When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets Amanda at her restaurant, it’s love at first sight. While Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god-build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. And a curvy girl who likes to cook and eat isn’t interested in being around the catty, stick-thin herd of females chasing Chase and his teammates.
But Chase isn’t about to strike out. A man who isn’t interested in playing the field, he’s a monogamist who wants an independent woman like Amanda. His hopes rally when she discovers that squeaky-clean Chase has a few sexy and very secret pre-game rituals that turn the smart, headstrong businesswoman on—and into his number one fan.
Then a tabloid discovers the truth and turns their spanking good fun into a late- night punch-line. Is Amanda ready to let loose and swing for the fences? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom force them to call it quits?
“Cold Creek Grill. How may I help you?” She answered the phone as if her day was right as rain. She was a business woman, first and foremost.
“I need a reservation for tonight,” a gravelly voice barked into the phone. The caller was either on a cell phone with a bad connection or had a mouth full of marbles.
“Of course sir, what time are you looking for?”
“Seven,” he said impatiently and Amanda pictured him running to catch a subway.
“Let me make sure I have that available,” she told him, trying to buy time while she booted up the computer at the podium a few feet away. She moved the phone to the other side of her head, forgetting it was a war zone and her hair crackled near her ear.
“Trust me, sweetheart, you have a table available.”
“Sir?” She didn’t know what to be more offended by, his use of the word sweetheart or the underlying threat that she better be able to seat him. And she determined he was just some arrogant blowhard who was sitting with his feet up on his desk overlooking the water and a fat stogy in his mouth.
“A superstar is having dinner at your restaurant; you don’t want to make him wait.”
“All of our guests at the Cold Creek are VIPs Mr…?”
“Maybe I should speak to the owner?” he cut her off and she thought she heard more spit squish out of the end of his cigar.
“I am the owner. My name is Amanda Cole. To whom do I have the pleasure of speaking?”
“Don’t seat us someplace high traffic like near the front. He’s not there to be an advertisement. You’ll get your photo op.”
It sounded so scathing, like she was some sort of a bistro whore looking to make a buck, as if she would be interested in taking a picture with him in the first place. Supreme Court justices and past presidents dined at the Cold Creek without incident. “Mr. What-ever-your-name-is, I’m not only concerned for the comfort of our guests, but the safety of my staff. And we have had some high profile guests in the past. Several are regulars.”
“Yeah, yeah, I heard that. That’s why I’m calling. But lady, you never had anyone this big,” he said with an air of superiority that was nothing short of skin crawling. At least he had upgraded her to lady.
If he wasn’t being such a total jack-ass, she might have taken him more seriously. “Would you like to tell me who he is, so that I might inform security?” she said with overt sarcasm. He could either take being spoken to in kind, or he would start to ream her out and she would hang up on him and he could dine elsewhere, bad business or not.
There was a pause and she thought he may have hung up on her first. But then he said, “No. Better you don’t know till he gets there. Someone tips off TMZ and the night’s a bust. And he brings his own security”
“Will they be joining you for dinner?”
His laugh was particularly smarmy. “They’re not paid to eat.”
So he wasn’t only rude, he was also a tyrant. “That’s fine, sir, they can stand guard with mine.”
Only hers were imaginary. She no longer cared if the computer was ready. It was a Weds, they were rarely fully booked, and this man and his famous guest seemed intent on dining there. He was probably going to be more aggravation than anything else, even if he was only half as self-important as his representative. “You’re all set, dinner for two at seven. Would you like to leave me a name or is there a code word or what?”
There was another pause, and once again Amanda was given the false hope that he may have hung up and saved her from a night of inconvenient distractions at the very least. But then she heard him on the other end, it sounded like a snort.
“You’re spunky, kid,” he told her. “Name under Alan Shaw. I’ll be there at 6:50. I don’t like to wait either. And make sure there are good steaks on hand, he’s a meat-eater.”