Title: Love Of The Game
Author: Shayne McClendon
Release: March 19, 2014
Design – Alexandra Andersen
Model – Stock Photography
How you play is just the beginning…
Always the Good Girl, Shayne McClendon presents the complete “Love of the Game” collection which includes two never-before-published novellas about hot professional athletes and the women who love them.
Ready to Rumble – Demitria Stavos has been secretly in love with her father's star performer, Nikolai "Granite" Petrov for years. When they're thrown together on a promotional tour for the Stavos' Professional Wrestling Entertainment Company, each may have finally met their match.
Breaking the Ice – Diesel LeBlanc notices MacKenzie Rhodes ice-skating on a pond in their hometown and decides he has to have her. He makes no secret of his desire - or the casual nature of it. He finally gets what he wants...on her terms...and heads off to live the fabulous life of a professional hockey player. Years later, a chance meeting when he’s traded to the Boston Bruins brings them together again. This time, he doesn’t plan to let her get away.
Time to Make the Doughnuts – Josie doesn't trust men anymore. Especially professional athletes. When Max Grant - star receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers - enters her bakery in a carb frenzy before dawn, she draws her weapon and prays he doesn't make her use it. Max is as patient in love as he is on the gridiron.
Win, Lose, or Raine – After a single night of passion, Raine Storm runs away without ever knowing her lover’s name. The day Rangers player, Jake Forrest arrives to do physical therapy at her clinic, she understands why no other man has measured up since. He’s ready to show her why he’s considered the best catcher in the league.
The Three Pointer – Harley Jamison has known her older brothers’ friends all her life. Beckham Pierce broke her young heart while Dex Rutledge covered for him. She cuts them off without looking back. Experiencing a horrifying freak accident several years later, she’s forced to confront them again. Now star players for the Phoenix Suns, the men realize they may have changed but Harley hasn’t. It’s going to take an aggressive game to get her back.
NOTE: This story contains explicit sexual scenes and language and is intended for mature audiences only. Do not read this novel if intense sexual situations offend you.
Shayne McClendon is an indie author who has received rave reviews for her premiere novel "The Barter System."
Writer, mom, and hermit...Shayne listens to the voices in her head because their ideas are awesome. Those around her have learned not to question the crazy. Coffee consumption is too high, amount of sleep is too low, but the words always feel just right.
She currently lives in Oklahoma wrangling teenagers, opening doors for her pets, and running her content writing company. She dreams of peace, quiet, travel, and always having a viable internet connection.
The Barter System
Yes to Everything
In the Service of Women
…and many more.
Always the Good Girl
Be fierce…you’ve got this.
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Exclusive Excerpt from “Win, Lose, or Raine” by Shayne McClendon
Novella Four in “Love of the Game – The Complete Collection”
Five years ago…
Opening her eyes, Raine Storm turned her head to look at the gorgeous man sleeping beside her.
Her eyes roamed his exposed body, wandering from his tousled blond hair to his now-stubbled jaw, across his tanned shoulder and down his leanly muscled back to where the sheet barely covered what she remembered as being an almost perfect ass. She paused for a moment to appreciate that thought before bringing her eyes back up to his face.
Bits of the previous night started to drift into her mind. She knew his eyes were whiskey brown and that he had very interesting tan lines, but she couldn’t quite remember how they’d gotten to his hotel. She thought he might be an athlete but that part was a little foggy.
Though she could not remember his name, Raine did remember the mind-blowing fucking that had continued for hours on end.
She’d started to sober up around dawn and the sex had taken on a completely new flavor, becoming more serious and focused instead of the earlier playfulness with which they’d started the night.
Vaguely, she wondered what happened to Macy and Nanette, her sorority sisters who had been with her the previous evening. They were usually good about taking care of each other but they knew she planned to leave with someone last night, tired of being the last remaining virgin in their sorority house.
