Authors: Allison Hobbs
Get ready for a fast-paced voyage in the world of professional baseball with a cast of characters promised to entice fans of the writing duo of Allison Hobbs and Karen E. Quinones Miller. The bestselling authors have teamed up to produce a titillating tale.
Cheryl Blanton and Sexy Sanchez are two women vying for the same catch, Randy Alston, a young Southerner who clinches a $120 million contract to play for the New York Yankees. While Cheryl marries Randy, Sexy insists on throwing a wrench in the wedding vows. The love triangle offers readers plenty of lust, scandal, and sex.
Discover who ends up with the coveted player and what surprising secrets are revealed. The writers build up to an unexpected outcome leaving readers yearning for the next chapter in the trio's lives.
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For Kha'ri, Kareem, and Kapriâ
You Mean the World to Me.
Maferefun bobo Orisha
I lovingly dedicate this book to both my spiritual and physical family
Thanks to all the book clubs and bloggers who have taken the time to post video reviews and written reviews of my work. I also want to thank the many readers who follow me on Facebook and who post so many cute and creative pictures of their Allison Hobbs book collections. All of these efforts make me smile. Additionally, I must thank Charmaine Parker for her patience and dedication in editing this novel. A big thank-you to Sara Camilli for taking on this collaborative project. As always, thank you, Zane for continuing to believe in me. Thank you to my literary best bud, Cairo, whose work I greatly admire and who can have me CTFU with the mere utterance of one word. Thanks, Daaimah S. Poole for being such a kind, sweet, and wise soul. To my BFF, Karen Dempsey Hammond, you are so much more than a friendâyou're my sister in spirit and I absolutely adore you. Last but not least, I'd like to thank my writing partner, Karen E. Quinones Miller. I'm thrilled that our combined talents have provided our dear readers with such a delicious and racy page-turner!
*Â Â *Â Â *
I want to start out by thanking The Creator for my life, my talent, and my blessings.
I also want to thank all of the ancestorsâliterary, familial, and otherwiseâwho had to endure so much to ensure that I would be able to enjoy the life that I have all these years.
A special shout-out to literary agent Sara Camilli, who for some reason stood by me and encouraged me when other peopleâwhom I thought wouldâhad disappeared. Sara, you are simply the bomb.
And to Zane, whom I've known and admired for years for publishing
Hittin' It Out the Park
. I'm not going to say more about Zane, because otherwise I'd start to gush, and I hate to gush, and I'm going to trust that Zane doesn't like people gushing about her. (Okay, I will say one more thing about Zaneâ¦there are SO many people in the literary world who say they always try to help others in this industry; Zane is one of only about five people who doesn't constantly going around saying it, but goes around doing it.)
This is the very first book I've ever written without Evening Star Writers' Group, but even though we never met to discuss and critique my portion of
Hittin' It Out the Park
, it really helped to know I always had the moral support. Thank you, Fiona Harewood, Sharai Robbin, and Akanke Washington. I don't know what I would do without you.
My friends and Prayer WarriorsâFiona Harewood, Victoria Christopher Murray, Jenice Armstrong, Kim Beverly, Johnny Black, Senemeh Burke, Sojourner McCauley, and Makeela Thomas.
I also want to thank the members of the Brothers and Sisters Book Club of Philadelphia/South Jerseyâwith a special shout-out to Audrey Johnson. Thank you for welcoming me as a member, and thank you for being my friend.
And a thank you to all the readers and book clubs who have read my books and have hosted me throughout the years. I hope you guys never get tired of meâI know I'll never get tired of you. Just hit me upâ¦I'd love to come out and meet with you. You can always reach me on Facebook at
I look forward to hearing from you.
It is important that I take this opportunity to remember, and honor, those who have passed since my last book, but who have meant so much to me: Barbara Wallace, Charles Robinson (Shola Remi), Sherlaine Freeman, Jose Manuel (Oyadina), J. California Cooper, Nelson Mandela, and Maya AngelouâMay you all rest in peace. Ibaiye.
I want to thank the health professional who assisted me during my illness and the writing of this book: Brenda Munson Glover and Lynette Lunnon.
Dwayne Ligon, dear friend, thanks for the use of your name. I hope you enjoy your character namesake.
