Thursday, 6 October 2016


Enter to Win 1 of 2 Digital copies of Making the Play
Making the Play
Hidden Falls #1
By: T.J. Kline
Releasing September 27, 2016
Avon Impulse
In Making the Play (Hidden Falls #1) by TJ Kline, Bethany Mills loves her son, but there's only so much she can do for him. She knows he needs more interaction with men in his life to teach him the things that she can't, but there's no way she could choose just any man to fill the void left by her ex-husband. When her son is almost bowled over by his hero when he does something a little reckless while playing in the park, Bethany knows it isn't smart to fall for the gorgeous footballer, but she'll do anything for her son. Even if it means getting her heart broken all over again. 

After an injury sidelines him from the game he loves, Grant McQuaid has been doing everything he can to get back into tip-top shape and prove to everyone that he still has what it takes to play football. However, meeting Beth and her son puts a kink in his plans, and soon he begins to see that there's more to life than football. Can he convince Beth to give him a chance, or will his professional life interfere too much and chase Beth away for good?

I love Ms. Kline's books, and this first story in her Hidden Falls series was an incredible read. Right from the beginning, Ms. Kline drew me into this story with the close relationship the heroine has with her son and her determination to teach him right from wrong. There's nothing she wouldn't do for him, which is palpable when they meet the hero, even though she knows it's in her best interest not to be enticed by Grant's charming ways. Especially since he surprises Bethany with the way he interacts with her son so well.    

As for the dialogue, it was intense due to the main characters back stories. Bethany's ex-husband is a real piece of work and it was understandable why she was so hesitant to get involved with Grant. What if she gave him a chance and he ended up being disappointed like her husband was? What would happen to her son if he began to get too attached to Grant and things didn't work out between them? However, there were also some really good light-hearted moments between the hero and heroine as well as the hero and Bethany's son. Grant is a wonderful role model for her son, and I enjoyed the interactions they had with each other. Their interactions prove to the heroine that she can learn to trust someone again.  

I really liked both the main characters, as well as the secondary ones. Grant's family are warm and the way they accept Bethany and her son was delightful. However, in saying that, I could understand why Grant's dad was worried for her. His advice gives both the main characters a lot to think about, yet at the same time, it's advice that could bring them closer together, if Bethany can accept whatever Grant's future holds. 

Bethany is a great mother, and I could understand why she would do anything to protect her son. She's also strong and brave for taking a chance on Grant, even knowing that things might not work out between them. Then again, Grant is different than her ex with the way he interacts with her son. He treats her son as if the boy was his own. While Grant, he's struggling with his injury and I could understand his frustrations. Would he be able to combat his injury to get back on the field to play? If he did, would he be endangering his life if he got hurt again? Grant faces a few tough obstacles, and I enjoyed reading how he faced each one. Bethany and her son are good for him, as they help him realize that there's more to life than getting back on the field, especially if there's a chance he may not be able to play again.

Overall, Ms. Kline has penned a strong romance between Grant and Bethany. There's so much chemistry, and even though Bethany tries to fight it, it's palpable that she wouldn't be able to stay away from Grant for long because the hero is a good man and treats her son like he's special to him. The way this story ended had me cheering for this couple's happy ever after, because Bethany deserved the love of a man willing to push past her fears and show her that she can trust a man again. I would recommend Making the Play by TJ Kline, if you enjoy sports romances or a hero willing to do whatever it takes to prove to the heroine that love is worth fighting for. 

T.J. Kline launches a brand new series with the charming story of an NFL player who finds love when he least expects it…
Grant McQuaid has dedicated his entire life to his football career. Now an injury threatens his place on the team and he’s forced to return home to rehabilitate. But when he meets his “biggest fan,” a precocious, blue-eyed, hearing impaired boy named James—and his beautiful mother, Bethany—Grant begins to question whether football is the future he still wants.
Bethany Mills has been doing just fine since her husband walked out on them… and she definitely doesn’t need another man to disappoint her—or her son. But when James runs into his hero at the park, Bethany admits there is a void in her son’s life that she just can’t fill. Her attraction to the handsome football star is undeniable, but a man in the limelight is the last thing she wants for herself, or James.
Grant doesn’t want to subject Bethany to the chaos of dating a professional athlete. But the more time he spends with her and James, the harder it is to resist making a play for her heart...

