The Game Can’t Love You Back
Publication date: May 15th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Eve is used to being the odd woman out. As the only girl on her school’s baseball team, she knows exactly how to put sweaty, macho baseball players in their place, and she’s focused on one thing and one thing only—being the best pitcher she can be.
But when a freak accident forces her high school to be absorbed by the neighboring town, Eve has to contend with a new group of guys who aren’t used to having a woman on their team. And the new team’s star pitcher, Jamie, has no interest in being ousted from his throne. He can’t afford to give up his starting slot to a new pitcher—even worse, to a girl.
As the competition between Jamie and Eve starts to heat up, so does their attraction to each other. Can they keep their heads in the game, or will they end up getting played?
When I see my mom, driving my car, appearing in the fire lane, I dash out to meet her.
“Hey, baby!” she greets me cheerfully. She reaches over to tug on one braid, but I shrug away from her, still distracted. “So what was the big mystery today?”
I answer her succinctly, but she’s in a chatty mood, asking a lot of questions. But even though I was pretty badass in the arena and enjoyed every second of it, I hear myself giving her one-word answers, secretly wishing she’d be quiet because it’s taking so much energy to focus on what she’s saying. My hands are at my side, but no matter how hard I clench them . . . it does nothing. It doesn’t cut off the feelings the way I want it to.
And if I’m being at all honest with myself, nothing I tried over the weekend kept them from tormenting me, either. I still ended up . . . time after time . . . reliving the conversation on the bus with him, replaying his words.
Remembering how . . . okay, how good he looked all dressed up like that, how he looked even bet- ter when he untucked his shirt and turned his hat around. Like an MLB player getting off the bus from a road trip, which is pretty much the height of hotness.
Replaying that moment in the parking lot, when our hands touched, when he winked at me. Sure, it’s probably a practiced move of his, but yet . . . it didn’t seem like Jamie was putting something on with me.
I stare out the window and swallow hard. I draw my fist up to my mouth and end up biting down on a knuckle, knowing that after today there will be even more moments to replay, more sen- sations to squelch. After being pressed into that dark corner with him, his body making contact with mine, conjuring thoughts of kissing.
Suddenly, I’m full-on nauseous, because as hard as I try, I can’t keep the feelings at bay, and I can’t play dumb, either.
I know what that obnoxious combination of pleasure and heartache is . . . I know it’s a crush.
My shoulders collapse as I finally acknowledge it, my eyes going skyward toward the clouds that pass in a blur.
Dear Lord, please spare me the indignity of having a crush on Jamie Abrams.
Karole lives outside of Philadelphia, PA with her loving husband, exuberant little girl, and smiley little boy. She adores YA Romance, because it would be awesome if life in general had a requisite feel-good happy ending rule. Vices include obscene Haribo gummy consumption, addiction to Starbucks NF vanilla lattes, and tendency to hoard Bath and Body Works 3-wick candles.
- Print copy of The Game Can’t Love You Back