Series: Face-Off #4
Author: Jillian Quinn
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 12, 2017
As the man-of-honor in the most anticipated
sports wedding of the year, Jameson O’Connor has a problem. He needs a date.
But his best friend, who is also the bride-to-be, keeps scaring them away. On
Through the course of planning the bridal
shower, shopping for wedding gowns, and hosting bachelorette parties, Jameson
finally meets a girl who can hang. Or so he thinks. When he meets Regan Turner
at a basketball game, Jameson has no idea she’s hockey royalty.
Because of her upbringing, Regan is through
with hockey players and wants no part of them. She assumes Jameson is an
athlete because of the company he keeps. But she likes him. And Jameson is
persistent. He won’t take no for an answer.
Jameson likes the sporty blonde, wears her
down with his charms, and Regan will be his date to the wedding. No matter how
much convincing it takes to get her there.
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Rico up the steps, we jog up to the top level, and sprint toward the concession
stands. With the Sixers getting their asses handed to them, the halls are
starting to crowd. People shuffle about, knocking into us as we pass. Once we
reach the counter, I shake my head, disappointed, because the concession stand
has closed for the night.
think they have any more nachos, kiddo. Would you settle for soda and another
his arm over his chest and pouts. “But I want nachos.”
all out.” I clamp my hand down on his shoulder and move him in front of me so
he can get a better look at what they have left. “You can have a hot dog,
pretzel, or ice cream. Which one do you want?”
“I think I
can help you out,” a woman says from behind me.
At first, I
don’t realize she’s talking to me. Not until she strokes my arm with her
fingers, commanding my attention. Her touch sends a chill through me. She
smells sweet, like honey, and good enough to eat.
around, holding onto Rico. The girl smiles so wide that it reaches up to her
bright, blue eyes. Tucking a strand of blonde hair behind her ear, she moves
closer to me. She has a girl next-door look about her, but she’s also sporty,
like Charlie, and is in full basketball gear, looking as though she just
stepped off the court.
A girl that
reminds me of Charlie is never a bad thing. She’s the coolest girl I have ever
known. Despite being subpar at most sports, I’ve always loved them and continue
to coach youth basketball with Charlie.
beyond words, I have trouble coming up with anything decent to say as I take
her in, thinking of all the dirty things I’d like to do with her mouth. As her
lips part, her breath hitches. She’s about to say something when Rico breaks
I laugh, as
does the girl in front of me. Her laughter is soft and feminine and like music
to my ears.
“I can help
you out with your nacho problem.” She holds out her hand for me to shake. And I
do, mostly because I want an excuse to touch her. “I’m Regan, and you are…” She
waits for me to stop acting like a moron and get my shit together.
O’Connor. Jamie. My friends call me Jamie.” Wow! Real smooth, dude.
Jameson better,” she says, grinning. “The name suits you.”
guess.” I stuff my hands into my jean pockets. “Regan isn’t a name you hear
dad for you.” She chuckles to herself as if there’s a private joke behind her
name. “How about you two handsome guys follow me, and I’ll get you those
you!” Rico latches onto her by wrapping his arms around her stomach.
you have here,” she says, staring at me while patting Rico on the back.
know about all that,” I deadpan. “Rico is a pain. You can keep him if you’d
finally unhooks himself from Regan to give me the stink eye. “Take it back.”
arm around Rico, I walk down the long hallway next to Regan. “I’m kidding. I’d
never give my buddy away.”
says as if thinking to herself and staring down at him to get another glance at
his face. “You don’t hear that name often either. Have we met before?”
don’t think so. You have the kind of face I wouldn’t forget.”
blush spreading across her cheeks. But she doesn’t respond to my stupid comment
that sounded like a pickup line, even though it wasn’t intended as one.
are getting heavier as we pass, and the buzzer still hasn’t sounded, which
means we have time to get back to our seats. I hope. But I’m also unsure if I
want to go back now that I have Regan’s company. After we loop around the
corner, she stops in front of a different concession stand.
Regan waves to a balding man behind the counter. “Can I get two nachos and two
Cokes for my new friends?” She winks at me as she says this.
She has a
certain ease about her that reminds me of Charlie. You can be yourself around
girls like them. Except, for some reason, she makes me nervous. I think of
asking her out as we wait for Joe to fill the plastic containers with cheese.
What if she shoots me down? Not that it would matter. It’s not like we will see
each other again. What do I have to lose?
the nachos to Rico first, and then, the other set to me. Regan takes a chip
from my tray, dunks it in cheese, and shoves it into her mouth with her eyes
trained on me. We share a moment. With me focusing on her mouth as she chews,
it takes me a second before I realize Joe is trying to get my attention to hand
me a cup of soda.
you.” I lift the drink from the counter and hold it up in acknowledgment. Then,
I turn to Regan, who has stolen another chip from me. “How is it that you have
the hook up around here?”
