They’re big. They’re hot. And they play hard.
In the kickoff to Serena Bell’s sexy new football romance series, the heat between a female coach and a cocky linebacker turns the Seattle Grizzlies locker room upside down.
Iona: There’s nothing like the rush of going head-to-head with the boys. Football is my life, and I got my new job with the Seattle Grizzlies because I know how to play rough. But as a woman in a man’s game, I can’t afford any distractions—like panty-melting tabloid darling Ty Williams, my star linebacker. I’ve stared down plenty of good-looking players without losing my cool . . . and yet something about Ty’s intense gaze burns straight to my core.
Ty: Despite what they say in the press, I save my best moves for game day. The Grizzlies aren’t just my teammates, they’re my brothers—no way am I going to let some new coach shake up our defense. But Iona Thomas isn’t just some coach. It’s so tough to keep my head in the game when I’d rather be in bed with her. She may take charge at practice, but if I had her in my arms, I’d be choosing the plays. I just need to figure out what makes her tick—and what makes her want to break the rules.
Advance praise for Getting Inside
“Readers will look forward to getting to know more of the Seattle Grizzlies. . . . [Serena] Bell scores a touchdown with her fresh and fast-paced first Seattle Grizzlies sports contemporary.”—Publisher Weekly
“Forbidden love, high stakes and a delicious slow burn. I loved Getting Inside by Serena Bell.”—USA Today bestselling author Kelly Jamieson
“Serena Bell brings her flawless writing to a football romance that will keep you on the edge of your stadium seat! Great chemistry and an irresistible hero.”—Sarina Bowen, USA Today bestselling author of the Brooklyn Bruisers series
“Serena Bell scores a touchdown with this hot football romance—the chemistry between Iona and Ty is searing!”—Christi Barth, author of the Naked Men series
“Getting Inside is Serena Bell at her best! An excellent start to her new series. Highly recommended!”—Wendy S. Marcus, award-winning author of All I Need Is You
“Somehow I fell in love with two people and learned a ton about football. Don’t start this one unless you’ve got the day to yourself. Magic!”—Samantha Wayland, author of the Ice Cats hockey series
Excerpt from Getting Inside
Copyright © 2017 Serena Bell
All rights reserved — Penguin Random House
I go looking for Coach, ready to tell him exactly how bad Dave Brogan is for the linebacker corps, and especially for O.
He’s in his office, sitting with our defensive coordinator, Abel Cross, and a black woman with a head full of those springy natural curls that are hot right now. As she turns her head to take me in, I see a flash of a dangly gold earring and a splash of deep red lipstick. She looks vaguely familiar—media? personnel? I know I’ve seen her around somewhere.
“Didn’t mean to interrupt,” I say.
“I actually just sent someone to find you,” Coach says. “Abe, can you take Ms. Thomas for a cup of coffee and give us a few?”
She stands up to follow Coach Cross out, and I get a good look at her for the first time. Her suit tucks in tight at the waist and flares out over her hips. And the spiral curls are crazy sexy on her. They’re playful—I want to tug one and let it bounce back into its tight-knit mass. Or just keep staring at her, because she’s one of those model-beautiful women with high cheekbones, a slight pout to her lower lip, and long-lashed dark eyes, and I can’t take my eyes off her. Her warm brown skin is a couple of shades lighter than mine and perfectly smooth, and I want to reach out and cup her cheek and run my thumb over it to see if it’s as supple as it looks.
I just described seeing her like it happened in slow motion, but what actually happens when she stands up is more like this:
Followed immediately by:
Because if she’s anyone who has anything remotely to do with the team, she’s off limits. Especially media or personnel.
Which is a huge bummer because my mind has gone on a porno trip involving my hands and her curves, and I have to rein it back in.
Coach Cross says, “We’ll be back,” and the two of them step out of the office. I hesitate for a moment, then sit in the seat vacated by Ms. Hotness. It’s warm, and for some reason, that gets me going. Guess it’s been too long …
“So what’d you want to see me about?” Coach asks.
No point in beating around the bush. “Coach Brogan.”
Coach gives me a long, level look. “I wondered if it was that. I’ve got some news I think you’ll be happy to hear. We let Brogan go.”
Well, whaddya know about that? I school my face and don’t let my joy show. It took me a while to figure this out, but in the pros, it doesn’t pay to have an opinion unless you’re asked.
“I know how difficult Mack’s death was for you, Ty.”
Yeah. Well. Not gonna get into that.
“We know no one can replace Mack or mean what he meant to you,” Coach says. “We hired Brogan because he supposedly shared Mack’s philosophy and we thought the transition would go easier, but we were wrong.”
I don’t say anything.
“Look. Ty. I’m going to level with you. Brogan’s been saying for weeks that he can’t work with you. He wanted us to release you. Said it was you or him.”
Shit. I should have seen something like this coming. We’re 1–6 and when you’re losing that badly, people get twitchy and start to point fingers.
“And there are some people—people whose opinions count—who bought his version of things.”
“That’s—” There’s an iron grip around my lungs.
Coach shakes his head, cutting me off. “Obviously, I’m not one of them. And obviously, my side won out. Brogan’s gone. But Ty—what the fuck was going on with you guys?”
I gulp air around the tightness. “He was breaking them. You know? Like trying to crush their wills, like he thought they were horses or something. And I can take it, but it was ripping O to shreds. You can’t play good defense—hell, you can’t play any kind of football—like that.”
“So you’ve been fighting Brogan because you’re standing up for your teammates.”
That makes it sound nobler than it was. I’ve been getting so goddamned pissed on their behalf that I can’t keep it under wraps most of the time. So in answer to Coach’s question, I sort of…shrug.
Coach nods thoughtfully. “Yeah. I told them you had your reasons.” He leans forward, face growing even more serious. “Jesus, Ty, you should’ve said something.”
But we both know the squeakiest wheel gets the boot—just look at where Dave Brogan is now.
He sighs, acknowledging what neither of us have said. “Here’s the thing. I need you to show me—and them—that I’m right. That you can get along with the next coach and demonstrate the level of professionalism we know you’ve got in you.”
I hear the implied threat. Everyone in the PFL is dispensable. For every guy playing pro football, there are hundreds waiting to take his job if he can’t pull his weight, not just as an athlete, but as a man.
Mack would be pissed at me right now. He always said, Attitude is everything. I take a deep breath, look Coach right in the eye. “Okay. Yeah. I won’t let you down, Coach.”
He nods. “Thanks, Ty.”
I think the conversation’s over, and I’m about to get up, when he says, “We hired a replacement.”
“Wow. That was fast.”
“I got lucky. We made the decision on Brogan a little over a week ago and my first choice flew in to interview sixteen hours later. We’re doing a press conference Wednesday morning…” Coach picks his phone up from his desk and taps out a text. “We wanted to give you a heads-up so you could have some time to get used to the idea.”
“Used to—what idea?”
“She’s the very best. I wouldn’t have brought her in if I didn’t believe that. And if I didn’t believe she’d be good for your career, in particular. I worked with her in San Fran, and if it had been my choice, I would have hired her then.”
She. Her. He did just say that, didn’t he? I didn’t hallucinate.
Holy fucking shit.
“Her?” I repeat stupidly.
I feel like I’ve had my bell rung by a hard hit. The world gets silent and buzzy, then suddenly too big and bright as it reorients around me.
“You ready for us, Coach?”