After all, she’d figured she had guarded it long enough and no one permanent was even remotely on the horizon. It had gotten more than a little embarrassing.
Since it was her birthday and she was finally legal drinking age, she let a bunch of the sisters take her out to celebrate. They bought her shot after shot, each one slightly different “so she’d know what she liked for next time,” or so they claimed.
Soon, other patrons of the bar had joined in the fun.
Someone had put Closer on the jukebox and she started dancing with a bunch of different people. Raine remembered the man currently in bed with her had stayed nearby, not dancing with her, but watching.
He’d first come up to her when she was playing darts between shots, and by the time she decided he’d suit for what she wanted, she’d been totally wasted for the first time in her life.
She recalled that sometime during the short conversation they’d had he told her he had little sisters, and she needed to be careful in a bar full of men.
As the evening progressed, his good intentions must have fallen by the wayside, because somehow Raine convinced him that having sex with her was exactly the right thing to do.
His arm and leg were currently thrown over her body and she was sore in all the ‘right’ places, if her friends were to be believed.
Now, she needed to get out of here before the awkward “I don’t even know your name” crap happened. She’d die of mortification.
Slowly and more than a little regretfully, she eased herself out from under his hard body. She found her clothes and purse before running silently into the bathroom. Only when the door was fully closed did she turn on the light.
Exhaling roughly and far more nervous than she admitted to herself, Raine quickly got dressed. She put on the low hung jeans, t-shirt, and heeled sandals she’d worn when she left the sorority house eighteen hours before. She finger-combed her shoulder-length red hair and removed the makeup from under her green eyes. It was smudged from hours of sweaty sex.
Just the thought of which caused her nipples to tighten painfully.
Feeling somewhat human, though admittedly not a very dignified one, she quietly left the bathroom and tiptoed to the door of the hotel room.
Which hotel, she didn’t have a clue.
Raine let herself out quietly, grimacing when the door clicked closed a bit too loudly, and rushed to the elevator.
Behind her, she heard a door open and knew it was the one she’d just run from. He stepped into the hall with a sheet wrapped around his waist. One arm raised, running a hand through his hair as he first looked the other way down the hall.
She felt her fingers twitch in memory of running them through his soft locks, of even grabbing hold at one point.
God, he looks like Brad Pitt.
She had good taste, at least. For her first lover, she could not have picked a more perfect male specimen. Her body went hot and damp instantly.
There was a ding behind her a moment before she would have walked back to him. Dignity be damned. He dropped his arm and turned towards her, taking a step in her direction. Both relieved and disappointed, she blew him a kiss and stepped into the elevator.
She heard him call, “Raine, wait!” as the doors slid shut.
Practically running through the lobby, she hailed a cab to the bar. Her little cobalt-blue Miata sat where she’d parked it the night before. The driver gave her a sly grin as he took her money, and she got out with her face hot.
The moment the engine turned over, she gunned it into the street and left the night before behind.
Sort of. Remembering what he’d done to her and how he made her feel caused her toes to curl. She focused on driving, on getting somewhere familiar, getting home.
Arriving at the sorority house, she let herself in and was immediately swarmed by her sorority sisters. They wanted to know all the details.
Other than admitting that the deed had been done and she had a magnificent time – confessed with a huge blush on her face – she managed to tell them very little about her night.
After eventually making it to her room, Raine gathered her shower gear and headed to the bathroom she shared with three other girls. She stayed in the shower a little longer than her usual time, crying softly to herself.
It was hard not to wonder if she’d done the right thing...if maybe she should’ve stayed to talk to the man who loved her body so well, so beautifully, for the first time.
When she was dressed in comfortable clothing, she called her friends back home – the ones who knew her better, and far longer, than anyone with exception of her mom.
The six of them talked to her in shifts for hours and helped put the experience in perspective. By the time she hung up the phone, she felt somewhat better.
What was done was done. Regrets never got you anywhere. Life moved on.