“I know a
guy who knows a guy,” she deadpans, laughing to herself.
you doing this weekend?”
not so forward with women. My question surprises me just as much as Regan. I
like to check women out, make sure they’re not crazy or up to Charlie’s
standards before I ask them out on a date. But I feel comfortable around Regan.
Plus, she didn’t even know me and went out of her way to get Rico food. The
least I can do is return the favor and buy her a decent meal that doesn’t
consist of processed cheese and corn chips.
much. Are you asking me out, Jameson O’Connor?” She inches closer to me and the
tension between us is burning like a lit match.
suppose I am asking you out. So, what do you say? Do you want to have dinner
with me on Saturday night?”
her finger up to her lip, pretending to think it over. The wait is killing me. Say
can respond, I hear Alex call out, “There’s the man-of-honor. We’ve been
looking for you everywhere.”
I was so
caught up in Regan and getting Rico his nachos that I’d forgotten about the
game. How is it I didn’t even notice the buzzer go off, only the people tearing
through the halls in a rush to get out of the building?
here,” I say, annoyed.
wedding party follows behind Alex, including Charlie, who has a strange look on
her face. She seems confused, but I have no idea why.
next to me, Charlie does something I least expect when she locks onto Regan.
She hugs her as if they have known each other for years.
you?” Charlie asks, taking a step back from Regan to stand next to me. “It’s
been a while. Is your dad keeping you busy?”
shrugs. “You know my dad.”
glances at me, confused, and then, back to Regan. “What are you doing out here
with Jamie? How do you guys know each other?”
I interject before she can respond. “They were out of nachos at the concession
by our seats, and Regan helped us out.”
own business, Parker.” Regan’s tone is playful. She speaks to him as if she’s
good friends with Alex.
Tyler says, stealing the show with his dominance, as he moves through the crowd
to get to Regan. “Are you gonna tell your dad we’re up to no good again?”
blushes, looking away from him and to me. She holds my gaze for a few seconds
before rolling her eyes at Tyler. “Will you ever let me live that down, Kane? I
was a teenager back then.”
a kid anymore,” he jokes, and that earns him an elbow to the biceps from Regan.
Kane, before I shut it for you.”
Carter exchanges pleasantries with Regan, I start to feel left out of this
conversation. Everyone seems to know Regan except for me. And she never had the
chance to answer my question.
with Coach,” Regan says to me. “I had no idea.”
you have treated me differently if I you had known?”
“Yes, actually, I would have.”
I ask, hoping she will elaborate.
about to say yes, but now…” Her voice trails off, leaving me even more confused
by the conversation.
changed since Charlie and the gang had to show up and ruin everything?
mix business with pleasure. Sorry.” She gives my arm a pity stroke that sets my
skin on fire.
flashes a tiny small before saying her goodbye’s to everyone in our group,
including me. “It was nice meeting you, Jameson.”
grab her forearm as she walks away. “You never answered my question.”
expression crosses her face. “Under different circumstances, I would’ve said
yes to you in a heartbeat.”
circumstances?” I ask, bewildered.
get mixed up in my father’s business. I’m sorry. It’s just not a good idea. But
I’m glad we met. Come by and see me sometime. I’ll make sure you have nachos
for the next game.”
giving me time to interject, she waves over her shoulder at me, falling in line
with the rest of the crowd, as she strolls down the hall.
close and whispers into my ear. “Did you ask Regan out?”
“Yeah, but she shot me down.”
doesn’t date athletes.”
not an athlete,” I counter, “not even close.”
shrugs. “Yeah, but I bet she thinks you are one just by association with me.”
she think I’m one of your players?” I stare down at my clothes. I’m built, but
nowhere near the kind of conditioning that screams professional athlete.
much better shape that you realize, Jamie.” She acts nonchalant. “It’s probably
for the best. If things didn’t work out for you, it would mess up my
relationship with her father, and I can’t have that.”
“Who is her
father?” The question of the hour.
It takes me
a minute to recognize the name. “Her dad is the Mike Turner?”
and only,” Charlotte says.
the stubble on my chin, trying to process the news. Mike Turner is the general
manager for the Flyers, a hall of famer, and one of the most legendary hockey
players to step onto the ice. “I guess that makes her like hockey royalty.”
nods. “Yup, which also makes her off-limits to you.”
challenge. Knowing that Charlie wants me to stay away only makes me want to
pursue Regan even more. I also want to change her mind and make Regan see that
I am not like my friends.
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Quinn is the author of the Amazon international bestselling Face-Off hockey
series as well as other sexy, sporty romances.
loves sports, bad boys, dirty talkers, strong females, and books with plenty of
heat—all of which you will find in her books. As a lover of all things bookish,
she has a serious book hoarding problem and runs a blog in her free time. When
she’s not reading, writing, or blogging, she’s obsessively fangirling over
hockey players and can be found wherever she can catch the next hockey game.