"After a woman claims she's pregnant with Wade O'Riley's love child, Major League Baseball's most celebrated catcher and ladies' man is slapped on the wrist by management and ordered to improve his image. His enforcer is the team's publicist, the tough and sexy Samantha McNead. When Wade needs a date for a celebrity wedding, Sam steps up to the plate as his 'girlfriend.' But given her secret crush on him and that one awkward night a year ago in a stalled elevator with too much Scotch, the whole thing is an exercise in sexual tension. Wade is thrilled when the pretense turns into an unexpected night of hot passion. But the next day Sam is back to her cool self. As a catcher, Wade's used to giving the signals, not struggling to read them. Now, to win the love of his 'pretend' girlfriend, he needs a home run--even if it involves stealing a few bases..."--p.  of cover.… (more)
Wade O’Riley is the star catcher for the expansion Santa Barbara Heat with a reputation as a ladies’ man. When an over-enthusiastic fan (think stalker) claims that she is having his baby, the ownership decides to do some damage control. What Wade needs is the appearance of a relationship that lasts longer than one night. So the team’s publicist, Samantha McNead is ordered to pretend to be his girlfriend for at least a month. Sam is not happy with the assignment. She and Wade have a history – one memorable encounter in an elevator in Atlanta. But Sam is a team player – as well as the daughter of the team’s owner – so she agrees to go along.
Her first assignment is to accompany Wade to the wedding of his best friend, a Hollywood producer. Thus, she finds herself sharing a hotel room with the man who, for one brief moment, got her to forget her inhibitions and enjoy herself. This is not going to be easy.
Wade would be happy to take up where he and Sam left off all those months ago. Sam just knows it would be a big mistake. So there is a lot of mental lusting and more than a few hot sex scenes when Sam gives in to her instincts. But she is convinced that Wade is only interested in the sex and, beneath the surface, Wade has lots of insecurity.
Both have issues that complicate the relationship. Wade’s mother abandoned him at birth and his father was a drifter and an alcoholic. Baseball was his way out of obscurity, but he isn’t sure he’s good enough to aspire to the wealthy, Ivy-league educated Sam. Sam’s mother died when she was very young and her domineering father left her with her own problems.
The circumstances that force Wade and Sam together allow the two to discover each other’s real natures. Yet the question is whether they will be able to let go of the ghosts of the past and find happiness.