Fair Catch – The Portland Pioneers Read Online Heidi McLaughlin

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Billionaire, Contemporary, Insta-Love, Sports Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 78
Estimated words: 75626 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 378(@200wpm)___ 303(@250wpm)___ 252(@300wpm)

From the bestselling author of Forever My Girl: The Motion Picture, Heidi McLaughlin delivers a contemporary football romance that will leave you ready to hike the ball.

Kelsey Sloane’s love of books leads to her dream job as an acquisitions editor for an up and coming publisher. What their company needs to really make a name for themselves is a hit release, and Kelsey thinks she may have found it. That is, if the football aspects of the sports-themed love story make sense. Completely clueless on the subject, she calls the local NFL team—the Portland Pioneers—to teach her the basics.
Portland Pioneers center, Alex Moore, gets the short end of the stick when he’s tasked with teaching new to town, Kelsey Sloane, all about football. Fresh off a break-up with his long-term girlfriend, the offensive lines blur for Alex when he finds himself attracted to Kelsey.
Oblivious to who Alex is, Kelsey isn’t enamored by his fame or begging for tickets on the fifty-yard line. Her only interest is learning about the sport he loves.
Her impromptu internship over, it’s time for Kelsey to return to wading through stacks of manuscripts. But Alex isn’t ready to say goodbye. Can he find a way to keep the football novice in his life? Or will their differing careers be the flag on the play that keeps them apart?

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************



When I packed up my life in New York and made the cross-country trek to Portland for the job of a lifetime, excitement and anticipation filled me. How different could one big city be from another? But then I arrived, and the gray skies opened, and the rain seemed endless.

“Good morning, Ms. Sloane.” Barrett, the doorman for my building, nods to me while I stand under the awning and wait for a break in the foot traffic before opening my umbrella and stepping out.

Like when I lived in New York, I don’t have a car. Portland’s a city with a massive public transportation system. Why waste money on buying a car, paying for parking, and getting auto insurance? I’d much rather travel to different countries than spend money on something I’d rarely use.

“Morning, Barrett.” I drop the “good” because nothing seems good at the moment. I get that it’s fall, and I’m used to the chill in the air, but I’m also used to warm fall days and cool nights. This crap Portland is dumping on me makes me second-guess living here.

“It’s for your dream job,” I mutter to myself.

“What’s that, Ms. Sloane?”

Shaking my head, I glance at Barrett. “Sorry, I’m trying to psyche myself up for the walk to work.”

“Would you like me to hail you a cab?”

“No. But thank you. I need to get used to the rain.”

Barrett laughs. “After a while, you won’t even notice it.”

Whatever you say.

When I see an opening between the hordes of people walking, I click the button on my umbrella and step out from beneath the awning. I shiver and pull my black trench coat tighter, wishing I could’ve worn my full-length peacoat since it’s lined with wool and has always kept me warm. That coat will always be my favorite ever purchase, but a wet peacoat takes ages to dry.

Today, I’m thankful for the crowds gathered on the street corners. The ones that stand on the curb are brave. They’re willing to get wet for the rest of us. Each time I see a car careening toward the curb for a coveted parking spot, I wait for the driver to hit the puddle, splashing the people waiting to cross. And the lengthy line of obscenities that are sure to come.

By the time I make it into my office, I’m bone cold. In my cubicle, I flip on the space heater I keep under my desk and hang my coat before heading into the breakroom. Thankfully, there’s a pot of coffee brewed and ready for pouring. After I put my lunch in the refrigerator, I pour myself a cup and head back to my desk.

I’m early, in the sense that most of my coworkers roll in before noon. Many of them spend most of their nights staying up all hours reading manuscripts. Not me. I’ve never been much of a night owl, and literally can’t read past nine p.m., which is pretty unreasonable since my job is to read manuscripts and decide if they are worthy of publishing.

I love my job as an acquisitions editor for an up-and-coming publishing house in Portland. Leaving my job in New York to join Willamette Publishing was the best decision for my career. It was their business model (and the fact they had landed the biggest authors on the planet) that had my bags packed before the ink dried on my contract.

The only thing I regret—the rain.

But like Barrett says, I’ll get used to it.

My laptop boots up, and my email automatically opens. Each new message filters in. Twenty-five submissions overnight, and now sent to the printer. My boss complains about the amount of paper I use, but I’d much rather hold the sample in my hand and make notes than read it on my screen. My mentor is to blame. She taught me this way, and it’s how I prefer to work.

The first one on my pile is from an agent I’ve worked with many times. Her clients haven’t disappointed yet with their submissions. Except, this one throws me off kilter a bit. It’s a sports romance, which is always a hot commodity. However, I don’t know jack shit about football.

The submission is good. Great even. It has everything an editor looks for from story flow, pacing, conflict, and flirty banter, which I’m a sucker for. Give me the fun-loving jabs and I’m taking this to my boss. My only hang-up—the sports talk. Granted, I know what a tackle is, but the lingo leaves me wondering if the author is right or just blowing smoke.

This one goes into my “maybe” pile, and I work through the rest, asking for full reads on three of them, passing on a handful, and the rest I email the agent asking for some minor revisions. There were a couple I really enjoyed, but both had something missing. Those will usually come back to my email within days because the author is eager to land the deal.