Falling for him is easy. Dealing with his high-profile life—a life deemed public property by his fans and the press, plus an ex-wife out for blood—now, that's the hard part.
Twenty-year-old Caitlin Walters was living a normal life. She attended university, socialised a little and had a good relationship with her mother and stepfather. But when her parents are tragically killed in a car accident, Caitlin's life is forced to change. The once carefree girl becomes sole guardian of her stepbrother. Giving up her university course to support and raise eleven-year-old Riley, Caitlin struggles to deal with her new responsibilities.
Her job, singing at a local Italian restaurant, brings Caitlin some peace. On stage, she leaves her life and its troubles behind. Feeling comfortable and sensuous, she is like a siren calling out to lost souls. It's on one of these nights that Caitlin begins a romance with Australian Rugby League captain, Brodie James. Brodie, not content with his so-called perfect life and struggling with commitment issues following a disastrous marriage, falls hard for Caitlin.
The relationship does not run smoothly for the self-sacrificing Caitlin, as she learns how to deal with Brodie's nasty, jealous ex-wife, a muck-raking reporter and intrusive but well-meaning rugby fans. Along the way she makes new friends, and awakens the untapped sensual desires of the woman inside.
Reader Advisory: This book contains plenty of Aussie slang —please note, 'footy' in Australia refers to rugby league, not soccer!
Publisher's Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.
General Release Date: 26th November 2012
Caitlin normally swam laps at the same time as Riley had his squad training. If she had to be up early to drive him to the pool, she figured she might as well do something productive with her time instead of sitting around waiting. Caitlin never put on weight. She knew she was lucky in that regard, because some girls were always trying one new fad diet after another, but she did like to feel fit and healthy. Caitlin had a hearty appetite and was almost embarrassed by the amount of food she needed to keep her body fuelled.
She was neither short nor tall and her long legs, average hips and small waist were all in proportion. The problem with swimming—although she loved being in the water—was that wearing a swimsuit made it easier for people to notice her D-cup breasts.
Firm and round, they appeared to stick out rudely and she thought they looked out of place on her body. Caitlin and her breasts had not got along since puberty, when they’d seemed to grow to an enormous size almost overnight. Her enjoyment of participating in sports had taken a beating at the cruel taunts from other teens. At one point, Caitlin had actually considered breast reduction surgery.
That, of course, would not be possible—at least for the foreseeable future. Not after all that had happened recently.
Caitlin fingered the bracelet on her wrist lovingly, and pushed those sad memories from her mind. She always revelled in the solitude of swimming laps once she got started. It calmed her to listen to herself breathe in and out while her arms and legs sliced through the water, stroke after stroke. Just being around water soothed Caitlin.
The other bonus of early morning swimming was that there was no need to worry about the harsh Australian sun burning her very pale skin. Giving herself one last pep talk about the water being warm once she got wet, she headed out to the swim deck, trying, as usual, to push her mop of hair under her pink swimming cap.
As Caitlin did some stretches in preparation, she noticed the players from the local rugby league team on the other side of the fifty-metre pool. Most of the players were walking up and back in a lane, laughing and pushing each other in mock fights. All except for him.
Caitlin had observed the giant of a man before. In fact, on many occasions she had actually sought him out with her eyes. Why wouldn’t you? she thought to herself. He was gorgeous—such a perfect specimen. Caitlin had watched him stretching his large body, which rippled with the mass of well-defined muscle that made up his impressive physique. Caitlin had also watched him standing, sitting, walking, running and swimming, all in such a skimpy pair of swimmers that not much was left to the imagination, and Caitlin had found she had a good imagination when it came to him.
On more than one occasion she had dreamt of him, waking to find her body sweaty, the ache in her core unbearable and moisture coating her panties. Caitlin had begun touching herself to try to ease that unfamiliar longing—quietly, discreetly, her strokes reluctant at first. The thought of masturbation had been disturbing, somehow wrong.
But not wrong enough to stop. On those occasions, she would inch her fingers towards that throbbing, hot place. She’d slide her hand down the front of her panties, past the layers of curls that covered her folds.
It was always the same. She’d visualise his broad shoulders and washboard abs and her breath would start to come in little puffs and pants, her nipples pulling tight. Caitlin always felt them forming hard button shapes even before she’d let her free hand touch them. She would touch and rub her sensitive nipples as she imagined his face—that sexy, yet sombre-looking face.
There was something about him that drove her to this point. Nothing and no-one else had ever caused Caitlin to caress her own body in such a way. This uncontrollable need was new, coinciding with her awareness of his existence. She’d slip her finger in between her folds. They were always slick and warm, and she’d begin to move that finger in a circular motion. Tiny sparks of something indescribable would start to form beneath her finger, her body striving towards some place, some ending to fulfil her ache. As she focused on the memory of his deep voice, which she had overheard when he’d spoken to his teammates, she’d imagine him talking to her, touching her. She’d pretend it was his fingers plucking at her nipples and his hand creating so much havoc within her body.
Finally, knowing she was nearing that peak that caused her so much bliss, Caitlin would find her clitoris, the place that held the release of that pleasure spike, and she’d rub furiously at it. Push and circle, hard and fast, assaulting her own body until finally the gratification came, a wave of pleasure and relief washing over her slick, wet body, leaving her breathless, boneless, sated.
Caitlin both loved and hated to remember those times she lost control. She’d heard that masturbation was a normal human need, but it didn’t make her feel any less uncomfortable with her own actions.
Seeing him in such a state of near nakedness didn’t help. Shaking off her silly, girly fantasies, her stomach fluttering in response to her wilful thoughts, Caitlin stepped onto the block and did a graceful racing dive into the water. For the first few laps she tried to find her rhythm, reprimanding herself for her body’s response to the man by chanting a mantra over and over in her head. “I don’t have time for men, I don’t have time for dating, I don’t have time for men, I don’t have time for dating…”
Previous forays into the dating scene hadn’t filled her with much confidence. These so-called dates were nothing but a bunch of octopus-limbed disappointments who seemed to think buying her a drink, or dinner, gave them the right to grope her at will. Just the thought had Caitlin angrily pounding her arms into the water.
Word Count: 38,741
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Genres: CHICK LIT
Sydney-born Donna Gallagher decided at an early age that life needed be tackled head on. Leaving home at fifteen, she supported herself through her teen years. In her twenties she married a professional sportsman, her love of sport—especially rugby league—probably overriding her good sense.
The seven-year marriage was an adventure. There were the emotional ups and downs of having a husband with a public profile in a sometimes glamorous but always high-pressure field. There were always interesting characters to meet and observe, and even the opportunity to live for a time in the UK.
Eventually Donna returned home a single woman, but she never lost her passion for watching sport, as well as the people in and around it.
Now happily re-married and with three sons, Donna loves coffee mornings with her female friends, sorting through problems from the personal to the international. But she's on even footing with the keenest man when it comes to watching and talking rugby league.
Donna considers herself something of a black sheep in a family of high achievers. Her brother has a doctorate in mathematics and her sister is a well-known Australian sports journalist.
An avid reader, especially of romance, Donna finally found she couldn't stop the characters residing in her imagination from spilling onto paper. Naturally, rugby league is the backdrop to her spicy tales of hunky heroes and spunky heroines overcoming adversity to eventually find true love.
A multiple ARRA awards finalist in 2013 & 2014 for her League of Love series, Donna is spreading her genre wings In 2015 with the launch of her new romantic suspense Haven Security Series and the re-release of her contemporary erotic novella A Fruitful Intimacy.