Sneak Preview: For the Win by Raine Thomas
May 12, 2020
A new romance by Raine Thomas will be published in the summer of 2020.
It’s what gets Jasmine Li out of bed every morning. She’s determined to overcome the injury that has derailed her career in ballet, the only love she’s ever known. She can’t afford to allow a baseball player to distract her, no matter how hot and persistent he might be.
Will Campbell defines the word. It’s what makes him a successful pitcher and it’s helping him learn how to be a single dad to a little girl with plenty of trust issues. Just his luck, the one person his daughter—and his heart—finally respond to is a stubborn, sexy ballerina with plans that don’t involve relationships or children.
But Will didn’t become the best closer in the majors by giving up. He knows what he wants and what his daughter needs, and he’s going to get it. Jasmine Li has met her match … and he’s playing for the win.
Sneak Preview: For the Win
It didn’t take long to get to their destination. Will had given the driver an address a few blocks from his house. It was a safety measure his father had suggested years ago when Will first started living on his own. There had been several times when the advice had saved his ass, especially once he started getting more well-known.
They pulled up to the curb in front of the dark dwelling belonging to the incorrect address. “Nice neighborhood,” the driver observed as he entered their arrival into his app.
Will finished entering a tip amount in the app on his own phone, knowing he’d likely forget otherwise. “Yeah, it’s quiet,” he said as he reached for his door handle. “Thanks for the ride.”
“Hey, wait…can I get your autograph?”
Although Will wanted nothing more than to get out of the car and into the crisp December air, he obliged the driver by signing a couple of greasy napkins that looked as though they were the source of the cheeseburger smell. He signed one for the driver and one, he was told, for the driver’s son, then made his escape.
He focused on his phone and pretended to get absorbed in responding to a text on his way up the driveway. As soon as the car pulled away and turned out of sight, Will put the phone in his pants pocket and walked along the silent suburban streets to his house.
The driver had been right about the neighborhood, he idly thought as he rounded the bend towards home. The houses were all well-tended and there was little crime in the area. In the months he’d been renting there, he hadn’t met a single unfriendly neighbor. It also suited him being a short drive from the ballfield and convenient to Denver nightlife. Although he doubted he’d be there much longer since his contract was up and his agent was close to finalizing a deal with Atlanta, the neighborhood had served him well.
His head throbbed dully with every step he took, telling him he was sobering up. He longed for a bottle of water. A frigid wind had him picking up the pace and burying his hands in the pockets of his Berluti suede bomber jacket. He sure as hell wouldn’t miss the Denver winters, he mused as he finally headed up the path to his front door and fished his keys out of his pocket.
He’d forgotten to leave the porch light on, so he struggled with finding the right key on his heavily shadowed front porch. The cold night air quickly numbed his fingers. He dropped the keys with a jarring clang.
Cursing, he shifted to look for them. His foot connected with them, sending them skittering under one of the two porch chairs. He cursed again, more loudly this time, and bent to retrieve them. He couldn’t see a damn thing under the chair.
Having an a-ha moment, he pulled out his phone and triggered the flashlight. He turned the light towards the chair and caught the glint of light off metal.
Then the shadows in the second chair moved.
He jerked back into a standing position and braced himself for a possible assault. His heart throttled into overdrive.
“Who’s there?” he demanded.
Jesus, Campbell, he thought. Could you sound any more like a fucking horror movie cliché?
Forcing his hand to remain steady, he aimed the phone towards the second chair. His racing heart calmed as fear eased into confusion. There was a small, shivering lump sitting on the chair…a lump with two long braids and wide, glistening eyes staring right at him.
A little girl.
Why the hell was there a little girl on his front porch?