(Portland Pioneers, #1)
Publication date: August 10th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Sports
From the New York Times bestselling author of Forever My Girl: The Motion Picture, Heidi McLaughlin delivers a contemporary romance that will leave you dancing in the end zone!
Autumn LaRosa has been playing defense since the moment she met Julius Cunningham. After accepting a position as a meteorologist in Portland, she strives to make a good first impression. Then she meets the arrogant wide receiver who belittles her in front of her new friends. She could have walked off the sting of his bitter words, but he keeps showing up in her social circle.
Now, she is determined to meet him at the line of scrimmage and prove she’s not one to back down.
Julius Cunningham is well aware there’s a flag on the play after his harsh words to Autumn. The more he sees of Portland’s new weather girl, the clearer it becomes his judgments of her were unfounded.
But how can he call a timeout on the animosity he created?
When Autumn attends a charity event with the Pioneer players, she sees an opportunity too tempting to resist. Julius looks miserable being a part of the date auction, making it even more fun for Autumn to bid. Will she use the opportunity for some good old-fashioned payback? Or will this be their fresh start at the twenty-yard line?
Get ready for the snap and sprint for the end zone because Autumn and Julius are headed for either a tackle or a touchdown!
The bourbon numbs everything except my thoughts. This room is full of people kissing ass and taking names to better themselves in their careers. The media management companies are trying to brand Noah and Peyton, then there’s the rookie running back who makes sure to tell Peyton how pretty she is every day, and the new weather person for who knows what station. If I had to guess, it’s probably some online-only type broadcast because the internet is the wave of the future. Honestly, they’re right. I rarely watch the news because I can’t filter what they show. At least, with the web, I can go right to the information I want. Probably not the best way to get my news, but whatever. ESPN is pretty much the only channel I watch because they’re nice enough not to comment on my marriage, but they’re sure to point out when I have a lackluster game. Fun times in the land of Julius Cunningham.
What bothers me the most is the new person in the crowd. What did she call herself? Oh yes, a “meteorologist.” Even as I say this in my head, it sounds pretentious and snobbish. Did she have to go to some special school to tell people it’s going to rain? Hell, I can do that just by looking at the clouds. And seriously, this is Portland—it’s going to fucking rain, and then in the summer, it’s going to get so fucking hot, people are going to wish for rain. It’s an endless cycle.
I watch her, this weather girl, as she moves around the room. She’s schmoozing, taking names and numbers, and working the room. She’s using Peyton to advance her career because it’s likely she wants to be the next Barbara Walters, and standing in front of the map talking about the rain accumulation is just her way of getting her foot in the door.
When this woman heads toward Quinn, I am certain she’s just here to use Peyton, and I hate it. I overheard earlier that they went to school together, yet Peyton has never mentioned her until this evening. What bothers me is that Noah doesn’t seem concerned. Normally, he’s a hawk, protecting his wife from everyone. His sheltering comes from Peyton’s accident. She almost died, and it still haunts him after all this time. I remember it all, clear as day. Noah almost quit, gave up his career to be by her bedside while she was in a coma. I was so angry with him, not because he wanted to leave the team. I was mad because he had a girl at the time, and to me, this was cheating. Dessie thought so as well but stuck by him. She tried to confide in me when all of this went down, but I turned her away. Elena didn’t trust her, and as it turned out, with good reason. Still, I had beef with Noah until he told me why he put Peyton before anything. He was in love with her and had been most of his life. The minute he found out about her accident was when he knew he had to make changes in his life, or he would never be truly happy. This isn’t to say Noah still didn’t make a few mistakes where his life is concerned. Now though, as I watch him, he’s always gravitating toward Peyton. He always knows where she is and always knows when to look at her at the right time.
Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of The Beaumont Series, The Boys of Summer, and The Archers.
Originally, from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband, two daughters, and their three dogs.
In 2012, Heidi turned her passion for reading into a full-fledged literary career, writing over twenty novels, including the acclaimed Forever My Girl.
Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, has been adapted into a motion picture with LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Rothe, and opened in theaters on January 19, 2018, and is now available on DVD & Digital.
To stay connected with Heidi visit http://www.facebook.com/authorheidimclaughlin or heidimclaughlin.com