{Excerpt} Slow and Steady Rush by Laura Trentham

We’re excited to be participating in the blog tour for Slow and Steady Rush, the first book in the Falcons Football Series by Laura Trentham. We’ll be sharing our thoughts on the book with you next week (loved it!), but today we’ve got an exciting excerpt to share with you. First, here’s the 411 on the book:

{Excerpt} Slow and Steady Rush by Laura TrenthamSlow and Steady Rush by Laura Trentham
Also by this author: Slow and Steady Rush, Caught Up in the Touch, Melting Into You, Kiss Me That Way, Then He Kissed Me, Till I Kissed You, Candy Cane Christmas
Series: Falcon Football #1
Also in this series: Slow and Steady Rush, Caught Up in the Touch, Melting Into You
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on March 10, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 400
Goodreads  Buy the Book

She lives by the book—and is still searching for her happily ever after.

Darcy Wilde has tried hard not to live up to her last name. As a librarian in Atlanta she lives a fine life far away from the football-obsessed town of her childhood. But when her beloved Grandmother needs help, Darcy takes a leave of absence and heads back to the home and past she left behind.

He knows how to play the field—and is in no rush to settle down.

Robbie Dalton knows a thing or two about painful pasts. After bouncing around in foster care and the Army for years he is finally ready to move on and make a home for himself in Falcon, Alabama as the newest high school football coach. Sparks fly when the sexy new coach and the sharp-tongued librarian meet, but neither of them is looking to make ties.

But when it comes to love, sometimes you’ve gotta throw away the rule book to cross the finish line…

Everything changes when Darcy falls in love, not only with the gruff, protective, and smoking hot man who's sharing her days and nights, but also with the complex tapestry of people who weave Falcon together. Could this be where she belongs - and who she belongs with?

***EXCERPT***


Darcy rubbed her chest. Her heart hadn’t slowed since the gun’s report, and the snake carnage floating around her sure hadn’t helped matters. She had planned to wade in to her knees, but the water had been so cool and clear, before she knew it, her clothes were hanging from a branch. How long had he been watching her?

Instead of stretchy shorts to accommodate the body of an athlete twenty years beyond his prime, the new coach’s jeans and T-shirt molded the defined muscles of a man ready to play. But, when she’d caught him halfway to his truck, his ball-cap shadowed blue eyes had locked on her in a suspicious squint, squashing her inappropriate shot of insta­ lust.

She had assumed the high ground. Except, he’d neatly flipped their confrontation. His lips had thinned and tucked against straight, white teeth, and his accusations burned through her. Not completely true, but not false either.

“Geez, get it together,” she whispered to herself.

Embarrassment, anger, and guilt warred for dominance, and she pressed her hands against flaming cheeks. After everything Ada had done for her, she vowed not to let her grandmother see a hint of the resentment she couldn’t quite wrestle into oblivion. She would stay as long as Ada needed her, but Ada wouldn’t need her forever.

Once-sparkling white paint flaked off the house, and the railings lining the wraparound front porch were loose. While she was back, she’d work on fixing the house up. Ada would like that. She eased into the kitchen and closed the screen door with a careful hand. Her cousin was inspecting the contents of the refrigerator.

“’Bout time you showed up, cuz.” Logan fired the first salvo and popped the lid off a jar of homemade pickles, sticking one in his mouth like a cigar.

So soon after Dalt’s accusations, his teasing jab stung, and she replied hotly, “I have a job. Responsibilities. Do you need a dictionary since the concepts might be unfamiliar?”

Far from taking offense, he half-sat on the counter and crunched into his snack. “I see you’re still as tart as unsweetened lemonade. No wonder you’re still single.”

Their familiar banter helped de-frazzle her nerves, and Darcy notched herself into his side to hug him around the waist before pulling back. “I’m sorry I wasn’t here sooner. My replacement needed training. Did Ada give you hell?”

A year older than Darcy, Logan had been a hard-partying high school football star, constantly in trouble but everyone’s best friend. She had been the hard-studying teacher’s pet, shy and awkward. On the surface, they had little in common but shared a bond that went beyond even being cousins.

They’d both been abandoned with Ada, Darcy by her mother and Logan by his father. They had been playmates and confidants, and while their lives had gone in different directions, they understood each other in a way no one else could.