Jake Forrest took the virginity of a woman who didn’t even know his name.
He hadn’t known she was a virgin until she no longer was. When he’d paused in shock and surprise, she’d told him she was drunk enough to get rid of her nerves but sober enough to know exactly what she was doing.
At that point, it had been too late to go back, so he became determined to make it great. He focused on wringing every ounce of pleasure from her until she finally collapsed just after dawn.
He didn’t know her last name, only her first, courtesy of the friends with her last night. The group of giggling young women had been celebrating Raine’s twenty-first birthday and he hadn’t wanted to leave her to the wolves circling at the bar.
Not that he’d been any better than then in the end.
She kissed and stroked and begged him until he broke. She was exactly his type, Irish good looks with an athletic body. He knew he was a considerate lover, always safe, and he made sure his partner was well pleased before he got his.
He wanted to find her, to talk to her…to take her again with both of them stone cold sober. Raine was incredible, a naturally sensual woman he wouldn’t mind getting to know better.
Jake had always been lucky. He couldn’t shake the feeling that their paths would cross again. In the meantime, he had to concentrate on his job.
Exclusive Excerpt from “The Three Pointer” by Shayne McClendon
Novella Five in “Love of the Game – The Complete Collection”
Box Set Release on March 19th
There was only so much Harley Jamison should be expected to put up with before a man managed to damage her love for him in a way she couldn’t forgive.
Beckham Pierce crossed the line. To be fair, she’d known for a long time that her boyfriend wasn’t faithful to her. She turned her heart from the truth and got exactly what she deserved.
They started dating a few weeks before she finished tenth grade. She was sixteen. Beckham Pierce was eighteen, a senior about to head off to college.
Beck, Dexter Rutledge, and Harley’s brother Hartman had been best friends since the three of them were toddlers. When Harley and Beck started dating, it strained the lifelong friendship between the three boys.
Hart warned her, told her she didn’t know what she was getting herself into with Beck. She hadn’t listened to him because she was in love.
What an idiot.
After only four dates, she let Beck take her virginity. She always knew either Beck or Dex would be her first. She’d loved both of them forever and they were the only men she would have trusted.
Ultimately, she bet on the wrong horse.
By the time she had her high school diploma in hand, several people had approached her nervously about Beckham.
He was attending the University of Florida, the closest big college to their hometown in Central Florida. It was where Hart and Dexter went, too. They’d been recruited for basketball after winning one championship after another in high school. They were a triple threat. Hart was the point guard, Beck the shooting guard, Dex an amazing center.
The last time they came home to visit was spring break a couple of months before.
Beck breezed in and swept her off her feet like he always did. He told her not to listen to the gossips, she was his only girl, and would always be his only girl. Harley fell for it the same way she did every single time.
He acted strangely during their trip but she rolled with it. She always dealt calmly with whatever Beck dished out. She figured that was what you did when you loved someone.
You accepted them.
Her own plans were well thought out. She would work remotely for her parents until her college classes started in the fall. She was leaving in a few days and her parents were going to follow her to North Carolina and make sure she was settled.
Bailey Verreos was her best friend in the world and came over bright and early on her last weekend to help her finish packing. Harley rushed through sorting her stuff since she wanted to straighten up for her parents before they got home.
She didn’t pay much attention when Bailey answered her cell and walked downstairs to speak privately. Her mind was on a hundred other things.
When her friend returned, her face was furious. Only three people on the planet could make her scrunch up her face in such a way. Harley’s heart sank because she knew which one was about to be in trouble and she wondered, not for the first time, if she’d be able to bounce back from it.
“I just talked to Diana.” The news was bad if Bailey’s older sister was calling to tattle. She was pre-med and didn’t have time for a life. For her to notice, shit had to be real. “This can’t go on, Harley. You have to dump him. He’s an asshole of the first order.”
