Title: Challenge Accepted (Cleat Chasers #1)
Author: Jaqueline Snowe
Genre: YA Romance
FROM INNOVATIVE AUTHOR OF YOUNG ADULT FICTION, JAQUELINE SNOWE
Book one in the Cleat Chasers series!
Most college girls ‘swipe right’ to meet the right guy—Callie meets All-Star pitcher Zade while he’s buying tampons. College is all about learning, right?
How often do you meet your dream guy buying tampons at Target? Never, right? For Callie, a baseball-loving, hardworking college student, it happened just once. The magic was too real, too fast and too much, so she left the store without exchanging names.
But fate works in wonderful ways, right?
Zade Willows, the All-Star pitcher rumored to be drafted his senior year, gets what he wants. He has a fan club who follow his every move, but when he meets Callie, the game changes. She knows all his plays and that the game always ends—in heartbreak. But Zade doesn’t back down and is willing to try anything.
He’ll eventually get the girl, right?
“Baseball fan?” I raised an eyebrow, somehow already knowing her answer.
“It is the greatest sport in America.” Her red lips formed a smile that I couldn’t help but match with my own. “I take it you are as well? I noticed your Toledo Mud Hens hat. Detroit fan?”
“Marry me. Right now,” I demanded and she threw her head back and laughed. Part of me wasn’t kidding. She fucking knew the farm team for the Tigers? My teammates didn’t know that.
“Ah, my dad wouldn’t approve of a Tigers fan…meaning I graciously decline your kind offer.” She rotated around and pointed to a White Sox logo on the back of her tank top. “We would be doomed to fail.”
I nodded, checking out her toned ass. God, her body had me weak. “Sometimes there’s a little fun in doing what’s wrong.”
She pursed her lips and scrunched her nose. “I feel like that could be a line you’ve used before. Try harder than that.”
“You’ve got me. Most of my Tinder dates like that line.” I shrugged, partially kidding.
“Hmm. With a face like yours, I bet you can say just about anything.” She eyed me, which I had zero problem with. “Now, let’s talk about feminine hygiene products.”
“Uh. Must we?” I groaned but decided to do just about anything to continue talking to her.
“We must. Now, what are you looking for?” She stepped closer, into my bubble, and I tensed up. That never happened to me.
“Sport tampons? Does that make sense?” I sounded like a schmuck. I knew it. She knew it. I mentally cursed my sister—again.
“Sure does. It’s the blue box right here.” She reached up, standing on her tiptoes, and I admired her calf muscles. She handed me the box and I willingly took it.
“Thank you, kind stranger. I swear my sister does stuff to mess with me.” I set the box in the cart and she assessed me in disbelief.
“The ever-nagging sister, yes. I’ve heard of her before.” She smiled, dimples popping out on either side.
“You don’t believe me, do you?”
“I’m not sure. You do seem rather uncomfortable in the girl aisle and you strike me as someone who doesn’t do something he doesn’t want.”
“Good assessment. However, I have another thing I have to get for her and I really don’t want to do that. Care to help a guy out?” I tried the line, knowing it sounded ridiculous. She waited three seconds too long before deciding to grab the list from my hand. I took that as a sign of agreement and cheered. “You rock.”
“I’m doing my kind deed for the day. The pay-it-forward type of thing. I expect good karma after this.” She hurried out of the scary lady aisle. She walked fast, her strong legs carrying her with grace. She had to be a runner and I suddenly wished she ran in front of me every mile I had to run. She ducked down another aisle and I quickened my pace to catch up with her.
“Where are we going?” I frowned at the hair products all around us. Colors were tough for me. Pinks and purples were a little too similar.
“This is the hair aisle. Do you not buy your own shampoo?” She tilted her head and I shrugged.
“Sure I do. But CVS is easier to navigate.”
She laughed and picked up two bottles of some purple stuff. “Here you are.”
I read the bottles and placed them in the cart. “Thank you. Seriously.”
“You’re welcome. I hope your sister enjoys it.” She said the word sister with emphasis and wide eyes.
“You think I made up the sister line, didn’t you?” I cringed, imaging Zaria dying laughing about this.
She wet her bottom lip so quickly I almost didn’t see it. The motion made me want to beg on my knees to see it again. “I want to say yeah, but I don’t want to come across as a tool.”
“You’d be honest. But I assure you, my sister is very real and will laugh her ass off when I tell her a woman didn’t immediately trust me.”
“Hmm, now I’m curious. I’m inferring from that statement that you pick up women frequently.”
“As I said, I’m two for four in the Tinder department. As far as Target pickup lines, I’m currently zero for one.” I slid that in there, hoping to at least get a smile. It did. Bam.
“Cute.” She continued to eye me and I let her. She wasn’t blatant or intrusive. She weighed her options and I appreciated that in a woman. “Who said you struck out, though?”
My eyes widened at her insinuation. An unfamiliar sensation of joy spread through my chest. “When someone turns down a proposal, it’s hard on the ego.”
“Not yours. That I am positive of,” she teased, her tone matching mine.
“All right then, White Sox, the ball is as we say, on your field.” I paused, hoping she enjoyed my baseball banter.
“Grocery shop with me. It tells you a lot about a person. If you pass the test, then we can go to the ball park.” She paused and smiled. “Notice that I did not insinuate anything about getting to any bases?”
“Duly noted.” I indicated for her to walk down the aisle. I meant it to be the act of a gentleman, but it didn’t hurt to get another peek at her perfect ass. “I’ve never done a grocery shopping date before. How does it work?”
“No idea. Just thought of it.” She spun around and caught me staring. “Strike one, player.”
“I’m assuming I get three before I’m out?”
“Smart man.” She pulled a list out of her bag. “Game on. Now, if you’re hosting a party, what snack food do you go for?” she asked a few minutes later as we walked into the chip aisle. I’d passed the first two tests about how I drank my coffee and my favorite flavor of jelly. Strawberry, by the way.
“I feel like every question is a quiz of sorts. I didn’t study,” I admitted.
“You’ll do fine. Take a swing.” She reached for some pretzels and salted chips from the shelf and I thought about it. My mom tended to buy Doritos and chips and salsa. Always a safe choice.
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
It is the perfect escape if you are a fan of baseball, college-aged romances, and banter. This group of friends love hard and do anything for each other. Getting lost in Callie and Zade’s world for a few hours will put a smile on your face, for sure!
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 23 books featured in the Young Adult Bookish Event:
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