Release Date: June 20, 2018
Meet bad boy shortstop Jax Carrigan...Baseball and fast women are my life. What can I say? I’m good-looking and in the best shape of my career. Being a National League MVP contender, I’m even a great athlete. There’s only one thing I’m missing—Jocelyn Kennedy. Ten years have passed since the night we broke each other's hearts. And not a day goes by that I don’t feel the sting from my actions. But that’s about to change now that she’s single again. When we arrive at a mutual friend's party, it reconfirms what I already know—we belong together. I’m confident I can win her back. There’s just one thing I need to do—convince her. Ten years ago, I didn’t fight hard enough. I won’t make the same mistake twice. Second chances don’t happen often. But here’s the thing, I go after what I want. And what I want is Jocelyn Kennedy.
Caught up in my analysis, I almost miss the professor’s dismissing words. I snatch the planner from the desktop and shove it inside my bag. I don’t bother with the zipper; there isn’t much time to slip down the aisle and beat the other students. Why did I sit up here?
I lower my gaze and rush down the stairs. A slight hum fills the air as Marissa’s and the other students’ voices fade in the background. The curtain of protection my hair provides blocks the further surroundings, allowing me to concentrate on each step. Seven rows down.
The next moments happen so fast everything becomes a blur. A scuffling sound causes me to jerk to my right, but a wall of white fabric blocks my view as a sharp, jarring pain soars through my right shoulder. The impact shifts my book bag and knocks me off balance. I stumble forward.
“Whoa there,” a rich voice calls out. Strong, firm hands grip my waist, which keeps me from falling, but in haste I straighten too fast. The back of my head connects with a hard, bony surface, and I freeze as the words “Son of a bitch” screech behind me.
Laughter erupts, but the pounding in my chest drowns them out. Mouth agape, I turn to face the would-be assailant. He did, after all, hit me first. Jax stands a few inches away, rubbing the bottom of his chin, and I want to die of mortification. Then I make the mistake of following the path leading to his face. My heart nearly stops. He’s even sexier up close. Those deep brown eyes trap mine for a brief moment before my senses come back to me. I pull myself away and scurry down the remaining stairs, not looking back. When I reach the bottom level and close half the distance to the door, I hear him call out, but I’m not positive the “hey” was for me. The warmth flooding my face heats up a few degrees, but I push forward, my feet continuing to beat a path across the concrete. I don’t stop until the next line item on my itinerary is within sight—the coffee shop. Thank God, because I’m in dire need of caffeine. Yeah, I’m one of those strange people who needs a stimulant to relax.
Once the latte is in hand, I find a table and start to calm down. That is until the mortification of slamming my head into Jax’s chin rolls my stomach. Ugh. Not only did I draw attention to myself, but I was rude. I don’t think I apologized.
I drag my sociology book out and flip through the pages while sipping the hot latte. It doesn’t take long for me to realize I’m not accomplishing anything. I can’t focus. Abandoning the idea of studying, I reach inside my bag for my planner but come up empty. “What the heck?” I ask no one while rummaging through my backpack. Beads of sweat break across my forehead as I continue to shove my folders and books aside. Still, nothing.
Where the hell is it?
I mentally retrace my steps back to class. It was lying on the corner of my desk when class dismissed. I shoved it into the book bag when I stood. It has to be here. I blink away the tears threatening to form as the hard truth sinks in—it fell out. No. No. No. I dig deeper into the bag, willing it to appear. Before I go into pure panic mode, a ding sounds and pulls my gaze toward the front door.
And there he stands, Jaxon Jax Carrigan, holding a purple notebook in his left hand. My notebook.
He scans the room, and when he catches me seated in the booth, he glances upward and utters a soft curse. I remove my hand from my bag and will my heart to calm down. Play it cool. Acting casual, I take a gulp of my coffee, the caramel-flavored liquid burning the back of my throat.
“Looking for this?” He waves my most valued possession in the air before sliding into the seat across from me.
“Thanks.” I snatch my planner from his hands and tuck it deep within my bag. Even though I know the answer, I ask anyway. “How’d ya know where to find me?”
The corner of his mouth lifts. “You’re pretty easy to find. You have each day scheduled.”
Another wave of nausea hits my stomach. “You looked inside my planner?”
A dimple pops on his left cheek, and my heart starts racing again but from something other than fear.
“I may have glanced through it.”
Kill. Me. Now.
He chuckles at my lack of response. “I have to say, you have some pretty interesting lists. For instance, I now have recommendations for a good romance novel, or if I’m craving Chinese, four streets down from your dorm is Green Jade, which comes with a stellar five-star rating.”
I press my lips together and just stare at him.
“Really, I can see it being helpful, but isn’t the making friends one obvious?”
Oh, dear God, I seriously want to die. How many pages did he flip through? Some items on those lists are personal. Private.
“Let me tell you how not to make friends; don’t headbutt them in the chin.”
“I feel really bad about that. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. Not even a mark.”
No, there isn’t. In fact, his face looks pretty damn good. That is, until his lips start to twitch. Fearing his next words, I hold my breath.
“How rude of me for not introducing myself. I’m number twenty on your ‘dating ban’ list.” He extends his hand. “Jax Carrigan.”
One of Five ARC's for Swing for the Fences
About the Author
Kimberly Readnour lives in the Midwest with her husband, two children, and a very fluffy cat.Visions, book one of the Mystical Encounters Series, is a #1 Amazon Kindle bestseller and a 2015 Readers' Favorite book award finalist. Her series, the Mystical Encounters, has spent many weeks on the Amazon's teen and young adult's mysteries and thrillers bestseller's lists. Kimberly worked as a Registered Nurse for fifteen years before hanging-up her stethoscope. When she isn't running her own business, you can find her tucked away writing.
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