Mar 13, 2014

Blog Tour: Collette West - Night Games

The moment Grey Kelleher locks eyes with All-Star shortstop Chase Whitfield, she's a goner. For years, she's watched him play on TV, and now she's gazing at his hard, lean body across a bar in her hometown.

Grey's crush on Chase goes all the way back to his rookie season. So when she approaches him for an autograph, she's startled by what a jerk he can be.

Chase is no mood to humor his fans, even one as alluring as Grey. He's in the last year of his contract and stuck having to prove himself on a minor league team. He's only there to rehab an injury, nothing more.

But when Grey tells him off, Chase realizes her fiery spirit may be just the distraction he needs to take his mind off not being in the majors. His heart is safe. No one's going to break his streak as baseball's most eligible bachelor. Not even someone as irresistible as Grey.

Excerpt from Night Games
by Collette West

And there’s nothing I crave more than my privacy. For years, I’ve stayed out of the gossip columns and shied away from the spotlight. Sure, my celebrity hook-ups are well documented, but they’re all for the camera. If I were really into a girl, the press sure as hell wouldn’t know about it. I’d keep her out of sight. No one would even know we were together, much less know her name. But fat chance of that happening any time soon. I haven’t come across a woman who makes me want to expend the effort. I’m not exactly the monogamous type, and there’s no way I’m paying some gold-digger alimony after she catches me cheating on her. It’s bound to happen, so why tempt fate? I’m happy living it up as a bachelor, the envy of every guy in America.

What I don’t often admit is that sometimes it gets old. I see my teammates with their wives and kids and it hurts. They have what I’ll never have, even if they don’t see their families for more than half the year. During the season, we travel so much that sometimes it feels like I’m on a plane more than I’m in a car. If I ever do get married, I think I’d wait until after I am done playing so that I could be home more. There’s nothing worse than a long-distance relationship, and at this point, I know I’m not ready to make the necessary sacrifice. My roving eye would certainly get the better of me. There are just too many beautiful women out there to be tied down to just one.

I like being in control, and there’s nothing I’m more obsessive about than my public image. I even have a Google alert sent to my phone every time my name is mentioned online. It helps me stay on top of my publicist in squashing any false rumors or nasty gossip some lowlife scum tries to pawn off as the truth. People post some crazy shit about me on the internet. Supposedly, I’ve had every sexually transmitted disease known to man. I’ve paid off women to keep their mouths shut about our one-night stands. I’ve been having a closeted relationship with Kings’ third basemen, Drake Schultz, for years. Yeah, I’ve heard it all, but I also know how to spin bad press to my advantage by getting ahead of the story and framing the narrative.

Other guys eat that shit up when they hear about all of my supposed conquests in the bedroom. It’s like they’re giving me a high-five through the virtual universe. I’m living their dream. Banging every Maxim pinup girl and lingerie model in existence. I’m the embodiment of the ultimate male fantasy. I’m a sports god. I get to play a game for a living and make millions of dollars doing it. I can have any girl I want, and one day my face will be immortalized in bronze in Cooperstown. It doesn’t get any better than that, right? Yeah, if they only knew what it was really like.
The chances of getting close to someone are slim to none.

“Thanks for flying with us, Mr. Whitfield.” She extends her hand, and with the pilot watching, I have to take it, even though I’d rather not. Her fingers wrap around mine as she presses a piece of paper against my palm. It’s the oldest trick in the book. I didn’t even bother to catch her name, but I’m sure she has it written down next to her number, probably surrounded by Xs and Os.

I sling my bag over my shoulder and exit the plane. There’s a garbage can right outside the gate, and I toss the scrap of paper into it. Like I have the time or the inclination to sleep with a pushy stewardess. There’s nothing more cliché than that, even if she does have a killer body. It might be the last hot piece of ass I see for a while.

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Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball's biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette's impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.

Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as many games as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she's not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at

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