Monday, July 7, 2014

INTRODUCING ~ Payoff Pitch by VK Sykes ~

Payoff Pitch by VK Sykes

Thanks so much for hosting us today, Kim!

And by us, I’m referring not only to myself but to my husband, Randy, who is my writing partner for our bestselling series of sports romances.  Payoff Pitch is book 5 of The Philadelphia Patriots, which features some truly sexy pro baseball players as heroes.  That’s where the writing partnership comes in—I know next to nothing about sports, so most of the plot and all the sporty-type details are on Randy.  But these are romance novels, first and foremost, so that’s where I come in.  I’m way better at portraying emotion—I know, you’re shocked to hear that—and I also write all of the sex scenes.  Randy cringes just thinking about doing that, so he always writes: INSERT HOT SEX SCENE HERE in the first draft where the sex scenes are supposed to go.  Fortunately, our division of labor works for us!

Speaking of sex scenes, here’s the intro for the first really hot encounter between Noah Cade, sexy pitcher, and Teddy Quinn, his professional dog walker.  Teddy is staying at Noah’s house to take care of his dogs while he’s dealing with problems with his pitching arm.  It’s late at night, and Noah has just arrived home after a losing game at the ballpark.

“Noah, are you drunk?” Teddy asked, her fists automatically going to her hips.

She wouldn’t blame him if he’d gotten loaded after the game—not after how he’d pitched—but she’d be furious if he’d driven home drunk.

He shook his head. “I had a couple of beers with the guys at Angelo’s. Then Locke made me go next door for coffee with him and talk it all out. I swear I’m sober.” He took another step forward and his right hand drifted up to her shoulder. “After the game, they demoted me to the bullpen. I don’t blame the manager, and the guys I talked to were totally supportive, but it still feels like I’ve got a six-inch blade stuck in my gut.”

And now it felt like someone had just stuck that blade into her gut, too. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, wishing she could do something to help him. “I was worried about you. I couldn’t sleep.”

“You were worried about me?” He sounded surprised. And skeptical.

“Of course I was worried. You always come right home after the game.” She winced and dropped her gaze, embarrassed at her admission. She got a little jolt when she took in the serious bulge in his jeans.
And, dammit, she could immediately feel herself growing wet as she stared at his impressive package. Her instinctive response shocked her, but she couldn’t move. Didn’t want to move. Her heart drummed a staccato beat against the walls of her chest as she waited for him to say something.

Please say something, Noah. Get us out of this.

When she lifted her gaze, she realized how foolish that idea was. Noah had clearly noticed that she’d noticed, because he gave her a slow, sexy smile and closed the gap between them until his chest brushed her stiff nipples. She gave a soft gasp as heated sensations rippled through her, sensations she hadn’t felt for a long time.

Or maybe ever, come to think of it. At least not so strongly that the backs of her knees went weak as water. That was both a testament to his major league hotness and, unfortunately, to her lousy sex life.
When he enfolded her in his brawny arms, Teddy didn’t resist. Couldn’t resist. She was sick of not knowing what it was like to be swept away by a passion so overwhelming that nothing else mattered in that moment. She wanted, she needed to let go and give in to everything she felt for him.

And he needed her, of that she had no doubt.

Ignoring all her good intentions, ignoring everything but him, she snaked her hands around his broad back and snuggled into the warmth of his chest. Suddenly, she was anything but cold.

“Nobody ever says they worry about me,” Noah whispered into her ear as his heavy stubble rasped against her cheek. “Not since my mom died, anyway.”

Teddy heart’s ached for him even as her body shook with desire. She knew he’d lost his mother as a very young child and that he had a cold relationship with an emotionally distant stepmother. But what about the other people in his life?

She raised her head, blinking away the beginning of tears as she stared up into his darkly intense gaze. “I’m sorry about that, too, Noah. You deserve to have someone who worries about you.”

He bent, just a bit, and their lips slid together so smoothly it seemed to happen without any conscious will or effort. A final, sharp warning sounded in her brain, telling her to pull back. But even before she parted her lips to Noah’s probing tongue, she’d already gone boneless in the strength of his embrace, knowing on some level beyond thought that this was right—if not for always, at least for this moment.
For now, that was enough.

Teddy gasped against his mouth as he came into her, his tongue tasting and stroking with a leisurely sensuality. Noah’s hand cradled the back of her neck, holding her captive as he claimed her with an intoxicating possession. No man had ever kissed her like this. No kiss had ever made her surrender like this. She heard herself whimper and could hardly believe she’d made such an aching, almost desperate sound.

Out of pure, primal instinct, Teddy reached down with both hands for his belt. His erection was right there, big and hard and thrusting at his jeans, and the mere brush of her hand against its length brought a groan from deep in Noah’s throat.

But when he pulled back, she wanted to groan herself with frustration.
“Teddy, no,” he said in an agonized, raspy voice. “We said we wouldn’t—”

“Shut up, Noah,” Teddy ordered as she slid her bare leg up his thigh and pressed herself up against his groin.

PAYOFF PITCH, book 5 in the USA Today Bestselling series, The Philadelphia Patriots.


He’s a billionaire ballplayer…

Noah Cade, pitcher for the Philadelphia Patriots, has big problems. He’s recovering from a serious injury and he’s just been saddled with his sick aunt’s crazy dogs. Then there’s his dad, a wealthy oilman who wants Noah to retire from baseball and step into his shoes as CEO of the family corporation. All Noah wants is to pitch again and help his team win the World Series, but his family keeps dragging him in the opposite direction.

She’s a small town girl…

Teddy Quinn moved to the city to start a dog walking business for rich people, hoping the income will pay for law school and help her fight the oil corporations drilling the county where she grew up. When Noah Cade hires her as a full-time dog sitter for his high-energy pets, it seems like the answer to Teddy’s financial woes. But the boundaries get blurred when she starts falling for her boss, who uses all his formidable charm to lure her into his bed.

When Teddy discovers Noah’s father owns Baron Energy, she’s devastated. How can she work for—or love—a man whose family stands for everything she hates?

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Bio: V.K. Sykes is really two people—a husband and wife team who write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance.  Vanessa also writes bestselling historical romance for Kensington Zebra as Vanessa Kelly.  You can find her at


  1. I'm thrilled to see this series getting more attention. I love the stories & I really enjoy the way Vanessa & her husband write. It's seamless to me & I remember thinking "No way" when I first learned that she wrote the stories with her husband. They're a great writing team!
    I can't wait to read Payoff Pitch!

  2. Sounds like a great series. I will have to pick up Fastball and get reading.