Review: Sliding into Second by Ella Jade

I’ve read several of Ms. Jade’s book, and Sliding into Second is another good, entertaining read. This novella features sports reporter Sage and second baseman Nic. They were high school sweethearts who lost track of each other, only to be reunited through their jobs years later. Having never gotten over each other, they embark on a physical reconnection that turns to more.

As with pretty much all novellas, this one has moments where events are told, not shown, as well as gaps in time. These things are almost always necessary to keep to the shorter format when telling a complicated love story. Still, Ms. Jade does a good job of making the reader care about the characters and understand their motivations. The characters are far from one-note. The sex scenes are well done and often helped move the story forward–the hallmark of a good sex scene in my mind.

If you like sports stories and tender romance mixed with hot sex, then give Sliding into Second a try. I give this novella 4 cat kisses.

4 cats


Jilted once before, now it’s her turn to level the playing field.

Hotshot sports reporter Sage Millan has been busy making a name for herself in the male dominated world of baseball. She’s just landed her dream job, and her first assignment is covering the newly crowned World Series champions, The Kingston Crushers. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. The only problem…her ex-boyfriend, and the only man she’s ever loved, is the team’s second baseman. Things ended badly between them, and she’s not sure she can put those demons to rest.

Professional baseball player Nicolas Cordova is having the time of his life. His team has just won the World Series, and with the victory comes more fame, women, and exposure than he ever could have imagined. But things are about to change for the sexy, charismatic athlete. He never expected his ex-girlfriend to walk back into his life, much less the locker room.

These days Sage is smarter, more mature, and doesn’t plan on being played a second time. Her appearance stirs old memories for Nic. She’s the one he let get away in the name of his career. He vows he can be the man she needs this time around. Will that be enough to mend her broken heart?

Content Warning: contains explicit sex and adult content

Available now for a limited time release price of .99 cents…

Beachwalk Press

Excerpt

“I’ll admit I’ve had many women in the past, and I can’t apologize for living. But as the years went by, my feelings for you were always someplace deep in my heart. I know that’s why I can’t settle down. Why I can’t find the peace I’ve been searching for. It doesn’t exist without you.”

“How can you say things like that? You don’t even know the woman I’ve become. I’m not that girl who relied on you, the one who would’ve followed you anywhere. I’m not her anymore, Nic. I can’t ever be her again.”

“Maybe I’m not asking for her.” He leaned closer to her face. “Maybe I want to know the woman you are today. I want another shot at this.”

“No,” she whispered.

“If you remember anything about me, I have a hard time with that word.” He tipped her chin, focusing on her lips. “I am going to kiss you. Right here and right now.”

Her knees buckled as a cool tremor swept through her. She wanted to say no. It was the only logical word to mutter, but her heart didn’t want her to say it. Her body wasn’t on board with turning him down either. The warmth that built in her stomach had moved lower, and now all she could think about was his lips on hers.

“It doesn’t sound like you’re asking,” she breathed out.

“I’m not.”

Before she could say anything else, his mouth was on hers, eager, but slow and soft. His stubble grazed along her chin as he tilted his head and deepened their bond. The sound throughout the crowded lobby seemed to fade into the background, and soon, all she could hear was her heart pumping loud between her ears. Why did he have to be such a freakin’ good kisser?

After the incredibly long connection, he pulled away, but not before stopping to kiss the bottom corner of her mouth like he used to.

“I’ve waited a long time to do that,” he said. “It was worth every lonely minute.”

“I… Nic…” She’d always had the gift of words. It was what she did for a living, but in that moment, all of her thoughts were jumbled and senseless.

“It’s okay.” He grinned as he stroked her cheek. “Let’s get something to eat and maybe figure this out. Whatever this is.”

“No.” She ran her hands along his strong chest, resting them on his shoulders.

“Don’t over analyze this, baby.” He glanced down at her hands on his body. “Let’s just go with it.”

“That’s what I’m trying to tell you.” She took a breath and continued before she lost her nerve. “Take me upstairs to your room. I know how we can figure this out.”

