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Word count: 62,000
Genre: M/F Erotic Romance
Okay, so I eat, sleep and breathe football and reporting the beautiful game is my dream career. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have time for a major crush on the England captain, Lewis Tate. The bloke is sex on legs, hot with a capital H. Add in his awe-inspiring talent, his brooding good looks and what’s not to lust after?
So my excitement is sky-high as I set off with the official press team to cover England’s battle for the European Cup. But when a series of unfortunate, or as it turns out fortunate events, attracts Tate’s attention my way, who am I to say no?
Add in a misogynistic manager, an over-zealous colleague, two blue silk ties and some incredible ball-handling skills and it becomes clear the road to victory, for me, will be an intensely erotic journey. Determined to savor every moment, I hang onto my sanity as best I can while living the fantasy and wondering if it can ever become reality. Because once Lewis Tate has taken me to heaven and back, its clear no one else will ever compare.
As I walked to the elevator the noise in the POP bar cranked up to disco level. It seemed a party was beginning to evolve. Perhaps I should drop off my case and head back down, see what was occurring. Reg’s words rang in my ears: “Get the inside scoop, the stuff no one else knows.”
I clicked my tongue on the roof of my mouth, annoyed with myself for even thinking it. That was not the journalist I was; if it wasn’t to do with the game then I wouldn’t be sticking my nose in. Sod Reg and his need for dirty gossip.
The large, golden doors of the elevator slid open and I stepped in, rattling over the rail between marble floor and green carpet. I hit level six and breathed in the waxy scent of polish.
“Wait.” Someone’s hand appeared around the shutting doors and stopped them closing. “Hang on.”
‘’Oh, sorry.” I quickly jabbed the door-hold button and the doors re-opened.
Lewis Tate stepped into the elevator holding a newspaper. He glanced at me. “Thanks.”
“That’s okay, er, which level do you want.” My heart was thudding. Gone were sleepy bedtime thoughts. Now all I could think of was that I was alone, in a very small space, with Lewis Tate, the Lewis Tate. Oh, if only time could stand still, freeze, then I could lick him all over, starting at his mouth and work my way down. See if he tasted as divine as he smelled—fresh citrus mixed with a deep base note of something like bergamot, or maybe sandalwood.
“Level eight, please,” he said, turning to face me. “Nicky.”
Oh, sweet Jesus, he remembered my name. I smiled and managed to suppress a delighted, girly giggle. “Eight, okay.” I pressed the button, relieved I’d removed my chipped nail varnish that morning and replaced it with clear.
Fleetingly I wondered if I should ask him another question about formation, or maybe something more personal like if he was looking forward to the first game. But my brain barely registered these thoughts, because as the elevator started moving, a low buzzing noise hummed around the small space.
The sensation of my guts pooling in my abdomen had nothing to do with the elevator taking off. Unfortunately the mechanics lifting us upward were smooth and silent and all that could be heard was an eager whirring coming from my holdall.
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!
The bump into the elevator must have jostled Big Ben. I wanted to be sick, let mortification eat me alive, fall through the floor, hell to the consequences. Where was a damn black-hole when you needed one?
I glanced at Lewis. He was looking straight at me, his brows raised and his lips slightly parted, as though about to speak. But he didn’t say anything. Instead, he glanced down at my holdall and stared at it, as if he could see right into it.
Swallowing tightly, I gave the holdall a jolt against the floor, hoping to turn the damn rampant rabbit off. No such luck. If anything the drone increased in enthusiasm as though it had flicked itself up a speed. Big Ben was always enthusiastic, I would give him that. Though at this moment in time I wished he was the silent, droopy sort.
I buckled my legs—they felt like noodles—and tried to fight the blistering flush that was searing its way up my chest, neck and onto my cheeks. I could just ignore the sound. Hold my head high and hope that he hadn’t really heard it— either that or pray this was a bad dream.
Please let me wake up!
But it wasn’t a dream. This was real. Lewis Tate was standing right next to me listening to my vibrator having a solo moment.
I had to face the music with as much dignity as possible.
“It’s er, my…” Think brain, think. “My electric toothbrush, it has a faulty connection. Goes off on its own all the time. Drives me crazy.” I shrugged, hoping to project nonchalance.
His gaze settled on my hot face again. The right side of his mouth twitched, just a little. “Really?”
“Yes, really.” I pursed my lips, indignantly, to show I wouldn’t lie about such a thing and if he was thinking of something else he had a dirty mind.
“Well you should get it seen to.”
“Otherwise,” he said, folding his arms, his knuckles bulging his wide biceps outwards, “when you want to use it the batteries will be dead and you will be…”
The elevator was pinging up the floors, surely it had reached six. If it hadn’t I was just going to accept my fate and die of embarrassment. “And I will be what?” Fuck, my voice had come out as a squeak.
He rolled his lips in on themselves and cocked his head. The buzz continued, oblivious to the acute state of discomfort it was causing.
Black Hole, I could really do with you right now.
“Because,” he said, tugging the right side of his mouth up into a definite half smile, “if the batteries wear out you’ll be left feeling very frustrated.”
How could this be happening to me? Was it some kind of sick, karmic joke to let Lewis Tate know that my only release was a vibrator? Next thing he’d know I fondly called it Big Ben—not that I was feeling fond of it right now.
Finally the screen flashed six and the elevator doors slid open with a faint whoosh.
“I will, get it seen to, that is,” I said, tilting my chin and willing my legs to work for at least another five seconds.
I stepped out, pulling my traitorous luggage with me. As it clanked over the brass bar onto the corridor carpet, the buzzing stopped.
“Good night, Nicky,” Lewis called.
I could almost hear the amusement in his voice. Well fuck him. Just because he had a super-model at his beck and call, some of us weren’t so lucky and had to rely on mechanical means of satisfaction.
Not replying to his goodnight, I stalked down the long stretch of corridor, holding my head up and forcing my shoulders down.
It wasn’t until I heard the elevator doors ping shut that I fell against the wall, dropped my head in my hands and let humiliation devour me. Crunch me up and roll me around in its jaws.
What the hell had I done to deserve that?
Miz Love Loves Books – GOLDEN NIB AWARD – “What I love about Ms Harlem’s work is that she writes in 1st person–and she’s excellent at it–but at no time do I ever feel I’ve been denied the chance to get to know the hero. Ms Harlem expertly sprinkles lines throughout that show exactly who the hero is, what he’s feeling–and the same goes for the secondary characters. Everyone is displayed so very well, and I’ll admit to being a serious fan of this author’s work, and Scored is my ultimate fave so far. This isn’t just a gush-fest but an honest-to-goodness response to how I feel about this book and the woman who wrote it. She is very good. You don’t just have to take my word for it either. Find out for yourself!”
Smut Book Club – “Lily Harlem’s story of a famous footballer and a hardcore sports writer is one of the best happily ever after erotica novels I’ve read recently. I loved the behind-the-scenes look into the sports world mixed in with the heart-thumping sex scenes. Great, quick read for anyone who loves all kind of detail, in and out of the bedroom.”
Amazon Reader – “If you love sport romances, then definitely pick this book up. Nicky, the only female sports journalist following the English team to the Cup, finds herself in an almost impossibly embarrassing situation with the team captain. Follow their adventure through several countries, an over-bearing coach, and a really nosy journalist. Lily Harlem gets not only the feeling of the game, but also the story and depth of the characters so well that I found myself reading this over and over again.”