Excerpt Month :: Par For The Course

Giving him just enough rope…to tie her up in knots.

© 2008 Jenna Bayley-Burke

There’s something wildly enchanting about the columnist who arrives at Ben Cannon’s golf resort. He’s felt this magnetic pull only once before, for a bespectacled brunette back in college. That woman was nothing like this platinum blonde from New York—confident, poised…and hitting on him like crazy. Is she really interested in him, or merely seeking fodder for her Dating Diva column?

Just one wrong move from Ben, one more disappointment, and Jillian will finally be able to stop obsessing about her college crush, leave town, and get on with her life. Except the more rope she gives him to hang himself, the more he ties her up in knots. Every move he makes is the right one, both in bed and out of it.
Shaken to her college-nerd core, Jillian begins to wonder if giving him a taste of love-’em-and-leave-’em is what she wants after all.
Warning: Fore! This title contains explicit sex, and a love story hazardous to your hankie supply. Oh, and exploding toads.

Enjoy the following excerpt for Par for the Course:

“I’m not doing very well, am I?” Jillian huffed in frustration and stared at the scenery. No wonder people paid to walk around the grounds all day. Too bad they had to keep whacking a little ball all over the place.
“Sometimes people have beginner’s luck and get hooked forever.” Ben walked up to her. Between the beauty of the course and the gorgeous man before her, how could she possibly concentrate on learning to play some stupid game with too many rules? “Other times it grows on you. You can’t get intimidated and give up.”

“Don’t you think I’d learn faster with a ball?”

“You don’t get a ball until I’m sure you can hit it. Once you understand the set-up and swing, you’ll be able to hit great shots. No one is a good golfer on the first day.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence.” Jilly stared down at the club in her hands and imagined the clock face, exactly like he’d told her. Repeatedly. Left thumb at one o’clock, club in her fingers not her palm. Right hand over left, right thumb at eleven o’clock. The hand-over-hand position wouldn’t be blatantly sexual to anyone else. A normal person who could keep their mind on trying to learn, and not trying to imagine what Ben Cannon hid in his pants.

“Much better.” Ben’s deep voice rolled through her, her nerves vibrating from head to toes. He’d moved closer, but she didn’t trust herself to check where. “Stay relaxed, you’re tensing up again.”

Easier said than done when your fantasy man is within kissing distance. Taking a deep breath, Jillian moved her feet shoulder-width apart. She tried to soften her knees, keeping her body weight distributed evenly. She remembered every word he’d said all day, why couldn’t her body just obey?

“Don’t grip the club too tight. Stay relaxed.” All at once he was behind her, around her. Jillian froze the moment in her mind as his hands covered hers, making her oh so grateful she hadn’t dug the pink glove out of her bag. Jillian’s blood swirled, circling to where his fingers covered her hands. Her body reacted instinctively to his hold. Maybe if she—

“Stick your butt out, tilt your pelvis forward.”

If only his mind were in the gutter with hers. Jillian bit back a groan and did as she was told.

“Let your arms hang straight, relaxed, natural.”

She felt herself relaxing into him, but she didn’t care. It felt natural, and since that’s what he was going for, she didn’t want to disappoint him. His body tensed against hers, straightening and backing away. She froze in position. Had he read her mind?

“Let’s try that swing again. Start small, remember L to L.” Jillian cleared her head and tried to follow instruction as best she could.

“The shaft and your left arm make an L on the back swing, that’s it. And you make a backward L on the follow-through. Good.”

Her body relaxed into the momentum of the action, but Jilly dared not disengage her brain. She’d done that around him once, one too many times.

“Keep your feet planted, Jillian. Keep going, back and forth, until it feels natural. That’s it.”

She tried to concentrate on the motion, biting back the giggle threatening to erupt. Back and forth, until it feels natural. Did he know he sounded like a sex instruction manual?

“Back and forth. Feel your body react to the motion.”

She would love to do just that. Her body primed itself, reacting to his words. Jilly willed herself to focus on swinging the damned club, not picturing Ben Cannon wielding his.

“The ball simply gets in the way of the club. The motion is what’s important.”

Jilly thudded her club against the ground as hard as she could. “I need to hit something. Now.”

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