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More Than A Game #4
Kristina Mathews
Releasing on January 19, 2016.
Lyrical Shine


For Rachel Parker, covering the San Francisco Goliaths is the perfect opportunity to launch her career as a serious reporter. But she didn’t bargain on Bryce Baxter, the team’s star shortstop, tempting her more non-professional aspirations. After tearing up the base paths with him, she finds herself with a little problem, and Bryce might be the only man who can save the game.

Bryce Baxter should be living the dream. His team just won the World Series and he just signed the multi-year contract of his career. But his field of dreams has been overtaken by a fiery redheaded reporter, who’s bearing a news flash that will change both of their lives forever…


Bryce Baxter sat alone in the San Francisco Goliaths’ clubhouse. He didn’t want to go home and watch the replays of tonight’s game. There was enough of that going on in his head. He’d blown the game. How many times had he made that play since he first picked up a baseball at the age of five? A thousand? Ten thousand? Probably more. Not tonight. Tonight it was as if he’d forgotten everything he knew about the game. What should have been an easy double play ended up being the game-winning run.

The loss put his team even farther behind in their division going into the second month of the season and had reporters questioning the Goliaths’ chances of repeating a World Series run. Some were even questioning the team’s decision to re-sign Baxter to the big contract extension. The biggest one he’d ever inked. So naturally, he was having his worst start to the season ever. He couldn’t hit. Couldn’t draw a walk to save his life. And when he struck out, he did it in spectacular fashion.

Last November he’d been king of the world. San Francisco’s biggest hero since Willie Mays. As World Series MVP, he’d been awarded a brand new Corvette. His face had been on the cover of magazines. He’d made the talk show rounds. Met the President. Women had lined up outside his door. And he’d had his choice of endorsement deals, including a line of men’s hair care products. Now, if his game didn’t improve, his agent would be lucky to get him a spot peddling adult diapers.

Reluctantly, he headed toward the parking lot.

Hey, Bryce, you got a minute?” He recognized the voice of the woman standing beside his car. A month ago, he would have been happy to see her. Professionally, personally, a little bit of both. But not now.

Look, Rachel, I’m not giving any more interviews tonight.” He was so down, all he wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed. Alone.

I’m not here for an interview.” She would have waited in the clubhouse if she were. He knew that. Rachel Parker was a professional, the in-game reporter for Bay Area Sports Network. “Can we go somewhere? Somewhere private?”

I’m not giving that tonight either.” He waited for his body to protest, recalling the dozen or so encounters with the sexy journalist. She’d been hot. Real hot. Hot enough for him to forget his rule of one and done. They’d been hooking up off the record since before spring training of last season.

Look, I really do need to talk to you.” She seemed a little nervous, not her usual confident, perky, and always upbeat self who was part bubbly cheerleader, part hard-hitting reporter. She was still hot. But instead of smoking, she was…smoldering. His body stirred. Enough for him to think that maybe spending the next several hours in bed might not be such a bad idea.

But it probably wasn’t a good idea either.

The last time they’d hooked up had been intense. Almost too intense. Too real. But maybe he’d just been riding the high of signing his ridiculous contract. Or maybe he’d felt the pressure of the deal and had transferred it to his personal life. Something he could control.

You know, I think maybe we should take a step back.” He raked a hand through his hair, still damp from his long shower after the game. “I’m not good for anyone right now.”

Rachel gave him a weird look, almost as if her eyes slipped out of focus. Her face drained of color. She turned and stumbled toward his car, bracing herself against the front fender. Then she threw up on the hood of his Corvette.

Are you okay?” He took a step toward her.

No, I’m not okay.” She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “I’m pregnant.”

Earning A Ring (More Than A Game Series)Earning A Ring by Kristina Mathews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book # 4 in the More Than A Game series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. It would be better enjoyed with reader full understanding. This can be achieved by reading the series in the order intended.

Bryce and Rachel have had an on and off again fling of sorts. He can never seem to pin her down. She has no plans for commitment. Maybe he shouldn't either?

Rachel reports on his team for the local media. She has insider access to both him and the team. Who knew the attraction would get so hot?

This story was such fun! Lot's of heat, lots of laughter, and lots of great story. I found this to be a hard book to put down. Great addition to the More Than A Game series.

View all my reviews

Q & A with Author, Kristina Mathews
What was the first book you remember reading over and over?
I read The Godfather several times, and I would usually be inspired to cook up some Italian food. I also read Gone With The Wind more than once, finding different things to love after reading it in high school, college, and again as an adult. My high school English teacher recommended Wilkie Collins, and I have read The Moonstone and The Woman In White more than once. I recently picked up a book in Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series that I read before, and I’ll probably go through several of the books again since I’m starting a small town series due out next summer. Not that my books are as good as hers, or as complex.
If you could write for any genre, which would it be?
I enjoy writing Contemporary Romance. I won’t say never, but I don’t see myself writing in another genre. I love writing about ordinary people finding the extraordinary power of love.
Do you listen to music while you write?  Do you ever make a playlist?
I only listen to music while I write when my family is having a hard time realizing I’m working. If I put on headphones they can usually figure out I need them to leave me alone. I wrote a lot of my first book in the series sitting on the bleachers or in the parking lot of my sons’ Little League games, so I often had the baseball game on the radio in the background.
You seem to love sports.  Is there a particular sport or team you root for?
I’m a huge San Francisco Giants fan. Huge. Some would say a little obsessive. I waited until the Giants beat the Braves before heading to the hospital to give birth to my first son. And then after my second son was born, we bonded over another Giants-Braves game, which the Giants beat Tom Glavine-again. My anniversary is often spent at the ballpark, and I look forward to mid February when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training as one of my favorite days of the year.
Your readers love to know more about you.  Any secret or something about yourself we do not know that you are willing to share? 
My first job ever was as an extra in a movie. In 1976 I earned $20 for the Academy Award winning film, Bound For Glory. I missed a day or two of Kindergarten to be fitted for a raggedy costume, sitting on a bus with other children, and eating cafeteria style at the fairgrounds.
Kristina Mathews
BETTER THAN PERFECT (More Than A Game Book 1)
WORTH THE TRADE (More Than A Game Book 2)
MAKING A COMEBACK (More Than A Game Book 3)
EARNING A RING (More Than A Game Book 4)

Kristina Mathews doesn't remember a time when she didn't have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn't until she turned forty that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing.
While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she's remained an educator in some form. As a volunteer, parent club member or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books.
Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of more than twenty years, two sons and a black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.


Start the Series from the beginning