She sat down hard on her bed and put her face in her hands. For a few minutes, she let sadness hit her first. Then she got up and furiously cleaned. Later, her mom would wonder at the professional-level job performed on the downstairs living areas of her house.
Everyone knew Harley waited for Beckham. She didn’t date other people or even consider it. Caring for someone, loving them, meant she was honest and true.
After an hour of cleaning, thinking, and talking to herself aloud, Harley got in her little VW Bug and drove almost one hundred miles to confront her boyfriend. She didn’t need directions because she’d gone to visit the guys dozens of times in the last two years.
On those visits, they always knew she was coming.
Bailey refused to let her go alone but when she turned into the dorm parking lot, Harley told her to wait in the car. She slipped smoothly into a guest spot.
Through the windshield, she saw Dexter sitting on the front steps of their building reading.
Harley took a deep breath, got out, and approached the young man she’d known all her life. Her heart thumped hard in her chest at the sight of him.
“Dexter, how you doing?”
The good-looking man glanced up at the familiar voice saying his name. His eyes met hers with surprise…and more than a little panic.
He was the tallest and most muscular of the three friends, a solid six-seven with black hair and black eyes. He’d been adopted as an infant so no one really knew what nationality he was but Harley always thought he was a mix of Native and African American. He was extremely attractive, whatever his heritage. He never failed to make her heart pound in her chest.
“Something wrong? You look downright nervous to see me, Dex.”
“What are you doing here, Harley?”
“Hmm…no happy to see you, Harley? Whatcha been up to, Harley? Just wondering what I’m doing here. Interesting. Be right back.” With that, she moved to enter the dorm.
Dex blocked her and she sighed. “Dex, I’m going up unless there’s something you’d like to say, explaining why I shouldn’t.”
She watched an expression of pain flit across his features then he clenched his jaw. Harley had the insane urge to stroke it.
“We can go easy or we can go hard, but I’m going up. Move.”
He shook his head stubbornly and she cup-checked him hard. He dropped to his butt on the steps and Harley stepped past him.
“Sorry, Dex. You chose wrong. You know me better than that.”
Climbing to the third floor easily, she stood in front of Beck’s room and counted to five. He shared the room with Dex but his roommate was killing time out front.
There was likely a reason.
Harley took a deep breath and quietly opened the unlocked door.
Surprisingly, there was not a woman with Beck…there were two. All of them were so involved in what they were doing that they didn’t notice her arrival.
Harley found herself mesmerized by the scene. Her temper was a slow burn as she realized her feelings had never mattered to this man.
Her boyfriend stood on the floor beside his bed. One of the women perched on all fours at the edge of the mattress as he fucked her brutally from behind. Beck worked his cock into her with an expert rhythm while she moaned and ground her hips back into him.
The other female was spread-eagled on the bed in front of her friend. She was having her pussy eaten and playing with her own tits for Beck’s viewing pleasure.
His voice was rough and gravelly. “She making your pussy feel good, honey?” With a nod and a moan the woman whispered that she was about to come. “Squeeze your nipples for me. Come all over her face. Fuck yes…”
The woman he was fucking reared up so he could play with the front of her body. He took her breasts in his hands with a smile. “While I fuck your friend’s ass, I want to watch you eat her pussy again. You did such a beautiful job making her come. How’s that sound?”
There was nothing but moans and sighs in response as the friend sat up to stroke her clit. She suddenly came, he went harder, and climaxed with her.
“Fuck yeah, some nice wet pussy. I needed a hot fuck to take the edge off.” He held her to him by her breasts while he pumped himself dry inside her body.
“So good, Beck. You always deliver the best fucking.”
“We’ll go again in a minute. First, we’ll let your friend clean our come off my cock.”
“I’ll help. We can suck you together. Whatever you want.”
Beck slapped her mound sharply and she gasped. “I’ll think of something real hot, baby.”
Harley knocked on the open door and all three participants looked up at the same time. Beck’s hands released the woman’s breasts as if they burned him.
