight, it’s a crush. When I’m ready to say goodnight to The Spotted Zebra, I grab my purse from behind the counter and head for the door.
He holds it open for me.
“Thanks again. I appreciate it. You didn’t have to stay behind,” I say as I lock up the bar.
“I know I didn’t have to. I wanted to,” he says, his sexy voice a delicious rumble.
The crushy, lusty feeling definitely includes affection too. How can I help it when Chance looks at me with such genuine kindness, like it truly was his pleasure to help me out?
Kindness in a man I lust after? That would be potent.
He glances at his wrist even though he doesn’t wear a watch. “It’s late. Are you calling a Lyft or walking?”
I gesture in the direction of my apartment a few blocks away. “I don’t live far. I’ll walk.”
He gives a crisp nod. “Then I’ll walk you. And don’t say I don’t have to.”
With a laugh, I gesture to the sidewalk. “I won’t say that.”
As we head down the block, we pass a group of fans decked out in Cougars gear, still a little rowdy from the team’s victory, which secured them a Wild Card spot. A guy in glasses recognizes Chance, thrusts an arm in the air, and shouts, “Go, Cougs.”
“Go, Cougs,” Chance replies.
“So, I’m a little torn on something,” I say once we turn on the next block.
“Yeah? What’s that?”
“Who to root for in the playoffs. …
A #1 New York Times Bestselling, #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and #1 Audible Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s sweet, sexy and witty. She also writes red-hot, sexy romance and USA Today bestselling LGBTQ romance. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, with more than 55 titles on the USA Today Bestsellers list alone. She’s sold more than 4.5 million books. A graduate of Brown University, Lauren likes dogs, cake and show tunes and she is the vegetarian at your dinner party.