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Grant waited at his car for Bethany and James to finish up inside the classroom. He’d spent the rest of lunch recess entertaining nearly forty kids who’d come running over when they realized James knew a professional football player. The smile that lit James’ face when he introduced Grant had been well worth the discomfort he’d faced trying to explain why he was at the school to Bethany.
He couldn’t blame her for being standoffish with him when she first saw him there. What kind of weirdo showed up at your job the day after you told him to take a hike? But something had shifted in her today. He’d seen it in her eyes when he tried to explain why he’d come. Enough that he was willing to push his luck and see if she wasn’t up for having ice cream today.
Grant saw her heading toward her older model sedan in the school parking lot, juggling an armload of books, papers and teaching supplies. James wore a small backpack with a cartoon character he didn’t recognize on his little shoulders but Bethany carried an overfilled tote bag that had to weigh more than she did.
“Hey! Here, let me get that for you.” He hurried to her side, sliding the bag from her shoulder. Apprehension colored her hazel eyes and, for a moment, he wondered if she wasn’t going to tell him to leave again. Instead, she unlocked her car.
Grant wasn’t sure if he should ask but knew it would look far more suspicious if he didn’t now. “What are you guys up to? I thought maybe I could convince you to get that ice cream today.”
James’ face brightened and he looked up at his mother. “Can we?”
Bethany bit her lower lip. “We can’t.”
Grant tried not to take the second rejection to heart and nodded in understanding.
“Our downstairs toilet broke this morning and I had to turn it off. Now I’ve got to run to the store for the part and figure out how to fix it,” she explained.
Relief he hadn’t expected coursed through him. Maybe she wasn’t shooting him down after all. He let the corner of his mouth tip up playfully. “Ms. Mills, that sort of sounds like a load of C-R-A-P,” he spelled, laughing at his bad pun.
Her eyes widened but she smiled at his audacity. “Mr. McQuaid,” she scolded.
James giggled beside her and Grant immediately realized his mistake. “Mom, he spelled a bad word.”
“How did he . . . never mind. I should have known this genius could spell that,” Grant said, trying not to laugh. “How about if I help you fix your toilet?”
She popped open the truck, indicating that he should set her bag inside. “You want to fix my toilet?” Bethany crossed her arms and leaned a hip against the side of the car as she closed the trunk. “Really? That’s the line you want to go with?”
Grant shrugged but the smile never left his lips. What was it about this woman and her kid that made him feel so comfortably at ease? He hadn’t felt this relaxed in a long time. She made it easy for him to forget about his injury, the pressure of his upcoming training camp and his possible job loss.
“What do you say, little man? You think between the two of us men, we can fix the toilet for your mom?”
“Yes!” he yelled cheerfully. James climbed into the back seat of the car and buckled himself into his booster seat.
“I’ll meet you at the hardware store.” Grant turned to walk back to his car.
“I’m not going to get rid of you, am I?”
Grant paused and looked back over his shoulder at her. “Why would you want to?” he asked with a wink and jogged the rest of the way back to his car.
T. J. Kline was raised competing in rodeos and Rodeo Queen competitions since the age of 14 and has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the culture involved. She writes contemporary western romance for Avon Romance, including the Rodeo series and the Healing Harts series. She has published a nonfiction health book and two inspirational fiction titles under the name Tina Klinesmith. In her very limited spare time, T.J. can be found laughing hysterically with her husband, children, and their menagerie of pets in Northern California.
Author Links:  Website | Facebook| Twitter | GoodReads

Author's Favorite Scene
As if the thought conjured her from thin air, Grant heard the front door close and the soft clomp of her shoes on the tile floor as she made her way into the living room. He cracked one eye open just enough to see her bend over and take off her shoes, kicking them to the side, before padding over the carpet to the couch to peer down at him. She bent over, not realizing the view she gave him as her blouse fell forward. His mouth dried up and he tried to force himself to look away from the delicate curve of the top of her breast and the barely-there decorative trim at the edge of her bra.
“Grant,” she whispered as she reached for his arm, shaking him slightly.
He opened one eye and smiled, tugging her down onto the couch cushions beside him. “I’m awake, but that boy tired me out. I don’t know how you do it every single day.”
“He can be a handful sometimes.” She laughed softly.
Grant slid his arm around the back of the couch and fought back a groan when she dropped her head against his shoulder. There was nothing inherently intimate about the gesture but the fact that it seemed so natural made him want to pull her closer against his chest and he forced himself to stifle the urge.
“So, how was the date?” He tipped his face toward her but it only resulted in the sweet scent of her perfume filling his lungs. It was like sunshine and honey, warm and sweet. Without realizing it, his fingers slid over her shoulder, caressing the curve of her neck.
“It was . . . nice.”
“Honey, guys don’t want to hear a woman say a date was nice.” He gave a quiet chuckle. “That’s a sure sign you’re being friend-zoned if there ever was one.”
He could feel her smile against his shoulder, even through his cotton shirt, but she didn’t look up at him. “I’ll have to keep that in mind for the next time. It has been a while since I did this. I think I’ve almost forgotten how.”
“It’s like riding a bike. As soon as you start, it will all come back to you. The coy glances, the flirty smiles. I’ve seen them from you so I know you know how.” Heat pooled in his groin and he fought the urge to lay his cheek against the top of her head. It was too comfortable with Bethany; it felt too right.
She pulled away and looked up at him. “I have not.”
“The hell you haven’t.” Grant laughed deep in his chest. “But I’ll just chalk it up to you being out of practice and its being an accident.” He pulled her close again, hating the emptiness he felt when she’d sat up and cursing the circumstances that kept him from pursuing what he knew they’d both regret later. “So, are you guys going out again?”
She tipped her face toward him, her hand resting against his chest, and batted her lashes sweetly. “That depends on if I can get a sitter again.”
“See, there you go.” He shook his head, berating her gently with a laugh. “Don’t tell me you don’t know how to flirt,” he teased.
Longing kicked him in the groin. It took every ounce of self-control he had to keep from kissing her. Even if she was joking, the pout on her lips and the tenderness he saw in her eyes was enough to make him forget. Forget football, forget leaving, forget what he needed. He wanted to cup her face, to run his thumb over that lower lip she bit so often and taste the sweetness he knew he would find in her mouth. If he waited even a moment longer, his willpower would cave and they wouldn’t be able to find their way back to this place. He needed to leave before he made a mistake he couldn’t undo.
The reason this is one of my favorite scenes is because, it is such a normal thing. Just a single mom coming home from a date. However, it’s also such a great picture of the relationship developing between Grant and Bethany. Even when they are trying to deny their attraction for one another, trying to build on their friendship, neither can help that their hearts want something completely different. They are drawn to one another, with undeniable chemistry, and I simply couldn’t help rooting for them through the entire story.



1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting today! ~gaele for Tasty Book Tours