A good love story always begins the same way.
A chance meeting.
A sizzling look.
A flat tire…
Dani Miner could have been voted least likely to be a damsel in distress.
Tabor Hunter should have been voted most likely to do the rescuing.
So when Dani gets a flat tire on her way home one evening, she is, at first, less than thrilled to be helped out by a man that is clearly too charming for his own good. Even if he is handsome. And buff. And the king of the thousand watt smile.
However, prickly Dani is eventually charmed by her hottie knight in shining sunglasses. And a brief moment spent on the side of the road on a hot summer evening quickly leads to a first date.
But what Dani doesn’t realize is that she has just agreed to go out with the very famous defensive end for the San Diego Quakes. And Tabor is thrilled to finally meet a woman who doesn’t fall at his overly athletic feet. This year's most valuable player is excited to have a chance to be an ordinary guy with a less than ordinary woman.
But being a celebrity can put a real kink in your love life and Dani, a woman used to a much quieter life, is soon caught up in the high paced world of fame and football.
Falling in love is easy. Falling in love with a sports star is another story.
Can Dani figure out how to play the game before she fumbles her chance at happiness?
“Come. On,” I grunted, pulling one way and pushing another. “Stupid piece of junk!”
I threw the tire iron on the ground and jumped out of the way when it bounced. The last thing I needed was a bruise because I was a clumsy dumbass. I kicked the black rubber before wiping my hand across my face to move the stray auburn hair that clung to my forehead. My knees were blackened from the dirty asphalt and my hands were covered in brownish muck.
I was a complete mess.
I wiped my hands on my thighs and sat down on the curb, preparing to call my dad to drive over and save me.
“Do you need some help?” a low voice asked.
The sun blazed down, obstructing my view. Not even shielding my eyes seemed to help. All I could make out was a towering shadow a few feet away that was intimidating as hell. A gray Range Rover was parked behind him across the street, and I assumed it belonged to Mr. Tall-and-Helpful. He squatted down next to the tire, giving me an unobstructed view of him.
He wore gold-rimmed aviators and a baseball cap that hid his face well. But his full lips that were curved into a smirk had me entranced. I tried to avert my eyes to anywhere but his lips, knowing that he might be able to see exactly what I was thinking.
I cleared my throat and dropped my gaze, and it landed on the white T-shirt clinging to his chest. His pecs were straining beneath the thin material and it dawned on me as I continued to look him over that his muscles appeared to be bulging everywhere. Hell, his neck was probably the same size as one of my thighs.
After my breakup with Philip the year before, I’d sworn to myself that I would never rely on a man again—even for something as small as a tire change.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a man-hater by any means. I loved men. But I’d depended on Philip so heavily that I’d started to lose myself in the process. Once I’d found me again, I didn’t want to let go.
But sometimes you need help, whether you want to admit it or not.
“I—I’ll be fine,” I lied, scrambling to my feet to give me some distance. I had a better view of the guy and I was unable to say anything more. Mr. Tall-Helpful-and-Gorgeous let out a disarming huff and it shook me from my perusal of his body.
“I’m sure you will,” he said before stepping around me, picking up the tire iron, and pointing to the flat.
“Sure.” I shrugged. “I’ve only been trying for the last fifteen minutes.”
“I know.” He smirked as he placed it over the lug nut. With one strong push, he loosened it.
“You know?” I questioned, laughing softly. “How long have you been watching me?”
“Looked like you were determined to do it alone. Didn’t want to step on your toes,” he said without a hint of sarcasm.
“Oh,” was all I could say in response.
His hands moved swiftly, removing the rest of the lug nuts and setting them aside. I was fascinated at how easy the whole thing was for him, and I was grateful for his help.
“I’m Tabor,” he said as he put the car jack in place.
“Dani,” I answered. “And thanks.”
He flashed a smile over his shoulder before he turned back to the tire. I touched my hair and realized I probably looked like a frazzled mess. Sweat was running down my spine, my clothes were smudged with dirt and grime, and I was pretty sure my mascara was trudging into raccoon territory.
“So do you make it a daily ritual to scour the neighborhood for damsels in distress, or do you happen to live around here?” I asked, though it came out rude and not playful as I intended.
I was grateful for his help, but it wasn’t coming through in my tone. My friends always told me my sarcastic, dry personality was off-putting, and when I wanted to rein it in, I failed miserably.
“Are you asking me if I come here often?” His eyebrow arched slightly over his sunglasses suggestively and he laughed as I stared at him feeling mortified.
T.K. Rapp is a Texas girl born and raised. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M and it was there that she met the love of her life. He had a contract with the U.S. Navy that would take them across both coasts, and ultimately land them back home in Texas.
Upon finally settling in Texas, T.K. worked as a graphic designer and photographer for the family business that her mom started years earlier. She was able to infuse her creativity and passion, into something she enjoyed, but something was still missing. There was a voice in the back of her head that told her to write, so write, she did. And, somewhere on an external hard drive, are several stories she started and never finished.
Now at home, raising her two daughters with her husband, T.K. has more time to do the things she loves, which includes photography and writing. When she’s not doing one of those, she can be found with her family, which keeps her busy. She enjoys watching her kids in their various sporting activities (i.e. doing the soccer mom thing), having Sunday breakfast at her parent’s house, singing out loud and out of key or dancing like a fool. She loves raunchy humor, gossip blogs and a good book.