“What are you asking?” He placed his hand on the small of her back, drawing her closer to him. “You need to be real clear.”

“I want to go upstairs with you.”

“That’s not why I kissed you.”

“Isn’t it?” She smirked. “We’re adults now, Nicky. Let’s settle this like adults.”

“I’m not looking to settle anything. That usually means it’s over, and we’re nowhere near over.” He motioned for Joe. “I’ll take care of the bar tab and then we’ll get dinner.”

“No.” She draped her arms around his neck, intoxicated by the idea of being so close to him again. He may be older now, and may have lost those boyish looks, but the man he had become suited him and drove her wild with need.

“What did I tell you about that word?”

“I can guarantee I won’t be using it once we’re in your bedroom.” She ran her tongue along her top lip. “I’m going to the ladies room. When I come out, if you’re not by the elevators waiting for me, I’ll know that kiss was nothing more than the heat of the moment and we can go on with our lives.”

“Sage?”

“Shh.” She pressed her lips to his. “Now who’s over analyzing?” She reached for her purse and coat hanging on the back of the stool. “I’ll see you in a few minutes.” I hope.

This is book 2 in the Kingston Heat Series but both books stand alone and can be read in either order.

WARNING… Pax will steal your heart

Will the bad-boy pitcher strike out when it comes to love?

Shy music teacher Sophia Ballis has sworn off men. After a bad experience with a college jock she decided it was better to be alone than to get burned again. She focused on her education and now her new job at a local private school.

Professional baseball pitcher Paxton Hughes is a player both on and off the field. He’s signed to the Kingston Crushers to bring home the coveted championship title. Nothing can get in his way. Serious relationships don’t mix with a life on the road and he never loses focus on the game. One-night stands are his specialty for a reason.

While out jogging one spring morning, the two collide, setting their course in motion. Pax is immediately drawn to the unassuming beauty. Sophia is aware of his reputation and decides one night of meaningless sex with the attractive Texas charmer is just what she needs to get over her self-imposed dry spell. Pax has more than a one-night stand on his mind, but will his bad-boy persona and demanding schedule ruin any chances of a happily ever after?

Content Warning: contains explicit sex and adult content

Amazon/Beachwalk Press

About the Author

Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can’t be stopped.

Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two boys. When she’s not chasing after her kids, she’s busy creating sexy, domineering men and the strong women who know how to challenge them in and out of the bedroom.  She hopes you’ll get lost in her words.

She loves connecting with readers. You can find her here…

FB/Twitter/Website

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Review: A Love Discovered by Ella Jade

A Love Discovered by Ella Jade tells the story of Cali and Carter. Cali is a laid-back bar owner who lives life by the seat of her pants. Sometimes this works well for her and sometimes it gets her into trouble, like financially with her bar. Carter, on the other hand, is a methodical professor who likes order and planning. He is on sabbatical in the small town where Cali lives while he works on a book and decides if he wants to return to his position following a personal tragedy.

When Cali shows up at his door to deliver some books he ordered, the reclusive professor at first accuses her of trespassing, but neither miss the sparks that fly between the two of them and he can’t stop thinking of her. When she comes around again, he is much more welcoming and the two almost end up making love. The physical attraction continues to draw them together.

I enjoyed this book, but there were a few things that pulled me from the story. For example, the author seemed to feel the need to explain why the characters did/said the things they did. Sometimes this kind of clarification is needed, but the excessive amount of it in this book distracted me from the meat of the story and had me skimming. Also, on occasion, what the author told me the characters did wasn’t backed up by the actions in the story. For instance, throughout the whole book it was asserted that Cali had to persistently pursue Carter to make a relationship work. Yet there was very little evidence of this (aside from Cali pushing him to open up about his past, which doesn’t take much prodding). There were also several week or longer time gaps. Sometimes this doesn’t bother me  in a story, but in this case, I kept feeling like I missed things.

