Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway:
Playing at Home
By Jax Calder
Sporting Secrets, Book 2
Jacob Browne comes from rugby royalty but he’s never come close to being the heroic idol his father was on the rugby field. And now he’s failed off the field as well with the breakdown of his marriage. When his ex-wife hires a manny, it feels like the ultimate kick in the guts that another guy gets to spend more time with his kids than he does.
But when he actually meets Austin, the connection that grows between them upends everything Jacob thought he knew about himself and forces him to reconsider what it truly means to be a hero.
I’d deliberately scheduled Sunday off even though it was a Jacob week, hoping that spending less time with him would help me get this crush under control. Jacob was planning to take the girls to the Margaret Mahy Playground, an amazing kids’ paradise in the central city, named after one of New Zealand’s most famous children’s authors.
But I hadn’t figured on the fact that a certain almost-four-year-old wouldn’t be too happy that I wasn’t accompanying them to the playground.
“Why aren’t you coming?” Lily had really perfected the whine.
“I’ve got to visit my gran. You know how you go and visit Nan and Pop sometimes and they’re always happy to see you? Well, my gran likes to see me too.”
Lily stuck out her lower lip. “Who’s going to push me on the swings?”
“Daddy’s good at pushing you on swings.” After all, Daddy’s a professional athlete with incredible biceps that I struggle not to drool over on a daily basis.
“He doesn’t spin us,” Lily said darkly.
“What’s this?” Jacob came into the kitchen.
“I’m just explaining to Lily that I’m going to visit my gran today while you take them to the playground.”
Lily crossed her arms and stomped her foot. I had to wrestle back a smile because we definitely didn’t want to reinforce this kind of behavior. But she was all kinds of cuteness when she was throwing a strop.
I could see from Jacob’s face that he was struggling with the same dilemma.
“Lily, that’s not how we behave.”
“I want Austin to push me on the swings.”
Jacob swiveled to look at me. For a second, I was worried he was offended that Lily wanted me over him. But the vibe I’d gotten from Jacob that he resented my presence in the girls’ lives had disappeared over the last few weeks. And sure enough, his lips quirked up at the corners.
“Is my swing-pushing technique not up to scratch?” he asked mildly.
“We can’t all be good at everything, Jacob,” I said, in a jokey sanctimonious tone.
“Clearly you are if you’re superior to me in swing-pushing technique.”
“Well, I am a professional manny.”
Jacob huffed out a laugh. “Another thing you learned in your early childhood degree? Swing Pushing 101.”
“It was actually part of the Playground Techniques course. We studied all of the playground apparatus in-depth.”
“Let me guess, your final assessment was an obstacle course around all of the playground equipment?”
“Oh totally. We actually had to do it with Rambo-style rolls between each piece of equipment. It was challenging. But I think the fact I wore full camo with war paint gave me an edge.”
Jacob erupted into full-scale laughter, and I couldn’t help but join in.
This. This was why my ridiculous crush on Jacob wasn’t going away anytime soon. Because I’d never met someone before who got my offbeat sense of humor and just ran with it, who made these small moments in life so much fun.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate the release of Playing At Home, Jax is giving away a $10 Amazon Voucher and an e-set of the Sporting Secrets Series so far (2 ebooks)!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57367/?
About the Author:
Jax’s stories are all about light-hearted conversations and deeply-felt connections. She loves exploring exactly why two characters are the only ones who’ll make the other truly happy, and the journey they take to reach their happily-ever-after.
Jax lives in New Zealand and is a rabid sports fan, a hiking enthusiast and has a slightly unhealthy addiction to nature documentaries. As an extrovert who spends way too much time in her own head, she loves to connect with readers. Join her Facebook group Jax’s Crew (www.facebook.com/groups/jaxcaldercrew) for bonus stories plus exclusive excerpts from her upcoming books.
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