“A little late for that, Beck. Your dick is still inside her. Don’t let me interrupt.”
Beck whispered, “Oh fuck. Harley…Harley, wait.”
Then she was running and she was fucking fast. Over the years, Harley won her own championships for track and soccer.
Beck would never be able to catch her…even if he didn’t have to take time to remove his dick from another woman and get dressed.
Passing Dex just outside, he tried to reach for her. She slapped his hands away, leapt the steps directly to the ground, and didn’t slow.
“Don’t you fucking touch me, Dex. Two women…god knows how many others. Fuck you all!”
He shouted, “Harley…Harley, don’t leave like this. I’m sorry, Harley, please don’t go. Harley!”
She was in the Bug and driving away as Beck ran down the dorm steps wearing nothing but basketball shorts.
The moment Dexter saw Harley standing in front of their dorm building, he knew all of them had miscalculated the pain and fury they were allowing Beck to cause her.
He stared at the little sister of one of his oldest friends, the girlfriend of his other oldest friend, and wanted to crawl in a fucking hole to die.
Harley was beautiful. Tall, athletic, around five-ten, with curves that popped in all the right places. Lean muscle, curly brown hair that fell past her shoulder blades, and bright green eyes. The Jamison kids were half-black and half-white. They were a stunning blend of their parent’s beautiful features.
After she cup-checked him, he could have powered through it. He could have stopped her from seeing what he knew she would see. He didn’t.
He was fucking tired of covering for his friend and outright lying to the woman he was lucky enough to call his own.
The woman Dex loved with everything inside himself.
Finally, all of it came to a head and when Beck appeared on the steps, Dexter couldn’t contain his fury, frustration, and disappointment with a man he never thought would treat someone he’d known all his life this way.
That he would consider going after Harley with the bodily fluids of two campus tramps still clearly visible on his skin made Dex physically ill.
He grabbed him with every intention of beating him the fuck down. Someone called Hart and when he showed up the two of them were bleeding and bruised.
Harley’s brother pulled them apart, made them clean up, and ordered them into his car. There was no doubt Hart wanted a piece of Beck, too.
The two-hour drive to their hometown was utterly silent.
All Dex could think about was that Harley gave him a chance to tell the truth and he didn’t take it.
It was a decision he would regret for years.
As Harley merged onto the highway, her cell phone started ringing. She ignored the call and shut off the phone.
Bailey asked what happened but Harley didn’t say a word. Her best friend held the oh shithandles as Harley broke every speed limit between the college and her house.
The humiliation of knowing how stupid she’d been was bad enough. She parked in her driveway and realized she was shaking. Thankfully, no one was home.
Bailey followed her inside and said nothing as Harley started gathering her bags. She was packed to leave and she was damn well going to do it. She loaded her car with the urgent items.
It was hard to leave her parents a note. To figure out what to say that wasn’t filled with acid. She asked them to bring the rest of her stuff when they drove to North Caroline and told them she loved them. She let them know not to worry that she might not be able to talk for a couple of days.
Twenty minutes after pulling to a screeching halt in front of her house, she was back in her car. Bailey held her hand through the window.
“Please be careful, Harley. I’m so scared for you to leave like this. I don’t think you should be driving. Call me when you get there. If anything happens to you…”
“I’ll be okay. I have to go and it has to be now. I will not be here when they show up. You know what’s coming as well as I do. Excuses and begging, maybe even tears for good measure.” She pressed her fingers against her temple. “I love you so much, Bailey. We’ll talk more when I can think…when I can process.”
Bailey nodded. Harley would have to explain to her parents why she left early but in the end, it wouldn’t matter. They knew her well.
She left her phone off until she got to North Carolina. After she checked into a hotel, she flipped it open with a grimace. There were twenty voicemails.
Despite her intentions, she knew she had to return some of them. No way was she freaking her parents out or letting them worry.