Of course I thank my family, Joseph T. Quinones and my lovely daughter, Camille R. Quinones Miller. Nice to know you have folks you can always depend onâ¦and I hope they know they can always depend on me.
But I really have to give the biggest thanks to my coauthor, the terrifically talented Allison Hobbs. Thanks, Allison, for your patience and understandingâand most of all, your encouragement and support. I hope this won't be our last collaborationâI enjoyed this one too much!
In closing, I want to once again ask for forgiveness for those whose names I have failed to remember, but without whom my life would not be the same.
Karen E. Quinones Miller
April 15, 1997
“I thought you didn't want to know the sex of the baby.”
“I changed my mind,” Cheryl answered drowsily. “I don't really care; I was only wondering.”
The doctor looked down at the teenager and she thought she saw uncertainty in his dark eyes; prompting her to warily tell him: “Dang, Dr. Nehru. Don't worry, there's no chance in hell, I'm changing my mind. You and your wife can keep the baby. I'm only curious, is all.”
Dr. Nehru nodded, but indecision still creased his face. A few seconds passed before he pulled a chair close to the hospital bed and sat down. He took one of her hands in his and gave what looked like a forced smile before finally speaking. “Cheryl, you do realize you made the right decision, don't you? After all, you're still a child yourself; there's no way you'd be able to take care of this baby.”
The anesthetic she'd been given for the caesarian birth was almost totally worn off, and Cheryl began to feel a little soreness, causing her to grimace as the doctor continued to speak.
“My wife and I can giveâ”
“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Cheryl interrupted him. “Listen, can I have some kind of painkiller or something?”
“Sure.” The doctor nodded. “I'll have the nurse come in and give you something in a minute. But I wanted to assure you thatâ”
“Hey, I only asked if it was a boy or girl; don't freak out,” Cheryl snapped. “Make sure I get the rest of the money you owe me, okay?”
“Absolutely!” the doctor said.
“It was a simple question; I don't know why you're making a freaking federal case outta this. It's not like I even really care,” Cheryl mumbled loud enough for the doctor to hear. “Shit.”
“I'm sorry,” he said sheepishly. “It's a boy. We haven't decided on a name yet, though.”
“I didn't ask you,” Cheryl snapped. “It's your kid; name it what the fuck you want.” Her facial expression softened almost as soon as the words were out of her mouth. “I'm sorry. You didn't deserve all that.”
The doctor stood up and patted her on the shoulder. “Don't worry about it. You've gone through a lot, and you're bound to be edgy. And of course, you did say you need some painkillers, right? I'll have the nurse give you a shot of morphine.”
The sharp aches were worsening, and Cheryl could only give a weak smile and nod in response. The nurse was in the private room less than five minutes after the doctor left, and injected a shot of clear liquid into the IV attached to Cheryl's arm. Thirty seconds later, Cheryl drifted off to sleep, and to dream about the events that had brought her to this point.
“Look, you need money, I can use some extra cash; the plan makes sense,” Jackson said urgently. “This cat is going to lay down ten stacks for the privilege of popping your cherry. Hell, ain't that better than giving it away for free to some knucklehead in the backseat of some car?”
Cheryl hated Jackson. Had hated him from the first time she met him, only a few months after her father died and he started dating her mother. And within three years it seemed her hatred was justified. With Jackson's encouragement, Cheryl's mother became hooked on cocaine, and went through the almost $2 million her father had left them. After the money was gone, Jackson was gone, and Cheryl's mother then turned to crack and alcohol.
Cheryl was fifteen by then, and desperate to come up with money to pay the rent. She had to drop out of the prestigious private school she'd been attending before her father's death and attend public school, but she was also forced to take over as head of the household since her mother was absolutely useless, and was only interested in scoring her next hit, and next drink.
They were evicted from their swanky Upper East Side apartment for not paying the rent, and now the rent on their tiny Harlem apartment was three months' overdue; not knowing what else to do Cheryl had decided to resort to shoplifting. She ventured into Bloomingdale's on Lexington Avenue, stuffed a couple of dresses in her bag, and headed out the door; but almost peed her pants when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
“So you've decided on a career as a booster, huh?”