“Ideally, she would have stayed in the hospital another day or two, but she insisted on leaving,” he said with a shade of Darcy’s earlier impatience with Ada’s stubbornness.

She dropped her voice to a whisper. “How is she really? What did the doctors say?”

Everything on his face drooped, giving his usually carefree countenance a solemn cast. “She’s spunky and has a good chance to regain most of her mobility. But Darcy…the risk for complications is high, especially with both hips affected and considering her age.”

She turned away, nodding, and opened the almost bare pantry. Things were changing too fast. “What have you been doing with yourself?” she asked, partly to change the subject and partly to ferret out his ability to help.

“Looked up the word ‘job’ in the dictionary, discovered it involved money, and decided if one was good, two was better.”

“Really, where are you working?”

“Helping Dalt with the football team most afternoons. School cleaned house in May. Only coach they kept was Hal Perkins. He was mad as a wild hog that he didn’t get the top spot. Being an assistant pays next to nothing, but it keeps me in shape. I’m paying the bills by managing The Tavern for old Milt.”

“Is that … wise?” Darcy asked. After leaving the army, Logan’s reacclimation to civilian life had involved copious alcohol.

“I’m fine,” he said without rancor. He looked better than fine. His brown hair was neatly trimmed, his dark eyes clear, and his body honed. Tilting the pickle jar toward her, his bicep looked ready to massacre the straining seam of his T-shirt. His gaze flicked to her bare feet.
“Someone’s been to the swimming hole, I see. Better watch yourself. A passel of cottonmouths have nested in the bank.”

Perfect, absolutely perfect. Maybe the coach had actually saved her a trip to the hospital. Taking a pickle, she leaned on the counter next to him. She looked from the peeling, fruit-bowled wallpaper to Logan and back again.

“I ran across Dalt at the river.” No need to mention her state of undress or rudeness. “He was kind of a jerk. Seems to think I’m going to up and abandon Ada at the earliest opportunity, and he didn’t bother to sugarcoat his opinion.”

“Don’t get your feelings hurt. Dalt’s not a suave charmer with the ladies. He’s more of a man’s man. If you know what I mean.”

Lord have mercy, she knew. The testosterone had nearly bowled her over. The new coach made her ex-boyfriends look like weak-kneed, acne-covered, mama’s boys. She couldn’t imagine her reaction to his blatant physicality was unique. “I can’t believe one of the women around town hasn’t snapped him up.”

“ He doesn’t seem interested.”

Something like relief or maybe excitement stirred her insides as Logan continued. “I keep expecting to find one of the town hussies naked and spread-eagle on the practice field. He would probably step over her and start drills. The more he ignores them, the hotter they get. It’s been mighty entertaining.”

Of course, women threw themselves at the man. If the situation at the river hadn’t been so unnerving and confrontational, she might have considered it herself. “Is he being nice to Ada to get the old Wilson place?”

Logan’s gaze slashed in her direction. “ The big city has turned you awfully suspicious. Can’t someone just be nice?”

“ He didn’t strike me as a nice sort. He’s more of a scary I-won’t-take-no sort.”

Logan hummed, understanding imbued in the noise. “ He’s not manipulating Ada. I’ve trusted him with my life and would again.”

So, they’d served together. She wasn’t surprised. The man had a definite military bearing— all stoic and intimidating. She propped her hip against the counter, but Logan’s eyes stayed fixed on the wallpaper. He never talked about his tours, and she’d learned to let it go.

“How long is Ms. Evelyn going to stay?” She cocked her head toward the den.

“All night.”

Her dread transmitted, and humor sparked on Logan’s face. He said, “Be grateful. It’s the last night we have coverage. After that, you’ll be the night nurse.”

She slumped against the counter. Anxiety pounded her heart and made her break into a sweat in spite of the air- conditioning. He circled her shoulders with an arm and gave her a quick squeeze.

“Why don’t you come out to The Tavern tonight? Last night of relative freedom. Wear something…I don’t know”— his finger zigzagged over her T-shirt and cutoffs— “not that. More girly.” He winked. “If you can manage it.”

The screen door rattled his good-bye before she could fling an answering insult.

***About Laura Trentham***

Author Laura TrenthamLaura Trentham is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She is a member of RWA, and has finaled multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.

 

Find Laura Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

What do you think, Pretties? Who’s your favorite football-playing new adult hottie?

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