Title: Various States of Undress: Georgia by Laura Simcox
Various States of Undress Series Book Three
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: Novella/100 pages
Laura Simcox concludes her fun, flirty Various States of Undress series with a presidential daughter, a hot baseball player, and a tale of love at the ballgame.
Forget being the president’s daughter—Georgia Fulton is certain that she’s on her way to journalistic stardom. Nothing’s going to keep her from getting the story of her young career—a feature on sexy ballplayer Brett Knox … nothing except Brett, that is. Arrogantly charming and hotter than a Memphis summer, he’s doing everything he can to distract her. He may be the focus of her assignment, but getting too close to him could cost her everything … including her heart.
Brett Knox, star player for the Memphis Redbirds, is determined to get to the big leagues—which means no distractions. Certainly not in the form of a sexy brunette who won’t take no for an answer. As far as Brett’s concerned, his life story isn’t up for discussion—no matter how fast Georgia makes his heart race. But with everything on the line, he’s got no choice but to trust her. If only he can trust himself … not to fall head over heels for the one girl completely out of his league.
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This was the moment, then—the part of today’s practice when Brett showed Georgia how to pitch. She had to learn, since she was throwing the ceremonial first pitch on the Fourth of July. Brett wasn’t a pitcher, but management had insisted that he welcome her to the Redbirds with open arms, to make up for being rude enough to turn down her interview request.
“Give yourself a minute to relax,” he told her, “and don’t worry about learning everything at once, okay?”
“Okay.” She pulled the ball from Brett’s mitt, and when she met his gaze, her lips parted slightly. “I might screw this all up,” she whispered.
“Don’t worry. I’ll keep an eye on your form,” he whispered back.
Her mouth opened farther. “You’ll¾oh.” She closed her eyes. “Right. You do that.” As she walked away, he saw her trace her lower lip with her tongue. Oh God, he was in trouble.
He turned around and walked to the plate, forcing himself not to watch as Georgia jogged out to the pitcher’s mound because he knew his teammates would be watching him watch her. Brett’s performance at today’s practice was probably the best entertainment they’d had in a long time, but it was all he could do to maintain his cool.
When he squatted behind home plate, that cool nearly vanished, because Georgia stood on the mound, her feet slightly apart, her arms raised as she twisted her soft-looking hair on top of her head. Brett glanced back toward the dugout, where the guys now all stood in a motionless line, leaning on the rail, staring at Georgia.
Inexplicable jealousy surged through him, tightening his throat. He swallowed it down as she reached for her press credentials and slipped them down the front of her dress. “Here we go,” she called out and promptly executed an awkward, slow windup, stumbling to the side as she threw the ball. It landed on the dirt in front of her and then rolled a few feet. “Or not,” she said.
The guys laughed and yelled encouragement. Brett, idiot that he was, didn’t do anything except pound his fist in his mitt and adjust his squat.
With a smile, Georgia retrieved the ball from where it had landed nearby and held it in both hands. She stared at Brett. He stared back. There was no windup this time, just a loud grunt from her cute lips as she threw the ball—over the back of her head.
Brett stood up and jogged out to her. He tipped back his mask. “Need some help?”
She sighed, her breasts rising and falling. He trained his eyes on her face.
“Want some pointers?”
She adjusted her cap and glanced away, her gaze trailing over his chest. “You asked the same question twice, but you do realize that want and need are two different things, right?” she muttered.
“Not in this case.” While her head was bent, he gazed at her greedily—at the sprinkling of freckles over her nose, the wisps of hair floating around her delicate cheekbones. When she glanced up, she blew hair out of her eyes. “Well, no matter whether I need it or want it, you’d better go ahead and show me.”
“How to throw the ball well enough that it crosses home plate. I’m determined not to embarrass myself Friday night.”
“Not a problem,” Brett said. He cleared his throat and retrieved the ball. “Okay, watch. Plant your feet and use the momentum of your body to follow through.” He went into an easy windup and mimicked throwing the ball.
“That’s what I was doing,” she protested. “Didn’t I look just like that?”
No, she’d looked like a drunk flamingo, but Brett didn’t have the heart to correct her. “You know, it’s okay to throw it underhanded,” he said. “Lots of ceremonial pitches are done that way.”
“Screw that! Let me try again.”
Chuckling, Brett handed her the ball. “All one motion. See the ball crossing the plate before you even wind up.” He stepped back—way back—and watched her hungrily from behind as she positioned her feet. The sun shone right through her thin dress, and he allowed himself to ogle the shadowy curves of her thighs and hips.
“You watching?” she called.
“No!” Brett paused. “I mean, yeah. Go ahead.”
With a nod, Georgia raised one leg, lunged forward and threw.
“Your form looked pretty good that time,” he commented.
“Really?” She smiled at him. “Thanks.”
“Try it again. Except this time . . .” Brett adjusted the ball in her hand and turned her sideways. “Twist forward as you let the ball go.”
Her shoulders shifted under his hands, and her hip pressed against his as she planted her feet wide. “Like this?” she asked, looking over her shoulder.
“Uh . . . kind of.” Brett nodded. It was all he could do not to trail a hand over that hip.
“‘Kind of’ isn’t good enough,” she said, her voice breathy. “Show me how it’s done.”
There was a hell of a lot he’d like to show her but not with his entire team—and her Secret Service agents—watching.
After spending years in professional theater as a costume designer, Laura Simcox eased out of the hectic whirlwind of opening nights and settled in a comfy desk chair to write romance. She believes that life is too short not to appreciate heartwarming, quirky humor and her novels are lighthearted journeys into the happily-ever-after. She lives in North Carolina with her true love and adorable little son. Visit Laura at: http://www.laurasimcox.com
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