TITLE – AL “TRUNK” MAHONEY, DEFENSIVE LINE SERIES – FIRST & TEN AUTHOR – Jean C. Joachim GENRE – Contemporary/Sports Romance PUBLICATION DATE – Jan. 9, 2016 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) - 68,156 words PUBLISHER – Moonlight Books COVER ARTIST – Dawné Dominique
When his wife walked out on him, Al “Trunk” Mahoney’s plans for the family he’d never had went up in smoke. A top-ranked defenseman in the NFL, Trunk’s success on the gridiron didn’t translate to the rest of his life. Hooking up with women was easy for the sexy lineman, but Trunk’s secret closed the door to marriage. Would the happiness he yearned for always be just beyond his reach?
Beautiful Carla Ricci, bar owner and independent woman had her choice of men. A love-‘em and leave-‘em lady, she’d made a decision that ruled out 99.9% of men for marriage. She didn’t care. Then Trunk Mahoney came along. Carla resolved to remain true to herself. Could her willpower hold indefinitely, or would she settle for an affair that would break her heart?
Carla hoped Trunk hadn’t noticed the flush she’d sensed in her face when he said he’d move in. Thankfully, new customers arrived, giving her the chance to escape. She made her way to the three tables, took their orders, and scurried back to the kitchen to slap burgers on the grill.
The heat from the cooking food was nothing compared to the heat in her body from Trunk’s news. He was like a magnet, drawing her to him for the past two years. The way his shirt pulled over his wide shoulders, his lean waist, powerful biceps, and what she guessed were tight abs, invaded her dreams at night. Of course, he had a cute butt, which she tried not to notice. A couple of times he’d caught her checking him out. She always had a snappy retort that made him laugh. But she saw the lusty light in his eyes, and it made her shiver.
She remembered the first day he’d come in. She’d been joking with Griff Montgomery that he never brought his good-looking teammates in for a beer. Then, Trunk Mahoney had walked through the door, and Carla hadn’t been able to speak. Her mouth had gotten dry while other parts had gotten damp. His powerful body, barely concealed in tight jeans and T-shirt, coupled with his confident swagger, had made her knees weak.
He’d flashed a sexy grin and raked her body with a smoldering gaze from beautiful, light blue eyes. If he had ripped the clothing from her, she couldn’t have felt more naked.
Trunk Mahoney was sex on wheels, and she’d wanted him, until she’d checked out his left hand. There it had been, the colossal mood killer—his wedding ring. So, Carla had locked up her feelings and swallowed the key. Her ‘no touch’ policy applied to all married men, no matter how attractive they were. And that included Al Mahoney.
In the locker room, Trunk noticed Griff slapping something on his face.
“You’re married. Still use that stuff?”
“Drives Lauren wild. Not that she’s in any condition to be wild, right now,” Griff said, chuckling. “But she likes it, so I use it.”
“What’s it called?”
“Midnight for Men. Now that you’re single again, better get used to using this shit. Women love it. Try it.” He passed it to Al.
Trunk finished shaving, wiped the shaving cream remnants from his face, and opened the bottle. He took a whiff. “Nice. Okay. I’ll give it a shot.”
“Just stay away from my wife, will ya?”
Orphaned at thirteen, he had turned to football to deal with his anger at his parents’ death. Shuffled from one relative to the next, he had learned to stomach insecurity. He had succeeded at the sport, making a name for himself in every town he called home at one time or another. Being a football star meant a big welcome from each new school he’d attended.
Having nothing, Al had gone to work young, doing odd jobs—raking leaves, mowing lawns, running errands. Sports had anchored him. His coaches had helped him stay on a good path, avoiding drugs and crime. Being a hero fed his heart, but he never outgrew the yearning for someone to care about him. He thought he’d found it in Mary, but he had been wrong.
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Jean Joachim is a best-selling romance fiction author, with books hitting the Amazon Top 100 list since 2012. She writes mostly contemporary romance, which includes sports romance and romantic suspense.
Dangerous Love Lost & Found, First Place winner in the 2015 Oklahoma Romance Writers of America, International Digital Award contest. The Renovated Heart won Best Novel of the Year from Love Romances Café. Lovers & Liars was a RomCon finalist in 2013. And The Marriage List tied for third place as Best Contemporary Romance from the Gulf Coast RWA. To Love or Not to Love tied for second place in the 2014 New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America Reader’s Choice contest. She was chosen Author of the Year in 2012 by the New York City chapter of RWA.
Married and the mother of two sons, Jean lives in New York City. Early in the morning, you’ll find her at her computer, writing, with a cup of tea, her rescued pug, Homer, by her side and a secret stash of black licorice.
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