I really liked Cali and Carter as characters and was rooting for their happy ending. I’m a sucker for hot intellectuals! Ms. Jade avoided making Cali seem flaky, which I’ve seen happen when the character is a free spirit. Instead, you see her good heart and optimism. There were some wonderful dialogue sequences and tender moments between Carter and Cali that show the growing love between them. I do wish the author would have spent more time showing the push and pull between the characters. They are such opposites that I expected to see more conflict between them.

Although I was never as fully captivated as I’d like to be, there are many nice moments. I give this book three cat kisses.

3 cats

 

Local bar owner Cali Tate has always been trendy, easy-going, and impulsive. She isn’t afraid to take chances, but her carefree attitude may have put her restaurant in jeopardy. Her failing business is beginning to take a toll on her, both mentally and financially. When her best friend asks her to do a favor and take some books to the town’s reclusive professor Cali welcomes the distraction. To her surprise, the sexy professor is nothing like she had pictured him.

Dr. Carter Stavros wants to be left alone. He’s set in his ways and doesn’t want to be bothered with the outside world. Wanting to escape the demons of his recent past, he moved to Steeple, taking a sabbatical from his teaching job to write a book. He wasn’t prepared for the spunky, persistent bar owner to invade his life. But the more she pushes, the more intrigued he becomes.

Neither one of them expected to find any common ground, much less fall in love. What happens when an OCD professor collides with a risk-taking woman who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer?

Content Warning: contains graphic sex and mature content

Excerpt

After lunch, another hour of conversation, and a long swim, Cali lounged on the chair by the pool. Her shoulder-length blonde hair dried naturally and curled at the ends. Carter watched as she closed her eyes and enjoyed the afternoon sun. Her tanned skin glistened with sunscreen and her tiny bikini was almost dry. He wondered how many hours of intense workouts created a body like hers.

“Are you admiring me again?” she asked with her eyes still closed.

“How many tattoos do you have?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” She giggled.

“I would.”

As improper as it was, he couldn’t take his gaze away from her right nipple. The evidence straining against her damp bikini indicated a piercing of some sort. He’d never been more fascinated by anyone before. Throughout the years he’d seen quite a few attractive young women on campus, but he never acted on impulse when it came to students, no matter how tempting. Cali wasn’t a student. She was a quirky, attractive woman who was very much in touch with her sexuality. She turned him on. He wanted to explore with her.

“Four.”

He sat on the edge of the lounge chair, taking her right ankle into his hand. “Here.” He outlined the small butterfly that permanently marked her skin.

“That’s one.” She opened her eyes when he trailed his hand up her leg and to her hip.

It had been years since he had pursued a woman. He’d gotten married when he was twenty-four and stayed faithful through the whole fourteen years of that turbulent relationship.

“Two.” He swept his fingers over the pink-and-purple-colored rose petals sprinkled along her hip.

“Keep going.”

He took her hand in his and examined more rose petals on the inside of her wrist. “Do they hold significance?” He traced his fingertips over the tattoo, indulging in her smooth skin beneath his touch. The way her flesh prickled in response instigated his actions.

“I like roses.” She sat up, placed her legs across his lap, and leaned closer to his face. “My mother had the most beautiful rose bushes in our backyard.” She pushed her hair to the side and tilted her neck. “Four.”

“It’s exquisite,” he mumbled as he took in the ivy that started at her collarbone and flowed down the back of her shoulder blade.

“I wouldn’t have pegged you for a man who likes ink on his woman.”

“I’m not usually.” He ran his thumb from the start of the tattoo to where it ended on her back. He wanted to feel every inch of her forbidden flesh. She shivered when he stopped. “It goes back to those boundaries you don’t have.”

Reaching out, she placed her palm on his cheek, directing him closer to her lips. “The question is…” She brushed her mouth against his chin. “Do you have enough for both of us?”

Buy Links

Author Bio

Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can’t be stopped.

Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two young boys. When she’s not chasing after her kids, she’s busy writing, attending PTO meetings, kickboxing, and scrapbooking. She hopes you’ll get lost in her words.

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