Welcome to the Blog Tour for Courting Kate by Tori Kron, I am superdelighted I can be part of the tour. The book sounds wonderful. Sports + romance!
For today’s post I got a ton of things. For instance you can read an excerpt, join the giveaway (US/CAN only, sorry guys), and read up on the book and get to meet the author.
Slapped with court ordered community service for brawling—again, Miller Cassidy, the Indianapolis Panther’s star player, is forced into laboring under stodgy non-profit supervisor, Kate Gallagher. Her saving grace—she happens to be best friends with Stella, the woman he’s been chasing for years.
Despite the masses falling for his charm, Kate doesn’t care for Miller’s notorious reputation or his flippant behavior. But wanting to impress her strict boss, she agrees to a trade that could give them both a shot at success.
Propelled into an unlikely alliance, Miller finds himself taking a defensive stance when he sees beyond Kate’s hard exterior. And Kate is equally thrown off guard when she discovers there’s more to Miller than games.
But is love worth sacrificing friendship? And can Miller let go of the feelings for Stella he’s held onto for years?
In love and basketball, it’s five fouls and you’re out, and every play counts.
“I don’t care if he goes to jail,” Kate replied.
“But I do,” Stella said, wrapping Kate’s bicep. “Despite his many flaws, this player is my friend, and I’m asking you, one of my best friends, to help me help him.”
Kate’s head shook with disbelief. Stella pushed the envelope in every aspect of life, but this was beyond her typical crazy. For some reason, this meant more to Stella than the average deal.
“Please.” Stella’s palms pulled together into a praying pose. “You’re the best person I know. I think you could be a good influence on him.”
“Why do you care so much?” Kate asked.
Stella wasn’t really the touchy, feely type, so Kate found it odd that her friend was so invested in Miller’s personal success. Unless her level of care went beyond a work relationship.
Kate’s blue eyes tapered as her head titled to study Stella in her agitated state. “Do you like this guy?”
“No,” Stella snipped. Her dark pupils darted to the coarse sidewalk while her fingers fidgeted with the clasp of her small purse.
“I can tell by your face that’s a lie.” Moving in front of Stella, Rin gave her friend the stare down. “Oh my, are you dating him?”
“I don’t date Panther players. It’s unprofessional,” Stella defended, folding her arms across her chest. Though the streetlights highlighted the flush that rushed to her cheeks.
“Oh, Stella,” Kate’s gaze sank to the sidewalk as her head slumped. “Why him?”
“Why didn’t you tell us?” Rin’s faded jeans sank into the window beside Stella. “It’s not like we would have advertised it to the world.”
“Miller has a terrible reputation. Besides that, what would the franchise do if they found out?”
“They might not care,” Rin said.
“It doesn’t matter now.” Stella stared down the city block. “It’s not a thing anymore.”
“But you want it to be a thing again?” Kate inquired because Stella’s rare emotional state was difficult to decipher. “That’s why you need my help?”
“I don’t know what I want,” Stella said, combing her fingers through her long mahogany curls. “But either way, Miller has to change his ways for good or his career is going to go down the drain. I care enough that I can’t sit by and just let that happen.”
Moving to the large window wall that hovered over the downtown sidewalk, Kate’s hip leaned into the glass by Stella, who, for the first time, looked defeated. Rin hovered over Stella’s shoulder with a sorrowful gaze. Being enamored herself, she was always on love’s side.
But Rin had never been burned by men the way Kate had. Neither had Stella. Having suffered from her father’s lack of care in her teenage years, Kate never wanted her friends to know what it was like to feel unimportant. To feel unsupported in a time of need. So despite her better judgement, Kate had no choice but to help Stella in her impossible task of taming Miller Cassidy.
Even if it meant putting herself on the line.
“If he screws up on my watch, you know Marlene is going to use that as an excuse to fire me.”
Stella’s long lashes flicked up as an amber ring of hope flared in her dark eyes. “Does that mean you’ll do it?”
Kate’s lips pursed for a long moment before she spoke. “I can’t believe I’m agreeing to this, but if it will make you happy, I’ll see if I can push him through as a volunteer. Bypass some of the normal paperwork.”
A smile lifted on Stella’s lips as she wrapped her thin arms around her friend’s pencil like torso. “Thank you so much. I owe you.”
Kate returned the embrace while negative headlines flashed through her mind. “So big. More than margaritas.”
“He’s really not as bad as he seems.” Stella pulled away, her beam, now luminescent. “You’ll see.”
But she wasn’t. Cassidy seemed like nothing but trouble. Still, Stella believed in Kate’s abilities to reform the basketballer, so surely she was capable. Yet, a question tugged at Kate’s mind. If fierce and ferocious Stella couldn’t keep Miller Cassidy in line, how the hell was Kate supposed to?