“Mom, I’m fine. I’m staying at a hotel tonight and I’ll find the apartment tomorrow. I just decided to leave early.” Her mother was quiet on the other end of the line. “I’ll explain it when I see you.”
“Let me go in my office.” There was the soft sound of a door closing. “Yes, you will explain, Harley. You aren’t a rash person so I know something terrible happened.” There was a short pause. “I find it interesting that your brother and his friends showed up a little while ago. Beck and Dex look like they’ve been beating on each other.”
“We’ll talk when I see you in a few days. I trust you. You’ve never given me reason not to.” Harley pictured her mom staring out her office window with one hand on her hip. If her calm was any indication, she was furious. “Should I give any of these young men a message from you?”
“Tell Hart I said thank you.” She started to cry but forced it down, swallowed it down, and focused on breathing. “I’m really tired so give Dad kisses from me and I’ll see you both in a couple of days. I love you, Mom.”
“I love you, honey. Whatever it is, you’re strong enough to beat it.”
She talked to Bailey and with twelve-hours buffering her from the initial shock, she was able to relate what she witnessed in Beck’s room. She cried and yelled while her friend listened, fuming.
“You must be wiped so get some rest and call me tomorrow. I’m sorry about this, Harley.”
For a few minutes, she paced her hotel room deep in thought. There was one person she needed to call but she wasn’t sure she could talk to him. He answered on the first ring.
“Hart, don’t say one fucking word. You knew. All this time, you knew and you helped him lie to me. I could have diseases for fuck’s sake. He wasn’t even wearing a condom!”
“Jesus, I didn’t…”
“Shut up. You’re my older brother, Hart! You protected him but what about me? Didn’t you think about me…even a little?” She gasped on a sob. “I don’t like you very much and I can’t talk to you for a while. I don’t want you coming here to visit. I don’t want to hear from those two ever again. I’m changing my phone number.”
“Harley, let me explain…”
“There is nothing you can say to me to make this right, Hart. In a choice between protecting me or your friend, you picked your friend and left me vulnerable to so many things.” She swallowed hard. “I would never let someone hurt you like this. Not ever. Goodbye.”
She hung up, turned off the phone, and showered for a long time. Eventually, she felt somewhat clean again and crawled in bed. She cried for hours, wishing she could cry the vision of Beck out of her mind.
The thing that really killed her, that ate her up inside, was how beautiful he’d looked.
She took in his six-six body, blonde hair, blue eyes, and felt the pull. Felt drawn to him…while he was fucking two other women.
How pathetic was she?
The only two men who ever made her heart race, who she’d literally known her entire life, had hurt her bad. Beck ripped her heart out of her chest and Dex covered for him.
Her own brother covered for him.
Three men she loved more than she loved herself and not one of them had thought to question what such treatment would do to her. They didn’t consider her feelings or even her health.
It was a hard reality to face.
The next day, she drove to the apartment her parents rented for her not far from campus. It was a pretty little complex made up of several two-story buildings, a clubhouse, a pool, and a gym. There were trees everywhere and jogging paths than ran through them.
She remembered how happy they were to find the place. As they toured the grounds, she saw her parents’ relief. Making sure she lived in a safe environment had been their only condition to her going to school out of state.
Harley carried her stuff in from her car in three trips. She dropped it on the floor of the living room and collapsed beside it.
Her heart hurt and she was exhausted. Sleep hadn’t come easily the night before.
To take her mind off the very real pain she felt, she thought about her plans. They’d been in place a long time and she worked hard to make them happen.
She committed to the University of North Carolina on her academic merit, unsure if she wanted to compete in athletics during her first year of college.
The soccer coaches who came to recruit her applauded her dedication to her studies and said they looked forward to seeing if she could maintain her skills and dedication. Her invitation to try out for the Tar Heels in her sophomore year was an open one.
Harley needed to work hard, keep her eyes on her goals, and let time take care of the pain.