Title: Too Hot to Handle by Katie Rose
The Boys of Summer Series Book Two
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 271 pages
Katie Rose’s Boys of Summer series returns for a delicious double-header—with the story of total opposites who are drawn to each other like moths to a flame.
Nikki Case is no fan of baseball. Her ex gambled away a fortune on the sport, and now her PR firm has tasked her with cleaning up the league’s most notorious bad boys. The New Jersey Sonics are known for wild womanizing and booze-fueled brawls, so Nikki expects the worst. Her first stop in the battle to win hearts and minds is star hitter Jake Baldwin—a legendary ladies man so smokin’ he threatens to melt her tough-girl armor.
Although his teammates prank her without mercy, Jake admires the way Nikki gives as good as she gets. She may be the queen of frost, but there’s kindling beneath those sultry curves—and he’s just the man to ignite it. But when a PR nightmare lands the Sonics in headlines across the country, Nikki is ready to walk. Only then does Jake realize how important she is to the Sonics’ success—and that winning the love of a good woman is no game.
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“What if one of them gets hurt?” Jeffrey continued in the same tone. “We need Ryan healthy and hitting. We need Jake fit and able to make the kind of plays he made last season. His contract is up this year, and New York is sniffing around. We want to make sure this is a team he wants to stay with. And we just signed Chase. If he injures his arm, we’re out that money. And for what? So that they can go to a bar and engage in a brawl like some street gang on a Saturday night?”
Pete knew better than to continue to defend the actions of his ball club. “I’ll talk to them.”
“We need more than that. We need to change the way they see themselves, make them aware of the repercussions of what they do. They seem to forget they are role models. Who is going to want to take their kids to the ballpark after something like this?”
“We’ll be all right. We’ll just have to make sure they toe the line.”
“Agreed. That’s why I am hiring a PR specialist. Have you heard of Nikki Case?”
Pete shook his head in the negative while John’s mouth opened in surprise.
Jeffrey continued. “She’s supposed to be the best in the business. I want to do what Steinbrenner did. He got rid of the long hair, the tats, and the beards. George wanted the All-American team. He understood the power of an image. That’s what I think we need.”
John snorted. “They’ll never go for it. Our club isn’t a bunch of pretty boys. They’re hardworking, hard-drinking ballplayers. They aren’t about to put on a suit to talk to the press, or starch their uniforms for a photo op.”
Pete nodded in agreement. “They’re tough guys. They hustle. They fight for every hit, every base. By the end of the game, they look like they’ve been rolling in the mud, and they should.”
“I’m not saying they need to become GQ models,” Jeffrey said impatiently. “What I am saying is that we have a real chance this year to make it big. We signed Chase; Ryan and Jake are healthy. We got to the Series last year, and with a little polish, a well-thought-out strategy, and some hard work, we can win. I want to show New York they aren’t the only ones who know how to put together a real ball club.”
“You know I’ll support you if that’s what you want to do.” Pete shrugged, ignoring the outraged look in John’s eyes. “I just want to tell you it’s going to be an uphill battle. Our boys are going to fight this. Especially if they think we’re imitating the Yankees.”
“I know. But I’m counting on you to make this work,” Jeffrey said emphatically, looking at John. “I want Ms. Case to have free rein. Whatever she says goes. I want her on the road with the team, making sure they stick with the program. And I want you to make it clear that this isn’t up for debate. We are heading into the new season. It’s time for a fresh start. The next headline I see about our team had better be about the effort they’re making in training, their first win, their love for children, apple pie, and America. Got it?”
“Got it.” Pete swallowed his gum.
Award-winning historical author Katie Rose makes her contemporary debut with the Boys of Summer novels, Bring on the Heat and Too Hot to Handle, which combine Katie’s true loves: baseball and romance! When not watching baseball, Katie is at her lake house in New Jersey, hard at work on her next book.
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