by Kristen Hope Mazzola
Release Date: February 23, 2017
Genre: Contemporary romance
One accident - a freaking car crash. That’s all it took to send my life into a tailspin.
Little did I know that out of the wreckage, everything would fall into place. I would get everything I had ever worked for.
Little did I know that I would find the woman who would cross check my life, flipping everything upside down.
Even though she's melting the ice that surrounds my heart, I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. Will I ever be able to find my footing or am I destined to stay pinned against the boards?
Note: Cross Checked is the second book in the Shots On Goal Series. It can be read as a standalone, has a happily ever after, and does not have a cliffhanger. There are character crossovers from Hat Trick (book one in the series) which is also a standalone with a HEA and no cliffhanger.
I sent Karla my address and my heart started racing even faster. I hadn’t been that nervous to have a chick over to my place since I was in high school. Before I knew it, Karla was massaging my knee with some type of icy-hot that she called hot cream. Whatever it was, it was an orange miracle in a jar.
“So, are you going to fill me in on your epic evening or what?” she asked, wiping her hands on a towel.
“Well, you saw the game, so you know Gavin got his first hat trick and we won.”
She leaned back against my headboard, shifting around to get comfortable. “Yep.”
I rolled onto my side to look at her. “What you didn’t see was that Myla was there with a date. She was right next to the penalty box.”
“That’s why you looked so pissed off when you were in there.”
It had been so long since I had taken the time to talk to someone other than Myla about my life, and it was incredible to watch Karla’s facial expressions as I told her just the simple shit about my night.
“Well, it gets better. So, her date turned into a fucking tool and tried to force himself on her.”
Karla gasped, throwing her hand to her chest. “Is she ok? Should I go check on her?”
She started to shove up from the bed and I grabbed her wrist. “She’s fine and sleeping. Promise.”
She slid back down into her spot and I continued. “Long story short, Gavin and I beat the crap out of the ass hat.”
“Sounds like you had one hell of an eventful evening.” Her smile was so captivating, I had to make sure I was blinking enough so I didn’t look like I was staring at her as hard as I actually was.
“Eventful is a good word for it, though shit show is what comes to mind for me right off the bat.”
She started to giggle. “Yeah, that’s a good one too. I don’t have any tales of valor and brawn to match that. I worked and then sat on my couch with Chinese takeout while watching the game.”
“Your two friends were too busy to join?” I teased and her cheeks blared red.
“Hey, now. Don’t be jealous that I have two friends.”
I leaned over, letting my lips land on hers for a quick second, pulling away just as fast. “Sorry, I just couldn’t wait any longer.”
She bit her bottom lip. “No. That was really amazing.”
I shifted away from her a bit. “I feel like there is a but that is supposed to be coming after that statement.”
She shook her head. “I just haven’t dated anyone, or even kissed anyone since me ex. I’m glad it was you that broke my no-kissing streak though.” Then, without warning, Karla straddled me and crashed her lips to mine.
My body went into autopilot. I rolled on top of her, even though my knee was screaming in pain – I ignored it. Letting our lips move together in a slow, soft dance, my fingers intertwined with her hair. Even though I wanted to let the beast inside me roar and break free of his cage, there was something about Karla, something too soft about her. I got the vibe that she had been too hurt in the past for things to go too quickly, so I let her dictate the next move. Her tongue slowly started to explore my mouth. She was gentle but forceful, timid but firm; it was all so intriguing.
“You’re an amazing kisser,” she said eagerly.
I pulled away to look into her eyes, brushing her soft blonde hair behind her ear. “I was just thinking the same thing about you.”
She pulled me down, locking our lips together again. “I want you.”
Her hushed words coursed through my body, but an overwhelming feeling of restraint won out over my primal urges.
I rolled off Karla, pulled her into my arms. “There is nothing I want more in this world than to fuck you right now, but I can’t.”
She ripped away from me, a look of disgust taking over her gorgeous face. “Please tell me you’re single.”
I shot up, looking her dead in the face. “Fuck! Yes. I am single. It’s just that I really care about you, like I want to date you, get to know you. I don’t want to just fuck you tonight.”
Her shoulders relaxed as a sigh escaped her lips. “You had me so fucking scared for a second.”
There was something about Karla. I needed all of her. I needed her mind, spirit, love, devotion, and body. In an instant I hated to think that I might use her up and throw her away, like I always did in the past. I felt for the first time in my life that I was right where I needed to be, next to the woman that would bring together all of my broken pieces.
I grabbed her hand. “Karla, can I take you out on a date Wednesday night? And then maybe a few more if you’re not sick of me, and then fuck you senseless after we have a chance to get to know each other a bit?”
She nodded, smiling like a little kid on Christmas morning. “I would like that.”
“Good. Me too.”
She leaned over, kissing my cheek. “So, I am going to go, because if I stay here in this ridiculously comfortable bed, I might try to sleep with you, and then I would ruin your awesome plan.”
I am just an average twenty-something following my dreams. I have a full time “day job” and by night I am an author. I guess you could say that writing is like my super power (I always wanted one of those). I am the lover of wine, sushi, football and the ocean; that is when I am not wrapped up in the literary world.
Please feel free to contact me to chat about my writing, books you think I’d like or just to shoot the, well you know.
A portion of all my royalties are donated to The Marcie Mazzola Foundation.